North American A-36 Apache
This was the dive-bomber version of the P-51 Mustang. The USAAF bought this version first, but full priority was later given to the fighter version, and no more than 500 A-36's were built. It was unofficially known as 'Invader'.
In June 1943, the plane went into action from North Africa. During the Italian campaign, A-36A pilots flew bomber escort and strafing missions as well as ground support bombing attacks. A-36As also served with the 311th Fighter Bomber Group in India. Dive brakes in the wings gave greater stability in a dive, but they were sometimes wired closed due to malfunctions. In 1944, AAF A-36As were replaced by P-51s and P-47s when experience showed that these high-altitude fighters, equipped with bomb racks, were more suitable for low-level missions than the A-36As.
|General characteristics A-36A
|One Allison V-1710-F3R engine
|6x 12.7mm machine gun, 900 kg bombs
|No more than 500
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