Aviation of World War II

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SB2A "Buccaneer"

Dive Bomber


Brewster SB2A Buccaneer

The prototype of the future XSB2A-1 Buccaneer dive bomber took off on June 17, 1941. By this time, Brewster had already received several production orders, including 140 aircraft under the designation A-34 for the US Navy, 162 for the Dutch army aviation and 750 for the RAF in two batches of 450 and 300 aircraft. The British gave the new bomber the name "Bermuda".

Unfortunately, the characteristics of the aircraft turned out to be much worse than the calculated ones. The plane turned out to be too heavy, maneuver sluggishly and was rather difficult to fly. The speed characteristics were lower than those stated. I was only pleased with the powerful weapons.

However, the British needed a dive bomber and they are still determined to get the "Bermuda", while the Americans themselves considered it an unsuccessful machine. The British press published an article where the Brewster aircraft was assessed as follows: "according to the Americans, no other aircraft in the world is as effective and deadly as a dive bomber as the Bermuda.

The Americans nevertheless purchased two modifications of this bomber for their Navy: SB2A-2 (80 aircraft) and SB2A-3 (60 aircraft with folding wing consoles and a landing hook), for use as training aircraft. Later, 162 aircraft from the unrealized Dutch order were added to them, under the designation SB2A-4. The army abandoned its A-34s, canceling the contract.

The planes that the British planned to use in 1941 came to them only two years later by the middle of 1943, when about 200 dive bombers were released. In total, 450 aircraft were produced for the first order and 18 out of 300 aircraft for the second, the Americans took 98 aircraft for themselves, and the rest 370 were waiting to be converted into target towing vehicles. However, the cost of converting the aircraft into a towing vehicle turned out to be unacceptable, and the British had to abandon this option.

In total, the British spent $ 70 million, acquiring the most expensive and most unnecessary WWII dive bomber from the Americans. Simple calculations show that for this money the British could purchase almost 300 B-17 flying fortresses from the Americans, although the complexity of manufacturing a four-engined bomber and labor costs for its production (US $ 238,329) are incomparably greater than the failed single-engined dive bomber.

Buccaneer SB2A-1
Crew 2
Wing span, m 14.33
Wing span, m² 35.21
Length, m 11.94
Height, m 4.70
1 × PE Wright R-2600-8 Cyclone, power hp. 1200
Weight, kg:
Empty weight 4,501
Loaded weight 6,481
Maximum speed, km/h 441
Cruising speed, km/h 259
Service ceiling, m 7,590
Maximum range, km 2,698

Armament. Two 12.7 mm machine guns mounted on the fuselage, two 7.62 mm machine guns mounted in the wing and two 7.62 mm turret machine guns mounted in the rear cockpit; bombs weighing up to 454 kg.

Photo Description

Drawing Brewster SB2A Buccaneer

Brewster SB2A-4 Buccaneer

A-34 Bermuda

A-34 Bermuda is a strike aircraft developed by the American firm Brewster. First flight in 1942. The aircraft is the "land version" of the SB2A-2 Buccaneer strike aircraft (the export version was designated Model B-340E Bermuda). The aircraft differed from its naval predecessor by the absence of folding wings and a brake hook. The chassis design was also changed. It was also planned to deliver the aircraft to the US Air Force.

He was given the designation A-34, but the contract was canceled before the start of its release. In July 1942. began deliveries of aircraft under Lend-Lease to the RAF, where they received the designation Bermuda. A total of 450 Model B-340E Bermuda aircraft were built. However, their characteristics made the aircraft absolutely unsuitable for combat operations. As a result, most of the vehicles were converted for target towing and for use in reserve units.


  • "Encyclopedia of military engineering" /Aerospace Publising/
  • "American warplanes of World War II" /under cor. David Donald/

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January 11, 2021

By 1945, the best American fighter, the P-51 Mustang, was worth US $ 50,985, for the $ 70 million the British spent on "Bermuda" could buy 1,370 Mustangs. Not a bad divorce :-)