Douglas F-3

Forty nine Douglas A-20 Havocs were converted to act as photo-reconnaissance aircraft, under the designation F-3. The first three aircraft used came from the original group of 63 A-20s, the rest of which were used to produce the first P-70 night fighters.

The XF-3 was produced in March 1940 by the addition of T-3A cameras in the bomb bay, while defensive firepower was provided by a single .30in machine gun on each side of the nose, two in the rear gunner’s position and one in the ventral tunnel.

The two YF-3s were given more radical defensive armament with a single gun at the front, a remotely controlled aft facing gun in each nacelle and a twin gun mounted in the tail. These three aircraft were powered with turbo-supercharged Wright R-2600-11 engines, which gave them the high altitude performance needed for the reconnaissance role.

Finally 46 F-3As were produced by installing K-198, K-17 or K-22 cameras in the bomb-bay of A-20Js and A-20Ks. Five were produced by the Air Corps, the rest by Douglas. The F-3A was used by the 155th Photographic Squadron (Night), part of the 9th Air Force.

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (5 September 2008), Douglas F-3 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_douglas_F-3.html

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