Friday, August 2, 2013

Bolo Bombers

This photo is especially unique, with either a C-33 or C-39, the Army version
of the DC-2, parked in the background
Today we feature two unrelated images of one of America's oft-forgotten bombers, the Douglas B-18 Bolo.

Built to replace the aging Martin B-10, the B-18 competed with the Boeing 299, the prototype of the B-17, but since that aircraft crashed during flight testing (due to control locks left inadvertently in place), and since the Douglas version was much cheaper, the Army went with the B-18 (it was the Depression, after all).

Douglas had designed the B-18 based loosely on the successful DC-2 airframe, with the fuselage enlarged to accompany bombs, and the wings lengthened slightly. The B-18 first flew in 1935, but bomber technology continued to develop rapidly and by 1940 it was considered underpowered and obsolete.
This B-18 is joined by a Cessna AT-11 and a lineup of Northrop A-17As.

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