The Vought SB2U Vindicator was built by Vought as the first carrier-based monoplane dive bomber intended for the United States Navy during the 1930s. It first flew in January 1936 and was introduced in 1937. The aircraft was retired in 1945 with a total number of 260 Vindicators built.
The SB2U was developed to meet the requirement of the United States Navy for a new carrier-based Scout bomber. The manufacturing company Vought submitted the XSB2U-1 for the monoplane specification with low wings and retractable conventional tailwheel undercarriage.
The SB2U-3 version can accommodate two crew members. It has an external length of 10.35 meters, an external height of 2.9 meters, and a fuselage width of 1.1 meters. The tail height is 4.34 meters when the tail is down and the propeller is vertical, and the wheelbase is 7.2 meters. It has a wingspan of 12.77 meters and a wing area of 28.36 square meters. The aircraft has an empty weight of 2,556 kg, a gross weight of 3,390 kg, and a maximum takeoff weight of 4,273 kg. The maximum payload is 680 kg and the internal fuel tank capacity is 370 US gal.
The aircraft is powered by a single Pratt and Whitney R-1535-02 Twin Wasp Jr engine. It is a fourteen-cylinder, two-row, supercharged, air-cooled radial engine with two overhead valves per cylinder, a single-speed centrifugal-type supercharger, two-barrel Stromberg carburetor fuel system, an air-cooling system, and an epicyclic reduction gear. It produces a take-off power of 825 hp and continuous power of 750 hp, and drives a two-bladed Hamilton Standard constant-speed propeller with a diameter of 3.35 meters.
The SB2U-3 has a maximum speed of 211 knots at 9,500 feet and a cruise speed of 132 knots. It has a standard range of 970 nautical miles with 450 kg of bombload and a ferry range of 2,130 nautical miles with maximum internal and external fuel. The aircraft can fly up to 23,600 feet and can climb at a rate of 1,070 feet per minute.
The aircraft could be loaded with various armaments such as a single forward-firing 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine gun in the starboard wing and a single 12.7 mm machine gun in a flexible mount in the rear cockpit. It is also armed with a single 450 kg or 230 kg bomb under the fuselage and two 45 kg and eight 14 kg bombs under the wings.
Want More of This?
We'll send you our latest and best content straight to your inbox