Location: Eagle Hangar
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Introduced in 1941, the Douglas A-20 Havoc has a long history that starts with its design in 1937. Ultimately, several different versions were produced before the type was retired in 1949.
While there initially wasn’t much interest on the part of the U.S. Army, the French took a liking to the A-20, and ordered 270 of them around the beginning of World War II. The British Commonwealth ended up ordering and using the airplanes, which they called the Boston, as well, and another sizable chunk of the A-20s produced went to another Allied country, the Soviet Union.
The Soviets ended up with nearly as many A-20s as the United States, and the Havoc was the most-used foreign bomber operated by the Soviets, with more than 3,400 of them eventually delivered there. Only 7,400 A-20s were produced, meaning the USSR ended up with nearly half.
The Havoc became known for being extremely pilot-friendly, even though it didn’t have the range or bomb capacity of other bombers at the time. The A-20 earned this reputation for its single-engine performance as well as its maneuverability, especially when compared to other light/medium bombers of the day.
Today, only one known A-20 remains airworthy, and it’s in Oshkosh already waiting for AirVenture. The Havoc served with the 46th Bomb Group in North Carolina and was one of the few A-20s to not be either scrapped or blown up after the bomber fell out of use near the end of the war.
“We’re really excited to see this beautiful airplane this summer,” said Rick Larsen, EAA’s vice president of communities and member programs who coordinates features and attractions at AirVenture. “As the only known flying example, the A-20 is truly unique and will be a great addition to the warbird lineup at Oshkosh 2017.”
Originally spared to be a movie prop for postwar films, the A-20 was eventually purchased by Rod Lewis, who had it completely restored to its wartime appearance after an earlier owner modified it to be an executive transport aircraft.
After nearly making it to Oshkosh in 2016, the Havoc is set to appear for the first time at AirVenture in 2017, meaning attendees will get a chance to see a flying A-20, something that’s been impossible for decades.
Aircraft Make & Model: Douglas A-20 Havoc
Length: 47 feet, 11 inches
Wingspan: 61 feet, 4 inches
Height: 17 feet, 7 inches
Maximum Gross Weight: 27,200 pounds
Empty Weight: 16,693 pounds
Powerplant: Two Wright R-2600-A5B Twin Cyclone radial engines
Horsepower: 1,700 hp (each)
Cruise Speed: 280 mph
Maximum Speed: 325 mph at 14,500 feet
Service Ceiling: 25,300 feet
Range: 945 miles