|This page is about the American fighter P-26A-34 M2. For other versions, see P-26 (Family).|
The P-26A-34 M2 Peashooter is a rank I American fighter with a battle rating of 1.0 (AB/RB) and 1.3 (SB). It has been in the game since the start of the Open Beta Test prior to Update 1.27.
The P-26A-34 M2 Peashooter is a reserve fighter for the American aviation tree. Americans are known to use the Boom and Zoom tactic and most people recommend to use that same tactic for this plane.
The P-26A-34 M2 Peashooter's armament differs from the other American reserve planes in that it carries a single 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine gun with 200 rounds in the place of one of the 7.62 mm machine guns. This is the same set up as the P-36A and F2A-1. The 12.7 mm is more powerful, takes longer to overheat, has a longer reload time, and has a slightly lower rate of fire than the 7.62 mm.
This plane is pretty manoeuvrable due to its small wings, and when you add the two 100 pound bombs it does not effect the manoeuvrability that much at all.
The speed however is pretty average for its rank, so you won't be breaking any speed records, but it is enough to survive long enough to get a few kills.
|Characteristics|| Max Speed
(km/h at 2,286 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run|
|Combat flaps||Take-off flaps||Landing flaps||Air brakes||Arrestor gear|
|Wings (km/h)||Gear (km/h)||Flaps (km/h)||Max Static G|
|Optimal velocities (km/h)|
|< 260||< 180||< 340||> 190|
|Optimal altitude||100% Engine power||WEP Engine power|
|1,829 m||600 hp||666 hp|
Survivability and armour
The P-26 is a typical mid-1930's design, and just like all the contemporaries (other Reserve fighters) does not have pilot armour, but is upgraded with self-sealing fuel tanks. Pilot, engine, and fuel is centrally located, but its simple design (no flaps and retractable gear) has less that could be damaged. Although a monoplane its speed is average to other Reserves, and do not dare turn fight. One major advantage is excellent visibility to easily spot threats in SB battles.
The P-26A-34 M2 is armed with:
- 1 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine gun, nose-mounted (200 rpg)
- 1 x 7.62 mm Browning machine gun, nose-mounted (500 rpg)
The P-26A-34 M2 can be outfitted with the following ordnance:
- Without load
- 2 x 100 lb AN-M30A1 bombs (200 lb total)
Usage in battles
Generally, to do well in the P-26 never, ever turn fight, as it has a huge turning radius compared to other reserves. Ideally practice "Boom & Zoom" tactics, that is climb above, dive in, attack, climb up again for a new attack. Also, use the "Stealth" ammunition belt, it is the hardest hitting belt for this aircraft and targets will not see where you are, giving you another second or two advantage. Yes, stealth is harder to use, but it's worth it. While a mediocre at best reserve fighter, it is a very good ground attacker carrying 2 x 100 lb AN-M30A1 bombs with 24.5 kg of TNT each, which is effective against even some Rank 3 tanks and Rank 2 ships.
A big plus to this P-26 variant is the .50 Cal M2 (12.7 mm) upgrade machine gun with 2.5x the penetration power making it much deadlier to targets (don't forget it will be on separate trigger).
Qualify the crew to "Expert", it is very cheap (1,000 SL), and put CrewXP to Pilot Vitality (resist injury) and Weapon Maintenance, good to take and give damage.
Study your opponents, this is critical on how to counter them as there is no single way to counter all targets. The Japanese Ki-10 and Soviet I-15 are this aircraft's greatest threats, if they get on your six evade like crazy and hope they overshoot (never turn); teammates are also very helpful. Bombs with 0.5 delay could work. Others like the German He 51 you could outrun them, but do not turn. With higher BR units you may be just able to outmanoeuvre, bust the best is constantly scan the sky for threats. Other rank 1 aircraft vary in threat level. Besides fighters, attacking bombers is a viable option, however, be mindful of defensive turrets as there are a few 12.7 mm machine guns and 20 mm cannons out there.
Manual Engine Control
|Not controllable|| Not controllable
Not auto controlled
| Not controllable
Not auto controlled
| Not controllable
Not auto controlled
|Separate|| Not controllable
|I||Fuselage repair||Radiator||Offensive 7 mm|
|II||Compressor||Airframe||New 7 mm MGs||Mk.41|
|III||Wings repair||Engine||Offensive 12 mm|
|IV||Engine injection||Cover||New 12 mm MGs|
Pros and cons
- Decently fast for its rank
- Good armament thanks to the use of a .50 calibre machine gun
- It is a monoplane reserve plane
- Turning is okay
- Not as manoeuvrable as other fighters at its rank
- Slower than some late biplanes
- No armour
- Poor dive characteristics
- Poor energy retention
- Slightly worse climb rate than most reserve aircraft
The Boeing P-26 Peashooter was a plane both ahead of its time and quickly made obsolete. First flown in 1932, the P-26 is the oldest plane in the game. It was one of the first all-metal monoplanes adopted into military service in 1933 (in comparison, the He 51 and Ki-10 entered service in 1935), making it one of the fastest fighters in the world at the time, but it suffered from poor flight performance and dangerous landing characteristics. However, as newer fighters entered service around the world, the P-26s advantages diminished and its disadvantages became vulnerabilities. By the time of World War Two, the P-26 was hopelessly obsolete.
