Originally Posted by muskeg13
Im sure this has been discussed ad nauseum in these forums, but what the hell, why not. The introduction of the SB2C-3 in 1944, with the R-2600-20 Twin Cyclone solved many of its performance problems. The plane sank more Japanese shipping that any other aircraft during the war. If you accept the myth that it was universally hated by its crews, take a look at the opinions of guys who actually flew in them posted as responses to a typically unflattering article.
Curtiss SB2C Helldiver: The Last Dive Bomber
Im not saying the "Son-Of-A-Bitch-2nd-Class" was a joy to fly, or that it didnt have a myriad of developmental problems. I am saying, when all was said & done, it was a successful AC.
Yes, the Helldiver was, eventually, a good plane. I think there's also the issue of former SBD crews having a lower opinion of it than crews that were specifically trained for the type. As the SBD men finished their service, I would suspect that alot of the negativity towards the SB2C would have gone home with them.
Originally Posted by stug3
Same as with the Swordfish/Barracuda.
There are a LOT of people who belive anything posted on the internet. The Helldiver wound up a pretty decent dive bomber if you check your facts and the combat statistics of all US Navy Dive Bomber types. Did it take too long to make it good? Probably .. but it got there and established a solid combat record in the end.
If you will recall, the B-26 Marauder was also not liked at first and was called the Baltimore Whore (no visible means of support due to small wings and 90 mph stall speed), but wound up as the medium bomber with the lowest loss rate in combat.
Der Crew Chief
Originally Posted by GregP
Lots off dissing of Blackburn on this thread. So I just want to to offer one word: Buccaneer.
Has anybody mentioned the Saro Lerwick yet? That made the Blackburn Botha look like a TIE fighter.
I'll stick up for Blackburn, though - the Skua was very underrated. The Roc was an effective dive-bomber and this should have been it's primary role - augmenting the Skua in the DB role, while adding extra defensive fire to the Skua formations.
Firebrand, not great, but it adequately met a bizarro specification.
Ultimately as has been said upthread, Blackburn were a bit too obedient to official demands.