Douglas B-23 Dragon

Pima Air and Space Museum Aircraft

Manufacturer
Douglas
Markings
Air Lease, Inc., Harvey, Louisiana, N534J, 1967-71 Great Lakes Carbon, N61Y
Designation
B-23
Registration
N534AJ
Serial Number
39-0051

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 the 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 very popular for conversion to executive transports and small airliners.

Specifications
Wingspan 92 ft
Length 58 ft 4 in
Height 18 ft 6 in
Weight 30,500 lbs (loaded)
Max. Speed 282 mph
Service Ceiling 31,000 ft
Range 2,750 miles
Engines 2 Wright R-2600-3 radials, 1,600 horsepower each
Crew 5