|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/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. The majority of American fighters are most effective when using boom and zoom tactics, and the P-26A-34 M2 is no different.
The P-26A-34 M2 Peashooter differs from the other two P-26s 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 on the later P-36A and F3F-2. The 12.7 mm is much more powerful, takes longer to overheat, has a longer reload time, and has a slightly lower rate of fire than the 7.62 mm.
The P-26 possesses great manoeuvrability for a monoplane thanks to its small wings and low weight. However, its reserve counterparts are biplanes, which are much more manoeuvrable than it. Outturning monoplanes is almost always possible, but outturning biplanes is usually out of the question.
The P-26 is soundly average speed-wise, with many of the reserve biplanes outpacing it. It is still capable of catching some of the slower reserve fighters and many slow low-tier bombers.
|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 its contemporaries (other reserve fighters), it does not have pilot armour. However, it is upgraded with self-sealing fuel tanks. The pilot, engine, and fuel are centrally located, but its simple design (no flaps and retractable gear) means that the P-26 has fewer critical components that can be damaged or disabled. One major advantage is excellent visibility to easily spot threats in SB battles.
Modifications and economy
Qualify the crew to "Expert," as it is very cheap (1,000 SL). Put crew points to Pilot Vitality and Weapon Maintenance.
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)
Both of the P-26's guns are mounted in the nose, preventing gun convergence issues and allowing accurate fire at all ranges.
The P-26A-34 M2 is notably better than the other two P-26s thanks to the addition of a M2 Browning 12.7 mm machine gun. The 12.7 mm Browning becomes the standard armament of American fighters, so learning its ballistics early is advantageous. The 12.7 mm Browning on the P-26A-34 M2 is only able to use the "early" set of belts, which consist mostly of less-effective armour-piercing rounds instead of the incendiary rounds that make the 12.7 mm on later aircraft so powerful. Despite the inferior belt options, it still represents a huge upgrade over the 7.62 mm Browning, which has very poor damage output. The 12.7 mm MG is also very effective in head-on engagements.
The best belt for the 12.7 mm is likely either Universal (if you need tracers) or Stealth (if you can aim without tracers or in Arcade Battles). Default is also viable, although it contains a mostly-useless ball round. These belts have M1 incendiary bullets in them, which translates to a higher chance to cause fire, which is where most of the damage will come from when using machine guns.
The best belt for the 7.62 mm is Universal or Stealth, as both contain a good mix of AP rounds (best damage with rifle-calibre machine guns) and incendiary rounds (a little bit of fire chance).
The P-26A-34 M2 can be outfitted with the following ordnance:
- Without load
- 2 x 100 lb AN-M30A1 bombs (200 lb total)
The P-26 can mount two 100 lb bombs which drop together. These bombs can be used to decent effect against light ground targets, such as AI artillery and player-controlled open-topped tanks. The bombs are pretty weak, and therefore a direct hit will be needed to destroy harder targets such as tanks.
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 - climb above, dive in, attack, and 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. Stealth is harder to use, but it is 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 major asset for this P-26 variant is the .50 cal M2 (12.7 mm) upgrade machine gun with 2.5 x the penetration power, making it much deadlier to targets (don't forget it will be on a separate trigger).
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 try to get them to overshoot (never turn); teammates will be essential in this process. Bombs with a 0.5 second delay could work. Other fighters like the German He 51 can be outran, but do not try to turnfight them. With higher BR units, you may be just able to outmanoeuvre, but 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
Pros and cons
- Decently fast for its rank
- Good armament thanks to the use of a .50 calibre machine gun
- Not as manoeuvrable as other fighters at its rank
- No armour
- Poor dive characteristics
- Poor energy retention
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 one of the oldest planes 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 majority 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-26A 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-26A, 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-26As 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 .50 cal 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
|Fighters||P-26A-33 · P-26A-34 M2 · P-26B-35|
|Bombers||B-17E · B-17E/L · B-17G-60-VE|
|Export||P-26A-34 · B-17G|
|Attack||AH-64A · AH-64D|
|Export / Licensed||AH-64A (GR) · ▃AH-64A Peten · AH-64A Peten · ▅AH-64DJP · ▄AH Mk.1 · AHS|
|See Also||Tupolev Design Bureau · Westland Helicopters · Fuji Heavy Industries|
|For Boeing-built ships, see Boeing Marine Branch|
|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-36C · P-36G|
|P-39 Airacobra||P-400 · P-39N-0 · P-39Q-5|
|P-40||P-40C · P-40E-1 · P-40E-1 TD · 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 · F2G-1|
|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|