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B-23 Dragon

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Douglas B-23 Dragon
A B-23 Dragon on the airfield.
Type Medium bomber (in design)
Multipurpose aircraft (in practice)
Manufacturer Douglas Aircraft Company
Maiden flight 1939-07-27
Status Retired
Primary user United States Army Air Force
Number built 38

The Douglas B-23 Dragon was a twin-engined bomber developed by Douglas Aircraft Company as a successor to (and a refinement of) the B-18 Bolo. The design of the B-23 was very similar to that of the Douglas DC-3. It was the first operational bomber equipped with a tail gun. It first flew on July 27, 1939.

While significantly faster and better armed than the B-18, the B-23 found itself inferior to newer bombers like the B-25 Mitchell and B-26 Marauder. For this reason, the 38 B-23s built were never used in combat. They worked in training, reconnaissance, transport (as the UC-67), and test-bed roles. One of the UC-67 is being reconverted to B-23 configuration by the USAF Museum.

The B-23's tall vertical tail was adapted by Ford for use on the B-24 Liberator and resulted in increased performance, but it was never adopted for production. The modification later became standard on the Navy's PB4Y Privateer, which was heavily derived from the Liberator.

Specifications (B-23 Dragon)

Data from Joe Baugher's Encyclopedia of American aircraft[1]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 6
  • Length: 58 ft 6 in (17.8 m)
  • Wingspan: 92 ft (28 m)
  • Height: 18 ft 6 in (5.6 m)
  • Wing area: 993 ft² (92.3 m²)
  • Empty weight: 19,089 lb (8,677 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 26,500 lb (12,000 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 32,400 lb (14,700 kg)
  • Powerplant:Wright R-2600-3 radial engines, 1,600 hp (1,194 kW) each



  • Guns:
    • 3× 0.30 in (7.62 mm) machine guns
    • 1× 0.50 in (12.7 mm) machine gun in tail turret
  • Bombs: 4,000 lb (1,800 kg)


  1. Baugher, Joe. B-23 "Dragon". 2000. Retrieved on 2005-01-03.

References and external links

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de:Douglas B-23 ja:B-23 (爆撃機)