In 1937 the Seversky Aircraft Company fitted a revised wing and a turbo-supercharged engine to the production P-35, this became the XP-41 of 1938. In October 1939, Seversky became known as Republic Aviation. This experimental version was virtually the prototype of the 1940 Republic P-43 Lancer. Production of the Lancers included 54 P-43s, 80 P-43As, and 125 P-43A-1s. In 1942 most Lancers were converted for Photo-reconnaissance duties and depending upon the camera installations, were redesignated P-43Bs, Cs, Ds, or Es. In 1942 eight Lancers were delivered to the RAAF to augment the Buffaloes and Lightnings of the Photographic Reconnaissance Unit. Six of the aircraft, A56-1 and 2 (P-43Ds) and A56-3/6 (P-43-A-1s) were received on 31 August 1942, and the remaining two, A56-7 and 8 (P-43Ds) arrived on 10 November 1942. The Lancers operated with PRU until the following year when A56-1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 8 were transferred to the US 5th Air Force at Charters Towers. Of the remaining two Lancers, A56-6 was taken off strength on 8 March 1943, and at the time, A56-7 was officially listed as "Missing". The "aircraft left Wagga on 28 April 1943, and has not been sighted since". This mystery was solved 15 years later, in 1958, when Lancer A56-7 was located in the Healesville Hills, north-east of Melbourne.
Length: 28 ft 6 in (8.7 m)
Wingspan: 36 ft 1 in (11.0 m)
Height: 14 ft 1 in (4.3 m)
Empty weight: 5,982 lb (2,713 kg)
Max take-off weight: 8,460 lb (3,837 kg)
Powerplant: 1 x Pratt & Whitney R-1830-49 14-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine,
1,200 hp (895 kW)
Maximum speed: 356 mph (573 km/h)
Range: 650 mi (1,046 km)
Service ceiling: 35,990 ft (10,970 m)
Rate of climb: 2,500 ft/min (13 m/s)
Guns: 2 x 0.50 in machine guns
2 x 0.30 in machine guns
or Photo-reconnaissance camera
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