Douglas A/B-26 Invader

Production - Military














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Military Variants - Technical Data, main page

 

During World War II, General "Hap" Arnold is reported to have remarked

"We cannot have more A-26's although we have plenty of fuselages, but not enough wings. We could have more wings if we had more spars, but we cannot build more spars due to difficult output of machinery. We might be able to build more wings if we were able to get more machinery, but whether we will be able to get more machinery I was unable to determine, and nobody could give me the answer".

"One thing is certain: I want the A-26 for use in this war and not for the next."

 

Production history in brief

  • The production of the Invader began first at the Long Beach plant. The solid-nosed B was actually the first off the production line. The first of five A-26B-1-DL Invaders appeared in September of 1943.
  • A new all-purpose nose was installed beginning with the A-26B-10-DL. Initially, the USAAF was undecided about what armament this version should carry. As originally planned, it was expected that the A-26B would be fitted with a variety of alternate solid nose sections, and that one deemed to be the best would be selected. At the end of 1944, the USAAF decided that the solid-nosed A-26B would have six machine guns with 400 rounds per gun. The guns in the two turrets had 500 rounds each.
  • The first 500 Invaders (up to A-26B-40-DL) were built at Long Beach. A parallel production line was established at Tulsa, Okla. for 500 aircraft ordered on March 17, 1943. The first Tulsa-built A-26B-DTs appeared in January of 1944. Of the Tulsa-built Invaders, 205 were delivered as A-26Bs with the rest being built as A-26Cs with glazed noses.
  • Although both the Long Beach and Tulsa plants had started building both Invader versions, it was decided in late 1944 that this inefficient arrangement needed to be changed. It was decided that the Long Beach plant would build only A-26Bs and the Tulsa plant would build only C versions. The Long Beach plant stopped producing A-26Cs after only five were built.
  • During production, a number of improvements were introduced on the line. The oil cooler inlets on the wing leading edge were redesigned. The dorsal turret was modified to eliminate empennage buffeting. Initial combat reports from the field had complained about poor visibility from the cockpit, especially to the side. In order to improve visibility, the original flat-topped cockpit canopy which opened upward on the right side of the cockpit was replaced by a bulbous raised canopy opening in clamshell-fashion in two frameless elements around hinges on both sides of the pilot's cockpit. The new canopy enabled the pilot to see over both engine nacelles and towards the tail surfaces as well as to check whether both main landing wheels were down. This new canopy was introduced as standard equipment beginning with the A-26B-30-DL block.
  • Beginning with the A-26B-45-DL block, the engines were switched to Ford-built R-2800-79 with water injection, raising the war emergency power to 2350 hp.
  • The forward-firing armament of the early A-26B was found to be insufficient, especially in the Pacific theatre. Beginning with the A-26B-50-DL production block, a new eight-gun nose was fitted, and six internally-mounted 0.50-inch guns were mounted in the outer wing panels so that bombs or rockets could be carried underneath the wings. However, the eight-gun nose and the internal wing guns were often retrofitted to earlier A-26B versions, so the presence of these features cannot be used as a positive identification feature.
  • In aircraft destined for service in the Pacific (-51-DL, -56-DL, -61-DL, and -66-DL), the remotely-controlled ventral turret was replaced by a 125-US gallon auxiliary tank for extra range.
  • A total of 1150 A-26Bs were built at Long Beach (A-26B-1-DL to A-26B-66-DL) and an additional 205 were built at Tulsa (A-26B-5-DT to A-26B-25-DT). Production of the A-26B ended at Long Beach in September 1945, when the end of the war resulted in the cancellation of further contracts. Production of the B at Tulsa had ceased at the end of 1944, when the decision was made that the Oklahoma plant would concentrate solely on the transparent-nosed A-26C version.
  • In June 1948, the A-26B was redesignated B-26B. There was no danger of confusion with the Martin B-26 Marauder, since that aircraft was by that time out of service. 
     
