Martin XLB-4 bomber project (Model 75-A)

Stargazer2006

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Before the B- for bomber series was unified in the early 1930s, the U. S. Army Air Corps had run a series of parallel designators based on the size or mission of the aircraft: HB- for Heavy Bomber, LB- for Light Bomber, NBS- for Night Bomber Short-Range, NBL- for Night Bomber (Long-Range).

The LB- series is not very well-known, first because many books start discussing the Bombers at B-1, and make just a passing mention of the models before, and also because these were all basically evolutions of the same aircraft design, the Huff-Daland Panther twin-engine bomber that resulted in the B-3 and B-5 of the new series.

The LB- series ran from LB-1 to LB-13. One mysterious aircraft in the middle of that list, the Martin Model 75-A or XLB-4, was never built. This elusive project puzzled me for years as no photos of sketches or desktop models could be found... until I happened on a blueprint being sold on eBay. Though I do not have the kind of money at the moment to purchase that sort of beauty, the photos presented on the page were of good enough quality, and the technical specs in sufficient number, for me to chance a re-creation of the general arrangement plan in a similar fashion as what Martin used to do in those days.

So here is the Martin XLB-4 for your enjoyment. Certainly not a very original design (could well be mistaken for yet another Huff-Daland Panther variant) but sufficiently unknown to be worth a minute's attention... I'm also enclosing most of the photos saved from the eBay listing.
 

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Steve Pace

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amazing - i've always thought there were more to that design.
 
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