Friday, February 26, 2010

War Stories: The Douglas A26 Invader

As a long time enthusiast of historic military aircraft, I couldn't pass on a visit to the newly opened Lyon Air Museum on a recent trip to Southern California. Among the many excellent exhibits this WW2 vintage, Douglas A26 Invader light bomber stood out from the pack. The Invader mostly served in a ground attack role. It wasn't as pretty or as innovative as the iconic DeHavilland Mosquito from which it drew some inspiration but had great longevity. The US military retained the aircraft through the Korean and Vietnam wars and and was used by various airforces around the globe until the 1980s.

A26 Invader
Douglas A26 Invader beautifully restored and looking quite menacing with its black paint and shark's teeth nose.

A26 Poster
Poster from the exhibit. I'm not sure if you can see this but some of the forward firing machine guns were mounted in the cockpit by the co-pilot's (right seat) legs. Firing them must have been unbelievably noisy for the crew and the cabin would have become very hot and smoky.

Nose with bomb sight
Head on view of the plexiglass nose showing the famed Norden bomb site.

This particular aircraft survived 22 missions: its targets included three convoys and a train.


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Mad Dog said...

@Anonymous: Not yet but what am I supposed to do about your comment? When I click on your link I get a warning to say your site contains malware!