|This page is about the American naval bomber SB2C-1C. For other versions, see SB2C (Family).|
- 1 Description
- 2 General info
- 3 Armaments
- 4 Usage in battles
- 5 History
- 6 Media
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
The SB2C-1C Helldiver is a rank II American naval dive-bomber with a battle rating of 3.0 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.51 "Cold Steel".
The SB2C-1C has surprisingly good manoeuvrability for a dive-bomber (especially at an airspeed of around 300 km/h), although its weight means that acceleration is not outstanding and climb rate is poor. Top speed is also below-average. However, as a primarily air-to-ground attacker, these somewhat lacklustre flight characteristics do not overly hinder the vehicle's utility.
|Characteristics|| Max Speed
(km/h at 4,084 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run|
|Combat flaps||Take-off flaps||Landing flaps||Air brakes||Arrestor gear|
|Wings (km/h)||Gear (km/h)||Flaps (km/h)||Max Static G|
|Optimal velocities (km/h)|
|< 257||< 350||< 380||> 313|
Survivability and armour
- 38 mm Bulletproof glass in front of pilot.
- 11.11 mm Steel plate behind pilot.
- 6.35 mm Steel plate on fuselage in front of cockpit.
- 6.35 mm Steel plates on rear machine gun.
The Helldiver is able to sustain moderate amounts of damage, thanks to its adequate armour setup. However, damage to the wings tends to drastically offset the plane's balance and harm controllability. The rear gunner is fairly exposed and is easily knocked out by enemy fire.
Modifications and economy
The SB2C-1C is armed with:
- 2 x 20 mm AN/M2 cannons, wing-mounted (200 rpg = 400 total)
The SB2C-1C can be outfitted with the following ordnance:
- 2 x 250 lb AN-M57 bombs (500 lb total)
- 1 x 2,216 lb Mk.13-6 torpedo
- 1 x 2,216 lb Mk.13-6 Case torpedo
- 2 x 500 lb AN-M64A1 bombs (1,000 lb total)
- 1 x 1,000 lb AN-M65A1 bomb (1,000 lb total)
- 1 x Type A Mark I mine
The SB2C-1C is defended by:
- 2 x 7.62 mm Browning machine guns, dorsal turret (1,000 rpg = 2,000 total)
Usage in battles
In Air Realistic battles, the SB2C receives an air start, which means that it is usually able to intercept enemy fighters in their climb path. When this happens, the Helldiver is very effective in a head-on role, with 2 powerful 20 mm cannons. If stealth belts are loaded, the enemy may not even realise that they are being shot at, since they may not expect a bomber to have offensive capabilities. Another way to deal with enemy fighters is in a dogfighting role. The SB2C has a surprisingly good turn rate, especially at around 300 km/h, and can turn with such planes as the La-5 and Fw 190 series of fighters. Often, the enemy will be caught off guard by the Helldiver's dogfighting ability and enter into an engagement that they cannot win, allowing the pilot to secure the kill.
However, the SB2C is certainly not the perfect fighter aircraft: it has a poor climb rate, poor acceleration, and is quite heavy. Therefore, it struggles against experienced enemy fighters, and the best way to fly this plane in an anti-air role is by supporting teammates and working with a group. If there is an enemy on your tail, luring them towards friendlies may be the best option. Since the Helldiver is heavy and sluggish, it can be hard to shake a tail. There is a rear gunner, but they are only armed with 2 x 7.62 mm machine guns, and are not very well protected from enemy fire. As such, it would be unwise to rely on them in every sticky situation.
Another possible way to use this vehicle is in a ground-attack role. This can be done in Ground, Air, or Naval battles, since the Helldiver is able to carry both bombs and torpedoes. For attacking ground targets, it is recommended to use a diving attack (the vehicle is equipped with an airbrake for just this purpose) and drop ordnance when directly over the enemy. Keep in mind that this vehicle does not carry much ordnance, so it is important to make each drop count. If the bombs have been used up, then it is possible to use the 2 x 20 mm cannons against lightly armoured ground targets as well, although more heavily-armoured tanks and pillboxes will be difficult to crack. In naval battles, this plane is one of few to receive a torpedo for use against ships.
Manual Engine Control
Auto control available
| Not controllable
Not auto controlled
Auto control available
Pros and cons
- Access to air brakes
- Airframe can withstand high speed
- Decent durability
- Has the ability to dive bomb and level bomb
- Pinpoint dive bomb accuracy
- Armed with a powerful pair of 20 mm AN/M2 cannons
- Internal payload, next to no performance penalty when carrying bombs
- Defensive gunner has a wide coverage
- Pinpoint dive bomb accuracy
- Poor power output from the engine, drops further above 4,000 m
- Elevator tend to wildly sway after a manoeuvre
- Wing-mounted cannons tend to be inaccurate
- Smaller payload, ineffective against bases
- Torpedo is carried externally, resulting in a noticeable performance drop
- Defensive armament is ineffective against armoured foes
The SB2C Helldiver was a carrier-based dive bomber made by the Curtiss company. The aircraft had been produced from 1943-1945. It was meant to replace the Douglas SBD Dauntless as a much faster alternative to the SBD Dauntless though it sacrificed mobility. Many of the crews of the SB2C Helldiver nicked named this aircraft "Big-Tailed Beast", "Two-Cee", and Son of a Bitch Second Class due to the horrible turning capabilities of the aircraft. The aircraft mainly saw service in the United States Navy, United States Army Air Forces, French Air Force, and Royal Thai Air Force. It was a much larger version of the SBD Dauntless but many of the pilots that flew the SB2C were disappointed with the turning capability which led many pilots to go back to the outdated SBD Dauntless as it had better turning but less speed but many pilots preferred it rather than the SB2C. A total of 7,140 aircraft were produced in total from 1943-1945.
The SB2C-1C Helldiver was based on the SB2C-1 - the first production model. It replaced the four .50 cal (12.7 mm) machine guns of the SB2C-1 with two 20 mm cannons. It also included new hydraulically operated flaps. Because the SB2C-1 was used only for training, after only 200 were built because of the issues with the design. As such, the SB2C-1C was the first variant to be deployed. 778 SB2C-1C Helldivers were built, and it was the first variant to see combat.
The SB2C Helldiver was used during the Battle of the Philippine Sea, where 45 were lost after running out of fuel while returning to the carriers. The SB2C took part in combat over the Marianas, Philippines, Taiwan, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. In the Battle of Leyte Gulf, during the Philippines Campaign, SB2C Helldivers took part in the sinking of the IJN Musashi; they scored a number of bomb hits to the ship. At Okinawa, Helldivers participated in the sinking of the IJN Yamato during the Japanese Operation Ten-Go, scoring hits on the Yamato and her escorts.
In 1945, Helldivers were used in attacks on the Ryukyu Islands and the Japanese island of Honshū. In those strikes they were used to attack airfields, communication centers, and shipping. After the two atomic bombs were dropped, the Helldiver was used in patrols until the official Japanese surrender and the subsequent occupation of Japan.
After the war, the SB2C remained in active-duty service with the US Navy until 1947, and with the Naval Reserve until 1950.
- SB2C-1c Helldiver: Official Devblog
- Official data sheet - more details about the performance
- SB2C-1c: MilitaryFactory.com
- SB2C-1c: Official Forum thread
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