The P-26 Peashooter would be the first all-metal monoplane production fighter to serve with the United States Army Air Corps. Forming the core of the United States based pursuit aircraft
the Boeing P-26 Peashooter would spend fours years serving as a front line fighter.
The P-26 began its life as the Boeing Model 248 in September 1931 and development on the aircraft was funded by Boeing themselves. Although the engines and instruments would be supplied
by the United States Army Air Corps. Under the designation XP-936, three aircraft would be produced to undergo trials.
The first of these would fly on the 20th March 1932 and along with the second example, which was undergoing static tests, would go to Wright Field for evaluation. The final aircraft of
the three would be sent to operational squadrons based at Selfridge Field to undergo testing on the 25th April 1932. The United States Army Air Corps would go on to purchase
these three aircraft and re-designate them to Y1P-26, before placing an order for 111 P-26s, which would be increased later on by a further 25 to a total of 136 aircraft.
With a speed of around 30 mph faster than biplane fighters and with the ability to outclimb them as well the P-26 would form the core of pursuit squadrons based in the United States.
Although the increase in speed would see the Peashooter have a high landing speed. This was solved by fitting the aircraft with trailing-edge flaps, which were fitted to aircraft currently
in production and retrospectively to ones in service.
Deliveries of the P-26A to the United States Army Air Corps began in December 1933 with the production example making its first flight on the 10th January 1934. The production aircraft
featured a number of improvements with radio now fitted and emergency floatation gear added. A new higher headrest in case of a roll-over accident was also fitted. By the end of June 1934
the initial 111 Peashooters ordered had been delivered. The further 25 aircraft that had been ordered would have fuel injected Pratt & Whitney WASP R-1340-33 engines fitted to them, with 23
having new controls fitted and known as P-26Cs.
The P-26 Peashooter would go on to spend four years as a front line fighter for the United States Army Air Corps before starting to be replaced by the Curtiss P-36 Hawk and Seversky P-35.
Despite this fourteen examples were based at Pearl Harbor at the time of the Japanese attack.
The Peashooter would also be sold aboard with a sole example going to Spain and 11 to China and 31 to the Philippines. With both the Philippines and China using the type against the Japanese.
A number of surplus P-26s would be used by a number of countries, including Guatemala.
An improved version of the P-26 was produced by Boeing and featured retractable undercarriage and an enclosed cockpit and was known as the YP-29, but this was not put into production.
So only the original order of 136 Boeing P-26 Peashooter aircraft were produced.