The B-10, the first "modern" all-metal monoplane bomber produced in quantity, featured such innovations as retractable landing gear, a rotating gun turret and enclosed cockpits. Powered by two 775-hp Wright R-1820 Cyclone engines, Martin's advanced design made the B-10 50 percent faster than contemporary biplane bombers and as fast as most of the fighters. This capability convinced many U.S. Army Air Corps planners that bombers could successfully attack strategic targets without long-range fighter escort.
In the largest procurement of bomber aircraft since World War I, the Air Corps ordered 121 B-10s from 1933-1936. The Air Corps also ordered an additional 32 of these aircraft with 700-hp with Pratt & Whitney R-1690 Hornet engines and designated them B-12s.
Gen. Henry H. "Hap" Arnold, who called the B-10 "the air power wonder of its day," led 10 B-10s on a 8,290-mile flight from Washington, D.C., to Fairbanks, Alaska, and back in 1934. By the late 1930s, B-17s and B-18s had replaced the Air Corps' B-10s and B-12s, but the Chinese and Dutch air forces flew export versions in combat against Japan at the start of World War II.
The aircraft on display, an export version sold to Argentina in 1938, is the only remaining B-10. In 1970 the government of Argentina donated the airplane to the U.S. government for the U.S. Air Force Museum. The 96th Maintenance Squadron (Mobile), stationed at Kelly Air Force Base, Texas, restored the aircraft from 1973-1976.
TECHNICAL NOTES: Crew: Four Armament: Three .30-cal. machine guns and 2,200 lbs. of bombs Maximum speed: 215 mph Cruising speed: 183 mph Range: 1,370 miles Ceiling: 24,000 ft. Span: 70 ft. 6 in. Length: 44 ft. 9 in. Height: 15 ft. 5 in. Weight: 14,700 lbs. loaded
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