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SB2C Helldiver - USN VB-18, White 62, USS Intrepid, Musashi Sinking, October 1944 

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Hobby Master 1:72 HA2215
SB2C Helldiver - USN VB-18, White 62, USS Intrepid, Musashi Sinking, October 1944

Historical Note:


On October 24 1944 one of a fleet of 29 Japanese ships steaming toward Leyte Gulf was the huge battleship Musashi. The plan was to destroy the US ships that were there supporting troops that had landed ashore. Once detected; the USN launched air-strike after air-strike in an attempt to stop the fleet. One of the first groups launched was VB-18 from the USS Intrepid who sent 12 SB2C-3s along with Avengers and Hellcats. It took 6 strikes throughout the day and a combination of bombs and torpedoes to sink the Musashi. This was one of the most ever sustained air attacks on a ship at sea. At the end of the day the Japanese had lost one battleship, one cruiser and many other damaged ships. VB-18 had lost 5 of their 12 SB2C-3s.

Designed to replace the US Navy's Douglas SBD Dauntless, the SB2C Helldiver was first flown on December 18, 1940. The Helldiver was larger and faster than the Dauntless and was capable of operating from the most advanced aircraft carriers of its time. It carried an impressive armament but was underpowered and had a reputation for difficult handling characteristics, which earned it the nickname "Son-of-a-Bitch 2nd Class." Most of its problems were resolved with the SB2C-4 variant, which changed many pilots' minds about the Helldiver; in their eyes, its ability to sortie over long distances and carry a heavier bomb load redeemed many of its remaining faults.

Hobby Master's 1:72 scale SB2C Helldiver has many features not generally seen in this scale. The pilot's canopy slides open to reveal a pad-printed instrument panel, flight control stick and seat. The much larger rear gunner's canopy also slides open, and the aft portion can be configured in a lowered state for clearance of the twin rotating machine guns. The bomb bay doors are configurable, exposing two internal 1,000 lb bombs. When configured in the deployed position, anti-corrosion paint can be seen under each of the wing's leading edge slats. Some releases include fixed metal speed brakes photo-etched with a hole pattern like that seen on the actual aircraft.

Info: SB2C Helldiver - USN VB-18, White 62, USS Intrepid, Musashi Sinking, October 1944

Product Videos

Curtiss SB2C Helldiver - The Worst and Final Navy Dive Bomber (10:05)
When the United States Navy ordered the first prototype of the Curtiss SB2C Helldiver, the plans for the new dive bomber represented a giant leap in technology. Developed by Curtiss-Wright during World War II, the third member of a dive-bomber family eventually had so many problems during development that it was even investigated by the Truman Committee and nearly ruined Curtiss as a company. The SB2C quickly earned a questionable reputation for being a dangerous aircraft and became the last dive bomber in the Navy's inventory, but also its most heavily produced. --- Join Dark Skies as we explore the world of aviation with cinematic short documentaries featuring the biggest and fastest airplanes ever built, top-secret military projects, and classified missions with hidden untold true stories. Including US, German, and Soviet warplanes, along with aircraft developments that took place during World War I, World War 2, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Cold War, the Gulf War, and special operations mission in between. As images and footage of actual events are not always available, Dark Skies sometimes utilizes similar historical images and footage for dramatic effect and soundtracks for emotional impact. We do our best to keep it as visually accurate as possible. All content on Dark Skies is researched, produced, and presented in historical context for educational purposes. We are history enthusiasts and are not always experts in some areas, so please don't hesitate to reach out to us with corrections, additional information, or new ideas.
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