Air & Space Museum

Douglas B-18A Bolo

Douglas B-18A Bolo

The Douglas B-18 Bolo has a long history with Lowry Air Force Base and it is appropriate that Wings Over the Rockies displays one of the five remaining B-18s in the world.

Douglas Aircraft created the B-18 in response to a 1934 Army request for a new bomber that could carry twice the load at twice the range of its B-10. The Army chose the B-18 for production after the competing design from Boeing crashed. (That Boeing design would later become the legendary B-17 after Boeing added a new innovation that would have prevented the crash—the cockpit checklist… which has become standard equipment for all aircraft!)

Douglas gave its DC-2 airliner a deeper fuselage to house the bomb bay, extended the wings, and added nose and ventral gun turrets. The B-18 entered service with the Army in 1937, and a B-18 was the first airplane to land on the new concrete runways at Lowry Field in 1940.

When the United States entered World War II, B-18s were obsolete as front-line bombers, but the Army used B-18s to train bombardiers, navigators, and pilots. Later in the war, the US Army and Royal Canadian Air Force used them for anti-submarine patrol and as transports.

The B-18 Bolo on display at Wings has a colorful history. After training bombardiers during World War II, civilian owners used it as a cargo aircraft, aerial sprayer, and survey aircraft. In 1959 it was caught running guns to Fidel Castro for the Cuban revolution and confiscated by the US Border Patrol.

The National Museum of the US Air Force loaned the B-18 to Wings Over the Rockies in 1990, and our Restorations team has restored it to its prewar bomber configuration.

Aircraft specifications:
Wingspan: 89 ft 6 in (27.3 m)
Length: 57 ft 10 in (17.7 m)
Maximum speed: 216 mph (348 km/h)
Bomb load: 4,400 lb (1,996 kg)
Engines: two Wright R-1820-53 radial engines, 1,000 hp (746 kW) each

Air & Space Museum Air & Space Museum

Lowry - Denver

Air & Space Museum

Upcoming Events

Saturday Oct 7
9:30AM TO 12:30PM
Exploration of Flight

Breakfast Fly-In

Breakfast Fly-In
Saturday, Oct 7 | 9:30AM to 12:30PM

Join Wings Over the Rockies Exploration of Flight for monthly fly-ins featuring planes, pilots and breakfast!

On the first Saturday of every month, enjoy breakfast from a local food truck, watch aircraft fly in and explore interactive exhibits and simulators.

Purchase Tickets

Food Truck: Cruz In & Eat
Please note: Food purchases are not included in admission.

Pilots – Fly in for free breakfast! For tie-down space, contact or 303.360.5360 ext 160.

Saturday Oct 14
9:00AM TO 2:00PM
Exploration of Flight

Round Engine Roundup with an Eclipse Encounter

Round Engine Roundup with an Eclipse Encounter
Saturday, Oct 14 | 9:00AM to 2:00PM

Join us at Exploration of Flight for a roundup of round engine aircraft, featuring the Sea Fury. Plus, view the 2023 Annular Eclipse from Centennial Airport! Build your own telescope and create a moon phase calendar at our learning stations, followed by an educational talk about the eclipse from Wings Over the Rockies Curator Chuck Stout.

Arrive early for prime eclipse viewing, as the eclipse is expected to be visible in the area around 10:30 a.m. The first 100 people will receive free eclipse glasses to safely view the eclipse. Additional glasses will be for sale.

Pre-Purchase Tickets

Food Truck: Colorado Coney Company

Saturday Oct 14
10:00AM TO 11:00AM

Teachers Only | Professional Development: Nose Art

Teachers Only | Professional Development: Nose Art
Saturday, Oct 14 | 10:00AM to 11:00AM

Teacher Workshop: Nose Art

Teachers are invited to join us for this online workshop and learn a unique aerospace lesson to bring to your classroom!

As aviation developed, especially as the result of World War I, many pilots chose to decorate their aircraft with designs intended to intimidate their opponents, or to remind the pilots of easier times at home. During this unique program, participants will have a chance to review some of that remarkable history and develop their own insignia and learn how to generate the image on a square of aircraft aluminum.

Register below and you will receive a confirmation email with the online meeting link.

Register Here

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