March 2016: Aircraft of the USN ‘BT’ Class – 32 photos


Each photograph is offered at a 300dpi res/13x8cm size making them available for a very good quality digital print, but also for Iphone/IPad, smartphone or computer screen (but should convert the image into a jpeg format for doing so)

More details about this aircraft can be found in the publication USN Aircraft 1922-1962 Volume 4 for the paperback version, but the e-books are available in this site.



Photo XBTC-2 – 01: The two Curtiss XBTC-2s Nos. 31401 & 31402 were both delivered to the Naval Air Test Center at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, in July 1946 for Flight Test and Service Test. BuNo 31402 is seen here in flight.

Photo XBTC-2 – 02: Curtiss XBTC-2 BuNo 31401 was damaged in an accident  in March 1945 but was repaired.

Photo XBTC-2 – 03: Curtiss XBTC-2 BuNo 31401 with markings of Service Test at NATC in November 1946. The codes ‘ST’ were for ‘Servive Test’ and ‘86’ as Aircraft #86.

Photo XBTC-2 – 04: (see above)

Photo XBT2C-1 – 11: Curtiss XBT2C-1 BuNo 50888 taken during a test flight in 1947. Its connection with the SB2C Helldiver is here obvious.

Photo XBT2C-1 – 12: The Curtiss XBT2C-1 on the ground.

Photo XBT2C-1 – 13: Three views of the Curtiss XBTC-1 in flight, airframe No. 3 being BuNo 50881 which was accepted by the Navy in May 1946.

Photo XBT2C-1 – 14: (see above)

Photo XBT2C-1 – 15: (see photo 13)

Photo XBT2C-1 – 16: A side view of the Curtiss XBT2C-1 on the ground.

Photo BTD-1 – 21: A rare color photo of a Douglas BTD-1 Destroyer taken in 1946.

Photo BTD-1 – 22: This Douglas BTD-1 Destroyer is believed to be BuNo 04967, taken while during a flight test. It was accepted by the Navy on 04.04.45 and was stricken on 28.02.46.

Photo BTD-1 – 23: View of the first Douglas BTD-1 BuNo 04959 in December 1943. Long test flown by Douglas, it was accepted by the Navy on 30 July 1945. It was test flown at NAMC (Naval Aircraft Maintenance Center). It was the very last BTD-1 to be stricken, on 31 August 1949.

Photo BTD-1 – 24: This Douglas BTD-1 Destroyer is believed to be BuNo 04967, taken while during a flight test. (see also photo 22)

Photo BTD-1 – 25:  Douglas BDT-1 Destryer BuNo 04963 while assigned to the NATC (Naval Air Test Center) in June 44. Note the surname ‘Destroyed’ painted on the fin and the letters ‘FT’ for Flight Test and the new Curtiss 4-blade propeller.

Photo BTD-1 – 26: Douglas BTD-1 Destroyer BuNo 04971 which was used for ice research at NACA Moffet Flield. The color of the ‘TEST’ on the tail was yellow. Accepted on 19.05.45 it was stricken on 31.07.48.

Photo XBT2D-1 – 31: One XBT2D-1 taken during a test flight in 1946. Note the nickname ‘Skyraider’ painted on the fin.

Photo XBT2D-1 – 32: The first of the many, Douglas XBT2D-1 Skyraider BuNo 09085 during a test flight in March 1945. No one could imagine at that time that over 3,000 copies of the Skyraider will follow this aircraft.

Photo XBT2D-1 – 33: Above and below, Douglas XBT2D-1 BuNo 09085 in the spring 1945, which had been left in natural metal finish. BuNo 09085 was handed over to the Navy on 01.02.46 and stricken the following 31.08.46. Note the name ‘Dauntless II’ written on the tail and the logo of Douglas Testing Division painted on the engine cowl.

Photo XBT2D-1 – 34: (see above)

Photo XBT2D-1 – 35: Another Douglas XBT2D-1 Skyraider, painted in Navy Blue, which is not identified however but the XBT2Ds were the only ones to have the cowl ring painted in red-orange, and that marking was mainly found in the very first aircraft.

Photo XBT2D-1 – 36: The Douglas XBT2D-1N Skyraider, BuNo 09098 was the prototype of the three-seat night attack version, seen while being tested at the NATC.

Photo XBT2D-1 – 37: The Douglas XBT2D-1 Skyraider, BuNo 09100 while being tested operationally with Attack Squadron One L (VA-1L).

Photo XBT2D-1 – 38: The Douglas XBT2D-1P, BuNo 09096 was the prototype of the photographic reconnaissance version of the Skyraider, but this version never went into production.

Photo XBT2D-1 – 39: The Douglas XBT2D-1Q, BuNo 09109 was the prototype of the two-seat electronic countermeasures version of the Skyraider. This photo is dated 23 April 1947.

Photo XBTK-1 – 41: The Kaiser-Fleetwings XBTK-1 was a small aircraft intended to operate in the USN escort carrier. It seems that the denomination of XBK-1 was used only by the manufacturer as when the program was launched, the B class had been dropped off from the USN since 1943. The prototypes were ordered as XBTK-1, meaning that Kaiser-Fleetwings had to modify his plans in adding a torpedo to the single bomb it was basically equipped on paper.

Photo XBTK-1 – 42: The Kaiser-Fleetwings XBTK-1 BuNo 44313 with upper and lower dive brakes deployed along with the center fuselage landing flap.

Photo XBTK-1 – 43: The first prototype XBTK-1 BuNo 44313 during a flight test. Only two 20mm cannons were installed while its competitors had four of them.

Photo XBTK-1 – 44: Below the same aircraft showing the wing stations for the drop tank and radar pods which were interchangeable. Only two cards survived (44314 and 90486) so the final fate of three XBTK-1s remained obscure (44413, 90484, 90485). However, it seems that all the five airframes were eventually accepted by the Navy in December 1947 and all stricken by end of April 1948.

Photo XBTM-1 – 51: The first prototype Martin XBTM-1 BuNo 85161 with its original configuartion and with no propeller spinner.

Photo XBTM-1 – 52: The second Martin XBTM-1, BuNo 85162, seen while at of Naval Air Training Command (NATC) on the ground at Naval Air Station Patuxent River

Photo XBTM-1 – 53: (see above)