DRAGON
DRAGON

Manufacturer

DOUGLAS

Markings:

Air Lease, Inc., Harvey, Louisiana, N534J, 1967-71 Great Lakes Carbon, N61Y

Designation:

B-23

Registration:

N534AJ

Serial Number:

39-0051

DOUGLAS B-23 DRAGON

Like the B-18 the B-23 Dragon was based on a successful Douglas airliner design. This time it was the DC-3 that served as the basis for the new bomber. Designed in 1939 to replace the B-18 the Dragon was significantly faster than the earlier design and was slightly better armed as for the first time in an American bomber it was fitted with a tail gun. Despite the improvements the B-23 was still not up to the standards of bombers in use by the European powers. Only 38 Dragons were built and none of them ever entered combat. By mid-1942 all the Dragons had been relegated to training, or transport duties. However, after the war the relatively high speed of the B-23 made it very popular for conversion to executive transports and small airliners.

Specifications

  • Wingspan: 92 ft
  • Length: 58 ft 4 in
  • Height: 18 ft 6 in
  • Weight: 30,500 lbs (loaded)
  • Max. Speed: 282 mph
  • Service Ceiling: 31,000 ft
  • Range: 2,750 miles
  • Engines: 2 Wright R-2600-3 radials, 1,600 horsepower each
  • Crew: 5