Douglas SBD-5 Dauntless

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SBD-5 Dauntless

Dive Bomber / Naval Aircraft

   Hello, I’d like to suggest the Douglas SBD-5 Dauntless for War Thunder. The SBD-5 was the definitive and the most produced variant, featuring a new engine and some changes. This model deserves a place in the game, considering its noteworthy service during the war.


Key Characteristics

  • Most produced SBD variant (over 3,000)
  • 1,200 hp Wright R-1820-60 Cyclone engine
  • Modern reflector sight instead of old telescopic sight
  • New ground weaponry

History

Design and Development

The US Navy had realized the dive bombers were more than important in contributing to the war effort over the Pacific Theater of Operations and Atlantic Theater of Operations, so it had continued high demand for more dive bombers. The designers of Douglas developed a new variant that standardized the Dauntless, making it more efficient for the production war effort to increase its output. That variant would become SBD-5. It incorporated the following changes in design: the eliminated engine air intake from the upper cowling, new Yagi array antennas under the outboard wing wings alongside Air to Surface Vessel radar, new modern reflector sight, wet wing pylons, and finally a larger 1,200 hp Wright R-1820-60 engine. The new wing pylons allowed it to carry an external tank with a capacity of 58 US gallons on each wing instead of a bomb or depth charge.

The new powerplant became available in 1943 and provided an increase in the payload, allowing the SBD-5 to carry one 1,600 lb bomb under the fuselage and two 325 lb bombs under the wings. The additional power didn’t result in an increase in performance due to an increase in empty weight. This means the range was decreased, but this was compensated with external drop tanks. Nonetheless, the flight performance of the SBD-5 showed it was slightly faster and had a better rate of climb than its predecessors. Its service ceiling was also slightly increased by a thousand feet higher.

US Military Service

SBD-5s were accepted and ordered, and at the same time, the introduction of the flawed SB2C was further delayed. The production output had increased to 350 SBD-5s or more a month in the middle of 1943. Most of the SBD-5s were produced in the Douglas plant in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The US Navy obtained new aircraft carriers in the middle of 1943 and conducted new offensive operations against the Japanese forces in the South Pacific. The new Dauntlesses were filling on these carriers and became the forefront. Eventually, the SBDs began to be gradually replaced in November 1943 by new and problematic SB2C Helldivers. The Battle of the Philippine Sea would be the last major engagement of the SBDs in US Navy service. Most SBDs were transferred to the US Marine Corps and put in island combat operations for another year. The SBD-5 and SBD-6 served with six different Marine and US Navy squadrons for the remainder of the war.

Douglas produced a total of 2,965 SBDs for the US Navy, with hundreds more for the US Army and US Marine Corps.


Specifications



Douglas SBD-5 Dauntless

General Characteristics

  • Crew: 2 (Pilot and Gunner)
  • Length: 33 feet, 1 inches
  • Height: 13 feet, 7 inches
  • Span: 41 feet, 6 inches
  • Powerplant: Wright R-1820-60 Cyclone 9-cylinder radial engine
    → 1,200 hp
  • Empty Weight: 6,533 lb
  • Max takeoff weight Weight: 10,700 lb

Performance

  • Sea Level Speed: 238 mph
  • Critical Altitude Speed: 252 mph at 13,800 ft
  • Rate of Climb: 1,700 feet per minute
  • Service Ceiling: 24,300 feet
  • Range: 1,115 miles
  • Ferry Range: 1565

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 650 lb depth bomb (fuselage)
    • 1 x 325 lb depth bomb (fuselage)
    • 2 x 325 lb depth bombs (wings)
    • 2 x 100 lb bombs (wings)
  • Rockets

    • 8 x 5-inch FFARs

  • Drop Tanks
    • 2 x 58-gallon tanks

Cockpit


Livery

 

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

 

Two-Tone Scheme - Dark Gull Gray and Insignia White

 


Photographs


Conclusion | Why it should be in the game

   I made this suggestion because I believe the SBD-5 Dauntless is a long-overdue addition to the game. This model deserves its place in War Thunder as it is the most produced Dauntless variant with a powerful engine, improved performance, and new ground weaponry. Another reason for this suggestion is to expand more WW2 aircraft content in the game, especially for the US Naval aircraft branch in the tech tree. This SBD-5 would make a welcoming addition to the Dauntless family for the dedicated completionists; it could be foldered with the SBD-3.


Sources

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

5 Likes

imagine an SBD folder that has all 6 variants… I love it (this is not ironic as I’m a big fan of the sbd) :)

Including the Army’s A-24 variants?

would be cool