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Brewster XSBA-1 / SBN-1

United States (1941)
Picture of Brewster XSBA-1 / SBN-1 Carrier-Based Dive Bomber

A protracted development period left the Brewster SBN-1 an obsolete machine when America went to war in December of 1941.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Brewster XSBA-1 / SBN-1 Carrier-Based Dive Bomber.  Entry last updated on 5/5/2016. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The Brewster aviation concern managed some - albeit slow - headway on their XSBA/SBN carrier aircraft. The type was a three-seat, single-engine monoplane dive bomber incorporating what were then-modern components during the early-to-mid 1930s. The aircraft began life as the XSBA-1 prototype before evolving to become the "SBN-1" taken on in small numbers by the United States Navy (USN) just prior to America's entry into World War 2 (1939-1945). A sole XSBA-1 prototype was produced to go along with the thirty SBN-1 production models eventually adopted by the USN. The product stemmed from a 1934 USN competition which saw Brewster's design emerge followed by a first flight in 1936. However, by the time it was introduced in 1941 and America was at war in 1942, the 1930s-era airplane proved of little value to foreseeable operations. As such, it was relegated to training duties for a short time before being pulled from service from August 1942 onwards.

For the XSBA-1, Brewster engineers adopted a deep, tapering fuselage with the powerplant conventionally set at the front of the aircraft driving a three-bladed propeller. The pilot and crew sat under a greenhouse-style canopy with good views of the surrounding action. The aircraft featured monoplane wing appendages that were mid-set along the fuselage sides. The main landing gear were retractable into the sides of the lower fuselage (ala the Grumman F4F fighter) utilizing a rather complex-looking strut arrangement. The tail was capped by a single vertical tail fin and low-set horizontal tailplanes. Its crew numbered three- pilot, navigator and gunner - with the latter crewmember seated in a position at the rear of the aircraft manning a sole, trainable 0.30 caliber machine gun. Perforated split dive-flaps were installed on the wings to retard the descent of the aircraft when on its attack run. An internal bomb bay supported a single 500lb bomb. Power was served through a Wright XR-1820-22 Cyclone radial piston engine of 950 horsepower and performance specifications included a maximum speed of 255 miles per hour, a range out to 1,015 miles and a service ceiling of 28,300 feet.

By the time of the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941, the United States Navy was still in the process of accepting delivery of these Brewster machines from the Naval Aircraft Factory (NAF). The aircraft proved of little value with the fast-paced war to follow, quickly usurped by more modem and capable dive bombers that followed and, as such, production stood at just the 30 aforementioned examples as well as the single prototype model.

Brewster's life as an aircraft contractor ended on April 5th, 1946 as the company struggled to profit after the war's end. Aircraft production at the Naval Aircraft Factory - set up by the USN in 1918 solely to produce its needed aircraft - ended in early 1945.

Any available statistics for the Brewster XSBA-1 / SBN-1 Carrier-Based Dive Bomber are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, operational status, manufacture(s) and total quantitative production. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed or proposed armament and mission equipment (if any), global users (from A-to-Z) and series model variants (if any).






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 300mph
Lo: 150mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (255mph).

    Graph average of 225 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Brewster SBN-1's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
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Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
31
31


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
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  Compare this entry against other aircraft using our Comparison Tool  
National Flag Graphic
Origin: United States
Year: 1941
Type: Carrier-Based Dive Bomber
Manufacturer(s): Brewster Aeronautical Corporation - USA
Production: 31
Global Operators:
United States
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Brewster SBN-1 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
3


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
27.66 ft


Meters
8.43 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
39.01 ft


Meters
11.89 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
8.66 ft


Meters
2.64 m


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
6,759 lb


Kilograms
3,066 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Wright XR-1820-22 Cyclone radial piston engine developing 950 horsepower.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
255 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
410 kph


Knots
221 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
1,016 mi


Kilometers
1,635 km


Nautical Miles
883 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
28,215 ft


Meters
8,600 m


Miles
5.34 mi

Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition
Armament - Hardpoints (0):

1 x 0.30 caliber medium machine gun on trainable mount in rear cockpit.

OPTIONAL:
1 x 500lb bomb carried in an internal bomb bay.
Variants: Series Model Variants
• XSBA-1 - Base Prototype Designation; single example completed.
• SBN-1 - Production Model Designation; 30 examples delivered to the USN.