From War Thunder Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Rank VII | Premium | Golden Eagles
Challenger DS Pack
GarageImage XA-38.jpg
Purchase:2 980 Specs-Card-Eagle.png
Show in game


In 1942, the U.S. Army was looking for a suitable aircraft to replace the Douglas A-20 Havoc. Beech Aircraft Corporation would be given a contract to build two Model 28 "Destroyer" prototypes. Later given the designation XA-38 "Grizzly", it was originally intended to be a bomber hunter until the Army wanted a capable ground-attack aircraft. To attack well-armoured targets like bunkers and tanks, the Grizzly was fitted with a 75 mm cannon mounted directly into the nose. The Grizzly was also given two twin .50 cal turrets, one mounted on the top and one mounted in the belly to provide defensive fire. Although the Grizzly was favourable in test flights, it unfortunately fizzled out as the Wright R-3350 engines were needed for the B-29 program.

The XA-38 Grizzly was introduced in Update 1.71 "New E.R.A." as a premium strike aircraft. It is a strong aircraft against ground targets thanks to its 75 mm cannon and bombs. The 75 mm cannon is able to penetrate up to 104 mm of armour which is more than enough to penetrate the sides and engine decks of many ground vehicles. Although the Grizzly has turrets, it's an easy target for enemy fighters; especially when the rear crewman is knocked out. The XA-38 Grizzly is an interesting plane that can be incredibly dangerous in ground battles.

General info

Flight performance

Max speed
at 4 573 m616 km/h
Turn time28 s
Max altitude8 000 m
Engine2 х Wright R-3350-43
Cooling systemAir
Take-off weight15 t
Characteristics Max Speed
(km/h at 4,573 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
Stock 595 574 8000 29.2 30.1 8.7 8.7 700
Upgraded 638 616 26.9 28.0 14.6 11.4


Combat flaps Take-off flaps Landing flaps Air brakes Arrestor gear
Wings (km/h) Gear (km/h) Flaps (km/h) Max Static G
Combat Take-off Landing + -
714 350 333 325 280 ~7 ~3
Optimal velocities (km/h)
Ailerons Rudder Elevators Radiator
< 360 < 270 < 400 > 390

Survivability and armour

Crew2 people
Speed of destruction
Structural714 km/h
Gear350 km/h
  • 9.5 mm steel - in front of the cockpit
  • 7 mm steel - sides of the cockpit
  • 7 mm steel - below the cockpit
  • 12.7 mm steel - pilot's seat
  • 38 mm bulletproof glass - in front of the pilot (inside the cockpit)
  • 7 mm steel - below the rear gunner
  • 9.5 mm steel - aft of rear gunner
  • 38 mm bulletproof glass - aft of rear gunner (inside aircraft)

Modifications and economy

Repair cost
AB1 272 Sl icon.png
RB1 772 Sl icon.png
SB3 917 Sl icon.png
Crew training10 000 Sl icon.png
Experts250 000 Sl icon.png
Aces820 Ge icon.png
Research Aces870 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
Talisman.png 2 × 90 / 160 / 490 % Sl icon.png
Talisman.png 2 × 160 / 160 / 160 % Rp icon.png
Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
Mods aerodinamic fuse.png
Fuselage repair
Mods radiator.png
Mods armor frame.png
Mods compressor.png
Mods aerodinamic wing.png
Wings repair
Mods new engine.png
Mods armor cover.png
Mods metanol.png
Engine injection
Mods engine extinguisher.png
Mods ammo.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods ammo.png
Mod arrow 1.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods weapon.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
Mod arrow 1.png
Mods ammo.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods weapon.png
Mods turret gun.png
Mods pilon bomb.png


Offensive armament

Weapon 175 mm M10 cannon
Ammunition20 rounds
Fire rate27 shots/min
Ammunition1 000 rounds
Fire rate750 shots/min

The XA-38 is armed with:

  • 1 x 75 mm M10 cannon, nose-mounted (20 rpg)
  • 2 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine guns, chin-mounted (500 rpg = 1,000 total)

