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Rank VI | Premium | Golden Eagles
Challenger DS Pack
GarageImage SBD-3.jpg
Research:5 900 Specs-Card-Exp.png
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The SBD-3 Dauntless is a rank I American dive bomber with a battle rating of 1.7 (AB/SB) and 2.0 (RB). It has been in the game since the start of the Open Beta Test prior to Update 1.27.

General info

Flight performance

Arrestor gear
Accelerates braking by grabbing the brake cable on the deck of the aircraft carrier
Air brakes
Allows you to dramatically reduce the flight speed by releasing special flaps
Max speed
at 4 500 m439 km/h
Turn time25 s
Max altitude5 700 m
EngineWright Cyclone R-1820-52
Cooling systemAir
Take-off weight5 t

As a dive bomber, it has very good dive characteristics and manoeuvres decently at most speeds. Although the engine is relatively weak, it could be WEP-ed for a long time before it reaches the overheating stage. This is not an aircraft which you will want to fly at high altitudes but should remain lower where it is a capable dive bomber.

Characteristics Max Speed
(km/h at 4,500 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
Stock 422 409 5700 26.6 27.8 7.9 7.8 291
Upgraded 456 439 24.3 25.5 14.3 9.8
A trio of Dauntlesses in formation.


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 + -
740 450 490 469 320 ~13 ~13
Optimal velocities (km/h)
Ailerons Rudder Elevators Radiator
< 350 < 350 < 380 > 299
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

Crew2 people
Speed of destruction
Structural740 km/h
Gear450 km/h
  • 38 mm bulletproof glass in the windshield
  • 12.7 mm steel pilot seat
  • 12.7 mm steel protecting the gunner
  • Self-sealing fuel tanks (2 in each wing)

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB280 → 354 Sl icon.png
RB480 → 607 Sl icon.png
SB440 → 557 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications5 920 Rp icon.png
4 460 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost410 Ge icon.png
Crew training1 800 Sl icon.png
Experts6 300 Sl icon.png
Aces80 Ge icon.png
Research Aces140 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
20 / 50 / 120 % Sl icon.png
106 / 106 / 106 % Rp icon.png
Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
Mods aerodinamic fuse.png
Fuselage repair
400 Rp icon.png
300 Sl icon.png
80 Ge icon.png
Mods radiator.png
400 Rp icon.png
300 Sl icon.png
80 Ge icon.png
Mods compressor.png
330 Rp icon.png
250 Sl icon.png
60 Ge icon.png
Mods aerodinamic wing.png
Wings repair
370 Rp icon.png
280 Sl icon.png
70 Ge icon.png
Mods new engine.png
370 Rp icon.png
280 Sl icon.png
70 Ge icon.png
Mods metanol.png
Engine injection
640 Rp icon.png
480 Sl icon.png
120 Ge icon.png
Mods armor frame.png
330 Rp icon.png
250 Sl icon.png
60 Ge icon.png
Mods armor cover.png
640 Rp icon.png
480 Sl icon.png
120 Ge icon.png
Mods ammo.png
400 Rp icon.png
300 Sl icon.png
80 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods turret gun.png
330 Rp icon.png
250 Sl icon.png
60 Ge icon.png
Mods gunpods.png
330 Rp icon.png
250 Sl icon.png
60 Ge icon.png
Mods ammo.png
370 Rp icon.png
280 Sl icon.png
70 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods air naval mine.png
Mk 13 Mod 0
370 Rp icon.png
280 Sl icon.png
70 Ge icon.png
Mods weapon.png
640 Rp icon.png
480 Sl icon.png
120 Ge icon.png


Offensive armament

Ammunition360 rounds
Fire rate750 shots/min
Main article: M2 Browning (12.7 mm)

The SBD-3 is armed with:

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

Suspended armament

List of setups (3)
Setup 12 x 100 lb AN-M30A1 bomb
1 x 1000 lb AN-M65A1 bomb
Setup 24 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine gun (secondary) (ammunition: 1 360 rounds)
Setup 31 x 1000 lbs Type A Mark I aircraft laid magnetic mine (ammunition: 340 rounds)
A Dauntless diving towards a Japanese carrier.

The SBD-3 can be outfitted with the following ordnance:

  • 1 x 1,000 lb AN-M65A1 bomb + 2 x 100 lb AN-M30A1 bombs (1,200 lb total)
  • 4 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine guns, wing-mounted (gunpods) (340 rpg = 1,360 total)
  • 1 x Type A Mark I mine

Defensive armament

Ammunition2000 rounds
Fire rate1000 shots/min
Main article: Browning (7.62 mm)

The SBD-3 is defended by:

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

Usage in battles

The Dauntless is an underrated aircraft, as it is viewed as a weak and sluggish bomber by a majority of tier 1 players. Use this to your advantage by catching unsuspecting bombers and fighters. Its manoeuvrability is good enough to energy fight the enemy. You should try to keep your speed higher than 200 km/h and stay at altitudes lower than 2km.

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.

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.

