A view of the nose of the Douglas Boston III

A view of the nose of the Douglas Boston III


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A view of the nose of the Douglas Boston III

A view of the nose of the Douglas Boston III. This picture shows the straight edge to the glass nose, at least on the right hand panel, and the gun blister below and behind the nose. The pilot is clearly visible in the cockpit, as is the bombardier, seen at the back of the glass nose.


Douglas A-26 / B-26 Invader

Authored By: Dan Alex | Last Edited: 05/30/2021 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

The Douglas A-26 Invader was a distinguished twin-engine light bomber whose origins were well-placed in the Second World War. The system proved adept at day and night flying, attacking targets with a bevy of machine guns or drop bombs and operating at low and medium altitudes with equal success. The type was fielded throughout the conflict in both Pacific and European theaters and went on to see action in the global wars to follow including Korea, Indo-China and Vietnam. In the end, the Invader served American forces for some twenty years before being officially retired and removed from service - such was the reach of this magnificent airplane.

Development

With design beginning as early as 1940, the Invader was first flown on July 10th, 1942 as the XA-26 pre-production prototype. The XA-26 appeared as a successor to the Douglas A-20 Havoc, an aircraft of similar role and design layout and featured a glass nose and 5,000 of internal and external ordnance capability. Armament consisted of 2 x 12.7mm forward-mounted machine guns and a remote-control periscope-fired dorsal and ventral barbette, each with 2 x 12.7mm machine guns (an arrangement very similar to the production A-26C models). A mockup was completed and showcased in early 1941 with the contract finalized in June of that year. The contract originally called for just two prototype aircraft types that included the XA-26 light attack bomber and the XA-26A dedicated night attack fighter.

The resulting tests revealed some structural issues with the nose landing gear - it proving prone to collapse - and, as such, the component was redesigned. Other modifications centered on engine overheating to which the original propeller spinners (intended to promote streamlining of the aircraft) were removed for improved cooling airflow and the engine cowlings were redesigned for better performance. Overall, the tests proved the aircraft design sound and capable of great speed. Handling was regarded as above average and very responsive. What made the XA-26 unique was its single pilot cockpit, not requiring the need for a dedicated co-pilot and thusly keeping the fuselage a slender shape ala the Northrop P-61 Black Widow and Douglas A-20 Havoc. The XA-26 was ordered by the USAAF with the series designation of A-26 and consisted of several major variants, though no A-26A production model existed. Production of the A-26 series progressed slowly as most of Douglas' plants were tied to previous contract aircraft production. As such, the A-26 would have to wait until 1944 to see any complete forms.

The XA-26A model was a prototype night-fighter and attack platform. This model deserves mention for its dedicated role introducing the solid nose covering the search radar system. A ventral gun tub was devised to compensate for the aircrafts lack of forward armament and resulted in a battery of 4 x 20mm cannon. Bombload was a diminutive 2,000lbs thanks to the space committed to the radar system and cannon armament (and ammunition). The dorsal remote-controlled barbette was retained with its 2 x 12.7mm machine guns. The Northrop P-61 Black Widow beat the XA-26A to the night-fighter punch, being already in production and offering the same performance specifications as the XA-26A. Power was to be from a pair of Pratt & Whitney R-2800-27 radial engines rated at 2,000 horsepower each. The XA-26A existed in just a single prototype offering.

In June of 1942, the initial Army Air Corps contract was amended to and added a third prototype aircraft in the form of a single XA-26B example completed at the Douglas El Segundo plant. This aircraft model was to fit the mold of low-altitude attacker platform with Pratt & Whitney R-2800-27 engines of 2,000 horsepower each and an internal/external bomb capacity of 6,000lbs with a crew of three. Visually, the XA-26B was similar to the XA-26A model series and featured a similar solid nose covering but this over an embedded 75mm cannon. In theory, the aircraft proved a sound weapon but in practice, the cannon was slow to fire and prone to jamming with a high level of required maintenance. This forced the Douglas team to try a host of alternative armament combinations including the use of 37mm cannon or heavy machine guns or both. Some early production B-models were pulled off the line for testing various armament load outs. Impressive ideas were covered but proved fleeting such as mounting the 75mm cannon with two 12.7mm machine guns or twin 37mm cannons with 4 x 12.7mm machine guns. This developmental delay eventually resulted in an early batch of production B-models fitted with 6 x 12.7mm machine guns and a later block of production B-models with 8 x 12.7mm machine guns as production of the type had already begun while testing of the armament ensued. The USAAF accepted the design on June 30th, 1943.

The A-26B model series became the production version of the XA-26B, with its mounted collection of heavy machine guns in a solid nose assembly and a top speed of 350-355 miles per hour with her Pratt & Whitney R-2800-27, -71 or -79 series engines of 2,000 horsepower. A crew of three operated this type and consisted of a pilot, navigator/loader and gunner. Some 1,355 B-26B model series aircraft were eventually produced along with 25 other aircraft that were never delivered. Production was handled at two Douglas plants - one in Long Beach, California and the other in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

These Invader models were eventually followed by an A-26C model with a glassed-in nose and bombardier-manned Norden bombsight along with a top speed increase to 370 miles per hour. These were more in line with the dedicated light attack bomber role than the preceding A-26B models, whose forte was generally strafing with machine guns. A-26C models were built concurrently alongside A-26B systems. Early A-26C's were seen with a framed cockpit but this was later changed to the clamshell type glass cockpit, improving both range and emergency exiting of the aircraft. C-models were fitted with more powerful engines in the form of 2 x Pratt & Whitney R-2800 engines of 2,000 horsepower each with water injection. Wings were also strengthened to mount up to 14 x 5" rockets or 2,000lbs of bombs. The wings were slightly altered to accommodate 6 x 12.7mm wing-mounted machine guns to make up for the lack of punch caused by the removal of the nose-mounted armament common to the B-models. 1,091 A-26C models were delivered.

