National Museum of the USAF   Right Corner Banner
Join the Air Force

Home > Fact Sheets > Douglas B-18


Posted 2/4/2011 Printable Fact Sheet
Previous ImageNext Image
Douglas B-18
Formation of Douglas B-18s. (U.S. Air Force photo)
Download HiRes

The Douglas B-18 was originally designed and built as the DB-1 (Douglas Bomber #1) for the Army Air Corps 1934 requirement for a long range bomber. The DB-1 was based on the Douglas DC-2 and retained many of the latter aircraft's features, including the wing and aft fuselage. The DB-1 was in competition with the Martin Model 146 (an enlarged B-10) and the Boeing Model 299. Although the Boeing entry was clearly superior, the DB-1 was initially favored by the Army General Staff for two reasons. First, the Boeing Model 299 crashed during testing. The crash was the result of pilot error but was technically disqualified from the competition. Second, the DB-1 could be built for about half the cost of the Model 299 (B-17). The General Staff considered the B-17 too expensive and opted for an order for 99 B-18s and only 13 Y1B-17s in 1936.

Thirty-five more B-18s were ordered in 1937, including the last B-18, which had a power nose turret and was designated DB-2 by Douglas. The Army continued to favor the B-18 into the late 1930s when 217 more were ordered as improved B-18As in 1937-1939.

The museum has a B-18 on display.

Type Number built/
B-18 134 Bomber version of DC-2

Armament: Three .30-cal. machine guns and 4,400 lbs. of bombs
Engines: Two Wright R-1820-45 radials of 930 hp each
Maximum speed: 217 mph at 10,000 ft.
Cruising speed: 167 mph
Service ceiling: 24,200 ft.
Range: 1,200 miles with maximum bomb load
Span: 89 ft. 6 in.
Length: 56 ft. 8 in.
Height: 15 ft. 2 in.
Weight: 21,130 lbs. gross weight
Crew: Six
Serial numbers: 36-262 to 36-344; 36-431 to 36-446; 37-1 to 37-34 and 37-51(DB-2)

Click here to return to the Bomber Aircraft index.

 Inside the Museum

ima cornerSearch

ima cornerArchive - Online Aircraft Features


tabRelated Links

Museum Virtual TourMuseum Facebook PageMuseum Twitter PageMuseum Instagram
Museum Google Plus PageMuseum Pinterest PageMuseum YouTube ChannelMuseum Flickr Page
Museum PodcastsMuseum E-newsletter Sign-upMuseum RSS Feeds

Site Map      Contact Us     Questions     Security and Privacy notice     E-publishing  
Suicide Prevention    SAPR   IG   EEO   Accessibility/Section 508   No FEAR Act