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United States' Vought OS2U Kingfisher land and floatplane

Photos

  • Vought OS2U-1 Kingfisher floatplane
  • Vought OS2U-1 Kingfisher floatplane
  • Vought OS2U-2 Kingfisher floatplane
  • Vought OS2U Kingfisher floatplane

Design

Development of the Kingfisher started in 1937. It was Vought's first monoplane to be introduced.

It was constructed with the use of spot welding which was revolutionary for the time.

Land and Sea

The floats could be removed a wheeled undercarriage could be installed.

Prototype

The XOS2U-1 prototype first flew on July 20, 1938.

Production

  • Vought XOS2U-1 prototype: 1
  • Vought OS2U-1: 54
    • Manufacturer: Vought at Stratford, Connecticut, United Aircraft Company
  • Vought OS2U-2: 158
    • Manufacturer: Vought at Stratford, Connecticut
  • Vought OS2U-3: >1,000, 1,006
    • Manufacturer: Vought at Stratford, Connecticut
  • Vought OS2N-1: 300
    • Manufacturer: Naval Aircraft Factory at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Total: 1,519, 1,606
    • Manufacturer: Vought (1,306), Naval Aircraft Factory at Philadelphia (300)
    • Production: 1940 - 1942
      • 1940: 54

Variants

  • Vought XOS2U-1: Prototype.
  • Vought XOS2N-4: Experimental prototype with narrow chord wings and revised aerofoil.
  • Vought OS2U-1: Entered service in August 1940.
  • Vought OS2U-2: Entered service in late 1940. Had some equipment changes.
  • Vought OS2U-3: Added fuel capacity. More armor protection for the pilot and observer/gunner. Entered service in 1941.
  • Vought OS2N-1: Similar to the OS2U-3.
  • Vought Kingfisher Mk I: Made for Britain. Used for reconnaissance and training.

Usage

The OS2U Kingfishers were used by Argentina (9), Australia (24), Britain (100), Chile (15), Dominican Republic (3), Mexico (6), Uruguay (6), and the United States.

First Ship

In August 1940 the USS Colorado received the first OS2U-1.

United States Navy's Standard

The Kingfisher was the standard floatplane deployed by the United States Navy either by inshore bases or launched by catapult from ships at sea. It participated in all theaters of operation.

Multi-Role

The OS2U Kingfisher was also used for artillery spotting, dive bombing, air sea rescue, anti submarine, and liaison roles.

Specifications

  Vought OS2U Kingfisher
Type Reconnaissance floatplane, Reconnaissance land plane
Crew 2
Engine (Type) Pratt & Whitney R-985-48 Wasp Junior
OR Pratt & Whitney R-985-50 Wasp Junior
OR Pratt & Whitney R-985-AN-2 Wasp Junior
OR Pratt & Whitney R-985-AN-8 Wasp Junior
Cylinders Radial 9
HP 450
Propeller blades 2
Armament  
Nose 1: 0.3" MG
Rear cockpit 1: 0.3" MG
Bombs 650 lb
295 kg
  Vought OS2U-1 Kingfisher
Type Reconnaissance
Crew 2
Engine (Type) 1: Pratt & Whitney R-985-48 Wasp Jr.
1: Pratt & Whitney Wasp Junior
Cylinders Radial, Radial 9
Cooling Air
HP 400, 450
Dimensions  
Span 35' 11", 36'
Length 33' 10"
Height 15' 1"
Weight  
Loaded 4,725 lb, 6,000 lb
Performance  
Speed 175 mph
Speed at 5,500' / 1,676 m 164 mph
Service ceiling 19,500'
Range 805 miles, 1,000 miles
Armament 2: MG
  Vought OS2U-3 Kingfisher
Type Reconnaissance Floatplane, Ship Based Observation and Scout Floatplane
Crew 2
Engine (Type) Pratt & Whitney R-985-AN-2
OR Pratt & Whitney Wasp Junior
Cylinders Radial
Dimensions  
Span 35' 11"
10.95 m
Length 33' 7.25", 33' 10"
10.24 m, 10.31 m
Height 15' 1", 15' 1.5"
4.6 m, 4.61 m
Wing area 262 sq ft
24.34 sq m
Weight  
Empty 4,123 lb
1,870 kg
Loaded 6,000 lb
2,722 kg
Performance  
Speed at 5,500' / 1,675 m 164 mph
264 kph
Speed at 5,500' / 1,676 m 164 mph
264 kph
Cruising speed 119 mph
192 kph
Climb to 5,000' / 1,524 m 12.1 minutes
Climb to 5,000' / 1,525 m 12 minutes 6 seconds
Climb to 10,000' / 3,048 m 29.1 minutes
Service ceiling 13,000'
3,960 m, 3,962 m
Range 805 miles, 1,150 miles
1,295 km, 1,851 km
Armament  
Forward Firing 1: 7.62 mm / 0.3" MG
Cockpit - Rear 1: 7.62 mm / 0.3" MG
Bombs 650 lb
295 kg

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  2. World War II Airplanes Volume 2, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  3. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
  4. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site