USAAC/ USAAF/ USAF - Bomber Aircraft Designations

Bomber designations didn't fall into the main US designation system. Three types were introduced in 1919 (Type XI for Day Bombardment (DB), Type XII for (NBS) and Type XIII for Night Bombardment - Long Distances (NBL)). In 1923 DB became LB (Light Bomber), and this classification survived the 1924 reforms, lasting until 1926. In 1925 the HB (Heavy Bomber) classification was introduced but this was very short-lived.

The unified B for Bomber series began in 1926 with the Keystone XB-1 Super Cyclops. This series continued without changes until the 1962 tri-service designation system was introduced. The numberical sequence restarted from one, but so far only two new bombers have appeared.

In 1935 a new BLR - Bomber Long Range - class was introduced. Two existing bombers were given BLR designations and one new BLR aircraft was produced but the class disappeared in the following year.

LB (1923-26)

Keystone./ Huff-Daland LB-1
Atlantic XLB-2
Huff-Dalland LB-3
Martin LB-4
Keystone./ Huff-Daland LB-5
Keystone LB-6
Keystone LB-7
Keystone LB-8
Keystone LB-9
Keystone LB-10
Keystone LB-11
Keystone XLB-12
Keystone LB-13
Keystone LB-14

HB - Heavy Bomber (1925-26)

Huff-Daland XHB-1
Atlantic XHB-2
Huff-Daland XHB-3

BLR - Bomber Long Range (1935-36)

Boeing BLR-1 (XB-15)
Douglas BLR-2 (XB-19)
Sikorsky BLR-3

B - Bomber (1926-1962)

Keystone XB-1 Super Cyclops
Curtiss B-2 Condor
Keystone B-3A Panther
Keystone B-4A Panther
Keystone B-5A Panther
Keystone B-6A Panther
Douglas B-7
Fokker XB-8
Boeing Y1B-9A
Martin B-10
Douglas YB-11
Martin B-12
Martin XB-13
Martin XB-14
Boeing XB-15
Martin XB-16
Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress
Douglas B-18
Douglas XB-19
Boeing Y1B-20
North American XV-21 Dragon
Douglas B-22 Bolo
Douglas B-23 Dragon
Consolidated B-24 Liberator
North American B-25 Mitchell
Martin B-26 Marauder
Douglas B-26 Invader (redesignated from A-26)
Martin XB-27
North american XB-28
Boeing B-29 Superfortress
Lockheed XB-30
Douglas XB-31
Convair B-32 Dominator
Martin XB-33 Super Marauder
Lockheed-Vega B-34
Northrop XB-35 Flying Wing
Convair B-36
Lockheed-Vega B-37 Ventura
Lockheed-Vega XB-38 Flying Fortress
Boeing XB-39 Spirit of Lincoln
Lockheed-Vega TB-40 Flying Fortress
Convair XV-41 Liberator
Douglas XB-42 Mixmaster
Douglas XB-43
Pratt & Whitney XB-44 Superfortress
North American B-45 Tornado
Convair XB-46
Boeing B-47E Stratojet
Martin XB-48
Northrop YB-49 Flying Wing
Boeing B-50 Superfortress
Martin XB-51
Boeing B-52 Stratofortress
Convair XB-53
Boeing B-54A
Boeing XB-55
Boeing XB-56 Stratojet
Martin B-57 Intruder
Martin B-58 Hustler
Boeing XB-59
Convair YB-60
Martin TM-61 Matador
Northrop SM-62A Snark
Bell GAM-63 Rascal
North American XSM-64 Rascal
Convair SM-65 Atlas
Douglas RB-66 Destroyer
Radioplane GAM-67 Crossbow
Martin XB-68
Lockheed RB-69
North American XB-70 Valkyrie
Lockheed SR-71A Blackbird

B - Bomber (1962 onwards)

Rockwell International B-1 Lancer
Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (28 November 2012), USAAC/ USAAF/ USAF - Bomber Aircraft Designations ,

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