Suspended armament

List of setups (3)
Setup 14 x 100 lb AN-M30A1 bomb
Setup 24 x 250 lb AN-M57 bomb
Setup 34 x 500 lb AN-M64A1 bomb

The XA-38 can be outfitted with the following ordnance:

  • Without load
  • 4 x 100 lb AN-M30A1 bombs (400 lb total)
  • 4 x 250 lb AN-M57 bombs (1,000 lb total)
  • 4 x 500 lb AN-M64A1 bombs (2,000 lb total)

Defensive armament

Ammunition1000 rounds
Fire rate750 shots/min
Main article: M2 Browning (12.7 mm)

The XA-38 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

When flying the XA-38 Grizzly, do note it can be used as either an interceptor (bomber hunter) or a ground attack/close air support aircraft. It's best to fire your machine guns or your 75 mm cannon separately as they both aim differently.

Bomber Hunter

Thanks to its air spawn and impressive top speed, the XA-38 Grizzly can be used as a bomber hunter. The ammo of choice when dealing with enemy bombers is HEI-T: 1 single hit from this shell will destroy any airframe. The well-armoured cockpit also means the pilot will be well protected from the defensive armament of any bomber it attacks. However, the XA-38 is one of the larger targets a bomber can shoot back at, and the unprotected engines can easily be set on fire or disabled entirely. You'll also be prey to any enemy fighters or interceptors that choose to take advantage of your new role. This is less of an issue when hunting bombers at low altitude, as you can often take out a bomber and retreat before the enemy fighters can respond.

Ground Attack/Close Air Support

The XA-38 is a great plane for ground pounding. The 75 mm cannon AP-T can reliably destroy pillboxes, medium tanks and light tanks, while the HEI-T can destroy any thinly armoured vehicles. The option to carry 4x 500 lbs bombs also gives some extra opportunities for killing targets, although these are wing-mounted bombs, which are not only inaccurate but also hamper your speed somewhat. In Air RB, these bombs often work best to eliminate AA and armoured cars at the back of tank convoys, clearing any potential anti-aircraft fire before engaging the tanks.

The Grizzly is a fast aircraft, and this should be used to your advantage. Dive in fast and escape fast and you can effectively dodge AA fire, as well as outrun some enemy fighters at low speed, especially when top tier. Also, the .50 cal gun turrets can be used to strafe ground targets after your first pass, although it's recommended to load the armoured target or universal belts to ensure maximum damage. These guns are quite accurate, have a good rate of fire, and can eliminate light tanks and light pillboxes.

The drawbacks to the Grizzly come with its main armament. The 75 mm gun, while immensely powerful, has a very slow rate of fire, meaning you're only likely to get two shots maximum at a target before you pass over it. Also, while it can kill light pillboxes, it might take multiple hits, which can be a waste of ammo since the gun only has 20 shells total. Don't be afraid to use your machine guns in addition to the cannon when targeting pillboxes. These MGs, while effective, are also lacking. There are only two of them, and they carry mid-war belts, meaning they don't pack as much punch as a lot of the 12.7 mm MGs on a lot of American fighter-bombers at this same tier. Thankfully, they are nose-mounted, meaning they're very accurate even at long ranges.

Finally, the Grizzly can be an easy target for low-altitude interception. The fuselage is a large target compared to single-engined planes, and only having one, very exposed gunner means you can lose your defensive armament immediately when attacked from above. Use your good speed and decent turn time to avoid shots and spray interceptors with the .50 cal guns to ward them off. Also, avoid head-ons. While the 75 mm might be tempting as a one-shot-machine, its poor rate of fire and long-range accuracy makes it useless in head-on engagements against the many cannon-armed fighters you face at this tier. Your MGs also won't be much help since there are only two of them. Keep fighters behind or away from you and use your gunners' excellent firing arcs and ammo counts to ward off opponents.

