North American PBJ-1J Mitchell (B-25
WWII USN/USMC twin-engine medium bomber
The North American B-25 Mitchell was an American twin-engine medium bomber manufactured by North American Aviation. It was used by many Allied air forces, in every theater of World War II, as well as many other air forces after the war ended, and saw service across four decades.
The B-25 was named in honor of General Billy Mitchell, a pioneer of U.S. military aviation. By the end of its production, nearly 10,000 B-25's in numerous models had been built. These included a few limited variations, such as the United States Navy's and Marine Corps' PBJ-1 patrol bomber and the United States Army Air Forces' F-10 photo reconnaissance aircraft.
Archive Photos 2,3
Images from the Skytamer Archive
North American PBJ-1J Mitchell (B-25J-30/32-NC, AF 44-86727, c/n 108-47481, as USMC PBJ-1J) on display (4/26/1997) at the MCAS El Toro Air Show 1997, MCAS El Toro, California (Photo by John Shupek copyright © 1997 Skytamer Images)
North American PBJ-1J Mitchell (B-25J-30/32-NC, AF 44-86727, c/n 108-47481, as USMC PBJ-1J) on display (6/22/2007) at the Flying Leatherneck Historical Foundation and Aviation Museum, MCAS Miramar, San Diego, California (Photo by John Shupek copyright © 2007 Skytamer Images)
Design and Development ¹
The B-25 was a descendant of the earlier XB-21 (North American NA-39) project of the mid-1930's. Experience gained in developing that aircraft was eventually used by North American in designing the B-25 (called the NA-40 by the company). One NA-40 was built, with several modifications later being done to test a number of potential improvements. These improvements included Wright R-2600 radial engines, which would become standard on the later B-25.
In 1939, the modified and improved NA-40B was submitted to the United States Army Air Corps for evaluation. This aircraft was originally intended to be an attack bomber for export to the United Kingdom and France, both of which had a pressing requirement for such aircraft in the early stages of World War II. However, those countries changed their minds, opting instead for the also-new Douglas DB-7 (later to be used by the U.S. as the A-20 Havoc). Despite this loss of sales, the NA-40B re-entered the spotlight when the Army Air Corps evaluated it for use as a medium bomber. Unfortunately, the NA-40B was destroyed in a crash on 11 April 1939. Nonetheless, the type was ordered into production, along with the Army's other new medium bomber, the Martin B-26 Marauder.
Early Production ¹
An improvement of the NA-40B, dubbed the NA-62, was the basis for the first actual B-25. Due to the pressing need for medium bombers by the Army, no experimental or service-test versions were built. Any necessary modifications were made during production runs, or to existing aircraft at field modification centers around the world.
A significant change in the early days of B-25 production was a redesign of the wing. In the first nine aircraft, a constant-dihedral wing was used, in which the wing had a consistent, straight, slight upward angle from the fuselage to the wing tip. This design caused stability problems, and as a result, the dihedral angle was nullified on the outboard wing sections, giving the B-25 its slightly gull wing configuration. Less noticeable changes during this period included an increase in the size of the tail fins and a decrease in their inward cant.
A total of 6,608 B-25's were built at North American's Fairfax Airport plant in Kansas City, Kansas.
A descendant of the B-25 was the North American XB-28, meant to be a high-altitude version of the B-25. Despite this premise, the actual aircraft bore little resemblance to the Mitchell. It had much more in common with the Martin B-26 Marauder.
Operational History ¹
The majority of B-25's in American service were used in the Pacific. It fought on Papua New Guinea, in Burma and in the island hopping campaign in the central Pacific. It was in the Pacific that the aircraft's potential as a ground attack aircraft was discovered and developed. The jungle environment reduced the usefulness of standard level bombing, and made low level attack the best tactic. The ever-increasing amount of forward firing guns was a response to this operational environment, making the B-25 a formidable strafing aircraft.
In Burma the B-25 was often used to attack Japanese communication links, especially bridges in central Burma. It was also used to help supply the besieged troops at Imphal in 1944.
In the Pacific the B-25 proved itself to be a very capable anti-shipping weapon, sinking many of the ships being used to reinforce the Japanese position. Later in the Pacific war the distance between islands limited the usefulness of the B-25, although it was used against Guam and Tinian. It was also used against Japanese-occupied islands that had been bypassed by the main campaign, as happened in the Marshall Islands.
Middle East and Italy
The first B-25's arrived in Egypt just in time to take part in the Battle of El Alamein. From there the aircraft took part in the rest of the campaign in North Africa, the invasion of Sicily and the advance up Italy. In Italy the B-25 was used in the ground attack role, concentrating on attacks against road and rail links in Italy, Austria and the Balkans. The B-25 had a longer range than the Douglas A-20 Havoc and Douglas A-26 Invaders, allowing it to reach further into occupied Europe. The five bombardment groups that used the B-25 in the desert and Italy were the only U.S. units to use the B-25 in Europe.
The U.S. Eighth Air Force, based in Britain, concentrated on long-range raids over Germany and occupied Europe. Although it did have a small number units equipped with twin-engine aircraft, the B-25 was not amongst them. However, the RAF received nearly 900 Mitchells, using them to replace Douglas Bostons, Lockheed Venturas and Vickers Wellington bombers. The Mitchell entered active RAF service on 22 January 1943. At first it was used to bomb strategic targets in occupied Europe. After the D-Day invasion the RAF used its Mitchells to support the armies in Europe, moving several squadrons to forward airbases in France and Belgium.
The B-25 first gained fame as the bomber used in the 18 April 1942 Doolittle Raid, in which sixteen B-25B's led by Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Doolittle attacked mainland Japan, four months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The mission gave a much-needed lift in spirits to the Americans, and alarmed the Japanese who had believed their home islands were inviolable by enemy forces. Although the amount of actual damage done was relatively minor, it forced the Japanese to divert troops for the home defense for the remainder of the war. The raiders took off from the carrier USS Hornet and successfully bombed Tokyo and four other Japanese cities without loss. However, fifteen B-25B bombers subsequently crash-landed en route to recovery fields in Eastern China. These losses were the result of the task force being spotted by a Japanese vessel forcing the bombers to take off 170 mi (270 km) early, fuel exhaustion, stormy nighttime conditions with zero visibility, and lack of electronic homing aids at the recovery bases. Only one B-25B bomber landed intact; it came down in the Soviet Union, where its five-man crew was interned and the aircraft confiscated. Of the 80 aircrew, 69 survived their historic mission and eventually made it Back to American lines.
