The aerial warfare thread.
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11-07-2016, 10:05 PM
RE: The aerial warfare thread.
(07-07-2016 03:13 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(07-07-2016 12:15 AM)Banjo Wrote:  I'd also like to add an aeroplane that I have loved since childhood. The Avro Lancaster. I found a great little documentary on the Dambuster raid if anyone is interested.

My father was a Flying Officer in the RCAF and flew as bombardier on Lancasters, then on B-24 Liberators.

Though the B-25 is most famous for its role in the Doolittle Raid, I prefer the attack variant of it, the B-25H, armed with ten forward-firing .50 caliber (12.7mm) machineguns and the 75mm tank cannon of a Sherman (modified for less weight), loaded from the navigator's compartment. Oh, and 3000 pounds of bombs or a torpedo.

[Image: b25h_cutaway_color.jpg]

[Image: b25-015.jpg]

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11-07-2016, 10:11 PM (This post was last modified: 11-07-2016 11:12 PM by RocketSurgeon76.)
RE: The aerial warfare thread.
Oh, and some crews did not find the 75mm cannon to be any more effective than simply strafing with huge banks of machine guns*, so they made a version with a bank of eight guns in the nose, plus the four on the sides of the fuselage and the forward-locked guns of the dorsal turret, making a bank of fourteen (!!!) guns for strafing attacks. Can you freakin' imagine being on the receiving end of that many Ma-Deuce rounds?

[Image: 172ba9bfd4911f31195e6f2f84f5673f.jpg]

*Edit to Add: I should point out, here, that the reason the crews didn't find the 75mm gun effective was because it was difficult to determine range accurately enough to hit with it, and because by the time the B-25H was available, there just weren't enough Japanese targets left that were nasty enough to require a 75mm shell to defeat, making the all-machinegun version just as effective. Later variants were equipped with a range-finding radar sight that made gunnery much more accurate, making them much more popular with crews, and it was used to hunt river craft and transports in China to devastating effect.

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11-07-2016, 10:25 PM
RE: The aerial warfare thread.
(11-07-2016 10:11 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  Oh, and some crews did not find the 75mm cannon to be any more effective than simply strafing with huge banks of machine guns, so they made a version with a bank of eight guns in the nose, plus the four on the sides of the fuselage and the forward-locked guns of the dorsal turret, making a bank of fourteen (!!!) guns for strafing attacks. Can you freakin' imagine being on the receiving end of that many Ma-Deuce rounds?

[Image: 172ba9bfd4911f31195e6f2f84f5673f.jpg]

The B-25 was my favorite WWII airplane. In my youth, I built more than a couple of B-25 kits.
I don't think I built more than 1 of anything else.

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11-07-2016, 10:58 PM
RE: The aerial warfare thread.
Chas, what were your dad's impressions of both aircraft?

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12-07-2016, 08:48 AM
RE: The aerial warfare thread.
(11-07-2016 10:58 PM)Banjo Wrote:  Chas, what were your dad's impressions of both aircraft?

I believe he admired both planes, with the edge to the B-24 as it was roomier and had better view from the bombardier position. But he said that flying in a B-24 was like a marble rolling down a gutter - it had a very gentle rhythmic roll.

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12-07-2016, 09:14 AM
RE: The aerial warfare thread.
(11-07-2016 10:25 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(11-07-2016 10:11 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  Oh, and some crews did not find the 75mm cannon to be any more effective than simply strafing with huge banks of machine guns, so they made a version with a bank of eight guns in the nose, plus the four on the sides of the fuselage and the forward-locked guns of the dorsal turret, making a bank of fourteen (!!!) guns for strafing attacks. Can you freakin' imagine being on the receiving end of that many Ma-Deuce rounds?

The B-25 was my favorite WWII airplane. In my youth, I built more than a couple of B-25 kits.
I don't think I built more than 1 of anything else.

B25 flyby
B25 flyby 2

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12-07-2016, 08:32 PM
RE: The aerial warfare thread.
(12-07-2016 08:48 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(11-07-2016 10:58 PM)Banjo Wrote:  Chas, what were your dad's impressions of both aircraft?

