|This page is about the American dive bomber SB2U-3. For the other version, see SB2U-2. For other uses, see SB2 (Disambiguation).
- 1 Description
- 2 General info
- 3 Armaments
- 4 Usage in battles
- 5 History
- 6 Media
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
The SB2U was developed in the early 1930s and although considered obsolete at the outbreak of World War II, it still remained in service through the Battle of Midway, however in 1943 it was withdrawn into training units and replaced by more advanced aircraft. This aircraft featured a constant-speed propeller which was intended to be utilized as a dive brake while performing dive bombing attack manoeuvres. There were three hard points for bombs to be attached, one 250 lb bomb under each wing and a single 500 or 1,000 lb bomb mounted onto a pylon under the fuselage. The larger bomb was also attached to what was called a "trapeze", a device which would when the bomb was released, swing the bomb clear of the propeller arc.
It was introduced in Update 1.75 "La Résistance". The SB2U-3 is the predecessor of the SB2U-2, but it sits at a higher BR thanks to the armament. It is slightly slower, because of the engine, it uses the Pratt & Whitney R-1535-2, that has less HP than the SB2U-2, but the difference very little. It has access to the same payload, which means that it is excellent at dealing with heavily armoured naval targets and ground targets. The offensive armament is much better, with 4 x 12.7mm browning HMGs, while the SB2U-2 has access to only 2 x 7.7mm MGs. This means, that while the flight performance is mediocre, it can be used to some extent in air battles, since biplanes and early monoplanes are very vulnerable to this kind of machineguns, specially if incendiary bullets are used.
| Max Speed
(km/h at 4,084 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run
|Max Static G
|Optimal velocities (km/h)
|100% Engine power
|WEP Engine power
Survivability and armour
- 3 mm Steel boxes behind the gunner
- No armour glazing
- Critical components located at front of aircraft (fuel, pilot, engine, controls)
- Self-sealing fuel tanks (1 behind pilot)
Modifications and economy
The SB2U-3 is armed with:
- 4 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine guns, wing-mounted (400 rpg = 1,600 total)
1 x 500 lb AN-M64A1 bomb
1 x 500 lb AN-M64A1 bomb
The SB2U-3 can be outfitted with the following ordnance:
- 1 x 500 lb AN-M64A1 bomb + 2 x 100 lb AN-M30A1 bombs (700 lb total)
- 1 x 500 lb AN-M64A1 bomb + 2 x 250 lb AN-M57 bombs (1,000 lb total)
- 1 x 1,000 lb AN-M65A1 bomb (1,000 lb total)
- 1 x 1,600 lb AN-Mk 1 bomb (1,600 lb total)
- 1 x Type A Mark I mine
The SB2U-3 is defended by:
- 1 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine gun, dorsal turret (315 rpg)
Usage in battles
The SB2U-3 is a carrier based dive bomber. This aircraft is a fairly slow aircraft, but sturdy. Built as a dive-bomber, it excels at diving down above a target to release its bombs. The SB2U is one of the only early aircraft in War Thunder which features dive flaps (h) to aid in retarding the build up of speed during a dive, helping prevent ripping off of wings in RB and SB. Wing mounted machine guns allow for this aircraft to strafe softer ground or water targets while waiting for bombs to reload (AB). Rear facing dorsal gunner helps to ward off enemy attackers, however it is not a game changer for this aircraft.
The SB2U is a slow aircraft which leads it to having two options, first is to hug the terrain. While flying to your target of choice (AAA sites, AA Vehicles or bases), fly along the terrain, utilize what hills and valleys there are to fly through. Time on target may be limited before the enemy gets there so line up your bombing run and drop bombs. This aircraft can manoeuvre fairly well, utilizing elevator and rudder controls, you can quickly flip this aircraft around and return to ground attacking targets you just flew over.
The second option will be to gain altitude. Going too high will render your bombs ineffective. The idea here is to gain several thousand feet, fly towards your target of choice and then dive on it. During your dive, your aircraft will build up speed, to prevent too much speed build up and control stiffening, reduce your throttle and engage landing flaps ("F" by default) as the SB2U does not have airbrakes. This will allow you a controlled descent and the ability to line up your target easier, the unfortunate down side is that now you are slowly moving in a straight line, easy target for enemy fighters. Once you swoop on your target and release your bombs, engage full throttle and retract dive brakes.
While this aircraft is slow, it can be utilized to attack fighters if in a pinch. The manoeuvrability of this aircraft along with its slow speed can aid in forcing an attacking enemy to overshoot or underestimate the capabilities of this aircraft.
The rear-facing dorsal gunner does not deter much, don't rely on him to clear your tail of trailing aircraft. Enemy fighters will assume this aircraft to be an easy target due to its size and slow speed.
The SB2U is a slow aircraft, however it is manoeuvrable. Due to the large surface area of the wings and rudder, it can make quick reversals through wing-overs causing faster fighters to overshoot. The rear-gunner does not pack much of a punch, however coming at this aircraft from the underside will avoid any offensive/defensive weapons allowing for time to line up a shot. Aim for critical areas of the aircraft (engine, pilot, fuel…) as the body of the aircraft can soak up a good amount of damage.
