Home Fact Sheets
The P-26A was the first all-metal monoplane pursuit plane produced for the U.S. Army Air Corps, affectionately called the "Peashooter" by its pilots. The Consolidated Y1P-25 was the first all-metal pursuit plane tested, but the production version -- P-30 -- was purchased after the initial P-26 orders.
The P-26 was also 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.
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 them 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.
The National Museum of the United States Air Force has a P-26A on display in its Early Years Gallery.
||XP-936 test models
||Improved Y1P-26 with new landing gear
||P-26A with new engine and fuel injection
||Converted P-26B with new controls
Span: 27 ft. 11.5 in.
Length: 23 ft. 10 in.
Height: 10 ft. 5 in.
Weight: 2,197 lbs. empty/2,955 lbs. (maximum)
Armament: Two fixed .30-cal. machine guns or one .50- and one .30-cal. machine gun; up to 200 lbs. of bombs
Engine: Pratt and Whitney R-1340-27 of 600 hp
Maximum speed: 234 mph/203 knots
Cruising speed: 199 mph/172 knots
Range: 360 statute miles/313 nautical miles
Service ceiling: 27,400 ft.
Click here to return to the Pursuit index.