Re: Douglas DC-5

Date:         20 Nov 97 02:53:40 
From:         Steve Lacker <look@the.sig>
Organization: Applied Research Laboratories - The University of Texas at Austin
References:   1 2
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Walter E. Shepherd, K2ZPA wrote:
> I'll just hazard a guess that there was more than a family resemblance of the
> DC-5 with the A-20 Havoc, a twin trike-gear bomber Douglas was building for
> the UK at the time. I think the USAAF bought some A-20's at the time, but
> these probably got taken out in the early days of the Pacific war. The DC-5
> probably never made the big time because Douglas was pretty busy satisfying
> wartime customers at the time. I would also guess that the A-26 Invader grew
> out of the A-20 later in the war. (I have always thought that the A-26 was one
> of the most graceful and genuinely "pretty" aircraft to ever grace our skys...

Yes, the A-20 is a direct ancestor of the A-26 Invader, but I'd never
thought about the resemblance to the DC5. You're right, its definitely
similar. The Invader is one of my all-time favorite aircraft- one of
those rare instances where *everything* about the design and
implementation came together very well. There are almost no "weak
spots," and for evidence of this one needs only to look at the
relatively number of A-26's still flying, and its incredibly long tenure
of service in the US military. Many are still, in effect, flying
"combat" type missions as forest service water bombers. The B-25 very
nearly falls in this category too, but was hampered by far less reliable
engines (Wright R-2600) than the A-26 had (Pratt & Whitney R-2800). In
addition to being excellent in a practical sense, the A-26 also just
happens to be very graceful in apperance too.

Stephen Lacker
Applied Research Laboratories, The University of Texas at Austin
PO Box 8029, Austin TX 78713-8029
512-835-3286 (Remove the extra 'x' to mail me)