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Total received: 04


Crew: 6     Length: 57 ft 10 in (17.6 m)    Wingspan: 89 ft 6 in (27.3 m)

Height: 15 ft 2 in (4.6 m)    Wing area: 959 ft² (89.1 m²)

Empty weight: 16,321 lb (7,400 kg)  

Loaded weight: 22,123 lb (10,030 kg)

Max takeoff weight: 27,500 lb (12,600 kg)

Powerplant: 2× Wright R-1820-53 radial engines, 1,000 hp (750 kW) each )


Maximum speed: 215 mph (197 knots, 346 km/h) 

Combat range: 999 nm (1,150 mi, 1,850 km) Ferry range: 1,800 nm (2,100 mi, 3,400 km)

Service ceiling 23,900 ft (7,280 m) Rate of climb: 1,030 ft/min (5.2 m/s) 

Wing loading: 23.1 lb/ft² (113 kg/m²) Power/mass: 0.09 hp/lb (150 W/kg)

Armament:  Guns: 3× .30 in (7.62 mm) machine guns.  Bombs: 4,500 lb (2,200 kg)

With the country's involvement in World War II, in 1942, the US government, in compliance with the agreements reached with the Brazilian government, immediately began to transfer aircraft and equipment under the Leading Lease Act, of all Specialties, to reinforce the defenses of the national territory and to protect merchant ships and convoys carrying raw material for the allied war effort.

In April 1942, the Brazilian Air Force received two B-18 Bolo planes that were brought in flying by American pilots, destined to the Aircraft Conversion Grouping, to act in missions of instruction of the Brazilian crew and maritime patrolling missions, In the coastal regions of the states of Ceará, Piauí and Rio Grande do Norte, being operated by mixed crews ( American and Brazilian graduates). As soon as the operation of the aircraft was assimilated by the Brazilian crew members, the  Aircraft Conversion Grouping was deactivated, with the B-18 "FAB 6300, (ex-USAAC 36-600) intended for the Twin Engine Aircraft Grouping, created in Natal, for employment in reconnaissance and patrol missions throughout the Brazilian Northeast, due to its great range of flight.
On the other hand, the B-18 "FAB 7032" was destined to the Twin engine Aircraft Group of Recife, where the main tasks were to carry out maritime patrol and reconnaissance missions. In the patrol missions, the B-18s were equipped with Stopey D-8 bombing sight and B-3 variometers.

The first FAB B-18 attack against a German submersible occurred on May 8, 1943 on the coast of Maceió, when the "FAB 6300" carried out an attack on the U-154 submarine, which had recently attacked the Panamanian merchant ship Motorcarline, the German ship sailed on the surface and upon seeing the B-18 Bolo dived immediately, the aircraft launched its depth and instruction bombs, which fell in front of the foam mat left on the surface, emerging after a huge oil patch in the sea. Bolo continued to fly over the site for an hour and the sinking of the submarine was not confirmed.

After the end of the war, the two aircraft remained in operation at Recife Air base until October 1946, when they were transferred to the São Paulo Aeronautical Maintenance Facility in order to be released from the FAB inventory, one of them being unloaded on February 10, 1947 and the other one destined for ground instruction, where it was employed until 1949, and was later disassembled. A third cell used, now version B-18A was received on August 16, 1944, being assigned to the ETav, (Aviation Technical School) as a "war-weary" aircraft, it never flew, remaining in this institution until July 18, 1955, when it was deactivated and sold as scrap.

As a further reference, a fourth aircraft would be destined to the FAB in 1945, but during the ferry flight the aircraft carrying the registration number 32-286 C / n 1674 crashed on February 18 in the city of San Jose, Guatemala, that caused its total loss, not being incorporated into the FAB inventory.

One B-18 Bolo is credited the sinking of U-Boat 512 off Cayenne, French Guyana on 02 Oct 42. The same was attacked by the aircraft from 99th Bomb Group stationed at Zandery Airfield, Dutch Guyana. There was only one survivor from a crew of 52.

View of one B 18 following its arrival at Afonsos Airbase, Rio de Janeiro airbase ending  the long ferry journey since  Douglas Aircraft Company. Photo


Brazilian crew in front of their cumbersome "Vira lata" (Street dog) Photo

Above 3 Douglas Bolo seen at Sao Paulo PAMA, Brazilian Air Force maintenance facility. Photo by Photobucket

B-18 of the 99th Bombardment Squadron stationed at Zandery Airfield, Dutch Guyana. The planes are in formation over the Caribbean 1942. Photo




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