|This page is about the British dive bomber V-156-B1. For the French version, see V-156-F.
- 1 Description
- 2 General info
- 3 Armaments
- 4 Usage in battles
- 5 History
- 6 Media
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
The V-156-B1 was an export version of the American SB2U bomber, various modifications of which were released from 1936-1941. Since 1941, the V-156-B1 had been transferred to Great Britain under the Lend-Lease program. The most important difference between the SB2U-2 and V-156-B1 is the armament. The V-156-B1 has four 7.7 mm machine guns, while the SB2U-2 has two. Due to the small number of such aircraft, they were not actively used in combat operations. Most of them were used as training aircraft. The last aircraft was withdrawn from service in Great Britain in 1944. A total of 49 V-156-B1 were produced.
It was introduced in Update 1.75 "La Résistance". The V-156-B1 is a slow but well-armed bomber. Due to the weak engine, which is not enough for such large two-seater bomber, its speed qualities are quite low. The aircraft has good armament that allows it to perform its tasks. Four offensive-mounted Brownings and one more as a defensive weapon that allows the V-156-B1 to attack most opponents on this BR. The V-156-B1 has good bomb armament, which allows it to attack ground targets. Dive bombers are hard to use against ground vehicles in realistic battles, but with practice it gets easier.
| 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)
Survivability and armour
- 9.5 mm Steel plate between cockpit and turret
- 3 mm Steel boxes behind the gunner
- Self-sealing fuel tank located behind pilot
Modifications and economy
Weaponry upgrades and engine should be prioritized with this aircraft, due to its role as an attacker. Its two primary roles are lugging bombs where they need to be in the minimal amount of time possible and then using them to inflict maximum damage. The FSBC mk.5 gives quite an upgrade to the aircraft, replacing the 100 lb bombs (mediocre at best) with the more powerful 250 lb bombs. However, the FLBC mk 1 is a novelty, at best, and only really useful when lugging bombs onto bases in Operation mode in RB. However, the V-156-B1 is a very bad choice for such a role, and thus, it should be disregarded.
A good research pathway is FSBC mk.5 --> Offensive 7 mm Belts --> New 7 mm MGs --> Defensive 7 mm Belts --> Engine --> New 7 mm MGs (Turret) --> Engine Injection. Anything after that is fair game. However, the FLBC mk.1 should be left until last, due to its uselessness in battles.
The V-156-B1 is armed with:
- 4 x 7.7 mm Browning machine guns, wing-mounted (1,000 rpg = 4,000 total).
Really good armament for a bomber. This weapon is enough to successfully destroy enemy aircraft in frontal attacks. The most effective belts are Universal and Stealth.
1 x 500 lb AN-M64A1 bomb
1 x 500 lb AN-M64A1 bomb
The V-156-B1 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)
For base-bombing, the 1 x 500 lb + 2 x 100 lb set-up is capable of destroying 70% of a base, while the 1 x 500 lb + 2 x 250 lb and 1 x 1,000 lb set-ups are capable of destroying one base.
The V-156-B1 is defended by:
- 1 x 7.7 mm Browning machine gun, dorsal turret (600 rpg).
A standard defensive armament normally seen at the battle-rating, the one machine gun allows pilot some self-defense opportunities to destroy pursuing aircraft. The most effective belt is Universal.
Usage in battles
The V-156-B1 is easily one of the more powerful aircraft in the lower battle ratings and can be an absolute monster at low battle rated arcade matches due to its monoplane design, payload, and a large number of offensive machine guns. It is adequate for grinding at low ranks due to its low repair cost and versatility. It can gladly function as both a fighter and an attacker, and once dumping bombs, is capable of Boom & Zooming enemies in the vicinity. In addition, it has airbrakes in the form of dive brakes, which come in useful when landing, attacking ground targets or attempting to shake off an enemy. Although you have a turret, you should not rely on it to be able to destroy fighters on its own - it is good at fending off fighters and keeping newer and/or more cautious players at bay, but it will only be able to shoot down fighters on its own by sheer luck. Your frontal armament, however, is more powerful - and with the usage of airbrakes at critical moments in the fight, such as when the enemy is close to you and approaching from the rear, you can use your airbrakes while reducing your throttle to zero to induce what is known as an 'overshoot'- forcing the enemy behind you to zoom over you instead of staying on your tail by means of a sudden speed decrease. This puts the enemy in front of you and allows you to use your four frontal machine guns to shoot down the lightly-armoured enemies you face at this battle rating.
Arcade Ground Strike maps - where the aim is to destroy the enemy's ground troops, and often, dogfights happen over ground targets at low altitudes - are where this aircraft will excel most. A suggested strategy is to use the aircraft as a dive-bomber in arcade battles, using your superior altitude and therefore speed advantages (you start in the bomber spawn) to hit ground targets before zooming back towards friendlies, or waiting until the fighters have started engaging, and then attack ground targets. The aircraft (at stock payload) has two 100 lb bombs and one 500 lb bomb. At these low BRs, your bombs will annihilate enemy armoured car and AAA formations, and your guns are nigh-upon-unstoppable at this BR. Use "Universal" or "Tracer" belts for best effect.