Do not rely on fighter support when focusing on ground targets. After you drop your bombs, the plane should be manoeuvrable enough to dogfight enemies. You should stay on deck and manoeuvre wisely to not expose 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 cannot lose the enemy, try to quickly turn to your enemy's direction. your high G tolerance is equal, if not better than most enemies so you could lose them if they cant follow your turn.

Realistic battles

With the gun pods attached, you could act as menacing fighter support. With a high altitude spawn, try to hunt bombers first before you consider killing fighters. climb up to 4,500 m to get your max speed so you can dive down to the bombers. After eliminating a bomber or two, you should find that your allies are starting to engage the enemy. You could help them by catching enemies that are turning, have low speed, or attacking an ally. It should be easy to do all of this because of your energy advantage. You are still marked as a bomber, so enemies will surely consider you as an easy kill. You can not outrun them, but you can turn very well at almost every speed except stall. If they are coming from behind, a sudden reverse would be a good manoeuvre to throw them off. After that, you could either perform a head-on or fly under the enemy to avoid them. Avoid rushing upwards to maintain speed. Combine all of that with good trigger discipline, it is possible to achieve a five kill game.

Simulator battles

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

Enemies worth noting

Yak-2 KABB: Do not think that the SBD-3 can confidently outmanoeuvre this plane just because it is twin-engined. The Yak-2 has an amazing turn rate for a heavy fighter, thus the SBD-3 must avoid turning with it, if not dogfighting with it in general. It bears a pair of ShVAK cannons that can easily damage vital parts like engine or cooling systems. It has green camo, greatly resembling an Me 410 but with an H-tail like a Bf 110's.

Facing the SBD

It is very common in the game to encounter the SBD equipped with the gunpods, instead of its more usual historical role as a dive bomber. If you are playing against the Americans, in a battle rating where you are likely to encounter it, and especially if you are on a base-bombing run, it is wise to assume that you are facing six forward-firing .50 cal M2 machine guns, until proven otherwise. The best countermeasures are altitude, speed, and manoeuvrability.

Manual Engine Control

MEC elements
Mixer Pitch Radiator Supercharger Turbocharger
Oil Water Type
Controllable Controllable
Not auto controlled
Auto control available
Auto control available
Separate Controllable
2 gears
Not controllable

Pros and cons


  • Gets a bomber spawn which really makes up for its performance
  • Can turn with most enemy fighters on its rank
  • It has two powerful machine guns that are centrally mounted, 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 and support friendly fighters
  • 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 increase the total firepower to 6 .50 cals, one of the earliest plane that has six M2 Brownings
  • Good firepower, enough to make quick kills on planes and ground targets alike. Extremely useful for attacking weakly armoured tanks
  • Decent dive characteristics
  • Will not break its wing on high G turns up to 600 km/h


  • It is still a dive bomber, so its manoeuvrability is limited by its poor energy retention
  • Low ammo capacity for the nose-mounted machine guns
  • The tail gunner won't do so much, because he is too exposed and the 2 x 7.62 is not 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 speed
  • WEP only works on low altitude
  • Unprotected engine, any gunfire get your engine knocked out or badly damaged, forcing you to return to base


First flight recorded 1st of may 1940. Retired 1959. Produced from 1940 to 1944. Top speed of 410 km/h (255 mph). 1,200 hp engine. Length: 33 feet. Wing span is roughly 41 feet. Empty weight: 2,905 kg (6,404 lb). Gross weight is 4,245 kg (10,400 lb). Bomb load is 544 kg (1,200 lb).

The SBD-3, also known as the Dauntless is an American dive-bomber from the early 1940s. It was a carrier-based aircraft which was used for scouting and bombing. This plane is most famous for its contribution to the Battle of Midway. This battle was the first major naval victory for the Americans, of which four Japanese carriers were sunk and multiple other ships heavily damaged and sunk.

Pilots and gunners of the SBD-3 and other military personnel gave the bomber the nickname "Slow But Deadly". Although this plane was slow, it has a large wing area and thus high manoeuvrability. This aircraft is a 2-man crew, so when going into and out of a dive the pilot wouldn't have to check the altitude saving him time, though that was not the only use of the gunner/radioman he would cover the pilot, engaging any enemy fighters who would come behind the aircraft and could also double as a radioman.

These incredible planes all saw service in the United States Navy, United States Army Air Corps, United States Marine Corps and the Free French Air Force. There were 5,936 SBD-3 made; unfortunately, only four or five original US Navy planes survive today with the rest being replicas.

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, armour, 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.



See also

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

External links

Douglas Aircraft Company
Strike Aircraft  A-20G-25 · A-26B-10 · A-26B-50 · AD-2 · AD-4
Bombers  TBD-1 · B-18A · SBD-3 · BTD-1 · A-26C-45 · A-26C-45DT
Turboprops  A2D-1
Jet Aircraft  F3D-1
A-4 Skyhawk  A-4B · A-4E Early
Export  ▄Havoc Mk I · ▄Boston Mk I · ▄DB-7 · ▄AD-4 · ▄AD-4NA
A-4 Skyhawk  A-4H · A-4E Early (M) · A-4N · A-4E

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"