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Posted 6/25/2009 Printable Fact Sheet
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Douglas B-18A
Douglas B-18A on March 1, 1940. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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The Douglas B-18A was an improved version of the B-18. The most obvious change to the A model was the addition of the "Shark Nose," which placed the bombardier's station ahead and above the nose gunner position. The dorsal power turret was modified by adding a dome top, which provided limited viewing even when the turret was in its retracted position.

A total of 217 B-18As were purchased by the Air Corps in 1937-1939 with the majority (177) ordered in 1937. The B-18s formed the bulk of the bomber force into the late 1930s and early 1940s. The B-18 was underpowered and had poor defensive armament (three .30-cal. machine guns) and by early 1942, the aircraft was relegated to second-line duties as newer and better bombers assumed first-line bomber duty.

The museum has a B-18 on display in the Air Power Gallery.

Type Number built/
B-18A 217 Improved B-18; "Shark Nose"

Armament: Three .30-cal. machine guns and 4,500 lbs. of bombs
Engines: Two Wright R-1820-53 radials of 1,000 hp each
Maximum speed: 215 mph at 15,000 ft.
Cruising speed: 167 mph
Service ceiling: 23,900 ft.
Range: 2,100 miles maximum
Span: 89 ft. 6 in.
Length: 57 ft. 10 in.
Height: 15 ft. 2 in.
Weight: 27,000 lbs. gross weight
Crew: Six
Serial numbers: 37-458 to 37-634; 38-585 to 38-609; 39-12 to 39-26

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