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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.

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

Prototype

The prototype was the Brewster Model 340 which was developed from the XSBA-1 prototype. The XSB2A-1 prototype was ordered in April 1939. On June 17, 1941 the XSB2A-1 flew for the first time.

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. The weight was 1 1/2 tons more which affected performance.

Production

Before the prototype was completed 140 SB2A-1s were ordered in December 1940.

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

  • XSB2A-1: 1
  • SB2A-1 Bermuda: 468
  • SB2A-2: 80
  • SB2A-3: 60
  • SB2A-4: 162 Originally ordered buy the Netherlands but used by the US Navy.
  • Total: 770, 771
    • Manufacturer: Brewster Aeronautical Corp.
    • Manufacturing location: Johnsville, Pennsylvania

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

Variants

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

Usage

There is no record of the Buccaneer ever seeing combat.

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom ordered 750 SB2A-1s, which were known as the Bermuda. Deliveries started in 1942. 468 of the order were delivered under Lend Lease. The Bermudas were only used as trainers and target toweres.

Netherlands

162 SB2As were ordered by Netherlands and known as the Model 340D.These were supposed to be delivered to the Dutch East Indies but were repossessed by the US Navy and named the SB2A-4.

United States Navy

The United States Navy ordered 140 SB2As. 80 SB2A-2s were delivered in 1943 and 60 SB2A-3s were delivered in 1944.

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

Specifications

  Brewster SB2A Buccaneer
Type Naval or land based reconnaissance bomber
Crew 2
Engine (Type) Wright R-2600-8 Double Cyclone
Cylinders Radial 14
Cooling  
HP 1,700
Propeller blades 3
Dimensions  
Span 47'
14.32 m
Length 39' 2"
11.94 m
Height 15' 5"
6.7 m
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Maximum load  
Performance  
Speed  
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range  
Armament  
  Brewster SB2A-1 Buccaneer
Type Dive Bomber
Crew  
Engine (Type) 1: Wright Cyclone
Cylinders  
Cooling  
HP 1,275
Propeller blades  
Dimensions  
Span 47'
Length 39' 2"
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Maximum load 11,000 lb
Performance  
Speed 350 mph
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range 1,000 miles
Armament  
Bombs 1,000 lb
  Brewster SB2A-2 Buccaneer
Type Dive bomber
Crew 2
Engine (Type) Wright R-2600-8
Cylinders Radial 14
Cooling  
HP 1,700
Propeller blades 3 constant speed
Dimensions  
Span 47'
Length 39' 2"
Height  
Wing area 379 ft2
Weight  
Empty 9,924 lb
4,502 kg
Maximum load 14,289 lb
6,481 kg
Performance  
Speed  
Speed @ sea level 259 mph
417 kph
Speed @ 12,000'
3,658 m
274 mph
441 kph
Cruising speed 161 mph
259 kph
Climb 2,080'/minute
634 m/minute
Service ceiling 24,900'
7,590 m
Range 1,675 miles
2,695 km
Range - loaded 720 miles
Range - max 1,675 miles
Armament  
Wings 2: 0.3" MG
2: .30 cal MG
Nose 2: 0.5" MG
2: .50 cal MG
Rear dorsal turret 2: 0.3" MG
2: .30 cal MG
Bombs 1: 500 lb
1,000 lb
454 kg

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