Douglas B-23 Dragon

A picture of the Douglas B-23 Dragon

Like the B-18 the B-23 Dragon was based on a successful Douglas airliner design.  This time it was the DC-3 that served as the basis for the new bomber.  Designed in 1939 to replace the B-18 the Dragon was significantly faster than the earlier design and was slightly better armed as for the first time in an American bomber it was fitted with a tail gun.  Despite these improvements, the B-23 was still not up to the standards of bombers in use by the European powers.  Only 38 Dragons were built and none of them ever entered combat.  By mid-1942 all the Dragons had been relegated to training, or transport duties.  However, after the war the relatively high speed of the B-23 made it popular for conversion to executive transports and small airliners.

Wingspan

92 ft

Length

58 ft 4 in.

Height

18 ft 6 in.

Weight

30,500 lbs (loaded)

Maximum Speed

282 MPH

Service Ceiling

31,000 ft

Range

2,750 miles

Engines

Two Wright R-2600-3 radials with 1,600 horsepower each

Crew

5

Manufacturer
Douglas

Markings
Great Lakes Carbon, New York City, 1950

Designation
B-23

Registration
N61Y, N34C, N534C, N230SU, N534J

Serial Number
39-051

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