A-26 file photo [3472]

A-26 Invader

CountryUnited States
ManufacturerDouglas Aircraft Company
Primary RoleMedium Bomber
Maiden Flight10 July 1942


ww2dbaseThe A-26 Invader light bombers were delivered to the United States Army Air Force beginning in Aug 1943, and they entered combat on 19 Nov 1944 in Europe. They entered the Pacific War in Jan 1945. Although their service in WW2 was short, they were highly effective and was one of the finer aircraft developed during that period.

ww2dbaseIn 1949, the B-26 Marauder was retired from active service, and the A-26 Invader took over the designation of B-26. A small number were also employed by the United States Navy for utility use under the designations of JD-1, JD-1D, UB-26J, and DB-26J. B-26 Invader bombers were used by the US Air Force during the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Some were also seen during conflicts in Cuba and the Congo. After a long career, the last A-26 bomber was retired from service in 1972; it is now in the possession of the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC, United States.

ww2dbaseDuring the course of the design's production life, 2,452 were built.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: May 2007


MachineryTwo Pratt & Whitney R-2800-27 'Double Wasp' radial engines rated at 2,000hp each
Armament8x12.7mm M2 Browning machine guns in nose, 6x in wings, 2x in dorsal turret, 2x in ventral turret, up to 2,700kg of bombs internally, up to 900kg of bombs under wings
Span21.34 m
Length15.24 m
Height5.64 m
Wing Area50.00 m
Weight, Empty10,365 kg
Weight, Loaded12,519 kg
Weight, Maximum15,900 kg
Speed, Maximum570 km/h
Rate of Climb6.40 m/s
Service Ceiling6,700 m
Range, Normal2,300 km


Cockpit and instrument panel of an A-26 Invader aircraft, date unknownTwo crew members loading ammunition for their A-26 bomberA-26 Invader bomber taking off, 1944A-26 Invader aircraft in flight, Aug 1943-Jan 1947
See all 11 photographs of A-26 Invader Medium Bomber

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
20 Aug 2010 02:15:36 PM

The B-26 was a twin-engine bomber and flew for the first time on July 10,1942 at Mines field, that is now LAX or Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles, Calif. During its production life, the B-26 was built in many variants. Some models had a glass nose for a bombardier and a solid nose w/ six or eight fifty caliber machine guns the eight gun model carried 1,600rpg. The B-26 was also capable of carrying 20mm, 37mm and 75mm cannons. The crew was made up of pilot, bombardier and gunner, who controlled both the upper and bottom turrets, by remote control. During World War II each B-26 cost the US Government $242,595 Dollars. After WWII the B-26 continued to serve with the USAAF, and the new USAF, with (SAC) The Strategic Air Command and the Tatical Air Command during the postwar period. The B-26 served during the Korean War in both day and night missins, after Korea the B-26 continued to serve into the late 1960's. TWILIGHT OF A WARRIOR B-26's were used early in the Vietnam War by the U.S.during the 1960's, Providing air support bombing missions. After some of the aircraft crashed due to wing spar fatigue All B-26 aircraft were grounded, until a solution was found. ENTER THE B-26K COUNTER-INVADER On Mark Engineering, at Van Nuys, Calif. rebuilt the B-26 with more powerful engines, propellers, enlarged tail and rudder, wings with wing tip tanks and added pylons that could carry 8,000lbs of ordnance and 4,000lbs carried internally plus eight fifty caliber machine guns in the nose, gave the B-26 heavy firepower. The last mission flown by the B-26 was May 1970 the aircraft was to be retired after serving over three decades However, the aircraft continued to serve a few more years but most of them were scrapped. CIVILIAN LIFE Most of the B-26's were scrapped but, a few were sold surplus and found new jobs, as fire bombers and fast private executive aircraft, some have been restored as WWII Warbirds, on display at museums, and fly at air shows across the USA.
2. Jon Leszczynski says:
6 Jan 2015 07:15:02 AM

That's great Bill, but this article is about the A-26 Invader, not the B-26 Marauder. There is a separate article for that plane.
3. Commenter identity confirmed Alan Chanter says:
16 Apr 2016 08:49:38 AM

In 1948 the USAF redesignated A-26 aircraft as B-26 (not to be confused with the B-26 Marauder which was retired in the same year). During the Vietnam war, however, the USAF wanted to base B-26K Invaders in Thailand, but the Thai government did not want bombers operating from its country. The Americans simply changed the designation back to A-26A, an attack aircraft, which was acceptable to the Thai government.

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A-26 Invader Medium Bomber Photo Gallery
Cockpit and instrument panel of an A-26 Invader aircraft, date unknown
See all 11 photographs of A-26 Invader Medium Bomber

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