Douglas SBD-6 Dauntless

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SBD-6 Dauntless

Dive Bomber / Naval Aircraft

   Hello, I’d like to suggest the Douglas SBD-6 Dauntless for War Thunder. The SBD-6 was the ultimate and the final variant, featuring a new engine and some changes. It had limited service in the US Navy and was considered quickly obsolete by the time SB2C Helldiver was introduced to the service. Still, it is worth suggesting since it would be a good addition for the dedicated completionists.


Key Characteristics

  • Last production variant
  • 1,350 hp Wright R-1820-66 Cyclone engine
  • New self-sealing bladder tanks and enlarged fuel tanks
  • Retained modern reflector sight
  • Expanded ground weaponry

History

While the Douglas had delivered thousands of SBD-5s for the US Navy in 1943, the Douglas wanted to improve its SBD for one last time. With the 1,350 hp Wright R-1820-66 Cyclone engine being available, the Douglas fit it into a single SBD-5. It became known as the XSBD-6 with improved fuel tanks running on high-octane fuel. The results showed it raised the top speed to 262 and service ceiling to 28,600 feet.

The US Navy quickly accepted the SBD-6 into production and service in late 1943 with an order of 1,450 SBD-6s. Visually, there are no external differences for the SBD-6 compared to the SBD-5. The actual deliveries to the US Navy inventory were not made until between March and July of 1944; however, the SB2C Helldivers had already debuted in combat in numbers during early 1944. Realizing they preferred the Helldivers over Dauntlesses, the final 1,000 SBD-6s were canceled as the production began to wind down. The last SBD-6s were delivered in August 1944, after carrier combat operations for the Dauntlesses had terminated. Fun fact: these last SBD-6s cost $29,000 in 1944 dollars, which adjusted to $425,000 in modern times.

Most SBD-6s remained stateside for training and were no longer found valuable to being sent to combat zones. Instead, some of them were transferred to the Marine squadrons, which were used for coastal patrols. They would have seen in the Philippines campaign and neutralization of isolated, bypassed garrisons in the Solomons until the end of the war. The final Marine Dauntless squadrons were withdrawn from service on August 1, 1945. Subsequently, all SBD operations were immediately phased out as the war ended. Only 450 SBD-6s were produced by the time the war was over.


Specifications


Douglas SBD-6 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-1820-66 Cyclone 9-cylinder radial engine
    → 1,350 hp
  • Empty Weight: 6,554 lb
  • Max takeoff weight Weight: 10,882 lb

Performance

  • Sea Level Speed: 247 mph
  • Critical Altitude Speed: 262 mph at 15,600 ft
  • Rate of Climb: 1,710 feet per minute
  • Service Ceiling: 26,600 feet
  • Range: 1,310 miles
  • Ferry Range: 1,600 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 650 lb depth bomb (fuselage)
    • 1 x 325 lb depth bomb (fuselage)
    • 2 x 325 lb depth bombs (wings)
    • 2 x 250 lb bombs (wings)
    • 6 x 100 lb bombs (wings)
  • Rockets

    • 8 x 5-inch FFARs

  • Drop Tanks
    • 2 x 58-gallon wing tanks

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 SBD-6 is an improved variant over the previous SBD-5 with a newer engine and more payloads for the ground ordnance. This SBD-6 would make a welcoming addition to the Dauntless family for the dedicated completionists; it could go to the folder with SBD-3 and SBD-5 as optional aircraft available for the research.


Sources

Primary:

Secondary:


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

4 Likes

+1, I’ve always wanted to see this in the game.

Also just want to add some nice builder’s photographs and some diagrams/charts of the SBD-6, all taken from its flight manual (NAVAER 01-40SC-1):

Spoiler




1 Like