The Boeing B-9 bomber was the earliest plane based on the advanced, extremely aerodynamic Monomail design of 1930 that made traditional biplane construction obsolete.
It had a top speed of 186 mph (299 kph) and could outrun the fighters of the day by 5 mph (8 kph). The monoplane bomber reached this speed even though it had a five-person crew (in open cockpits) and carried a 2,400-pound (1089 kilogram) bomb load.
Boeing built the YB-9 prototype bombers at company expense to show their design potential to the military. The B-9 is recognized as a revolution in bomber design, introducing new structures and aerodynamic concepts including the first use of a servo tab on an American airplane. Unfortunately for Boeing, this high-speed aircraft inspired the Glenn L. Martin Company to launch a new generation of bombers, resulting in the B-10, which quickly surpassed the B-9.
|First flight||April 13, 1931|
|Length||51 feet 5 inches|
|Gross weight||13,919 pounds|
|Top speed||186 mph|
|Cruising speed||158 mph|
|Power||Two 575-horsepower P&W Hornet engines|
|Armament||2 machine guns, 2,400-pound bomb load|