Role: Ground attack & light bomber
National Origin: United States
Manufacturer: Douglas Aircraft Company
First Flight: 1942
Primary User: US Army Air Forces, US Air Force, US Navy, French Air Force
Number Built: 2452
The Douglas A-26 Invader (designated B-26 between 1948 and 1965) is a United States twin-engined light bomber and attack aircraft that was built by Douglas Aircraft during World War II that also saw service during several of the Cold War’s major conflicts. A limited number of highly modified aircraft (designation A-26) served in combat until 1969.It was found to be a fast aircraft capable of carrying twice its specified bomb load. A range of guns could be fitted to produce a formidable ground-attack aircraft.
A re-designation of the type from A-26 to B-26 led to confusion with the Martin B-26 Marauder, which first flew in November 1940, some 20 months before the Douglas design’s maiden flight. Although both types were powered by the widely used Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp eighteen-cylinder, double-row radial engine, they were completely different and separate designs — the Martin bomber originated in 1939, with more than twice as many Marauders (nearly 5,300) produced in comparison to the Douglas design.