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The Martin MB-2 became the NBS-1 after the Air Service adopted a new aircraft designation scheme in 1919. The NBS-1 (Night Bombardment - Short Distance) was the primary bomber used in the ship bombing trials of the early 1920s.
In the post-World War I era, the Army Air Service contracted for an aircraft design rather than a set number of completed aircraft. In the case of the MB-2, Martin designed and built the first 20 aircraft, but was under bid on the follow-up construction contracts. This resulted in construction contracts for the Curtiss, Lowe-Willard-Fowler and Aeromarine companies. Ironically, although Martin engineers designed the aircraft, the company produced the fewest number of aircraft. This was partly because the other companies were willing to take a loss on the contract to get the job.
||Five as MB-2
||Last 20 with superchargers
Armament: Five .30-cal. machine guns and 2000 lbs. of bombs
Engines: Two Liberty 12-As of 400 hp each
Maximum speed: 99 mph at sea level
Cruising speed: 91 mph
Service ceiling: 8,500 ft.
Range: Approx. 450 miles (varied by bomb load carried)
Span: 74 ft. 2 in.
Length: 42 ft. 8 in.
Height: 14 ft. 8 in.
Weight: 12,064 lbs. gross
Martin NBS-1 serial numbers: AS 64195 to 64214 (S/N AS 64195 to 64199 originally designated MB-2)
Curtiss NBS-1 serial numbers: AS 68478 to 68527 (S/N AS 68508 to 68527 had supercharged engines)
Lowe-Willard-Fowler (LWF) NBS-1 serial numbers: AS 68437 to 68471
Aeromarine NBS-1 serial numbers: 22-201 to 225
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