I believe he admired both planes, with the edge to the B-24 as it was roomier and had better view from the bombardier position. But he said that flying in a B-24 was like a marble rolling down a gutter - it had a very gentle rhythmic roll.


Thanks mate. That's interesting. The RAAF had both types and of course many Australian aircrew in Lancasters in Bomber Command.

A lovely aeroplane that fits in with my Bearcat post (timewise) is the Hawker Sea Fury. It proved itself valuable during the Korean war and even has a Mig 15 credit. One of the fastest piston engine aircraft ever built.

[Image: Sea-Fury_AP2013_1682_800.jpg]

[Image: sea%20fury%201.jpg]

[Image: 4692449363_51ecb0f881_b.jpg]

[Image: Sea_Fury_photo.jpg]

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12-07-2016, 09:34 PM (This post was last modified: 12-07-2016 09:39 PM by RocketSurgeon76.)
RE: The aerial warfare thread.
(12-07-2016 08:48 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(11-07-2016 10:58 PM)Banjo Wrote:  Chas, what were your dad's impressions of both aircraft?

I believe he admired both planes, with the edge to the B-24 as it was roomier and had better view from the bombardier position. But he said that flying in a B-24 was like a marble rolling down a gutter - it had a very gentle rhythmic roll.

I read that crews didn't like them because the main fuel tanks were immediately adjacent to the cabin, in the wing roots, causing fires there to quickly become internal ones... and blocking the escape route from the main part of the cabin in the front to the only exit, toward the rear. Crews attempting to bail out of the plane had no easy way to get out under the best of circumstances, let alone when dealing with an avgas fire.

In the same article, it talked about the Vickers Wellington bomber (sort of a Brit equivalent of the B-25) and its famous toughness, in large part due to a geodesic fuselage frame design that rendered it all but impervious to catastrophic impacts to a frame spar. (ETA: That applies mainly to AAA direct impacts, of course... the bombers unfortunately were highly vulnerable to fighter attacks, owing to poor defensive armament, including incomplete directional coverage from the guns, and a lack of self-sealing fuel tanks. They have the unfortunate distinction of being the first aircraft shot down in the Western theatre of operations, and were quickly relegated to antisubmarine and patrol duties as the Avro Lancasters came into play to take over the bombing role.)

[Image: 7%20Wimpy%20Brooklands.jpg]

[Image: Wellington-MkIII-RCAF-419Sqn-VR-Q-Z1572-...942-01.jpg]

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12-07-2016, 09:43 PM
RE: The aerial warfare thread.
(12-07-2016 09:34 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  
(12-07-2016 08:48 AM)Chas Wrote:  I believe he admired both planes, with the edge to the B-24 as it was roomier and had better view from the bombardier position. But he said that flying in a B-24 was like a marble rolling down a gutter - it had a very gentle rhythmic roll.

I read that crews didn't like them because the main fuel tanks were immediately adjacent to the cabin, in the wing roots, causing fires there to quickly become internal ones... and blocking the escape route from the main part of the cabin in the front to the only exit, toward the rear. Crews attempting to bail out of the plane had no easy way to get out under the best of circumstances, let alone when dealing with an avgas fire.

In the same article, it talked about the Vickers Wellington bomber (sort of a Brit equivalent of the B-25) and its famous toughness, in large part due to a geodesic fuselage frame design that rendered it all but impervious to catastrophic impacts to a frame spar.

[Image: 7%20Wimpy%20Brooklands.jpg]

[Image: Wellington-MkIII-RCAF-419Sqn-VR-Q-Z1572-...942-01.jpg]

Don't forget The Battle of the Heligoland Bight. The Wellington wasn't that strong. They had losses of 50% that day. Also weakly armed with only .303 guns front and back.
It lasted longer than the Blenheim though.

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12-07-2016, 09:47 PM
RE: The aerial warfare thread.
Hey, maybe we should stop looking at the sexy planes of WW2 and start commenting on the uglies?

I nominate the Armstrong Whitworth Whitley!

[Image: WITLEY-CHESHIRE-4.jpg]

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