THE DouglasA-26 Invader was a logical successor to the A-20 Havoc that took advantage of combat experience, updated technology and improved mass-production methods. The design was proposed to the Army in January 1941, and a contract for three prototypes was received soon after. The first, designated XA-26, was a three-seat bomber similar to the A-20A; the second, XA-26A, was a two-seat night fighter. The XA-26B used the same airframe, but mounted a 75mm cannon in the right side of the nose.

The principal differences from the A-20 were a wider fuselage with side-by-side seating for the pilot and co-pilot/ bombardier, two remotely-sighted turrets, each with two .50-caliber guns, and 2,000hp Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp engines.

The night-fighter concept was dropped, and production concentrated on two basic versions. The three-seat A-26B attack plane had a solid nose and a variety of fixed, forward-firing, .50-caliber guns. Six to eight were in the nose, and, in some cases, an additional four were carried in paired pods on each side of

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