The Martin MB-1 (also known as the "Glenn Martin Bomber") became the first American-designed heavy bomber type to be purchased in quantity in the First World War, becoming the mainstay of the United States Army Air Service (USAAS) for a time. The system was a two-engine bomber of indigenous creation (previous US bombers were simply license production derivatives of European origin) and was designed by the Glenn Martin Company. In the end, only nine full-operational systems would become available by war's end but the type would soldier on until being replaced in 1920 by the more capable Martin MB-2 series.
Power was derived from two Liberty 12-A engines mounted between the upper and lower wing assemblies. Each engine developed a reported 400 horsepower and straddled the fuselage where three to four crewmembers were called upon to man the various open-cockpit stations. Armament was defensive and was made up of no fewer than 5 x 7.62mm machine guns in various positions about the fuselage including the bow nose mount. Offensive firepower consisted of up to 2,000lbs of ordnance. The undercarriage was of a fixed type and consisted of four wheels. First production examples were received in October of 1918.
The MB-1 was designed to replace the Handley-Page O/400 bomber series of British design and the Caproni bomber series of Italian design. The MB-1 came about at a time when the United States depended heavily on the purchase of foreign designs or all-out completed production models to maintain a workable military presence so the arrival of the MB-1 was quite a historic footnote for the nation. The system was called upon to fulfill the primary role of reconnaissance platform with a secondary role as a dedicated bomber. It would serve only a few short years in a military capacity before being replaced in frontline service by the aforementioned MB-2 series, which was in essence a further developed version of the MB-1 series.
A few modified MB-1 models existed and are worthy of note. These include an MB-1 with a 37mm cannon mounted in the 7.62mm bow-mount machine gun position. This particular MB-1 is designated as the GMC for "Glenn Martin Canon" and known by the serial AS62951. Additionally, the MB-1 with serial AS39059 sported a third Hispano-Suiza engine in the nose. A ten-passenger model existed as the GMP ("Glen Martin Passenger"). The MB-1 also served for a time as a mail carrier plane in the form of the T-1 in the post-war years.
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
✓Ground Attack (Bombing, Strafing)
Ability to conduct aerial bombing of ground targets by way of (but not limited to) guns, bombs, missiles, rockets, and the like.
✓Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR), Scout
Surveil ground targets / target areas to assess environmental threat levels, enemy strength, or enemy movement.
44.1 ft (13.44 m)
71.5 ft (21.79 m)
14.7 ft (4.48 m)
10,223 lb (4,637 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base Martin MB-1 / Glenn Martin Bomber production variant)
2 x Liberty 12-A engines developing 400 horsepower each.
2 x 7.62mm Lewis machien guns in bow position
2 x 7.62mm Lewis machine guns in upper rear fuselage.
1 x 7.62mm Lewis machine gun in lower rear fuselage.
Up to 2,000lb of ordnance
(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
Hardpoint Mountings: 8
MB-1 - Martin Company Designation / Military Designation.
GMB "Glen Martin Bomber" - United States Army Air Service designation for MB-1 series.
GMT "Glenn Martin Transcontinental" - Fitted with fuel tanks for increased range.
GMC "Glen Martin Canon" - Fitted with 1 x 37mm cannon replacing bow-mounted 7.62mm machine gun.
GMP "Glenn Martin Passenger" - Accommodations for up to 10 passengers; redesignated to T-1.
MBT "Martin Bombers - Torpedo" - Torpedo Bomber Variant; used by the United States Navy.
MT "Martin Torpedo" - Used by the United States Navy; based on MB-1 system with wing assembly of MB-2 bombers; redesignated to TM-1.
T-1 - GMP Redesignation
TM-1 - MT Redesignation
MB-1 / NBS-1 - "Improved" MB-1 Model Series
Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective aerial campaigns / operations / aviation periods.
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