The Lockheed Ventura, also known as the Lockheed B-34 Lexington, was a twin engine medium bomber of World War II, used by the US Navy air corps.


Lockheed B-34 Lexington

Design/Development

The Lockheed Ventura, also known as the Lockheed B-34 Lexington, was a twin engine medium bomber of World War II, used by United States and British Commonwealth forces in several guises, including maritime patrol.

 

The Ventura was developed from the Lockheed Model 18 Lodestar transport, as a replacement for the Lockheed Hudson bombers then in service with the Royal Air Force. Used in daylight attacks against occupied Europe, they proved to have weaknesses and were removed from bomber duty and some used for patrols by Coastal Command.

After United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) monopolization of land-based bombers was removed, the US Navy ordered a revised design which entered service as the PV-2 Harpoon for anti-submarine work.

The Ventura was very similar to its predecessor, the Lockheed Hudson. The primary difference was not in layout; rather, the Ventura was larger, heavier, and used more powerful engines than the Hudson. The RAF ordered 188 Venturas in February 1940, which were delivered from mid-1942. Venturas were initially used for daylight raids on occupied Europe but like some other RAF bombers, they proved too vulnerable without fighter escort, which was difficult to provide for long-range missions. Venturas were replaced by the faster de Havilland Mosquito. The Venturas were transferred to patrol duties with Coastal Command as the Mosquito replaced them in bomber squadrons; 30 went to the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and some to the South African Air Force (SAAF). The RAF placed an order for 487 Ventura Mark IIs but many of these were diverted to the USAAF, which placed its own order for 200 Ventura Mark IIA as the B-34 Lexington, later renamed RB-34.

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The first 19 RB-34s that arrived by sea from the U.S. in June had much equipment either missing or damaged. Six airworthy machines were hurriedly produced by cannibalization and sent into action with No. 3 Squadron RNZAF in Fiji. On 26 June the first PV-1s were flown to Whenuapai and No. 1 Squadron RNZAF was able to convert to 18 of these by 1 August, then replacing the mixed 3 Squadron in action at Henderson Field, Guadacanal in late October.

Lockheed
Lockheed B-34 Lexington

The Ventura was developed from the Lockheed Model 18 Lodestar transport, as a replacement for the Lockheed Hudson bombers then in service with the Royal Air Force. Used in daylight attacks against occupied Europe, they proved to have weaknesses and were removed from bomber duty and some used for patrols by Coastal Command.

 

  • History

    Role Patrol bomber

    National origin United States

    Manufacturer Lockheed

    First flight 31 July 1941

    Primary users United States Navy

    United States Army Air Forces; Royal Air Force

    Developed from Lockheed Model 18 Lodestar

  • Primary User

    Crew: 6

    Length: 51 ft 5 in (15.7 m); Wingspan: 65 ft 6 in (20 m)

    Height: 11 ft 10 in (3.6 m)

    Empty weight: 20,197 lb (9,161 kg);
    Loaded weight: 31,000 lb (14,061 kg)

    Max. takeoff weight: 34,000 lb (15,422 kg)

    Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney R-2800 radial engines, 2,000 hp (1,491 kW) each

  • Variants

    Maximum speed: 322 mph (518 km/h)

    Cruise speed: 230 mph (370 km/h)

    Range: 1,660 mi (2,670 km)

    Ferry range: 2,600 mi (4,200 km)

    Service ceiling: 26,300 ft (8,020 m)

Lockheed B-34 Lexington

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The Lockheed Ventura, also known as the Lockheed B-34 Lexington, was a twin engine medium bomber of World War II.

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