Sunderland Mk IIIa

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Sunderland Mk IIIa
General characteristics
7 peopleCrew
14.5 tEmpty weight
26.3 tTake-off weight
Flight characteristics
6 096 mCeiling
sec40.1/40.1/35.0Turn Time
168 km/hStalling speed
4 х Bristol Pegasus XVIIIEngine
airCooling system
Speed of destruction
414 km/hStructural
450 km/hGear
Offensive armament
4 х 7.7 mm Browning machine gunWeapon 1
2 000 roundsAmmunition
1 001 shots/minFire rate
Defensive armament
4 х 7.7 mm Browning machine gunTurret
4 000 roundsAmmunition
1 000 shots/minFire rate
2 х 7.7 mm Browning machine gunTurret
1 000 roundsAmmunition
1 000 shots/minFire rate
2 х 7.7 mm Browning machine gunTurret
2 000 roundsAmmunition
1 000 shots/minFire rate
Suspended armament
8 х 250 LB G.P. Mk.IV bombSetup 1
4 х 500 LB G.P. Mk.IV bombSetup 2
4 000 Rp icon.pngResearch
2 100 Sl icon.pngPurchase
Sl icon.png970 / 1 221/1 100 / 1 384/370 / 465Repair
600 Sl icon.pngCrew training
2 100 Sl icon.pngExperts
40 Ge icon.pngAces
x 1.00 Rp icon.pngReward for battle
This page is about the British bomber Sunderland Mk IIIa. For the other version, see Sunderland Mk V.


GarageImage Sunderland Mk IIIa.jpg

The Sunderland Mk IIIa is a rank I British bomber with a battle rating of 2.0 (AB) and 1.7 (RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.57 "Battle March".

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.

Max Speed
(km/h at 4,267 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
374 366 6 096 36.0 36.9 4.2 4.2 740
Max Speed
(km/h at 4,267 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
418 394 6 096 34.1 35.0 9.7 6.5 740


Combat flaps Take-off flaps Landing flaps Air brakes Arrestor gear
Wing-break speed
Gear limit
Combat flaps
Max Static G
+ -
414 450 520 ~3 ~2
Optimal velocities
< 350 < 350 < 250 > 312
Compressor (RB/SB)
Setting 1
Optimal altitude 100% Engine power WEP Engine power
1,450 m 815 hp 1,018 hp
Setting 2
Optimal altitude 100% Engine power WEP Engine power
4,500 m 750 hp 937 hp

Survivability and armour

Examine the survivability of the aircraft. Note how vulnerable the structure is and how secure the pilot is, whether the fuel tanks are armoured, etc. Describe the armour, if there is any, and also mention the vulnerability of other critical aircraft systems.


Offensive armament

The Sunderland Mk IIIa is armed with:

  • 4 x 7.7 mm Browning .303 machine guns, nose-mounted (500 rpg = 2,000 total)

Suspended armament

The Sunderland Mk IIIa can be outfitted with the following ordnance:

  • 8 x 250 lb G.P. 250 lb Mk.IV bombs (2,000 lb total)
  • 4 x 500 lb G.P. 500 lb Mk.IV bombs (2,000 lb total)

Defensive armament

The Sunderland Mk IIIa is defended by:

  • 2 x 7.7 mm Browning .303 machine guns, nose turret (1,000 rpg = 2,000 total)
  • 2 x 7.7 mm Browning .303 machine guns, dorsal turret (500 rpg = 1,000 total)
  • 4 x 7.7 mm Browning .303 machine guns, tail turret (1,000 rpg = 4,000 total)

Usage in battles

Side climbing is essential for the Sunderland Mk IIIa as, whilst it is a very rugged aircraft, the combination of slow climb rate and large bright (white) air frame makes you a very obvious target, meaning that you won't be flying for very long and find upgrading a real chore.

However don't be scared if an enemy plane is coming at you, chances are that if they don't have anything more than small calibre machine-guns, they aren't going to hurt you that badly. Focus on getting to your target, bombing and then returning to reload. Flying the Sunderland is like a shuttle-bus, focus on your target and try not to get distracted along the way, as it's very hard to regain your energy once lost. Research engine upgrades as soon as you can, as these will make a massive improvement in your performance, both level flying and climbing.

Manual Engine Control

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


Tier Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
I Fuselage repair Radiator Offensive 7 mm HMBC mk.2
II Compressor Airframe New 7 mm MGs
III Wings repair Engine Turret 7 mm
IV Engine injection Cover New 7 mm MGs

Pros and cons


  • Very rugged air frame.
  • Very good durability, will absorb a lot of bullets before going down.
  • The Sunderland is a flying boat and thus it can land on water.
  • Good handling with full fuel load.
  • Excellent manoeuvrability and handling with minimum fuel load out.
  • Excellent handling at low speeds.
  • Good acceleration.
  • Excels in destroying ground targets.
  • Has four frontal machine guns.
  • Powerful defensive armament that will deter enemy planes especially biplanes.


  • Structural damage (wing rips) occurs at 414 km/h (260 mph).
  • Landing too hard (on water) can cause major internal damage (i.e. The control cables breaking).
  • No wheels and thus cannot land safely on an airfield.
  • No armour or protection at all.
  • Cannon armed planes will destroy it very easily .
  • Will be ripped to shreds easily by certain planes with large cannons like the Hurricane Mk IV, Ki-45 otsu and the Ki-44-II otsu.
  • Red lines at 400 km/h (250 mph)
  • Engines overheat very fast
  • Not responsive when red lining.
  • Only one pilot, no co-pilot unlike other bombers at the tier.
  • Bombs are rather inadequate for its size.
  • No Bomb bay, the bombs are slid from the fuselage onto the wings, thus there is a delay from pressing the space bar (or whatever key is bound). This must be taken into consideration when flying.


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 long, 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></ref>, as well as adding them at the end of the article with <references />. 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).


Excellent additions to the article would be video guides, screenshots from the game, and photos.

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

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • encyclopedia page on the aircraft;
  • other literature.

Britain bombers
Torpedo  Swordfish Mk I · ▄Avenger Mk II
Dive  V-156-B1
Hydroplanes  ▄Catalina Mk IIIa · Sunderland Mk IIIa · Sunderland Mk V
Light  Blenheim Mk IV · Beaufort Mk VIII · ▄Hudson Mk V · Brigand B 1
Based on A20  ▄Havoc Mk I · ▄Boston Mk I · ▄DB-7
Hampden  Hampden Mk I · Hampden TB Mk I
Wellington  Wellington Mk Ic · Wellington Mk Ic /Late · Wellington Mk III · Wellington Mk X
Halifax  Halifax B Mk IIIa
Stirling  Stirling B Mk I · Stirling B Mk III
Lancaster  Lancaster B Mk I · Lancaster B Mk III
Lincoln  Lincoln B Mk II
Canberra  Canberra B Mk 2 · Canberra B (I) Mk 6
Attackers  ▄Wirraway