This is the oldest flying Invader, the 130th one produced, being accepted in Aug, 1944, at Long Beach, CA. It was flown to Great Dunmow, England arriving 20 Sep, 1944. It was assigned to the 9th AF, 410th BG and began combat operations in early 1945. The 410th was initially assigned 4 A-26’s. Each squadron was given one acft. They were painted completely black and initially used as night interdiction aircraft ranging all over Germany.
Our aircraft is currently painted in 13th AF markings although this aircraft never saw service in Korea.
After WWII it was flown to Hobbs, NM and stored. After some refurbishment it was assigned to a USAF Reserve unit for three years. It was declared surplus and sold in 1958. After serving as a radio research aircraft for Texas Instruments in Dallas it was sold to Bill Dempsey in Kansas and used as a fire bomber. Tanker 105 was rarely flown and was eventually sold. It was later seized by DEA for drug running. It was purchased at auction and donated to the CAF. After some time with the Panhandle (Texas) Wing it was transferred to the Nevada wing in Las Vegas. After some restoration it was transferred to the A-26 Sponsorship Group and returned to flight status. In 1999 it was relocated to OKC. It has since been a regular on the airshow circuit. Currently it is the only operating A-26 in stock configuration with operable bomb bay doors.
The A-26 Invader (B-26 between 1948-1965) was a US twin-engined medium attack bomber built by Douglas during World War II that also saw service during several of the Cold War’s major conflicts. It served in the USAF in combat thru November 1969.
It was designed as a single-pilot aircraft and the first medium bomber to incorporate a laminar flow wing similar to the P-51 Mustang. This wing design coupled with the large engines resulted in the fastest medium bomber of WWII. The aircraft was designed by Edward Heinemann, Robert Donovan and Ted R. Smith.
The A-26 was built in two versions, the “B” had a “solid” nose, which normally housed six (or later eight) .50 cal guns, augmented by four underwing twin gun packs or six internal guns in the wings. The A-26C’s glass nose had two fixed .50 caliber guns a Norden bombsight. Later versions carried rockets and bombs under the wings. With 14 forward firing .50 cal guns and 6,000# of ordnance it was a fearsome attack acft. It has been referred to as the original A-10. A gunner was stationed in the rear compartment and operated the remotely controlled dorsal and ventral gun turrets.
The B-26 became a prolific participant in Korea. It carried out the first US bombing mission of the Korean War on 29 June 1950. B-26s were credited with destroying 38,500 vehicles, 406 locomotives, 3,700 rail cars & 7 enemy acft. It also completed the last US bombing mission of the war 24 minutes before the cease-fire went into effect on 27 Jun 1953.
The Invader also flew in USAF service in Vietnam thru Nov 1969 as a very effective ground attack acft.
|Registration Number||Date of Manufacture|
|Douglas A-26B Invader||70 feet|
|Overall length:||Empty weight:|
|50 feet 9 inches||22,370 pounds|
|Gross weight:||Fuel capacity:|
|35,000 pounds||800 gallons|
|Oil capacity||Engine type:|
|60 gallons||Two 2000 hp Pratt & Whitney R2800-79 radial piston engines|
|Propeller type:||Max Speed|
|Hamilton Standard 3 blade||365 mph|
|Rate of Climb||Cruise Speed|
|2,100 fpm||270 mph|
|Service Ceiling||Number of Crew|
|22,100 feet||Single pilot,|
|Six 12.7 mm machine guns nose, two 12.7 mm machine guns turrets||6000 pounds|
|Number Built||Number Surviving|
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