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North American B-25 Mitchell

United States (1940)
Picture of North American B-25 Mitchell Medium Bomber Aircraft
Picture of North American B-25 Mitchell Medium Bomber Aircraft Picture of North American B-25 Mitchell Medium Bomber Aircraft
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The North American B-25 Mitchell proved a crucial medium bomber component to the Allied war effort during World War 2.


Detailing the development and operational history of the North American B-25 Mitchell Medium Bomber Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 10/24/2017. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The North American B-25 Mitchell series of medium bombers went on to become one of the classic American aircraft designs to emerge during World War Two. Designed as early as 1939, the series was built to specifications as required by the United States Army. The B-25 would go on to gain national fame in the United States as the aircraft used by the famous "Doolittle Raiders", the end result having shown the American ability to bomb the heart of Tokyo from a USN carrier stationed in the Pacific (USS Hornet).

The B-25 was initially designed as a three-crew, high-mounted wing bomber utilizing twin Pratt & Whitney R-1830-S6C-3 radial engines. By the end of its production run, the system would be overhauled to include 5 to 6 crew members in various gun positions, a shoulder-mount wing assembly and twin Wright GR-2600-A71 radial engines. After over 9,800 were produced, the Mitchell had evolved into a host of variants that included trainers, dedicated ground strike, reconnaissance and torpedo carriers.

The more identifiable B-25's were a twin-engine design with the radials mounted underneath either wing element. The forward fuselage was of a greenhouse-type design affording the forward-located gunners and bombardiers a good field of vision. The pilot and co-pilot sat in a raised location just behind the nose assembly and had good vision forward, above and to the sides. A top dorsal turret was included and was mounted with twin .50 caliber machine guns. Waist gunner positions were added with single .50 caliber guns, as was a twin .50 caliber gun position in the tail. The B-25 made use of a powered-tricycle landing gear system and a decent internal bomb bay. Twin rudder assemblies differentiated the system from the other similar-looking twin-engine medium bombers of American design.


Picture of the North American B-25 Mitchell Medium Bomber Aircraft
Picture of the North American B-25 Mitchell Medium Bomber Aircraft


Initial B-25 designs limited the crew to just three, whereas a fuselage widening helped to increase width and seat the pilot and co-pilot side-by-side. Armor and self-sealing fuel tanks were already common in about 40 developmental models of the "A" variety. The "B" model would go on to feature 119 production aircraft with powered dorsal and ventral turret emplacements but the rear tail gunner position removed.

It would not be until the valuable and definitive "C" models joined the lines that the B-25 would come into its own. C-model construction would leap into the 1,600's and featured an autopiloting system, underwing hardpoints, provision for torpedo carrying and the identifiable forward-fixed 4 x .50 caliber machine gun pods on either side of the lower-front fuselage.

Following the C-models would be the very similar "D" series that varied in only being produced on a different production line facility. The next "G" models would feature a large-caliber 75mm cannon in the nose followed by "H" models with a similar gun system and upwards of 18 defensive machine guns positioned throughout the aircraft. Dedicated ground strike models were even featured with a devastating array of 8 x .50 caliber machine guns in a forward-fixed assembly mounted in the nose.




Cockpit picture from the North American B-25 Mitchell Medium Bomber Aircraft
North American B-25 Mitchell Cockpit Picture


Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 300mph
Lo: 150mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (272mph).

    Graph average of 225 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the North American B-25C Mitchell's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
9816
9816


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
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Origin: United States
Year: 1940
Type: Medium Bomber Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): North American Aircraft Corporation - USA
Production: 9,816
Status: Retired, Out-of-Service
Global Operators:
Australia; Argentina; Biafra; Bolivia; Brazil; Canada; China; Chile; Colombia; Cuba; Dominican Republic; France; Indonesia; Mexico; Netherlands; Peru; Poland; Spain; Soviet Union; Taiwan; United Kingdom; United States; Uruguay; Venezuela
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the North American B-25C Mitchell model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
5


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
52.92 ft


Meters
16.13 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
67.55 ft


Meters
20.59 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
15.75 ft


Meters
4.8 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
20,300 lb


Kilograms
9,208 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
34,000 lb


Kilograms
15,422 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
2 x Wright Cyclone R-2600-19 air-cooled piston engines developing 1,700 horsepower each.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
272 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
438 kph


Knots
237 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
1,350 mi


Kilometers
2,173 km


Nautical Miles
1,173 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
24,196 ft


Meters
7,375 m


Miles
4.58 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
1,666 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
508 m/min

Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of an aircraft heavy machine gun
Graphical image of an aircrat automatic cannon
Graphical image of an aircraft aerial torpedo
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition
Armament - Hardpoints (Up to 8 (model dependent)):

Model-specific armament included:

8 x 12.7mm machine gun array OR 1 x 75mm cannon in forward-fixed nose assembly.

2 x 12.7mm machine guns in forward-fixed lower-left side fuselage position (beneath and behind cockpit position).
2 x 12.7mm machine gun in forward-fixed lower-right side fuselage position (beneath and behind cockpit position).
2 x 12.7mm machine guns in ventral turret (powered turrets in some models).
2 x 12.7mm machine guns in dorsal turret (powered turrets in some models).
1 x 12.7mm machine gun in left waist port position.
1 x 12.7mm machine gun in right waist port position.
2 x 12.7mm machine guns in tail gun position (some models removed).
1 x Torpedo in under-fuselage arrangement (model-specific fitting).
8 x 250lb bombs on 8 external hardpoints (model-specific fitting).

OPTIONAL:
Maximum internal bomb load of 3,000 lb (1,361 kg).
Variants: Series Model Variants
• NA-62 / B-25 - Further Production Design with wing element lowered to middle position; Widened fuselage to accommodate side-by-side seating for pilot / copilot; Crew increase from 3 to 5 crewmen; Improved offensive armament array and defensive capabilities; R-2600-9 powerplants; 24 initial aircraft produced.
• B-25A - At least forty produced with self-sealing fuel tanks and additional armor protection.
• B-25B - At least 119 produced with power-operated ventral and dorsal turret systems; Tail gun emplacement removed on some models; Plexiglass nose assembly.
• B-25C - Major production model featuring autopilot, provisioning for eight external 250lb bombs or a single under-fuselage torpedo; Some produced with 4 x 12.7mm machine guns in forward-firing position on either lower-side of the cockpit.
• B-25D - Based on B-25C model except from a different production line / facility.
• B-25G - Featured a 75mm nose cannon; At least 405 produced with this feature; Retractable belly turret.
• B-25H - Featured between 14 to 18 x 12.7mm machine guns in various positions; At least 1,000 of this type produced; Solid nose assembly; Belly turret removed; 4 x 12.7mm machine guns in forward-fixed firing position in nose above 75mm cannon; Two aft-fuselage plexiglass blisters with 12.7mm gun mounts; Tail turret reintroduced with 2 x 12.7mm machine guns; Wright R-2600-13 or R2600-29 powerplants.
• B-25J - Final Production Model with R-2600-92 radial powerplants; 12 x 12.7mm machine guns in various positions.
• F-10 - Reconnaissance Model
• AT-25 - Pilot / Crewman Trainer Conversion Model
• TB-25 - Pilot / Crewman Trainer Conversion Model
• PBJ - Navy Pilot / Crewman Trainer Conversion Model