American B-25 Mitchell twin-engine, medium bomber was named in honor of General William "Billy"
Mitchell. Its maiden flight was made on
19 August 1940, which was only a few months before this edition of Flying Aces would have gone to press, so the
editor had to make a few educated guesses as to its specifications and features, especially since back
in the day getting official numbers would have been very difficult. This was breakthrough design with an
all-metal airframe, tricycle landing gear, twin vertical stabilizers, and a full cantilevered wing, not
to mention the tail turret.
North American B-25 Bomber
The Plane on Our Cover
At this writing, there is very little information obtainable
concerning North American's B-25 Medium-Bomber. However, it appears
to be a development of the NA-40 which was presented in "Modern
Planes Album" some months ago. And because of this lack of information,
we find it necessary to draw upon deduction for details.
First off, probably the most interesting and important feature
incorporated in the B-25 is the use or a tail turret. RAF bombers
for years have had this type of protection, but when all-metal ships
became the vogue, America seemed to drop the idea. One of the few
U. S. bombers equipped with a tail turret since the days of the
old Curtiss B-2 Condor is the Consolidated B-24, 26 of which were
recently ordered by the British.
The B-25 is an all-metal, full-cantilever mid-wing monoplane,
carrying its bomb load in special bays within the fuselage. The
mounting of the engine nacelles is exceptionally interesting. They
are slung almost entirely beneath the wing, with just a small fillet
portion above. The undercarriage retracts directly into the nacelles
and is housed in by folding.
Apparently, a crew of either four or five is carried. This would
include a nose gunner, a tail gunner, a pilot and co-pilot, and
possibly a radio man-bomber.
After our cover went to press, incidentally, North American requested
that we change our cover line from "B-25, Fastest Medium-Bomber"
to "B-25, Fast Medium-Bomber."
Posted August 29, 2015