CAF’s Douglas A-26 Invader Returns to Flight

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The third Douglas A-26 Invader in the Commemorative Air Force fleet, Lil Twister, took its first two flights on November 1, 2020, at the Guthrie Municipal Airport in Oklahoma. Originally scheduled for October 23, the flights culminate the efforts of 21 years of restoration work by the airplane’s supporters in the Sierra Hotel A-26 Sponsor Group based in Guthrie. The first flight lasted 11 minutes and returned with a few minor squawks to resolve prior to the second flight, which clocked an hour. Commanding both flights was pilot Mark Novak.

The Commemorative Air Force posted videos from the two flights, and CAF marketing director Leah Block indicated that the organization is looking to bring all three Invaders together sometime—somewhere—in 2021. The Sierra Hotel group weathered setbacks during the long restoration process, including a tornado that hit the hangar in which the project was maintained.

The Douglas A-26 Invader entered service during the latter part of World War II, but it saw action in two later conflicts—the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Douglas Aircraft Company built 2,503 of the light bombers (A-26 and later B-26 designations), with a long list of modifications that kept the subsequent models relevant and on active duty.

S: Flying

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