Curtiss B-2 Condor
|Manufacturer||Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company|
|Status||No known survivors|
|Primary user||United States Army Air Corps|
|Developed into||T-32 Condor II|
The Curtiss B-2 Condor was a 1920s United States bomber aircraft. It was a descendant of the Martin NBS-1, which was built by the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company for the Glenn L. Martin Company. There were a few differences, such as stronger materials and different engines, but they were relatively minor.
The B-2 was a large fabric-covered biplane aircraft. Its two engines sat in nacelles between the wings, flanking the fuselage. It had a twin set of rudders on a twin tail, a configuration which was becoming obsolete by that time. At the rear of each nacelle was a gunner position. In previous planes, the back-facing gunners had been in the fuselage, but their view there was obstructed. A similar arrangement (using nacelle-mounted gun platforms) was adopted in the competing Keystone XB-1 aircraft.
The XB-2 competed for a United States Army Air Corps production contract with the similar Keystone XB-1, Sikorsky S-37, and Fokker XLB-2. The other three were immediately ruled out, but the Army board appointed to make the contracts was strongly supportive of the smaller Keystone XLB-6, which cost a third as much as the B-2. Furthermore, the B-2 was large for the time and difficult to fit into existing hangars. However, the superior performance of the XB-2 soon wrought a policy change, and in 1928 a production run of 12 was ordered.
One modified B-2, dubbed the B-2A, featured dual controls for both the pilot and the copilot. Previously, the control wheel and the pitch controls could only be handled by one person at a time. This "dual control" setup became standard on all bombers by the 1930s. There was no production line for the B-2A. The B-2 design was also used as a transport.
The B-2 was quickly made obsolete by technological advances of the 1930s, and served only briefly with the Army Air Corps, being removed from service by 1934. Following production of the B-2, Curtiss Aircraft left the bomber business, and concentrated on the Hawk series of pursuit aircraft in the 1930s.
- Model 52
- Company designation of the B-2.
- Twin-engines heavy bomber biplane. Initial production version; 12 built.
- Redesignation of one B-2 fitted with dual controls.
- Model 53 Condor 18
- Civil version of the B-2. Six built.
- US Army Air Corps
Data from Curtiss Aircraft 1907–1947
- Crew: 5
- Length: 47 ft 4½ in (14.43 m)
- Wingspan: 90 ft 0 in (27.43 m)
- Height: 16 ft 6 in (5.02 m)
- Wing area: 1,496 ft² (139.0 m²)
- Empty weight: 9,300 lb (4,218 kg)
- Loaded weight: 16,591 lb (7,526 kg)
- Powerplant: 2 × Curtiss V-1570-7 "Conqueror" liquid-cooled V12 engine, 600 hp (450 kW) each
- Maximum speed: 132 mph (115 kn, 212 km/h)
- Cruise speed: 105.5 mph (91.7 knots, 169.8 km/h)
- Range: 805 mi (700 nmi, 1,296 km)
- Service ceiling: 17,100 ft (5,212 m)
- Rate of climb: 850 ft/min (4.3 m/s)
- Guns: 6 × .30 in (7.62 mm) Lewis machine guns
- Bombs: 2,508 lb (1,138 kg)
- Related development
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Related lists
- Bowers 1979, p. 215.
- Bowers, Peter M. Curtiss Aircraft 1907-1947. London: Putnam & Company Ltd., 1979. ISBN 0-370-10029-8.
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