Air International 1995-09
R.Francillon - From Torpedo and Scout Bombers to Attack Aircraft (2)
Mid-1942 camouflage and markings of Douglas SBD-3s, such as those which helped turn the tide of war during the Battle of Midway, consisted of two-tone scheme of nonspecular Blue Gray and nonspecular Light Gray, oversized national insignia with red centre deleted, service markings (in this case, probably 3-S-12 for the 12th aircraft of VS-3) in white on both sides of the rear fuselage, and number 12 in white on the forward edge of the cowling to help the aircraft captain identify his aircraft when taxiing toward him.
All USN scout bombers carried their heaviest bomb on a displacement gear on the fuselage centre line as seen in this photograph of the second Douglas SBD-1 produced, BuNo 1597, in the markings of VMB-2.
The XBT-2 after it had been re-engined with a 1.000hp Wright R-1820-G133 and fitted with improved engine fairing and higher cockpit overturn structure, but before it received its last set of tail surfaces as later used on production SBDs.
Three-view drawing of the Douglas XBT-2.
XSB2C-1 BuNo 1758 after its second accident on May 13, 1941. Note the dummy cannon protruding from the port leading edge.
Vought XSB2U-1 (BuNo 9725) in the landing configuration with flaps and arrester hook lowered.
Sleek and fast, the Brewster XSBA-1 was belatedly placed in production at the Naval Aircraft Factory as the SBN-1. When delivered. SBN-1s were already obsolete and served only as operational trainers.
Northrop XBT-1 (BuNo 9745) in flight on April 14, 1936. Note the 'Swiss cheese' perforation type dive brakes, incorporated to eliminate buffeting when fully deployed.
Although looking 'right', the XSB2A-1, seen here with dummy turret, proved disappointing. Production aircraft were ordered not only by the USN but also by the British Purchasing Commission and the Dutch government in exile, but none were used in combat.
The Douglas XSB2D-1, seen here with dummy turrets and without wing guns, proved too heavy for carrier operations. Accordingly, Douglas was instructed in September 1943 to complete aircraft ordered as two-seat SB2D-1s as single-seat BTD-1s.
Three-view drawing of the Douglas XSB2D-1.
First flown on Christmas Eve 1935, the XSBF-1 was a sound design but was not placed in production as Grumman was already nearly fully occupied with fighter production.
Last aircraft designed by the Great Lakes Aircraft Corporation, the XB2G-1 was not selected for production and its manufacturer went out of business.
Internal bomb bay and retractable main undercarriage were insufficient to bring performance of the XB2G-1 biplane to the level of its monoplane competitor, the Northrop XBT-1.
Powered by a 750hp Pratt & Whitney R-1535-82, the Vought XSB3U-1 biplane first flew on March 13, 1941, nearly ten weeks after its monoplane stablemate, the XSB2U-1.