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B-23 Dragon file photo [11974]

B-23 Dragon

CountryUnited States
ManufacturerDouglas Aircraft Company
Primary RoleMedium Bomber
Maiden Flight27 July 1939


ww2dbaseAfter reviewing Douglas Aircraft Company's B-18A design, the United States Army Air Corps accepted it with requests for several changes, which finalized as the B-23 designation. The first flight of the B-23 Dragon aircraft took place on 27 Jul 1939, and the first production aircraft was the first American bomber aircraft to be equipped with a tail gunner position. Between Jul 1939 and Sep 1940, 38 aircraft were built. Production ceased as the US Army determined that B-25 Mitchell and B-26 Marauder aircraft were better suited as medium bombers. During the war, these 38 aircraft remained in service, but they did not participate in combat. Instead, they patrolled the west coast of the United States, and later served as transports (as UC-67). After the war, aviator and industrialist Howard Hughes obtained a B-23 Dragon aircraft and converted it into his personal transport; several other executives around world the did likewise.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

Last Major Revision: Feb 2011

B-23 Dragon Timeline

27 Jul 1939 B-23 Dragon aircraft took its maiden flight.


B-23 Dragon
MachineryTwo Wright R-2600-3 radial engines rated at 1,600hp each
Armament3x7.62mm machine guns, 1x12.7mm Browning M2 machine gun in tail, 1,800kg of bombs
Span28.00 m
Length17.80 m
Height5.60 m
Wing Area92.30 m²
Weight, Empty8,677 kg
Weight, Loaded12,000 kg
Weight, Maximum14,700 kg
Speed, Maximum454 km/h
Rate of Climb7.60 m/s
Service Ceiling9,630 m
Range, Normal2,300 km


B-23 Dragon aircraft at rest, 1939-1940B-23 Dragon aircraft in flight, 1939-1940
See all 4 photographs of B-23 Dragon Medium Bomber

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. DAVE MYERS says:
18 Oct 2016 01:15:47 PM

This aircraft was considered for the Tokyo raid. The larger wing span I think is was the main reason it was dropped.

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B-23 Dragon Medium Bomber Photo Gallery
B-23 Dragon aircraft at rest, 1939-1940B-23 Dragon aircraft in flight, 1939-1940
See all 4 photographs of B-23 Dragon Medium Bomber

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