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Tuesday, November 22, 2016


The XSBU-1 Scout Dive Bomber evolved from the earlier XF3U-1 two seat fighter. The XF3U-1 was discontinued as the Navy moved from two seat to single seat fighters. The prototype XF3U-1 was stripped of parts that were then used on a strengthened airframe to preform duties as a scout dive bomber prototype. 

XF3U-1 9222 Left Side View 9/18/1933 VAHF photo
Some of the easily identifiable design changes from XF3U to XSBU were engine exhaust routing, the addition of cowl flaps, and bomb displacement gear.

XSBU-1 9222 Left Front View 6/1/1934 VAHF Photo

XSBU-1 9222 Left Side 6/1/1934 VAHF Photo

From Vought Engineering Report 3669 Detail Specification Model SBU-1 Airplane (Class VSB) dated 3/13/35:
 "a single-engine scout and dive bomber landplane for use aboard aircraft carriers. This airplane shall be similar to Model XSBU-1 airplane procured under Contract 34816 from the Chance Vought Corporation."


"As a landplane, it shall take off from the deck of an airplane carrier without the aid of a catapult, and land on the carrier deck in an arresting gear, or on an ordinary landing field. The airplane shall not be designed for float type landing gear. The airplane shall not be designed for catapulting." 

XSBU-1 9222 Right Side  9/20/1935 VAHF Photo
The rudder and vertical fin were changed after testing to enlarge the surfaces. Further cowling changes would occur with the production SBUs and the exhausts would be located on the bottom of the cowling and directed downward.

SBU-1 9750 Left Side 8/9/1935 VAHF Photo
An exciting announcement to share on the SBU-1 front, LukGraph is releasing a 1/32 scale Resin SBU-1 in December 2016. I have no affiliation with LukGraph, but am very interested in seeing and building this kit when released. Here is a link to their website if you are interested:

The following artwork is courtesy of LukGraph.

Previously I did a post on a specially painted and modified SBU-1 which is linked here: SBU-1 Flagship

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