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F3H Demon in
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Detail & Scale, Pt. 1

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F-102 Delta Dagger in Detail & Scale
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F-8 & RF-8 Crusader in Detail & Scale

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Photo Galleries

SB2U Vindicator, SB2U-2 Detail Photos:

 

This set includes color photographs taken of the SB2U-2 on display at the National Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola, Florida.  This is the only Vindicator of any type still in existence, and it has been restored in meticulous detail by the Museum’s restoration staff.  The aircraft was opened up and made completely accessible to Bert Kinzey for extensive photography.  We sincerely thank Hill Goodspeed at the Museum for the opportunity to take these rare photographs, and we hope they will be of great interest to aviation enthusiasts and scale modelers.


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The SB2U-2 on display at the National Museum of Naval Aviation is the only Vindicator of any type remaining in existence.  It is beautifully and accurately restored with exceptional attention to detail.  (Detail & Scale Copyright Photo by Bert Kinzey)

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A high view from the left provides a good look at the long framed enclosure that covered both cockpits.  The windscreen and the solid center section were fixed, while the pilot’s cockpit was covered by a single sliding canopy.  The rear cockpit had two sliding sections to cover it, with the smaller aft portion sliding up under the larger section when both were in the open position.  (Detail & Scale Copyright Photo by Bert Kinzey)

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This photograph illustrates how the two sliding sections for the rear cockpit slid forward to stowed positions.  (Detail & Scale Copyright Photo by Bert Kinzey)

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The instrument panel in the front cockpit is shown here from the left side.  A map board slid out from the slot near the center of the panel for navigation plotting when necessary.  (Detail & Scale Copyright Photo by Bert Kinzey)

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The SB2U did not have a floor in the cockpit.  Instead, the pilot rested his feet on two troughs that extended rearward from underneath the rudder pedals.  Dropping any small object in the cockpit meant it was usually lost until the aircraft was back on the ground again, and even then it was often difficult to retrieve.  (Detail & Scale Copyright Photo by Bert Kinzey)

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This view from the right side shows additional details of the pilot’s cockpit.  Note the telescopic sight mounted through the windscreen.  The red device is a removable control lock to keep the control surfaces from being moved when the aircraft wSas on the ground.  (Detail & Scale Copyright Photo by Bert Kinzey)

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Details on the left side of the pilot’s cockpit included the throttle quadrant, trim wheels, and the fuel tank selector valve.  (Detail & Scale Copyright Photo by Bert Kinzey)

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Various switches and knobs were on the electrical distribution panel on the right side of the front cockpit.  The pilot’s oxygen bottle is also visible in this view, as is the handle for the hydraulic hand pump.  Flap controls were located on the black triangular shaped panel.  (Detail & Scale Copyright Photo by Bert Kinzey)

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The top of the pilot’s seat and the headrest are visible in this view.  A life raft was stowed beneath the center section of the enclosure.  (Detail & Scale Copyright Photo by Bert Kinzey)

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The life raft can also be seen in this view looking forward from the rear cockpit.  Noteworthy is the Morse code key to the right.  (Detail & Scale Copyright Photo by Bert Kinzey)

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Details of the instruments in the rear cockpit are visible here.  A compass was mounted to the left.  A small panel on the right included an airspeed indicator at the top, an altimeter to the lower left, and a clock to the right.  A turn-and-bank ball was below the clock.  A long tube extended back from the altimeter to allow the crewman to set the correct barometric pressure into the instrument.  (Detail & Scale Copyright Photo by Bert Kinzey)

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The radio gear was mounted under the decking that held the instruments.  This gear varied over time and depending on where the aircraft was serving.  The Morse code key is again visible, and to the left is the reel for the cable antenna that could be extended out to trail behind the aircraft.  (Detail & Scale Copyright Photo by Bert Kinzey)

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Another view of the seat shows it tilted up to the rear.  The mount for the .30-caliber machine gun is present, but the weapon is not installed.  This view also shows some details at the aft end of the rear cockpit.  (Detail & Scale Copyright Photo by Bert Kinzey)

