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Rank VI France | Premium | Golden Eagles
Dassault Milan Pack
This page is about the American hydroplane bomber OS2U-1. For the other version, see OS2U-3.
GarageImage OS2U-1.jpg
ArtImage OS2U-1.png
Research:2 900 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:700 Specs-Card-Lion.png
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The OS2U-1 Kingfisher is a rank I American hydroplane bomber with a battle rating of 1.0 (AB/RB/SB). It 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 improved OS2U-3 Kingfisher. Beyond its position as a vehicle in the US aircraft tree, it can also be launched and flown from certain ships in naval battles as a reconnaissance aircraft.

Ships that carry the OS2U-1 as a ship-launched reconnaissance aircraft

General info

Flight performance

Max speed
at 1 700 m296 km/h
Turn time33 s
Max altitude5 950 m
EnginePratt & Whitney R-985-48
Cooling systemAir
Take-off weight3 t

The OS2U has horrendous flight performance, even for a 1.0 aircraft, with a 4.5 metres per second climb rate in Arcade Battles and a 5.1-metre climb rate in Realistic Battles. The spaded version boosts the rate of climb to 9.9 metres per second for Arcade Battle which is a rather significant improvement whereas the Realistic Battles rate of climb only increased by 1.7 metres per second. The turn time is an abysmal 35.6 seconds stock in Arcade Battles and 39.0 seconds in Realistic Battles. When upgraded, the turn time is 31.1 for both Arcade Battles and Realistic Battles.

Characteristics Max Speed
(km/h at 1,700 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
Stock 284 273 5950 34.8 38.5 5.3 5.2 305
Upgraded 310 296 31.1 33.1 9.9 6.8


Combat flaps Take-off flaps Landing flaps Air brakes Arrestor gear
Wings (km/h) Gear (km/h) Flaps (km/h) Max Static G
Combat Take-off Landing + -
405 350 337 308 160 ~15 ~15
Optimal velocities (km/h)
Ailerons Rudder Elevators Radiator
< 200 < 200 < 240 > 306

Survivability and armour

Crew2 people
Speed of destruction
Structural0 km/h
Gear350 km/h
  • No armour protection
  • One self-sealing fuel tank in the fuselage

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB80 → 100 Sl icon.png
RB90 → 113 Sl icon.png
SB130 → 163 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications2 820 Rp icon.png
900 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost190 Ge icon.png
Crew training200 Sl icon.png
Experts1 000 Sl icon.png
Aces20 Ge icon.png
Research Aces96 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
20 / 60 / 110 % Sl icon.png
100 / 100 / 100 % Rp icon.png
Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
Mods aerodinamic fuse.png
Fuselage repair
150 Rp icon.png
50 Sl icon.png
40 Ge icon.png
Mods radiator.png
150 Rp icon.png
50 Sl icon.png
40 Ge icon.png
Mods compressor.png
220 Rp icon.png
70 Sl icon.png
60 Ge icon.png
Mods aerodinamic wing.png
Wings repair
250 Rp icon.png
80 Sl icon.png
60 Ge icon.png
Mods new engine.png
250 Rp icon.png
80 Sl icon.png
60 Ge icon.png
Mods metanol.png
Engine injection
320 Rp icon.png
100 Sl icon.png
80 Ge icon.png
Mods armor frame.png
220 Rp icon.png
70 Sl icon.png
60 Ge icon.png
Mods armor cover.png
320 Rp icon.png
100 Sl icon.png
80 Ge icon.png
Mods ammo.png
150 Rp icon.png
50 Sl icon.png
40 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
Mods weapon.png
220 Rp icon.png
70 Sl icon.png
60 Ge icon.png
Mods ammo.png
250 Rp icon.png
80 Sl icon.png
60 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods turret gun.png
320 Rp icon.png
100 Sl icon.png
80 Ge icon.png


Offensive armament

Ammunition500 rounds
Fire rate1 000 shots/min
Main article: Browning (7.62 mm)

