Hobby Master HA7505 USAAC Boeing P-26A Peashooter Fighter - Bolling Field, Washington, D.C., 1930s (1:48 Scale)
"Why should we have a navy at all? There are no enemies for it to fight except apparently the Army Air Force."
- General Carl Spaatz, Commander of the US 8th Army Air Force, after WWII
The American Boeing P-26, nicknamed the "Peashooter", was the first all-metal production fighter aircraft and the first pursuit monoplane used by the United States Army Air Corps. The prototype first flew in 1932, and were used by the Air Corps as late as 1941 in the Philippines.
The Boeing-funded project to produce the Boeing Model 248 began in September 1931, with the Army Air Corps supplying engines and instruments. The design included an open cockpit, fixed landing gear and externally braced wings, the last such design procured by the USAAC as a fighter plane. It also saw the introduction of flaps to reduce speeds for landings. The Army Air Corps contracted for three prototypes, designated XP-936, with the first flight on March 20th, 1932.
The Boeing XP-936 had a landing problem. Sometimes when landing it would flip forward and because of the short nose it would roll onto its back. This injured many pilots until the unarmored back canopy was replaced with an armored headrest. An additional 25 aircraft were completed as P-26Bs, with Pratt & Whitney R-1340-33 Wasp engines, and 23 P-26Cs had minor changes to carburation and the fuel system. Both Spain (one fighter) and China (11 fighters) ordered the Model 281 export version of the P-26C in 1936.
The diminutive "Peashooter" as it became affectionately known by service pilots, was faster than previous American combat aircraft, but it was also an anachronism. Although the P-26 introduced a modern monoplane design, worldwide fighter aircraft developments soon outstripped the P-26. In Europe the Messerschmitt Bf 109 and Hawker Hurricane with closed cockpits and which both flew for the first time in 1935 were more representative of contemporary monoplane fighter designs. However, the P-26 was easy to fly and remained in active service for many years until the United States entered World War II.
Pictured here is a 1:48 scale replica of a Boeing P-26A Peashooter fighter that was deployed to Bolling Field, Washington, D.C. during the 1930s.
Wingspan: 8 inches
Length: 5.75 inches
Release Date: January 2011
Historical Account: "The Flying Field at Anacostia" - Air Force Base (AFB) (IATA: BOF, ICAO: KBOF, FAA LID: BOF) is a United States Air Force base located in Washington, D.C..
The host unit at Bolling is the non-flying 11th Wing (11 WG) assigned to the Air Force District of Washington. The 11 WG is one of the largest and most ceremonial wings in the Air Force. It is the single manager for all Air Force activities supporting Headquarters Air Force and other Air Force units in the National Capital Region as well as 108 countries throughout the world. As a direct reporting unit to the Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force, it combines resources from the Pentagon and Bolling AFB. Bolling AFB was established on October 2nd, 1917 as the Flying field at Anacostia. It was one of the initial World War I Army Air Service installations. It is named for Colonel Raynal C. Bolling (1877–1918), the first high-ranking U.S. officer to be killed in combat in World War I.
Bolling Field was officially opened July 1st, 1918, and was named in honor of the first high-ranking air service officer killed in World War I, Colonel Raynal C. Bolling. Colonel Bolling was the Assistant Chief of the Air Service, and was killed in action near Amiens, France, on March 26th, 1918, while defending himself and his driver, Cpl Paul L. Holder, from an attack by German soldiers. The tract of land selected for the base was scouted by William C. Ocker at the direction of General Billy Mitchell. The base began near Anacostia in 1918, as the only military airfield near the United States Capitol and was originally named The Flying Field at Anacostia on October 2nd, 1917. It was renamed Anacostia Experimental Flying Field in June 1918, and Bolling Field on July 1st, 1918. With the establishment of the United States Air Force as an independent military service, it was renamed Bolling Air Force Base on June 24th, 1948. Bolling AFB has served as a research and testing ground for new aviation equipment and its first mission provided aerial defense of the capital. It moved to its present location, along the Potomac in the city's southwest quadrant, in the 1930s.