B-25 Walkaround

"The B-25 was a descendant of the earlier  XB-21  (North American-39) project of the mid- 1930s . 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 US 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 .

"The B-25J is 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."

Photographs in this walkaround are of the B-25J owned by the  Champaign Aviation Museum  in Urbana, Ohio, as it was undergoing refurbishment in November 2009.  Special thanks to Chris Patton, Museum Director, for up-close access!

Click on the Thumbnails below to view larger images.
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