The OS2U-1 is armed with:

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

Suspended armament

List of setups (1)
Setup 12 x 100 lb AN-M30A1 bomb
Main article: AN-M30A1 (100 lb)

The OS2U-1 can be outfitted with the following ordnance:

  • Without load
  • 2 x 100 lb AN-M30A1 bombs (200 lb total)

Defensive armament

Ammunition600 rounds
Fire rate1000 shots/min
Main article: Browning (7.62 mm)

The OS2U-1 is defended by:

  • 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 the 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. While the single 7.62 mm gun is capable of destroying artillery, AAA (stationary and on trucks), landing craft, and armoured cars, this is ill-advised if any enemy aircraft is nearby.

Since tanks and light pillboxes cannot be destroyed with such a small MG calibre, the player will have to resort to bombs. Cargo ships will require a single 100 lb hit on deck. It is not effective at downing planes, as even if the opponent has a level 1 pilot, it will take two direct hits to knock them out, even more if they have invested some crew points in vitality. As such, it is best to entirely avoid confrontations of any sort in the OS2U. If an opponent is approaching you from the rear, it is best to try to scare them off with the MG before they approach firing range.

Bombs will be the primary loadout in Ground realistic. A tactic is to wait for an enemy to step onto a capture point, move into position, bomb them, and fly away. Do not spend too much time on the battlefield, as the Kingfisher is vulnerable to any fire, especially the British and American SPAAs.

Manual Engine Control

MEC elements
Mixer Pitch Radiator Supercharger Turbocharger
Oil Water Type
Not controllable Controllable
Auto control available
Not controllable
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
Combined Not controllable
1 gear
Not controllable

Pros and cons


  • In naval modes, the slow speed allows the plane to skimming across the water akin to that of a boat, thus making capturing points easier
  • Usually comes in pair on board a ship, meaning it is more expendable compared to other floatplanes


  • Extremely slow; struggle to reach even half its top speed in a level flight, and is quite hard to take off on water
  • Awful overall flight characteristic, any manoeuvre will bleeds its already low energy away
  • Extremely weak hull compared to other floatplanes
  • Weak offensive and defensive armament
  • 2 x 100 lb bombs is a weak payload, only sufficient to take out lightly-armoured equipment and vehicles.


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 1,000 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.

Archive of the 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 hp, 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.



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;
  • other literature.

Chance Vought Aircraft
Corsair  F4U-1A · F4U-1A (USMC) · F4U-1C · F4U-1D · F4U-4 · F4U-4B · F4U-4B VMF-214
Float planes  OS2U-1 · OS2U-3
Attackers  AU-1
Bombers  SB2U-2 · SB2U-3
Jet aircraft 
Corsair II  A-7D · A-7E · A-7K
Crusader  F8U-2 · F-8E
Export  V-156-B1 · V-156-F · ▄Corsair F Mk II · F4U-7 · ▄F-8E(FN)
Captured  ▅F4U-1A

USA bombers
Dive  SB2U-2 · SB2U-3 · SBD-3 · SB2C-1C · SB2C-4
Torpedo  TBD-1 · PBY-5 Catalina · PBY-5A Catalina · TBF-1C · BTD-1
Medium  B-10B · B-18A · B-34 · PV-2D · B-25J-1 · B-25J-20 · A-26C-45 · A-26C-45DT · B-26B
Heavy  B-17E · B-17E/L · B-17G-60-VE · PB4Y-2 · B-24D-25-CO · B-29A-BN
Hydroplanes  OS2U-1 · OS2U-3 · PBM-1 "Mariner" · PBM-3 "Mariner"

Ship-launched reconnaissance aircraft
USA  OS2U-1* · SOC-1
Germany  Ar 196 A-3*
Britain  Osprey Mk IV · Walrus Mk.I
Japan  E7K2 · E8N2 · E13A1 · F1M2*
Italy  Ro.43
  *Available standalone in tech tree