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Douglas B-23 Dragon

Douglas. B-23 Dragon. Medium bomber. First flight on July 27, 1939. Chief Designer A. Raymond.

Douglas B-23 Dragon

Douglas B-23 Dragon is an American twin-engine medium bomber created by Douglas under the direction of A. Raymond as a further development of the B-18. To improve the flight characteristics, the power of the power plant was increased, a new fuselage, vertical tail was developed and the wing was reinforced.

The first serial B-23 was completed in July 1939. It differed from the B-18A by a narrower fuselage with a high keel, new nacelles with R-2600-3 engines and a tail machine gun point. The chassis was completely retractable. The nose of the bomber did not have glazing and a shooting point, additional small arms consisted of two 7.62-mm machine guns in the fuselage and one portable 12.7-mm machine gun. The bomb load weighing up to 907 kg (maximum 1996 kg) was placed in the bomb bay.

The speed of the updated B-23, however, was not sufficient. In addition, the range of the B-23 was much inferior to the four-engined bombers B-17 and B-24 .

The Aviation Corps agreed to supply only 37 aircraft and no more orders for the B-23 followed. All aircraft, except the first, were sent to the 17th bomber group, where in the period from February to September 1940 they replaced the outdated Northrop A-17A. Their combat career was short-lived, in 1941 the B-23s were supplanted by more advanced B-25 . They did not participate in hostilities. Many aircraft were subsequently used for various kinds of auxiliary purposes.

A total of 38 aircraft were built.

Specification of US Bomber
B-23 B-25H B-17F
Crew 4-5 5 9
Wingspan, m 28.04 20.60 31.63
Wings area, m² 92.25 56.67 131.92
Length, m 17.80 15.54 22.78
Height, m 5.63 4.80 5.82
Weight, kg
Empty 8659 8855 15450
Loaded weight 12020 12290 22100
Gross weight 14696 15910 25600
Write Cyclone R-2600-3 R-2600-92 R-1820-97
power, h.p. 2×1600 2×1700 4×1200
Max Vкм/ч/
Cruising speed 338 370 320
Service ceiling 9600 7378 11450
Maximum range, km 2253 2174 4600
Photo Description
Drawing B-23 Dragon

Drawing B-23 Dragon

B-23 Dragon b/n 17B9 in flight and on the ground


  • "Encyclopedia of military engineering" /Aerospace Publising/
  • "American warplanes of World War II" /under cor. David Donald/

December 10, 2018

After the war, the B-23 was sold into private hands. Many of them, by Pan American, were subsequently brought to the standard of commercial aircraft, instead of a bomb bay, they received a passenger compartment for 12 people with a toilet and facilities. These aircraft were distinguished by an elongated nose section and additional side windows, some of which flew until the end of the 1970s. Currently, four former bombers are on display in the US aviation museums.