Martin B-26 Marauder
Marauder, a medium-range bomber, posted the lowest loss rate, about 1%,
of USAAF combat planes during World War II. The B-26 was used most
effectively for bombing raids on railroad depots, bridges, and
airfields, and it developed an excellent reputation as a dam buster
B-26, the 99th Marauder built, crash landed in British Columbia, Canada,
on January 16, 1942, five weeks and five days after Pearl Harbor was
bombed. Efforts are being made by several members of the MAPS Air Museum
to restore it to flying condition. A book about the crash landing,
including a personal account by co-pilot Lt. Howard Smiley, is available
in the MAPS gift shop. Out of the Wilderness: Restoring a Relic
was written by Lee B. Morrison of New Philadelphia, Ohio.
As is too often the case, when a part of an airframe is damaged or missing,
often there is no option but to recreate, from scratch, the missing parts.
In this example, we're looking at internal ribs for the B-26 Marauder's
ailerons. These parts were either missing, or damaged beyond repair, so
the restoration team had no choice but to recreate the parts from scratch.
First, full size templates printed ...
... wooden forms cut & shaped...
... wooden hammers bend to shape, and ...
...finally, holes are cut (to lighten and strengthen the part) • Photo © James
working on attaching the new ribs back on the
Photo © Rick Willamon
B-26 aileron ribs starting to go back on the aileron •
Photo © Rick Willamon
Restoration work on the B-26 co-pilot's seat. The co-pilots seat ran on
rails, to allow the
Bombadier to gain access to the nose compartment. The last photo on this
(at left) the still-in-progress seat in place in the aircraft.
• Photos © James Ko • Photos © James Kohan
Engine mount back on the port (left) B-26 wing •
Photos © James Kohan
Left - Radio rack. Right
- Navigators table • Photos © Kent Kleinkenecht
New ribs to go
under the rebuilt stabilizer end • photo 0000" size="1">="1">©
MAPS Member Don working on new stabilizer end • photo r />
MAPS Member Don working on new
stabilizer end • photo © Steve Satchell
MAPS Member Kent patching one of the B-26's
clamshell bomb bay doors • photo ©
MAPS Member Kent patching one
of the B-26's clamshell bomb bay doors • photo
© Steve Satchell
MAPS Member Jim painting one of the B-26
engine mounts • photo ©
MAPS Member Bud working on one
of the B-26 firewall units • photo ©
B-26 engine nacelle as of 01 October 2006 • photo ©
B-26 engine nacelle - Cleco's are holding the
pieces together until riveting • photo ©
What is a Cleco? A
Cleco is a spring-loaded fastener used to temporarily hold two
pieces of sheetmetal together until they can be permanently
joined together, usually by riveting or bolting. Mostly used in the
aircraft building process, they also appear in racing when
building up the race car exterior.
Using a pair of Cleco pliers to install a
Cleco temporary fastener
B-26 engine nacelle interior - colored sections are
completely new sheetmetal work • photo ©
B-26 engine nacelle exterior - ALL DONE! Most of the
cleco's are gone • photo ©
Nose compartment of the B-26. Note cockpit layout and limited
access • photo ©
19 ft 10 in
21,735 lbs empty, 32,000 lbs max
6,000 lbs of bombs, up to six .50 cal. machine guns.
602 sq ft
2 Pratt & Whitney R-2800-5 radial engines of 1,850 hp each.
Maximum speed: 315 mph at 15,000 ft
Cruising speed: 265 mph
Range: 2,200 miles
Service Ceiling: 25,000 ft.
Crew Chief: Dave Pawski
Copyright © 2007 MAPS Air Museum