Fagen Fighters has completed initial engine and taxi runs in its Curtiss Helldiver
In its bid to return former US Navy Curtiss SB2C-5 Helldiver BuNo 83393 to the skies, Fagen Fighters completed the aircraft’s first engine and taxi runs in nearly 80 years on October 7 at its Granite Falls facility in Minnesota. Chief pilot Evan Fagen was in the cockpit. The aircraft was involved in a 1945 accident and recovered in 1993.
The Helldiver is perhaps somewhat overlooked in World War Two military history. It was known for its ruggedness and ability to carry a heavy bomb load, and served in numerous campaigns, including the Battle of Midway, the Battle of the Philippine Sea, and other significant Pacific engagements. The type was also used to attack Japanese warships, ground targets, and other strategic objectives.
Despite its effectiveness, the Helldiver had a reputation for being a challenging aircraft to fly and had a high accident rate during its early operational service. However, with improvements and pilot training, it became a reliable and effective dive bomber, remaining in service until after World War Two.