A beautiful new aircraft from Tony Ray; the P-26A Peashooter is the latest from the ever-growing Tony Ray's aeromodel available today at Steve Webb Models, ServoShop!
The Boeing P-26 "Peashooter" was the first American production all-metal fighter aircraft and the first pursuit monoplane to enter squadron service with the United States Army Air Corps. Designed and built by Boeing, the prototype first flew in 1932, and the type was still in use with the U.S. Army Air Corps as late as 1941 in the Philippines.
There are two surviving Peashooters, but there are three reproductions on display with two more under construction.
The project funded by Boeing to produce the Boeing Model 248 began in September 1931, with the US Army Air Corps supplying the engines and the instruments. The open cockpit, fixed landing gear, externally braced wing design was the last such design procured by the USAAC as a fighter. The Model 248 had a high landing speed, which caused a number of accidents. To remedy this, flaps were fitted to reduce the landing speed. The Army Air Corps ordered three prototypes, designated XP-936, which first flew on 20 March 1932.
The "Peashooter", as it was known by service pilots, was faster than previous American combat aircraft. Nonetheless, rapid progress in aviation led to it quickly becoming an anachronism, with wire-braced wings, fixed landing gear and an open cockpit. The cantilever-wing Dewoitine D.500 flew the same year as the P-26 and two years afterwards the Soviet I-16 was flying with the retractable landing gear. By 1935, just three years after the P-26, the Curtiss P-36, Messerschmitt Bf 109 and Hawker Hurricane were all flying with enclosed cockpits, retractable landing gear and cantilever wings. However, some P-26s remained in service until after the United States entered World War II in December 1941.
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