YouTube - B-25 Bomber
2 x 1,700 hp. ea.
52 ft. 11 in.
67 ft. 7 in.
12 - 18 x .50 cal.
8 x 5"
It was about 1938 when the U.S. Army put out a request for a medium bomber that would fill the gap between its light and heavy bombing aircraft. North American came up with the NA-40 that eventually became the B-25 bomber, known as the Mitchell.
The B-25 bomber went on to become a primary medium bombing aircraft of World War II. Production aircraft first flew in 1940 and were deployed to the U.S. Army Air Force in 1941. They remained deployed throughout the War. B-25 aircraft first saw action in January of 1942 when they sunk a Japanese submarine off the coast of Washington.
Perhaps the B-25 bomber is best remembered as the bomber that carried out the "Doolittle Raid" over Tokyo on April 18, 1942. A total 16 B-25 aircraft, led by then Lt. Colonel "Jimmy" Doolittle took off from the U.S. aircraft carrier Hornet to bomb Tokyo in retaliation for the Pearl Harbor attack.
The B-25 bomber aircraft flew just above the waves, some 650 miles to Japan. The mission began about 10 hours earlier and was about 195 miles longer than planned. The USS Hornet was spotted by a Japanese picket boat that radioed a warning prior to its being sunk. As a precaution the B-25 bombers launched early. However, it appears that the transmission was never received.
None of the B-25 bomber aircraft were damaged over Japan and all were able to drop their bombs. The light bomb loads and small number of aircraft caused minimal damage. It did, however, prove that Japan could be reached by United States aircraft. Upon completion of the bombing, a total of fifteen aircraft turned for Chinese air fields, while a single aircraft tried to reach Russia.
The fifteen B-25 bomber aircraft ran out of fuel before making it to friendly air fields and made forced landings. Three bomber crews perished. Eight crewmen were captured by the Japanese of which three were executed. The other crews were aided by the Chinese. The remaining B-25 bomber reached Russia where it landed, with the crew being interned and aircraft confiscated. Fourteen crews eventually made it back to American Forces with the exception of one crew member who chose to remain in the Soviet Union.
The medium bomber was named after General Billy Mitchell, one of the earliest proponents of air power. Its pilots appreciated the aircraft for its predictable handling, and ground crews appreciated its low maintenance.
The B-25 bomber, produced by North American Aircraft, was their first mass manufactured warplane. Its design made it relatively easy to produce and simple to maintain.
One of the most versatile U. S. aircraft of World War II, its missions included strafing, low and medium altitude bombing, training, anti-shipping, and reconnaissance.
B-25 bomber maneuverability is surprisingly nimble for a larger aircraft. It is possible to fly it more like a fighter than a bomber. Yet it is best to keep up moderate speed until after turning on to final because the aircraft responds very slowly to control inputs at lower speeds. Flying in a restored B-25 bomber is an adventure. The sound of its twin radial engines is music to the ears, and being able to fly in the warbird is a thrill.
The B-25 bomber models C and D were much improved over their predecessors. The C models were produced in Inglewood, California, while the D models were produced in Dallas, Texas.
Over 3,900 B-25 bomber C and D models were built. Some 530 of the aircraft were exported to Great Britain for use by the Royal Air Force. A total of over 800 B-25 bomber aircraft were eventually acquired by Great Britain under the "Lend-Lease Act". About 870 B-25 C and D models were also exported to the Soviet Union.
B-25 bomber aircraft first entered RAF service with 98 and 180 Squadrons in September of 1942. The aircraft were assigned to the Second Tactical Air Force in August of 1943. They flew sorties into Northern France to soften enemy positions for "D-Day" landings. Other B-25 bomber aircraft raided V-1 sites in France.
The B-25 bomber model G was a descendant of the C model. Over 400 of the aircraft were produced, fitted with a 75 mm cannon in the nose. Model G aircraft were used for ground attack and anti-shipping.
Over 1,000 B-25 bomber model H aircraft were produced. They were used primarily in the Pacific. They were equipped with a lighter, quicker firing 75mm cannon. They also carried four .50 cal. machine guns in the nose and an additional four .50 cal machine guns in blisters, with two on each side of the nose. Pairs of .50 cal. machine guns were also located in the waist, dorsal turret, and tail. A typical bomb load was around 3,000 lbs. Up to eight rockets could be carried under its wings.
About 4,300 model J B-25 bomber aircraft were produced, more than any other model. They retained the armament and ordnance of the model H, but without the 75mm cannon. These aircraft were deployed by the U.S. and Great Britain throughout the Mediterranean, the Pacific, and South East Asia.
The United States Marine Corps. began deploying the B-25 bomber starting in January of 1943. By the end of the war, the Marines had about 700 of the aircraft. Their primary mission was to support the U.S.M.C. ground troops against Japanese troops while they landed on Pacific Islands.