Following a number of additional modifications, including the addition of Plexiglas windows for the navigator and radio operator, heavier nose armament, and deicing and anti-icing equipment, the B-25C was released to the Army. This was the second mass-produced version of the Mitchell, the first being the lightly armed B-25B used by the Doolittle Raiders. The B-25C and B-25D differed only in location of manufacture: B-25C's at Inglewood, California, B-25D's at Kansas City, Kansas. A total of 3,915 B-25C's and B-25D's were built by North American during World War II.
Although the B-25 was originally designed to bomb from medium altitudes in level flight, it was used frequently in the Southwest Pacific theater (SWPA) on treetop-level strafing and parafrag (parachute-retarded fragmentation bombs) missions against Japanese airfields in New Guinea and the Philippines. These heavily armed Mitchells, field-modified at Townsville, Australia, by Major Paul I. "Pappy" Gunn and North American tech rep Jack Fox, were also used on strafing and skip-bombing missions against Japanese shipping trying to resupply their land-based armies. Under the leadership of Lieutenant General George C. Kenney, B-25's of the Fifth and Thirteenth Air Forces devastated Japanese targets in the Southwest Pacific theater from 1942 to 1945, and played a significant role in pushing the Japanese Back to their home islands. B-25's were also used with devastating effect in the Central Pacific, Alaska, North Africa, Mediterranean and China-Burma-India (CBI) theaters.
Use as a Gunship
Because of the urgent need for hard-hitting strafer aircraft, the B-25G was developed, in which the standard-length transparent nose and the bombardier were replaced by a shorter solid nose containing two fixed 0.50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns and a 75 mm (2.95 in) M4 cannon, one of the largest weapons fitted to an aircraft, similar to the experimental British Mosquito Mk. XVIII, and German Ju.88P heavy cannon carrying aircraft. The cannon was manually loaded and serviced by the navigator, who was able to perform these operations without leaving his crew station just behind the pilot. This was possible due to the shorter nose of the B-25G and the length of the M4, which allowed the breech to extend into the navigator's compartment.
The B-25G's successor, the B-25H, had even more firepower. The M4 gun was replaced by the lighter T13E1, designed specifically for the aircraft. The 75 mm (2.95 in) gun fired at a muzzle velocity of 2,362 ft/s (about 720 m/s). Due to its low rate of fire (approximately four rounds could be fired in a single strafing run) and relative ineffectiveness against ground targets, as well as substantial recoil, the 75 mm (2.95 in) gun was sometimes removed from both B-25G and B-25H models and replaced with two additional 0.50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns as a field modification. Besides that, the B-25H normally mounted four fixed forward-firing 0.50 (12.7 mm) machine guns in the nose, four more fixed ones in forward-firing cheek blisters, two more in the manned dorsal turret, one each in a pair of new waist positions, and a final pair in a new tail gunner's position. Company promotional material bragged the B-25H could "bring to bear 10 machine guns coming and four going, in addition to the 75 mm cannon, a brace of eight rockets and 3,000 lb (1,360 kg) of bombs."
The B-25H also featured a redesigned cockpit area, required by the dorsal turret having been relocated forward to the navigator's compartment - just aft of the cockpit and just ahead of the leading edge wing roots, thus requiring the addition of the waist and tail gun positions - and a heavily modified cockpit designed to be operated by a single pilot, the co-pilot's station and controls deleted, and the seat cut down and used by the navigator/cannoneer, the radio operator being moved to the aft compartment, operating the waist guns. A total of 405 B-25G's and 1,000 B-25H's were built, the 248 of the latter being used by Navy as PBJ-1H.
The final and the most built version of the Mitchell, the B-25J, looked much like the earlier B-25B, B-25C and B-25D, having reverted to the longer, glazed bombardier's nose, but with the B-25H's relocated-forward dorsal manned turret. The less-than-successful 75 mm (2.95 in) cannon was deleted. Instead, 800 of this version were built with a solid nose containing eight 0.50 (12.7 mm) machine guns, while other B-25J's featured the earlier "greenhouse" style nose containing the bombardier's position. Regardless of the nose style used, all B-25J's also included two 0.50 in (12.7 mm) guns in a "fuselage package" located directly under the pilot's station, and two more such guns in an identical package just under the co-pilot's compartment, with the co-pilot's seat and flight controls restored to their previous locations. The solid-nose B-25J variant carried an impressive total of 18 0.50 in (12.7 mm) light-barrel AN/M2 Browning M2 machine guns: eight in the nose, four in under-cockpit conformal gun pod packages, two in the dorsal turret, one each in the pair of waist positions, and a pair in the tail - with fourteen of the guns either aimed directly forward, or aimable to fire directly forward for strafing missions. No other main series production bomber of World War II carried as many guns. The first 555 B-25J's (the B-25J-1-NC production block) were delivered without the fuselage package guns, because it was discovered that muzzle blast from these guns was causing severe stress in the fuselage; this problem was cured with heavier fuselage skin patches. Although later production runs returned these fuselage package guns to the aircraft, they were often removed as a field modification for the same reason. Later B-25J's were additionally armed with eight 5 in (130 mm) high velocity aircraft rockets (HVAR). In all, 4,318 B-25J's were built.
The B-25 was a safe and forgiving aircraft to fly. With an engine out, 60° banking turns into the dead engine were possible, and control could be easily maintained down to 145 mph (230 km/h). However, the pilot had to remember to maintain engine-out directional control at low speeds after takeoff with rudder; if this maneuver was attempted with ailerons, the aircraft would snap out of control. The tricycle landing gear made for excellent visibility while taxiing. The only significant complaint about the B-25 was the extremely high noise level produced by its engines; as a result, many pilots eventually suffered from various degrees of hearing loss. The high noise level was due to design and space restrictions in the engine cowlings which resulted in the exhaust "stacks" protruding directly from the cowling ring and partly covered by a small triangular fairing. This arrangement directed exhaust and noise directly at the pilot and crew compartments. Crew members and operators on the airshow circuit frequently comment that "the B-25 is the fastest way to turn aviation fuel directly into noise". Many B-25's now in civilian ownership have been modified with exhaust rings that direct the exhaust through the outboard bottom section of the cowling.
