Model Airplane News|
Brewster SB2-A1 Dive Bomber "Bucaneer"/"Bermuda"
Model Airplane News Cover Art for October, 1941
by Jo Kotula
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The Buccaneer was designed as a carrier-borne dive-bomber. First flown on 17 June 1941, this was a mid-wing all-metal monoplane fitted Wright radial engine. The first examples were delivered to the RAF in 1942, designated SB2-A1 (The British called them "Bermuda") Dissatisfied with the plane's performance, the RAF quickly relegated them to training and target-towing duties. Another group were made for the Netherlands East Indies but were not delivered and were used instead as trainers. A total of 750 Buccaneers were built. In short, it wasn't much of a dive bomber just like the F2A ("Buffalo") wasn't much of a fighter.
Brewster SB2-A1 "Bucaneer"/"Bermuda"
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Brewster did a lot of "Institutional Advertising" trying to get more business. The leaden performance of the Buffalo fighter was certainly a barrier. The company had artist Jo Kotula create a series of six black and white drawings for use in this campaign. In the ad, a Buccaneer is ready for takeoff while a cloud of "Buffaloes" circles above the carrier. Other drawings celebrate the various capabilities of the Buccaneer. It proved to be a dud, although some were passed off on the RAF as the "Bermuda."
These drawings may be found regularly in the online auctions. Here is an ad, and individual print and the entire set of six for your reference. Prices can reach $200 (each print in mint condition) on a good day.
Brewster Institutional Advertising
Drawn by Jo Kotula
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The Brewster company's appetite for publicity was unlimited. Here is an article from the September, 1941 issue of Popular Science that featured the SB2A on the cover.
The Brewster SB2A-1 in the September 1941 issue of Popular Science
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In case you can't read the text, it says:
"... The Navy's new Brewster dive bomber SB2-A1, shown on this month's cover is 'peeling off'from its squadron to attack from a height of a mile or more. These planes, in their brilliant peacetime dress contain such improvements as leakproof gasoline tanks, armor plate, heavier firepower, and power-operated rear gun turrets: four 50 caliber machine guns are in the wings, two in the turret. They appear as based on the carrier USS Lexington, the tail empennage being painted bright yellow. The squadron'w skipper ship and leader of the first section is identified by the red ring around the engine and the red band on the fuselage. Above, the planes are shown in their present wartime dress with no markings to reveal squadron, base, or carrier. Both paintings were executed by John T. McCoy, Jr, noted aviator-painter ...
So much for the aviation acumen of Popular Science . The Brewster was so bad that no footage surives of the actual airplane. Here is a video with a large scale model of the "Bucaneer:
Click Here for more information about the Brewster SB2-A1 Dive Bomber "Bucaneer"/"Bermuda".
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