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Rare images of Keystone B-3A's  at France Field, P.C.L. 

All of the pictures on this page come from a single original photograph which was saved from certain doom by a sharp eyed Oregon teenager named Ty Beaudreau. Ty rescued this photograph from a trash can and forwarded it to me. Although certainly a nice find, I wasn't too optimistic about the picture being rare, but after some searching around I suspect this may be an only surviving print. It shows what appears to be plane number 30-306 which was the 26th of 63 that were built. Note that this model has 3-bladed propellers. Pictures from the USAF Museum show mostly earlier ships bearing 2 bladed props. Also note that the pilot is visible, his attention focused forward toward his lap or maybe the instrument panel. He looks like he is wearing a light colored scarf.
The one photograph was scanned at various resolutions to create this page. They were also scanned (and displayed) in color, hoping to capture additional detail that may be used in the future to remove the effects of aging or possibly enhance the image.
Annotation on back of photograph reads "B-3-A's on the Line. France Field, P.C.L.".

Click here if you are unable to download or view the large pictures.


The B-3a was among the last of the biplane bombers used by the US Army. It carried a crew of five - a pilot, copilot, bombardier, front and rear gunner. The first B-3a was delivered in October 1930 and the total production of 63 ended up serving in the Canal Zone and the Philippines. They remained in service until 1940. The 2nd Observation Squadron at Nichols Field, Philippines was the last unit to be equipped with the B-3a.
Wingspan: 74' 8"
Length: 48' 10"
Height: 15' 9"
Maximum weight: 12,952 lbs (gross)
Speed: 114 mph max, 98 mph cruise (sea level),
Service ceiling: 12,700 ft.
Maximum range: 860 miles with full normal bomb load of 2,500 pounds.
Engines: Two Pratt & Whitney R-1690-3 of 525 HP each.
Crew: 5
Data from:
USAF Museum
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