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Marauder Pilot to Pilot

How about taking a crack at the B-26 Procedures? A real B-26 pilot wrote it for me and now we are having fun with feed back from other real B-26 pilots. Remember everyone, this is for fun :)
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Preflight Procedure

"Enter pilot's compartment to review maintenance items on Forms 1 and 1A, unlock controls, and check that all switches and levers are in off or neutral positions, and check navigation compartment, bomb bays and rear sections of the aircraft for proper configuration. Check weight and balance of aircraft with the Load Adjuster.

Exit aircraft and perform a walk around to ensure the exterior of the aircraft looks satisfactory. Inspect each main gear and nose wheel opening for leaking fluid, strut condition, brake lines condition and tire wear.  Ensure all hatches are closed, gas filler caps are secured, pitot covers are removed and then walk each propeller through for sixteen blades in direction of normal engine rotation.

Enter aircraft and ensure that fuel tank valves in forward bomb bay are turned on, that main inverter cut-off switch is turned on, that de-icer lever in navigation compartment is set to off, that bomb bay door selector handle in bombardier's compartment is in the closed position. 

Move into pilots seat, attach safety belt, check flight controls and trim tabs movement, close and lock overhead hatches, set parking brake and pull brake lock on. Check that landing gear lever is down and locked, that pitot heater is off, that emergency air brake bleeder valve is off, that outside power source is connected to outlet in left nacelle, that master, ignition and battery switches are off, that blowers are in LOW position, that oil cooler shutters are open, and that carburetor air control lever is in the COLD position.  Set mixture controls to IDLE CUT-OFF, set propeller governor control levers full forward to INCREASE RPM, set propeller toggle switches to AUTO CONSTANT SPEED and feather switches to NORMAL, move cowl flap lever to OPEN and then to NEUTRAL, and set inverter selector switch to ON position. Check fuel gage indicator level for all tanks.

For starting engines, turn battery switch on, set throttles approximately 3/4 inch open, clear propellers, notify ground crew, ensure fire guard is posted, turn master switch on, and turn left ignition switch to both magnetos. Switch left hand booster pump on and prime left engine for a few seconds. Hold energizer switch to left position until inertia flywheel reaches maximum RPM and turn primer switch on immediately prior to meshing the starter to the engine.  Engage the starter to the engine by holding the mesh switch to the left position, at the same time hold the primer switch down until engine starts and then release both switches. When engine starts firing, move mixture controls to AUTO RICH position.  Manipulate the throttle to keep the engine running at 800 RPM initially until there is an indicated oil pressure and then increase to 1000 RPM. Start the right engine in the same manner. Turn booster pumps off and disconnect auxiliary power source.  Check hydraulic pressure for 800 to 1050 pounds, set oil cooler shutters as required and put carburetor air control levers in COLD position. Adjust pilots seat, tune radios, and contact control tower for taxi clearance and altimeter setting for airport pressure.

Take-Off Procedure

Taxi to take-off position; check brakes for proper functioning, check nose wheel for any shimming characteristic and position aircraft into the wind short of the runway for engine run-up checks. Move throttles to 1700 RPM, pull propeller levers back to observe reduced RPM and then forward to obtain 1700 RPM again, move propeller toggle switches to DECREASE RPM, FIXED PITCH, INCREASE RPM, and to CONSTANT SPEED RPM to observe proper functioning. Move throttles to 2100 RPM and set toggle switch to FIXED PITCH, check left engine magnetos by moving switch to LEFT magneto, then to BOTH, then to RIGHT magneto, then back to BOTH and observe that there is not more than a drop of 75 RPM while doing this. Move toggle switch back to CONSTANT SPEED RPM position.  Next, check right engine magnetos in the same way. Reduce throttles to 1000 RPM and then clear engines by advancing each one to 2700 RPM and observe temperature and pressure instruments to assure all are within green limits. Check operation of feathering switches. Lower flaps down to 1/4 position, turn booster pumps on, remove safety lock from landing gear lever, set trim tabs 5 degrees tail heavy for take-off and contact the tower for permission to move into take-off position on the runway.

Position aircraft on the runway, release brakes, move throttles to 52 inches manifold pressure and 2700 RPM, maintain directional control with coordinated brakes and then rudder control, raise nose wheel slightly off the runway at 80 MPH and hold that attitude until aircraft lifts off runway, raise landing gear immediately to obtain minimum single engine air speed of 140 MPH as soon as possible, retract wing flaps at 500 feet and 170 MPH, and set cowl flaps as required to maintain proper cylinder head temperature.  Climb to desired altitude at 170 MPH using 37 inches manifold pressure and 2300 RPM, turn booster pumps off when leveling out, reduce power to 30 inches manifold pressure and 2000 RPM for cruising and move mixture controls to AUTO-LEAN when above 5000 feet.

Landing Procedure

During the preparation for landing, the center of gravity location should be checked if necessary using the Load Adjuster. Notify crew members to prepare for landing.  Contact the airport tower to advise of landing intentions and obtain runway number in use, altimeter setting, wind velocity and direction, and any caution notices.  Set altimeter to station pressure, make sure blowers are in LOW position and safety cover is in place, adjust oil cooler shutters to maintain proper oil temperature, set carburetor air control levers to COLD position, move mixture controls to AUTO RICH when below 5000 feet, set propeller toggle switches to AUTO CONSTANT SPEED and propeller levers to 2250 RPM, turn fuel booster pumps ON, reduce speed on down wind leg to 165 MPH, place landing gear control lever in DOWN position and increase power to maintain 165 MPH.  Check wheel position indicator on pilot's instrument panel to show gear is down, locked and in the green, and visually check to see that the landing gears are down.

Turn on final approach at 165 MPH and lower flaps while reducing speed to 150 MPH, establish uniform rate of decent to runway, during "flare out" smoothly reduce power while pulling the nose up gradually for landing on the main wheels. After touch down and speed is reduced, lower the nose wheel to the runway, leave cowl flaps open, attach safety lock on landing gear lever, retract wing flaps, turn fuel booster pumps off, push propeller governor levers forward to increase RPM position and taxi back to parking position." Written By Clyde Harkins exclusively for B26.COM.

Feed back from Real B-26 Pilots

"... about b-26 procedures. In combat, we did much in a different manner. An example, we started by having our engineer, watch trim movement from the outside and rear of the acft, while we operated the controls in a prescribed manner. The crew chief had much of the procedures taken care of before we arrived. To be completely honest, we fired up with internal power and once everything checked out, taxied out. Before take off, low pitch, boost pumps on, and when your turn comes "let her rip". We reduced rpm, during climb, to 2300. and it stayed there until after landing. In combat, tech procedures were OK except for many short cuts. If this helps good. Lee” Lee Goodwin

“I have reviewed your procedures and have a few comments. On engine run-up we usually ran both engines up to 2400 RPM and checked one after the other and then throttled back. We did not check each engine at 2700 RPM as this put too much strain on the nose wheel if one brake was not holding. I usually checked the RPM and vibration as soon as we reached 2700 RPM on the initial take-off roll. Our landing procedure was to fly traffic pattern at 2000' at 170 MPH. Final approach was 140 MPH with a flare out at about 115 to 120 MPH. I hadn't thought of any of  this in 56 years. So this is the best of my recollection.  Should you have any questions I will try my best to answer.” J.B.

"Friend, you are asking me to review something I haven't thought about for 60 years. Basically, it sounds OK with one exception: I don't think we ever checked the feathering switches on the ground or run-up check. Take-off and landing airspeeds sound ok." R.D.

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