A-26C models had a distinction in becoming "lead ships" for solid-nose A-26B models. As lead ships, the A-26C would register its target and drop her bombs, signaling the trailing A-26B's to do the same. This method of bombing proved commonplace for aircraft in the light bombing role such as the A-20 Havoc. A-26C models eventually replaced the specially designed A-20 Havoc lead ships (A-20J's and A-20K's) in this role.

RB-26B and RB-26C represented unarmed photo reconnaissance models modified from existing B-26B and B-26C models respectively whereas trainer B-26's were designated as TB-26B and TB-26C based on their respective letter models. VB-26B served in an administrative role. Post-war production Invaders were to spawn from the proposed A-26Z configuration which would have covered both a solid nose A-26G and glass nose A-26H model. These were never produced. The US Navy utilized a few Douglas Invaders in limited roles and designated them as a target tug series JD-1. Drone directors were known as JD-1D with both redesignated in 1962 as UB-26J and DB-26J respectively. The YB-26K was a highly-modified B-26B model, becoming the B-26K "Counter Invader" and ultimately redesignated back to the A-26A. These two-man aircraft flew with Pratt & Whitney R-2800-103W engines of 2,500 horsepower with water injection and operated in the Vietnam War.

Design of the A-26 Invader was typical of light attack bomber design in the Second World War. The fuselage was streamlined and contained the cockpit, bomb bay and gun positions. The nose on the B-26B was a "solid" nose when utilizing the 6 or 8 x 12.7mm machine gun arrangement. The glassed-in nose found on A-26C models indicated the use of a bombardier/navigator and bombsight controls in place of the nose-mounted guns. An Invader crew of three traditionally consisted of the pilot, navigator/radio operator and gunner, the latter manning dorsal and ventral gun turrets. The C-model featured a bombardier/navigator crewmember along with two nose-mounted 12.7mm machine guns. The airframe proved a well-put together structure as many an Invader was known to receive substantial amounts of damage and still return her crews to home bases. Flying on a single engine was possible, this occurring even with a full bombload. The empennage was traditional and featured the identifiable rounded vertical fin extending from the upper aft fuselage.

The A-26B Invader shined when it came to its armament loadout. More noticeable was the battery of 6 x 12.7mm (.50 caliber) heavy machine guns (early block A-26B models ) all allocated in the nose housing. Later block B-26Bs featured a total of 8 x 12.7mm nose-mounted machine guns. This assembly allowed the Invader to make devastating strafing sweeps on enemy ground targets with usually destructive results, combining the concentrated power of six to eight heavy caliber machine guns into one focal burst of hot lead. In addition to the nose armament, two 12.7mm machine guns were held in a dorsal barbette while another two were featured in a ventral barbette. The ventral barbette was sometimes removed in favor of an additional fuel cell. Invaders could also sport 8 x underwing gun pods and 6 x 12.7mm machine guns mounted in each wing leading edge (three guns to a side) along with blister mounts on the fuselage sides - all concentrated in a forward-firing position. With a single burst of the all machine guns, the entire aircraft would buffet violently rearward, a consideration for the crew to keep in mind in terms of their own safety. In total, a given A-26 could sport as many as 22 x 12.7mm machine guns with up to 6,000 rounds of ammunition.

The Douglas Invader's lethality was furthermore accented by the option of carrying between 4,000 and 8,000lbs of internal and external ordnance in the form of drop bombs or 8 to 14 x 5" rockets (the latter held externally on eight or fourteen underwing pylons - the full 16 rocket deployment was achievable in lieu of the drop tanks and wing mounted bombs). In fact, Invaders were known to be able to carry greater bombloads than that as found on the larger Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses. Endurance could be extended with the addition of 165-gallon underwing drop tanks, increasing the aircraft's range by up to 300 miles. C-model Invaders with the glassed-in nose were fitted with 2 x 12.7mm machine guns in the nose along with the 2 x 12.7mm gun systems in each turret but forward firepower was augmented with the addition of the 6 x wing-mounted machine guns.

Operational Service

Deliveries of the A-26 in the B-26B model form began in August of 1943 and the system instantly became the fastest American bomber of World War 2. The system saw extensive action in varying roles throughout the conflict both in the European Front and along the Pacific Front. A-26's were put into action with the Fifth Air Force in the Pacific Theater and flew their first sortie on June 23rd, 1944. European deliveries occurred in September of 1944 and were stationed with the Ninth Air Force, seeing their first combat sorties just two months later. Invaders served through to the end of the war to which many served in the post-war world with the United States Strategic Air Command and Tactical Air Command. The USAF dropped the "attack" designation of the aircraft in 1948 and officially redesignated the Invader as the B-26 (not to be confused with the World War 2-era Martin B-26 Marauder medium bombers).