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Four large panels opened up on the sides of the fuselage, with each panel being adjacent to one of the cockpits.  This allowed for easy maintenance of the electrical connections and the oxygen systems for the two crewmen.  This is the open panel on the left side of the front cockpit.  Also note the small panel that provides access to the refueling point. (Detail & Scale Copyright Photo by Bert Kinzey)

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Further aft on the left side of the fuselage was this large panel that provided access to the left side of the rear cockpit.  Notice how the attachment point for the wire antenna does not open with the panel and that there is a slot in the panel for the wire to pass through as the panel opens and closes.  Also noteworthy is the fact that a foot hole in the side of the fuselage is within the panel area and remains in place.  An opening in the panel provides access to the foot hole when the panel is closed.  Whether the panel is open or closed, the foot hold is covered by a spring-loaded door.  (Detail & Scale Copyright Photo by Bert Kinzey)

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The access door on the forward right side of the fuselage provided easy access to the electrical distribution panel in the front cockpit.  It also made changing the pilot’s green oxygen bottle a simple task.  (Detail & Scale Copyright Photo by Bert Kinzey)

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The panel on the right rear side of the fuselage allowed access to the gunner/radio operator’s oxygen bottle as well as other systems and connections on the right side of the rear cockpit.  Again note the foot hole within the door area with its spring-loaded door.  Navy aircraft that were built prior to the start of World War II, and usually delivered in the colorful paint schemes of the 1930s, had cockpit interiors that were silver rather than being painted in the chromate green and other primers used after camouflage schemes were adopted.  (Detail & Scale Copyright Photo by Bert Kinzey)

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The relief tube is visible in this photograph which looks forward under the center section of the fuselage.  Note the details on the aft end of the bomb.  This view also provides a good look at the strut mechanism on the right landing gear.  (Detail & Scale Copyright Photo by Bert Kinzey)

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All versions of the Vindicator were powered by a Pratt & Whitney R-1535 radial engine, although the specific variant of the R-1535 differed between one version and another.  Those on production aircraft produced 825 horsepower at sea level.  The National Museum of Naval Aviation displays an R-1535 next to its SB2U-2, and three of the cylinder heads have been removed to show details of the pistons.  (Detail & Scale Copyright Photo by Bert Kinzey)

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A front view provides an excellent look at the engine installed in the aircraft.  Colors and details are clearly visible, and noteworthy is the Pratt & Whitney crest on the bottom of the gear box.  Vindicators were fitted with a Hamilton Standard two-blade, constant speed propeller.  (Detail & Scale Copyright Photo by Bert Kinzey)

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The large scoop on the top right side of the cowling provided air for the oil cooler and carburetor.  The rear of the oil cooler can be seen inside the open cowl flaps.  (Detail & Scale Copyright Photo by Bert Kinzey)

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The open cowl flaps on the left side of the cowling reveal how the antenna mast was mounted to the airframe.  (Detail & Scale Copyright Photo by Bert Kinzey)

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A collector ring routed exhaust gasses to an exhaust port located low on each side of the cowling.  This is the port on the right side.  (Detail & Scale Copyright Photo by Bert Kinzey)

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The Vindicator had a strong main landing gear that rotated as it retracted aft into a well beneath the wings.  A door attached to the forward edge of the main strut covered the strut and the retraction struts when the gear was retracted, but no doors covered the wheel and tire.  (Detail & Scale Copyright Photo by Bert Kinzey)

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Additional details of the right main landing gear are shown in a view from the inside.  Note the retraction strut which operated as a scissors link to retract and extend the gear, as well as providing strength and bracing when the gear was down and locked.  (Detail & Scale Copyright Photo by Bert Kinzey)

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The left main gear was simply a mirror image of the right.  The wheels were usually covered with a flat plate to keep out debris.  (Detail & Scale Copyright Photo by Bert Kinzey)

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The tail gear was fixed and had a small rubber tire, and the struts were covered by sheet metal skirting to improve aerodynamics.  Note also the arresting hook in the retracted position.  A hoist tube passed through the aft fuselage, and a bar could be placed through this tube and used to lift the tail of the aircraft.  (Detail & Scale Copyright Photo by Bert Kinzey)

