Consolidated TBY Sea Wolf

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TBY Sea Wolf
Cconsolidated TBY-2 on the ground 1945.jpg
A production TBY-2
Role Torpedo bomber
National origin United States
Manufacturer Consolidated Aircraft
Design group Vought
First flight 22 December 1941
Introduction 1944
Status Retired
Primary user United States Navy
Number built 180 + 1 prototype
Variants Vought V-326

The Consolidated TBY Sea Wolf was a United States Navy torpedo bomber of World War II. A competitor and contemporary to the Grumman TBF Avenger, the Sea Wolf was subject to substantial delays and never saw combat; only 180 of the type were built before cancellation after VJ Day.

Design and development[edit]

The Vought XTBU-1 in December 1941

The original design was not by Consolidated Aircraft, but rather by Vought, who designed the then XTBU-1 Sea Wolf to a 1939 US Navy requirement. The first prototype flew two weeks after Pearl Harbor. Its performance was deemed superior to the Avenger and the Navy placed an order for 1,000 examples.[1]

A TBY-2 Sea Wolf with folded wings

Several unfortunate incidents intervened; the prototype was damaged in a rough arrested landing trial, and when repaired a month later was again damaged in a collision with a training aircraft. Once repaired again, the prototype was accepted by the Navy. However, by this time Vought was heavily overcommitted to other contracts, especially for the F4U Corsair fighter, and had no production capacity. It was arranged that Consolidated-Vultee would produce the aircraft (as the TBY), but this had to wait until the new production facility in Allentown, Pennsylvania, was complete, which took until late 1943.

Operational history[edit]

A TBY-2 Sea Wolf in flight c.1945

The production TBYs were radar-equipped, with a radome under the right-hand wing. The first aircraft flew on 20 August 1944. By this time though, the Avenger equipped every torpedo squadron in the Navy, and there was no need for the Sea Wolf; in addition, numerous small problems delayed entry into service.[citation needed] Orders were cancelled after production started, and the 180 built were used for training.[2]


XTBU-1 Sea Wolf
Prototype three-seat torpedo bomber powered by a R-2800-22 engine, one built.
TBY-1 Sea Wolf
Production variant of the XTBU-1, not built.
TBY-2 Sea Wolf
TBY-1 with an additional radar pod mounted under starboard-wing, 180 built, a further 920 were cancelled.
TBY-3 Sea Wolf
Improved variant, order for 600 cancelled, not built.

Specifications (TBY-2 Sea Wolf)[edit]

Consolidated TBY-2 BuAer 3 side view 1944.png

Data from General Dynamics aircraft and their predecessors[3]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 3
  • Length: 39 ft 2 in (11.94 m)
  • Wingspan: 56 ft 11 in (17.35 m)
  • Height: 15 ft 6 in (4.72 m)
  • Wing area: 440 sq ft (41 m2)
  • Airfoil: root: NACA 23018; tip: NACA 23010[4]
  • Empty weight: 11,636 lb (5,278 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 18,940 lb (8,591 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney R-2800-22 Double Wasp 18-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine, 2,100 hp (1,600 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 312 mph (502 km/h, 271 kn) at 17,700 ft (5,395 m)
  • Cruise speed: 156 mph (251 km/h, 136 kn)
  • Combat range: 1,025 mi (1,650 km, 891 nmi) with one torpedo
  • Service ceiling: 29,400 ft (9,000 m)
  • Rate of climb: 1,770 ft/min (9.0 m/s)


  • Guns:
  • Bombs:
  • Up to 2,000 lb (910 kg) of bombs or one torpedo

See also[edit]

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era

Related lists



  1. ^ Hansen, Dave. "Vought TBU / Consolidated TBY Sea Wolf." Retrieved: 29 September 2010.
  2. ^ Chant, Chris (2007). Aircraft of World War II: 300 of the World's Greatest Aircraft. Grange Books.
  3. ^ Wegg, John (1990). General Dynamics aircraft and their predecessors (1st ed.). Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press. pp. 178–179. ISBN 0-87021-233-8.
  4. ^ Lednicer, David. "The Incomplete Guide to Airfoil Usage". Retrieved 16 April 2019.

Further reading[edit]

  • Ginter, Steve, Bill Chana and Phil Prophett. Vought XTBU-1 & TBY-2 Sea Wolf (Naval Fighters number Thirty-Three). Simi Valley, CA: Ginter Books, 1995 . ISBN 0-942612-33-7.

External links[edit]