The A-26B and A-26C saw extended use in the upcoming Korean War with at least 37 aircraft in hand on June 25, 1950. Elements of the 3rd Bombardment Group (8th, 13th and 90th Squadrons) were some of the first units put into action in the conflict, launching from Japanese bases to strike targets on the peninsula. Later that year, group strength increased to 90 aircraft. These Invaders could be counted on to operate at low levels in the dark of night, maneuvering over and around the dangerous mountain terrain in Korea. Invaders would be credited with thousands of enemy vehicles destroyed by the end of the war, totaling some 232,000 flight hours and close to 20 million rounds of 12.7mm ammunition fired. Initially, Invaders stationed in Japan were intended to provide cover fire for US citizens evacuating the South Korean capital of Seoul. But by June 29, 1950, the aircraft was directly hitting North Korea targets as required. The B-26 proved an invaluable asset in the disruption of supply lines running along known roads where the Invader could bring the brunt of its firepower to bear on unarmored targets. Tactics changed with operational experience and Invader crews learned to bomb with precision those moving targets that they may have - in past sorties - attempted to strafe with their guns. Invaders targeted airfields with equal fervor, utilizing their formidable bombloads (including napalm) along with their machine guns and rockets against targets of opportunity. The A-26 itself proved a success in its night missions though the foe proved undoubtedly resilient, able to change their routing patterns on the ground in reaction to American attack patterns.

B-26 aircraft would also be the last USAF aircraft to drop ordnance in the conflict before the cessation of hostilities. After the war, a North Korean general would admit that the B-26 was one of the most feared weapons of the conflict - such was its terrorizing reach on ground targets at night. At least 7 B-26 squadrons were stationed for action in the Korean War including one RB-26 element. American B-26 models were temporarily removed from service in 1958 and served in strictly liaison mission and staff transportation roles.

France became another Invader operator, utilizing the USAF on lease in their Indo-China conflict of the 1950's. These carried the unofficial designation of B-26N and were based on B-26C models with AI Mk X radar systems from old Meteor NF.11 jet-powered night-fighters. French systems operated their Invaders with gun pods and underwing rockets.

American B-26B systems were called to action once again, this time in 1961 with the USAF as tactical bombers in the early years of the Vietnam War. President John F. Kennedy's assistance initiative called the aircraft back into action from storage and the Invader was brought online in reconnaissance and attack roles. This action was short-lived, however, as the systems fought from 1961 through 1964. Aircraft taking part in this early action actually fought with South Vietnamese markings and under RB-26 reconnaissance designations but were fully combat ready. Missions of the aircraft soon grew to include escort and close air support along with traditional attack roles. By this time, the war-weary B-26's began to show their age. Years of operational use began to take their toll on airframes as constant operation decreased the overall safety of the type. The B-26B was soon withdrawn from service for safety's sake, as the crash of at least two such aircraft from structural failure necessitated the move.

In 1963, at least 40 B-26 aircraft became the two-seat B-26K "Counter Invader" model for the USAF following the successful trials of the YB-26K program. The YB-26 featured water injection Pratt & Whitney R-2800-103W engines of 2,500 horsepower, 8x 12.7mm nose machine guns, 6 x 12.7mm wing machine guns with external pylons for up to 8,000lbs of ordnance, an internal capacity of 4,000lbs and dual cockpit controls with updated avionics.

With modification handled by On Mark Engineering Company, these aircraft appeared in production form with Pratt & Whitney R-2800-52W engines with water injection, reversible propellers, reinforced wings with modified wing flaps, rebuilt tail section with larger rudder and wingtip fuel tanks for increased endurance. Additionally, these B-26K models had their 6 x 12.7mm wing-mounted machine guns removed but retained the formidable 8 x 12.7mm formation in the solid nose assembly. These Invaders, like their Korean brethren, were charged with disruption of enemy supply lines. In 1966, these B-26K models were now officially redesignated as A-26A. in Counter Invaders operated in Southeast Asia up until 1969 before retirement from the USAF. By this time, the role of the A-26A was overtaken by the cannon-laden Lockheed AC-130 Hercules gunships among other more capable aircraft. Production of the B-26K/A-26A occurred between 1963 and 1964 at a unit cost of $577,000.

The final A-26 was retired from service in 1969 and the entire line was removed from service by 1972. Some 2,452 Invaders were produced. In all, 18 different countries operated the Invader at one time in civilian and military guises.

A-26's also served with US Air National Guard units, becoming some of the final American users of the aircraft. ANG units received their Invaders in the post-war years. This was abruptly abandoned at the start of the Korea Conflict as B-26's were earmarked for war once again. With the jet age progressing and the Korean War drawing to a close, A-26 deliveries continued to the ANG which operated the type throughout the 1950's. The B-26 would see its last noticeable ANG occurrence in early 1970 as a converted staff transport.

The Douglas A-26/B-26 lived a very long and productive operational life considering her origins in a World War 2 requirement. Not only taking part in that conflict, the Invader saw prolonged use and unnatural long life for a bomber in the ensuing Korean and Vietnam Wars. In any case, the Invader retained many of the qualities that her crews admired - speed, survivability and offensive firepower. The system endured for decades since its inception and went on to prove her mettle in conflicts that tested most any other machine in the skies - leaving the fabled Invader to pass with flying colors.


Franklin Pierce’s Early Life and Career

Born on November 23, 1804, in Hillsborough, New Hampshire, Franklin Pierce was the son of Benjamin Pierce, a hero of the American Revolution who was twice elected governor of New Hampshire. The younger Pierce graduated from Bowdoin College in 1824 and began studying law he was admitted to the bar in 1827. At the age of 24, he won election to the New Hampshire state legislature, and two years later he became its speaker. A member of the Democratic Party and a steadfast supporter of Andrew Jackson, Pierce began serving in Congress in 1833. In 1834, he married Jane Appleton, the daughter of a former Bowdoin president.

Did you know? At the time he was elected president in 1852, 47-year-old Franklin Pierce became the youngest man in history to win that office. A steadfast supporter of President Andrew Jackson in the 1830s, he was dubbed "Young Hickory" in an allusion to Jackson&aposs famous nickname, "Old Hickory."

