|This page is about the gift American bomber A-26C-45. For other versions, see A-26 (Family).
- 1 Description
- 2 General info
- 3 Armaments
- 4 Usage in battles
- 5 History
- 6 Media
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
The A-26C-45 Invader is a gift rank IV American bomber with a battle rating of 5.3 (AB/RB) and 5.7 (SB). It has been in the game since the start of the Open Beta Test prior to Update 1.27. The plane was given away during the 2013 "Memorial Day" event, the 2013 "Indian Summer" event, and the 2016 "War Thunder Mastermind Quiz" mini-event.
With speed, manoeuvrability and a large hitting power the A-26 should not be taken lightly. The plane has cruising speed of which all piston engine bombers dream of and is currently unmatched in the game. Reaching a maximum speed of 569 km/h the Invader is significantly faster than the comparable Tu-2. This speed allows the A-26 to strike targets deep in enemy territory and early on better than any other aircraft (excluding the jets). It also has a 4,000 lb payload with a variety of load-outs, making it very versatile in its role, allowing it to attack many different targets with great efficiency. To add to this, it has eight Browning M2 .50 cal machine guns to attack soft targets and the unfortunate fighter if you have the chance. Unlike the Mosquito the A-26 has defensive gunners and decent ones at that. With 2 x twin M2 MG remote turrets it allows for very accurate and deadly fire.
A modified version of the A-26 capable of carrying HVAR rockets, the A-26C-45DT, has since been added as a PlayStation 4 exclusive vehicle obtained by buying a pack.
| Max Speed
(km/h at 4,573 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run
|Max Static G
|Optimal velocities (km/h)
Survivability and armour
- 12.7 mm Steel - Nose plate
- 8 mm Steel - Under engine armour plate (each nacelle)
- 8 mm Steel - Fore wing root armour plate (each wing)
- 12.7 mm Steel - Fore/aft nacelle fuel protection plates x 2 (each nacelle)
- 12.7 mm Steel - Fore cockpit armour plate
- 9.5 mm Steel - Cockpit tub
- 9 mm Steel - Pilot/co-pilot's seat backs
- 12.7 mm Steel - Gunner aft armour plate
- 12.7 mm Steel - Gunner lower armour plate
- 12.7 mm Steel - Aircraft tail armour plate
- 60 mm Bulletproof glass - Pilot
Modifications and economy
The A-26C-45 is armed with:
- 2 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine guns, nose-mounted (400 rpg = 800 total)
- 6 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine guns, wing-mounted (300 rpg = 1,800 total)
The A-26C-45 can be outfitted with the following ordnance:
- 20 x 100 lb AN-M30A1 bombs (2,000 lb total)
- 10 x 500 lb AN-M64A1 bombs (5,000 lb total)
- 4 x 1,000 lb AN-M65A1 bombs (4,000 lb total)
- 2 x 2,000 lb AN-M66A2 bombs (4,000 lb total)
The A-26C-45 is defended by:
- 2 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine guns, dorsal turret (500 rpg = 1,000 total)
- 2 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine guns, ventral turret (500 rpg = 1,000 total)
Usage in battles
Use the A-26 to deliver fast tactic strikes. In the first minutes of the game plan your route and decide on your key targets, the basics you want to include are:
- Focus on large amounts of Heavy/ medium targets
- Stay away from the main dogfights
- Follow paths that don't cross the normal enemy climb routes
- Utilize terrain as cover where ever possible
The best targets to choose are the "heavy" or "medium" targets at the far sides of the map or away from the main routes taken by the enemy. This is because they have a distinctive effect on the battle but also give large rewards post-game allowing for quick research/ progression with the advantage of you being to strike more targets before the fighters arrive. On your approach you want to the air spawn to gain speed in a dive then stay low. By staying low you take advantage of the spotting system at you become harder to spot and gain a marker (because if you do, your 60% dead). It also allows you to be masked by the terrain.
The payloads allow for attacks against many targets with great efficiency. Each bomb load has its preferred target type to create the most damage which is noted as follows:
- 8 x 500 lb- Best for attacking medium to heavy ground targets, destroy the easier, stationary, pillboxes where possible over tanks
- 4 x 1,000 lb- Best for anti-shipping, specifically cruisers and battleships (Carriers are too armoured* and destroyers or Cargo ships would be overkill)
- 2 x 2,000 lb- Best for carriers and bombing points.
