The Boeing P-26A-33 Peashooter, is an American monoplane fighter. As one of three American reserve planes, it is available to the player immediately. It is distinct as the first all-metal monoplane to enter United States Army Air Corps service.
Design & DevelopmentEdit
A single-seat, all-metal braced monoplane fighter with an open cockpit and retractable landing gear in its fairings. It was designed by the design office of the Boeing Company. The XP-936 (Model 248) prototype made its first flight on 20 March 1932. The aircraft was accepted for service with the USAAC under the designation of P-26А. Full-scale production was started at the Boeing plant in Seattle in December 1933. The first production P-26А (Model 266) got off the ground in January 1934.
The P-26А had a 550 hp Pratt & Whitney R-1340-27 nine-cylinder, air-cooled engine equipped with a Hamilton Standard two-bladed, controllable-pitch metal propeller.
The P-26А's armament consisted of two synchronous 7.62 mm Browning M1 machine guns with 500 rounds each. The machine guns were mounted below the forward fuselage, and they fired through the arc of the spinning propeller. A C-3 gun sight was fitted in front of the cockpit. A G-4 gun camera could be installed over the right wing's centre section.
Under the centre wing sections, an A-3 bomb rack that could carry either two 100 lb (45 kg) high-explosive bombs or five 30 lb (14 kg) fragmentation bombs could be mounted.
Externally, production P-26Аs differed from prototype machines in their wing panels with elliptical tips and short landing gear fairings. Changes were introduced into the wing design, and a radio set was installed. An antenna mast was mounted on the starboard side, in front of the cockpit.
Operational History Edit
The first P-26А fighters were transferred to the 20th Fighter Group located at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. The P-26 was nicknamed the Peashooter by pilots.
Operational pilots praised the fighter's great flight characteristics, such as its rate of climb and excellent maneuverability. Pilot complaints included poor forward visibility during taxiing and takeoff, as well as by landing difficulties. Taxiing out to the start line in the S-curve became a standard Peashooter maneuver to reduce the takeoff accident rate.
In game use & Tactics Edit
- The P-26A-33 is one of the weaker P-26 models ingame, only being armed with twin 7.62mm machine guns. The plane has an average top speed for a reserve aircraft, and being an all-metal aircraft, tends to take a few more hits than the other reserves. The main downside to this aircraft is that it is a monoplane, and therefore gets outturned by the other reserve aeroplanes, which are biplanes. This generally limits you to boom and zoom tactics, and keeping out of turnfights against other reserves. However, it has good maneuverability against higher tier monoplanes, so turnfighting is an option against it's more advanced opponents.
Unlike it's reserved biplane counterparts, the P-26A is not good at turning, like most american aircrafts. The P-26A, in a "V" formation, is very effective, mainly because by the time they turn away, the next wave can strike the opponent.