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Douglas O-46A

DAYTON, Ohio -- The Douglas O-46A is currently in storage at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- The Douglas O-46A is currently in storage at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio (02/2007) -- Douglas O-46A awaits restoration at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio (02/2007) -- Douglas O-46A awaits restoration at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio (02/2010) -- O-46A in the Restoration Hangar at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio (02/2010) -- O-46A in the Restoration Hangar at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio (04/2010) -- O-46A in the Restoration Hangar at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. William Greer)

DAYTON, Ohio (04/2010) -- O-46A in the Restoration Hangar at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. William Greer)

DAYTON, Ohio - The O-46A's R-1535-7 engine in the Restoration Hangar at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force Photo)

DAYTON, Ohio - The O-46A's R-1535-7 engine in the Restoration Hangar at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force Photo)

Note: This aircraft is currently in storage.

The O-46A was designed to operate from established airfields behind fairly static battle lines as in World War I; however, in 1939 a report was issued on the O-46A that stated it was too slow and heavy to outrun and outmaneuver enemy pursuit planes, too heavy to operate from small, wet, unprepared fields, and too large to conceal beneath trees. This report was a forecast of the future, for World War II, with its rapidly changing battle lines proved the need for light, maneuverable observation aircraft that could operate from unimproved airstrips.

The Air Corps ordered 90 O-46As in 1935. At least 11 saw overseas duty; two were destroyed in the Japanese raid on Clark Field in the Philippines on Dec. 8, 1941. The remaining O-46s were declared obsolete in late 1942 and after that were used primarily in training and utility roles.

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