The Mitchell was an amazingly sturdy aircraft that could withstand tremendous punishment. One well-known B-25C of the 321st Bomb Group was nicknamed "Patches" because its crew chief painted all the aircraft's flak hole patches with high-visibility zinc chromate primer. By the end of the war, this aircraft had completed over 300 missions, was belly-landed six times and sported over 400 patched holes. The airframe was so bent askew that straight-and-level flight required 8° of left aileron trim and 6° of right rudder, causing the aircraft to "crab" sideways across the sky.
An interesting characteristic of the B-25 was its ability to extend range by using one-quarter wing flap settings. Since the aircraft normally cruised in a slightly nose-high attitude, about 40 gal (150 liters) of fuel was below the fuel pickup point and thus unavailable for use. The flaps-down setting gave the aircraft a more level flight attitude, which resulted in this fuel becoming available, thus slightly extending the aircraft's range.
By the time a separate United States Air Force was established in 1947, most B-25's had been consigned to long-term storage. However, a select number continued in service through the late 1940's and 1950's in a variety of training, reconnaissance and support roles. Its principal use during this period was for undergraduate training of multi-engine aircraft pilots slated for reciprocating engine or turboprop cargo, aerial refueling or reconnaissance aircraft. Still others were assigned to units of the Air National Guard in training roles in support of Northrop F-89 Scorpion and Lockheed F-94 Starfire operations. TB-25J-25-NC Mitchell, AF 44-30854, the last B-25 in the USAF inventory, assigned at March AFB, California as of March 1960, was flown to Eglin AFB, Florida, from Turner Air Force Base, Georgia, on 21 May 1960, the last flight by a USAF B-25, and presented by Brig. Gen. A. J. Russell, Commander of SAC's 822d Air Division at Turner AFB, to the Air Proving Ground Center Commander, Brig. Gen. Robert H. Warren, who in turn presented the bomber to Valparaiso, Florida Mayor Randall Roberts on behalf of the Niceville-Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce. Four of the original Tokyo Raiders were present for the ceremony, Col. Davy Jones, Col. Jack Simms, Lt. Col. Joseph Manske, and retired Master Sgt. Edwin W. Horton. It was donated Back to the Air Force Armament Museum c.1974 and marked as Doolittle's AF 40-2344.
Today, many B-25's are kept in airworthy condition by air museums and collectors.
U.S. Navy and USMC
The PBJ-1 was a navalized version of the USAAF B-25. It had its origin in a deal cut in mid-1942 between the Navy and the USAAF. As part of the deal, 50 B-25C's and 152 B-25D's were transferred to the Navy from the USAAF. The bombers carried Navy serial numbers beginning with BuNo 34998. The first PBJ-1's arrived in February 1943. They were used by Marine Corps pilots, beginning with VMB-413. Many of them were equipped with a search radar with a retractable radome fitted in place of the ventral turret.
Large numbers of B-25H and B-25J variants were delivered to the Navy as PBJ-1H and PBJ-1J respectively. These aircraft joined, but did not necessarily replace, the earlier PBJ's.
The PBJ's were operated almost exclusively by the Marine Corps as land-based bombers. To operate them, the U.S. Marine Corps established a number of bomber squadrons, beginning with VMB-413, in March 1943 at Cherry Point, North Carolina. Eight VMB squadrons were flying PBJ's by the end of 1943, forming the initial Marine Medium Bombardment Group. Four more squadrons were in the process of formation in late 1945, but had not yet deployed by the time the war ended.
Operational use of the Marine Corps PBJ-1's began in March 1944. The Marine PBJ's operated from the Philippines, Saipan, Iwo Jima and Okinawa during the last few months of the Pacific war. Their primary mission was the long range interdiction of enemy shipping that was trying to run the blockade which was strangling Japan. The weapon of choice during these missions was usually the five-inch HVAR rocket, eight of which could be carried on underwing racks. Many of the PBJ-1C and PBJ-1D versions carried a rather ugly, bulbous antenna for an APS-3 search radar sticking out of the upper part of the transparent nose. On the PBJ-1H and PBJ-1J, the APS-3 search radar antenna was usually housed inside a ventral or wingtip radome. Some PBJ-1J's had their top turrets removed to save weight, especially toward the end of the war when Japanese fighters had become relatively scarce.
After World War Two, some PBJ's were stationed at the Navy's rocket laboratory at Inyokern, California to test various air to ground rockets and arrangements; including a twin barrel nose arrangement that could fire ten spin stabilized 5 inch rockets in one salvo.
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force (RAF) was an early customer for the B-25 via Lend-Lease. The RAF was the only force to use the B-25 on raids against Europe from bases in the United Kingdom, as the USAAF used the Martin B-26 Marauder for this purpose instead.
The first Mitchells were designated "Mitchell I" by the RAF and were delivered in August 1941, to No 111 Operational Training Unit based in the Bahamas. These bombers were used exclusively for training and familiarization and never achieved operational status. The B-25C's and B-25D's were designated "Mitchell II," altogether, 167 B-25C's and 371 B-25D's were delivered to the RAF.
A total of 93 "Mitchell I's" and "Mitchell II's" had been delivered to the RAF by the end of 1942 and served with No. 2 Group RAF, the RAF's tactical medium bomber force. The first RAF operation with the "Mitchell II" took place on 22 January 1943, when six aircraft from No. 180 Squadron RAF attacked oil installations at Ghent. After the invasion of Europe, all four Mitchell squadrons moved to bases in France and Belgium (Melsbroek) to support Allied ground forces. The British Mitchell squadrons were joined by No. 342 (Lorraine) Squadron of the French Air Force in April 1945.
No. 305 (Polish) Squadron flew "Mitchell II's" from September to December 1943 before transitioning to Mosquitos. In addition to the 2nd Group, the B-25 was used by various second-line RAF units in the UK and abroad. In the Far East, No. 3 PRU, which consisted of Nos. 681 and 684 Squadrons, flew the Mitchell (primarily Mk.II's) on photographic reconnaissance sorties.
The RAF was allocated 316 B-25J's which entered service as the "Mitchell III." Deliveries took place between August 1944 and August 1945. However, only about 240 of these bombers actually reached Britain, with some being diverted to No. 111 OTU in the Bahamas, some crashing during delivery and some being retained in the United States.