During his two terms in the House of Representatives (until 1837) and one term in the Senate (1837-1842), the young and handsome Pierce became a popular figure in Washington, though he had little influence compared to other prominent Democrats. Friendly with many southerners, Pierce was impatient with the more radical abolitionists from New England. Often in ill health, Jane was unhappy with life in Washington, and in 1842 Pierce gave up his Senate seat and returned to Concord, where he became a leader in the legal community.


Historical Snapshot

The AH-64 Apache was designed to be an extremely tough survivor under combat. The prototype Apache made its first flight in 1975 as the YAH-64, and in 1976, Hughes received a full-scale development contract. In 1982, the Army approved the program, now known as AH-64A Apache, for production. Deliveries began from the McDonnell Douglas plant at Mesa, Ariz., in 1984 &mdash the year Hughes Helicopters became part of McDonnell Douglas.

A target acquisition and designation sight/pilot night-vision sensor and other advanced technologies added to its effectiveness in the ground support role. To reduce costs and simplify logistics, the Apache used the same T700 engines as the Army&rsquos Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk utility helicopter and its naval cousin, the SH-60 Seahawk.

Highly maneuverable and heavily armed, the combat-proven Apache helicopter is the backbone of the U.S. Army&rsquos all-weather, ground-support capability. The AH-64D Apache Longbow, which first flew as a prototype on May 14, 1992, provided a quantum leap in capability over the AH-64A. The Apache Longbow&rsquos fire-control radar and advanced avionics suite gave combat pilots the ability to rapidly detect, classify, prioritize, and engage stationary or moving enemy targets at standoff ranges in nearly all weather conditions. There is also an international Apache export version.

Over the years, the Apache has been enhanced with advanced technology to make the helicopter more survivable, deployable and easier to maintain. The AH-64 Apache is the most advanced multirole combat helicopter for the U.S. Army and a growing number of international defense forces.

In 2003, the Army accepted the first advanced technology Boeing AH-64D Apache Longbow, referred to as Block II. The Block II version incorporated advanced avionics, digital enhancements and communications upgrades.

In 2011, Boeing delivered the first AH-64D Apache Block III multirole attack helicopter to the Army. Block III brought superior flight performance and increased networked communications capabilities. The AH-64D Apache Block III was renamed the AH-64E Apache &ldquoGuardian&rdquo in 2012.

In 2012, Boeing also received all-new fuselages for the first AH-64E helicopters, incorporating a variety of small but important modifications to accommodate AH-64E configuration changes, such as enhancements to the extended forward avionics bays and slots for new electronics. More than 100 AH-64Es had been produced as of October 2014.


‘Keep Your Bedroom Windows Open!’ and Other Advice

View of a health warning notice about influenza, from the Anti-Tuberculosis League, posted on the inside of a public transport vehicle, 1918 - 1920.

Cincinnati Museum Center/Getty Images

Around the same time the San Francisco Chronicle ran its mask PSAs, newspapers around the country published a cartoon of a man hacking in public that warned, 𠇌oughs and Sneezes Spread Diseases: As Dangerous As Poison Gas Shells”𠅊gain linking fighting the flu to fighting World War I. Newspapers used the cartoon to illustrate coverage of a special bulletin from Surgeon General Rupert Blue about the flu and how Americans could protect themselves from it.

“The value of fresh air through open windows cannot be over emphasized,” Blue said. “When crowding is unavoidable, as in street cars, care should be taken to keep the face so turned as not to inhale directly the air breathed out by another person. It is especially important to beware of the person who coughs or sneezes without covering his mouth and nose.”

Many newspaper carried large-print PSAs with similar advice. One announcement featuring a large picture of a masked woman urged, with unusual phrasing, 𠇍o not take any person’s breath.” In Cincinnati, a board of health sign posted on streetcars told everyone to “Keep Your Bedroom Windows Open!” Like many other PSAs, the sign emphasized that precautions against the flu could also prevent the spread of other deadly infectious diseases like pneumonia and tuberculosis.

Messaging in 1918 also emphasized that special health measures weren’t just important because they kept the person who followed them safe. They were also important because they helped protect those around them. Cartoonist Clifford T. Berryman highlighted this in an illustration of a sneezing little boy and an older man who stood in for “The Public.” Looking at the little boy, the man said: “Use the handkerchief and do your bit to protect me.”


RISK LEVELS

To help cut through the noise and sometimes conflicting advice, a network of research, policy and public health experts convened by Brown School of Public Health and Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics launched a Key Metrics For COVID Suppression framework that provides clear, accessible guidance to policy makers and the public on how to target and suppress COVID-19 more effectively across the nation.

“Policy-makers need clear and consistent visibility that permits differentiating policy across jurisdictions”, explains Danielle Allen, director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University. “We also collectively need to keep focused on what should be our main target: a path to near zero case incidence.”

The framework brings clarity to metrics that help communities determine the severity of the outbreak they are responding to. The accompanying COVID Risk Level dashboard shows if a county or state is on the green, yellow, orange or red risk level, based on the number of new daily cases. The framework then delivers broad guidance on the intensity of control efforts needed based on these COVID risk levels. It offers key performance indicators for testing and contact tracing across all risk levels, as a backbone for suppression efforts.


Britain’s black queen: Will Meghan Markle really be the first mixed-race royal?

When Britain’s Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle announced their engagement Monday, Twitter erupted with the news that the newest princess in the royal family would be biracial.

“We got us a Black princess ya’ll,” GirlTyler exulted. “Shout out to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Their wedding will be my Super Bowl.”

But Markle, whose mother is black and whose father is white, may not be the first mixed-race royal.

