The Curtiss SB2C Helldiver, also known as the A-25 Shrike,
is a dive bomber developed by Curtiss-Wright during World War II.

Curtiss SB2C Helldiver, also known as the A-25 Shrike

RoleDive bomber
National originUnited States
ManufacturerCurtiss-Wright
Built by
First flight18 December 1940
IntroductionDecember 1942
Retired1959 (Italy)
Primary usersUnited States Navy
Produced1943–1945
Number built7,140
Developed intoCurtiss XSB3C

 




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Curtiss SB2C Helldiver, also known as the A-25 Shrike"1940"

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Curtiss SB2C Helldiver, "1940"

The Curtiss SB2C Helldiver, also known as the A-25 Shrike, is a dive bomber developed by Curtiss-Wright during World War II. As a carrier-based bomber with the United States Navy (USN), in Pacific theaters, it supplemented and replaced the Douglas SBD Dauntless. A few survivors are extant.

Initially poor handling characteristics and late modifications caused lengthy delays to production and deployment, to the extent that it was investigated by the Truman Committee, which turned in a scathing report. This contributed to the decline of Curtiss as a company. Neither pilots nor aircraft carrier skippers seemed to like it.[1] Nevertheless, the type was faster than the Dauntless, and by the end of the Pacific War, the Helldiver had become the main dive bomber and attack aircraft on USN carriers.[

Design

The Helldiver was developed to replace the Douglas SBD Dauntless. It was a much larger aircraft, able to operate from the latest aircraft carriers and carry a considerable array of armament. It featured an internal bomb bay that reduced drag when carrying heavy ordnance. Saddled with demanding requirements set forth by both the U.S. Marines and United States Army Air Forces, the manufacturer incorporated features of a “multi-role” aircraft into the design.

The Model XSB2C-1 prototype initially suffered teething problems connected to its Wright R-2600 Twin Cyclone engine and three-bladed propeller; further concerns included structural weaknesses, poor handling, directional instability, and bad stall characteristics. In 1939, a student took a model of the new Curtiss XSB2C-1 to the MIT wind tunnel. Professor of Aeronautical Engineering Otto C. Koppen was quoted as saying, “if they build more than one of these, they are crazy”. He was referring to controllability issues with the small vertical tail.

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Curtiss Curtiss SB2C Helldiver "1940"

British service

The Helldiver’s service with the British resembled Australian experience with the type. A total of 26 aircraft, out of 450 ordered, were delivered to the Royal Navy‘s Fleet Air Arm, where they were known as the Helldiver I. After unsatisfactory tests by the A&AEE that pinpointed “appalling handling”, none of the British Helldivers were used in action

Specifications

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 36 ft 8 in (11.18 m)
  • Wingspan: 49 ft 9 in (15.16 m)
  • Height: 13 ft 2 in (4.01 m)
  • Empty weight: 10,547 lb (4,784 kg)
  • Gross weight: 16,616 lb (7,537 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Wright R-2600-20 Twin Cyclone 14-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine, 1,900 hp (1,400 kW)
  • Maximum speed: 295 mph (475 km/h, 256 kn) at 16,700 ft (5,100 m)
  • Cruise speed: 158 mph (254 km/h, 137 kn)
  • Combat range: 1,165 mi (1,875 km, 1,012 nmi) with 1,000 lb (450 kg) bomb-load
  • Service ceiling: 29,100 ft (8,900 m)
  • Rate of climb: 1,800 ft/min (9.1 m/s)

Aircrafttoaal encyclopedia

The Curtiss SB2C Helldiver, also known as the A-25 Shrike, is a dive bomber developed by Curtiss-Wright during World War II. As a carrier-based bomber with the United States Navy (USN)