|A-26 Invader (Warbird Depot)|
"Most excellent aircraft indeed. Almost as cool as the Douglas A-26."Okay sure. So this week, the A-26 Invader. And yes, Murph, it is pretty cool looking. Especially that example above, owned by the (ahem) Commemorative Air Force. (Which had a different name in the days before
|Note the Open Cockpit Hatches|
(and the guy in the nose, obviously about to have too much fun)
Douglas A-26 Invader
The Douglas A-26 Invader (designated B-26 between 1948–1965) was a United States twin-engine light bomber and attack aircraft built by Douglas Aircraft during World War II that also saw service during several of the Cold War's major conflicts. A limited number of highly modified aircraft (designation A-26 restored) served in combat until 1969.Back in the day, when I was a lad, our local airport somehow managed to come into possession of two of these aircraft. If you will remember, I come from a very small town. The local airport has a runway, a hangar, some sheds and an office. It is very small and typically unmanned. We discovered this about the same time we discovered the two A-26s parked on the tarmac.
It was found to be a fast aircraft capable of carrying twice its specified bomb load. A range of guns could be fitted to produce a formidable ground-attack aircraft.
The redesignation of the type from A-26 to B-26 has led to popular confusion with the Martin B-26 Marauder, a design that first flew in November 1940, some 16 months before the Douglas design's maiden flight. Although both types utilized the much-used Pratt & Whitney Double Wasp eighteen-cylinder, double-row engine, they are completely different designs. The last A-26 in active US service was assigned to the Air National Guard; that aircraft was retired from military service in 1972 by the US Air Force and the National Guard Bureau and donated to the National Air and Space Museum.
We also discovered how to get into the "secured" aircraft (for we were clever lads who really, really liked military aircraft). So many were the days we would ride our bicycles way out to North Springfield, climb into the Invader, and pretend to fly combat missions over Europe.
Until the day someone was actually working at the airport and came out to chase us off. We left, chastised and disheartened at riding all that way, but resolved to return the next Saturday. Which we did.
Damn. Someone padlocked the aircraft. No more pretend flying for you!
Ah well, fun while it lasted. But as you may imagine, the A-26 remains a fond memory for this Old AF Sarge. Oh yes it does.
Of course, we need to see the bird in the air to truly appreciate it!
(To see more great military videos, visit Zeno's Warbirds. Good stuff!)
|The A-26, a Classic|
|Going into Harm's Way|
|"Hard to Get"|
|Eight .50 Cals will certainly get your attention!|
The A-26 (renamed the B-26 as noted above) also saw action in Southeast Asia.
|All Bombed Up and "Good to Go"|
The A-26. Good idea Murph!
My apologies for the lateness of this post. I have been, shall we say, busy.