Hobby Master 1-72 Air Power
HA2213 SB2C-4E Helldiver No. 203, VB-87, USS Ticonderoga, May 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 January 21, 1945 USS Ticonderoga aircraft accompanied by other units, attacked Taiwan, Pescadores and Sakishima Gunto where USS Ticonderoga was badly damaged by two Japanese Kamikaze aircraft and returned to port for repairs. In May 1945 the aircraft carrier along with VB-87 returned to join the battle and on May 17, 1945 VB-87 and other squadrons struck the Marshall Islands. From May 28 until May 31, 1945 USS Ticonderoga’s aircraft took part in raids on Okinawa and the other Ryuku Islands. VB-87 was assigned to Ticonderoga from early May – September 1945.

Specifications for the Curtiss SB2C-4E Helldiver
First flight – 18/12/1940
Crew – 2 X Pilot and Radio Operator/Gunner
Special Equipment – 1 X AN/APS-4 radar housed in a pod under the right wing.
Length – 36.7ft (11.18m) Wingspan – 49.7ft (15.16m) Height – 13.2ft (4.01m)
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)
Empty – 1,057lbs (7535kg) Maximum Take Off – 16,616lbs (7,537kg)
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.