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History Mystery.

The "What is it?" aircraft in our last issue was a Douglas B-7 bomber of the early 1930s.

This series of twin-engined aircraft, powered by 600-hp. Curtiss V-1570 Conqueror engines, began as an observation plane and became a bomber only belatedly. Air Power History is grateful to Robert Taylor of the Antique Airplane Association, who remembers the B-7 and provided details.

The Army Air Corps ordered two aircraft in this series on March 26, 1930--an XO-35 (30-227) and an XO-36 (30-228). They had variations of the V-1570 engines, with differing nacelles and propellers.

Because of the high performance of these gull-winged planes, the Army decided to employ the type as a light bomber. One of the prototypes was redesignated the XB-7.

In August 1931, the Air Corps ordered seven Y1B-7 bombers (32-308/314) and five Y1O-35 observation craft (32-315/319). The "Y" prefix signified a service test role. The photo in our last issue, taken by Boardman C. Reed in about 1937, showed a Y1B-7 in a temporary camouflage scheme at pastoral Mines Field, California, site of today's Los Angeles International Airport.

The seven Y1B-7s served briefly with the 11th and 31st Bombardment Squadrons at March Field, California. It was the Army's first monoplane bomber to enter service. The five O-35s served at Crissy Field in the Presidio of San Francisco, California and at Mitchel Field, N.Y Some of them hauled air mail during the brief period in 1934 when the Army got the job, and several crashed. The B-7 was a relatively advanced aircraft for its day, but could not compete as changes in technology came swiftly. Among them was the Martin B-10 all-metal bomber that was faster than most fighters of its era.

Our follow-up photo depicts the third Y1B-7 bomber (32-310) in September 1933, at the site of the present-day Boeing Field in Seattle, and was taken by Gordon S. Williams.

Of the thirty-one readers who submitted entries in our latest "History Mystery;" only one failed to correctly identify the B-7/O-35. It is necessary to wave the caution flag again, though: two readers were disqualified for not following the history mystery rules, which require a response on a postcard that includes a telephone number.

Our history mystery winner is Philip Ginsell of Cincinnati, Ohio. Congratulations.

RELATED ARTICLE: Again, we challenge our ever-astute readers. See if you can identify this month's "mystery" aircraft But remember please, postcards only The rules, once more:

1. Submit your entry on a postcard. Mail the postcard to Robert F. Dorr, 3411 Valewood Drive, Oakton VA 22124.

2. Correctly name the aircraft shown here. Also include your address and telephone number, including area code. If you have access to e-mail, include your electronic screen name.

3. A winner will be chosen at random from the postcards with the correct answer. The winner will receive an aviation book by this journal's technical editor.

This feature needs your help. In that attic or basement, you have a photo of a rare or little-known aircraft. Does anyone have color slides? Send your pictures or slides for possible use as "History Mystery" puzzlers. We will return them.
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Author:Dorr, Robert F.
Publication:Air Power History
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 22, 2002
Words:522
Previous Article:Books received.
Next Article:Letters.
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