Saturday, December 22, 2012

Martin B-10 walk around

The first operational US monoplane bomber, Martin's B-10 was quite an advanced type when it first appeared in 1934, although its time in the sun would be brief.

YB-12: R-1690-11 Hornet engines and enclosed cockpits; seven examples built.

YB-12A: Production aircraft with Hornet engines and capable of carrying additional fuel in the weapons bay.

XB-14: Solitary prototype with R-1830 Twin Wasps.

Martin B-10 nose, side view photo
B-10 nose turret, side view

Martin B-10 at NMUSAF, July 2012

Martin B-10 landing gear
B-10 main landing gear

B-10 bomber nose turret, frontal view photo
B-10 frontal view

The B-10 did play a role, albeit short-lived in World War II with the Royal Netherlands Indies Air Corps. The Dutch had bought 78 export models as Model 139WH-1/2/3/3As, with six squadrons operating 58 aircraft still being operational at the time of Pearl Harbor. The Martins first saw action on December 14, attacking Japanese shipping at Miri, but it was soon obvious that they were easy prey for A6M Zero fighters. The Dutch forces were reinforced with British aircraft evacuated from Singapore, as well as RAAF types and USAAF B-17s and B-24s, but the Japanese offensive could not be halted, and by February 1942 Allied forces had been bottled up on Java. After the naval defeat at the Battle of the Java Sea, hopes of holding out were realized to be futile, and although the remaining Martins continued to fly sorties as the Japanese landed, the die was cast, and the last airworthy example was flown to Australia on 7 March 1942, just ahead of the Dutch surrender.

Crash site of B-12A 33-165

Building the Williams Bros. B-10 kit


Color profiles of Martin 139s, including an aircraft captured by the Japanese. Air International May 1989  p.247

The Special Hobby 1/72 scale Bolo kit finished as a NMF aircraft
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