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A high view provides a look at the details on the left wing.  A pitot probe is near the tip, and both navigation and position lights are mounted on the tip section.  The aileron spanned the full length of the folding wing panel, and a black walkway was located at the wing root.  With the exception of the pitot tube, these features were identical on the right wing.  (Detail & Scale Copyright Photo by Bert Kinzey)

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There was a small fairing for the linkage that operated the aileron near the center of its span.  The fully adjustable trim tab was at the inboard end of the aileron’s trailing edge.  (Detail & Scale Copyright Photo by Bert Kinzey)

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Although the SB2U-2 usually only carried one machine gun in the right wing, provisions were made for one to be installed in the left wing as well.  A small window allowed the pilot and any maintenance personnel to quickly check to see if ammunition was loaded into the box for the gun.  A small gage was located just outboard of the window.  (Detail & Scale Copyright Photo by Bert Kinzey)

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One minor difference on the right wing was that the aileron had a balance tab on the inboard end of its trailing edge rather than an adjustable trim tab as seen on the left aileron.  (Detail & Scale Copyright Photo by Bert Kinzey)

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The right wing also had the walkway at the root and the window to check for ammunition.  However, the small gage, as seen on the left wing, was not present on the right.  (Detail & Scale Copyright Photo by Bert Kinzey)

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As with almost all dive and scout bombers, the Vindicator’s primary punch came from a large bomb carried on the centerline.  U. S. Navy Standard Aircraft Characteristics for the Vindicator state that bombs up to 1,600 pounds could be carried on the centerline, but 1,000 and 500-pound bombs were the types most often carried.  A 325-pound depth charge could also be carried.  Details of the bomb displacement gear are visible in the view.  It was necessary to see that the bomb did not hit the propeller when dropped at a steep angle of dive.  Also note the windows in the lower fuselage.  These were to help the pilot find a target beneath his aircraft before entering a dive.  (Detail & Scale Copyright Photo by Bert Kinzey)

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Additional details of the bomb rack, sway braces, displacement gear, and windows are visible in this second view.  (Detail & Scale Copyright Photo by Bert Kinzey)

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When scouting, Vindicators often carried two smaller 100-pound bombs under the wings.  Their smaller size meant less weight and drag, thus extending the range and search time when compared to larger bombs carried on the centerline station.  To extend range even further, a 50-gallon fuel tank could be carried on the centerline of the SB2U-1 and SB2U-2, however this provision was not included on the SB2U-3, because of its increased internal fuel capacity.  A 325-pound depth charge could also be carried on each wing station for use against submarines.  (Detail & Scale Copyright Photo by Bert Kinzey)

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The 100-pound bomb was attached to a self-contained and removable bomb rack that included its own anti-sway bracing for the bomb.  No further bracing was needed to prevent lateral movement of the weapon or rack.  (Detail & Scale Copyright Photo by Bert Kinzey)

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The fabric covered rudder was actually larger in area than the fixed portion of the vertical tail.  The trim tab for the rudder was located at the bottom of its trailing edge.  A small mast on top of the rudder was the aft attachment point for the wire antenna that ran forward to the mast on the left side of the cowling.  (Detail & Scale Copyright Photo by Bert Kinzey)

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A high view of the tail section reveals the shape of the horizontal stabilizers and elevators as used on Vindicators through the SB2U-2 variant.  The SB2U-3 had a larger horizontal tail.  Note the trim tabs at the inboard edge of each elevator.  Wire antennas ran from the leading edge of the horizontal stabilizers to the fuselage.  (Detail & Scale Copyright Photo by Bert Kinzey)

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Just Released!

JET FIGHTERS
OF THE U. S. NAVY AND MARINE CORPS
PART 1: THE FIRST TEN YEARS
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Detail & Scale Special Edition Books

U. S. Navy and Marine Carrier-Based Aircraft of World War II
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Attack on Pearl Harbor, Japan Awakens a Sleeping Giant

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Colors & Markings Series



Colors & Markings of U. S. Navy
F-14 Tomcats,
Part 1: Atlantic
Coast Squadrons
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Colors & Markings of the F-102
Delta Dagger

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Colors & Markings of U. S. Navy
F-14 Tomcats,
Part 2: Pacific
Coast Squadrons

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