P-26 Peashooter

YouTube – P-26 Peashooter

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600 hp
23 ft. 10 in.
27 ft. 11 in.
2,200 lbs.
2,955 lbs.
2 x .30 cal.
200 lbs.
200 mph
234 mph
2,360 fpm
27,400 feet
360 miles

Boeing P-26 Peashooter aircraft were the first United States all-metal, low-wing fighters.

The aircraft were capable of speeds exceeding those of the most modern bombers of the time. They first took to the air on March 20, 1932 and had a top speed of 234 mph.

When the B-9 bomber was introduced, it had a 188 mph top speed. That was faster than most fighters at the time. The Boeing P-26 Peashooter had no problems escorting the bomber.

On January 22, 1933 the U.S. Army Air Corps contracted with Boeing for production of a total of 136 of the aircraft. Deliveries were scheduled from 1933 to 1936. This was the largest order ever placed for a U.S. military aircraft to date.

Boeing P-26 Peashooter aircraft were quick to respond to control inputs, maneuverable, and fast. They didn’t have any bad handling characteristics. They were known as a “pilots airplane.”

The aircraft had a rather high landing speed for aircraft of the time. The speed limited operations of the aircraft to smoother runways. Boeing fitted flaps to the aircraft to help slow the landing speed.
That modification made the aircraft more appealing to U.S.-friendly air forces where rougher runways were common. Eventually China, Guatemala, Panama, the Philippines and Spain acquired the aircraft.

In 1934, 1935 and 1936 the aircraft set numerous world speed and altitude records.

When more modern German and Soviet aircraft were introduced, they greatly outperformed the P-26 Peashooter in speed and maneuverability.

P-26 Peashooter fighters were flown by the Chinese at the start of World War II. In 1936 the aircraft intercepted six unescorted Japanese bombers attacking Chinese targets. All the Japanese planes were downed while the Chinese aircraft returned unscathed.

During the Japanese invasion of the Philippines, in November of 1940, the aircraft were the first United States built planes to encounter the Japanese invaders. They were easy prey for Japanese Zero fighters.
All Boeing P-26 Peashooter aircraft were withdrawn from the front lines by 1942.

The aircraft had a long service life. The Air Force of Guatemala was still flying them in 1957.

A total of 162 of the aircraft were produced.

RC P-26 Peashooter

RC P-26 Peashooter

The RC P-26 Peashooter from Seagull Models is an ARF.  It has a wingspan of 71 in. with a length of 62 in. and weighs around 14 lbs. all up.  Construction is a glass fibre cowl with balsa and plywood fuselage and wings.  It can be powered by a 30 cc gas engine or 160 size electric motor.  Propellers can be 18 x 8 or 20 x 10.

The RC P-26 Peashooter from Cleveland Model & Supply plans is available in wingspans of 28, 42, 56 and 84 inches.

The RC P-26 Peashooter from a Dare Hobbies Kit has a wingspan of 32 in with a fuselage length of 26 in.