Douglas B 23 Dragon

The B-23 is a twin-engine bomber developed as a successor to the Douglas B-18. First flown in July 1939, the B-23 incorporated many features of the Douglas DC-3 commercial transport. Although it was much faster than the B-18 and was the first operational Army bomber equipped with a tail gun, the Dragon was soon outclassed by more modern bombers such as the North American B-25 and the Martin B-26. As a result, only 38 B-23s were built.

The B-23s were never used in combat during WW II. Instead they served in secondary roles as reconnaissance, training, transport, and test-bed aircraft. Some of the Dragons used in transport service were re-designated UC-67s.

After the war, all B-23s/UC-67s were declared surplus and many were sold to private operators for use as cargo and executive transports. Several of these aircraft were still flying in the early 1980s. the Museum's B-23, acquired in 1982, will require extensive restoration.


Span: 92 ft. 0 in.
Length: 58 ft. 6 in.
Height: 18 ft. 6 in.
Weight: 32,400 lbs. max.
Armament: Three .30-cal. M-2 machine guns, one .50-cal. M-2 machine gun, plus 4,000 lbs. of bombs carried internally
Engines: Two Wright R-2600-3s of 1,600 hp. ea.
Crew: Six
Cost: $133,000
Serial Number: 39-037
C/N: 2723
Other Registrations: N800N, N41821


Maximum speed: 282 mph.
Cruising speed: 210 mph.
Range: 1,400 miles
Service Ceiling: 31,600 ft.