Martin 139WC

The Martin B-10 was a revolutionary design on the early 30s. It was the first bomber to feature an all-metal construction, with monoplane rather than biplane wings, and retractable undercarriage. Its performance exceeded that of contemporary fighters. In 1936 Martin were given permission to export the design to other countries as the Martin 139WH for the Netherlands and the Martin 139WC for China

Six 139WCs were supplied to China and arrived at Hongqiao airfield in February 1937. These were assigned to the 30th Bombardment Squadron, which would take them into combat during the war with Japan. China’s 139WCs made little impact on the war, failing to score during several attacks on the Japanese 3rd Fleet which was oppressing Shanghai, and gradually the bomber force was reduced by enemy action as well as a number of crashes and accidents.

Three more 139WCs were supplied whilst the conflict was raging, and these were used in an extraordinary mission to drop leaflets expressing outrage at atrocities committed by Japan on the city of Nagasaki – not the last time that city would experience a special bombing mission.

The Nagasaki mission was the 139’s most notable moment in Chinese service. As 1938 unfolded the Chinese bomber force was built up with aircraft supplied by the Soviet Union, and the 139WCs faded from history.

Martin B-10 Specifications

Martin 139WC
RoleMedium Bomber
Crew
Powerplant2x Wright R-1820-G3 (840hp)
Speed200mph (cruise)
230mph (max)
Ceiling24,300ft
Range1,350 miles (internal)
Armament3x Browning AN-M2 .30cal Machine Gun
Ordnance2,250lb bombs
Dimensions44ft 9in (length)
70ft 6in (wingspan)
11ft 5in (height)
Wing Area678 sq.ft.
Weight9,727lb (empty)
14,995lb (gross)
16,455lb (max)
Number produced9
Martin 139WH-3
RoleMedium Bomber
Crew
Powerplant2x Wright R-1820-105A (1,000hp)
Speed
Ceiling0ft
Range
Armament
Ordnance
Dimensions0ft 0in (length)
0ft 0in (wingspan)
0ft 0in (height)
Weight
Number produced121

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