The P-26 saw the of its combat serving in the Chinese Nationalist Air Force during the Second Sino-Japanese War, against Japanese Ki-10s, and notably A5Ms in some of the first all-metal monoplane dogfights. Although it performed admirably in the pursuit role (bomber interception), in air-to-air combat with Japanese fighters, the deficiencies of the model showed.
In US service, the P-26 had a similar record. During the Japanese invasion of the Philippines, the P-26s scored only a handful of air-to-air kills against Japanese attackers. On December 24, 1941, their crews burnt the remaining planes to prevent their capture. Of the one hundred and fifty-one built, only nine airworthy P-26s remained on Christmas 1941, a single squadron defending the Panama Canal Zone, which was removed from service shortly after.
Many problems were revealed when the P-26's operation began. Due to its narrow landing gear tread and a landing speed too fast for its time, the aircraft was prone to nose over. When this happened, the pilots often lost their lives, although the planes themselves were not seriously damaged. As a result, the fuselage spine fairing was redesigned. Its height was increased by 20 cm, and the reinforced structure could endure a load of more than 12 tons if hit. The 29th production P-26А was the first to obtain this enlarged fuselage spine fairing, and the planes already produced were modified directly on the front lines.
New wing flaps allowed the aircraft's landing speed to be reduced. The plane was also equipped, in the event of an emergency landing on water, with two inflatable sacks occupying the containers in the wing roots. Beginning at the 26th production aircraft, this equipment became standard for the P-26А, but it was not installed on the aircraft already produced. There is no documented evidence that this system was ever used for its intended purpose, but one aircraft crashed after the raft kit opened spontaneously during flight.
P-26Аs produced later had reinforced armament: one synchronous 7.62 mm Browning M1 machine gun to the left of the fuselage and one synchronous large-calibre 12.7 mm Browning M2.5 machine gun to the right. The magazine capacity of the large-calibre machine gun was 200 rounds.
A combined total of 111 machines of the P-26A variant were produced. The 20th Fighter Group was the first in the USAAC to be armed with Peashooters. It was followed by two more: the 1st Fighter Group based in Selfridge, Michigan, and the 17th Fighter Group at March Air Force Base, California. At various times, P-26s were operated in 22 USAAC fighter squadrons.
Peashooters were flown by many pilots who later occupied high positions in the USAAF and then in the USAF, including Henry Harley "Hap" Arnold, future Commander-in-Chief of the USAF.
- Related development
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:
- topic on the official game forum;
- encyclopedia page on the aircraft;
- other literature.
|Fighters||P-26A-33 · P-26A-34 M2 · P-26B-35|
|Bombers||B-17E · B-17E/L · B-17G-60-VE|
|▂Tu-4* · ␗Tu-4*|
|*Unlicensed Reverse-Engineered B-29|
|Attack||AH-64A · AH-64D|
|Export / Licensed||AH-64A Peten · ▄WAH-64D · ▅AH-64DJP|
|See Also||Tupolev Design Bureau · Westland Helicopters · Fuji Heavy Industries|
|P-26 Peashooter||P-26A-33 · P-26A-34 · P-26A-34 M2 · P-26B-35|
|P-36 Hawk||P-36A · Rasmussen's P-36A · P-36C · P-36G|
|P-39 Airacobra||P-400 · P-39N-0 · P-39Q-5|
|P-40||P-40C · P-40E-1 · P-40F-10|
|P-47 Thunderbolt||P-47D-22 RE · P-47D-25 · P-47D-28 · P-47M-1-RE · ⋠P-47M-1-RE · P-47N-15|
|P-51 Mustang||P-51 · P-51A (Thunder League) · P-51C-10 · P-51D-5 · P-51D-10 · P-51D-20-NA · P-51D-30 · P-51H-5-NA|
|P-63 Kingcobra||P-63A-5 · P-63A-10 · P-63C-5 · ␠Kingcobra|
|F2A Buffalo||F2A-1 · Thach's F2A-1 · F2A-3|
|F3F||F3F-2 · Galer's F3F-2|
|F4F Wildcat||F4F-3 · F4F-4|
|F4U Corsair||F4U-1A · F4U-1A (USMC) · F4U-1D · F4U-1C · F4U-4 · F4U-4B · F4U-4B VMF-214|
|F6F Hellcat||F6F-5 · F6F-5N|
|F8F Bearcat||F8F-1 · F8F-1B|
|Other countries||▃Ki-43-II · ▃Ki-61-Ib · ▃A6M2 · ▃Bf 109 F-4 · ▃Fw 190 A-8 · ▃Spitfire LF Mk IXc|