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United States' Vought OS2U Kingfisher land and floatplane

Photos

OS2U-1 Kingfisher:
United States' OS2U-1 Kingfisher land and floatplane
Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook
OS2U-1 Kingfisher:
United States' OS2U-1 Kingfisher land and floatplane
Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook
OS2U Kingfisher land and floatplane:
United States' OS2U Kingfisher land and floatplane

Design

Development of the Kingfisher started in 1937.1,2 It was Vought's first monoplane to be introduced.1

It was constructed with the use of spot welding which was revolutionary for the time.1

Land and Sea

The floats could be removed a wheeled undercarriage could be installed.1,3

Prototype

The XOS2U-1 prototype first flew on July 20, 1938.1,2

Production

  • Vought XOS2U-1: 11
  • Vought OS2U-1: 541
    • Manufacturer: Vought at Stratford, Connecticut1, United Aircraft Company2
  • Vought OS2U-2: 1581
    • Manufacturer: Vought at Stratford, Connecticut1
  • Vought OS2U-3: >1,0002, 1,0061
    • Manufacturer: Vought at Stratford, Connecticut1
  • Vought OS2N-1: 3001
    • Manufacturer: Naval Aircraft Factory at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania1
  • Total: 1,5191,2
    • Production: 1940 - 19421,2

Variants

  • Vought XOS2U-1: Prototype.1
  • Vought XOS2N-4: Experimental prototype with narrow chord wings and revised aerofoil.1
  • Vought OS2U-1: Entered service in August 1940.1
  • Vought OS2U-2: Entered service in late 1940.1 Had some equipment changes.1
  • Vought OS2U-3: Added fuel capacity.1 More armor protection for the pilot and observer/gunner.1 Entered service in 1941.1
  • Vought OS2N-1: Similar to the OS2U-3.1
  • Vought Kingfisher Mk I: Made for Britain.1 Used for reconnaissance and training.1

Usage

The OS2U Kingfishers were used by Argentina (9), Australia (24), Britain (100)2, Chile (15), Dominican Republic (3), Mexico (6), Uruguay (6), and the United States.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.1,3 It participated in all theaters of operation.1

Multi-Role

The OS2U Kingfisher was also used for artillery spotting, dive bombing, air sea rescue, anti submarine, and liaison roles.1

Specifications

  Vought OS2U Kingfisher
Type Reconnaissance floatplane1, Reconnaissance land plane1
Crew 21
Engine (Type) Pratt & Whitney R-985-48 Wasp Junior1
OR Pratt & Whitney R-985-50 Wasp Junior1
OR Pratt & Whitney R-985-AN-2 Wasp Junior1
OR Pratt & Whitney R-985-AN-8 Wasp Junior1
Cylinders Radial 91
Cooling  
HP 4501
Propeller blades 21
Dimensions  
Span  
Length  
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded  
Performance  
Speed  
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range  
Armament  
Nose 1: 0.3" MG1
Rear cockpit 1: 0.3" MG1
Bombs 650 lb1
295 kg1
  Vought OS2U-1 Kingfisher
Type Reconnaissance2,3
Crew 22
Engine (Type) 1: Pratt & Whitney R-985-48 Wasp Jr.2
1: Pratt & Whitney Wasp Junior3
Cylinders Radial3, Radial 92
Cooling Air2
HP 4003, 4502
Propeller blades  
Dimensions  
Span 35' 11"2, 36'3
Length 33' 10"2,3
Height 15' 1"2
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded 4,725 lb3, 6,000 lb2
Performance  
Speed 175 mph3
Speed @ 5,500' /
1,676 m
164 mph2
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling 19,500'2
Range 805 miles2, 1,000 miles3
Armament 2: MG2
  Vought OS2U-3 Kingfisher
Type Reconnaissance floatplane1
Crew 21
Engine (Type)  
Cylinders  
Cooling  
HP  
Propeller blades  
Dimensions  
Span 35' 11"1
10.95 m1
Length 33' 10"1
10.31 m1
Height 15' 1.5"1
4.61 m1
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty 4,123 lb1
1,870 kg1
Loaded 6,000 lb1
2,722 kg1
Performance  
Speed  
Speed @ 5,500' /
1,676 m
164 mph1
264 kph1
Cruising speed 119 mph1
192 kph1
Climb to 5,000' /
1,524 m
12.1 minutes1
Climb to 10,000' /
3,048 m
29.1 minutes1
Service ceiling 13,000'1
3,962 m1
Range 805 miles1
1,295 km1
Armament  

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
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site