Walkaround #536

Douglas SBD-3 Dauntless

Reference photos by Stewart Bailey on Dec 12 2003

Starboard front quarter

 

      

These photos were taken of the Kalamazoo Air Zoo's SBD-3 Dauntless.  

This aircraft, BuNo. 06624 was one of a number of SBDs lost during training in the Great Lakes aboard the paddlewheel carriers Wolverine and Sable.  It was stricken on September 19, 1943 when the pilot trainee accidentally switched to a dry fuel tank, lost power on landing, boltered and went over the side into Lake Michigan.  It was recovered in the early 1990s, and placed on loan to the Kalamazoo Aviation History Museum (Air Zoo) for restoration by the National Museum of Naval Aviation.  Research into the aircraft showed that it has served with the VS-41 "Tophatters" aboard the USS Ranger (CV-4) and had flown bombing missions in support of the Operation Torch landings in Algeria.  The Air Zoo's restoration staff chose to finish the aircraft in the markings it wore at that time.  For more information on the aircraft and its restoration, visit www.airzoo.org 

Stewart Bailey

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Port front quarter

Port side (unfortunately, it's a little tight in the museum)
Port rear quarter
Starboard rear quarter

 

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Engine cowling & Wright R-1820-52 Cyclone engine

Close-up of crankcase and propeller

Carburetor air intake
Oil cooler intake

 

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Bomb displacement crutch

Close-up of crutch pivot mechanism and hydraulics vent pipe
Starboard side of bomb crutch
Port wheel well, looking outward

 

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Port wheel well, looking inward

Upper end of port gear strut

Underwing stiffeners and port catapult bridal hook
Underside of cowling

 

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Starboard exhaust from below

Port exhaust
Port gear strut from the front
Port gear strut from the side

 

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Port gear strut from behind

Top of port gear strut, outer wing attachment point and gun camera window

Port bomb shackle looking out
Port bomb shackle from front quarter

 

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Landing light in port wing

Underside of port aileron showing control linkage

Port navigation light
Port aileron

 

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Port lower dive brake looking inward

Actuators for port outer dive brakes
Port upper dive brake
Trim tab in port aileron

 

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Formation light in upper surface of port wing

Antenna attachment point on port fuselage side
Pilot's hand-hold/step on port side of fuselage
Cowl flap actuators, port side

 

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Antenna mast attachment point

Antenna mast

Cockpit and windshield
Gunner's canopy in open position (stacked)

 

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Rear gun mount, port side

Non-skid walkway, port (starboard is identical)

Rear gun mount
Colored recognition lights under center fuselage (red, blue, yellow: front to rear)

 

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Tail hook pivot

Hook end and tailwheel

Port stabilizer, upper surface
Trim tab in port elevator

 

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Tailwheel and hold down

Rudder trim tab actuator
Rudder hinge area

 

Photos and text by Stewart Bailey