The O-46A, the last of a long line of Douglas observation planes, was a victim of progress. It was designed to operate from established airfields behind fairly static battle lines as in WW I. However, in 1939, a report was issued on the O-46A which stated that it was too slow and heavy to outrun
and outmaneuver enemy pursuit planes, too heavy to operate from small, wet, unprepared fields, and too large to conceal beneath trees. This report was a forecast of the future, for WW II with its rapidly changing battle lines proved the need for light, maneuverable observation aircraft which could operate from unimproved airstrips. Consequently, in 1942, the "O" (observation) designation was changed to "L" (liaison). The Air Corps ordered 90 O-46As in 1935. At least 11 saw overseas duty; two were destroyed in the Japanese raid on Clark Field in the Phillipines on Dec. 8, 1941. The remainder were declared obsolete in late 1942 and after that were used primarily in training and utility roles.
For a photo of this aircraft, click
Additional information on this aircraft can be found at Wikipedia here.
(updated February 2009)
Type: observation Crew: two Armament: Two .30 cal. Browning machine guns (one wing mounted and one flexible) Specifications: Length: 34' 9.5" Height: 10' 4" Wingspan: 45' 9" Wing area: N/A Empty Weight: N/A Max Weight: 6100 lb max at takeoff Propulsion: No. of Engines: 1 Powerplant: Pratt & Whitney R-1535 Horsepower: 725 hp Performance: Range: 635 miles Cruise Speed: 171 mph Max Speed: 200 mph Ceiling: 24,150 ft (info courtesy of USAF)
(go to Douglas page)
If this page does not have a navigational frame on the left, click HERE to see the rest of the website.