The P-26A was the first all-metal monoplane fighter produced for the U.S. Army Air Corps, affectionately called the "Peashooter" by its pilots.* It was the last Army Air Corps pursuit aircraft accepted with an open cockpit, a fixed undercarriage, and an externally braced wing. Significantly faster in level flight than previous fighters, the P-26A's relatively high landing speed caused the introduction of landing flaps to reduce this speed.
[* The appellation came from the weapons aiming device located on the engine housing in front of the cockpit. A familiar shape for those having a bean or pea shooter during their childhood. Dates one, doesn't it? (grin)]
Boeing initially designed the P-26 in 1931, designating it first as Model 248 and in December 1931 as the XP-936. The company provided three test airframes, which remained Boeing property, with the frugal Air corps providing the engines, instruments, and other equipment. The first flight occurred on March 20, 1932. the Army Air Corps purchased the three prototypes and designated tham as Y1P-26s. The Air Corps purchased a total of 111 of the production version, designating them as P-26A, and 25 of later -B and -C models.
Span: 27 ft. 11.5 in.
Length: 23 ft. 10 in.
Height: 10 ft. 5 in.
Weight: 2,197 lbs. empty/2,955 lbs. (max.)
Armament: Two fixed .30 caliber machine guns or one .50 and one .30 caliber machine gun; up to 200 lbs. of bombs
Engine: Pratt and Whitney R1340-27 of 600 hp.
Max. speed: 234 mph/203 knots
Cruising speed: 199 mph./172 knots
Range: 360 statute miles/313 nautical miles
Service ceiling: 27,400 ft.
--The Peashooter on display at the USAF Air Museum. (3/4 front view).
--In flight - 9 aircraft formation--20th Fighter Group
This aircraft information is from the USAF Museum Archives.
The Museum has a P-26A on display in the Early Years Gallery