Royal Canadian Air Force
The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) was an important user of the B-25 Mitchell, although most of the RCAF use of the Mitchell was postwar. The first B-25's for the RCAF had originally been diverted to Canada from RAF orders. These included one "Mitchell I," 42 "Mitchell II's", and 19 "Mitchell III's." No. 13 (P) Squadron was formed unofficially at Rockcliffe in May 1944. They operated "Mitchell II's" on high altitude aerial photography sorties. They retained the Mitchell until October 1948.
No. 418 (Auxiliary) Squadron received its first "Mitchell II's" in January 1947. It was followed by No. 406 (auxiliary) which flew "Mitchell III's" from April 1947 to June 1958. No. 418 Operated a mix of "Mitchell II's" and "Mitchell III's" until March 1958. No. 12 Squadron of Air Transport Command also flew "Mitchell III's" along with other types from September 1956 to November 1960. In 1951, the RCAF received an additional 75 B-25J's from USAF stocks to make good attrition and to equip various second line units.
Royal Australian Air Force
The Australians got Mitchells by the spring of 1944. The joint Australian-Dutch No. 18 (Netherlands East Indies) Squadron RAAF had more than enough Mitchells for one squadron so the surplus went to re-equip the RAAF's No. 2 Squadron, replacing their Beauforts.
Dutch Air Force
During the World War II, the Mitchell served in fairly large numbers with the Air Force of the Dutch government-in-exile. They participated in combat both in the East Indies as well as on the European front. On 30 June 1941, the Netherlands Purchasing Commission, acting on behalf of the Dutch government in exile in London, signed contract with North American Aviation for 162 B-25C aircraft. The bombers were to be delivered to the Netherlands East Indies to help deter any Japanese aggression into the region.
In February 1942, the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) agreed to ferry 20 of the Dutch B-25's from Florida to Australia via Africa and India, and an additional 10 via the South Pacific route from California. During March, five of the bombers on the Dutch order had reached Bangalore, India and 12 had reached Archerfield in Australia. It was agreed that the B-25's in Australia would be used as the nucleus of a new squadron, designated No. 18. This squadron would be staffed jointly by Australian and Dutch aircrews plus a smattering of aircrews from other nations, but would operate at least initially under Royal Australian Air Force command. However, the B-25's of No. 18 Squadron would be painted with the Dutch national insignia (at this time a rectangular Netherlands flag) and would carry NEIAF serials. Discounting the 10 "temporary" B-25's delivered to 18 Squadron in early 1942, a total of 150 Mitchells were taken on strength by the NEIAF, 19 in 1942, 16 in 1943, 87 in 1944, and 28 in 1945. They flew bombing raids against Japanese targets in the East Indies. In 1944, the more capable B-25J Mitchell replaced most of the earlier B-25C and B-25D models.
In June 1940, No. 320 Squadron RAF had been formed from personnel formerly serving with the Royal Dutch Naval Air Service who had escaped to England after the German occupation of the Netherlands. Equipped with various British aircraft, No. 320 Squadron flew anti-submarine patrols, convoy escort missions, and performed air-sea rescue duties. They acquired the "Mitchell II" in September 1943, performing operations over Europe against gun emplacements, railway yards, bridges, troops and other tactical targets. They moved to Belgium in October 1944, and transitioned to the "Mitchell III" in 1945. No. 320 Squadron was disbanded in August 1945. Following the war, B-25's were used in a vain attempt of the Dutch to retain control of Indonesia.
Soviet Air Force
The U.S. supplied 862 B-25's comprised of B-25B, B-25D, B-25G and B-25J aircraft to the Soviet Union under Lend-Lease during the Second World War via the Alaska-Siberia ALSIB ferry route.
Other damaged aircraft arrived or crashed in the Far East of Russia, and one Doolittle Raid aircraft landed there short of fuel after attacking Japan. It is not known what happened to these latter aircraft. In general, the B-25 was operated as a ground support and tactical daylight bomber (as similar Douglas A-20 Havocs were used). It saw action in fights from Stalingrad (with B-25B and B-25D models) to the German surrender during May 1945 with (B-25G and B-25J types).
China Air Force
Well over 100 B-25C's and B-25D's were supplied to the Nationalist Chinese during the Second World War. In addition, a total of 131 B-25J's were supplied to China under Lend-Lease.
The four squadrons of the 1st BG (1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th) of the 1st Medium Bomber Group were formed during the War. They formerly operated Russian-built Tupolev SB bombers, then transferred to the B-25. The 1st BG was under the command of CACW (Chinese-American Composite Wing) while operating B-25. Following the end of the war in the Pacific, these four bombardment squadrons were established to fight against the Communist insurgency that was rapidly spreading throughout the country. During the civil war, Chinese Mitchells fought alongside de Havilland Mosquitos.
In December 1948, the Nationalists were forced to move to the island of Taiwan, taking many of their Mitchells with them. However, some B-25's were left behind and were impressed into service with the air force of the new People's Republic of China.
Brazilian Air Force
During the war, the Força Aérea Brasileira (FAB) received a few B-25's under Lend-Lease. Brazil declared war against the Axis powers in August 1942 and participated in the war against the U-boats in the southern Atlantic. The last Brazilian B-25 was finally declared surplus in 1970.
At least 21 "Mitchell III's" were issued by the Royal Air Force to No. 342 Squadron, which was made up primarily of Free French aircrews.
Following the liberation of France, this squadron was transferred to the newly formed French air force (Armée de l'Air) as GB I/20 Lorraine. These aircraft were operated by GB I/20 after the war, some being converted from bomber configuration into fast VIP transports. They were finally struck off charge in June 1947.
Empire State Building Incident ¹
On Saturday, 28 July 1945, at 0940 (while flying in thick fog), a USAAF B-25D crashed into the north side of the Empire State Building, hitting between the 79th and 80th floor. A total of 14 people were killed; 11 in the building, along with Colonel William Smith and the other two occupants of the bomber. Betty Lou Oliver, an elevator attendant, survived the impact and a subsequent uncontrolled descent with the elevator. It was partly because of this incident that Towers 1 and 2 of the World Trade Center were designed to withstand the impact of a Boeing 707 aircraft (although the aircraft that hit the towers on 11 September 2001 had significantly higher masses and were traveling at substantially higher speeds).
