A-28 Hudson, U.S. Medium Bomber

U.S. Air Force

Lockheed Hudson III


Crew 4 or 5


65’6” by 44’4” by 11’10”
19.96m by 13.50m by 3.32m

Wing area

551 square feet
51.2 square meters


13,160-20,000 lbs
5969-9070 kg

Maximum speed

252 mph at 15,000 feet
405 k/h at 4572 meters

Cruising speed      

155-196 mph
249-315 km/h
Rate of climb 20 feet per second
6.1 m/s


25,000 feet

Power plant

2 1200hp (895 kW) Wright R-1820-G205A radial engines driving three bladed propellers


up to 7 Browning 0.303 machine guns in nose, dorsal turret, waist, and ventral positions.

External Stores      

up to 1600 lbs (730 kg) of bombs


780 miles (1260km) with maximum load
2800 miles (4500 km) maximum


644 gallons
1140 liters


A total of 2939 at Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, Burbank, California, of which about 80% went to Commonwealth countries.

350 Mk.I
20 Mk.II
428 MkIII
800 A-29/Mk.IIIA
130 Mk.IV
52 A-28/Mk.IVA
409 A-28A/Mk.V
450 Mk.VI
300 AT-18/A


There were numerous variants.

The Hudson I and II used two 1100hp R-1820-G102A nine-cylinder radial engines.

The IIIA used a more powerful engine and was designed the A-29.

The IV introduced two 1200hp Pratt & Whitney R-1830-S3C3-G 14-cylinder two-row radial engines.

Armament varied considerably. Later marks were often armed with ASV radar and rockets.

The AT versions were gunnery and navigation trainers.

After the Munich crisis of 1938, the British began looking for combat aircraft in the United States. Lockheed responded by hastily improvising a bomber version of its Lockheed 14 civilian airliner, with a top turret and a bomb bay. The British named this the Hudson and adopted it as an antisubmarine hunter aircraft to replace its aging fleet of Avro Ansons. The original order of 200 aircraft was by far the largest Lockheed had ever received, and it transformed the company from a minor manufacturer into a major player in the aircraft industry. The first prototype flew on 10 December 1938.

About 80% were delivered to Commonwealth forces, the remainder going to the U.S. Army (as the A-28) or the Navy (as the PBO), mostly as patrol aircraft. About 100 had been delivered to Melbourne by December 1941 and a total of 247 would eventually be sent to the island continent. Two squadrons were present in Malaya when war broke out, and one of the aircraft was shot down by the Japanese as it snooped the approaching invasion convoys prior to the Pearl Harbor attack. The failure of the aircraft to return made little difference, as the British were already aware that war was imminent.

With its reasonable range, the Hudson was a serviceable patrol and antisubmarine aircraft, but in the desperate early days of the Pacific War it was often used on bombing missions for which it proved ill-suited. Though easy to maintain and fly, it lacked structural strength. Most were eventually converted back to transports.

Photo Gallery

A-28 Hudson front view

U.S. Air Force

A-28 Hudson rear view

U.S. Air Force

A-28 Hudson cockpit


A-28 Hudson bomb bay


A-28 Hudson dorsal turret



Bergerud (2000)

Bodie (1991)

Bonné (2000; accessed 2013-2-16)

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Wilson (1998)

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