Lockheed B-37 (Ventura)

The Lockheed B-37 was a medium bomber based on the Ventura, produced in very small numbers for the USAAF. A total of 550 of this aircraft had been ordered as the O-56 on 8 August 1941, to serve as an armed reconnaissance and observation aircraft. It was armed with four 0.30in guns and five 0.50in guns, and can be identified by the side gun port to the rear of the turret.

In April 1942, before the first O-56 had been produced, the USAAF decided to re-designate most of its O class observation aircraft as L class Liaison aircraft. The O-56 was clearly not a liaison aircraft, and so was given the new designation RB-34B-LO. This was then changed to the B-37-LO to reflect the use of the 1,700hp Wright R-2600-31 Cyclone engine in place of the Pratt & Whitney Double Wasp engines used in the Ventura/ B-34. The RAF reserved the designation Ventura III for this aircraft, but none were received.

Only eighteen B-37s were produced before the contract was cancelled to free capacity in Lockheed’s Plant B-1. The first of the eighteen B-37s made its maiden flight on 21 September, and the last was delivered in April 1943.

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (29 May 2008), Lockheed B-37 (Ventura) , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_lockheed_B-37.html

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