Skyraider in Action (Aircraft 60)
By J. Sullivan
Publisher: Squadron/Signal Publications 1983 51 Pages
PDF 10 MB
As a replacement for the obsolete SBD Dauntless, Douglas Aircraft Company at El Segundo developed the XSB2D Destroyer, a single engine two place dive bomber with the secondary capability of torpedo attack. Equipped with a tricycle landing gear, and inverted gull wings similiar to the F4U Corsair, the Destroyer was armed with two 50 caliber machine guns mounted in each wing and three 50s mounted in remotely controlled aft turrets. Maximum bomb load was 4000 lbs., which was carried internally.
However, while the two place Destroyer was under development, the Navy changed it's requirements from a two place SB (Scout Divebomber) to a single place BT (Divebomber Torpedo Attack). Douglas quickly went to work redesigning the XSB2D into a single seat aircraft under the designation XBTD-1. Unfortunately the inverted gull wing design proved to be impractical and the XBTD-1 project was cancelled in June of 1944.
The Douglas staff immediately went to work on a new design, after having literally created drawings overnight and gotten approval from the Navy the next day. Under the designation XBT2D-1. Douglas was awarded a contract for 15 experimental machines. However, other manufacturers were already at work on competing designs, and Douglas had to meet the same time schedule as those already at work: