15 August 2009

To meet a 1943 US Navy requirement, shipbuilder Henry J. Kaiser's aircraft company, Kaiser-Fleetwings, designed and built the XBTK dive bomber to replace the Douglas SBD Dauntless. At a time when most of the major aircraft manufacturers were proposing larger and more complex aircraft, the XBTK was smaller and intended from the outset to operate from the US Navy's smaller escort carriers. Powered by a Pratt & Whitney R-2800 engine, the Navy ordered two prototypes in January 1944 with twenty production aircraft subsequently ordered in October of that year. The XBTK made its first flight in April 1945 and only five aircraft were built and flown before the contract was cancelled in 1946 in favor of larger, more capable aircraft.

Source: Strike from the Sea: U.S. Navy Attack Aircraft from Skyraider to Super Hornet, 1948-Present by Tommy H. Thomason. Specialty Press, 2009, p28.

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