The Glenn L. Martin Company (Martin) managed to sell a few air services of the World War 2 period (1939-1945) on its "Model 167" twin engine light bomber design of 1939 to which the British named the "Maryland" in their service. Beyond the UK, operators of the type went on to include the French Air Force and Navy as well as the South African Air Force (though not the United States itself). A total of 450 of the aircraft were built with few variants in between and the series saw modest success in the war's early-going.
From the Model 167, the company spawned several other, though lesser known, light bomber designs that included the proposed "Model 174". The Model 174 was a revision of the original Maryland in the way that it was given inverted "gull-wing" style wing mainplanes and had a much slimmer fuselage assembly. The mainplanes were also noticeably swept at the leading edges outboard of the engine housings. The aircraft retained the Maryland's traditional twin-engine arrangement where each powerplant was housed in a streamlined nacelle at each mainplane member. The nose was also heavily-glazed over for bombing purposes and the cockpit flight deck stepped. The tail unit was made up of a traditional arrangement involving a single rudder plane and low-mounted horizontal planes (just as in the Maryland). A "tail-dragger" undercarriage was to be featured and this would have seen the main legs equipped with twin wheels while a tailwheel would be positioned under the tail unit proper.
As with the Maryland, the Model 174 also showcased the unique "rounded-off" section of lower aft-fuselage under the empennage.
The intended operating crew comprised just three - a pilot, bombardier, and dedicated machine gunner. A bomb load of up to 2,000lb was planned and, defensively, the aircraft was to have featured a machine gun array of 2 x 0.30 caliber machine guns in a retractable dorsal turret set over midships and 2 x 0.30 caliber machine guns in a rear-facing ventral position.
For drive power, the bomber was being proposed with an arrangement of 2 x Allison XV-3420 W-24 liquid-cooled inline piston engines, each developing over 2,000 horsepower (estimated by the author) and used to drive four-bladed propeller units in tractor fashion. However, this engine, first-run in 1937, never materialized out of its experimental stage and just 150 units in the series were ever produced, these finding few major applications (the Fisher P-75 "Eagle" fighter, detailed elsewhere on this site) being one of them.
The Model 174 was not furthered beyond the design study / proposal drawing stages. For a brief period, the "Model 176" emerged as a revision of the Model 174 with the most notable trait being its "blended wing" design approach. This offering appears to have come to naught.
NOTE: Performance figures for this entry are estimates by the author based on the Martin Maryland light bomber and proposed Model Model 175.
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