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SBD-3 Dauntless
General characteristics
2 peopleCrew
4.9 tTake-off weight
1.10 kg/sBurst mass
Flight characteristics
5 700 mCeiling
Wright Cyclone R-1820-52Engine
airCooling system
Speed of destruction
740 km/hStructural
450 km/hGear
Offensive armament
2 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine gunWeapon 1
360 roundsAmmunition
750 shots/minFire rate
Defensive armament
2 x 7.62 mm Browning machine gunTurret
2 000 roundsAmmunition
1 000 shots/minFire rate
Suspended armament
2 x 100 lb AN-M30A1 bomb
1 x 1000 lb AN-M65A1 bomb
Setup 1
4 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine gun (secondary)Setup 2
5 900 Rp icon.pngResearch
6 300 Sl icon.pngPurchase
Sl icon.png750 / 948/720 / 910/430 / 543Repair
1 800 Sl icon.pngCrew training
6 300 Sl icon.pngExperts
80 Ge icon.pngAces
106 % Rp icon.pngReward for battle
260 % Sl icon.png120 % Sl icon.png40 % Sl icon.png


GarageImage SBD-3.jpg

The SBD-3 Dauntless is a rank I American dive bomber with a battle rating of 2.0 (AB), 2.3 (RB), and 1.7 (SB). This dive bomber has been in the game since the start of the Open Beta Test prior to Update 1.29.

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.

Stat card

Max Speed
(km/h at 4,500 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
418 407 5,700 26.8 27.4 6.6 7.7 291
Max Speed
(km/h at 4,500 m)
Max altitude (meters) Turn time (seconds) Rate of climb
Take-off run (meters)
456 439 5,700 24.3 25.5 14.3 9.8 291
A trio of Dauntlesses in formation.


Combat flap Take-off flap Landing flap Air brakes Arrestor gear
Wing-break speed
Gear limit
Combat flap
Max Static G
+ -
700 450 520 ~11 ~11
Optimal velocities
< 350 < 350 < 380 > 250
Compressor (RB/SB)
Setting 1
Optimal altitude 100% Engine power WEP Engine power
1,324 m 950 hp 1,000 hp
Setting 2
Optimal altitude 100% Engine power WEP Engine power
4,777 m 800 hp 842 hp

Engine performance

Engine Name Number present
Wright Cyclone R-1820-52 9-cylinder 1
Engine characteristics
Weight (each) Type Cooling
907 kg Radial Air
Engine power (Stock)
Mode Max Take-off
Arcade 889 hp 939 hp
Realistic/Simulator 879 hp 930 hp
Engine power (Upgraded)
Mode Max Take-off
Arcade 1,023 hp 1,074 hp
Realistic/Simulator 950 hp 1,000 hp
WEP Duration
Arcade Realistic/Simulator
25 seconds Infinite

Survivability and armour

  • 38 mm bulletproof glass in the windshield
  • 12.7 mm steel pilot seat
  • 12.7 mm steel protecting the gunner
  • Fuel tanks in the wings


Offensive armament

Main article: Browning M2 (12.7 mm)

The SBD-3 is armed with:

  • 2 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine gun, nose-mounted (180 rpg = 360 total)

Suspended armament

The options available for the SBD-3 are:

  • 2 x 100 lb AN-M30A1 bombs + 1 x 1,000 lb AN-M65A1 bomb
  • 4 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine gun, wing-mounted (340 rpg = 1360 total)

Defensive armament

Main article: Browning (7.62 mm)

The SBD-3 has a defensive armament with:

  • 2 x 7.62 mm Browning machine gun, dorsal turret (1,000 rpg = 2,000 total)

Usage in battles

This plane is good at what it was designed for Dive Bombing. Start at a high altitude at around 4-5,000 feet, fly directly above the target, invert the plane, cut the throttle and deploy airbrakes (h key by default), dive, at 1,000-700 feet release bombs, pull the nose up, retract air brakes, push the throttle to full, then pitch up in a climb.

Do not rely on fighter support, and if you do get into a firefight with fighter planes, stay at treetop level so they cannot get to your weak underbelly. If you are caught at high altitude, go into a steep dive until you are at the deck, there is a good chance you may out dive them. If you are in realistic battles, do the same and throw the plane into high G turns while on the deck, it's very likely that your wings will stay intact due to the high G tolerance of the SBD but the fighters attempting to follow, will either break their wings or be forced to break off the attack. At this point, the twin .50 calibre guns in the engine cowling may come in handy.

