Curtiss SB2C Helldiver

Not-So-Big-Tailed Beast

December 13th, 1940... the XSB2C-1 is rolled out at Buffalo, NY. In its original
configuration, the ship had a much smaller tail than the larger unit which would
later lead to the SB2C's not-so affectionate nickname of 'Big-Tailed Beast'.

Project 914 Archives - Larger Image

October 16th, 1941, ground personnel demonstrate bomb-loading with the XSB2C-1.
Though not evident here, the tail had by this time been enlarged to improve stability.

Project 914 Archives - Larger Image

Building the Beasts

Final assembly area at the Curtiss factory in Columbus, Ohio, November 5th, 1943.
Helldivers dominate, though to the right and in the background are several SOC Seagulls being
refurbished. Further to the right can be seen some SO3C Seamews. Though newer than the Seagull,
the Seamew was a dismal failure in operational service and would soon be replaced by its older
brother. Possibly this is the reason for the Seagulls in the photo being rebuilt.

via Ryan Crierie - Larger Image

A Better Beast

Here's the attached tag for the following news photo:

Columbus, Ohio, April 18 - New Model Helldiver - The Navy today unveiled its new Helldiver, the
Curtiss SB2C-3. It has a larger engine and a four-bladed propeller which adds range, speed, ceiling
and climb. The plane was shown during a Navy-sponsored tour of the Curtiss-Wright plant here.
(AP Wirephoto) 1944

Project 914 Archives - Larger Image

Son-of-a-Bitch 2nd Class... dash-four

It seems the Helldiver had no shortage of disparaging nicknames. That offered
in the above title was based on the type's designation... SB2C. Seen here is an SB2C-4.

Project 914 Archives (S.Donacik collection) - Larger Image

Beasts of the Sky

A nine-ship formation of Helldivers from an unidentified Stateside training outfit.

Project 914 Archives (S.Donacik collection) - Larger Image

A closer look at the nearest three-ship...

Project 914 Archives (S.Donacik collection) - Larger Image

Back to 'Other Curtiss Aircraft'

Image hosting by Flickr