Douglas SBD Dauntless

SBD picture Dauntless picture

The Dauntless was the most famous of the dive bombers used by the US Navy, and it made history in the destruction of four Japanese carriers at the battle of Midway. It also served with distinction at Coral Sea and in the Solomons campaign, and continued to be used until late 1944. It had slotted dive brakes that could be opened in the trailing edge of the wings to slow down its rate of descent when making near vertical dives on the target. The Army Air Corps also used a version, known as the A-24.

For additional data and history on the SBD, click here for Jack McKillop's article on
For more photos of the Dauntless, visit my Naval Air War In the Pacific website,
and my Air War over Guadalcanal website.
Additional information on this aircraft can be found at Wikipedia here.
(updated February 2009)

To see books about this aircraft on, click here.

Douglas SBD-4 Dauntless

Type:           Dive Bomber / Scout bomber
Crew:           2, Pilot and observer/rear gunner
Armament:       two .50 cal machine guns firing forward,
                two .30 cal machine guns in rear cockpit,
                up to 1600 lbs. of bombs centerline, 650 lbs. more under wings

        Length:         32' 8" (9.96 m)
        Height:         13' 7" (4.14 m)
        Wingspan:       41' 6" (12.66 m)
        Wing area:      325 sq. ft (30 sq. m)
        Empty Weight:   6181 lb (2804 kg)
        Gross Weight:   10179 lb (4625 kg)
        Max Weight:     10200 lb (4627 kg)

        No. of Engines: 1
        Powerplant:     Wright R-1820-60
        Horsepower:     1200 hp

        Range:          950 miles (1530 km)
        Cruise Speed:   173 mph (278 km/h)
        Max Speed:      250 mph (402 km/h)
        Climb:          1700 ft/min (518 m/min)
        Ceiling:        26000 ft (7780 m)


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