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Home : Mission : Weapons : Historic Planes : Curtiss SB2C-5 Helldiver

Curtiss SB2C-5 Helldiver

With the delivery of the Baltimore airplanes in 1945 to their original holders, the Air Force looses the only reliable bomber force had. The British seamed unwilling to supply the Air Force with the proper type of airplanes for the hostilities that were about to start on Greek soil.

The demand for a light bombing airplane is finally satisfied with the delivery of 42 vertical-assult Helldiver bombers from the U.S. in spring 1949. It was a naval type airplane that was used by the USN and the USMC against the Japanese forces, in the Pacific front. Its specifications required to be small sized so it could be able to fit 2 airplanes of this type to the elevators of the pre-war aircraft carriers.

This limitation had the affect of designing a solid airplane with a powerfull engine but innefficient control and flight characteristics. According to testimonies, the Greek pilots managed to tame these "hard" airplanes without problems. It is also noted that the Helldivers were equipped with remarkable internal and external bomb payload.

They were used in the last great battle of the Civil War (August 1949). Gradually, they were retired after 1953, upon the arrival of the jets. It is mentioned that some of them were used as photographic airplanes until 1957.

Technical Specifications:

 Crew 2
 Engines 1 x Wright R-2600-20 Cyclone, 16-cyl, of 1.900hp
    Take Off 7471kg
    Empty 4870kg
    Wingspan 15,16m
    Length 10,90m
    Height 3,94m
    Wing Area 31,12 sq. ft
    Max Velocity 473km/h at 4940m
    Service ceiling 7240m
    Range 1773km
Weaponry 2 x 20mm machine guns, 2 x 0.30cal machine guns, Bomb payload : up to 450kg internally - 450kg externally and 8 rockets or 2 Napalm bombs