Military Wiki
Keystone Y1B-4 (S/N 30-281)
Role Light bomber
Manufacturer Keystone Aircraft
Status Retired
Primary user United States Army Air Corps
Number built 5 Y1B-4
25 B-4A
Developed from Keystone B-3

The Keystone B-4 was a biplane bomber produced for the United States Army Air Corps.

Design and development

Originally ordered by the United States Army Air Corps as the LB-13 light bomber. When the LB- designation was dropped in 1930, the first five planes were redesignated Y1B-4. (The Y1B- designation indicates that funds for the design did not come from the normal annual funds.)

The first B-3A (S/N 30-281) was converted to Y1B-4 configuration with the addition of R-1860-7 radial engines and low pressure tires. Because of more powerful engines, the performance of the Y1B-4 was a slight improvement on the B-3, but the only difference between the two planes was their engines. On April 28, 1931, the army ordered 25 improved Y1B-4s as the Keystone B-4A. This production version was part of the last biplane bomber order made by the Army Air Corps (along with 39 B-6As, identical in all respects except their make of engine), and the B-4As, delivered between January and April 1932, were the last biplane bombers delivered to the Air Corps.

Operational history

B-4 was the last of the Keystone biplane bombers ordered by the U.S. Army in late 1931. These aircraft were used primarily as observation and reconnaissance aircraft as early as 1934 when the Martin B-10B went into operational service. Some remained in service into the early 1940s.


Seven aircraft ordered but delivered as the Y1B-4 and Y1B-6 with different engine installations.
Five pre-production aircraft, as the LB-10 but with two 575 hp (429 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-1860-7 engines.
Production version of the Y1B-4, 25 built.


 United States

Specifications (B-4A)

Keystone B-4A in flight in the Philippines

General characteristics

  • Crew: 5
  • Length: 48 ft 10 in (14.9 m)
  • Wingspan: 74 ft 8 in (22.8 m)
  • Height: 15 ft 9 in (4.8 m)
  • Wing area: 1,145 ft² (106.4 m²)
  • Empty weight: 7,951 lb (3,607 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 12,952 lb (5,875 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney R-1860-7 radial engines, 575 hp (429 kW) each


  • Maximum speed: 130 mph (110 kn, 210 km/h)
  • Cruise speed: 103 mph (90 kn, 167 km/h)
  • Range: 850 mi (760 nmi, 1,400 km)
  • Service ceiling: 14,000 ft (4,300 m)
  • Rate of climb: 580 ft/min (30 m/s)
  • Wing loading: 11.31 lb/ft² (55.22 kg/m²)
  • Power/mass: 0.0888 hp/lb (146 W/kg)


  • Guns: 3 × .30 in (7.62 mm) Browning machine guns
  • Bombs: 2,500 lb (1,100 kg); 4,000 lb (1,800 kg) on short runs

See also

External links

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