Author Topic: Brewster's Bomb  (Read 2151 times)

Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Brewster's Bomb
« on: December 28, 2017, 07:43:34 AM »

Brewster's Bomb - A Mistletoe Tale

Brewster had problems. With the arrival of Grumman F3Fs, the US Navy was shifting its shipboard Brewster F2As to the Marines. Likewise, the Naval Aircraft Factory-produced SBN-1 divebombers were completely eclipsed by the Douglas SBD. [1]

Prior to the outbreak of the War in the Pacific, work began on converting the obsolete-at-birth SBNs into unmanned missiles. Basic radio control trials began with a modified Brewster XSBA-1. This was followed by the more complete NAF SBN-1 modification - given the cover designation XLBA-1 - where a rear-seated pilot was there for emergency back-up. [2]

The XLBA-1 was then fitted with a set of struts to create an upper cradle for an attached F2A-2. The fighter was to control the flying bomb during take-off and transit flight. [3] After release, radio control from an accompanying SBA-1K was intended to take over for run-in to the target.

In the first inflight trial separation, the departing F2A-2 struck the tall rudder of the XLBA-1. The F2A-2 pilot was able to recover but, with a jammed rudder horn, the XLBA-1 spun out of control. Fortunately, the test pilot was able to bail out successfully. A redesign of the SBA-1 tail was then undertaken by Brewster ... resulting in a squat unit being fitted to the XLBA-1A conversion.

In the meantime, Brewster and NAF embarked on the modification of a dozen SBA-1 airframes for the new flying bomb role. This involved removing the cockpits and undercarriage; fitting a new vertical tailplane and controller-aircraft struts; and installing the radio-control equipment. Six 'production' LBA-1B conversions were shipped to Hawaii as the Battle of Midway unfolded.

The poor performance of the F2As at Midway convinced Navy brass that the F2A-2K/LBA-1B combination would be shot to pieces in combat. Instead, the Brewster 'flying bombs' were kept on stand-by in Hawaii. By early 1943, the Pacific War had moved westward and the LBA-1Bs were quietly returned to the US West Coast to be scrapped.


[1] Some SBN-1s went to sea with the USS Hornet but only to act as non-operational stand-ins until Douglas TBDs were available.

[2] In this XLBA-1 conversion, the pilot also manned the controls for take-offs and landings.

[3] The added weight of the F2A-2 was more than the original XLBA-1 undercarriage could accomodate. This required the XLBA-1 to be fitted with a temporary undercarriage trolley. This was similar to the trolley intended for operational LBA-1s (although the XLBA-1 retained its main undercarriage).

The doorbell's ringing, could be the elves
But it's probably the werewolf ...

Offline Buzzbomb

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Re: Brewster's Bomb
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2017, 03:00:20 PM »

really nice profile

Offline finsrin

  • The Dr Frankenstein of the modelling world...when not hiding from SBA
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Re: Brewster's Bomb
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2017, 04:46:22 PM »
Research of story and detail of graphics are so interesting.  Enlightening  :smiley:

Offline AXOR

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Re: Brewster's Bomb
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2017, 05:20:11 PM »
Awesome !

Offline Tophe

  • He sees things in double...
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Re: Brewster's Bomb
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2017, 09:47:49 PM »
Amazing! Fantastic! :-*

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Brewster's Bomb
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2017, 02:33:41 AM »
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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