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  • Boeing P-26 Peashooter Monoplane Fighter Aircraft

    The Boeing P-26 Peashooter monoplane fighter became the first all-metal aircraft design for the United States of America.

     Updated: 3/21/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.MilitaryFactory.com

    The classic American-originated Boeing P-26 "Peashooter" arrived between the wars and was a product of its time. America's first all-metal fighter, the design still carried several more traditional elements of a bygone era of flight such as an open-air cockpit and fixed, spatted tail-dragging undercarriage. The P-26 would be the last quantitative fighter of the United States to feature these throw-back elements as the shift to more modern systems was had heading into World War 2 (1939-1945).

    The P-26 began as a private venture by Boeing with the Model 248. This specimen, designed around the Pratt & Whitney R-1340 air-cooled radial piston engine, was brought to the attention of U.S. Army Air Corps (USAAC) authorities who became interested in the type back in September of 1931. In a short nine week period, a fully-flyable prototype (XP-936) was completed and first-flown on March 20th, 1932. Three prototypes eventually emerged for the program - all fitting the PW R-1340-21 "Wasp" radial.

    The basic design incorporated low-mounted monoplane wings well-ahead of midships. The cockpit, too, was set ahead of midships with generally decent views over the nose and wings. A headrest was set behind the pilot and protruded from the dorsal spine line. The large radial engine sat ahead of the pilot and the tail incorporated a traditional single-finned arrangement. The large, spatted main landing gear legs were set under each wing. Performance from the engine was impressive for its time - allowing the aircraft to reach speeds of 227 miles per hour, much faster than anything available to the USAAC.

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    Boeing P-26A Peashooter Technical Specifications

    Service Year: 1932
    Type: Monoplane Fighter Aircraft
    National Origin: United States
    Manufacturer(s): Boeing Aircraft Corporation - USA
    Production Total: 151

    Structural (Crew Space, Dimensions and Weights)

    Operating Crew: 1
    Length: 23.82 feet (7.26 meters)
    Width: 27.95 feet (8.52 meters)
    Height: 10.40 feet (3.17 meters)

    Weight (Empty): 2,273 lb (1,031 kg)
    Weight (MTOW): 3,012 lb (1,366 kg)

    Installed Power and Standard Day Performance

    Engine(s): 1 x Pratt and Whitney nine-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine developing 500 horsepower.

    Maximum Speed: 227 mph (365 kph; 197 knots)
    Maximum Range: 360 miles (579 km)
    Service Ceiling: 27,395 feet (8,350 meters; 5.19 miles)
    Rate-of-Climb: 2,360 feet-per-minute (719 m/min)

    Armament / Mission Payload

    2 x 0.30 caliber Brownning M1919 machine guns OR 1 x 0.30 caliber with 1 x 0.50 caliber Browning Heavy Machine Gun (HMG).

    2 x 100 lb conventional drop bombs OR 5 x 31 lb anti-personnel drop bombs.

    Global Operators / Customers

    China (Taiwan); Guatemala; Panama; Philippines; Spain; United States

    Model Variants (Including Prototypes)

    P-26 "Peashooter" - Base Series Designation

    XP-936 - Prototype aircraft fitted with Pratt & Whitney R-1340-21 "Wasp" radial piston engine of 525 horsepower; three produced.

    P-26A - Initial production model; PW R-1340-27 engine of 600 horsepower fitted; 111 examples completed.

    P-26B - Fitted with PW R-1340-33 fuel-injected engine of 600 horsepower; 2 examples produced.

    P-26C - Fitted with PW R-1340-33 carburated engine with revised fuel delivery system; 23 examples completed.

    Model 281 - Export variant of the P-26C production model; 12 complete with eleven examples to China and one to Spain.