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This page is about the American naval bomber SB2C-1C. For other uses, see SB2 (Disambiguation).


GarageImage SB2C-1C.jpg

The SB2C-1C Helldiver is a rank III American naval dive-bomber with a battle rating of 3.0 (AB/SB) and 3.3 (RB). It was introduced in Update 1.51 "Cold Steel".

General info

Flight performance

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
Stock 430 415 7700 24.6 25.0 2.6 3.9 300
Upgraded ___ 450 21.7 23.0 8.7 6.1


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 + -
656 333 520 453 250 ~10 ~5
Optimal velocities (km/h)
Ailerons Rudder Elevators Radiator
< 257 < 350 < 380 > 313
Compressor (RB/SB)
Setting 1
Optimal altitude 100% Engine power WEP Engine power
1,829 m 1,500 hp 1,665 hp
Setting 2
Optimal altitude 100% Engine power WEP Engine power
3,962 m 1,350 hp 1,499 hp

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.


Offensive armament

Main article: AN/M2 (20 mm)

The SB2C-1C is armed with:

  • 2 x 20 mm AN/M2 cannons, wing-mounted (200 rpg = 400 total)

Suspended armament

The SB2C-1C can be outfitted with the following ordnance:

  • 2 x 250 lb AN-M57 bombs (500 lb total)
  • 1 x 1,927 lb Mk.13-1 torpedo
  • 1 x 1,927 lb Mk.13-1 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

Defensive armament

Main article: Browning (7.62 mm)

The SB2C-1C is defended by:

  • 2 x 7.62 mm Browning machine guns, dorsal turret (2,000 rpg = 4,000 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

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


Tier Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
I Fuselage repair Radiator Offensive 20 mm ITC mk.III
II Compressor Airframe New 20 mm cannons Improved torpedo SBC mk.I
III Wings repair Engine Turret 7 mm Mod 12 Mk 0
IV Engine injection Cover New 7 mm MGs (turret) MBC mk.I

Pros and cons


  • Has the ability to dive bomb and level bomb
  • Armed with a powerful pair of 20 mm AN/M2 cannons
  • Access to air brakes
  • Similar play style as the the SBD-3 and the TBF-1C
  • Decent durability
  • Next to no performance penalty when carrying bombs
  • Air frame can withstand high speed
  • Defensive gunner has a wide coverage
  • Internal payload
  • Pinpoint dive bomb accuracy
  • Can be an effective bomber hunter


  • Wing mounted armaments tend to be inaccurate sometimes
  • Maximum payload is lower than both the SBD-3 and the TBF-1C
  • Suffers from huge performance penalty when carrying a torpedo
  • Slow
  • Elevator tend to wildly sway after a manoeuvre, a trait shared by the TBF-1C
  • Defensive armament is ineffective against armoured foes
  • Payload is ineffective against bases


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.


See also

External links

Curtiss-Wright Corporation
Fighters  P-36A · Rasmussen's P-36A · P-36C · P-36G
  P-40C · P-40E-1 · P-40F-10
Bombers  SB2C-1C · SB2C-4
Experimental  XP-55
Export  H-75A-1 · H-75A-4 · H-81A-2 · ▂P-40E-1 · ␗P-40E-1 · ▄P-40F-5 Lafayette · CW-21 · Hawk III
Captured  ▀Hawk H-75A-2

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"