The “Flying Whale”

Despite its unflattering name, the Martin B-10/12 was an absolutely outstanding aircraft for its time. This is especially so when one considers the bombers it replaced: The Keystone series with its (standard for the period) fabric-covered, open cockpit and double-winged aircraft. Whereas most aircraft eased into the transition from the earlier designs (thinking of the P-26), Martin dispensed with the in-between and went next generation.

4 thoughts on “The “Flying Whale”

  1. Always love seeing this aircraft at the USAF museum at Dayton! The bright blue fuselage (pre-war colors of course) just before the WW2 aircraft. Even as a young boy, I knew this meant a ‘big change’ was coming…


  2. I’m wondering if the Martin B-10/12 was really that great of an aircraft, especially considering its predecessors. I’m thinking specifically of the Keystone bombers. Were they really that bad?


    1. Thanks for being here. So, was the Keystone series all that bad? I’m a huge fan of the Keystones. They were state of the art for the 1920s, but were rather dated by the time the B-10 emerged on the scene. The contrast is in the technology: The B-10 was such a dramatic leap in design that it immediately left its predecessors as a relic of the past. One can easily argue that the famous B-10 flight to Alaska in 1934 would have been extremely difficult in a Keystone. The fact they never tried it speaks much about the technological leap and enhanced mission capabilities brought forth by the B-10.


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