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BREWSTER XA-32A

Posted 12/31/2008 Printable Fact Sheet
 
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Brewster XA-32A
Brewster XA-32A (S/N 42-13569) equipped with four 20mm wing cannons. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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The XA-32 development program was canceled after prototype testing was completed. The XA-32 was heavy and underpowered and lacked the speed and range to become an effective dive bomber/ground attack aircraft. The Army bought 500 North American A-36A Apache attack aircraft for dive bombing and ground attack missions early in the war. In the later years of World War II, the A-36A itself was replaced by more capable pursuit aircraft adapted for the ground attack role, for example, the Republic P-47.

Although the XA-32 program was canceled, the second aircraft was used to test the suitability of replacing the wing mounted machine guns with cannons. The eight .50-cal. machine guns originally installed were removed and replaced with four 20mm cannons. The cannon armed aircraft had a greater single shot impact due to the larger diameter bullets (0.79 inches versus 0.5 inches); however, the Army Air Force favored the higher rate of fire combined with an increased number of machine guns (i.e. eight .50-cal. machine guns were better than four 20mm cannons). The use of large numbers of machine guns for ground attack aircraft was used very effectively in aircraft like the B-25H, B-26G and A-26B.


Type Number built/
converted
Remarks
XA-32A 1 (cv) XA-32 with 20mm cannons


TECHNICAL NOTES:
Armament: Four 20mm cannons plus provisions for up to 3,000 lbs. of bombs (1,000 lbs. in an internal fuselage bomb bay and up to one 1,000 lb. bomb on each wing)
Engine: Pratt & Whitney R-2800-37 of 2,100 hp
Maximum speed: 311 mph
Cruising speed: 196 mph
Range: 500 miles (with combat load)
Span: 45 ft. 1 in.
Length: 40 ft. 7 in.
Weight: Approx. 13,500 lbs.
Crew: One (pilot)
Serial number: 42-13569

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