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An SBN-1 of Torpedo Squadron Eight, 1941
Role Scout bomber
National origin United States
Manufacturer Brewster
Naval Aircraft Factory
First flight 1936
Introduction 1941
Primary user United States Navy
Number built 1 (SBA)
30 (SBN)

A SBN-1 of VT-8 at Norfolk in 1941

The Naval Aircraft Factory SBN was a United States three-seat mid-wing monoplane scout bomber/torpedo aircraft designed by the Brewster Aeronautical Corporation and built under license by the Naval Aircraft Factory in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The landing gear was similar to that on the Brewster F2A Buffalo fighter aircraft. The SBN had non-folding wings with perforated flaps.


The United States Navy issued a specification for a scout-bomber in 1934 and the competition was won by Brewster. One prototype designated the XSBA-1 was ordered on October 15, 1934. The prototype first flew on April 15, 1936,[1] and was delivered to the Navy for testing. Some minor problems were found during testing and the aircraft was given a more powerful engine. Because of the pressures of producing and developing the Brewster F2A Buffalo the company was unable to produce the aircraft and the Navy acquired a license to produce the aircraft itself at the Naval Aircraft Factory. In September 1938, the Navy placed an order for 30 production aircraft. Due to pressures of work at the NAF, it did not deliver the first aircraft, now designated the SBN, until 1941; the remaining aircraft were delivered between June 1941 and March 1942.

Operational history

An SBN-1 in 1941.

Obsolete before their delivery in 1941, some of the early production aircraft were used for operation carrier trials with Torpedo Squadron Eight in 1941 and then passed on for use as trainers. With lack of spare parts, the aircraft were withdrawn from service from August 1942.


Brewster-built prototype, one built.
NAF license-built production aircraft, 30 built.


United States Navy

Specifications (SBN-1)

General characteristics

  • Crew: 3 (pilot, navigator, gunner)
  • Length: 27 ft 8 in (8.43 m)
  • Wingspan: 39 ft 0 in (11.89 m)
  • Height: 8 ft 7 in (2.64 m)
  • Wing area: 259 ft2 (24.1 m2)
  • Gross weight: 3759 lb (3066 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Wright XR-1820-22 Cyclone radial engine, 950 hp (709 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 254 mph (409 km/h)
  • Range: 1015 miles (1633 km)
  • Service ceiling: 28,300 ft (8600 m)


  • 1 × rearward-firing, flexible .30 in (7.62 mm) machine gun
  • Up to 500 lb (230 kg) of bombs
  • See also


    1. Swanborough and Bowers 1976, p.417.
    • Swanborough, Gordon and Peter M. Bowers. United States Navy Aircraft since 1911. London: Putnam, Second edition 1976. ISBN 0-370-10054-9.

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