The Curtiss Helldiver, despite
a reputation for being difficult to handle at low speeds, was
responsible for the destruction of more Japanese targets than
any other type of aircraft. The Helldiver joined the Douglas
SBD Dauntless as the primary attack/bombing planes for the
U. S. Navy (USN). The plane was so valuable in the Pacific theater that
the Navy accepted nearly every plane produced.
In late 1943, the Curtiss SB2C single-engine dive-bomber
entred service with the U. S. Navy fleet. On November 11, 1943 the Helldiver flew its first combat mission over Rabaul.
The A-25 was the U. S. Army Air Force (USAAF) designation for the Helldiver.
Curtiss Helldiver I
A total of 26 aircraft (out of 450 ordered) were delivered to the British Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm, where they were known as the Curtiss Helldiver I. Postwar, surplus aircraft were sold to the navies of other countries.
7,000 were built during World War II.
Crew Two (pilot, gunner)
Engine Pratt & Whitney
R-1535-94 Twin Wasp Junior
Span 49ft. 9in
Length 36ft. 8in
Height 13ft 2in
Maximum Speed 295 mph
Range 1,165 miles
Armament (wings) 2 x 20mm (rear) 2 x 30 caliber machine guns
Bombload (internal) 2,000 lb of bombs or torpedo (external) 500 lbs bomb under each wing