Curtiss B-2 Condor

The Curtiss B-2 Condor was a 1920s United States bomber aircraft.

It was a descendant of the Martin NBS-1, which was built by the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company for the Glenn L. Martin Company.

There were a few differences, such as stronger materials and different engines, but they were relatively minor.

The B-2 was a large fabric-covered biplane aircraft.

Its two engines sat in nacelles between the wings, flanking the fuselage.

It had a twin set of rudders on a twin tail, a configuration which was becoming obsolete by that time.

At the rear of each nacelle was a gunner position. In previous planes, the back-facing gunners had been in the fuselage, but their view there was obstructed.

A similar arrangement (using nacelle-mounted gun platforms) was adopted in the competing Keystone XB-1 aircraft.

The XB-2 competed for a United States Army Air Corps production contract with the similar Keystone XB-1, Sikorsky S-37, and Fokker XLB-2.

The other three were immediately ruled out, but the Army board appointed to make the contracts was strongly supportive of the smaller Keystone XLB-6, which cost a third as much as the B-2.

Furthermore, the B-2 was large for the time and difficult to fit into existing hangars.

However, the superior performance of the XB-2 soon wrought a policy change, and in 1928 a production run of 12 was ordered.

One modified B-2, dubbed the B-2A, featured dual controls for both the pilot and the copilot.

Previously, the control wheel and the pitch controls could only be handled by one person at a time.

This “dual control” setup became standard on all bombers by the 1930s.

There was no production line for the B-2A.

The B-2 design was also used as a transport.

The B-2 was quickly made obsolete by technological advances of the 1930s, and served only briefly with the Army Air Corps, being removed from service by 1934.

Following production of the B-2, Curtiss Aircraft left the bomber business, and concentrated on the Hawk series of pursuit aircraft in the 1930s.


Model 52

Company designation of the B-2.




Twin-engined heavy bomber biplane. Initial production version; 12 built.


Redesignation of one B-2 fitted with dual controls.

Model 53 Condor 18

Civil version of the B-2, six built.






47 ft 4 in (14.43 m)


90 ft 0 in (27.43 m)



Curtiss C-72 


Curtiss C-72

Empty weight

9,300 lb (4,218 kg)

Gross weight

16,951 lb (7,689 kg)


2 × Curtiss GV-1570-7 Conqueror V-12 water-cooled piston engine,

600 hp (450 kW) each


Maximum speed

132 mph (212 km/h, 115 kn)

Cruise speed

105.5 mph (169.8 km/h, 91.7 kn)


805 mi (1,296 km, 700 nmi)

Service ceiling

17,100 ft (5,200 m)

Rate of climb

850 ft/min (4.3 m/s)



6x 0.30 in (7.62 mm) Lewis machine-guns


2,508 lb (1,138 kg) of bombs.

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