Vought SB2U Vindicator History and Scale Models

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Vought SB2U Vindicator History and Scale Models


SB2U from Ranger in November 1941.

SB2U from Ranger in November 1941.


Vought SB2U Vindicator origins are rooted in 1934 when the United States Navy requested for a new Scout Bomber for carrier use. Vought was one of the six manufacturers that submitted proposals for the aircraft, which had initially two variants, monoplane and biplane. Vought submitted designs in both categories, the XSB2U-1 and XSB3U-1 respectively.

This SB2 Vindicator aircraft pictorial offers 70 b/w and color photos revealing history, plus extensive interior and exterior aspects of the aircraft, color markings and camouflage illustrations, detailed line drawings. The first monoplane in this role for the US Navy, the SB2U was evaluated in 1936 and was subsequently produced as several variants. This book covers the development and service history of the Vindicator with the US Navy and US Marine Corps – including markings and squadron assignments.

The XSB2U-1 fuselage was of steel tube construction, covered with aluminum panels from the nose to the rear cockpit with a fabric-covered rear fuselage, while the folding cantilever wing was of all-metal construction. A Pratt & Whitney R-1535 Twin-Wasp Junior radial engine drove a two-blade constant-speed propeller, which was intended to act as a dive brake during a dive bombing attack. Although the prototyp BuNo 9725 crashed on 20 August 1936, further fixes and improvements led to finalize the purchase orders by the US Navy. A total of 260 aircrafts were built, and the model was operated by the US Navy, US Marine Corps, French Navy and Royal Navy. The aircraft was retired in 1945.

General characteristics

  • Crew: Two, pilot and gunner
  • Length: 34 ft 0 in (10.36 m)
  • Wingspan: 42 ft in (12.80 m)
  • Height: 10 ft 3 in (3.12 m)
  • Wing area: 305 ft² (28 m²)
  • Empty weight: 4,713 lb (2,138 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 6,379 lb (2,893 kg)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 7,332 lb (3,326 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney R-1535-96 Twin Wasp Jr radial engine, 825 hp (616 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 251 mph (404 km/h)
  • Range: 630 mi (1,014 km)
  • Service ceiling: 27,500 ft (8,382 m)
  • Rate of climb: 1,340 ft/min (6.8 m/s)
  • Wing loading: 21 lb/ft² (103 kg/m²)
  • Power/mass: 0.13 hp/lb (0.21 kW/kg)


  • Guns:
    • 1 × forward firing 0.30 in (7.62 mm) M1919 Browning machine gun in starboard wing (0.50 in (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine gun in SB2U-3)
    • 1 × .30 in (7.62 mm) machine gun in flexible mount for tail gunner (.50 in (12.7 mm) in SB2U-3)
  • Bombs: 1 × 1,000 lb (454 kg) or 500 lb (227 kg) bomb

SB2U Vindicator in Action – Aircraft No. 122


One of the first generation of monoplane carrier bombers. The scout bomber that was being flown by the USN & USMC as the US entered WW II. Over 100 photos, 40 detail drawings, 2 pages of scale drawings, 13 full color paintings. 50 pages.
This aircraft has attracted the attention of many manufacturers of scale models at 1/72 and 1/48 scales. They also have created many beautiful art boxes for the scale models. Here we show some remarkable examples.


1:48 Vought SB2U Vindicator A Carrier Classic

1/72 Vought SB2U-2 Vindicator 


1/72 Vought SB2U-3 Vindicator United States Marine Corps



1/48 SB2U-1 Dive Bomber

This is a SB2U-1 Vindicator Plastic Model Kit  built around subassemblies. These subassemblies provide breath-taking detail that modelers desire! Each plastic piece is also molded with unbelievable detail! Beautiful cockpit detail including floor, forward consoles, seat frame and instrument panels. Meticulously detailed radio/gunner cockpit including rear consoles, radios, armor plate and machine gun. Photo etched seat belts. Clear canopy parts can be fixed in the open or closed position. Highly detailed engine with choice of open or closed cowl flaps. Exquisitely detailed landing gear can be modeled in the extended or retracted position. Optional weighted or unweighted tires. Drop tanks and bombs. Painting mask for the canopy and windows. Waterslide decals. Illustrated assembly guide. MARKING OPTIONS: One Decal Sheet with Markings for the Following Aircraft: – Commander, Air Group, USS Ranger (CV-4) Airframe and Detail Paint Colors: – Orange Yellow, Aluminum, Willow Green, Aluminum, Flat Black, Flat White, Chrome Yellow, Olive Drab, Wood, Gun Metal, Burnt Metal, Copper, Exterior Color, Matt White, Yellow, Green INCLUDES: One Plastic Model REQUIRES: Assembly Hobby Knife (HCAR0100) Cement (HCAR3415) Pin Vise (HCAR0696) Paint (see MARKING OPTIONS) Tape SPECS: Scale: 1:48 Wingspan: 10-1/2″” (267mm) kr3/9/07

1/48 SB2U-2 Vindicator

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