Former racing A-26 arrives at MeierMotors

News April 2019

A-26B Invader 44-34769/N500MR taxiing in at Bremgarten on 18 February.
MATTHIAS DORST

Douglas A-26B Invader 44-34769/ N500MR arrived at the MeierMotors workshops at Bremgarten, south-western Germany on 18 February following a ferry flight from Athens, Greece.

The 1945-built twin-engined bomber will now be overhauled by MeierMotors for new owners Tina Fly. That company also owns ex-Iraqi Hawker Fury ISS NX1954H, which was delivered to Bremgarten by Achim Meier from an owner in the Czech Republic during April 2018.

The Invader was previously operated by the Athenian Aviators Collection from Tatoi near the Greek capital, having been acquired by Athensbased Minos Kiriakou and ferried from Connecticut to Greece in September 1995.

The crew for the flight from Tatoi to Bremgarten included pilot Achim Meier, Swiss Air Force pilot Lukas Meier as navigator, and MeierMotors mechanics Julian Heinrich and Felix Ohlhoff. The ferry flight took in fuel stops at Corfu and Perugia.

The machine was never delivered to the US Army Air Forces, going straight to the Reconstruction Finance Corporation at Kingman, Arizona for disposal in October 1945. Subsequently converted by On Mark Engineering at Van Nuys, California to On Mark Marketeer configuration, the Invader was operated as a corporate transport with a succession of owners in California and Texas until being acquired by Lloyd Hamilton of Santa Rosa, California in 1971. Hamilton entered the Invader in the 1971 California 1000 Air Race at Mojave, a closed-course long-distance event consisting of 41 laps of a 15.1-mile circuit.

He finished in seventh place at 294.06mph, beating three North American P-51D Mustangs, two Grumman F8F Bearcats, a Vought F4U Corsair and a Lockheed P-38 Lightning. Hamilton went on to race a former Royal Australian Navy Hawker Sea Fury FB11, which he named Baby Gorilla, and a Wright R-4360-powered Sea Fury, Furias, in which he finished second in the Unlimited Gold race at Reno in 1986.