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United States' Brewster SB2A Buccaneer reconnaissance bomber

Photos

Brewster SB2A-1 Buccaneer bomber:
United States' Brewster SB2A-1 Buccaneer bomber
Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook
Brewster SB2A-1 Buccaneer bomber:
United States' Brewster SB2A-1 Buccaneer bomber
Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook

Design

By 1939 the Navy had three bombers in production but that a more powerful model was needed.2

By Presidential order the plants were taken over in April 1942 due to mismanagement.2

Prototype

The prototype was the Brewster Model 340 which was developed from the XSBA-1 prototype.1 The XSB2A-1 prototype was ordered in April 1939.1,2 On June 17, 1941 the XSB2A-1 flew for the first time.1,2

Tests with the prototype led to the fuselage being 1' 2" longer, the rear turret removed and flexible mounts used, installing armor, installing self-sealing fuel tanks, and enlarging the tail fin.2 The weight was 1 1/2 tons more which affected performance.2

Production

Before the prototype was completed 140 SB2A-1s were ordered in December 1940.2

SB2As were shown to be lacking in capability but was still ordered into production.1

  • XSB2A-1: 11
  • SB2A-1 Bermuda: 4681
  • SB2A-2: 801
  • SB2A-3: 601
  • SB2A-4: 1621,2 Originally ordered buy the Netherlands but used by the US Navy.1,2
  • Total: 7702, 7711
    • Manufacturer: Brewster Aeronautical Corp.2
    • Manufacturing location: Johnsville, Pennsylvania2

301 delivered to United States Navy, the other 469 were junked.2

Variants

  • XSB2A-1: Had a prototype dorsal turret.1
  • SB2A-1, A-34:
  • SB2A-2:
  • SB2A-3: Had folding wings and arrestor hooks.1
  • SB2A-4: Had eight 0.3" MGs.1

Usage

There is no record of the Buccaneer ever seeing combat.1

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom ordered 750 SB2A-1s, which were known as the Bermuda.1,2 Deliveries started in 1942.1 468 of the order were delivered under Lend Lease.1 The Bermudas were only used as trainers and target toweres.1

Netherlands

162 SB2As were ordered by Netherlands and known as the Model 340D.1,2 These were supposed to be delivered to the Dutch East Indies but were repossessed by the US Navy and named the SB2A-4.1,2

United States Navy

The United States Navy ordered 140 SB2As.1 80 SB2A-2s were delivered in 1943 and 60 SB2A-3s were delivered in 1944.1,2

All were used as trainers in the US Navy and US Marine Corps.1

Specifications

  Brewster SB2A Buccaneer
Type Naval or land based reconnaissance bomber1
Crew 21
Engine (Type) Wright R-2600-8 Double Cyclone1
Cylinders Radial 141
Cooling  
HP 1,7001
Propeller blades 31
Dimensions  
Span 47'1
14.32 m1
Length 39' 2"1
11.94 m1
Height 15' 5"1
6.7 m1
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Maximum load  
Performance  
Speed  
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range  
Armament  
  Brewster SB2A-1 Buccaneer
Type Dive Bomber2
Crew  
Engine (Type) 1: Wright Cyclone2
Cylinders  
Cooling  
HP 1,2752
Propeller blades  
Dimensions  
Span 47'2
Length 39' 2"2
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Maximum load 11,000 lb2
Performance  
Speed 350 mph2
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range 1,000 miles2
Armament  
Bombs 1,000 lb2
  Brewster SB2A-2 Buccaneer
Type Dive bomber2
Crew 22
Engine (Type) Wright R-2600-82
Cylinders Radial 142
Cooling  
HP 1,7002
Propeller blades 3 constant speed2
Dimensions  
Span 47'2
Length 39' 2"2
Height  
Wing area 379 ft2 2
Weight  
Empty 9,924 lb1,2
4,502 kg1
Maximum load 14,289 lb1,2
6,481 kg1
Performance  
Speed  
Speed @ sea level 259 mph1
417 kph1
Speed @ 12,000'
3,658 m
274 mph1,2
441 kph1
Cruising speed 161 mph1,2
259 kph1
Climb 2,080'/minute1
634 m/minute1
Service ceiling 24,900'1,2
7,590 m1
Range 1,675 miles1
2,695 km1
Range - loaded 720 miles2
Range - max 1,675 miles2
Armament  
Wings 2: 0.3" MG1
2: .30 cal MG2
Nose 2: 0.5" MG1
2: .50 cal MG2
Rear dorsal turret 2: 0.3" MG1
2: .30 cal MG2
Bombs 1: 500 lb2
1,000 lb1
454 kg1

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  2. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
  3. American Attack Aircraft Since 1926, E. R. Johnson, 2012
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site