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GarageImage B-18A.jpg

The B-18A is a rank I American bomber with a battle rating of 2.0 (AB), 1.3 (RB), and 1.7 (SB). It was introduced in Update 1.59 "Flaming Arrows".

This is the first multi-engine land-based bomber available in the American Bomber tech tree. With a maximum bomb load of 2000 lbs, it is a decent medium bomber, although its gunners' fields of fire are somewhat poor, the only viable one being the dorsal turret gunner which suffers from the large blind spot the rudder creates directly behind the aircraft. It is recommended to level bomb at high altitude, as its poor manoeuvrability means you will have a hard time bombing moving ground targets at low altitude without a relatively straight bombing run.

General info

Flight Performance

Describe how the aircraft behaves in the air. Speed, manoeuvrability, acceleration and allowable loads - these are the most important characteristics of the vehicle.

Max Speed
(km/h at 3,049 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
357 344 7500 21.9 22.8 5.7 5.7 500
Max Speed
(km/h at 3,049 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
395 375 7500 20.1 21.0 10.3 7.7 500


Combat flaps Take-off flaps Landing flaps Air brakes Arrestor gear
Wing-break speed
Gear limit
Combat flaps
Max Static G
+ -
340 ~10 ~4
Optimal velocities
< 200 < 270 < 250 > 324
Compressor (RB/SB)
Setting 1
Optimal altitude 100% Engine power WEP Engine power
1,158 m 860 hp 1,032 hp
Setting 2
Optimal altitude 100% Engine power WEP Engine power
2,926 m 850 hp 1,020 hp

Survivability and armour

  • No armour
  • Engines and fuel tanks in root of wing


Suspended armament

The B-18A can be outfitted with the following ordnance:

  • 12 x 100 lb AN-M30A1 bombs (1,200 lb total)
  • 8 x 250 lb AN-M57 bombs (2,000 lb total)
  • 4 x 500 lb AN-M64A1 bombs (2,000 lb total)
  • 2 x 1,000 lb AN-M65A1 bombs (2,000 lb total)
  • 1 x 2,000 lb AN-M66A2 bomb (2,000 lb total)

Defensive armament

Main article: Browning (7.62 mm)

The B-18A is defended by:

  • 1 x 7.62 mm Browning machine gun, chin turret (500 rpg)
  • 1 x 7.62 mm Browning machine gun, dorsal turret (500 rpg)
  • 1 x 7.62 mm Browning machine gun, ventral turret (500 rpg)

Usage in battles

As the first non-naval bomber available to the Americans, this plane is faster than its predecessors in the tech tree, the PBY flying boats. Its bomb load isn't bad for tier 1, with its maximum bomb load being either 1 2000lbs bomb (which is enough to destroy a base in one strike in RB as of update 1.95) or eight 250lbs bombs, which is more than enough to take out a base with two bombs left to spare at matches in the 1.0-2.0 range. The defensive armament is somewhat lackluster however, with only 3 defensive positions, and of the 3 only one is somewhat viable for the defence of the aircraft. The lower ventral gunner is almost useless, and easily taken out, and the frontal gunner is only useful if your current enemy is directly in front and below you. The last turret, a massive dorsal contraption, can fire anywhere in around the aircraft. However, it cannot fire at things directly above it or below it, limiting its effectiveness. In addition, a significant bind spot is formed by to the rather large tail fin and rudder. Overall this bomber can be considered a trainer for the later American heavy bombers with its slow lumbering presence, high bomb load and multiple defensive positions.

Manual Engine Control

MEC elements
Mixer Pitch Radiator Supercharger Turbocharger
Oil Water Type
Controllable Controllable
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
Separate Controllable
2 gears
Not controllable


Tier Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
I Fuselage repair Radiator Turret 7 mm LBC-17
II Compressor Airframe New 7 mm MGs (turret)
III Wings repair Engine SBC-17
IV Engine injection Cover MBC-17

Pros and cons


  • Fairly manoeuvrable for a bomber
  • Single 2000 lb bomb can destroy a entire base, decimate vehicle formations, and be of great use in battles
  • Frontal gunner has a bigger field of fire allowing some flexibility in engaging other aircraft
  • Fairly fast for its tier and class, meaning you can outrun most biplanes, Russian I-153s being an exception
  • Similar playstyle to the B-10, so any players new to the Bolo that have used the B-10 can expect the same general performance
  • Matchmaking tends to place the B-18A against fairly weak enemy fighters


  • Rather slow.
  • Weak defensive armament won't help you very well against enemy fighters
  • Nose machine gun can't fire directly to the front
  • Very large plane and can be a easy target to shootdown without a fighter escort
  • Defensive armament: .30cal MGs cannot compete with its Russian or German counterparts, or other nations that have a fire rate advantage
  • The engines are fairly easy to target and be knocked out with centerlined weaponry. Yak-1 and LaGG series are very deadly to a B-18
  • It has gained a notoriety for its bombload, meaning you are a team wide target
  • When doing a loop, it commonly overshoots the cursor, leading to a loss (or gain) of speed


The B-18 Bolo was designed because the US Army wanted a new bomber that was faster and carried a heavier bomb load than the existing Martin B-10.

Two competitors showed up. Boeing model 299 (B-17), and the Douglas DB-1. Although the Boeing design was clearly superior (heavier bombload, longer range, and better defensive armament) The Boeing model 299 crashed upon take-off, and the Army immediately switched to the Douglas model. The lower price also counted in favour of the B-18 ($58,000 compared to $99,260). The B-18 played a stop-gap role until better bombers (B-17 and B-24) were built to replace it. The B-18 was not very widely used due to the lack of defensive armament and speed. Only 350 B-18s were built until production stopped and the plane was declared obsolete.


  • B-18A with WT Live custom skin of the B-18A Bolo 37-0469 from the 38th Reconnaissance Squadron.

See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the aircraft;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • encyclopedia page on the aircraft;
  • other literature.

Douglas Aircraft Company
Attackers  A-20G-25 · A-26B-10 · A-26B-50 · AD-2 · AD-4
Bombers  A-26C-45 · A-26C-45DT · B-18A · BTD-1 · SBD-3 · TBD-1
Turboprop  A2D-1
Jet fighters  F3D-1
Jet attackers  A-4B · A-4E Early
Export  ▄AD-4 · ▄Boston Mk I · ▄DB-7 · ▄Havoc Mk I

USA bombers
Dive  SB2U-2 · SB2U-3 · SBD-3 · SB2C-1C · SB2C-4
Torpedo  TBD-1 · PBY-5 Catalina · PBY-5a Catalina · TBF-1C · BTD-1
Medium  B-10B · B-18A · B-34 · PV-2D · B-25J-1 · B-25J-20 · A-26C-45 · A-26C-45DT
Heavy  B-17E · B-17E/L · B-17G-60-VE · PB4Y-2 · B-24D-25-CO · B-29A-BN
Hydroplanes  OS2U-1 · OS2U-3 · PBM-1 "Mariner" · PBM-3 "Mariner"