Some historians suspect that Queen Charlotte, the wife of King George III who bore the king 15 children, was of African descent.

Historian Mario De Valdes y Cocom argues that Queen Charlotte was directly descended from a black branch of the Portuguese royal family: Alfonso III and his concubine, Ouruana, a black Moor.

In the 13th century, “Alfonso III of Portugal conquered a little town named Faro from the Moors,” said Valdes, a researcher on the 1996 FRONTLINE PBS documentary “Secret Daughter.” “He demanded [the governor’s] daughter as a paramour. He had three children with her.”

According to Valdes, one of their sons, Martin Alfonso, married into the noble de Sousa family, who also had black ancestry. Queen Charlotte had African blood from both families.

Valdes, who grew up in Belize, began researching Queen Charlotte’s African ancestry in 1967, after he moved to Boston.

“I had heard these stories from my Jamaican nanny, Etheralda ‘TeeTee’ Cole,” Valdes recalled.

He discovered that a royal physician, Baron Christian Friedrich Stockmar, described Queen Charlotte as “small and crooked, with a true mulatto face.”

Sir Walter Scott wrote that she was “ill-colored” and called her family “a bunch of ill-colored orangutans.”

One prime minister once wrote of Queen Charlotte: “Her nose is too wide and her lips too thick.”

In several British colonies, Queen Charlotte was often honored by blacks who were convinced from her portraits and likeness on coins that she had African ancestry.

Valdes became fascinated by official portraits of Queen Charlotte in which her features, he said, were visibly “negroid.”

“I started a systematic genealogical search,” said Valdes, which is how he traced her ancestry back to the mixed-race branch of the Portuguese royal family.

Charlotte, who was born May 19, 1744, was the youngest daughter of Duke Carl Ludwig Friedrich of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and Princess Elisabeth Albertine of Saxe-Hildburghausen. She was a 17-year-old German princess when she traveled to England to wed King George III, who later went to war with his American colonies and lost rather badly. His mother most likely chose Charlotte to be his bride.

“Back in London, the king’s enthusiasm mounted daily,” wrote Janice Hadlow in the book, “A Royal Experiment: The Private Life of King George III.” “He had acquired a portrait of Charlotte and was said to be mighty fond of it, but won’t let any mortal look at it.”

King George III ordered that gowns be made and waiting for his new bride when she arrived in London.

He met Charlotte for the first time on their wedding day, Sept. 8, 1761.

“Introduced to the king, Charlotte ‘threw herself at his feet, he raised her up, embraced her and led her through the garden up the steps into the palace,’ ” Hadlow wrote. “Some later reminiscences asserted that at the moment of their meeting, the king had been shocked by Charlotte’s appearance.”

In a portrait painted by Sir Allan Ramsay, Queen Charlotte’s hair is piled high in curly ringlets. Her neck is long and her skin appears to be café-au-lait.

Ramsay, Valdes said, was an abolitionist married to the niece of Lord Mansfield, the judge who ruled in 1772 that slavery should be abolished in the British Empire. And Ramsay was uncle by marriage to Dido Elizabeth Lindsay, the black grandniece of Lord Mansfield. Dido’s life story was recently recounted in the movie “Belle.”

In 1999, the London Sunday Times published an article with the headline: “REVEALED: THE QUEEN’S BLACK ANCESTORS.”

“The connection had been rumored but never proved,” the Times wrote. “The royal family has hidden credentials that make its members appropriate leaders of Britain’s multicultural society. It has black and mixed-raced royal ancestors who have never been publicly acknowledged. An American genealogist has established that Queen Charlotte, the wife of George III, was directly descended from the illegitimate son of an African mistress in the Portuguese royal house.”


A view of the nose of the Douglas Boston III - History

Douglas A-26 Invader

(Variants/Other Names: Douglas B-26 Invader -- Do not confuse with Martin B-26 Marauder. Also JD-1, UB-26, CB-26, DB-26, TB-26, FA-26, RB-26, EB-26, VB-26. Numerous civilian variants -- see History below.)


This A-26, named "Lady Liberty" ( N9682C), is operated by the Commemorative Air Force.
Image by Max Haynes - MaxAir2Air.com.

History: The A-26, the last aircraft designated as an "attack bomber," was designed to replace the Douglas A-20 Havoc/Boston. It incorporated many improvements over the earlier Douglas designs. The first three XA-26 prototypes first flew in July 1942, and each was configured differently: Number One as a daylight bomber with a glass nose, Number Two as a gun-laden night-fighter, and Number Three as a ground-attack platform, with a 75-millimeter cannon in the nose. This final variant, eventually called the A-26B, was chosen for production.

Upon its delivery to the 9th Air Force in Europe in November 1944 (and the Pacific Theater shortly thereafter), the A-26 became the fastest US bomber of WWII. The A-26C, with slightly-modified armament, was introduced in 1945. The A-26s combat career was cut short by the end of the war, and because no other use could be found for them, many A-26s were converted to JD-1 target tugs for the US Navy.

A strange aircraft-designation swap occurred in 1948, when the Martin B-26 Marauder was deactivated and the Douglas A-26 was re-designated the B-26. (It kept this designation until 1962.) B-26s went on to serve extensively in both the Korean and Vietnam wars. In Vietnam, they were commonly used in the Counter-Insurgency (COIN) role, with very heavy armament and extra power. This version, the B-26K, was based in Thailand and was, to confuse things further, called the A-26 for political reasons. B-26s were also used for training, VIP transport, cargo, night reconnaissance, missile guidance and tracking, and as drone-control platforms.