NA-40: Twin-engine five seat bomber to meet 1938 USAAF requirement for attack bomber. Powered by two 1,100 hp (825 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-1830-56C3G radials. Wingspan 66 ft (20.12 m), length 48 ft 3 in (14.71 m) length. First flew on 29 January 1939 but proved to be underpowered and unstable.
NA-40B: The NA-40B (also known as the NA-40-2) was a modification of the NA-40 prototype with two 1,600 hp (1,200 kW) Wright R-2600-A71-3 radials and numerous minor changes. First flew in revised form on 1 March 1939. Crashed 11 April 1940.
B-25: Initial production version of B-25, powered by 1,350 hp (1,012 kW) R-2600-9 engines. Up to 3,600 lb (1,600 kg) bombs and defensive armament of three 0.30 machine guns in nose, waist and ventral positions, with one 0.50 machine gun in the tail. The first nine aircraft were built with constant dihedral angle. Due to low stability, the wing was redesigned so that the dihedral was eliminated on the outboard section. 24 built.
B-25A: Version of the B-25 modified to make it combat ready; additions included self-sealing fuel tanks, crew armor, and an improved tail gunner station. No changes were made in the armament. Re-designated obsolete (RB-25A) in 1942. 40 built.
B-25B: Rear turret deleted; aft-location (behind wing's trailing edge) manned dorsal and remotely-operated ventral turrets added, each with a pair of 0.50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns. The ventral turret was retractable, but the increased drag still reduced the cruise speed by 30 mph (48 km/h). 23 were delivered to the RAF as the "Mitchell Mk I." The Doolittle Raiders flew B-25B's on their famous mission. (Number made: 120.)
B-25C: Improved version of the B-25B: powerplants upgraded from Wright R-2600-9 radials to R-2600-13's; de-icing and anti-icing equipment added; the navigator received a sighting blister; nose armament was increased to two 0.50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns, one fixed and one flexible. The B-25C model was the first mass-produced B-25 version; it was also used in the United Kingdom (as the "Mitchell II"), in Canada, China, the Netherlands, and the Soviet Union. First mass-produced B-25 model. (Number made: 1,625.)
B-25D: Identical to the B-25C, the only difference was that the B-25D was made in Kansas City, Kansas, whereas the B-25C was made in Inglewood, California. First flew on 3 January 1942. (Number made: 2,290.)
WB-25D: In 1944, four B-25D's were converted for weather reconnaissance by the 53d Weather Reconnaissance Squadron. Originally called the Army Hurricane Reconnaissance Unit, now called the "Hurricane Hunters". Weather recon first started in 1943 with the First Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, with flights on the North Atlantic ferry routes.
XB-25E: Single B-25C modified to test de-icing and anti-icing equipment that circulated exhaust from the engines in chambers in the leading and trailing edges and empennage. The aircraft was tested for almost two years, beginning in 1942; while the system proved extremely effective, no production models were built that used it prior to the end of World War II. Many prop aircraft today use the XB-25E system. (Number made: 1, converted.)
XB-25F-A: Modified B-25C that tested the use of insulated electrical de-icing coils mounted inside the wing and empennage leading edges as a de-icing system. The hot air de-icing system tested on the XB-25E was more practical. (Number made: 1, converted.)
XB-25G: Modified B-25C in which the transparent nose was replaced by a solid one carrying two fixed 0.50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns and a 75 mm (2.95 in) M4 cannon, then the largest weapon ever carried on an American bomber. (Number made: 1, converted.)
B-25G: To satisfy the dire need for ground-attack and strafing aircraft, the B-25G was made following the success of the prototype XB-25G. The production model featured increased armor and a greater fuel supply than the XB-25G. One B-25G was passed to the British, who gave it the name "Mitchell II" that had been used for the B-25C. (Number made: 420.)
B-25H: An improved version of the B-25G. This version permanently relocated the manned dorsal turret to a more forward location on the fuselage, between the rear of the cockpit and the leading edge of the wings. It also featured two additional fixed 0.50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns in the nose and four in fuselage-mounted pods; the heavy M4 cannon was replaced by a lighter 75 mm (2.95 in) T13E1. (Number made: 1,000; number left flying in the world: 1.)
B-25J: The last production model of the B-25, often called a cross between the B-25C and the B-25H. It had a transparent nose, but many of the delivered aircraft were modified to have a solid nose. Most of its 14-18 machine guns were forward-facing for strafing missions. The RAF received 316 aircraft, which were known as the "Mitchell III." (Number made: 4,318.)
CB-25J: Utility transport version.
VB-25J: A number of B-25's were converted for use as staff and VIP transports. Henry H. Arnold and Dwight D. Eisenhower both used converted B-25J's as their personal transports.
Most models of the B-25 were used at some point as training aircraft.
TB-25D: Originally designated AT-24A (Advanced Trainer, Model 24, Version A). Trainer modification of B-25D. In total, 60 AT-24's were built.
TB-25G: Originally designated AT-24B. Trainer modification of B-25G.
TB-25C: Originally designated AT-24C. Trainer modification of B-25C.
TB-25J: Originally designated AT-24D. Trainer modification of B-25J. Another 600 B-25J's were modified after the war.
TB-25K: Hughes E1 fire-control radar trainer (Hughes). (Number made: 117)
TB-25L: Hayes pilot-trainer conversion. (Number made: 90)
TB-25M: Hughes E5 fire-control radar trainer. (Number made: 40)
TB-25N: Hayes navigator-trainer conversion. (Number made: 47)
PBJ-1C: Similar to the B-25C for the U.S. Navy; often fitted with airborne search radar and used in the anti-submarine role.
PBJ-1D: Similar to the B-25D for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps. Differed in having a single 0.50 in (12.7 mm) machine gun in the tail turret and waist gun positions similar to the B-25H. Often fitted with airborne search radar and used in the anti-submarine role.
PBJ-1G: U.S. Navy/U.S. Marine Corps designation for the B-25G.
PBJ-1H: U.S. Navy/U.S. Marine Corps designation for the B-25H.
U.S. Navy designation for the B-25J-NC (Blocks -1 through -35) with improvements in radio and other equipment. Often fitted with "package guns" and wingtip search radar for the anti-shipping/anti-submarine role. One PBJ-1H was modified with carrier take-off and landing equipment and successfully tested on the USS Shangri-La, but the Navy did not continue development.
