Douglas SBD-4 Dauntless

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SBD-4 Dauntless

Dive Bomber / Naval Aircraft

   Hello, I’d like to suggest the Douglas SBD-4 Dauntless for War Thunder. While the SBD-4 is indeed similar to the SBD-3, it had some minor changes, such as new propellers and radar equipment for surface vessel search. Hence, I believe the SBD-4 is a worthy candidate as either a battle pass trophy, event, premium, or squadron aircraft. Please pardon my short writeup story since there is not much information available about this variant due to a short-lived history of service in the US Navy.


Key Characteristics

  • New 24-volt electrical system instead of old 12 volt system (meaningless in the game)
  • Installation of Air to Surface Vessel radar with a Yagi array antenna under each wing
  • Retained 1,000 hp Wright R-1820-52 Cyclone engine
  • A new Hamilton Standard constant-speed variable propeller, with old spinner removed
  • New electric fuel pump instead of a hand-operated fuel boost pump

History

In late 1942, Douglas introduced the slightly improved SBD-4. It was very similar to the SBD-3 but featured a new 24-volt electrical system, new Air-to-Surface radar through field modifications, a Hamilton Standard constant-speed propeller, and an electric fuel pump. All these changes impacted the weight in a minorly relative increase, making it a slightly slower version than the SBD-3.

The US Navy and Marine Corps began to receive new SBD-4s in October 1942. These SBD-4s would participate in Solomon Islands, Gilbert and Marshall Islands, and Mariana and Palau Islands campaigns before phased out by early 1944.

The Royal New Zealand Air Force also received 23 SBD-4s, and the 25th Squadron RNZAF used them in combat over the South Pacific before being replaced by F4U Corsairs.

A total of 780 SBD-4s were produced in the middle of the war before being phased out and replaced with SB2C Helldivers.


Specifications

Douglas SBD-4 Dauntless

General Characteristics

  • Crew: 2 (Pilot and Gunner)
  • Length: 32 feet, 8 inches
  • Height: 13 feet, 7 inches
  • Span: 41 feet, 6 inches
  • Powerplant: Wright R-1820-52 Cyclone 9-cylinder radial engine
    → 1,000 hp
  • Empty Weight: 6,345 lb
  • Max takeoff weight Weight: 10,400 lb

Performance

  • Sea Level Speed: 224 mph
  • Critical Altitude Speed: 241 mph at 16,000 feet
  • Rate of Climb: 950 feet per minute
  • Service Ceiling: 22,800 feet
  • Range: 1,205 miles

Armament

  • Guns

    • 2 x 12.7 mm Browning M2 machine guns (360 rounds)
    • 2 x 7.62 mm Browning M1919 machine guns (2000 rounds)
    • 2 x Douglas DGP-1 Twin .50 Cal. Gun Packages (1,360 rounds)
  • Bombs

    • 1 x 1,600 lb AP bomb (fuselage)
    • 1 x 1,000 lb GP bomb (fuselage)
    • 1 x 500 lb GP bomb (fuselage)
    • 1 x Type A Mark I mine (fuselage)
    • 2 x 100 lb bombs (wings)

Cockpit


Livery

Tricolor Scheme - Semi Gloss Sea Blue, Intermediate Blue and Insignia White


Photographs


Conclusion | Why it should be in the game

   I made this suggestion to pursue more WW2 content for War Thunder. This particular model is a perfect candidate as either a battle pass trophy, event, premium, or squadron aircraft because the US aviation tree has no premium dive bomber. So, putting this SBD-4 as a potential premium dive bomber would be a nice equivalent to the premium Ju-87 R-2 Libya in the German aviation tree.


Sources

Primary:

Secondary:


Thank you for taking the time to read my suggestion! 😃

3 Likes

keep the sbd suggestions rolling!