Post-war uses of the airplane included luxurious executive transport (Smith Tempo I Tempo II and Biscayne 26 LAS Super-26 Berry Silver-Sixty Monarch-26 On-Mark Marketeer/Marksman), aerial surveying and, most notably, firefighting, a role in which it is still occasionally used today.

Nicknames: Unknown

Specifications (A-26B):
Engines: Two 2000hp Pratt & Whitney R-2800-79 radial piston engines
Weight: Empty 22,370 lbs., Maximum Takeoff 35,000 lbs.
Wing Span: 70ft. 0in.
Length: 50ft. 9in.
Height: 18ft. 6in.
Performance:
Maximum Speed at 15,000 ft: 355 mph
Ceiling: 22,100 ft
Range: 1,400 miles
Armament:
Six 12.7mm (0.5 in.) machine guns in nose
Two 12.7mm (0.5 in.) machine guns each in ventral and dorsal turrets
6000 lbs. of bombs
Eight 127mm (5-inch) rockets


Historical Snapshot

The McDonnell two-place, twinjet, all-weather F-4 Phantom II, with top speeds more than twice that of sound, was one of the most versatile fighters ever built. It served in the first line of more Western air forces than any other jet. Just 31 months after its first flight, the F-4 was the U.S. Navy's fastest, highest flying and longest range fighter. It first flew May 27, 1958, and entered service in 1961.

The aircraft was named Phantom II on July 3, 1959, during a ceremony held at the McDonnell plant in St. Louis, Mo., to celebrate the company's 20th anniversary. It remained in production until the company's 40th anniversary. By then, the numeral "II" had been discontinued it had become the only Phantom.

The F-4 established 16 speed, altitude and time-to-climb records. In 1959, its prototype set the world altitude record at 98,556 feet (30,000 meters). In 1961, an F-4 set the world speed record at 1,604 mph (2581 kph) on a 15-mile circuit. By the end of production in 1985, McDonnell had built 5,068 Phantom IIs, and Mitsubishi, in Japan, had built 127.

Modifications incorporated improvements to weapons, avionics, radar and engines. The RF versions were equipped with cameras and surveillance gear for aerial reconnaissance. Armament ranged from cannons to missiles.

F-4s saw combat in both the Vietnam War and Operation Desert Storm and served with the air forces of 11 countries in addition to the United States. Both U.S. military flight demonstration teams, the Navy Blue Angels and the Air Force Thunderbirds, flew the Phantom II from 1969 to 1973.

The 5,000th Phantom was delivered on May 24, 1978, in ceremonies that also marked the 20th anniversary of the fighter's first flight, and McDonnell Douglas delivered the last St. Louis&ndashbuilt Phantom II in October 1979. By 1998, approximately 800 were still in service around the world.

In 2014, modified Phantoms designated QF-4 were being used as remotely controlled aerial targets over the Gulf of Mexico to test pilots, aircraft such as drones and weapons at Tyndall Air Force Base near Panama City, Fla. In September 2014, the first unmanned QF-16 Viper was successfully tested there as a proposed replacement for the aging QF-4s.


Douglas DC-3

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Douglas DC-3

The Douglas DC-3 was one of the most successful airliners in history. The aircraft’s efficiency, speed, and safety popularized air travel. It was the first airliner able to profit only from carrying passengers. Highlight in this image are the propellers and engines of a Douglas DC-3 that flew more than 56,700 hours with Eastern Air Lines. Its last commercial flight was on October 12, 1952, when it flew from San Salvador to Miami.

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Douglas DC-3

The Douglas DC-3 was one of the most successful airliners in history. The aircraft’s efficiency, speed, and safety popularized air travel. It was the first airliner able to profit only from carrying passengers. Highlight in this image is the cockpit of a Douglas DC-3 that flew more than 56,700 hours with Eastern Air Lines. Its last commercial flight was on October 12, 1952, when it flew from San Salvador to Miami.

CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

Douglas DC-3

The Douglas DC-3 was one of the most successful airliners in history. The aircraft’s efficiency, speed, and safety popularized air travel. It was the first airliner able to profit only from carrying passengers. Highlight in this image is the fuselage of a Douglas DC-3 that flew more for Eastern Air Lines. Its last commercial flight was on October 12, 1952, when it flew from San Salvador to Miami.

CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

Douglas DC-3

The Douglas DC-3 was one of the most successful airliners in history. The aircraft’s efficiency, speed, and safety popularized air travel. It was the first airliner able to profit only from carrying passengers. Highlight in this image are the propeller and fuselage of a Douglas DC-3 that flew more for Eastern Air Lines. Its last commercial flight was on October 12, 1952, when it flew from San Salvador to Miami.

CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

Douglas DC-3

The Douglas DC-3 was one of the most successful airliners in history. The aircraft’s efficiency, speed, and safety popularized air travel. It was the first airliner able to profit only from carrying passengers. Highlight in this image is the vertical stabilizer of a Douglas DC-3 that flew more for Eastern Air Lines. Its last commercial flight was on October 12, 1952, when it flew from San Salvador to Miami.

CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

Douglas DC-3

The Douglas DC-3 was one of the most successful airliners in history. The aircraft’s efficiency, speed, and safety popularized air travel. It was the first airliner able to profit only from carrying passengers. Highlight in this image is the vertical stabilizer of a Douglas DC-3 that flew more for Eastern Air Lines. Its last commercial flight was on October 12, 1952, when it flew from San Salvador to Miami. Highlighted in this image is a tire of the Douglas DC-3.

