Douglas A/B-26 Invader

Development - Smith Aircraft Corporation

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L.B. Smith, Florida conversions

L.B. Smith Aircraft Corp. Miami, Florida
Founded in 1947 at Miami Intl. Airport by company president L.B. Smith, it quickly became one of the foremost aircraft conversion, overhaul and modification centers in the United States. They did executive aircraft interiors for many types from the Douglas DC-3 to the Lockheed Jetstar. Their most famous conversions were the ex-military Douglas A-26 Invaders as the Smith Tempo I / II executive transports and the Curtiss C-46 Commando which became the Smith "Super 46". Seven or more C-82 Packets were briefly acquired by L.B. Smith in 1955 where they were de-militarised for civilian service in Latin America. L.B. Smith was closely associated with a similar company called Aerodex Inc., who were a CAA approved aircraft repair station.

Based in Miami, Florida, this company specialized in conversions of the C-46 as well as producing airliner interior components. The company decided to completely reengineer the Invader and replaced both spars with ring spars built of aluminum. This also saw the increase of the wing center section which moved the engines on each side 20 inches from the cabin to reduce noise. The aircraft, like the On Marks, received DC-6 wheels and brakes, new canopy and cockpit, lengthened nose, rebuilt fuselage, and numerous other modifications. Named the Biscayne-26, it is thought that only one aircraft was built before the company decided to start with a clean sheet of paper. The new aircraft would have a completely new and much larger fuselage that would also be pressurized. Two variants were to be built, the Tempo I (unpressurized) and the Tempo II (all the bells and whistles). The Tempo II was ten feet longer than a standard Invader and had a 28-foot cabin that could accommodate up to 13 passengers. Every thing else on the first aircraft was completely modernized and it was a beast, making its first flight as N4204A during October 1959. Price was $375,000 but it appears only one was built and it eventually went to the University of Nevada and was lost over the Sierras when it came apart.

Smith Biscayne 26
Smith Super 26
Smith Tempo I
- unpressurized.
Smith Tempo II - pressurized.

The first of these conversions was known as the Super 26. It was fitted with wingtip fuel tanks and had executive accommodations, but was otherwise similar to the basic Invader. Later conversions included the Smith Tempo series. The Smith Tempo I was powered by R-2800 B-series engines and had an unpressurized fuselage. The Smith Tempo II had R-2800 C-series engines and was equipped with full cabin pressurization. Both versions featured wingtip tanks and a new 9 foot 7.5 inch extension on the fuselage that could accommodate from ten to 13 passengers.