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Douglas A-26 Invader "1942"

The Douglas A-26 Invader (designated B-26 between 1948 and 1965) is an American twin-engined light bomber and ground attack aircraft. Built by Douglas Aircraft Company during World War II

Douglas: A-26 Invader "1942"

RoleGround attack
Light bomber
ManufacturerDouglas Aircraft Company
First flight10 July 1942
Retired1980 Colombian Air Force[1]
Primary usersUnited States Army Air Forces
United States Air Force
United States Navy
French Air Force
Number built2,503[2]
VariantsOn Mark Executive, Marketeer, and Marksman


McDonnell/Douglas

The Douglas A-26 Invader (designated B-26 between 1948 and 1965) is an American twin-engined light bomber.

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Douglas
A-26 Invader

The Douglas A-26 Invader (designated B-26 between 1948 and 1965) is an American twin-engined light bomber and ground attack aircraft. Built by Douglas Aircraft Company during World War II, the Invader also saw service during several major Cold War conflicts. A limited number of highly modified United States Air Force aircraft served in Southeast Asia until 1969. It was a fast aircraft capable of carrying a large bomb load. A range of guns could be fitted to produce a formidable ground-attack aircraft.[3]

A re-designation of the type from A-26 to B-26 led to confusion with the Martin B-26 Marauder, which first flew in November 1940, some 20 months before the Douglas design’s maiden flight. Although both aircraft were powered by the widely used Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp eighteen-cylinder, double-row radial engine, they were completely different and separate designs – the Martin bomber originated in 1939, with more than twice as many Marauders (nearly 5,300) produced in comparison to the Douglas design.

Operational History

 

The A-26 was Douglas Aircraft’s successor to the A-20 (DB-7) Havoc, also known as Douglas Boston, one of the most successful and widely operated types flown by Allied air forces in World War II.

Designed by Ed Heinemann, Robert Donovan, and Ted R. Smith,[4] the innovative NACA 65-215 laminar flow airfoil wing of the A-26 was the work of project aerodynamicist A.M.O. Smith.[5][6]

The Douglas XA-26 prototype (AAC Ser. No. 41-19504) first flew on 10 July 1942 at Mines Field, El Segundo, with test pilot Benny Howard at the controls. Flight tests revealed excellent performance and handling, but engine cooling problems led to cowling changes and elimination of the propeller spinners on production aircraft. Repeated collapses during testing led to reinforcement of the nose landing gear.

The early A-26 versions were built in two configurations.

Operators

Turkey

Turkish Air Force

United Kingdom

Royal Air Force
Three A-26s were evaluated by the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment in 1944–45. While it was planned for Britain to acquire 140 Invaders under Lend-Lease, these plans were abandoned in April 1945, owing to the imminent end to the war in Europe.[7]

United States

United States Army Air Forces
United States Air Force
United States Navy 
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Douglas A-26 Invader "Bomber"

Of the 250 fully assembled aircraft built by Saab, the majority were bought by private fliers. Including the 212 Pakistani CKD or locally built aircraft, a total of 462 versions of the Safari were produced. The Royal Norwegian Air Force purchased their Safaris in 1981. Today 16 of the aircraft are stationed at Bardufoss Air Station.

A variant with a stretched wing made of composite materials, the MFI-18, was tested during the 1980s in Sweden. Also fitted with provision for skis, this version never went into production. The supporter was also used as a highly efficient COIN aircraft, Experience with the earlier MFI 9B Minicom during the Biafran Civil War encouraged Saab to develop the Supporter as a close support aircraft carrying an assortment of underwing stores including rockets and gun pods.

Douglas A-26: Specifications

  • Crew: 3
  • Length: 50 ft (15 m)
  • Wingspan: 70 ft (21 m)
  • Height: 18 ft 6 in (5.64 m)
  • Empty weight: 22,370 lb (10,147 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 35,000 lb (15,876 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney R-2800-71 Double Wasp or -27s, or -79s 18-cylinder air-cooled two-row radial piston engines.
  • Maximum speed: 359 mph (578 km/h, 312 kn) at 16,700 ft (5,100 m) (normal rated power)
  • Cruise speed: 266 mph (428 km/h, 231 kn) at 5,000 ft (1,500 m) 
  • Range: 1,600 mi (2,600 km, 1,400 nmi) without ferry tank at 5,000 ft (1,500 m) at 206 mph (179 kn; 332 km/h)
  • Service ceiling: 28,500 ft (8,700 m) ; 14,400 ft (4,400 m) on one engine
  • Time to altitude: 10,000 ft (3,000 m) in 8 minutes 6 seconds

Guns:6 or 8 0.50 in (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns in solid, “all purpose” nose: 
Rockets: Up to 10 5-inch (12.7 cm) HVAR rockets on “zero length” launch pylons, five under each outer wing panel
Bombs: Up to 6,000 lb (2,700 kg) capacity – 4,000 lb (1,800 kg) in the bomb bay plus 2,000 lb (910 kg) carried externally on underwing hardpoints

Aircrafttoaal encyclopedia

A significant conversion was the Rock Island Monarch 26, while less numerous and more basic conversions for executive operations were carried out by Wold Engineering, LB Smith Aircraft Corp., R. G. LeTourneau Inc, Rhodes-Berry Company [N 2] and Lockheed Aircraft Service Inc.[10][51] Garrett AiResearch used two A-26 variants as testbeds for turbine engines; see also XA-26F above