The stock payload is 20 x 100 lb bombs. To make use of these, drop 2-3 bombs at a time on a medium armoured target however move onto the higher payloads when possible. A tip for bombing in the A-26 is to release half a second before the crosshairs move over the target. This is to compensate for the bomb doors opening then the bombs being released. However, you can also use these to hit soft targets if you so want to.
- Carriers can be knocked out however accuracy is needed. Firstly take note of there the island is (the tower) while from a safe distance. Then manoeuvre in to a path that will be adjacent to the carrier and with the island facing you. Release two 1,000 lb bombs into the island and it should kill the carrier.
- As a high-speed attacker/bomber, the A-26 gets in and out of target zone without being spotted at best. It can serve as a good entry plane to understand and train jet-bomber tactics.
Manual Engine Control
Auto control available
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
Pros and cons
- Currently the fastest twin piston-engine bomber/attacker in the game
- Excellent rate of climb for a plane its size
- Wing mounted .50 cal machine guns allow for strafing of soft ground targets
- Capable of outrunning some enemy aircraft at sea level
- Payload efficient (max 4,000 lbs) to deal with most objectives
- Gunners vulnerable to getting knocked out
- Difficult to manoeuvre at high speeds
- Low service ceiling makes high altitude bombing discouraging
In the mid 1930s, Douglas Aircraft analysed contemporaries like the Do 17 and Blenheim, making them gamble on a fast, versatile, and manoeuvrable bomber. The resulting world leading DB-7, A-20 attacker/bomber paid off in immediate orders from France and England if not initially from USA. A great start, the pace of aircraft innovation only accelerated and Douglas knew its world leading design would soon be outdated. Work began on a new design.
Master engineer Edward Heinemann reassembled a team of Robert Donovan and Ted R. Smith from the A-20 program. Most important was aerodynamicist Apollo M.O. Smith who chose the innovative NACA 65-215 laminar flow airfoil that promised better top speed. Laminar Flow was still a radical technology at the time, the yet unproven Mustang Mk 1 was the only production aircraft using the technology. To make this high speed wing also fly slowly for safe landing, a double-slotted flaps system was created, the first production aircraft to use what is now common in all modern jet liners. The wing also had a relatively high aspect ratio for long range performance.
Design features from the breakthrough A-20 design were carried into the A-26. It is easy to spot the family resemblance of the nose gear, high wing, straight fuselage, and dihedral wing and tail. The easily replaceable nose unit, either a solid nose unit or the glass bombardier's unit, was also carried over, the latter used a Norden M-9 bombsight. The engines were also upgraded to the much more powerful Pratt & Whitney R-2800-27 Double Wasp fourteen-cylinder, double-row, radial air-cooled engines. Armaments were now standardized as the Colt-Browning AN/M2 .50 cal machine guns offensively mounted in all versions' noses. All models had space in wing for ammo belts feeding up to four dual gun pods mounted underneath the wing. Versatility was a key point and many other armament options were made, including large cannons and wing-mounted bombs and rockets. A-26's could even carry two torpedoes, however there is no evidence it was ever used operationally. Another key feature was the General Electric remote control turret top and bottom of the attacker, both controlled by a single crewman using a periscope sighting system (a year ahead of a similar system created by the Germans).
The ХА-26 prototype made its first flight on July 10, 1942. Mass production began in September 1943. Parallel production lines started in Douglas, Long Beach (code DL) making the solid nose A-26B, and Douglas, Tulsa making the bombardier nose A-26C (but both could be easily swapped in less than an hour). A total of 2,503 were built.
While praised by the pilots at home, its first trial by fire in May 1944 over New Guinea was less enthusiastic mainly due to limited downward view and other issues soured the Pacific crews. Less than 4 months later, missions in Europe received a completely different response where as a low altitude level bomber it excelled at its operation and easily countered defending Luftwaffe with strong defences or high speed. Over this time, upgrades to the design came about, including a new canopy that improved pilot view with the А-26C-30-DT, and integrating six .50 machine guns into the wings starting with the А-26B-50-DL and А-26C-55-DT.
After WW2 ended only the A-26 was kept in active service, its performance securing its usefulness, but the designation changed to B-26 (causing confusion with the name of the retired B-26 Marauder). When the Korean war started in 1950 the underappreciated attacker suddenly became vital again, heavily employed in day and night attacks against North Korean forces. Conflict did not end with Korea, so the B-26 was now needed elsewhere, but quirk of political nuance forced the name back to the original A-26 so they could be sold to Thailand.
