A-36 Apache Dive Bomber

I was able to find these photos of the A-36 which show the dive brakes, employed to improve accuracy.

The A-36, dubbed “Apache” by NAA (though not adopted officially by the USAAF), was developed from the Mustang I in response to a USAAF requirement for a high-speed dive bomber.  Air Force officials noted the success of the Junkers Ju-87 “Stuka” and developed the requirement to meet the needs of the Army to support its ground forces.  The high speed of the A-36 required that it incorporate air brakes in the wings to limit its dive speed to 390mph to improve accuracy.  The A-36 proved to be very successful in its service career flying 23,373 combat sortied and delivering over 8,000 tons of ordnance on targets in the Mediterranean theaters.  A total of 84 enemy aircraft were shot down and 17 more strafed on the ground for a loss of 177 A-36’s to enemy action.  Though that is a loss of over 30% of the airframes built it is indicative of the dangerous and difficult missions it performed so successfully.


Photo Source(s):
Dick Phillips.
Chuck Gardner –
Warbirds Resource Group
Timothy Cox




Type: Attack Bomber
Origin: North American
Models: A-36A
Crew: One
First Flight: N/A
Service Delivery: N/A
Final Delivery:
Prodcution: 500
Unit Cost: $49,000
Serial Number Range: 42-83663 to 42-84162

Model: Allison V-1710-87
Type: Liquid Cooled V-12     Number: One
Horsepower: 1,325hp at 3,000 ft.

Wing span: 37 ft.
Length: 32 ft. 3 in.
Height: 12 ft. 2 in.
Wing Surface Area: N/A

Empty: N/A
Loaded: 10,000 lb.

Maximum Speed: 365 mph
Cruising Speed: 250 mph
Initial climb: N/A
Service Ceiling: 25,1000 ft.
Range: 550 miles

Two .50 machine guns in each wing.
Two .50 machine guns in lower part of nose.
1,000 lbs of bombs hung externally.



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