In the early part of 1939, the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC) drew up plans for a new generation of medium bomber types that were rather recently embodied by the Douglas B-18 "Bolo" and B-23 "Dragon" forms (the Dragon essentially becoming an evolution of the Bolo). The Specification of March 1939 called for a twin-engined form flying at speeds of 300 miles-per-hour out to a range of 2,000 miles all the while carrying a bomb load of up to 3,000lb.
The requirement was eventually fulfilled by two of the more classic design forms of World War 2 - the North American B-25 "Mitchell" (the NA-62) and the Martin B-26 "Marauder" (the Model 179). Both excelled in their given roles and the designs were considerably evolved from their original offerings to help fulfill wartime requirements.
However, before the Model 179 would become the excellent B-26, it underwent a period of constant change. As early as July 1939, the aircraft was a twin-engined design of portly appearance with a deep, rounded fuselage. The fuselage's nosecap was completely glazed over and the cockpit (also heavily framed) was stepped (consistent with the final-form, in-service B-26 still to come). The aircraft was given a twin-rudder fin tail unit set slightly ahead of the tapered, terminating end of the fuselage. The wing mainplanes sat shoulder-mounted atop the fuselage and each carried an underslung engine nacelle, the engines used to drive four-bladed propeller units with oversized spinners. The undercarriage was a rather modern tricycle formation in which the main legs retracted into the engine nacelles and the nose leg into the underside of the forward fuselage. A crew of five would make up the operators required for the various onboard systems including pilots, flight engineer, bombardier, and gunners.
As proposed, the Model 179 had an overall length of 57.4 feet with a wingspan of 65 feet and a height of 14.8 feet. MTOW was rated at just over 29,000lb.
Power would come from 2 x Pratt & Whitney (PW) R-2800-5 air-cooled radial piston engines of 1,850 horsepower output or 2 x Wright R-2600 radials of 1,700 horsepower. This arrangement was to supply the medium bomber with a maximum speed of up to 325 miles-per-hour out to a range of 3,000 miles and operating at altitudes up to 26,500 feet - all exceeding the USAAC original requirements. The warload reached 2,000lb and this could be pushed as high as 2,400lb.
Note: The above text is EXCLUSIVE to the site www.MilitaryFactory.com. It is the product of many hours of research and work made possible with the help of contributors, veterans, insiders, and topic specialists. If you happen upon this text anywhere else on the internet or in print, please let us know at MilitaryFactory AT gmail DOT com so that we may take appropriate action against the offender / offending site and continue to protect this original work.
(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.
✓X-Plane (Developmental, Prototype, Technology Demonstrator)
Aircraft developed for the role of prototyping, technology demonstration, or research / data collection.
57.3 ft (17.45 m)
65.0 ft (19.80 m)
14.9 ft (4.54 m)
29,123 lb (13,210 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base Martin Model 179 production variant)
2 x Pratt & Whitney R-2800-5 air-cooled radial piston engines developing 1,850 horsepower OR 2 x Wright R-2600 air-cooled radial piston engines developing 1,700 horsepower each driving four-bladed propeller units.
The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.
Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org (World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft), WDMMW.org (World Directory of Modern Military Warships), SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane, and MilitaryRibbons.info, cataloguing all American military medals and ribbons.