Bringing Vintage Aircraft to Life since 2010

Boeing P-26 Peashooter

 Jump to: Technical Details : Photos : See This Aircraft
Home  >  Aircraft Database  >  American Aircraft  >  Boeing P-26 Peashooter

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.

Quick Facts
Boeing P-26 Peashooter side profile image
First flight
20th March 1932
Entered service
January 1934
Total built

Front view
Sorry, no view photo available
Side view
Sorry, no view photo available
Rear view
Sorry, no view photo available

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.

Technical Details

Click on the aircraft image to view a larger version.

Top Speed Range Service Ceiling Armament
P-26A 234 mph 300 miles 27,400 ft two 0.30-in machine-guns
or one 0.30-in and one 0.50-in machine-gun
200lb bombs
P-26A side profile image
P-26B two aircraft fitted with fuel injected 600-hp Pratt & Whitney Wasp R-1340-33 engine.
P-26C 23 P-26Bs converted with new controls fitted.
Model 281 Twelve P-26Cs built for the export market. Spain would receive one with the rest going to China.


Click on a photo to view a larger version.

See This Aircraft

(C) = Cockpit only exhibit. (F) = Fuselage only exhibit. (R) = Remains of an aircraft.

No known examples currently on public display in the UK.

Back to American aircraft

Click here to view a range of Spitfire experiences

Click here to view a range of flying experiences

Quick Search

Spitfire Messerschmitt Fairey Bristol Avro North American Hawker Curtiss Grumman

New on Classic Warbirds


Spotted an error? Or just have a comment or suggestion about Classic Warbirds? Please let us know.

Click here to view our museum guide