Douglas A-20H Havoc

Last revised August 5, 2000


The A-20H was identical to the A-20G-45-DO, with the exception of being powered by the 1700 hp R-2600-29. This change in powerplant was made necessary by the discontinued production of the 1600 hp R-2600-23. The additional takeoff power offered by the -29 engine was especially welcome since the takeoff weight had increased from 21,500 pounds for the A-20C to 24,170 pounds for the A-20H. Aside from the engine change, there was no other noticeable change to distinguish the A-20H from the late A-20J.

A single A-20H (44-0466) was experimentally fitted with a tracked main undercarriage in an attempt to improve rough-field performance. However, since by this time in the war US forces had become very adept at repairing captured airfields and in building new ones, this innovation was found not to be necessary and no further experiments were carried out.

A total of 412 A-20Hs were built, all of them by Douglas-Santa Monica.

The A-20H-5-DO differed from the -1 in having provision for fragmentation bomb racks.

The A-20H-10-DO reverted to 1600 hp R-2600-23 engines. These were fitted with flame dampers, which would imply that they were intended for night intruder missions.

The A-20H-15-DO changed back to the R-2600-29s and introduced a heavier skin in the pilot's cockpit area.

A few A-20Hs were still on the USAF inventory when the A-for-attack designation category was eliminated in 1948. These aircraft became ZB-20H, the Z prefix indicating Obsolete.

Serials of A-20H:

44-1/8			Douglas A-20H-1-DO Havoc
44-10/25			Douglas A-20H-1-DO Havoc
44-26/65			Douglas A-20H-5-DO Havoc
44-199/328		Douglas A-20H-10-DO Havoc
44-407/536		Douglas A-20H-10-DO Havoc
44-619/706		Douglas A-20H-15-DO Havoc

Specification of Douglas A-20H Havoc:

Engines; Two 1600 hp Wright R-2600-29 Double Cyclone 14 cylinder twin-row air-cooled radial engines equipped with two-speed superchargers. Rated at 1700 hp for takeoff. Performance: Maximum speed 333 mph at 15,600 feet. Cruising speed 269 mph. An altitude of 10,000 feet could be attained in 6.6 minutes. Service ceiling 25,300 feet. Normal range 880 miles. Maximum ferry range 2200 miles.. Dimensions: Wingspan 61 feet 4 inches, length 48 feet 0 inches, height 17 feet 7 inches, wing area 465 square feet. Weights: 16,842 pounds empty, 23,987 pounds gross. 27,000 pounds maximum. Armament: Six forward-firing 0.50 Colt-Browning machine guns in the nose with 350 rpg. Two 0.50-inch machine gun in dorsal power turret with 400 rpg. One 0.50-inch machine gun in the ventral tunnel position with 400 rounds. Maximum internal bomb load 2000 pounds in split bomb bay plus 2000 pounds on four underwing hardpoints.

Sources:


  1. American Combat Planes, Third Enlarged Edition, Ray Wagner, Doubleday, 1982.

  2. McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Since 1920, Vol 1, Rene J. Francillon, Naval Institute Press, 1988

  3. United States Military Aircraft Since 1909, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989.

  4. A-20 Havoc in Action, Aircraft Number 144, Squadron/Signal Publications, Jim Mesko, 1994.

  5. Famous Bombers of the Second World War, William Green, Doubleday, 1960

  6. Boston, Mitchell and Liberator In Australian Service, Stewart Wilson, Aerospace Publications, 1992.

  7. Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II, Military Press, 1989.

  8. Dog of War, Peter Bowers, Wings, Vol 26, No 1, (1996)