  • The A-26C was originally put in production in parallel with the solid-nosed B in both the Long Beach and Tulsa plants. Only five A-26Cs left the Long Beach production line before production of the C terminated there with the restructured production arrangement.
  •  The modifications introduced on the A-26B were also introduced on the A-26C line. The clamshell canopy appeared beginning with the A-26C-30-DT block. The water-injected R-2800-79 engines, wing panels with internally-mounted guns, increased tank capacity, and provision for underwing rockets were introduced on the production line with the A-26C-45-DT block.
  • A total of 1091 A-26Cs were built, 1086 of them were built by Tulsa (A-26C-16-DT to A-26C-55-DT) and 5 by Long Beach (A-26C-1-DL and A-26C-2-DL). Invader production ended at Tulsa in August 1945, with the cancellation of all A-26C contracts.

In June 1948, the A-26C was redesignated B-26C. 


A-26 Invader Monthly Acceptances (1942-1945)

 
 
 
Military production in detail

Douglas A-26B Invader
Production

 
  • A-26B-1: (5 aircraft)
Similar to the prototype, except for more  bombload (6,000 lb/2.722 kg) 
Increased fuel capacity (1,332 Imp gal/1,600 US gal/6.057 l)
Powered by 2 Pratt & Whitney R-2800-27 Double Wasp radials, rated at 2,000 hp (1.491 kW) each
 
  • A-26B-5: (30 aircraft)
Without the camouflage
Armed with 1 75 mm cannon in the nose plus 2 0.50 in (12,7 mm) machine guns on the left.
 
  • A-26B-10: (55 aircraft)
6 0.50 in (12,7 mm) guns in the nose
2  0.50 in (12,7 mm) in each of the wing barbettes.
 
  • A-26B-15: (142 aircraft)
8 0.50 in (12,7 mm) guns in the nose
2  0.50 in (12,7 mm) in each of the barbettes
4 additional gun packs mounted on the underwing hardpoints, each with 2 0.50 in (12,7 mm) guns.
 
  • A-26B-16: (2 aircraft), no further specific information
  • A-26B-20: (153 aircraft), no further specific information
  • A-26B-25: (63 aircraft), no further specific information
  • A-26B-30: (75 aircraft), new devised cockpit canopy, to improve sideview from the cockpit.
  • A-26B-35: (75 aircraft), no further specific information
  • A-26B-40: (100 aircraft), no further specific information
  • A-26B-45: (120 aircraft), Powered by 2 Pratt & Whitney R-2800-79 Double Wasp water injected radials, rated at 2,000 hp (1.491 kW) each, 
    with war emergency power of 2,350 hp (1.752 kW).
  • A-26B-50: (109 aircraft) Gun armament revised to 8 0.50 in (12,7 mm) fixed forward firing in the nose 6 0.50 in (12,7 mm) in the leading edges of the wings in stead of gun packs.
Because the nose and outer wing panels were interchangeable with the original units, upgrades were simple. Therefor a lot of older versions could easily and were upgraded to the A-26B-50 armament standard.
 
  • A-26B-51: (6 aircraft) 
    Ventral barbette dropped for an additional fuel tank with 258.1 Imp 
    gal (310 US gal/1.173 l)
  • A-26B-55: (121 aircraft), no further specific information
  • A-26B-56: (19 aircraft) Ventral barbette dropped for an additional fuel tank with 258.1 Imp gal (310 US gal/1.173 l)
  • A-26B-60: (34 aircraft), no further specific information
  • A-26B-61: (110 aircraft) Ventral barbette dropped for an additional fuel tank with 258.1 
    Imp gal (310 US gal/1.173 l)
  • A-26B-66: (136 aircraft) Ventral barbette was dropped for an additional fuel tank with 258.1 
    Imp gal (310 US gal/1.173 l)
 
Total number built: 1,357 

 
 
 
 
Douglas Long Beach, California (DL)
 

41-39100 / 41-39151

6813 / 6864

 

 

41-39153 / 41-39192

6866 / 6905

 

 

41-39194

6907

 

 

41-39196 / 41-39198

6909 / 6911

 

 

41-39201 / 41-39599

6914 / 7312

 

 

44-34098 / 44-34585

27377 / 27864

 

 

44-34587 / 44-34753

27866 / 28032

1150

 

44-34754 / 44-34775
- Contract cancelled, many
completed and sold on
civil market.

