The Brewster SB2A Buccaneer lacked ruggedness, incurring many stress problems that made it unreliable, even as a trainer. Overweight, underpowered, and lacking maneuverability, the Brewster SB2A Buccaneer was a classic failure. As a result, SB2As only saw second-line service as target towing and training aircraft.
- The Brewster SB2A Buccaneer was a scout dive bomber built by Brewster Aeronautical Corporation during the early 1940s.
The Brewster "Buccaneer" (SB2A-1) is used by the Navy as scout dive bomber and escort plane [Via]
- The Brewster SB2A Buccaneer was codenamed by Brewster as Brewster Model 340, and it was developed in parallel with the Curtiss SB2C. Both of them looked very similar.
- The Brewster SB2A Buccaneer shared the single-engine and the mid-wing monoplane layout of the earlier SBA scout-bomber. But it was larger and had a more powerful engine with a 1700 hp Wright Cyclone R-2600 twin-row air-cooled radial.
A July/August 1943 aerial view of a Brewster SB2A Buccaneer dive bomber, manufactured in Johnsville (courtesy of Tony Coulter) [Via]
- The Brewster SB2A Buccaneer prototype was ordered on 4 April 1939, and the Brewster SB2A Buccaneer’s first flight was on 17 June 1941.
Brewster SB2A-1 [Via]
- For offensive purposes, the Brewster SB2A Buccaneer carried up to 1,000 lb (454 kg) of bombs in an internal bomb bay.
- For defensive purposes, the Brewster SB2A Buccaneer was fitted with a power-operated turret armed with two .30 in machine guns supplementing a further four forward-firing guns.
- The countries which ordered the Brewster SB2A Buccaneer were United Kingdom (750 aircraft), Netherlands (162 aircraft), although all of them were requisitioned later by United States due to the Japanese occupation of the Netherlands East Indies, and the United States (203 aircraft). Australia ordered to the purchase too (approximately 243 aircraft), but finally the order was cancelled. At the conclusion of production, a total of 1,052 Brewster Bermudas had been built.
Brewster SB2A-4 Buccaneers [Via]
- The Brewster Bermuda was the name given by the United Kingdom to the SB2A Buccaneer. The Bermuda was supplied for FAA (Fleet Air Arm is the branch of the Royal Navy) assessment under lend-lease when a small number entered RAF service. Original models were modified for land use and much of the equipment for operating from an aircraft carrier removed - folding wings, arrestor hook and catapult gear. The rear turret of the Navy version was replaced with a flexible machine gun mount for the rear gunner.
The prototype Brewster Bermuda at Long Island, New York State during 1941[Via]
- The naval section of the UK main aircraft test center found it too heavy, underpowered and lacking maneuverability. As with the British, the US Navy found the aircraft unsatisfactory.
- When the Brewster SB2A Buccaneer was finally available, the US Navy had no need for a new dive bomber.
SB2A Buccaneer pictured in a dive (U.S. Navy photo) [Via]
SB2A on prod line [Via]
- The Brewster SB2A Buccaneer was used mainly for training; as target tugs; none saw combat and many were scrapped straight from the production line after orders were cancelled in 1943.
SB2As JAx ramp 1945 [Via]
- The high point of the Buccaneers service for the US Navy was their use in the Marines first Night Fighter squadron. The Marine Corps, needing an aircraft for night fighter training, took some of the SB2A-3s and assigned them to two squadrons at Naval Air Station (NAS) Vero Beach, Florida.
An SB2A-4 near Vero Beach, Florida, 1942-43 [Via]
- There is a British report that they were used with some success as a level bomber in the plane starved India-Burma campaign.
- The Brewster SB2A Buccaneer was used during World War II by the United States Navy (US Navy), the United States Army Air Corps, the Royal Air Force, and the Royal Navy.
SB2As Vero Beach [Via]
- There is only one single surviving Brewster SB2A Bermuda worldwide. The aircraft has been resurrected from a pile of scrap over an 18-year period. It was restored at the Naval Air Warfare Center, Warminster, Pa., USA, site of the former Brewster Aircraft factory. After restoration it was moved in August 1996 by the US Navy to Pensacola, Florida.
- Crew: 2: pilot and gunner
- Length: 39 ft 2 in
- Wingspan: 47 ft
- Height: 15 ft 5 in
- Wing area: 379 ft²
- Empty weight: 9,924 lb
- Max takeoff weight: 14,289 lb
- Powerplant: 1× Wright R-2600-8 radial
- engine, 1,700 hp
- Maximum speed: 274 mph
- Range: 1,675 mi
- Service ceiling: 24,900 ft
- 2 × .50 in (12.7 mm) M2 Browning
- machine guns in fuselage
- 2 × .30 in (7.62 mm) M1919 Browning
- machine guns in wings
- 2 × .30 in (7.62 mm) flexible rear-mounted
- .30 machine guns
Bombs: 1,000 lb