Vultee A-35 Vengeance

The Vultee A-35 Vengeance was the designation given to the last 930 Vengeances, armed with the standard American 0.50in machine guns instead of the 0.30in guns used on the A-31 Vengeance. All A-35s were built by Vultee, after production ended at Northrop.

Vengeance A-35A

The first 99 aircraft were built as A-35As. These were armed with four 0.50in guns in the wing and one rear-firing flexibly mounted 0.50in gun. The wings were given a four degree angle of incidence (the angle of the wings compared to the fuselage), in an effort to improve pilot visibility.

Vengeance A-35B

Production then moved onto the A-35B, which carried six 0.50in wing guns. Australian records suggest that the A-35B retained its rear-firing 0.50in gun, giving it a total of seven guns. The A-35B had wing racks that could carry either extra fuel tanks or two more 500lb bombs, giving it a total bomb load of 2,000lb.

201 aircraft were built to complete the first lend-lease order for 300 A-35s, and were followed by another 630 aircraft, bringing total production to 831 A-35Bs. Orders for another 2,035 aircraft were cancelled on 20 May 1943.

The RAF received 104 A-35Bs powered by the 1,700 Wright R-2600-13, which received the designation Mk IV-1, and 458 A-35Bs powered by the similar -8 engine, which received the designation Mk IV-2. The RAAF received 121 Mk IVs, which it designated as the Mk IVB. Some of these aircraft came directly from the United States and some from the RAF.

Minor Users

The Free French Air Force in North Africa received 67 A-35As and A-35Bs, starting in June 1943. They were used by GB I/62 and GT II/5 for gunnery training, but had been returned as unreliable by April 1944.

Brazil received a batch of 28 V-72 Vengeances early in 1943, using them to equip the 1st Dive-Bombing Squadron, and five A-35Bs in September 1944, which were used by the 2nd Dive-Bombing Squadron. The aircraft were used for anti-submarine patrols, and some remaining in Brazilian service until May 1948.

United States Service

The 48th Bombardment Group used the A-35 during 1942-43, when it partly equipped all four of the group's squadrons (55th, 56th, 57th and 88th Bombardment Squadrons, later redesignated as the 492nd, 493rd, 494th and 495th Fighter Squadrons, while the group became the 48th Fighter Group, although by this point the A-35s had gone). The group was a replacement training unit during the period it operated the A-35, although also carried out a limited amount of anti-submarine patrols

The 406th Bombardment Group (later Fighter Group) also used the A-35 for training during 1943, using it to equip the 628th, 629th and 630th Bombardment Squadrons. These were later renamed as the 512th, 513th and 514th Fighter Squadrons and served in Normandy and northern Europe.

The A-34 was also used by the 623rd and 631st Bombardment Squadrons during between early 1943 and August 1943, when both squadrons were disbanded.

A-34B (Vengeance Mk IV)
Engine: Wright R-2600-13 Cyclone
Power: 1,700hp
Crew: 2
Wing span: 48ft
Length: 39ft 9in
Height: 15ft 4in
Empty Weight: 10,300lb
Maximum take-off weight: 16,400lb
Max Speed: 279mph at 13,500ft
Cruising Speed: 230mph
Service Ceiling: 22,300ft
Range: 2,300 miles
Armament: Six 0.50in guns (but see text above)
Bomb-load: 2,000lb

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (30 December 2009), Vultee A-35 Vengeance , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_vultee_A-35_vengeance.html

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