28033 / 28054

 

 

44-34777 / 44-35197
- Contract cancelled, many
completed and sold on
civil market.

28056 / 28476

 

 

 

 

Douglas Tulsa, Oklahoma (DT)

43-22252 / 43-22303

18399 / 18450

 

 

43-22305 / 43-22307

18452 / 18454

 

 

43-22313 / 43-22345

18460 / 18492

 

 

43-22350 / 43-22466

18497 / 18613

DE  -  Douglas Aircraft Co. El Segundo, California ( Prototype )

elsegundo.jpg

 

 

DT  -  Douglas Aircraft Co. Tulsa, Oklahoma

tulsa.jpg

douglasissue.jpg

 
 
 
DL  -  Douglas Aircraft Co. Long Beach, California

longbeach.jpg

 
 
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papercutting.jpg

Douglas A-26C Invader
Production

 
  • Glazed nose Invader, for bombing purposes.
  • Duplicate controls
  • 2 0.50 in (12,7 mm) fixed forward firing guns. 
The production blocks for the A-26C are identical to the blocks of the A-26B:
  • A-26C-1: (1 aircraft), for further specific info see the A-26B entry above.
  • A-26C-2: (4 aircraft), for further specific info see the A-26B entry above.
  • A-26C-5: (30 aircraft), for further specific info see the A-26B entry above.
  • A-26C-15: (27 aircraft), for further specific info see the A-26B entry  above.
  • A-26C-16: (10 aircraft), no further specific information
  • A-26C-20: (71 aircraft), no further specific information
  • A-26C-25: (187 aircraft), no further specific information
  • A-26C-30: (160 aircraft), for further specific info see the A-26B entry  above.
  • A-26C-35: (200 aircraft), no further specific information
  • A-26C-40: (97 aircraft), no further specific information
  • A-26C-45: (127 aircraft), for further specific info see the A-26B entry  above.
  • A-26C-50: (155 aircraft), for further specific info see the A-26B entry above.
  • A-26C-55: (52 aircraft), no further specific information
 
Number built: 1,091
 

Douglas Long Beach, California (DL)
 

41-39152, 41-39193

6865, 6906

41-39195, 41-39199

6908, 6912

41-39200

6913

5

Douglas Tulsa, Oklahoma (DT)

43-22304

18451

43-22308 / 43-22312

18455 / 18459

43-22346 / 43-22349

18493 / 18496

43-22467 / 43-22751

18614 / 18898

44-35198 / 44-35562

28477 / 28841

44-35564 / 44-35947

28843 / 29226

44-35948 / 44-35952
- All completed and
sold on the civil market.

29227 / 29231

44-35953

29232

44-35954
- Cancelled before
completion.

29233

44-35955

29234

44-35956
- Completed, sold
on civil market.

29235

44-35957 / 44-35996

29236 / 29275

1086

Total: 1091

44-35997 / 44-36797
- Contract cancelled, some
aircraft completed then
scrapped.

29276 / 30076

44-36798 / 44-37996
- Contract cancelled.

JD-1 Invader

1No - A-26B
1No - A-26C
1945, prototypes for US Navy testing.
Assigned BuNo. 57990, 57991.
 
A-26C
1945, US Navy target towing / utility duty conversions.
Assigned BuNo. 77139 / 77224, 80621, 80622 - all these undelivered
or ex. RAF airframes, 89072 / 89081, 140326 / 140377.

