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Curtiss SBC Helldiver

Curtiss SBC Helldiver

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SBC-4 Helldiver Specifications

    Primary Function:
    Weight Empty:
    Max. Weight:
    Machine Guns:
    Cruise Speed:
    Max. Speed:
    Climb Rate:
    Year Deployed:
Wright R-1820
950 h.p.
4,840 lbs.
7,080 lbs.
1,000 lbs.
2 x .30 cal.
28' 4"
38' 4"
187 mph
237 mph
1,630 fpm
27,000 feet
600 miles

The Curtiss SBC Helldiver was a U.S. Navy biplane with retractable landing gear that first flew in 1934. The Navy never ordered any additional aircraft other than monoplanes as combat aircraft after the SBC.

The SBC Helldiver was originally ordered as a fighter, then an observation aircraft, then a combination observation bomber, and eventually as a dive bomber. It was modified by Curtiss with each role change proposed by the Navy.

The SBC Helldiver originally was a single parasol wing design. This was found unsatisfactory when it was used as a dive bomber. The design was changed to a conventional biplane wing. More powerful engines were fitted to the airframe.

Deliveries of the Curtiss SBC Helldiver to the U.S.N. began in 1938. Both the Americans and the British used the aircraft as trainers, for by this time they were outmoded by more modern aircraft. We are told that although the Helldiver did not contribute to the war effort as a combat aircraft, it had great value as a dive bombing training aircraft.  All military SBC Helldiver  aircraft were retired by 1943.

A total of 257 Curtiss SBC Helldiver aircraft of all types were produced.

Carl Bachhuber and his Curtiss SBC Helldiver.

The airplane pictured immediately above and below is the good looking giant scale SBC Helldiver built by master modeler Carl Bachhuber. It has a 86" wingspan and is powered by a Sachs Dolmar 4.8 engine.

The second picture below is the Curtiss SBC Helldiver biplane built from plans for sale by RCM. They are from Albert Isaacson and build to a 55.5" wingspan. Construction is all wood. Engine can be a .46 2C. Plan no. 1220.

Pictured third below is Duke Horn and his rubber powered free flight Curtiss SBC Helldiver. We do not know the wingspan or weight of the model. A number of free flight models have been converted to radio control.

The bottom picture is of the Curtiss SBC Helldiver project built from plans for sale from Vanguard Plans. It has a wingspan of 68" and weighs about 16 lbs. Engines can be from 1.20 to 1.80 4C.

Scale RC Models.com has two sizes of plans of the Curtiss SBC Helldiver biplane designed by Herb Hall. The smaller has a 42 1/2" wingspan and a 33 1/2" length.  Engines are from .35 to .45 two cycle and weight is about 9 lbs.

The larger SBC Helldiver plans for sale from Scale RC Models build to a wingspan of 85" and a length of 67".  You will need from 2.5 to 5.0 engines to power the 16 lb. model.

Dumas has a Curtiss SBC Helldiver free flight kit for sale with a 30" wingspan that has been converted to radio control.

Cleveland Models has plans for the Curtiss SBC Helldiver biplane for sale with wingspans of 25", 33 1/2", 50", 67" and giant scale 100".

The AMA Plans Service has plans for a Curtiss SBC Helldiver you can make from a FF gas model with a 36" wingspan. Plan is #14472.

Curtiss SBC Helldiver.

Curtiss SBC Helldiver built from RCM Plans.

Duke Horn and his Curtiss SBC Helldiver.

Vanguard Plans Curtiss SBC Helldiver project.

At RC Groups qandaenergy was looking for a Curtiss SBC Helldiver kit.

Ascolta of RC Groups shows how to convert a FF Dumas kit to a radio control SBC-3 Helldiver.

Vyceroy of RC Groups posted pictures and a description of his micro SBC Helldiver.

KSU Flyer of RC Groups had questions about building a SBC-3 Helldiver.

At RC Universe jdebefly had a SBC-4 Helldiver kit for sale.

Jim Krazulis of the Zealot Hobby Forum was looking for a Curtiss SBC Helldiver model airplane for sale.

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