McDonnell / Douglas

SBD Dauntless

Douglas DC-8 Airliner

McDonnell / Douglas


The Douglas SBD Dauntless is a World War II American naval scout plane and dive bomber.

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SBD Dauntless

The Douglas SBD Dauntless is a World War II American naval scout plane and dive bomber that was manufactured by Douglas Aircraft from 1940 through 1944. The SBD (“Scout Bomber Douglas”) was the United States Navy‘s main carrier-based scout/dive bomber from mid-1940 through mid-1944. The SBD was also flown by the United States Marine Corps, both from land air bases and aircraft carriers. The SBD is best remembered as the bomber that delivered the fatal blows to the Japanese carriers at the Battle of Midway in June 1942.[1] The type earned its nickname “Slow But Deadly” (from its SBD initials) during this period.

Operational History

U.S. Navy and Marine Corps SBDs saw their first action at Pearl Harbor, when most of the Marine Corps SBDs of Marine Scout Bombing Squadron 232 (VMSB-232) were destroyed on the ground at Ewa Mooring Mast Field. Most U.S. Navy SBDs flew from their aircraft carriers, which did not operate in close cooperation with the rest of the fleet. Most Navy SBDs at Pearl Harbor, like their Marine Corps counterparts, were destroyed on the ground.[6] On 10 December 1941, SBDs from USS Enterprise sank the Japanese submarine I-70.



RoleDive bomber
Scout plane
National originUnited States
ManufacturerDouglas Aircraft
DesignerEd Heinemann
First flight1 May 1940
Retired1959 (Mexico)
Primary usersUnited States Navy
United States Marine Corps
United States Army Air Forces
Free French Air Force
Number built5,936
Developed fromNorthrop BT




 New Zealand
 United Kingdom
 United States

Specifications (Douglas Dauntless)

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 33 ft 1.25 in (10.0902 m)
  • Wingspan: 41 ft 6.375 in (12.65873 m)
  • Height: 13 ft 7 in (4.14 m)
  • Wing area: 325 sq ft (30.2 m2)
  • Airfoil: root: NACA 2415; tip: NACA 2407[60]
  • Empty weight: 6,404 lb (2,905 kg)
  • Gross weight: 9,359 lb (4,245 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 10,700 lb (4,853 kg)
  • Fuel capacity: 260 US gal (220 imp gal; 980 l) in non-metallic self-sealing fuel tanks
  • Powerplant: 1 × Wright R-1820-60 Cyclone 9-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine, 1,200 hp (890 kW)
  • Propellers: 3-bladed Hamilton-Standard constant-speed propeller

Specifications (Douglas SBD Dauntless)



  • Maximum speed: 255 mph (410 km/h, 222 kn) at 14,000 ft (4,300 m)
  • Cruise speed: 185 mph (298 km/h, 161 kn)
  • Range: 1,115 mi (1,794 km, 969 nmi)
  • Ferry range: 1,565 mi (2,519 km, 1,360 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 25,530 ft (7,780 m)
  • Rate of climb: 1,700 ft/min (8.6 m/s)
  • Wing loading: 28.8 lb/sq ft (141 kg/m2)
  • Power/mass: 0.128 hp/lb (0.210 kW/kg)


Aircrafttoaal encyclopedia

The Douglas World Cruiser (DWC) was developed to meet a requirement from the United States Army Air Service for an aircraft suitable for an attempt at the first flight around the world. The Douglas Aircraft Company responded with a modified variant of their DT torpedo bomber, the DWC.