While waiting for payload reload, go for enemy planes. British, German and Japanese aircraft are particularly vulnerable to your attacks due to their relatively low armament in a head-on engagement and lack of any and all armour protection. Soviet biplanes (the I-15s) will have heavier or equal armament, and American monoplanes will be harder to kill than biplanes due to robust construction and having similar speeds. At a BR of 1.3, the best opposition you will face are P-40s, Bf-109E-1s, Ki-43s and H-75s. All of these aircraft have large amounts of machine guns with exhaustive ammo pools, and if they can catch up to you, you're likely going to be shot down by the opposition, since you don't have the performance to fight them without assistance. If you feel lucky, you can duke it out by baiting them into a turn fight, where your good turn radius with landing flaps active can make you the victor in the situation. Never rely upon your single rear gun to keep you safe- at best it can only really function as a deterrent to keep fighters at bay. Always keep an eye on your six, and when you finish a ground attack run, look around and see if anything's coming before you go in again. If you see a fighter coming for you and can manage to turn towards them enough that you can get a firing solution on them, you can probably win. British 7.7 mm guns are among the best in the game in terms of raw fire chance values and penetration, and if loaded with the "Tracer" belt- a full mix of Incendiary Tracer (essentially a standard incendiary bullet with a tracer element) and Armour-Piercing Incendiary (Usually the most damaging type of bullet in any given gun) in 50% proportion to each other- they can shred through any air target at a battle rating of 1.3.
A suggested loadout is a minimum load of fuel (33 minutes, more than enough for arcade battles or realistic battles), Universal or Tracer 7 mm belts on both defensive and offensive 7 mm guns (maximal AP-I ammunition) and the payload of 2 x 250 lb bombs and 1 x 500 lb bomb.
Manual Engine Control
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
| Not controllable
Pros and cons
- Dual role dive bomber/attacker
- Good diver
- Decent bomb load options
- Four offensive machine guns can destroy unarmoured ground targets and other aircraft
- Good payload- The 500 lbs and 250 lbs bombs are more than enough to penetrate and destroy enemy tanks
- Defensive machine gun keeps enemy fighters at bay and has a lot of ammunition
- Large target
- Slow speed
- Weak defensive armament
- Difficult to dogfight with
- Rather long take off run
- Not particularly fast, easy prey for low-rank monoplanes and even some biplanes
- Not very manoeuvrable, especially with payloads equipped
- Poor elevator response, especially at high speeds; this means diving attacks from a high altitude (e.g. in RB) are hard to pull off and will require some planning in order to avoid ripping your wings off and/or compressing
- The bomber only has landing flaps, that cannot be activated when airbrakes are on, and vice-versa
- Low cockpit visibility due to the "birdcage" construction and the fact that the rear cockpit view is quite limited due to the limited traverse of the rear gun
- Stock payload has the weak 100 lbs bombs which have a low armour destruction radius (2 m) and require some skill to get on target without missing or not penetrating
- Single .303 inch defensive machine gun is better than nothing, but only really serves as a deterrent as the plane will probably be dead by the time the gunner has the chance to knock out the enemy hostile since you only have the one gun
The V-156-B1 was an export variant of the American SBU Vindicator dive bomber that saw service with the Royal Navy.
The V-156F-3 was a variant in service with the French Navy, and 50 more were ordered in March 1940. Initial delivery was delayed as the SBU was in production for the US Marine Corps. Delivery was planned for March 1941, the delay due to ongoing production orders for the United States Marine Corps, but the fall of France in June 1940 caused the order to be shifted to the UK. In the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm (FAA), the V-156-B1 was known as the Chesapeake Mk.I. The first Chesapeake flew on February 26, 1941, and by the end of March, the British had accepted the V-156-B1.
In British service, the V-156-B1 was intended for anti-submarine patrols, but it became apparent that the aircraft lacked the performance to carry the ordnance necessary for that role, causing the British officials relegating to defensive roles such as carrier escort tasks. Eventually, they were removed from frontline service and used as a training aircraft until the Fairey Swordfish replaced it in that role.
Other planes in the V-156 Family:
Equivalents in other nations' 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)
|Swordfish Mk I · Swordfish Mk II · ▄Avenger Mk II
|▄Catalina Mk IIIa · Sunderland Mk IIIa · Sunderland Mk V
|Blenheim Mk IV · Beaufort Mk VIII · ▄Hudson Mk V · Brigand B 1
|Based on A20
|▄Havoc Mk I · ▄Boston Mk I · ▄DB-7
|Hampden Mk I · Hampden TB Mk I
|Wellington Mk Ic · Wellington Mk Ic/L · Wellington Mk III · Wellington Mk X
|Halifax B Mk IIIa
|Stirling B Mk I · Stirling B Mk III
|Lancaster B Mk I · Lancaster B Mk III
|Lincoln B Mk II