An interesting fighting technique against enemy bombers, if altitude, airspeed and lack of nearby enemy fighters permits, is to engage in a "Turret fighting" mode. Start with a 700m+ altitude advantage and 300km/h and look for isolated medium/heavy bombers. (If the bomber in question has significant forward firepower, such as the British DB-3(Quad 7.7mm MG) or the BV 138 B-1(20mm MG151), this technique is best avoided as these will make short work of your vulnerable tail. Do your homework and find which bombers are vulnerable in the nose) Dive on the bomber at a shallow angle (about 20 degrees will do) and fire with your forward MGs if you can. Bank under the target bomber and match his airspeed and climb angle and switch to gunner view. If you successfully followed the instructions your gunner should have an easy view of the front of the enemy bomber, and with sufficient aim and trigger discipline, you should be able to put enough gunfire into his engines or even pilot snipe him to take him down.
Manual Engine Control
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
| Not controllable
Pros and cons
- Dual role dive bomber/attacker
- Good diver
- Armament of four .50 cal machine guns give it good frontal firepower
- Large target
- Slow speed
- Weak defensive weapons
- Small payload
The mid-1930s was an exciting time of military aircraft development. As is with technological changes, designers, developers and engineers look for ways to eke out as much power, speed or even damage infliction as possible. Aircraft which imbue the best of these qualities are typically the ones which get contracts with the military.
The United States Navy was continuously looking to upgrade its fleet of aircraft and in 1934 sought to receive proposals for a new scout bomber designed for carrier usage. This scout bomber requirement was unique for the time as the request came in two parts, the aircraft manufactures had the choice to submit either a monoplane or biplane option. Six manufactures competed in the proposal, and Vought was the only manufacturer which submitted a prospective aircraft in each category. At the time, monoplanes were still relatively new while biplanes had a known track record. Vought favoured the monoplane design, however, concluded that providing a submission in each category allowed them to be competitive no matter the category the Navy selected. Of the six companies submissions, four of them won contracts with the U.S. Navy and Vought's monoplane XSB2U-1 was one of them.
The SB2U-1 was a conventional low-wing monoplane of the mid-1930s. The fuselage construction consisted of steel tubes which had aluminium panels covering the aircraft from the engine cowling to the rear cockpit where the tail gunner sat. A majority of the rear portion of the fuselage utilised fabric covering. The wings were all metal and could fold up for storage on the aircraft carriers when not in use, accommodating more aircraft. This aircraft was a two-crew aircraft needing only a pilot and tail-gunner who could also operate as a spotter. The aircraft sported a Pratt & Whitney R-1535-2 Twin-Wasp Junior radial engine which worked in conjunction with a two-bladed constant-speed propeller. The intent was to have the propeller work as a dive brake during diving attack runs. However, this proved to be less effective, and pilots tended to lower the landing gear, which provided more drag which they needed. The aircraft utilised a swinging trapeze under the fuselage of the aircraft to sling a bomb during a diving attack to ensure it would clear the propeller arc. Pilots found that the best practice for dropping the 1,000 lb bombs was to dive at a shallower angle to ensure proper speed and clearance when dropping the large bomb. Smaller bombs could be mounted under the wings to allow for an additional 500 lbs.
In 1938, the U.S. Navy submitted an order to add to their growing collection of SB2Us and requested 58 SB2U-2 scout bombers which were a slightly modified version of the SB2U-1. There were no physical differences; however, there were minor changes in the equipment installed on the aircraft.
Later in 1939, the United States Marine Corps placed an order for SB2U-3 aircraft. Their needs were a little different than the Navy's needs, so their aircraft required upgrades. Intended to be a long-range scout bomber, this version of the aircraft was outfitted with integral wing fuel tanks to allow for farther range and had the aircraft's tail increased in size to increase aircraft manoeuvrability when using the rudder. A total of 57 SB2U-3 Vindicators were built, and many saw combat in the Battle of Midway.
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.
|Chance Vought Aircraft
|F4U-1A · F4U-1A (USMC) · F4U-1C · F4U-1D · F4U-4 · F4U-4B · F4U-4B VMF-214
|OS2U-1 · OS2U-3
|SB2U-2 · SB2U-3
|A-7D · A-7E · A-7K
|F8U-2 · F-8E
|V-156-B1 · V-156-F · ▄Corsair F Mk II · F4U-7 · ▄F-8E(FN)
|SB2U-2 · SB2U-3 · SBD-3 · SB2C-1C · SB2C-4
|TBD-1 · PBY-5 Catalina · PBY-5A Catalina · TBF-1C · BTD-1
|B-10B · B-18A · B-34 · PV-2D · B-25J-1 · B-25J-20 · A-26C-45 · A-26C-45DT · B-26B
|B-17E · B-17E/L · B-17G-60-VE · PB4Y-2 · B-24D-25-CO · B-29A-BN
|OS2U-1 · OS2U-3 · PBM-1 "Mariner" · PBM-3 "Mariner"