In short, with continuing conflicts and numerous upgrades the A-26 was actively used decades after it first flew, with the last known military mission in 1977.
It was not done with "combat" missions then; however, being actively used to fight wildfires that ravaged parts of the US, Canada, and Australia, immortalized by the 1989 film "Always".
Douglas A-26C-45-DT Invader twin-engine medium bomber/ground-attack aircraft
An all-metal monoplane with a retractable landing gear system including a nosewheel. The crew consisted of three people.
The plane was designed in the design bureau of Douglas Aircraft Company under the direction of Edward Heinemann and Robert Donovan. The XA-26 prototype made its first flight on July 10, 1942. Mass production began in September 1943.
The A-26C variant was a medium bomber with a glazed navigator's cockpit in the nose section. The navigator's cockpit had a Norden M-9 bombsight for medium-altitude precision bombing.
A-26C bombers were equipped with two 2,000 hp Pratt & Whitney R-2800-27 Double Wasp fourteen-cylinder, double-row, radial air-cooled engines.
The aircraft's armament consisted of two fixed 12.7 mm Colt-Browning ANM2.5 machine guns in the forward fuselage and two remote-controlled turret mounts housing twin 12.7 mm Colt-Browning ANM2.5 machine guns with 500 rounds each.
The turrets were located above and below the fuselage. The upper turret was able to turn 360 degrees and, if needed, fire forward.
The A-26C could carry up to 4,000 lb (1,814 kg) of bombs loaded inside. The maximum bomb capacity of the aircraft was 5,000 lb (2,271 kg).
The A-26 was criticized by its operational pilots for poor visibility from the pilot's cockpit, and so, beginning with the A-26C-30-DT series, it obtained a new pilot's cockpit canopy.
Beginning with the A-26C-45-DT series, the aircraft had Pratt & Whitney R-2800-79 engines with a methanol-water injection system, six wing-mounted 12.7 mm Colt-Browning ANM2.5 machine guns, and enlarged fuel tanks. Also, the plane could have unguided rockets suspended under its wings.
The A-26's first combat mission took place in May 1944 over New Guinea. In September 1944, the aircraft entered service with the USAAF units in Britain, and in January 1945, in Italy. Beginning in July 1945, A-26 aircraft were used in action in China and on the Japanese Ryukyu Islands.
Europe became the main theatre of war for the A-26. With a flight speed comparable to that of the German interceptors and with its strong defensive armament, the A-26 could operate without any fighter cover. Its powerful engines and good wing flap system made it exceptionally manoeuvrable. The A-26 Invader was certainly the most advanced bomber in its class by the end of the war.
A total of 1,091 A-26C bombers were factory-built, including five in Long Beach, California and 1,086 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. All of the aircraft that rolled off the production line at Long Beach had the code DL, while the machines made at Tulsa were designated DT.
- Related development
- Douglas A-20 Havoc
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- [Vehicle Profile] Douglas A-26C
- Official data sheet - more details about the performance
- [Forum] A-26C-45 Invader - Official Thread
- AAF Manual 51-126-1 - Pilot Training Manual for the Invader A-26
|Douglas Aircraft Company
|A-20G-25 · A-26B-10 · A-26B-50 · AD-2 · AD-4 · A-1H
|TBD-1 · B-18A · SBD-3 · BTD-1 · A-26C-45 · A-26C-45DT
|F3D-1 · F4D-1
|A-4B · A-4E Early
|▄Havoc Mk I · ▄Boston Mk I · ▄DB-7 · ▂A-20G-30 · ▄AD-4 · ▄AD-4NA
|A-4H · A-4E Early (M) · Ayit · A-4E
|The Douglas Aircraft Company merged with McDonnell Aircraft Corporation in 1967 to form McDonnell Douglas.
|SB2U-2 · SB2U-3 · SBD-3 · SB2C-1C · SB2C-4
|TBD-1 · PBY-5 Catalina · PBY-5A Catalina · TBF-1C · BTD-1
|B-10B · B-18A · B-34 · PV-2D · B-25J-1 · B-25J-20 · A-26C-45 · A-26C-45DT · B-26B
|B-17E · B-17E/L · B-17G-60-VE · PB4Y-2 · B-24D-25-CO · B-29A-BN
|OS2U-1 · OS2U-3 · PBM-1 "Mariner" · PBM-3 "Mariner"