B-18 Bolo file photo [3339]

B-18 Bolo

CountryUnited States
ManufacturerDouglas Aircraft Company
Primary RoleMedium Bomber
Maiden Flight1 April 1935


ww2dbaseThe B-18 Bolo bombers were the response to the United States Army Air Corps' 1934 request for a bomber with greater bomb load and greater range than the then-standard B-10 bombers. Though not the most capable among the contestants, the design's lower price gave it the competitive edge needed to win the contract. The design entered production in Jan 1936 and by 1940 most US Army Air Force bomber squadrons were equipped with B-18 bombers. The first combat action they saw, unwillingly, was the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, where many of them were destroyed on the ground. Later in the war when their capabilities were surpassed by more modern designs, some of them were transferred to other Allied nations such as Canada and Brazil while others were converted for anti-submarine use. During the design's production life, 350 were built.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Apr 2007


MachineryTwo Wright R-1820-53 radial engines rated at 1,000hp each
Span27.28 m
Length17.63 m
Height4.60 m
Wing Area89.10 m
Weight, Empty7,400 kg
Weight, Loaded10,030 kg
Weight, Maximum12,600 kg
Speed, Maximum346 km/h
Rate of Climb5.20 m/s
Service Ceiling7,280 m
Range, Normal1,850 km
Range, Maximum3,400 km


Overhead view of a Douglas B-18 Bolo bomber in flight, showing the close design similarities to the rugged Douglas C-47 Skytrain, mid-1930sT/Sgt. Raymond A. Heilman, Jr. and fellow crew of the 11th Bomber Group Heavy of the USAAF 42nd Squadron posing by a B-18 Bolo bomber, Schofield Barracks, US Territory of Hawaii, circa 1940B-18 Bolo bomber at Hickam Field, Oahu, US Territory of Hawaii, Jan 1940P-26 and B-18 aircraft at Hickam Field, US Territory of Hawaii, Jan 1940
See all 17 photographs of B-18 Bolo Medium Bomber

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. hobogeo says:
9 Nov 2007 07:48:07 PM

In Canada we called them Digbys.They were usefull for air sea patrol.They were obsolete at the time, but we gave all our modern aircraft to the brits, or americans.

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B-18 Bolo Medium Bomber Photo Gallery
Overhead view of a Douglas B-18 Bolo bomber in flight, showing the close design similarities to the rugged Douglas C-47 Skytrain, mid-1930s
See all 17 photographs of B-18 Bolo Medium Bomber

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