From War Thunder Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
OS2U-1 Kingfisher
General characteristics
2 peopleCrew
1.9 tEmpty weight
2.5 tTake-off weight
Flight characteristics
5 950 mCeiling
sec38.2/38.2/33.1Turn Time
174 km/hStalling speed
Pratt & Whitney R-985-48Engine
airCooling system
Speed of destruction
405 km/hStructural
350 km/hGear
Offensive armament
7.62 mm Browning machine gunWeapon 1
500 roundsAmmunition
1 001 shots/minFire rate
Defensive armament
7.62 mm Browning machine gunTurret
600 roundsAmmunition
1 000 shots/minFire rate
Suspended armament
2 х 100 lb AN-M30A1 bombSetup 1
2 900 Rp icon.pngResearch
700 Sl icon.pngPurchase
Sl icon.png70 / 88/70 / 88/110 / 138Repair
200 Sl icon.pngCrew training
1 000 Sl icon.pngExperts
20 Ge icon.pngAces
x 1.00 Rp icon.pngReward for battle
This page is about the aircraft OS2U-1. For the other version, see OS2U-3.


GarageImage OS2U-1.jpg

The OS2U-1 Kingfisher is a rank I American hydroplane attacker with a battle rating of 1.0 (AB/RB/SB). This hydroplane has been in the game since the start of the Open Beta Test prior to Update 1.27. The OS2U-1 is the predecessor of the more advanced OS2U-3 Kingfisher.

General info

Flight Performance

Describe how the aircraft behaves in the air. Speed, manoeuvrability, acceleration and allowable loads - these are the most important characteristics of the vehicle.

Max Speed
(km/h at 1,700 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
282 271 5 950 35.6 39.0 4.5 5.1 305
Max Speed
(km/h at 1,700 m)
Max altitude (meters) Turn time (seconds) Rate of climb
Take-off run (meters)
310 296 5 950 31.1 31.1 9.9 6.8 305


Combat flap Take-off flap Landing flap Air brakes Arrestor gear
Wing-break speed
Gear limit
Combat flap
Max Static G
+ -
405 350 360 ~18 ~18
Optimal velocities
< 200 < 200 < 240 > 250
Compressor (RB/SB)
Setting 1
Optimal altitude 100% Engine power WEP Engine power
1,376 m 400 hp 450 hp

Survivability and armour

  • No armour protection
  • One self-sealing fuel tank in the fuselage


Offensive armament

Main article: Browning (7.62 mm)

The OS2U-1 is armed with:

  • 1 × 7.62 mm Browning machine gun, nose-mounted (500 rpg)

Suspended armament

Main article: AN-M30A1 (100 lb)

The option available for the OS2U-1 are:

  • 2 × 100 lbs AN-M30A1 bombs

Defensive armament

Main article: Browning (7.62 mm)

The OS2U-1 is armed with:

  • 1 x 7.62 mm Browning machine gun, dorsal turret (600 rpg)

Usage in battles

Kingfisher is classified as a bomber and as such it spawns at altitude. Primarily, it should be used in ground attack role across all game modes. If possible, stay out of sight of the enemy and try to take indirect routes to desired targets. Single 7.62 mm gun is capable of destroying artillery, AAA (stationary and on trucks) and armoured cars. Tanks and light pillboxes cannot be destroyed with such a small MG calibre but only with bombs. Cargo ships will require a single 100 lb hit on deck. Landing crafts may be taken out by gunfire but will require lots of hits.

Manual Engine Control

MEC elements
Mixer Pitch Radiator Supercharger Turbocharger
Oil Water Type
Not controllable Controllable
Has automatic pitch
Not controllable Controllable
No auto radiator
Combined Not controllable Not controllable


Tier Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
I Fuselage Repair Radiator Offensive 7.62 mm belts Mk.41
II Compressor Airframe New 7.62 mm MGs
III Wings Repair Engine Turret 7.62 mm belts
IV Engine Injection Cover New 7.62 mm MGs (turret)

Pros and cons


  • Can land on water
  • It can also land on land, with damage to the floats, but nothing major
  • Is a useful plane in Domination, where it can land on the capture point quickly to secure the points for your team-though beware you may lose to much speed in order for you to take off again this plane cannot gain speed while on land
  • Center float can protect the plane from attacks from below
  • You can ram other planes with the float (esp. the wings)


  • Terrible speed compared to other float planes
  • Extremely fragile
  • Weak offensive armament consisting of 1 X 7.62 mm machine gun, and is barely adequate to destroy lightly armoured vehicles
  • Weak defensive armament, 1 X 7.62 mm machine gun cannot extensively damage planes of its tier with a burst, and also has bad coverage
  • 2 X 100 lb bombs is a weak payload, only sufficient to take out lightly armoured equipment and vehicles.
  • Armor is nonexistent.
  • Crew is sufficiently lacking in protection. especially for the pilot.
  • Tail-gunner is easily knocked-out
  • Poor acceleration
  • Loses energy rapidly in turns
  • Bombs can be difficult to aim due to a lack of bombsight


OS2U Kingfisher built by Vought-Sikorsky Aircraft Division was catapult-launched observation floatplane designed by Rex Beisel (a design engineer responsible for F4U Corsair). Kingfisher was assembled using a revolutionary spot welding construction which created a smooth fuselage that generated less drag. It also had a number of innovative features, such as deflector plate flaps and drooping ailerons used to create additional lift at low speeds which improved control of the plane.

