Production aircraft, the first of which passed into operation in June 1937, at the request of the fleet was equipped with engines R1535-94. The top wing of these machines had a small straight sweep and was associated with lower small racks. On the lower wing mounted flaps, which in the dive was used as aerodynamic brakes. The covering of the wings plain. Long flashlight with two sliding sections closed cabin, pilot and shooter. The shooter was armed with a 7.62 mm machine gun, which in cruising flight were placed under the foldable fairing in front of the keel. In the front part of the fuselage was another of the same gun mounted on the starboard side and firing through the propeller. The only one 227-kg bomb hung under the fuselage. Reconnaissance flights instead of bombs hung fuel tank capacity 170,3 L.
The first received a new aircraft squadron VS-5 USS “Yorktown”. Next, squadron VS-6 from the carrier enterprise. The main disadvantage of aircraft SBC-3 was considered to be a small bomb load. To increase to 454 kg firm has offered to install a car engine R1820-22 Cyclone with a capacity of 950 HP, the New engine had a greater diameter, so under it I had to change the shape and size of the hood, and redo the entire nose section SBC-3. Amplified and integrated aircraft weapons— bow is a 7.62 mm machine gun is mounted a 12.7 mm.
The first converted car was the 76th serial instance with the hull number 0582, released in February 1938. He was given the designation XSBC-4. Unlike the prototype XSBC-3, destroyed in static tests, the aircraft for a long time served in a combat squadron and was the only experienced of the aircraft HELLDIVER, passed almost the entire war. He finished his military service in Alaska, where he made 70 sorties in search of enemy submarines. However, none of the submarine his crew to find it and failed.
The order for mass production of 58 aircraft SBC-4 was issued on 5 January 1938, even before the construction of the prototype.
At the beginning of combat training took a prominent place night flights. Part of the aircraft was carrying flares and led the exploration goal, the other applied training bomb attacks. As the target was the ship target “Utah”. The squadron commander was very demanding officer and the schedule of training flights was pretty tight. In one of the flights, all 18 aircraft units Warburton flew through the Grand Canyon below ground level. Ordinary pilots were surprised that there were no accidents and catastrophes. Curtiss SBC-4 HELLDIVER proved to be very reliable and well-managed aircraft.
In early 1939, on the eve of the German attack, the French government ordered 90 aircraft SBC-4 for its naval aviation. The export version of this machine, which the French called the Curtiss 77, has been slightly modified. Instead of guns under the American cartridge put the French 7.7 mm machine guns Darnah. In addition, the aircraft had to set Proektirovanie fuel tanks.
With order fulfillment firm Curtiss was in no hurry, preferring the production of machines for the us Navy. In 1940, France asked with an urgent request for an immediate delivery of the ordered aircraft. In turn, the American government ordered to transfer the French 50 cars from existing parts. SBC-4 was delivered with air bases located I in the States of Washington, Illinois, Missouri,
Minnesota and Michigan, plant of the Curtiss company, where they put new guns and stained in accordance with the French scheme of camouflage.
America has not yet entered the war, and kept neutrality, and therefore directly transfer planes in France, she could not. Decided to overtake the car in Canada, where in Halifax they waited for the French aircraft carrier “béarn”. Pilots participating in the flights, were fictitiously employed in the Curtiss firm. When the aircraft reached the canadian border, cross it by air they were banned. Had to sit on the box and drag the machine across the border for cars and tractors, and then again to take off from appropriate pastures. Finally, the SBC-4 was loaded on a carrier, and June 16, 1940, he accompanied the cruiser “Jeanne D’arc” was released and the sea. Until the surrender of France remained for six days. During this time, the small squadron reached the island of Martinique in the Caribbean sea. Upon learning of the surrender, the SBC-4 hastily unloaded. French Ambassador to the United States, citing the terms of surrender, refused the aircraft. By the time of the Japanese attack on the US machine SBC-3/4 were armed with seven squadrons of carrier-based aircraft.
