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Aero Modeller 484

Returnol the
Firsl olamous
(Originally publhhed in
1956 now rcvised)

H eadi ns r how . U .S. N .v y

Reretv€ Squr.lron SBC-as
tlrina in form.tion durins
| 940.

CURTISS SBC.4 by George Cox

rfaHE Curli\s Type 77 trrn-sentrlirc [r,'nrberwa: prob- This machine,the XFI2C-l (Experimentaltighter, l2th
I alil) rhe onl) An)eri(an opcr'alir)nalbiplane ro he designby Curtiss, Mark l), bore the U.S. NAvy serial
usedby thc Royal Air Force.Eafly in the war the Uniled 9225and had a radialengineand retractingundercarriage
StatesNavy pemrittedthe diversionlo Franceof ninety sifiilar to thoseof thc CurtissXFI IC-3 and CrumDran
of thesenraclrines which they had on order. Half of thenl I"F--lbiplaneswhichappearedin the sanreyear.
were uboard the carrier B?a,, when newswas receivedof Unacccptable in its original form, the aercpllne was
the Frencharnlisticeand the ship put into Martinique. subjected to minor |r1odifications and redesignated
The reorainderwere delivered to the R.A.F,. where thcv XS4C-| and then XSBC-1. (S-Scout,B-Bontber).In
recervedthe arrrc'Cleveland'L June 1934 the new machine crashed, was rebuill and
Five of the fifty handedover 1o lrrance were asseDbled crashedagainin Septenrber, this time beingwrilten olT.
al R.A.t'-.Burtonwoodin 1940and seDt11)Little Rissinu- Undaunted,the Curljss conrpanybegan a contplete
ron. A llnrcil ierral ua\ AS 4f'E.Rerno!eJfrorn acrric re-designof thejr scoul bonrberand in NoveDber 1935
\cr\iue l-rrrUroLindtraining. lhc 'Cle\elands rvefe fe- folled out lheir new aeroplanewhich bore very little
\ef irlleJ $ ith (h e M- s uBi\ { e. 8. 2669 \ 4) c nd $er c fesemblanceto the original. This, the XSBC-2 was
camoullugcdD rk Earth and Dark Crcen on the upper allocatedthe sanreserial9225but wasexternallyidentical
surlhces{nd fus€lagesides wilh lraine. yellow under- to the April 1936aircraft9225reappeared as
surllces. Meanwhile the SBC-4 hdd re-enteredpro- the XSBC-Jand in this lbrm wasorderedfor servicewi(h
duction,havingonce beenconsideredoutdaledand the the carrier-based souadrons.
ldst \Nasnr:rde in l94l bringing the total of SBC-4St(t During l9l7 and 1938squadronsVS-3,VS,5and VS-6
174.ll was the last biplaneto:ice conrbatservicein the rboard the carrieB U.S.S. 9uatoga, U.S.S. Yorktox"l
irrnredforcesof the United Slates. and U.S.S. Entupris( respectively,received SBC-ls as
'fhe Type 7'7 was powered by a Wrighl Cyclone' replacenrent5for lheir ageing Voughts. Models ,rf
nine-cylinder radialengineof 850 to 1,000h.p. according 'ScoutinjrThrees aircrrft \hould lhereforehirve whire
1() developedtype and its arnranrentconsisledof one tail surfalces, and'Sco!1ingSix's'aircruft,blue tails.
forwarcl-firingnlachine gLrn in the luselageand one The last produclionSBC-3was fitted in 1938with rhe
Dlovablegun in the fear cockpil. Eithera 1,100lb. bonb nlore powerfulWright engineand furlher modified,was
or a 411 gallonlong rangetank could bc carriedbenealh designatedXSBC"4. ProductionSBC-4Swere delivered
the fuselage.Conslructionwas of rnetal with fabric nrostlyto Naval Reserve Air Basesand the U.S. Marines,
covcringon the lower wings and control surfaces.The hur rheyJlso equippeJ{quadronVS2 aboardrhe U.S.S.
nrachinehad a maximurr speed()f 17,000 Le\ington,and thereforehxd yellow tail surfaces.
feel, and its range was 610 nrilcs al 197 m.p.h. The Historical information for this article has been ob-
serviceceiling was 27,000 feet. lainedfronl the authoritativeworks on this subiecl.'U.S.
Bolh the CurtissSBC-4and i1s nronoplanesuccessor M r r i n e C o r p s A i r c r a f t l s t 4 - l g 5 g a n d U . S . N i r y
the SB2C-l rejoired undcr lhe nrclodrrnralicbul un- Aircraft l92l-1941',both by William T. Larkins.
oliicial nanreof'Helldiver', a [anre originallygiven 1() Dimensions
thc l llC-;lr'l l9l0. I he SBC hiplunes,rriginaled\rrangely Span: 34 ft. Length 27 fl. 5 ins. Height 10 lt. 3! ins.
in rr n1,,rrr,plune
liglrterhuilt by Curtr.s i'l 1913. wing Area: 317 squAre[eet.
At left, Fr €n.h .r m olnage.nd m.r k i ns . on an SBC - 4 w i th .i v i l
r€aistr.tion NX-C5 acro3. vertic.l 3urfac6. At .iih., ..
'A.ropl.n.' photos.aph of 26691.1fltins-a rare rithc fo. .
ar oqnd tr .inina air fr .m c to be.i r bor ne! N otc th..l ..n ..-
.d.tion o, th. u.dcrar.i.r..
o a a wtl 8 / 6 a a co x

Lettering th is U/C door fills

size on XSBC-4 this spoce XSBC-4
s i l l s X 5B C -4

Off-lood posiiion
--*' with 6" s olid wheel

SBC 3. Tail s udac es ex, c luding X S B C - 4 .S e r i a l0 5 8 2 . S B C 4 . B a s i cf u s e l a g ea n d w i n g

fillets:red. Top suface of upper From Station B aft, c o l o u r sa s S B C 3 . T a i l i n c l u d i n g
wing : c hr om e y ellow. All ot her same as SBC-3. From fillets,blue (USS Enterprise)
metalsurfaces:light grey. Lower ' B 'f o r w a r d , a s S B C - 4 , cowl & fuselagebands,blue with

(,1r, wing sr s ilv er .Enginec owling,wing

chevronand fuselagebandi blue
with white border.VSS badge:
Black M an O ' W ar Bir d wit h r ed
exceptwhere indicated.
Colour:All polished
metaland silverdope.
All letteringblack.
white outline.Letteringblack,
exceptwhite on tail. Caffief
emblem: Probablywhite disc
with blue ship and suffounding

\t. = [ t ) throat; red borderto white diamond.

White 'S'. lryphensand tail lettering.

? t\ '
( r .i-
I{ I

E xko gill lefr s;d e

sB c-3
Contour line

C o l our lines

Reprints ofthis 1/48th plan plus 1/36th scale dye-lines are sold as plan pack 2671' Ptice 216d.
plus 6d. postage, from AEROMODELLER PLANs SERVICE' 13-35 Bridge Street' Hemel
Hempstearl, Herts.

W R IGH T' ' C Y C LON E '

R-I820-34950 H. P.
cuRTtss sBc-3. xsBc-4,8 sBc-4 CLEVELAND