No. 5385. Martin 234 XB-51 (46-685) US Air Force
Photograph from USAF

Martin 234 XB-51

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.

Created May 31, 2006