The B-26, like the B-25, was ordered into production based on the design alone. No prototype aircraft were built, although the first four production aircraft were used for flight testing. The Glenn L. Martin Co. responded to the Army Air Corps Circular Proposal 39-640 by submitting its Model 179 design. Initial contract awards were given to Martin to build 201 B-26s and to North American for 184 B-25s.
The B-26 went from design concept in mid-1939 to flying aircraft in less than two years when it flew for the first time on Nov. 25, 1940. Initial flight testing continued for three months. The 22nd Bomb Group based at Langley Field, Va., was the first unit to receive the aircraft in February 1941.
The aircraft was powered by two Pratt & Whitney R-2800 radial engines of 1,850 hp each. The wing of the B-26 was relatively small making handling the aircraft tricky at landing speeds. Initial armament consisted of a power dorsal turret with two .50-cal. machine guns and a .30-cal. machine gun in the nose and another in the tail. Up to 4,800 pounds of bombs could be carried in the bomb bay.
Design to production; no prototypes
TECHNICAL NOTES: Armament: Two .30-cal. and two .50-cal. machine guns plus 4,800 lbs. of bombs Engines: Two Pratt & Whitney R-2800-5 Double Wasp radials of 1,850 hp each (takeoff power) Maximum speed: 315 mph at 15,000 ft. Cruising speed: Approx. 265 mph Range: 1,000 miles with 3,000 lbs. bomb load; 2,200 miles (maximum) Service ceiling: 25,000 ft. Span: 65 ft. 0 in. Length: 56 ft. 0 in. Height: 19 ft. 10 in. Weight: 32,000 lbs. (maximum) Crew: Seven Serial numbers: 40-1361 to 40-1561