The small bomb load requires you pick your targets carefully and make your bombs count, choose to attack artillery positions or bases, where you have a higher chance of hitting due to their stationary position. Ships are also prime targets (it is what it was designed for), as the 1000lb bomb is plenty to sink a small ship.

Simulator mode procedures
Hands-off carrier take-off (Auto engine control): Start engine, flaps: raised, elevator trim: 15%, aileron trim: 11%, rudder trim: 6%, WEP throttle, hands off controls until you lift off the carrier.

Manual Engine Control

MEC elements
Mixer Pitch Radiator Supercharger Turbocharger
Oil Water Type
Controllable Controllable
Automatic pitch
Controllable Not controllable Combined Controllable Not controllable

Pros and cons


  • It has two powerful machine guns compared to its peers, meaning you can effectively hunt down low-tier bombers and in most situations, be a quasi-fighter aircraft
  • Its bombs are powerful enough to destroy packed enemy ground vehicles
  • Its manoeuvrability is good enough to attack enemy bombers
  • Tail gunner has excellent coverage, almost a perfect 180 degrees on a horizontal plane
  • Can "pullout" from a 60-degree dive quite effectively
  • Tail gun also has plenty of ammunition
  • Can be used as a fighter when needed
  • Can mount two dual .50 Cal gun pods instead of bombs for increased firepower, giving it comparable armament to U.S fighters


  • It is still a dive bomber, so its manoeuvrability is still poor by definition
  • Low ammo capacity for the nose-mounted machine guns
  • The tail gunner won't do so much, because he is too exposed and the 2x7.62 aren't powerful enough to destroy planes of its tier
  • Limited selection of bombs, only one payload is available to choose from
  • Slow acceleration
  • Poor climb rate
  • Poor energy retention
  • Slow


Describe the history of the creation and combat usage of the aircraft in more detail than in the introduction. If the historical reference turns out to be too big, take it to a separate article, taking a link to the article about the vehicle and adding a block "/ History" (example: and add a link to it here using the main template. Be sure to reference text and sources by using <ref>, as well as adding them at the end of the article. This section may also include the vehicle's dev blog entry (if applicable) and the in-game encyclopedia description (under === Encyclopedia Info ===, also if applicable).

In-game description

"A carrier-based dive-bomber/reconnaissance aircraft.

The most well-known U.S. Navy bomber, and perhaps the most significant dive-bomber of the war. Despite the fact that the decision to write off the SBD as outdated was made before the war, the bomber was still actively involved in combat, and in 1942 it sunk more enemy ships than all other Navy aircraft combined.

Originally, the series was called the XBT, and showed as many innovations as it did drawbacks. This aircraft had a revolutionary honeycomb wing structure and a reasonably small fuselage. But its wings could not be folded, and occasionally it would spontaneously go into a barrel roll, which caused a series of catastrophic accidents. After intensive research in conjunction with NACA, the dive-bomber was radically redesigned, most of its shortcomings were removed, and it was named the Scout Bomber.

The SBD-3 variant was a Scout Bomber which was finally fit for combat. It had self-sealing fuel tanks, armor, and bulletproof cockpit glass. To keep its performance characteristics, the aircraft’s weight was reduced by replacing its duralumin sheeting with a much lighter material. Also, all the equipment designed to keep the plane afloat in the event of a water landing was removed.

Soldiers dubbed the SBD the “Slow But Deadly.” This aircraft destroyed the pride of the Japanese carrier force at the Battle of Midway, inflicting damage from which the Japanese Imperial Navy was never able to recover."


Skins for the Douglas SBD-3 Dauntless from
Images of the Douglas SBD-3 Dauntless from

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

[Profile] SBD-3 Dauntless - Slow But Deadly

Douglas Aircraft Company
Attackers  A-20G-25 · A-26B-10 · A-26B-50 · AD-2 · AD-4
Bombers  A-26C-45 · A-26C-45DT · B-18A · BTD-1 · SBD-3 · TBD-1
Turboprop  A2D-1
Jet Fighters  F3D-1
Export  ▄AD-4 · ▄Boston Mk I · ▄DB-7 · ▄Havoc Mk I

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
Heavy  B-17E · B-17E/L · B-17G-60-VE · PB4Y-2 · B-24D-25-CO · B-29A-BN
Other  PBM-3 "Mariner"