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Douglas SBD-5 in flight colour

The Douglas SBD-5 Dauntless was a single engine, carrier-based bomber aircraft, that was flown by the United States Navy during World War II, mainly over the Pacific Ocean against the Japanese.


The SBD bomber was the result of a US-Navy requirement for a new carrier-based all-metal construction bomber aircraft, with a retractable undercarriage. The reconnaissance variant should not have a high amount of bombs.

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The take-off weight of the Dauntless is 5,000 lb

(2.268 kg) and should carry 500 lb (227 kg) of bombs. For the main bomber, a maximum weight of 6,000 lb (2.722 kg) and a payload of 1,000 lb (454 kg) were required. The bomber should be equipped with nose-dive air brakes and must be able to survive 9G forces after pulling up from an absolved nose-dive.

The Dauntless was first flown in June 1935. The aircraft was the flag-ship nose-dive bomber of the United States Navy, during the Pacific War. It contributed a lot to the American victories during the Pacific War against the Japanese Imperial Navy.

Until the end of the year 1944, nearly 6000 aircraft had been built. A variant of it, designated as A-24 Banshee, was a modified SBD for the United States Army.