North American B-25 "Mitchell" Production ³
|North American B-25 "Mitchell" Production|
|NAA Designation||Model||Service||Serial Numbers||No. Built|
|NA-94||XB-25E||USAAC||Modified B-25C-10, USAAC 42-32281||(1)|
|—||XB-25F||—||Designation not assigned||—|
|NA-93||B-25G-1||USAAC||Mod. B-25C-15, 42-32384/32388||(5)|
|NA-98X||—||USAAF||Modified B-25H-5, 43-4406||(1)|
|NA-108||B-25J-35||USAAF||45-8801/8818 (8819 not completed)||18|
|NA-108||B-25J-35||USAAF||45-8820/8823 (8824 not completed)||4|
|NA-108||B-25J-35||USAAF||45-8825/8828 (8829/8831 not completed)||4|
|NA-108||B-25J-35||USAAF||45-8832 (8833/8899 not completed)||1|
|NA-114||B-25J||USAAF||1050 canceled, to NA-108||&mdash|
|NA-115||B-25J||USAAF||2400 canceled, to NA-108||—|
|—||TB-25K||USAAF||B-25J modified by Hughes||(117)|
|—||TB-25L||USAAF||B-25J modified by Hayes||(79)|
|—||TB-25M||USAAF||B-25J modified by Hughes||(35)|
|—||TB-25N||USAAF||B-25J modified by Hayes||(47)|
|—||RB-25||USAAF||Two B-25's and three b-25J's modified as transports||(5)|
|—||VB-25||USAAF||RB-25's further modified as VIP transports for USAF||(3)|
|NA-148||—||—||N-25J modified as civil executive transport, project canceled||(1)|
|—||AT-24A||USAAF||B-25D redesignated as advanced trainer, later TB-25D||—|
|—||AT-24B||USAAF||B-25G trainer, later TB-25G||—|
|—||AT-24C||USAAF||B-25C trainer, later TB-25C||—|
|—||AT-24D||USAAF||B-25J trainer, later TB-25J||—|
|—||F-10||USAAF||B-25D modified for photomapping||(47)|
|—||PBJ-1C||USN||B-25C for USN||(50)|
|—||PBJ-1D||USN||B-25D for USN||(152)|
|—||PBJ-1G||USN||B-25G for USN||(1)|
|—||PBJ-1H||USN||B-25H for USN||(248)|
|—||PBJ-1J||USN||B-25J for USN||(255)|
|Totals||B-25||All Services||North American B-25 "Mitchell" bombers (1940-1945)||9,817|
There are more than one hundred surviving North American B-25 Mitchells scattered over the world, mainly in the United States. Most of them are on static display in museums, but about 45 are still airworthy.
A significant number of these were brought together for just a single movie, Catch-22, a 1970 war film adapted from the book of the same name by Joseph Heller. When Catch-22 began preliminary production, Paramount made a decision to hire the Tallmantz Aviation organization to obtain any available B-25's. Tallmantz president, Frank G. Tallman ended up finding war-surplus aircraft, and eventually gathered not only pilots to fly the aircraft but also a ground support crew to maintain the fleet.
On 18 April 2010, 17 airworthy B-25's took off from the airfield behind the National Museum of the United States Air Force and flew over in formation to commemorate the 68th anniversary of the Doolittle Raid. Four of the surviving members of the Raid were in attendance for the reunion; Cole, Griffin, Hite and Thatcher, although Hite departed before the flyover. Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley, Commander of Air Force Material Command General Donald Hoffman and the Director of the National Museum of the United States Air Force Major General (ret.) Charles Metcalf were there also.
This is a list of surviving North American B-25 Mitchell aircraft.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-31173, Was on display at Vicecomodoro Áangel de la Paz Aragonés Airport. Under restoration to flightworthiness by Gustavo M. Passano and his team.
- B-25D Mitchell, s/n 41-30222, at Australian Aviation Heritage Center in Darwin, Northern Territory.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-86893, based in Salzburg, flown for the Flying Bulls/Red Bull and owned by Aircraft Guarantee Corp Trustee of Onalaska, Texas, USA.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-29500, at Museu Eduardo Andre Matarazzo, Bebedouro, Sao Paulo.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-30069, at Museu Aerospacial in Campos dos Afonsos Air Force Base, Rio de Janeiro.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-30245, at Praca das Velhas Aguias in Natal Air Force Base.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 45-8883 Grumpy, owned by Canadian Warplane Heritage in Hamilton, Ontario.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-30791, at Alberta Aviation Museum in Edmonton, Alberta. Ex-RCAF 5273, restored in 418 (City of Edmonton Squadron) markings as FW251 "Daisy Mae".
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-86699, at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa, Ontario.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-86724, at CFB Winnipeg in Manitoba.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-86726, at Reynolds-Alberta Museum in Wetaskiwin, Alberta.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-86866, at Museo Aeronautico de la FAE Ecuadorian, Quito Air Force Base, partially restored and repainted in the famous "Apache Princess livery"
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-29022, at Indonesian Air Force Academy Collection in Jawa Tengah, Yogyakarta Air Force Base.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-29032, at Indonesian Air Force Museum in Yogyakarta Air Force Base.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-30399, at Armed Forces Museum in Jakarta.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-29128, at Museum of Technology in Mexico City.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-29145, at San Juan de Aragon Park in Mexico City.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-30692, at San Juan de Aragon Park in Mexico City.
- Airworthy B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-29507 Sarinah.
- B-25D Mitchell, s/n 41-30792, at Overloon War Museum in Overloon.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-31258, at Militaire Luchtvaart Museum in Soesterberg
Papua New Guinea
- B-25C Mitchell, s/n 41-12442, at Girua Airfield in Tadji.
- B-25D Mitchell, s/n 41-30163, at National Museum in Port Moresby.
- B-25D Mitchell, s/n 43-3355, at Moscow Air Force Museum.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-29121, at Museo del Aire, Madrid.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 45-8811, owned by Semalog SA flight: Jet Alpine Fighter.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-29366, at RAF Museum in Hendon.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-31171, at American Air Museum in Duxford.
- B-25 Mitchell, s/n 40-2168 Miss Hap, owned by TBF Inc. in Dover, Delaware.
- B-25C Mitchell, s/n 41-13251, owned by Milestones of Flight Museum Inc. in Lancaster, California.
