Vultee Vengeance

The Spanish Civil War was in many ways a proving ground for the weapons and tactics that would be used in far more vast ways all over Europe just a few years later, and dive-bombers in particular gained much attention there thanks to the exploits of the Legion Kondor. Vultee’s V-72 dive bomber was an attempt to an aircraft in the class of the Ju 87 Stuka, and the type was selected for production by the British, who in 1940 desperately needed combat aircraft.

Vultee was to build the type as the Vengeance Mk IIB for the RAF, while those license-built by Northrop would be Vengeance Mk Is. These initial orders were supplemented by US Lend-Lease supplied Mk IAs and IIIs, these receiving the US designation A-31. The US aircraft were not used operationally, although the XA-31B flew with a prototype Wasp Major engine, the XA-31B had a R-3350-18, and the five YA-31Cs tested R-3350-17s for the B-29 program.

Special Hobby has issued a 1/72 A-35B kit, with USAAF, French, RAF, and Australian marking options.

Vengeance Bibliography:

Ad for RBC Needle Bearings – artwork depicts an A-31 Aviation December 1943 p.330

Front quarter photo of a YA-31C with R-3350 and four-bladed prop Flying October 1945 p.65

Mike Wightman “Dive Bomber” Scale Modeler March 1971 Building the Frog 1/72 Vengeance Mk.II kit as RAAF A27-222

Steve Hewitt Review of the 1/721 Special Hobby Vengeance Mk I/II kit Scale Aviation Modeller International June 2003

Review of the Special Hobby 1/72 A-35B kit Skymodel 10/06 p.63

Alain J. Pelletier “Consumptive Vengeance – Vultee A-35s in French Service” Air Enthusiast March/April 2007 includes a list of serial numbers

Bill Norton U.S. Experimental & Prototype Aircraft Projects: Fighters 1939-1945 p.178: color shot showing a lineup of A-31s with RAF paint and US roundels