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Martin B-10 Medium Bomber (1932)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 1/22/2015

The Martin B-10 was an advanced aircraft for its time, but made obsolete when World War 2 had arrived.

The Martin B-10 medium bomber was a breakthrough design for American military aviation when it appeared on the scene in 1932. Though made obsolete at the outbreak of hostilities in World War Two, the type persevered in other forms thanks to export customers. In the end, over 300 examples of the type would be produced that would cover the B-10 and the marginally improved B-10 in the form of the B-12.

Once in production and reaching operational status, the B-10 became the first American designed and bomber made of all-metal construction practices and produced in any quantity. The system was also the first design for the Americans to feature armament that was fitted to turrets for increased defensive performance against enemy fighters. In any case, the B-10 held many evolutionary breakthroughs in the field of military aviation for the United States - practices and design lessons that would sure play a role in future bomber needs just years later.

The Martin B-10 was a twin engine medium-class bomber fitted with Wright-brand R-1820 G-102 Cyclone 9-cylinder radial piston engines. The engines were fitted on what would become the USAAC's first attempt at a cantilever low-wing monoplane design. The crew of four were placed about in windowed positions which consisted primarily of the nose compartment, the cockpit and a mid-to-rear glazed area. Armament was strictly defensive and consisted of a single 7.62mm machine gun in the nose, a single 7.62mm machine in a dorsal position and still another single 7.62mm machine gun in a ventral position. Maximum bombload was limited to 2,260 pounds of internal ordnance.

Export customers kept the B-10 production lines moving along well after the United States Army Air Corp had removed the type from its service. Primary customers included the Netherlands with an order of 120, Argentina with 35 and Thailand and Turkey with 26 and 20 respectively. Though outclassed in a few short years, the B-10 was nonetheless a design worth noting as it effectively did away with any future aircraft designs not of all-metal construction.

Glenn Martin won the prestigious Collier Trophy in 1932 for his design work on the Martin B-10.

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Specifications for the
Martin B-10
Medium Bomber

Focus Model: Martin B-10B
Country of Origin: United States
Manufacturer: Glenn L. Martin Company - USA
Initial Year of Service: 1932
Production Total: 361

Crew: 4

Length: 44.16 ft (13.46 m)
Width: 70.87 ft (21.60 m)
Height: 11.58ft (3.53 m)
Weight (Empty): 15,895 lb (7,210 kg)
Weight (MTOW): 0 lb (0 kg)

Powerplant: 2 x Wright R-1820 G-102 Cyclone 9-cylinder radial piston engines developing up to 1,000 horsepower.

Maximum Speed: 200 mph (322 kmh; 174 kts)
Maximum Range: 590 miles (950 km)
Service Ceiling: 25,197 ft (7,680 m; 4.8 miles)
Rate-of-Climb: 0 feet-per-minute (0 m/min)

Hardpoints: 0
Armament Suite:
1 x 7.62mm machine gun in nose position
1 x 7.62mm machine gun in dorsal position
1 x 7.62mm machine gun in ventral position

Maximum bomb load of up to 2,260 lb of internally-held ordnance.

Model 123 - Base Model Project Designation as pursued by Martin.

XB-907 - US Army Evaluation Designation of Model 123.

XB-907A - Modified US Army Evaluation Designation of Model 123.

XB-10 - USAAC Modified Model based on the XB-907A model.

YB-10 - Modified XB-10 models

B-10 - Base Production Model Designation

YB-10A - based on YB-10 model but fitted instead with Wright R-1820-31 radial piston engines.

B-10B - Initial and Main Production Model Designation.

B-10M - Target Tug Conversion Models of B-10B.


YB-12 - Improved B-10 Model fitted with Pratt & Whitney R-1690-11 Hornet radial piston engines.

B-12A - "Improved B-10" Production Model

YB-13 - Proposed Re-engined Variant Model


A-15 - Proposed Attack Model Variant

YO-45 - Experimental Testing Platform

Model 139 - Export Designation for B-10 Model

Model 139WA - Argentina Export Model Designation for demonstration model.

Model 139WAA - Argentina Export Model Designation; fielded with Argentine Army units.

Model 139WAN - Argentine Export Model Designation; fielded with Argentine Naval units.

Model 139WC - Chinese Export Model Designation.

Model 139WH - Netherlands Export Model Designation.

Model 139WS - Soviet Demonstrator Model

Model 139WSM - Siam Export Model Designation

Model 139WSP - Proposed Spanish Export Model

Model 139WT - Turkish Export Model Designation

Argentina; China; Indonesia; Netherlands; Philippines; Soviet Union; Thailand; Turkey; United States