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This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

Douglas DC-3

The Douglas DC-3 was one of the most successful airliners in history. The aircraft’s efficiency, speed, and safety popularized air travel. It was the first airliner able to profit only from carrying passengers. Highlight in this image is the vertical stabilizer of a Douglas DC-3 that flew more for Eastern Air Lines. Its last commercial flight was on October 12, 1952, when it flew from San Salvador to Miami. Highlighted in this image is a tire of the Douglas DC-3.

CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

Douglas DC-3

The Douglas DC-3 was one of the most successful airliners in history. The aircraft’s efficiency, speed, and safety popularized air travel. It was the first airliner able to profit only from carrying passengers. Highlight in this image is the vertical stabilizer of a Douglas DC-3 that flew more for Eastern Air Lines. Its last commercial flight was on October 12, 1952, when it flew from San Salvador to Miami. Highlighted in this image is the landing gear of the Douglas DC-3.

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This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

Douglas DC-3

The Douglas DC-3 was one of the most successful airliners in history. The aircraft's efficiency, speed, and safety popularized air travel. It was the first airliner able to profit only from carrying passengers. Highlight in this image is the vertical stabilizer of a Douglas DC-3 that flew more for Eastern Air Lines. Its last commercial flight was on October 12, 1952, when it flew from San Salvador to Miami. Highlighted in this image is the engine of the Douglas DC-3.

CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

Douglas DC-3

The Douglas DC-3 was one of the most successful airliners in history. The aircraft's efficiency, speed, and safety popularized air travel. It was the first airliner able to profit only from carrying passengers. Featured in this image is the airstair of a Douglas DC-3 that flew more than 56,700 hours with Eastern Air Lines.

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This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

Douglas DC-3

The Douglas DC-3 was one of the most successful airliners in history. The aircraft's efficiency, speed, and safety popularized air travel. It was the first airliner able to profit only from carrying passengers. Highlighted in this image is a passenger window from a Douglas DC-3 that flew for Eastern Air Lines.

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This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

Douglas DC-3

The Douglas DC-3 was one of the most successful airliners in history. The aircraft's efficiency, speed, and safety popularized air travel. It was the first airliner able to profit only from carrying passengers.

CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

Douglas DC-3

The Douglas DC-3 was one of the most successful airliners in history. The aircraft's efficiency, speed, and safety popularized air travel. It was the first airliner able to profit only from carrying passengers. Highlighted in this image is the nose of a Douglas DC-3.

CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

Douglas DC-3

The Douglas DC-3 was one of the most successful airliners in history. The aircraft's efficiency, speed, and safety popularized air travel. It was the first airliner able to profit only from carrying passengers. Highlighted in this image is the nose of a Douglas DC-3.

CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

Douglas DC-3

The Douglas DC-3 was one of the most successful airliners in history. The aircraft's efficiency, speed, and safety popularized air travel. It was the first airliner able to profit only from carrying passengers. Highlighted in this image is an exhaust valve.

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Douglas DC-3

Twin-engined monoplane in Eastern Airlines livery.

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This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

Douglas DC-3

The Douglas DC-3 was one of the most successful airliners in history. The aircraft’s efficiency, speed, and safety popularized air travel. It was the first airliner able to profit only from carrying passengers. Highlight in this image is a Douglas DC-3 that flew more than 56,700 hours with Eastern Air Lines. Its last commercial flight was on October 12, 1952, when it flew from San Salvador to Miami.

Douglas DC-3 on Display

Douglas DC-3 on display in former Air Transportation exhibition c.2005.

DC-3 on Display

Douglas DC-3 on display in former Air Transportation exhibition c.2005.

Douglas DC-3 Airstair

The Douglas DC-3 was one of the most successful airliners in history. The aircraft?s efficiency, speed, and safety popularized air travel. It was the first airliner able to profit only from carrying passengers. Highlight in this image is the airstair of a Douglas DC-3 that flew more for Eastern Air Lines.

Douglas DC-3 Window

The Douglas DC-3 was one of the most successful airliners in history. The aircraft?s efficiency, speed, and safety popularized air travel. It was the first airliner able to profit only from carrying passengers. Highlight in this image is a passenger window of a Douglas DC-3 that flew more for Eastern Air Lines

Douglas DC-3 Cockpit and Fuselage

The Douglas DC-3 was one of the most successful airliners in history. The aircraft’s efficiency, speed, and safety popularized air travel. It was the first airliner able to profit only from carrying passengers. Highlight in this image are the cockpit and fuselage of a Douglas DC-3.

Douglas DC-3 Nose

The Douglas DC-3 was one of the most successful airliners in history. The aircraft’s efficiency, speed, and safety popularized air travel. It was the first airliner able to profit only from carrying passengers. Highlight in this image is the nose of a Douglas DC-3.

Douglas DC-3 Nose

The Douglas DC-3 was one of the most successful airliners in history. The aircraft’s efficiency, speed, and safety popularized air travel. It was the first airliner able to profit only from carrying passengers. Highlight in this image is the nose of a Douglas DC-3.

Douglas DC-3

The Douglas DC-3 was one of the most successful airliners in history. The aircraft’s efficiency, speed, and safety popularized air travel. It was the first airliner able to profit only from carrying passengers.

Douglas DC-3 in America by Air

First flown in 1935, the Douglas DC-3 became the most successful airliner in the formative years of air transportation, and was the first to fly profitably without government subsidy. More than 13,000 DC-3s, both civil and military versions, U.S. and foreign built, were produced. Many are still flying.

An enlarged variant of the popular 14-seat DC-2, the 21-seat DC-3 was comfortable by the standards of its time and very safe, because of its strong, multiple-spar wing and all-metal construction. The airlines liked it because it was reliable, inexpensive to operate, and therefore profitable. Pilots liked its stability, ease of handling, and excellent single-engine performance.