For the longest time SBC was used on the aircraft carrier “hornet” was cancelled only in March 1942. In aviation, the marine corps SBC HELLDIVER flew until July 1943: the exploration, the adjustment of artillery fire and anti-submarine operations. The last unit of the armed SBC-4, was squadron VMSB-151.
SBC-4 was a twin-engine single-engine carrier-based scout-bomber with retractable landing gear, made by the scheme biplane.
The fuselage is all-metal, duralumin, like monocoque. At the front there was mounted steel power frame (he has also served on the firewall), which is attached to a motor mount of the engine and fuel control units. Behind the bulkhead was located compartment of the chassis with a strut mounting and the power cylinders retract.
In the lower part of the fuselage (under the chassis) are installed, the holders of a bomb or external fuel tank, and a ramp for launching 454-kg bombs outside the rotation of the propeller used in the bombing in a steep dive. The main fuel tank located in front of the cockpit.
The cockpit and the radio operator was closed with a single fully transparent canopy and consisted of several sections. The first section was a fixed visor of the cockpit, second, savyasachi on the flight back was part of the cockpit, third, the fixed part of the lamp, closed the station and the loop antenna of the radio compass, fourth, savyasachi forward, belonged to the cab radio operator-gunner.
The cockpit was equipped with a full set of navigation equipment, located on the Central panel of the dashboard. On the side panels were placed appliances radio, dashboard bomb arming, and the engine control. On the right side of the cab located control arm brake flaps-flaps are used on takeoff, landing and when the bombing in a dive. Control plane standard: knob control the ailerons and Elevator and pedals associated with the rudder.
In the cockpit of the arrow on the turret was fixed 7.62-mm machine gun, and under the power station and radio compass housed rescue equipment that is used during a forced landing on the water or out of the airfield. In the stowed position the gun is completely removed. To increase the field of fire outside the fairing was folding (section fairing was involved inside of the fuselage).
The wing of the plane made by the scheme biplane, cantilever, all-metal. Upper — single-spar, lower two-spar.
The top wing center section consisted of a rectangular shape and a pair of consoles with a sweep of 10 degrees to the front edge. The wing originally plain, later — dural. Across the rear edge of the end sections of the upper wing housed the ailerons managed trimmers and rejected on the ground balancing knives. Control ailerons hard, from the control stick.
To the fuselage the wing was attached to four pillars. The lower wing consisted of the left and right planes. At the trailing edge of the wing mounted flaps, which were used as flaps in the takeoff and landing and as the brake flaps in the dive. The installation angle of the upper and lower wings 1.5 degrees. Together, they were joined by two shaped t-shirts. Additional rigidity of the box wing attached steel band-brace.
Empennage cantilever, all-metal. The covering of the keel and stabilizer — dural, and rudders and height and fabric. On rudder and elevators installed operated trimmers.
Chassis — tricycle, tailwheel. The main racks were cleaned in a special niche in the fuselage, located in front of the fuel tank. At the tail support in the fuselage was removed just front. System cleaning and landing gear— hydraulic, depreciation of the racks — oil. The main landing wheels were equipped with pneumatic drum brakes.
Powerplant of the aircraft — Phillips 19-cylinder engine of air cooling Wright R1820-22 Cyclone with a capacity of 950 HP with a three-bladed variable-pitch propeller.
The aircraft was armed with two machine guns: the exchange rate of 12,7 mm turret, a movable 7.62 mm in the cockpit, radio operator-gunner. The latter could fully retract and gain a foothold in the cab in the stowed position.
In the Central ventral node hung a 454-kg bomb, and wing holders — two 227-kg bombs.
Performance characteristics of a scout bomber Curtiss SBC-4 HELLDIVER
Wingspan, mm………………….. 10 360
Length, mm………………………………… 8570
The wing area, m2…………………29,45
at a height of 4365 m, km/h………………….377
Cruising speed, km/h……………282
Practical ceiling, m……………..7315
bomb load, km………………652
Empty weight, kg……………………….. 2065
Maximum takeoff weight, kg ………….3211
N. Food reserve was, A. CHECHIN, G. Kharkov