Close this search box.

Douglas Model 8 / A-33

The Douglas A-33 (Model 8A-5) was an attack aircraft developed in the United States.

It was an updated version of the Northrop A-17, featuring a stronger engine and an increased capacity for carrying bombs.

Although it was initially intended for the export market, the entire production run was ultimately acquired by the United States Army Air Corps.

In 1932, Northrop Corporation was established as a partly owned subsidiary of Douglas.

By 1937, the Northrop Model 8 was rebranded as the Douglas 8A and produced in the El Segundo Division of Douglas aircraft.

The 8A-5 model was powered by a 1,200 hp (895 kW) Wright R-1820-87 engine and was the most powerful and well-armed in the series.

It had four wing-mounted 0.30 in machine guns, two 0.50 in machine guns in pods beneath the wing, a rear-firing flexibly mounted 0.30 in gun, and the capacity to carry up to 2,000 lb of bombs.

During the early part of 1940, the Norwegian government placed an order for 36 8A-5s.

Unfortunately, due to the German invasion of Norway, the aircraft were not delivered.

It wasn’t until between October 1940 and January 1941 that the planes were completed and sent to a training centre in Canada called “Little Norway” at Toronto Island Airport, Ontario.

After losing two planes and reassessing their training needs, the Norwegian government sold the remaining 34 Model 8A-5Ps to Peru.

However, at the start of World War II, the Army Air Corps repossessed 31 of these planes, which were then renamed A-33.

These aircraft were used for training, target tug, and utility duties.

32 ft 6 in (9.91 m)
47 ft 9 in (14.55 m)
9 ft 4 in (2.84 m)
Wing area
363 sq ft (33.7 m2)
NACA 2215
NACA 2209
Empty weight
5,510 lb (2,499 kg)
Gross weight
8,600 lb (3,901 kg)
Max take-off weight
9,200 lb (4,173 kg)
1 × Wright GR-1820-G205A Cyclone,

9-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine,
1,200 hp (890 kW)
3-bladed variable-pitch propeller
Maximum speed
248 mph (399 km/h, 216 kn) at 15,700 ft (4,800 m)
Service ceiling
29,000 ft (8,800 m)
Time to altitude
10,000 ft (3,000 m) in 5 minutes 48 seconds
4 × forward-firing .30 cal (7.62mm) 1919 Browning machine guns, 500rpg
2 × forward-firing .50 cal M2 Brownings in gun pods, 200rpg
1 × .30 cal (7.62mm) 1919 Browning machine gun in rear cockpit, 1,000 rounds
2,000lb max load
Up to twenty 20 lb (9.1 kg) bombs in internal racks
Eight hardpoints under the fuselage,

Four outboard hardpoints can take 500 lb (230 kg) bombs,

All eight can carry 100 lb (45 kg).

McDonnell Douglas aircraft since 1920: Volume I-René J Francillon.
San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive.
The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

Share on facebook