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A-24/SBD "Dauntless"

Light Bomber and Reconnaissance Aircraft

Douglas

Douglas SBD-2 «Dauntless» from  Sq VMSB-232 US NAVY, August, 1942 © Michael Bykov

Douglas SBD-2 «Dauntless» from Sq VMSB-232 US NAVY, August, 1942.

Designed as light bomber and reconnaissance aircraft, Dauntless monoplanes served during the war with the US Marine Corps, the Army and the Navy, production not finally coming to an end until 1944, by which time nearly 6,000 had been built. Their first real test came on 7 May 1942, when the US aircraft carriers USS Lexington and USS Yorktown faced three Japanese carriers in the Battle of the Coral Sea. During the battle, which lasted two days and was the first naval battle in which victory was decided by aircraft alone, Dauntless dive-bombers fought well alongside other US aircraft. Each side lost one carrier (the Japanese carrier Shoho being sunk by Dauntless and Devastator bombers), but the US had stopped the Japanese ships from supporting an invasion of Port Moresby, New Guinea, and the proposed air assault on Australia. Number Built: 5,936

SBD-6 'Dauntless' Specification
Crew 2
Dimensions
Length 10.06m (33 ft 0 in)
Wingspan 12.65m (41 ft 6 in)
Wing area 30.19m2 (325 ft2)
Height 3.94m (12 ft 11 in)
Weight
Empty weight 2,964kg (6,335 lb)
Maximum takeoff weight 4,318kg (9,519 lb)
Powerplant
Wright 9-cylinder radial, air cooled R-1820-66 Cyclone
hp/kW 1,350/1007
Performance
Speed maximum 410 km/h (255 mph)
at altitude 4267 m (14,000 ft)
Service ceiling 7,680 m (25,200 ft)
Service range 1,244 km (773 miles)
Armament
Two forward firing 2 x 12.7 mm (.50 in) machine guns
Two on flexible mounts 7.62 mm (.30 in) machine guns
Under-fuselage mount for up to 726 kg (1,600 lb)
Carried on the wing 295 kg (650 lb)

References

  • "Encyclopedia of military engineering" /Aerospace Publising/
  • "American warplanes of World War II" /under cor. David Donald/

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