During World War II the B-25 bomber was deployed by the air forces of Australia, Canada, China, France, Great Britain, the Netherlands, and the United States. Demand by U.S. Allies for the airplane was so great that U.S. forces never had more than about 2,700 B-25 bomber aircraft deployed at any one time.
When World War II ended, the B-25 was used primarily as a trainer. Flight schools appreciated the easy ground handling of the aircraft due to its wide spread main landing gear and steady in-flight handling. The steady flight characteristics made them a favorite camera ship for movie producers. Some post-war aircraft were used by the U.S. military as VIP transports until they were eventually retired in May of 1960.
Over 9,950 of the B-25 bomber aircraft were built by North American. It is estimated that some forty are still flying today, with about another 50 on display throughout the United States and around the world in museums.
The 16.8 foot wingspan RC B-25 built by Jack Uhl is made from enlarged Ziroli plans. Power is by Husky 7.3 cc engines and weight is around 165 lbs.
The B-25 bomber from Wowplanes, as seen above, was built from their kit. It is a foamy with a 55 in. wingspan and 44 in. length for 480 size motors. Weight is around 64 oz.
American Eagle has a 109 in wingspan B-25 for sale. The kit that can be powered by 1.08 - 1.40 2C, 1.20 - 1.50 4C glow or 23 cc - 40 cc gas engines.
BH Models B-25 bomber features a wingspan of 62 in. and is 48 in. long. You can power it with .25 to .32 2C engines or their electric motor equivalents. Weight is around 4 lbs.
Jack Devine's B-25 bomber comes as a kit. The wingspan is 106 in. and length is 83 in. Recommended engines are G23 - G26. Weight is around 23 lbs.
Hangar9's B-25 bomber comes with a 81 in. wingspan and 63 in. length. Construction is from wood. Power can come from .36 to .40 two cycle engines or equivalent electric motors. Weight is about 15 lbs.
Guillows B-25 kit builds to a wingspan of just 28 in. Engines are from .020 -.049."
Blackhorse Models has a B-25 bomber with a wingspan of 62 1/2 in. and length of 48 1/2 in. From .25 to .32 2C engines or equivalent electric motors can power the 6 lb. model.
RC-Royal plans B-25 bomber wingspan is 71 in., length is 54 in., construction is all wood, and weight is about 8 1/2 lbs. You will need from .40 to .60 2C or .52 to .60 4C engines for power.
Flying Styro's B-25 bomber is a foamy with a wingspan of 48 in. and a length of 37 in. It can be powered with peed 400 size motors.
Dare Hobby's B-25 bomber is an all wood kit with a wingspan that is 42 in. and a length that is 33 1/2 in. Power comes from electric motors.
Tom Blackstone has plans for a B-25 bomber with a wingspan of 95 in. and length of 72 in. Saito 100 engines are recommended to power the approximately 21 lb. model.
Fly-Model's B-25 bomber's wingspan is 71 in. and length is 52 in. Power can come from .52 four stroke engines. Weight is around 9 1/2 lbs.
If you are looking for B-25 bomber plans or kits check out Kit Cutters. They have a 71 in. wingspan B-25 from Sid Morgan Plans.
Another B-25 bomber from Kit Cutters is from Nexus Plans. It has a 76 in. wingspan and uses .40 size engines.
There is a Kit Cutters B-25 bomber from Dan Palmer Plans. Wingspan is 67 1/2 in. and length is 53 in. You will need a pair of .25 engines to power the approximately 6 lb. aircraft.
Cleveland Models has B-25 bomber plans with wingspans of 27 in., 37 in., 54 1/2 in., 73 in, 109 in., 145 1/2 in. and 218 in.
KMP - Kondor Model Products B-25 bomber is an ARF that has a wingspan of 95 in. and weighs around 20 lbs. The fuselage is made from epoxy, with balsa wings standard and epoxy wings optional. Retractable landing gear are another available option.
A Nick Ziroli B-25 bomber is available from plans or as a short kit. It has a 101 in. wingspan and is 78 in. long. Construction is balsawood and ply. Flaps and landing gear are included. Engines can be from 26 cc to 38 cc and weight is about 35 lbs.
The larger Ziroli Plans B-25 bomber has a wingspan of 118 in. and a length of 92 in. Engines can be from 38 cc to 50 cc, and weight is about 44 lbs.
The B-25 bomber from ESM has a 95 in. wingspan. The ARF has a glass fibre fuselage and b/u wooden wings. Length is 76 in. and all up weight around 22 lbs. You will need from 17 cc to 22 cc engines for power.
The B-25 bomber from Top Flite comes almost ready to fly, is of all wood construction with a 88 1/2 in. wingspan and 70 1/2 in length. Engines can be from .46 to .50 2C or .70 4C. Weight is about 18 lbs.