Aviation of Word War II

Home Russian

SB2C-1 "Helldiver"

Shipborne Reconnaissance Bomber

Curtiss

SB2C-1 Helldiver

SB2C was created by a newly formed group led by Raymond K. Blaylock. The designation indicates that SB2C was planned as a reconnaissance bomber operating from American aircraft carriers. The technical requirements of 1938 were extremely stringent and left little room for finding better options. Was given a cantilever monoplane with a working skin, with a mid-wing, so that there was room under it for the internal weapon compartment. In this compartment, it was planned to place 454 kg bombs and many other loads, with the exception of a torpedo. The compartment was closed with hydraulically driven flaps. The crew of two was housed in tandem. The aircraft carried a large amount of fuel (various ranges and ranges were specified in the specifications) and a variety of radio and other equipment, including a large camera in the rear cockpit. The design was adapted for dive bombing, and the aircraft for operation on an aircraft carrier: there was a folding wing, nodes for launching from a catapult and a landing hook. A 14-cylinder R-2600 Cyclone engine from Wright was envisaged.

Subsequently, the production of SB2C has evolved in many variants, listed below. Only the originally ordered 200 machines corresponded to the SB2C-1 model, all of them remained in the USA for training. SB2C-1A. which appeared in 1943, was the land A-25A - after the transfer to the United States Marine Corps. Many of the vehicles involved in the fighting were still painted olive brown. The SB2C-1C contained several weapon enhancements, including the ability to remove bomb bay doors and carry a torpedo on an outer truss, but this was rarely used in practice. The main change to the SB2C-1C is the replacement of the four machine guns in the wing with two 20mm cannons, each with 400 rounds loaded from the top of the wing. Next to the ammunition were additional fuel tanks with a capacity of 170 liters each. The fully loaded SB2C-1C (the first modification to take part in combat) was in many ways worse than the old SBD, which was much more pleasant and safer to fly.

By this time, another 900 Helldiver aircraft had been ordered by the US Air Force under the designation A-25 Shrike (without landing gear for the aircraft carrier, with a pneumatic tail wheel and many other changes). Everyone worked around the clock to speed up the program, and finally the first SB2C-1 was completed in Port Columbus in June 1942; The US Navy did not miss to notice that 10 days earlier the much better TBF "Avenger" of the firm "Grumman" entered the battle, although it began to be designed almost two years later than the ill-fated SB2C.

Urgent tests of the first six production vehicles showed that in many respects they were worse than the prototype. A large increase in mass (empty weight increased from 3230 to 4636 kg) without replacing the engine led to the fact that the testers of the Anacostia airbase characterized the aircraft as "extremely sluggish." But by this time the number of cars produced was growing rapidly, and in order to avoid political scandals, it was necessary to deliver at least a few copies. The VS-9 assault squadron of the US Navy began to be re-equipped with SB2C-1 in December 1942. In fact, political scandals went unnoticed (it was wartime); there were so many bad programs that the Truman National Defense Program Committee was formed to investigate what was going on. This committee issued devastating conclusions regarding SB2C and, among other things, managed to redirect the A-25 to other customers, although many vehicles carried the colors of the US Army for a while.

Subsequently, the production of SB2C has evolved in many variants, listed below. Only the originally ordered 200 machines corresponded to the SB2C-1 model, all of them remained in the USA for training. SB2C-1A. which appeared in 1943, was the land A-25A - after the transfer to the United States Marine Corps. Many of the vehicles involved in the fighting were still painted olive brown. The SB2C-1C contained several weapon enhancements.

SB2C-1 Helldiver

SB2C Modifications

  • XSB2C-1: First prototype (S/N 1758) with R-2800-8 engine; remade and modified several times; armament of two machine guns in the nose and one mobile machine gun in the rear cockpit:
  • SB2C-1: first production version with four machine guns in the wing (200 built);
  • SB2C-1A: designation applied to A-25A: subsequently reused for 410 US Air Force A-25As transferred to the Marine Corps;
  • SB2C-1C: first modification with 20 mm wing cannons and hydraulic flaps (778 built):
  • XSB2C-2: one aircraft (00005). tested with two floats "Ido" (Edo): conceived as a reconnaissance bomber;
  • XSB2C-3: one aircraft (00008) with R-2600-20 engine;
  • SB2C-3: Production version with R-2600-20 engine. four-blade propeller and APG-4 low-altitude bombing system (1112 vehicles built);
  • SB2C-3E: SB2C-3 aircraft with APS-4 radar (wavelength 3 cm) in a container:
  • SB2C-4: Similar to SB2C-3. but with underwing hardpoints for rockets and bombs with a total weight of 454 kg (2045 vehicles built);
  • SB2C-4E: SB2C-4 with APS-4 radar in a container;
  • XSB2C-5: two modified SB2C-4s with increased internal fuel capacity and other minor changes;
  • SB2C-5: Production variant based on XSB2C-5; (970 built out of an initial order of 2,500 vehicles);
  • XSB2C-6: two completely converted SB2C-3s with longer fuselage, increased fuel capacity and 2100 hp Pratt-Whitney R-2800-28 Double Wasp engine. (1566 kW);
  • SBF-1: Fairchild SB2C-1 (50 built); one aircraft used for testing as XSBF-1;
  • SBF-3: SB2C-3. manufactured by Fairchild (150 cars built);
  • SBF-4E: SB2C-4E manufactured by Fairchild (100 built);
  • SBW-1: SB2C-1. manufactured by Canadian Car & Foundry (38 cars built):
  • SBW-1 B: SB2C-1C. manufactured by Canadian Car & Foundry under lend-lease for the UK (28 cars built, 26 delivered);
  • SBW-3: SB2C-3. manufactured by Canadian Car & Foundry (413 cars built):
  • SBW-4E: SB2C-4E. manufactured by Canadian Car & Foundry (270 cars built);
  • SBW-5: SB2C-5. produced by "Canadian Car & Foundry" (85 cars built, order for 165 cancelled);
  • A-25A Shrike: Army version of the SB2C-1 with various modifications; 900 vehicles were built, 410 of which were transferred to the US Marine Corps. 270 - US Navy and 10 - Australian Air Force;
  • Helldiver Mk.l: designation SBW-1B in Royal Navy aviation: 26 aircraft with numbers JW100...125 were delivered, most of them to squadron No. 1820, but they were abandoned for combat use.
Photo Description
Drawing F6F 5

Drawing SB2C-1

The SB2C-1 from an aircraft carrier 'Yorktown'

The SB2C-1 from an aircraft carrier "Yorktown" (squadron CV-10)

Bibliography

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