Douglas TBD Devastator

The Douglas TBD Devastator was a torpedo bomber of the United States Navy, ordered in 1934, first flying in 1935 and entering service in 1937. At that point, it was the most advanced aircraft flying for the USN and possibly for any navy in the world. However, the fast pace of aircraft development caught up with it, and by the time of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor the TBD was already outdated. It performed well in some early battles, but in the Battle of Midway the Devastators launched against the Japanese fleet were almost totally wiped out. The type was immediately withdrawn from front line service, replaced by the Grumman TBF Avenger.

Douglas TBD Devastator
Class Aircraft
Type Bomber
Manufacturer Douglas Aircraft Company
Origin United States of America
Country Name Origin Year
United States of America 1935
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Douglas Aircraft Company 129 View

Role Torpedo bomber
Manufacturer Douglas Aircraft Company
First flight 15 April 1935
Introduction 3 August 1937
Retired 1942 (from active service)
1944 (completely)
Primary user United States Navy
Produced 1937-1939
Number built 130


General characteristics

  • Crew: Three: Pilot, Torpedo Officer/Navigator, Radioman/Gunner
  • Length: 35 ft 0 in (10.67 m)
  • Wingspan: 50 ft 0 in (15.24 m)
  • Height: 15 ft 1 in (4.60 m)
  • Wing area: 422 ft (39.2 m)
  • Empty weight: 6,182 lb (2,804 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 9,862 lb (4,473 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 10,194 lb (4,623 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 x Pratt & Whitney R-1830-64 Twin Wasp radial engine, 900 hp (671 kW)

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 206 mph (331 km/h)
  • Range: 435 miles (700 km) with Mk XIII Torpedo, 716 mi (1,152 km) with 1,000 lbs (453 kg) bombs (700 km)
  • Service ceiling 19,700 ft (6,000 m)
  • Rate of climb: 720 ft/min (3.7 m/s)
  • Wing loading: lb/ft (kg/m)
  • Power/mass: hp/lb (kW/kg)

Armament

  • Either
    • 1 x 0.30 cal (7.62 mm) machine gun forward-firing or
    • 1 x 0.50 cal (12.7 mm) machine gun forward-firing
  • 1 x 0.30 cal (7.62 mm) machine gun in rear cockpit (later increased to two)
  • Either
    • 1 x 1,000 lb (453 kg) bomb
    • 1 x Mark XIII torpedo - 1,200 lb (544 kg)

End notes