A-26 Invader - A-26 - Douglas A-26 (2024)

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The A-26 Invader was a versatile twin-engine light bomber and attack aircraft that served primarily with the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) during World War II and continued in service through the Korean War and beyond. It was known for its speed, maneuverability, and adaptability to various combat roles.


The A-26 Invader was a sleek, all-metal aircraft with a low-wing configuration and a crew of three: pilot, navigator/bombardier, and gunner. It featured a solid nose housing the bombardier's position, a transparent canopy for the pilot, and a dorsal and ventral turret for defense. The aircraft was designed for both precision bombing and ground attack missions, making it highly effective in a range of combat scenarios.


General Characteristics:

  • Crew: 3 (pilot, navigator/bombardier, gunner)
  • Length: 50 ft 9 in (15.47 m)
  • Wingspan: 70 ft 0 in (21.34 m)
  • Height: 18 ft 6 in (5.64 m)
  • Wing Area: 540 sq ft (50.2 m²)
  • Empty Weight: 22,850 lb (10,366 kg)
  • Loaded Weight: 30,000 lb (13,607 kg)
  • Max Takeoff Weight: 35,000 lb (15,876 kg)


  • Engines: 2 × Pratt & Whitney R-2800-79 Double Wasp radial engines
  • Power Output: 2,000 hp (1,491 kW) each


  • Maximum Speed: 355 mph (571 km/h) at 15,000 ft (4,572 m)
  • Cruise Speed: 284 mph (457 km/h)
  • Range: 1,400 mi (2,253 km) with 3,000 lbs (1,361 kg) bomb load
  • Service Ceiling: 22,100 ft (6,736 m)
  • Rate of Climb: 2,800 ft/min (14.2 m/s)


  • Guns:
    • 6 × 0.50 in (12.7 mm) Browning M2 machine guns (2 in nose, 2 in dorsal turret, 2 in ventral turret)
  • Bombs:
    • Up to 6,000 lbs (2,722 kg) of bombs internally, including various types of bombs and depth charges


  • Radio: SCR-522 or SCR-720 radio

Operational History

The A-26 Invader entered service in 1944 and saw action primarily in the European and Pacific theaters during World War II. It quickly gained a reputation for its speed, agility, and ability to deliver precision strikes against enemy targets. The A-26 was used for a wide range of missions, including low-level ground attacks, interdiction, and night intruder operations.

After World War II, the A-26 continued to serve with the USAAF and later the newly formed United States Air Force (USAF). It was extensively used during the Korean War for ground attack missions and night interdiction, where its speed and payload capacity proved valuable in attacking enemy positions.

In addition to its military service, the A-26 Invader was also used in various civilian roles, including firefighting and aerial surveying, highlighting its durability and adaptability beyond its original combat mission.

Overall, the A-26 Invader's combination of speed, firepower, and operational flexibility made it a highly effective and respected aircraft throughout its service life, earning its place as one of the most successful and enduring light bombers of the mid-20th century.

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A-26 Invader - A-26 - Douglas A-26 (2024)
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