Douglas A-33

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A-33/Model 8A-5
Northrop A-17/Douglas A-33
Role Ground-attack fighter
National origin United States
Manufacturer Douglas Aircraft Company
Introduction 1941
Primary user United States Army Air Corps
Number built 36
Developed from Northrop A-17

The Douglas A-33 (Model 8A-5) was an updated version of the Northrop A-17 for the export market, with a more powerful engine and increased bomb load.

Design and development[edit]

In 1932, the Northrop Corporation had been formed as a partly owned subsidiary of Douglas and by 1937, the Northrop Model 8 became known as the Douglas 8A produced in the El Segundo Division of Douglas aircraft.

The 8A-5 was powered by a 1,200 hp Wright R-1820-87 engine and was the most powerful and best armed of the series, fitted with four wing mounted 0.30 in machine guns, two 0.50 in machine guns in pods below the wing and a rear-firing flexibly mounted 0.30 in gun, and could carry up to 2,000 lb of bombs.

Operational history[edit]

Early in 1940, the Norwegian government ordered 36 8A-5s which not had been delivered before Norway was invaded by the Germans. Completed between October 1940 and January 1941, the aircraft were delivered to a training center in Canada that had been set up for the Norwegian government-in-exile, named "Little Norway" at Toronto Island Airport, Ontario.

After the loss of two aircraft and a reassessment of the training needs now met by the use of other aircraft, the remaining 34 Model 8A-5Ps were sold to Peru. However, 31 were repossessed by the Army Air Corps at the start of World War II. These aircraft, designated A-33, were used for training, target tug, and utility duties.[1]


Model 8A-5 


 United States

Specifications (A-33)[edit]

Data from McDonnell Douglas Aircraft since 1920[2]

General characteristics


  • Maximum speed: 248 mph (216 knots, 399 km/h) at 15,700 ft (4,785 m)
  • Service ceiling: 29,000 ft (8,840 m)
  • Climb to 10,000 ft (3,050 m): 5.8 min


  • Guns:
    • 4 × forward .30 machine guns, 500rpg
    • 2 × forward .50 Brownings in gun pods, 200rpg
    • 1 × .30 machine guns in rear cockpit, 1,000 rounds
  • Bombs: 2,000lb max load
    • Internal: Up to twenty 20lb bombs in internal racks
    • External: Eight hardpoints under the fuselage, four outboard hardpoints can take 500lb bombs, all eight can carry 100lb

See also[edit]

Related development


  1. ^ Pelletier Air Enthusiast September/October 1998, pp. 3–4.
  2. ^ Francillon 1979, p. 222.
  3. ^
  • Francillon, René J. McDonnell Douglas Aircraft since 1920. London: Putnam, 1979. ISBN 0-370-00050-1.
  • Pelletier, Alain J. "Northrop's Connection: The unsung A-17 attack aircraft and its legacy, Part 1". Air Enthusiast No 75, May–June 1998, pp. 62–67. Stamford, Lincolnshire: Key Publishing. ISSN 0143-5450.
  • Pelletier, Alain J. "Northrop's Connection: The unsung A-17 attack aircraft and its legacy, Part 2". Air Enthusiast No 77, September–October 1998, pp. 2–15. Stamford, Lincolnshire: Key Publishing. ISSN 0143-5450.
  • Wagner, Ray. American Combat Planes of the 20th Century, Third Enlarged Edition. New York: Doubleday, 1982. ISBN 978-0-930083-17-5.

External links[edit]