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North American A-36 Apache

This was the dive-bomber version of the P-51 Mustang. The USAAF bought this version first, but full priority was later given to the fighter version, and no more than 500 A-36's were built. It was unofficially known as 'Invader'.

In June 1943, the plane went into action from North Africa. During the Italian campaign, A-36A pilots flew bomber escort and strafing missions as well as ground support bombing attacks. A-36As also served with the 311th Fighter Bomber Group in India. Dive brakes in the wings gave greater stability in a dive, but they were sometimes wired closed due to malfunctions. In 1944, AAF A-36As were replaced by P-51s and P-47s when experience showed that these high-altitude fighters, equipped with bomb racks, were more suitable for low-level missions than the A-36As.

 

General characteristics A-36A
Primary function Dive bomber
Power plant One Allison V-1710-F3R engine
Thrust 1,140 HP 850 kW
Wingspan 37 ft 11.29 m
Height 12.2 ft 3.72 m
Speed max. 392 mph 630 km/h
cruising 250 mph 402 km/h
Ceiling 30,020 ft 9,150 m
Range 435 miles 700 km
Armament 6x 12.7mm machine gun, 900 kg bombs
Crew One
Date deployed 1940
Unit cost $49,000
Number built No more than 500


Jirka Wagner

 

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