- B-25D Mitchell, s/n 43-3318 Grumpy, owned by the Historic Flight Foundation in Mukilteo, Washington.
- B-25D Mitchell, s/n 43-3634 Yankee Warrior, owned by Yankee Air Museum in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
- B-25H Mitchell, s/n 43-4106 Barbie III owned by History Flight Inc. in Wilmington, Delaware.
- B-25H Mitchell, s/n 43-4432, owned by Experimental Aircraft Association in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
- B-25H Mitchell, s/n 43-4899, owned by Kalamazoo Aviation History Museum in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 43-27868, owned by Commemorative Air Force (Yellow Rose Squadron) in San Marcos, Texas.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 43-28059 Apache Princess, owned by Fantasy of Flight in Polk City, Florida.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 43-28204, owned by B-25 Mitchell LCC in Missoula, Montana.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 43-35972, owned by Commemorative Air Force (Arizona Wing) in Mesa, Arizona.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-28866, owned by Champaign Aviation Museum in Urbana, Ohio.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-28925, owned by Cavanaugh Flight Museum in Addison, Texas.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-28932 Tondelayo, owned by Collings Foundation in Stow, Massachusetts.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-28938, owned by J L Ward Aviation Co. Inc. in Coulterville, California.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-29127, owned by Colvin Aircraft Inc. in Big Cabin, Oklahoma.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-29199, owned by Robert Lumbard in Wellington, Nevada.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-29465, owned by Martin Aviation Inc. in Newport Beach, California.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-29869, owned by Commemorative Air Force (Minnesota Wing) in South St. Paul, Minnesota.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-29887, owned by National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C..
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-29939, owned by Mid Atlantic Air Museum Inc. in Reading, Pennsylvania.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-29943, owned by Southwest Aviation Inc. in Fairacres, New Mexico.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-30077 The Ruptured Duck, owned by Tom Reilly DBA in Orlando, Florida.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-30129, owned by Training Services Inc. in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-30210, owned by Military Aircraft Restoration Corp. in Anaheim, California.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-30254 Buster, owned by Flying Heritage Collection in Everett, Washington.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-30324, owned by Ken McBride in San Martin, California.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-30423, owned by Planes of Fame in Chino, California.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-30456, owned by Lewis Fighter Fleet LCC in San Antonio, Texas.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-30606, owned by Ted R. Melsheimer in Carson City, Nevada.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-30734 Panchito, owned by Rag Wings & Radials Aircraft Leasing LLC in Wilmington, Delaware.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-30748 Heavenly Body, owned by Mitchell Productions LCC in San Fernando, California.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-30756, owned by Southwest Aircraft Inc. in Fairacres, New Mexico.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-30761, owned by Carl Scholl in Borrego Springs, California.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-30801 Executive Sweet, owned by American Aeronautical Foundation in Thousand Oaks, California.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-30823 Pacific Prowler, owned by Pacific Prowler LLC in Cleburne, Texas.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-30832 Take-Off Time, owned by Claire Aviation Inc. in Wilmington, Delaware.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-31385, owned by Commemorative Air Force (Missouri Wing) in St. Charles, Missouri.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-31508, owned by Rio Grande Aviation Inc. in Fredericksburg, Texas.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-86698, owned by Mitchell Mania LLC in Windsor, California.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-86715, owned by William R. Klaers in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-86725 Super Rabbit, owned by Wirraway Aviation in Los Angeles, California.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-86734, owned by Lone Star Flight Museum in Galveston, Texas.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-86747, owned by Palm Springs Air Museum in Palm Springs, California.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-86758, owned by Commemorative Air Force (Devil Dog Squadron) in Georgetown, Texas.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-86777 Martha Jean, owned by Liberty Aviation Museum in Shaker Heights, Ohio.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-86785, owned by Wiley Sanders Truck Lines Inc. in Troy, Alabama.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-86791, owned by Yanks Air Museum in Chino, California.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-86797, owned by Hans Lauridsen in Carefree, Arizona.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 45-8835, owned by Betty's Dream LCC in Dover, Delaware.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 45-8884, owned by Lady Luck LCC in Dover, Delaware.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 45-8887, owned by Mitchell Aircraft Components Inc. in Chino, California.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 45-8898 Axis Nighmare, owned by the Tri-State Warbird Museum in Batavia, Ohio.
- B-25D Mitchell, s/n 41-29784, at Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 43-27596, at Grand Forks AFB in North Dakota.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 43-27712, at Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson, Arizona.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 43-28222, at Hurlburt Field in Florida.
- B-25D Mitchell, s/n 43-3308, at Freedom Museum in Pampa, Texas. It is on loan from the USMC Museum in Quantico, Virginia.
- B-25D Mitchell, s/n 43-3374, at National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 43-4030, at South Dakota Air and Space Museum in Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota.
- B-25H Mitchell, s/n 43-4999, at New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks, Connecticut.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-28875, at Goodfellow AFB in San Angelo, Texas.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-29035, at National Museum of Naval Aviation in NAS Pensacola, Florida.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-29835, at Lackland AFB in San Antonio, Texas.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-30243, at Pendelton Air Museum in Pendelton, Oregon.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-30363, at Strategic Air and Space Museum in Offutt AFB, Nebraska.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-30444, at General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-30493, at Malmstrom AFB in Great Falls, Montana.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-30535, at Mid-America Air Museum in Liberal, Kansas.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-30635, at Octave Chanute Aerospace Museum in Rantoul, Illinois.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-30649, at Maxwell AFB in Alabama.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-30854, at Eglin AFB in Florida.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-31004, at Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile, Alabama.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-31032, at March Field Air Museum in California. It is on loan from the Military Aircraft Restoration Corp in Chino, California.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-86727, at Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum in Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-86772, at Hill Aerospace Museum at Hill AFB, Utah.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-86843, at Grissom AFB in Indiana.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-86872 Little King, at Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins, Georgia.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-86880, at National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, Texas.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-86891 Lazy Daisy Mae, at Castle Air Museum in Atwater, California.
