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Douglas Dragon

The first B-23 was flown on July 27, 1939, and the production of 38 B-23s was completed between July 1939 and September 1940.

The Douglas B-23 Dragon is a twin-engine American bomber that was created by the Douglas Aircraft Company as an improved version of the B-18 Bolo.

Several modifications were proposed by Douglas to enhance the performance of the B-18.

The XB-22 was initially considered a redesign, and it was equipped with 1,600 hp Wright R-2600-1 Twin Cyclone radial engines.

The USAAC found the complete B-18 redesign promising and decided to change the original contract to produce the final 38 B-18As ordered under Contract AC9977 into the B-23.

The B-23 featured a larger wingspan with a design similar to that of the DC-3, improved defensive armament, and a fully retractable undercarriage.

The B-23 was the first operational American bomber to have a glazed tail gun position, which was equipped with a .50 calibre (12.7 mm) machine gun.

The gunner used a telescopic sight while firing the gun from the prone position.

Despite being significantly faster and better armed than the B-18, the B-23 was not comparable to newer medium bombers such as the North American B-25 Mitchell and Martin B-26 Marauder.

Consequently, the 38 B-23s constructed were never utilized in combat overseas, although they were briefly employed as patrol aircraft stationed on the west coast of the United States.

The B-23s were primarily relegated to training duties, although 18 of them were later converted into transports and redesignated as UC-67.

Additionally, the B-23 served as a testbed for new engines and systems.

For instance, one was utilized for turbosupercharger development by General Electric at Schenectady, New York, while another was used for testing cabin pressurization.

Following World War II, numerous examples were utilized as executive transports, with appropriate internal modifications.

As a result, a large number of B-23s have survived, both in public and private collections.
The twin-engine bomber version of the B-18 with a modified fuselage, 38 built.
Conversion to utility transport with provision for glider towing, 12 conversions from B-23, redesignated UC-67 in 1943.
C-67 redesignated in 1943.
58 ft 4+3⁄4 in (17.799 m)
92 ft 0 in (28.04 m)
18 ft 5+1⁄2 in (5.626 m)
Wing area
993 sq ft (92.3 m2)
Empty weight
19,089 lb (8,659 kg)
Gross weight
26,500 lb (12,020 kg)
Max take-off weight
32,400 lb (14,696 kg)
2 × Wright R-2600-3 radial engine,
1,600 hp (1,200 kW) each
Maximum speed
282 mph (454 km/h, 245 km) at 12,000 ft (3,660 m)
Cruise speed
210 mph (340 km/h, 180 kn)
1,400 mi (2,300 km, 1,200 nmi)
Service ceiling
31,600 ft (9,600 m)
Time to altitude
6.7 minutes to 10,000 ft (3,050 m)
3 × .30 in (7.62 mm) machine guns
1 × .50 in (12.7 mm) machine gun in tail
2,000 lb (910 kg) in the bomb bay.

McDonnell Douglas aircraft since 1920: Volume I-René J Francillon.
San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive.
The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

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