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Keystone B-6

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In 1931, the United States Army Air Corps received five working models (Y1B-6s) of the B-6 bomber. (The Y1B- designation, as opposed to a YB- designation, indicates funding outside normal fiscal year procurement). Two of these were diverted from an order of LB-13s; three were modified B-3As. The performance of the Y1B-6s was very similar to that of the Keystone B-4s, due to an engine of equivalent power.

The production model, called the B-6A, was the last biplane bomber purchased by the Army. The performance of the B-6A varied little from the Martin NBS-1 ordered in 1921. Its successor, the monoplane bomber, had a hard time getting accepted. The Douglas Y1B-7 and Fokker XB-8 were originally designed as high-speed reconnaissance planes.

Specifications (B-6A)

General characteristics

  • Crew: 5
  • Length: 48 ft 10 in (14.9 m)
  • Wingspan: 74 ft 8 in (22.8 m)
  • Height: 15 ft 9 in (4.8 m)
  • Wing area: 1,145 ft² (106.4 m²)
  • Empty weight: 8,057 lb (3,665 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 13,350 lb (6,056 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: lb (kg)
  • Powerplant:Wright R-1820-1 radial engines, 575 hp (429 kW) each



  • Guns: 3× .30 in (7.62 mm) Browning machine guns
  • Bombs: 2,500 lb (1,100 kg); 4,000 lb (1,800 kg) on short runs

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