Paid Advertisement
Historynet/feed historynet feedback facebook link Weider History Group RSS feed Weider Subscriptions Historynet Home page

Looks Can Be Deceiving

By Stephan Wilkinson 
Originally published by Aviation History magazine. Published Online: September 16, 2011 
Print Friendly
0 comments FONT +  FONT -

The Martin B-26B Marauder Flak-Bait drops its ordnance. (Ken Isaac/RCuniverse.com)
The Martin B-26B Marauder Flak-Bait drops its ordnance. (Ken Isaac/RCuniverse.com)

Flak-Bait is right up there with Enola Gay and Memphis Belle as a superstar of the air war.

One of the most famous bombers of World War II is back in the air. Flak-Bait, a Martin B-26B Marauder that completed 207 missions over Europe—an Air Force record that is unbroken to this day—is right up there with Enola Gay and Memphis Belle as a superstar of the air war.

Marauders are of course best remembered through myth, rumor and innuendo as crew-killers too dangerous to fly. Though the B-26 ultimately had the best combat safety record of any U.S. medium bomber, "One a Day Into Tampa Bay," "Widowmaker" and "Baltimore Whore" are its popular legacy, the result of a combination of high (for its time) wing loading, a brisk approach speed (again, for its time) and young, low-time pilots who had never flown anything more challenging than a dumpy Cessna AT-17—the infamous "Bamboo Bomber." With a high single-engine minimum control speed, an engine failure on takeoff almost always meant a crash, and even at safer climbout speeds the engine needed to be feathered right quick. (Those 1,950-hp Pratt & Whitney R-2800s were the first examples of the ubiquitous 18-cylinder engine to see combat.)

Okay, we're kidding about the real Flak-Bait flying again, since anybody who has been to the National Air & Space Museum knows that the bomber's entire forward fuselage and cockpit is on exhibit there. It's hard to believe, but the B-26 shown here is actually a 1/6th-scale radio-controlled model powered by two 6-hp, 2-cycle Zenoah engines, with fully operable scale landing gear, bomb-bay doors, bomb-dropping mechanism, flaps, flight controls and pneumatic wheel brakes. It was built by a team of professional English modelers for Brian O'Meara in Denver, Colo., who paid well into five figures for the finished model.

The model is made of wood and weighs 102 pounds, and the project took almost a decade to complete. To read more about it and view a remarkable in-flight video filmed from an on-board camera, go to builder Stephen Carr's website, sacarr.co.uk.



Leave a Reply

Human Verification: In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Related Articles


History Net Images Spacer
Paid Advertisement
Paid Advertisement
History Net Daily Activities
History net Spacer
History net Spacer
Historynet Spacer
HISTORYNET READERS' POLL

Which of these wars resulted in the most surprising underdog upset?

View Results | See previous polls

Loading ... Loading ...
History net Spacer
STAY CONNECTED WITH US
RSS Feed Daily Email Update
History net Spacer History net Spacer
Paid Advertisement

Paid Advertisement
What is HistoryNet?

The HistoryNet.com is brought to you by the Weider History Group, the world's largest publisher of history magazines. HistoryNet.com contains daily features, photo galleries and over 5,000 articles originally published in our various magazines.

If you are interested in a specific history subject, try searching our archives, you are bound to find something to pique your interest.

From Our Magazines
Weider History Group

Weider History Network:  HistoryNet | Armchair General | Achtung Panzer! | StreamHistory.com
Today in History | Ask Mr. History | Picture of the Day | Daily History Quiz | Contact Us

Copyright © 2013 Weider History Group. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
Advertise With Us | Subscription Help | Privacy Policy