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Principal types of aircraft operated by R.A.F. during WW2 and crashed in Belgium

Marauder - B-26

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The Martin B-26 Marauder is an American World War II twin-engined medium bomber built by the Glenn L. Martin Company in Middle River, Maryland (just east of Baltimore) from 1941 to 1945. First used in the Pacific Theater in early 1942, it was also used in the Mediterranean Theater and in Western Europe.

After entering service with the United States Army aviation units, the aircraft quickly received the reputation of a "Widowmaker" due to the early models' high accident rate during takeoffs and landings. This was due to the fact that the Marauder had to be flown at exact airspeeds, particularly on final runway approach or when one engine was out. The unusually high 150 mph (241 km/h) speed on short final runway approach was intimidating to many pilots who were used to much slower approach speeds, and whenever they slowed down to speeds below what the manual stipulated, the aircraft would often stall and crash.[3]

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The B-26 became a safer aircraft once crews were re-trained, and after aerodynamics modifications (an increase of wingspan and wing angle-of-incidence to give better takeoff performance, and a larger vertical stabilizer and rudder).[4] The Marauder ended World War II with the lowest loss rate of any USAAF bomber.[5]

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A total of 5,288 were produced between February 1941 and March 1945; 522 of these were flown by the Royal Air Force and the South African Air Force. By the time the United States Air Force was created as an independent military service separate from the United States Army in 1947, all Martin B-26s had been retired from U.S. service. The Douglas A-26 Invader then assumed the "B-26" designation — before officially returning to the earlier "A for Attack" designation in May 1966.

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General characteristics

Crew: 7: (2 pilots, bombardier/radio operator, navigator/radio operator, 3 gunners)
Length: 58 ft 3 in (17.8 m)
Wingspan: 71 ft 0 in (21.65 m)
Height: 21 ft 6 in (6.55 m)
Wing area: 658 ft2 (61.1 m2)
Empty weight: 24,000 lb (11,000 kg)
Loaded weight: 37,000 lb (17,000 kg)
Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney R-2800-43 radial engines, 2,000–2,200 hp (1,491 kW) each

Performance

Maximum speed: 287 mph (250 knots, 460 km/h) at 5,000 feet (1,500 m)
Cruise speed: 216 mph (188 knots, 358 km/h)
Landing speed: 114 mph (90 knots, 167 km/h))
Combat radius: 1,150 mi (999 nmi, 1,850 km)
Ferry range: 2,850 mi (2,480 nmi, 4,590 km)
Service ceiling: 21,000 ft (6,400 m)
Wing loading: 46.4 lb/ft² (228 kg/m²)
Power/mass: 0.10 hp/lb (170 W/kg)

Armament

Guns: 12 × .50 in (12.7 mm) Browning machine guns
Bombs: 4,000 pounds (1,800 kg)

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Source: Wikipedia
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