- B-25C Mitchell, s/n 41-13285 Skunkie, to flightworthiness or display status by South Carolina Historic Aviation Foundation in Columbia, South Carolina.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 43-28222, to flightworthiness by Ralph Ponte in Cedar Ridge, California.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-28738, to flightworthiness by Midwest Seafoods Inc. in Denver, Colorado.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-29127, to flightworthiness by C&P Aviation in St. Paul, Minnesota.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-30203, by Pacific Coast Air Museum in Santa Rosa, California.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-30627, to flightworthiness by Mitchell Aircraft Components in Chino, California.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-31489, to flightworthiness by Hughes Aviation and Engine Company in Atlanta, Georgia.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-86786, to flightworthiness by Avionics Inc. in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-86844, to flightworthiness by Training Services Inc. in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
- PBJ-1J Mitchell, BuNo 35857, to flightworthiness by Commemorative Air Force (Southern California Wing) in Camarillo, California.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 43-28096, at Museo Aeronautico FAV in Maracay Air Force Base.
- B-25J Mitchell, s/n 44-30631, at Teniente Vicente Landaeta Gil AB in Barquisimeto.
Specifications (PBJ-1J Mitchell) 6,4
- Twin-engine medium bomber.
- Mid-wing cantilever monoplane of all-metal construction.
- Wing in five sections consisting of a two-spar center-section permanently attached to the fuselage, two outer single-spar sections and two detachable wing-tips.
- Fuel and oil tanks integral with the center-section structure.
- Outer wings have sealed compartments for flotation purposes.
- Ailerons of sealed type, and are fitted with fixed and controllable trimming-tabs.
- Hydraulically operated slotted trailing-edge flaps inboard of ailerons and divided by tails of engine nacelles.
- Flaps have fairings which hinge upward into the wings to form a continuous slot opening when the flaps are lowered.
- Semi-monocoque four-longeron structure of aluminum-alloy with covering of same material.
- That portion of the fuselage above the bottom surface of the center-section and between the front spar and trailing-edge is permanently attached to and removable with the center-section.
Tail Unit: 6
- Cantilever monoplane type with twin fins and rudders.
- Elevators and rudders have fixed and controllable trimming-tabs.
Landing Gear: 6
- Tricycle type with all wheels fully retractable.
- All wheels retract aft, the main wheels into the engine nacelles in the nose wheel and tail-skid into the fuselage.
- Doors cover all openings in both retracted and extended positions.
- Hydraulic retraction, with a mechanically-operated emergency system.
- The swiveling nose-wheel has shimmy damper and centering device and lock.
- Main wheels have hydraulic brakes.
Power Plant: 6,4
- Two 1,700-hp Wright (1,267 kW) "Cyclone" R-2600-29 fourteen-cylinder two-row radial air-cooled engines with two-speed superchargers in semi-monocoque nacelles mounted below the extremities of the center-section. 4
- Three-bladed Hamilton-Standard constant-speed full-feathering airscrews with anti-icers.
- Each engine fitted with independent fuel system consisting of two interconnected fore and aft compartments fitted with bullet-proof self-sealing fuel cells.
- All fuel lines in wings and fuselage are of self-ceiling type.
- Total normal fuel capacity 646 US gallons (2,445.4 liters).
- Additional droppable 420 US gallons tank (1,589.9 liters) may be installed in bomb-bay.
- Each engine has independent oil system, each oil compartment being built semi-integral with center-section directly aft the fireproof bulkhead.
- Crew of six, comprising one pilot, one co-pilot, navigator/bombardier, turret gunner/engineer, radio-operator/waist gunner, tail gunner. ²
- All members of crew may interchange position in the air.
- Bomb-aimer's position in transparent nose.
- Pilot's compartment seating two side-by-side forward of the plane of the airscrews.
- Access below pilot's seats to navigator's compartment which is just ahead of the bomb-bay.
- Passageway over bomb-bay leads to radio-operator's position and upper and lower gun positions.
- Further aft is located the photographic equipment, and in the extreme tail there is a prone observer's position.
- All crew positions are armored.
- Two 0.50-in (12.7 mm) machine-guns in nose.
- Two 0.50-in (12.7 mm) machine guns in blister packs on each side (4 total).
- Two 0.50-in (12.7 mm) guns in dorsal turret.
- One 0.50-in (12.7 mm) machine gun in each waist position, one left and one right.
- Two 0.50-in (12.7 mm) machine guns in tail turret.
- In the strafer configuration the two 0.50-in (12.7 mm) nose guns were replaced by eight 0.50-in (12.7 mm) machine guns.
- Hardpoints: 2,000 lb (900 kg) ventral shackles to hold Mark 13 torpedo. ²
- Rockets: Racks for eight 5-in (130 mm) high velocity aircraft rockets (HVAR). ²
- Bomb-bay for internal stowage of bombs or torpedo beneath center-section.
- Bomb load: 3,000 lb (1,360.78 kg)
- Wingspan: 67 ft 6.7 in (20.59 m)
- Length: 53 ft 4.6 in (16.27 m)
- Height: 16 ft 4.2 in (4.98 m)
- Wing area: 609.7 ft² (56.64 m²)
Weights and Loadings: 4
- Weight empty (B-25J): 19,500 lb (8,845.05 kg)
- Weight loaded (B-25J): 35,000 lb (15,875.73 kg)
- Fuel: 974 to 1,624 US-gal (3,686.99 to 6,147.51 liters)
Performance (B-25J): 4
- Cruising speed: 230 mph (370.15 km/h)
- Maximum speed: 272 mph (437.74 km/h)
- Landing speed: 100 mph (160.93 km/h)
- Climb rate: 900 ft/min (274.32 m/min)
- Service ceiling: 29,000 ft (8,839.2 m)
- Range with 3,000-lb (1,360.78 kg) bomb load: 2,000 miles (3,218.69 km)
- Training Division, Bureau of Aeronautics, Navy Department. Recognition Pictorial Manual, War Department FM 30-30, Navy Department BuAer 3 (Restricted), Washington, D.C., June 1943.
- Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, North American B-25 Mitchell
- Avery, Norm, "North American NA-40/-40B / NA-62/-108 B-25/A/B/C/D/G/H/J / F-10 /AT-24 / PBJ Mitchell," North American Aircraft 1934-1998, Volume 1, Santa Ana, CA: Narkiewicz//Thompson, 1998, ISBN 0-913322-05-9, pp 63-91
- Bridgman, Leonard (editor). "The North American Mitchell," Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1945-46, London: Sampson Low, Marston & Company, Ltd., 1946, pp 292c - 294c
- Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, List of surviving B-25 Mitchells
- Photos: John Shupek, Copyright © 1997, 2007 Skytamer Images. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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