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.

Description

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.

Specifications

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)

Powerplant:

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

Performance:

  • 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)

Armament:

  • 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

Avionics:

  • 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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Do you have WWII memorabilia that you are not sure what to do with it? The children don't want it? Then let us help you preserve this history by donating these items to the Army Air Corps Library and Museum. We are accepting donations in the form of uniforms, medals, ribbons, patches, photos, memorabilia, papers, gear and equipment. We also accept monetary donations to support our operations and long term plans. This website is part of the Army Air Corps Library and Museum, and as a 501(c)(3) Non-profit, your qualifying donations are tax deductible.

Monetary Donation

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Historical Artifacts: We are looking for photos, documents and other types of artifacts including uniforms, medals, insignia, gear, manuals, and training material. We accept electronic/scans or originals of pictures and paper records. A General Order could be an award document that contains information on many servicemen. Special Orders may contain transfers or other information. Flight records, accident reports, maintenance logs, after action reports, pilot encounter reports, diaries and biorgraphies; all of these types of documents help us support or mission: preserving your history! Contact us today for instructions on sending us this material. Contact Today

VOLUNTEERING

Are you an AAC, AAF or USAF Veteran, family member, historian or WW2 enthusiast? We Need YOU! Contact us today to see how you can help the Army Air Corps Library and Museum, a Texas Not-For-Profit Corporation. We need your help! We are looking for volunteers that can help us with the following tasks. Typing and Transcriptionists: One of our big projects is extracting data from the thousands of documents we have and putting this data into a database where we can display the information on a website such as this one. We also need assistance with retyping unit history documents.

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