Martin B-26F Marauder

Last revised March 14, 2000


The next production version of the Marauder was the B-26F. The B-26F differed from the B-26B/C primarily in having the angle of incidence of the wing increased by 3.5 degrees. This was yet another attempt to decrease the takeoff run and to lower the landing speed. This increased angle of incidence resulted in a distinctly canted-up engine nacelle, which gave more ground clearance for the propellers and provided a more level cruising attitude. Previous Marauder models had cruised with a slight nose-high attitude. However, the increased angle of incidence resulted in a reduction of maximum speed to 277 mph, and the B-26F did not handle quite as well as previous versions.

The higher incidence wing was first tested on a modified B-26B (serial number 42-43459).

The fuel system of the B-26F was slightly modified, with a total capacity of 2500 US gallons. The fuel transfer system was revisied to permit inter-connection. As in the later B-26B and Cs, the fixed forward-firing nose gun was omitted, but there was a slight increase in the ammunition capacity of the remaining eleven 0.50-inch guns. The provision for the under-fuselage carriage of a torpedo was finally deleted (it had not been used very successfully in any case). The F was provided with a mechanical means of lowering the landing gear in an emergency (in previous versions, the crew depended on gravity to bring the gear down when the hydraulic system failed, but this did not always work). Maximum offensive load was now 4000 pounds.

The first B-26F was produced in February of 1944. Only three hundred B-26Fs were built. One hundred of these were B-26F-1-MAs. Starting with 42-96231, a revised oil cooler was added, along with wing bottom panels redesigned for easier removal.

The other two hundred were B-26F-2s and F-6s, all of which were delivered to Great Britain as the Marauder III. The Marauder III carried the RAF serials HD402 through HD601 (ex-USAAF serials 42-96329/96528). The F-2 had the Bell M-6 power turret replaced by an M-6A with a flexible canvas cover over the guns. The T-1 bombsight was installed instead of the M-series sight. British bomb fusing and radio equipment were provided.

Serials of B-26F:

42-96229/96328		Martin B-26F-1-MA Marauder
42-96329/96528		Martin B-26F-2/6-MA Marauder
				All to RAF as Marauder III HD402/HD601

Sources:


  1. Famous Bombers of the Second World War, William Green, Doubleday, 1959.

  2. The Martin Marauder B-26, Victor C. Tannehill, Boomerang Publishers, 1997.

  3. The Martin B-26 Marauder, J. K. Havener, TAB Aero, 1988.

  4. Me & My Gal--The Stormy Combat Romance Between a WW II Bomber Pilot and His Martin B-26, Charles O'Mahony, Wings, December 1994.

  5. The Martin B-26B and C Marauder, Ray Wagner, Aircraft in Profile, Doubleday, 1965.

  6. Jane's American Fighting Aircraft of the 20th Century, Michael J.H. Taylor, Mallard Press.

  7. American Combat Planes, Third Enlarged Edition, Ray Wagner, Doubleday, 1982.