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VTOL | Rank 5 USA
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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 2,000 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
+ -
580 350  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 a single 2,000 lbs bomb (which is enough to destroy a base in one strike in RB as of update 1.95) or eight 250 lbs 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
  • Great turn time, even stock (22.8 seconds stock and 21 seconds upgraded)
  • Very durable air frame
  • One of the first aircraft to have a copilot
  • Single 2,000 lb bomb can destroy an 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, pilots can expect similar general performance
  • Matchmaking tends to place the B-18A against fairly weak enemy fighters


  • Rather slow
  • Weak defensive armament will not help against enemy fighters especially firing from blind spots
  • Nose machine gun can't fire directly to the front
  • Very large plane and can be an easy target to shoot down 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 knock out with centerline weaponry like those found on Yak-1s and LaGG 3s
  • It has gained 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\
  • No armor


In the mid-1930s, the Douglas Aircraft Company developed the medium bomber B-18 Bolo with the intent to replace the Martin B-10 bomber. Though it was a heavier aircraft than the B-10 and based upon the successful DC-2 aircraft body, the B-18 utilized more crew members allowing for a dedicated bombardier, turret gunners, pilot and co-pilot. By 1940 however, the aircraft was considered to be underpowered and had inadequate defensive armaments (too many blind-spots the nose and dorsal gunner cannot get to). The bomber had an impressive 2,000 lb maximum bomb load; however, this also was already considered to be ineffectual.

Army Air units began fielding the While the Martin B-10 which was the first mass-produced bomber which exceeded pursuit fighter capabilities in the amount of ammunition it could drop. With the military always on the look-out for the next greatest technology, a request to aircraft designers was submitted to produce the next generation bomber to supersede the B-10. Three competitors submitted bids, and each presented an aircraft for the military to evaluate. Martin produced the Model 146 9 (an upgraded version of the B-10), Douglas introduced the DB-1 (the future B-18), and Boeing submitted their Model 299 which later developed into the renowned B-17. While Boeings Model 299 was clearly the superior aircraft, however, a crash during a demonstration flight due to pilot error, removed this aircraft from consideration. Cost also played into some account as, during this time of economic depression, the $99,000 Model 299 was more expensive than the $58,000 DB-1. The military offered Douglas the contract, and they proceeded to develop the bomber for production.

Douglas began fielding B-18s to evaluation units first and then later B-18A's were added to the inventory and became the backbone of the USAAC's bomber squadrons. Unfortunately, not long after the bombers arrived at their units, glaring deficiencies stood out, namely with cruise speed of the aircraft, its defensive armament and positions, defensive armour and its overall payload size. Disappointingly, the aircraft was determined to be obsolete and did not measure up to the military's requirements for a long-range bombing aircraft. These bombers would have been relative "sitting ducks" for enemy fighter aircraft.

Though determined to be a failure, the bomber still played a limited role in World War II. Early on B-18 and B-18A bombers deployed to many locations overseas, however, this proved fatal for many of this aircraft type, especially at Pearl Harbour where most of the aircraft deployed there were destroyed while still on the ground during the Japanese attack. Pulled as the frontline bomber in 1942 (replaced by the B-17), the B-18A retrofitted and modified to play a role in anti-submarine warfare. Search radars or magnetic anomaly detection equipment were added along with depth charges to allow these bombers to be converted to anti-submarine patrol aircraft. One B-18A in October 1942 successfully sank the German submarine U-512 just north of French Guiana.

It wasn't long before the B-18s were removed from U.S. military service and sold to other countries such as Brazil and Canada. Though they served in limited capabilities during the war-time effort, they continued to serve out many years in the civilian sector as trainer aircraft, transport aircraft, crop dusters and even fire retardant bombers.


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

See also

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

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"