Martin B-26A Marauder

Last revised March 19, 2000


The B-26A was externally identical to the B-26 which preceded it. However, there were some significant internal differences.

The B-26 differed from the B-26 primarily in having an extra ferry fuel tank installed in the rear bomb bay. Additional Dural armor-plating was fitted, and Goodyear rubber self-sealing tanks replaced the original Mareng ones. A 24-volt electrical system was provided and a low-pressure oxygen system was fitted. The B-26A also had a shackle for a 22-inch torpedo underneath the fuselage. These changes added 2000 pounds to the weight. A total of 30 B-26As were built, plus an additional 49 which went to the RAF as Marauder I (FK112/FK160).

The first 30 B-26As were delivered with R-2800-5 engines built under license by Ford. However, because of critical shortages in these engines, the Air Force ordered Pratt & Whitney to divert 1850 hp R-2800 S1AG4s to Martin. These engines were redesignated R-2800-39 and were used on the production line starting with 41-7366. These Marauders were designated B-26A-1, but they were otherwise idential to the B-26A. A total of 109 were built. 19 were delivered to the RAF under Lend-Lease as Marauder IA (FK362/FK380).

Weights had increased to 21,741 pounds empty, 32,200 pounds loaded. Ferry range was 2600 miles with 1462 gallons of fuel.

The first B-26A (41-7345) was delivered in October of 1941.

In 1942, many of the earlier B-26s were retrofitted with the extra ferry Tanks introduced on the B-26A, thus being brought up to B-26A standards. Some of the B-26/B-26A had the 0.30-inch nose gun replaced with a 0.50-inch gun.

The name Marauder was assigned to the B-26 in October of 1941. Initially, the name Martian had been seriously considered.

Serials of Martin B-26A Marauder:

41-7345/7365		Martin B-26A Marauder
41-7366/7367		Martin B-26A-1 Marauder
41-7368			Martin B-26A Marauder
41-7369/7430		Martin B-26A-1 Marauder
41-7431			Martin B-26A Marauder
41-7432/7476		Martin B-26A-1 Marauder
41-7477/7483		Martin B-26A-1 Marauder

Specification of Martin B-26A Marauder:

Engines: Two Pratt & Whitney R-2800-5 Double Wasp air cooled radial engines, rated at 1850 hp each for takeoff, 1500 hp at 14,100 feet. Performance: Maximum speed 313 mph at 15,000 feet. Cruising speed 243 mph. Service ceiling 23,500 feet. Range was 1000 miles at 265 mph with a 3000-pound bombload. 2600 miles maximum range. Weights: 21,741 pounds empty, 28,367 pounds gross, 33,022 pounds maximum. Dimensions: Wingspan 65 feet 0 inches, length 58 feet 3 inches, height 19 feet 10 inches, wing area 602 square feet. Armament: One flexible 0.30-inch machine gun installed in the tip of a transparent nose cone and operated by the bombardier. Two 0.50-inch machine guns in a Martin-designed dorsal turret located behind the bomb bay just ahead of the tail. One 0.30-inch flexible machine gun was installed in a tunnel position in the lower rear fuselage. One flexible 0.50-inch machine installed in a tail position. The maximum bombload was 5800 pounds.

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.