The airplane on display above flew more than 56,700 hours with Eastern Air Lines. Its last commercial flight was on October 12, 1952, when it flew from San Salvador to Miami. It was subsequently presented to the Museum by Eastern’s president, Edward V. Rickenbacker.

Gift of Eastern Air Lines

Weight, gross: 11,430 kg (25,200 lb)

Weight, empty: 7,650 kg (16,865)

Top speed: 370 km/h (230 mph)

Engine: 2 Wright SGR 1820-71, 1,200 hp

Manufacturer: Douglas Aircraft Co., Santa Monica, Calif., 1936

The development of the Douglas DC-3 was brought about by the commercial airlines demand for an economical passenger-carrying airplane. Up to 1934, airline passenger craft were too slow and carried too few passengers to be really profitable. United Air Lines had ordered sixty of the new Boeing 247s, the first truly modern airliners and had effectively tied up production. The 247 carried ten passengers at 160 mph and made all other transports obsolete. The other carriers were thus forced to find another plane if they wished to be competitive in the passenger-carrying business.

In 1933 the Douglas Aircraft Company designed a new passenger plane, as ordered by Transcontinental and Western airlines, to compete with the Boeing 247. The first model, the DC-1, was soon succeeded by the DC-2 and the start of quantity production. American Airlines, at the time, was using the slow Curtiss Condor, which was fitted with sleeper berths. American needed a new airplane able to compete with the DC-2 and the Boeing 247, but one with sleeping accommodations.

In 1935 C. R. Smith, president of American Airlines, made a direct request of Douglas to build a larger, more comfortable plane which could lure the luxury trade." On December 17, 1935, the Douglas Sleeper Transport (DST) made its first flight

The original plane was designed as a luxury sleeper with seven upper and seven lower berths and a private forward cabin. The day plane version, known as the DC-3, had twenty-one seats instead of fourteen berths. The design included cantilever wings, all-metal construction, two cowled Wright SGR-1820 1,000 hp radial engines, retractable landing gear, and trailing edge flaps. The controls included an automatic pilot and two sets of instruments. The original design was so satisfactory that the basic specifications were never changed.

American Airlines initiated DST nonstop New York-to-Chicago service on June 25, 1936. and in September started service with the DC-3. A year later, with the DC-3 in service, Smith stated, "It was the first airplane in the world that could make money just by hauling passengers" This was the beginning of an immortal airplane known the world over. As the success of the DC-3, with its larger capacity for passengers, its speed, and its economical operation, was realized, airlines throughout the world began placing orders with Douglas.

In the United States the big three transcontinental lines were very competitive. With the advent of DST coast-to-coast service by American Airlines, Trans World Airlines obtained DSTs and DC-3s for such flights also. When United Airlines, with its Boeing 247s, saw that the Douglas plane was outclassing its own service, the company purchased ten DSTs and five DC-3s, and began flights on January 1, 1937. In July of that same year United introduced sleeper service between New York and California.

By 1938, 95 percent of all U.S. commercial airline traffic was on DC-3s. Two hundred sixty DC-3s, 80 percent of the number of airliners, were in service in 1942 on domestic carriers. As of December 31, 1969, thirty DC-3s were still being used by U.S airlines.

Foreign companies also began to order the economical Douglas-built plane. KLM was the first European airline to own and operate DC-3s, in 1936, followed by companies in Sweden, Switzerland, France, Belgium, and elsewhere. By 1938 DC-3s were flown by thirty foreign airlines, and by 1939, 90 percent of the world's airline traffic was being carried by these aircraft.

The impact of the DC-3 was felt the world over. In July 1936 President Franklin D. Roosevelt presented Donald W. Douglas, head of Douglas Aircraft, with the Collier Trophy. Recognizing the DC-3 as the outstanding twin-engined commercial plane,' the citation read, 'This airplane, by reason of its high speed, economy, and quiet passenger comfort, has been generally adopted by transport lines throughout the United States. Its merit has been further recognized by its adoption abroad, and its influence on foreign design is already apparent."

In 1939 the DC-3 was called on to aid the military fleets of the world. Many commercial carriers in Europe put their DC-3s to use as military transports. The United States ordered new versions of the DC-3 modified for troop transport and cargo carrying. These were designated as C-47s and C-53s. As military versions were built, they were put into operation in European and Pacific theaters during World War II. C-47s initiated the Berlin Airlift in 1948. In military service since 1941, the C-47 proved most useful in many endeavors.

Many names and numbers were assigned to the DC-3. England labeled it the "Dakota" or "Dak." American pilots, during World War II, called it the 'Skytrain," "Skytrooper," "Doug," or "Gooney Bird." The U.S. military's official titles were C-47, C-53, C-117, and R4D. The airlines called it "The Three." Of all the names the affectionate title "Gooney Bird" lingers on.

The normal gross weight for the aircraft was 25,200 pounds, with twenty-one passengers. Many times these weights were exceeded as conditions required. The normal range was 1,500 miles, but this could be extended by adding fuel tanks. The cruising speed varied from 155 mph to 190 mph depending on the load carried and the power used. The DC-3's safety record was better than that of most airplanes, primarily because of its great structural strength and efficient single-engine performance.

Since 1935, 803 commercial transports and 10,123 military versions have been built. In addition, about 3,000 have been constructed under license in Russia (Li-2) and almost 500 in Japan. In service since 1936, the DC-3 is still in use today throughout the world.


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Comments:

  1. Douran

    Quite right! The idea is great, I support it.



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