Manual Engine Control

MEC elements
Mixer Pitch Radiator Supercharger Turbocharger
Oil Water Type
Controllable Controllable
Not auto controlled
Auto control available
Auto control available
Separate Controllable
2 gears
Not controllable

Pros and cons


  • Good survivability
    • Protected from every angle of attack by two .50 calibre machine gun turrets
    • Can tank quite a bit of damage
    • Reasonably fast for an attack aircraft
    • Reasonably manoeuvrable
  • Devastating main armament
    • Incredible destructive capabilities of the 75 mm HEI-T shells, will decimate any aerial targets upon contact
    • Fantastic anti-armour capabilities with the AP-T shells. The AP-T shells carry characteristics of APHE shells, minimizing the number of hits on a selected target to destroy them
    • 75 mm M10 cannon is effective at close range
    • Cannon can penetrate destroyers and the lightly armoured sections of cruisers
  • Can use the two forward-firing .50 calibre machine guns vs. fighter aircraft and light targets
  • Faster attack aircraft, especially in RB. It can often outrun enemy fighters in a straight line


  • Poor flight performance
    • Terrible manoeuvrability at low speeds
    • Bad climb rate
    • Cannot turn without bleeding too much speed
    • Will red-line and compress at ~690-700 km/h (~429-435 mph)
  • A single crew member operates the two defensive turrets: you will lose all defensive capabilities if the turret operator is knocked out
  • Main armament difficult to master
    • 75 mm M10 cannon lacks accuracy for long-range shooting
    • Low muzzle velocity, causing massive shell drop-off
    • Limited cannon ammunition (20 rounds)
  • Only two .50 calibre machine guns


In December of 1942, the USAAF gave Beech Aircraft Corporation a contract to construct 2 prototypes of their Model 28 Destroyer. The Model 28 started off as a bomber design, but was changed to a ground attack aircraft, in order to replace the A-20 Havoc in service. The design included a 75 mm cannon in order to ensure the plane could destroy armoured bunkers and tanks. 20 rounds were carried for the 75 mm cannon. There were also two .50 in Browning machine guns in the nose. There was a ventral and dorsal turret for self defense, with two .50 in Browning machine guns in each. The aircraft carried a crew of two, the pilot and the gunner. The gunner controlled both defensive turrets by remote control, using periscopes to aim. The Model 28, redesignated as the XA-38 Grizzly, started testing in 1944. It was proven to be reliable, and flew well in all regards for an attack aircraft. In addition, the armament was especially powerful and potent. However, the aircraft was never ordered, and never entered service.



See also

Similar aircraft fitted with a large-calibre gun

External links

Beechcraft Aircraft Corporation
Attacker  XA-38

USA strike aircraft
Douglas  A-20G-25 · A-26B-10 · A-26B-50 · A2D-1 · AD-2 · AD-4 · A-1H
North American  A-36 · PBJ-1H · PBJ-1J
Other  AM-1 · AU-1 · XA-38

USA premium aircraft
Fighters  Thach's F2A-1 · Galer's F3F-2 · F2G-1 · F4U-4B VMF-214 · P-26A-34 · P-40C · P-43A-1
  P-47M-1-RE · ⋠P-47M-1-RE · P-51A · P-51D-10 · P-51D-20-NA · ␠Kingcobra · XP-55
  ▃A6M2 · ▃Ki-43-II · ▃Ki-61-Ib · ▃Bf 109 F-4 · ▃Fw 190 A-8 · ▃Spitfire LF Mk IXc
Twin-engine fighters  XP-38G · Bong's P-38J-15 · P-38K · YP-38 · P-61A-11 · XF5F · XP-50 · F7F-3
Jet fighters  P-59A · F-86F-35 · F-89B · F-89D · F-4S Phantom II · F-5C · F-20A
Strike aircraft  A-1H · A2D-1 · AU-1 · XA-38 · AV-8A · A-6E TRAM · A-10A
Bombers  A-26C-45DT · B-10B · BTD-1 · PBM-3 "Mariner" · PV-2D