Martin B-10

Martin B-10 Specifications

In ordinary service, the Martin B-10 classic airplane was used to develop the tactics and the leaders that would bear the brunt of the U.S. air effort during World War II. Its most important task, perhaps, was to prepare the way for the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, which would have the development potential to fight the air war over Europe. Martin was spurred on by its success with the Martin B-10 to develop the later Maryland, Baltimore, and Marauder bombers.

During 1934-1936, the Glenn L. Martin Company

delivered 115 Martin B-10 bombers to the U.S. Army.

When Martin was informed that the Army would

contract with Douglas Aircraft for its next generation of

bombers, it stayed afloat with profitable B-10 sales.

Martin sold 154 of the B-10 and the basically similar B-12 and B-14s to the Air Corps, which, somewhat remarkably, allowed Martin to sell the basic design to overseas customers. As a result, Martin sold 189 export models to Argentina, China, Holland, Siam (present-day Thailand), Turkey, and the USSR.

Of 48 Martin B-10 bombers delivered to the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1934, an unspecified number with 675-horse­power Wright R-1820 Cyclone engines, or 775-horse Pratt & Whitney R-1690 Hornet engines, were converted to sea­planes.

The Dutch purchased export versions of the Martin B-10 for use in the Netherlands East Indies, where the planes gave a good account of themselves against the Japanese. The Dutch Martins reportedly made hundreds of sorties and were credited with sinking several Japanese troopships. Ultimately, all but one was destroyed in combat; the sole survivor made it to Australia, where it was used as a squadron hack, a utility plane.

When the Martin B-10 bomber prototype flew in 1932, its speed of 197 miles per hour was 100 mph faster than any fighter of the day; U.S. Army Air Corps observers were stunned. Subsequent development brought the B-10 a single-unit cockpit to replace a divided one.

The magnificent United States Air Force Museum wanted a Martin B-10 in its collection for many years, and was finally able to locate one in Argentina, where it had served with the Argentine navy. The plane was brought back to the United States and completely restored, and now stands as beautiful today in its blue and yellow finish as it did when it was the pride of the Air Corps.

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