View Full Version : SBD Cockpits

10-15-2004, 06:21 PM
I am curious, why did the SBD-5 change from the telescopic-type divebombing sight in the -3 model to a seemingly less precise reflector sight? Was is because of a change in mission priorities, ease of production, or simply because they were being phased out?

10-15-2004, 06:33 PM
The telescopic sight was probably not very popular. It must have been a b1tch aiming through that sort of a telescope while trying to avoid flak, tracers and bandits...

10-15-2004, 07:21 PM
I guess you could get bruised in the face too doing that. Early jet interceptors the pilot had to stuff helmet into hood over the radar screen.

10-15-2004, 08:47 PM
Telescopic sight old, '20s technology. No field of view and took the pilot away from flying the plane. Hard to use--although pre-war VB pilots got awfully good with it. Reflector easier, brighter--and you still had your peripheral vision.

BTW, look at pix of the .50 cals mounted in PBY side blisters. As late as 1945, still Mk V, Mod telescopic sights. I guess they had a warehouse full of them and they had to use them up.


10-15-2004, 08:58 PM
Interesting sig.

Czech this out...


Note hole in top prop blade. Active volcanoes would be Awsum over the FP.

another view at another time

10-15-2004, 09:17 PM
The tubular sight fogged horribly in the humidity of the Pacific. This led to inaccurate bombing.

10-16-2004, 04:55 PM
Didn't bother the VB pilots at Midway.

10-16-2004, 11:45 PM
Harold Buel, in his book 'Dauntless Helldivers' discusses this. Without digging out the book and leafing through it, I recall that they had to limit their altitude from which they began their dives to avoid this problem. Something like 13,000ft sticks in my mind.

Good book for anyone intersted in 'flying' dive bombers.