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Douglas A-26C Invader

IMPORTANT UPDATE:

The aircraft was recently ground taxied and tested via aborted take runs for brake and systems checks.

Estimates for total restoration to 10:10 condition have ranged form $150k to $300k depending on specifications. 

 

 

 

The Douglas A-26 Invader (designated B-26 between 1948 and 1965) is a twin-engined light bomber and ground attack aircraft built by Douglas Aircraft Company during World War II, which 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 twice its specified bomb load. A range of guns could be fitted to produce a formidable ground-attack aircraft.

Designed by Ed Heinemann, Robert Donovan, and Ted R. Smith, the high-performance Invader utilised the innovative NACA 65-215 laminar flow wing and 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 problems with engine cooling led to cowling changes and elimination of the propeller spinners on production aircraft.

The A-26 was originally built in two different configurations. The A-26B had a gun nose, which originally could be equipped with a combination of armament including .50 caliber machine guns, 20mm or 37mm auto cannon, or even a 75mm pack howitzer (which was never used operationally). Normally the gun nose version housed six (or later eight) .50 caliber machine guns, officially termed the "all-purpose nose", later commonly known as the "six-gun nose" or "eight-gun nose". The A-26C's "glass" nose, officially termed the "Bombardier nose", contained a Norden bombsight for medium altitude precision bombing. The A-26C nose section included two fixed M-2 guns, later replaced by underwing gun packs or internal guns in the wings.

After about 1,570 production aircraft, three guns were installed in each wing, coinciding with the introduction of the "eight-gun nose" for A-26Bs, giving some configurations as many as 14 .50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns in a fixed forward mount. An A-26C nose section could be exchanged for an A-26B nose section, or vice versa, in a few man-hours, thus physically (and officially) changing the designation and operational role. The "flat-topped" canopy was changed in late 1944 after about 820 production aircraft, to a clamshell style with greatly improved visibility.

Alongside the pilot in an A-26, a crew member typically served as navigator and gun loader for the pilot-operated nose guns. In an A-26C, that crew member served as navigator and bombardier, and relocated to the nose section for the bombing phase of an operation. A small number of A-26Cs were fitted with dual flight controls, some parts of which could be disabled in flight to allow limited access to the nose section. A tractor-style "jump seat" was located behind the "navigator's seat." In most missions, a third crew member in the rear gunner's compartment operated the remotely controlled dorsal and ventral gun turrets, with access to and from the cockpit possible via the bomb bay only when that was empty.

Model: A-26C

 

Serial: 44-35898

Manufactured: 1944

Construction No: 29177

Civil Registrations:
 

N3328G

CF-PGP

C-FPGP

VH-VNI

 

History

This airframe was the 100th last A-26 built. Built in Tulsa.

 

Was bailed by the USAF to MIT as a radar and electronic trials aircraft. It actually flew the first fully ground guided intercept as a trial for the SAGE system for North America. After that it was purchased by Lear Corporation [Bill Lear's company] and was used to test various aviation avionics. Bill's son, John, acquired her and actually raced it at the Reno Air Races in 1968. A few years later she was the second A-26 [B-26] to join Air Spray in Red Deer Canada as a fire bomber until I bought it in 2006.

 

  • Lear Inc., Santa Monica, CA, 1961-1964 - Registered as N3328G.

  • Lear Siegler Inc, Santa Monica, CA, 1966.

  • Aerospace Modifications, Coatsville, PA, 1969 - Flew as race #76.

  • Air Spray Ltd, Edmonton, Alberta, July 1971-1976 - Registered as CF-PGP - Flown as tanker #2.

  • Air Spray Ltd, Red Deer, Alberta, 1976-2003 - Registered as C-FPGP - Flown as tanker #2

  • Randal W McFarlane, Archerfield Airport, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, 2006-2007 - Ferried to Australia, October 2006.

Airframe Hours: 4202.7

 

Engine Times

 

Engine #1 FPO 43174 = total time 717.6 hours

Engine #2 FPO 91492 = total time 342.2 hours

 

Prop #1 RRB 2936 = Total time 284.9 hours

Prop #2 RRD 8785 = Total time 284.9 hours

 

These times are those prior to engine and prop work performed in 2014.

Receipt for prop overhaul in 2014:

The unique feature of this aircraft is that it has dual controls which was not common on the A26. 

Offers in excess of: $180,000 Australian Dollars

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