First prototype XOS2U-1 flew in 1938 and first production variant was delivered in early 1940. Despite its modest performance it gradually started replacing Curtiss SOC Seagull biplane and ended up as U.S. Navy's main ship-launched scout plane during WW2. It stayed in use much longer than expected because its successor Curtiss SO3C Seamew suffered from various issues, most notably engine failures.

OS2U-3 first flew on 17 May 1941. It was very similar to OS2U-1. The main difference from its predecessor was additional self-sealing fuel tanks in the wings and improved armour protection for the pilot. It had a 450 hp (336 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-985-AN2 engine (all Kingfishers were powered by different versions of this engine). It was armed with a 7.62 mm gun in the nose (hidden inside engine compartment) and a 7.62 mm gun in a dorsal turret on a flexible ring mount. Also, apart from 100 lb (45 kg) bombs, it was able to load 325 lb (147 kg) of depth charges. The OS2U-3 was the most produced variant with just over 1000 units built. It was the only exported variant and it served in many countries from Uruguay to Australia including the Soviet Union aboard cruiser Murmansk (USS Milwaukee). Last of the Kingfishers were withdrawn from service on Cuba in 1959.

While some were deployed to land bases (OS2U-2 installed with wheels instead floats were mostly used for training) most of Kingfishers operated from U.S. Navy's heavy and light cruisers and battleships. The violent launch was done into the wind by catapult powered with a cannon shell. Landing required the ship to make a turn in order to create a patch of relatively calm sea surface where Kingfisher could land and then taxi to the “sled” used to pull it closer to the ship's crane which would hoist it back on deck.

In the early 1940s seaborne radar was a rarity and still primitive, the eyes and ears of a fleet of warships were limited at best. This is where the observation aircraft was imperative. A battleship would launch a Kingfisher seaplane and the aircraft could then patrol the surrounding seas for hundreds of miles for hours at a time. Depending on the threat, the Kingfisher might be looking for anything as huge as an enemy fleet or as small and deadly as a single enemy submarine. In the case of the latter, the Kingfisher had teeth of its own: even with its limited payload, Kingfishers assisted in the sinking of U-Boats U-576 and U-176. Simply finding a target or enemy fleet was of immense use to the bridge crew of a warship, but the Kingfisher could do more. Once an enemy fleet was identified it was almost inevitable that an engagement would take place – even in the 1940s, naval guns were well capable of firing shells in excess of 20 miles. The Kingfisher could fly over an enemy fleet and report directly back to the bridge crew of any warship within its own fleet, giving real-time feedback of the accuracy of shot and corrections to bring the tremendous firepower onto a target. Furthermore, the importance of naval gunfire did not stop with engaging other vessels: carrying some of the largest guns in the entire world on a mobile platform, battleships were the ultimate fire support during an amphibious assault. As US Marines fought their way from beachheads all across the Pacific theatre, the guns of the fleet were often there to eliminate concentrations of enemy troops and heavy defensive positions. Again, the Kingfisher was ideally placed to ensure this supporting fire was accurately and efficiently delivered.

Even though it was used in many different roles, as trainer, bomber, anti-submarine platform in the Atlantic, scout, naval gunfire spotter etc. the Kingfisher was most respectable for Search and Rescue missions where it was involved in saving downed airmen in the Pacific. On one occasion in 1942 over Pacific a B-17D became disoriented, ran out of fuel and ditched. After drifting for several weeks without food and water, the crew and passengers were rescued by a Kingfisher. With all the survivors on its wings, it could not take off and started taxing to the nearest island before being relieved by a torpedo boat. However, most notable rescues happened in 1944 over Guam when a Kingfisher of USS Indiana rescued two downed airmen despite being exposed to fire from several nearby Japanese artillery positions. The only confirmed kill scored with Kingfisher happened on 16 February 1945 at Iwo Jima where Lieutenant D.W. Gandy shot down a Zero fighter.

In-game description

In March 1937, the Chance-Vought company, then part of United Aircraft Corporation, obtained an order from the US Navy to design a catapult reconnaissance-spotter float plane to replace the obsolete Curtiss SOC biplane. A year later, in March 1938, the first prototype XOS2U-1 took to the air in a version with non-retractable landing gear, and two months later the first takeoff from water took place. Due to new technology, the prototype showed a considerable improvement in its main performance characteristics compared with its predecessor. It had longer range, a higher service ceiling and a considerably lower takeoff weight. In spite of the fact that a less powerful and lighter engine had been selected, the speed was unchanged and the mean rate of climb was even somewhat higher. However, the more up-to-date design of the monoplane caused the designers a few headaches. By comparison with the SOC, its takeoff and landing characteristics were considerably worse. They had to give up on a central float designed by Vought itself and use an EDO design instead. After several minor improvements, the aircraft was put into series production and accepted by the Navy under the designation “Kingfisher” (the name of a tiny bird which lives on small lake fish). The production aircraft were fitted with the Pratt & Whitney R-985-48 “Wasp Junior” engine, nominal power 450 h.p., with a two-bladed propeller. Up to the end of 1940, 54 OS2U-1s had been built, 18 of which were sent to re-equip battleships based at Pearl Harbor and Alameda.


An excellent addition to the article will be video guides, as well as screenshots from the game and photos.

See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the aircraft;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • encyclopedia page on aircraft;
  • other literature.

USA attackers
Douglas  A-20G-25 Havoc · A-26B-10 · A-26B-50 · A2D-1 Skyshark · AD-2 Skyraider · AD-4 Skyraider
North American  A-36 Apache · PBJ-1H · PBJ-1J
Other  AM-1 Mauler · XA-38 Grizzly
Hydroplanes  OS2U-1 Kingfisher · OS2U-3 Kingfisher