North American A-36 Apache

The North American A-36 was the ground-attack/dive bomber version of the North American P-51 Mustang, from which it could be distinguished by the presence of rectangular, slatted dive brakes above and below the wings.

A total of 500 A-36 dive bombers served in the Mediterranean and Southeast Asia theatres during World War II before being withdrawn from operational use in 1944.

In the Mediterranean the A36A was also used briefly by the Royal Air Force 1437th Strategic Reconnaissance Flight, in Foggia, Italy.

Although the RAF did not procure factory new A36’s, the 1437th Flight loaned from the USAAF to replace their previous Baltimore’s.

These aircraft were not only painted with RAF roundels and individual aircraft letters, but also with RAF serial numbers.

These Royal Air Force had their aircraft chin .50 Browning guns removed.

The A-36 has been known to have been called the ”APACHE”.

I couldn’t find any reliable sources about the name ”Apache” origins.

Specifications

Crew

1

Length

32 ft 3 in (9.83 m)

Wingspan

37 ft 0.25 in (11.28 m)

Height

12 ft 2 in (3.71 m)

Gross weight

10,000 lb (4,535 kg)

Powerplant

1 × Allison V-1710-87 liquid-cooled piston V12 engine, 1,325 hp (988 kW)

Performance

Maximum speed

365 mph (590 km/h, 315 kn)

Cruise speed

250 mph (400 km/h, 215 kn)

Range

550 mi (885 km, 478 nmi)

Service ceiling

25,100 ft (7,650 m)

Armament

6 × 0.50 in (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns

Up to 1,000 lb (454 kg) of bombs on two underwing hardpoints.

 

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