B-26K Counter Invader

 
18 No B-26B
22 No B-26C


  • 64-17640 - ex A-26C 44-35896 To civil N267G then N2294B.
    Preserved at South Dakota Air and Space Museum, Ellsworth AFB, SD.
  • 64-17641 - ex A-26C 44-35322 Shot down 29/12/1967.
  • 64-17642 - ex A-26C 44-35435 MIA 27/08/1967, Northern Loas.
  • 64-17643 - ex A-26C 44-35392 w/o 24/07/1966.
  • 64-17644 - ex A-26C 44-35451 To Congo 1964-1967 as SF644, then FR-644. To SEA 1967 To South Vietnam 1969.
  • 64-17645 - ex A-26C 44-35546 To Congo 1964-1966 as RF-645, then FR-645. To SEA 1967. To South Vietnam 1969.
  • 64-17646 - ex A-26C 44-35375 To Congo 1964-1967 as RF-646, then FR-647. To Vietnam , crashed 08/07/1969.
  • 64-17647 - ex A-26C 44-35904 To Davis-Monthan 1972.
  • 64-17648 - ex A-26B 43-22732 Shot down 30/04/1968.
  • 64-17649 - ex A-26B 43-22720 To Congo 1965-1966 as FR-649.
    To SEA 1967. To Davis-Monthan 1969, reclaimed 1972.
  • 64-17650 - ex A-26C 44-35766 Shot down 28/06/1966.
  • 64-17651 - ex A-26B 44-34119 To SEA 1967. To Davis-Monthan 1969. Preserved at Seoul Museum, Korea.
  • 64-17652 - ex A-26B 44-34361 To SEA 1968. To South Vietnam 1969.
  • 64-17653 - ex A-26B 41-39378 To SEA 1968. To Davis-Monthan 1969. Preserved at Pima County Air Museum, Tucson, AZ.
  • 64-17654 - ex A-26B 41-39491 To SEA 1967. To South Vietnam 1969.
  • 64-17655 - ex A-26B 44-34184 To Davis-Monthan 1972.
  • 64-17656 - ex A-26C 44-35847 w/o 16/12/1964, Eglin Range.
  • 64-17657 - ex A-26C 43-22649 To civil N62104, then N99218.
  • 64-17658 - ex A-26C 44-35865 To Davis-Monthan 1972.
  • 64-17659 - ex A-26B 41-39564    w/o 18/08/1965.
  • 64-17660 - ex A-26C 44-35608 To SEA 1966. To Davis-Monthan 1969, reclaimed 1972.
  • 64-17661 - ex A-26C 44-35433 To SEA 1967. To Davis-Monthan 1969, reclaimed 1972.
  • 64-17662 - ex A-26C 44-35458 To Congo 1965-1967 as FR-662, then FM-662.
    To SEA 1967, MIA 22/08/1967, Northern Laos.
  • 64-17663 - ex A-26B 41-39462 w/o 23/04/1965.
  • 64-17664 - ex A-26C 43-22665    To SEA 1966. To 1 ACO WG England.
    To Davis-Monthan, reclaimed 1972.
  • 64-17665 - ex A-26B 44-34145 To SEA 1966. To Davis-Monthan 1969, reclaimed 1972.
  • 64-17666 - ex A-26C 44-35483 To SEA 1968. Preserved at Hurlburt Field Museum, FL.
  • 64-17667 - ex A-26C 44-35468 To SEA 1966, shot down 23/03/1969.
  • 64-17668 - ex A-26B 44-34652 To SEA 1966, shot down 22/02/1967.
  • 64-17669 - ex A-26B 44-34606 To SEA 1966, hit by 64-17668 when it was shot down.
    64-17670 - ex A-26C 44-35634 To SEA 1968. To Davis-Monthan 1969, reclaimed 1972.
  • 64-17671 - ex A-26C 44-35820 To SEA 1966. To Florence Space Museum, South Carolina, later scrapped for spare parts.
  • 64-17672 - ex A-26C 44-35251 To SEA 1966, shot down 14/12/1966 Thai-Laos border.
  • 64-17673 - ex A-26B 44-34135 To SEA 1966, crashed 11/03/1069.
  • 64-17674 - ex A-26B 41-39573    w/o 01/01/1969.
  • 64-17675 - ex A-26B 44-34173 To SEA 1966. To Davis-Monthan 1969.
  • 64-17676 - ex A-26B 41-39596 To SEA 1966. To 1ACO WG England.
    To Davis Monthan 1969. To civil N268G, G-GXTF, then N22939.
    Preserved at USAF Museum, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH.
  • 64-17677 - ex A-26B 44-34108 To SEA 1967. To South Vietnam.
  • 64-17678 - ex A-26C 44-35205 To SEA 1966. To Davis-Monthan 1969, reclaimed 1973.
  • 64-17679 - ex A-26B 44-34198 To civil N269G, C-GXTG, then N4988N.

 
















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