Huff-Daland LB-1

The Huff-Daland LB-1 was the first in a long series of bombers better known as the Keystone bombers (after a change of company name). The LB-1 was typical of military aircraft of the early 1920s in that it was a conservative design little different from the aircraft of the First World War. It was made with a steel tube frame and was fabric covered. The single Packard engine gave it a top speed of 121mph, much better than the 99mph of the Martin MB-2/ NBS-1, which was the standard US bomber at the start of the 1920s.

A single XLB-1 was built, and given a 1923 serial number. This was a three-man bomber, with a maximum bomb load of 1,500lb and a range of 940 miles. It was followed by ten service test LB-1s. These were much heavier aircraft, with a maximum bomb load of 2,750lb and a fourth crew member. The engine was slightly improved, but the power remained the same, and so the LB-1 had slightly worse performance figures than the XLB-1, and with its full bomb load a much shorter range. The ten LB-1s were delivered to the Air Corps during 1926. Some work began on an improved LB-1A, but that aircraft was never built. The LB-1 was also the basis for the heavy XLB-1.

Despite the decent performance of the LB-1, the Army Air Corps was not keen on single engined bombers. There was a concern that the single engine was not reliable enough for long range bombing missions. The position of the engine also meant that neither the bombardier nor the forward gunner could take up their normal position in the nose. Huff-Daland moved on to develop the twin-engined XLB-3 and XLB-5, and the second of these aircraft would enter service as the Keystone LB-5.

 

XLB-1

LB-1

Engine

Packard 1A-2540

Packard 2A-2540

Power

800hp

800hp

Crew

3

4

Span

66ft 6in

66ft 6in

Length

47ft 4in

46ft 2in

Height

14ft 11in

14ft 11in

Gross Weight

10,346lb

12,415lb

Maximum Speed

121mph at sea level

120mph at sea level

Cruising Speed

114mph

105mph

Ceiling

14,425ft

11,150ft

Range

940 miles

430 miles

Guns

Five 0.30in machine guns

Bomb load

1,500lb

2,750lb

See also: Huff-Daland Airplanes Incorporated

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (8 October 2008), Huff-Daland LB-1 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_huff_daland_LB-1.html

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