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Last of the Vindicators — a Vought SB2U

11 March 2013

Last of the Vindicators — a Vought SB2U

photo by Joseph May

Vought SB2U Vindicator at the National Naval Aviation Museum — photo by Joseph May

Aluminum panels over steel tube construction, the SB2U was a fleet dive bomber capable of carrying a 1000 pound (~455kg) bomb along a centerline mount with additional wing mounts for less weighty ordnance. Although obsolete at the advent of WW II USMC Vindicators participated in the Battle of Midway. Primarily used as training aircraft during the war this Vindicator sunk into Lake Michigan during a missed carrier landing, thankfully with no loss or injuries. Laying in the bottom sediments until its recovery in 1990, forty-seven years later, this SB2U was restored 100% after 20,000 hours of work — 90% is original which includes the interior of the engine — this now rare Vindicator can be seen at the National Naval Aviation Museum which provides this fact sheet.

— photo by Joseph May

The complete restoration rewards with interior views, as well — photo by Joseph May

— photo by Joseph May

This raised access panel shows what lies between the engine and the cockpit — photo by Joseph May

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