A-35 Vengeance, U.S. Dive Bomber

Photograph of the A-35 Vengeance

U.S. Air Force. Via National Museum of the U.S. Air Force

Vultee A-35B Vengeance





48'0" by 39'9" by 15'4"
14.63m by 12.11m by 4.67m


10,300-16,400 lbs
4672-7439 kg

Maximum speed      

279 mph at 13,500 feet
449 km/h at 4115 meters
Cruise speed 230 mph
370 km/h

Climb rate

20 feet per second
6.1 m/s

Service ceiling

22,000 feet
6800 meters

Power plant

One 1700hp (1268 kW) Wright R-2600-13 Cyclone 14-cylinder radial driving a three bladed propeller.


6 0.50 machine guns in wings

External stores     

One 2000 lb (900 kg) bomb


600 miles (970 km) normal
2300 miles (3700 km) maximum
Fuel capacity
275 gallons
317 liters


A total of 1931 by Vultee and Northrop (Hawthorne):

400 Mk.1 (A-31)

200 Mk.1A (A-31)

300 Mk.II (V-72)

100 Mk.III (A-31)

831 A-35B/Mk.IV

The Mk.I was armed with four 0.303 wing machine guns and two 0.303 rear machine guns.

The Mk.II was armed with four 0.50 wing machine guns and one 0.50 rear machine gun.

Models prior to Mk.IV used a 1600 hp (1193 kW) R-2600-19 engine.

The Vultee Vengeance was built to British specifications, entering production in 1942. It was not a great design: Davenport Johnson described it as "a shining example of the waste of material, manpower, and time..."  However, it saw some success in Burma.

The design team, led by Richard Palmer, received the specification in July 1940, at a time when the capabilities of the dive bomber as a ground support aircraft were inflated by the purported successes of the German Ju-87 Stuka in Europe. By the time the first prototype flew in July 1941, the limitations of the dive bomber were already beginning to be recognized, and by the time production aircraft began to be delivered in November 1942 the Vultee was already regarded as obsolescent.

About 342 were allocated to the  Australians in 1942-1944, who employed them in New Guinea until Kenney, who was deeply skeptical of dive bombing, ordered the dive bombers out of his theater.

Most were converted to target tugs by the various air forces that received them.

References (accessed 2013-2-16)

Craven and Cate (1955; accessed 2014-6-7)

Gunston (1986, 1988)

National Museum of the U.S. Air Force (accessed 2009-10-4)

Smith (1998)

Wilson (1998)

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