05/31/2006. Remarks by Jack McKillop: "This three jet Martin XB-51-MA is the first of two built after the USAF failed to buy the Martin XB-48. The aircraft was designed to replace the Douglas A-26 Invader (redesignated B-26 in 1948) in the ground-support role and the two prototypes were flown in late 1949 and early 1950.
When the Korean War started in June 1950, the
US Army began demanding a new more modern aircraft to replace the
A-26/B-26 Invader especially one that could attack enemy supply
lines at night. In October 1950, an Air Force board met to evaluate
the XB-51 versus the Navy's North American AJ-1 Savage and the
USAF's B-45 Tornado, Canada's CF-100 interceptor and
Britain's English Electric Canberra.
As a result of tests and
comparisons of the aircraft, the board recommended that 300
Canberras be ordered resulting in Martin's B-57 Canberra.
The pictured aircraft crashed on takeoff from El Paso, Texas, USA March 25,
1956. Both crewmembers killed."
View also photo 6302.