Martin MB-1 History
In 1916 the United States Army Air Service (USAAS) requested an American built heavy bomber to equal of exceed the performance of the new British Handley Page O WW1 heavy bomber in service with the British RFC, Glenn L. Martin responded to this urgent request with the twin engine Martin MB-1 biplane strategic heavy bomber. By the time the Martin MB-1 aircraft was ready to go into production in September 1918, WWI was clearly drawing to a close and the design proved better than the type O bomber but not as good as the other new bombers like the Vickers Vimy.
Martin MB-1k Bomber Introduction:
With WW1 nearly over most the outstanding Martin MB-1 orders were cancelled by the US government, with only the first twenty Martin MB-1 bombers being actually produced, none of the Martin MB-1 bombers built arrived in Europe in time to be used during WWI.
Martin MB-1k Biplane Survivors:
Only a single surviving Martin MB-1 biplane bomber remains in existence today out of the twenty produced, it can be found on display in the excellent USAF museum.
Martin MB-1k Specifications:
Crew: Pilot, bombardier and gunner
Length: 44 ft 10 in (13.67 m)
Wingspan: 71 ft 5 in (21.77 m)
Height: 14 ft 7 in (4.45 m)
Empty weight: 6,702 lb (3,040 kg)
Gross weight: 10,225 lb (4,638 kg)
Engines: Twin 400 hp (298 kW) Liberty 12A liquid-cooled V12 piston engines
Maximum speed: 105 mph (169 km/h)
Cruise speed: 92 mph (148 km/h)
Range: 390 miles (628 km)
Service ceiling: 10,300 ft (3,100 m)
Rate of climb: 630 ft/min (3.2 m/s)
Martin MB-1k Bomber Armament: Guns: Five .30-cal. machine guns. Bombs: 1,040 lb of bombs