B-18 Bolo, U.S. Heavy Bomber


Douglas B-18A Bolo


Crew 6
Dimensions 89'6" by 57'10" by 15'2"
27.28m by 17.63m by 4.62m
Wing area 965 square feet
89.7 square meters
Weight 16,321-27,673 lbs
7403-12,552 kg
Speed 215 mph at 10,000 feet
346 km/h at 3048m
Cruising speed       167mph
268 km/h
Landing speed 69 mph
111 km/h
Climb rate 17.5 feet per second
5.3 meters per second
Service ceiling 23,900 feet
7285 meters
Power plant 2 1000hp (746 kW) Wright R-1820-53 nine-cylinder radial engines driving three bladed propellers
Armament 1 nose 0.30 machine gun
1 dorsal 0.30 machine gun
1 ventral 0.30 machine gun
Bomb load       4000 lbs (1814 kg) normal or overload of 6500 lbs (2948 kg)
Range 1150 miles (1850 km) with bomb load of 2500 lbs (1130 kg)
2225 miles (3580 km) ferry
Fuel 802 gallons
3040 liters
Production 133 B-18 and 217 B-18A at Douglas Aircraft Company, Santa Monica, CA
Variants The B-18 and B-18A were nearly identical.

In 1942, 76 B-18As were converted to antisubmarine duty with a radome in the nose and MAD detector in the tail. This configuration for antisubmarine patrol bombers would be used into the 21st century. These conversions were designated as B-18Bs or B-18Cs.

The Bolo was Douglas' response to an Army requirement for a successor to the B-10 family of bombers. It was largely superseded by the B-17 by the time war broke out, but about 30 were still stationed in Hawaii and three squadrons were operating from Hamilton Field near San Francisco. Most were converted for antisubmarine duty and served on the East Coast.


Baugher (1999; accessed 2013-2-18)

Gunston (1986)

Wilson (1998)

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