Vertigo Studios announced its release of SBD Dauntless for FSX in February 2010. Vertigo Studios, a UK based designer of add-ons for Microsoft's Flight Simulator X, creates very detailed WWII era aircraft. SBD Dauntless is Vertigo Studios’ second aircraft, after the Grumman F6F Hellcat. This release is the culmination of more than a year of extensive research and modeling, and the result is this famous carrier based dive bomber.
The American SBD Dauntless played a unique role in World War II. It is one of the famous dive bombers of World War II – it disabled or sank four Japanese carriers in 1942 and helped to win the Battle of Midway. According to most accounts, this provided the turning point of the war in the Pacific.
After 12 months of research, detailed modelling and meticulous replication of 6 liveries, versions from SBD 1 through to 5 and the A-24B are now available. The A-24B is the famous carrier based dive bomber that operated in the Pacific and Atlantic war zones during WWII.
Dean Greasley, the Project Manager, stated that the SBD comes after the success of their first product, the Grumman F6F Hellcat: "We set out determined to raise the high benchmark already set by the Hellcat and are very confident that the detail, combined with an immersing selection of animations, will please simmers who love aircraft of this era."
When you download the manual for this product, you will be pleased to see that the very realistically textured and detailed virtual cockpit comes with the gunner's position. The Vertigo team has animated both the forward canopy and the gunners’ main entry canopy, enabling the user to work with separate key controls. When you open the rear canopy; you can list the twin flex-mounted, rear facing .30 cal machine guns from their bay, ready for action.
The dive bombing capability of the SBD has been replicated within the carefully tested flight dynamics. It would be pointless to dive bomb using the huge perforated dive flaps if a bomb could not be released. As experienced in real life, with this aircraft, you are able to lower the bomb cradle first and then the release of the bomb is animated, in stages.
This aircraft comes with a comprehensive paint kit to cater for the needs of the expanding community of repaint artists. The Vertigo Studios is available only for FSX including SP1, SP2 and Acceleration (no planned version for FS2004).
Based on the reviews by many users of this aircraft, it appears that the aircraft is well-liked for its good performance and the fact that the model has close resemblance to the real-life SBD-3 aircraft.