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Vought V-156 / SB2U Vindicator / Chesapeake



The Vought V-156 / SB2U was designed to meet a US Navy requirement for a carrier­ aircraft based scout‑bomber and first flew in 1936. At the time it represented a major leap forward, being the first low wing monoplane to have both foldable wings and retractable undercarriage in US Navy service. Such were Navy concerns at the time, that Vought was asked to develop a competing biplane scout‑bomber ‑ the XSB3U‑1 ‑ as 'insurance'.
Vought V-156
Powered by a 825hp (615kW) Pratt & Whitney R‑1535 Twin Wasp Junior, the SB2U was ordered into production as the Vindicator, with 169 being built in three versions.
The V-156 SB2U was the USN's first monoplane scout-dive bomber. Exports to the British Navy were as V-156 Chesapeake.
The 1936 XSB2U-1 prototype 9725 first flew on 4 January 1936 but crashed during testing on 20 August 1936.
Vought XSB2U-1 9725
The SB2U-1 was the first production model and the first flew on 21 May 1937. Fifty-four were built, 0726-0779, the last of which became XSB2U-3.
Vought SB2U-1
The first flying on 11 August 1938, fifty-eight SB2U-2 were built, 1326-1383.
Vought SB2U-2 1372
Vought SB2U-2 Instrument panel
One SB2U-1, 0779, was converted to the XSB2U-3 in 1939, powered by a 825hp R-1535-102, and fitted with extra fuel tanks.
Vought XSB2U-3 0779
XSB2U-3 0779 was experimentally fitted with twin EDO pontoons. Results were not impressive and the ship was returned to wheels.
Vought XSB2U-3 0779
The SB2U-3 Vindicator first flew on 10 January 1941. Fifty-seven were built, 2044 to 2100
Vought SB2U-3
Vindicators saw action during the Battle of Midway in 1942, but after this were retired to second line duties.
Orders for a version for the French Air Force ‑ the V‑156B ‑ were partially met before the fall of France. Fifty V‑156B‑1s were ordered by the British Fleet Air Arm and entered service as the Chesapeake I advanced trainers.
Some SB2U types made it into civilian dress, including SB2U-1 NC30447, which was WW2 surplus.
Engine: 750hp P&W R-1535-78
Wingspan: 42'0"
Length: 33'2"
Max speed: 230 mph
Cruise: 222 mph
Stall: 66 mph
Range: 532 mi
Ceiling: 26,600'
Seats: 2
Engine: 825hp R-1535-96
Wingspan: 42'0"
Length: 34'0"
Max speed: 250 mph
Cruise: 143 mph
Stall: 66 mph
Range: 635 mi
Ceiling: 27,400'
Seats: 2
Engine: 825hp R-1535-96
Wingspan: 42'0"
Length: 34'0"
Max speed: 250 mph
Cruise: 150 mph
Stall: 66 mph
Range: 630 mi
Ceiling: 27,500'
Seats: 2
Engine: 825hp R-1535-102
SB2U-3 Vindicator
Max speed: 243 mph
Cruise: 152 mph
Stall: 71 mph
Range: 1120 mi
Ceiling: 23,600'





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