Hobby Master 1-72 Air Power
HA2211 Curtiss SB2C-4 Helldiver RR of VB-88, USS Yorktown, 1945

The SB2C Helldiver was commonly referred to as “The Beast” because of its size and rather poor handling characteristics. Even with new variants and upgrades the Helldiver never received the credit and respect it deserved. The most produced variant was the “4” with the SB2C-4E equipped with an AN/APS-4 radar pod mounted under the starboard wing for air search. It flew faster and further than the Avenger, except for range it beat the SBD in every category. Its cruising speed was only 2 mph slower than the famous Hellcat.

On June 17, 1945 Air Group 88 (CVG-88) joined USS Yorktown and remained there until the end of WWII. When CVG-88 became part of Yorktown the old diagonal white on the tail and triangles on the wings were replaced with white letters RR on the tail and wings. Yorktown spent July, August and September of 1945 flying missions against Tokyo and other key locations. When war ended Air Group 88 aircraft dropped supplies to Allied POWs still in camps. VB-88 was established in August 1944 and disbanded in October 1945.

Specifications for the Curtiss SB2C-4 Helldiver First flight – 18/12/1940
Crew – 2 X Pilot and Radio Operator/Gunner
Dimensions
Length – 36.7ft (11.18m) Wingspan – 49.7ft (15.16m) Height – 13.2ft (4.01m)
Performance
Engine – 1 X Wright R-2600-2- Cyclone / 1900hp (1,417kW) Speed – Cruise / 158mph (254km/h) (137kts) Maximum Speed – 295mph (475km/h) (256kts) Rate Of Climb – 1,800ft/min (548m/min) Service Ceiling – 29,100ft (8,869m) Range – 1,165miles (1,876km)
Weight
Empty – 1,057lbs (7535kg) Maximum Take Off – 16,616lbs (7,537kg)
Armament
2 X 20mm fixed wing cannon or 4 X 0.50 caliber fixed wing machine guns 2 X 0.30 caliber rear cockpit machine guns or 1 X 0.50 caliber flexible rear cockpit machine gun
Bomb Load- 1 X torpedo or 1,000 pounds of bombs in the bay or 4 X depth charges Also capable of carry an additional 1,000 pounds of bombs or 8 X 5inch rockets under the wings.