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Allied Bombers


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#1 FramerT

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 02:53 PM

Was there a purpose why the US continued to make 2 different bombers? Instead of a B-24 and a B-17 why not just one and then mass produce it like they did the Sherman tank? :confused: Same goes for the Brits.They had the Lancaster and Halifax. Feel free to add your opinions on each. :D
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#2 Erich

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 04:14 PM

yes they needed one for medium/high altitude work and that was the B-24. Remember Ploesti and the low level raids over Holland in September of 44..........crazy but...........

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#3 Martin Bull

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 05:18 PM

As usual, many different factors come into play.

The Halifax and Manchester came into production at around the same time. Manchester = disaster, Halifax = OK at the time. Then the Lancaster is developed from the Manchester and..it's ( probably ;) ) better than the Halifax. But then, Handley Page and their subsidiary factories are 'tooled up' for the Hali and to convert to Lancaster production would take months. Meanwhile, Avro and their subsidiaries can only produce so many Lancasters, during which time the Halifaxes fill the gap....

Of course, if the Air Ministry knew for absolutely certain which would be the better aircraft straight from the drawing-board...but somehow, it never seems to happen that way !

( I shall now hide under my computer desk waiting for Ta152 to come at me with guns blazing to defend the Halifax ! :D )
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#4 Erich

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 05:56 PM

Martin, but wasn't the Hali the lower altitude a/c to the Lanc ?


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#5 T. A. Gardner

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 06:02 PM

In the case of the B-17 / 24 there were really two major reasons for the split. First, the B-17 was a pre-war production aircraft and required more hours to produce than the 24. The B-24 was an "austire" model that was more adaptable to mass production.
The second reason was, as with the B-29 program, to ensure against a problem with one design or the other. In the B-29 program the competing design was the B-32 Dominator. The B-32 proved to be a failure and the B-29 the success. This dual program approach became a US standard for many aerospace programs from WW 2 on.
With tanks, the system is simpler to produce. Thus, one design was adopted as the standard. Aircraft because of their complexity were best ensured against failure by having 2 or 3 different designs (often having different major components like engines) in production.
An additional reason is that once a company has produced the prototype(s) alot of money is already invested in tooling and special jigs to make the plane. To recoup the cost often a small production run is done as with the B-32.

#6 Martin Bull

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 06:22 PM

Erich,

Yup - the Halifax couldn't operate at Lancaster heights, and the Stirling couldn't match either of them.

But they were NOT designed this way - it was due to deficiencies in design. The idea for the 'heavies' was to fly as high as possible, with the largest bomb-load, for the longest distances. Ironically, the Lancaster seemed to perform the best of the three at low-level ( ie Dams, Augsburg Raids...) :confused:
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#7 FramerT

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 06:56 PM

Here was my line of thought,how-ever silly. :( To concentrate on getting the B-29 up ASP. So instead of those 1000 plane raids over Germany,we could send 500 B-29s with the same bomb loads flying too high for flak,etc. graemlins/no.gif
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#8 Martin Bull

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 08:32 PM

You may be 'putting the cart before the horse'...the B-29 was designed as an eventual replacement for both the B-17 and B-24, using lessons learned from operational use of those aircraft.

The first B-29 didn't fly until late 1942 and the decision was taken to initially use this type against Japan due to the very long range flights involved. Type development, or ironing out the bugs, always takes a lot of time ( as happened with the Me 262 ) so in war it's often a case of making the best of what you've got.

It's an interesting 'what if?' though - if things had happened quicker, picture swarms of rocket-equipped Me 262s hacking into massed formations of Superforts at high altitude... :eek:
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#9 TA152

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Posted 01 April 2004 - 09:46 AM

No guns Martin, they were both good aircraft, it was just the Lancaster got all the publicity as did the B-17. The B=24 and Halifax did the same jobs but got no credit for it. graemlins/no.gif
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#10 Martin Bull

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Posted 01 April 2004 - 10:44 AM

( ;) ! )
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#11 Za Rodinu

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Posted 05 April 2004 - 01:18 PM

In any case the B-24 was immediately slashed from inventory as soon as the war ended, while the B-17 soldiered on in secondary roles. I can't place a source now, but I'm given to understand the B-24 was rather difficult to pilot.

In any case, if building a flying model I'd go for the B-24 :- )

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#12 Martin Bull

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Posted 05 April 2004 - 01:23 PM

What was it the Fortress crews used to ( most unkindly ) call the B-24 ? 'The crate they flew the B-17 over in....'
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#13 Kai-Petri

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 06:49 AM

B-32 Dominator

They found the cockpit had an extremely high noise level, poor instrument layout, the bombardier's vision was poor, it was overweight and the nacelle design resulted in frequent engine fires.

On May 29, 1945, the first of four combat missions by the B-32 was flown against a supply depot at Antatet in the Philippines, followed by two B-32's dropping sixteen 2,000 pound (907 kg) bombs on a sugar mill at Taito, Formosa on the June 15. On June 22 a B-32 bombed an alcohol plant at Heito, Formosa, with 500 pound bombs (227 kg) but a second B-32 missed flak positions with its 260-pound (118 kg) fragmentation bombs. The last mission was flown on June 25 against bridges near Kiirun in Taiwan.

The only remnant of a B-32 left is a static test wing panel erected as a monument to aviation pioneer John J. Montgomery mounted upright at the Montgomery Memorial near San Diego, California.


http://en.wikipedia..../B-32_Dominator

http://www.daveswarb...ft/dominatr.htm
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#14 Flying Tiger

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 12:40 PM

i havent heard much of the B-32, it looks alot like the B-29.
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P-40, P-51, and the Spitfire for my opinion these were the three best allied aircraft.

#15 T. A. Gardner

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 04:18 PM

To answer both Framer's question and a bit on the B-32:

The reason the US continued to build two types of many aircraft was due to the way their war production programs were set up. Aircraft manufacturers were often tasked with designing an aircraft to meet some military requirement. The US Army or Navy usually chose the best two prototypes for further development or contracted those two into production.
This was done to ensure that if there were problems with one design or the other in going from prototype to production (often the case....just look at the Germans for examples of this with single production line aircraft) then the most successful design could be pushed ahead while there was still a second design following, just in case.
This was the case with the B-32. Consolidated was tasked along with Boeing to design and build a super heavy bomber with a pressurized cabin, remotely controlled defensive systems, etc. Boeing's design was the B-29. Consolidated ran into all sorts of problems with their design so Boeing got the major production go ahead while Consolidated's B-32 was scaled back, simplified, but kept in limited production....just in case. All told, Consolidated made made just over 100 B-32's most of which were used as reconnissance aircraft.

#16 Seadog

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 09:02 PM

The multiple aircraft approach has virtues. There are a lot of aircraft that developed teething problems and failed to make it in combat. Sometimes, it is works out well for both aircraft. The Hellcat and Corvair both were good platforms, but initial testing created an attitude that the Corvair was harder to land on decks. The Navy decided that it was good enough to give to the Marines. They also did the unusual by sending an example of each to the opposing manufacturer for evaluation. Both responded with much improved versions. And the eventual growth of the Corvairs led it to continue use into the Korean war.

There were many bombers that trancended the idea of just build one model. The B-25 was an excellent multipurpose platform, but the B-26 and A-26 were also great platforms. The B-26 suffered from an undeserved reputation, but that is not unusual. The A-26 was classified as a replacement for the A-20, but it was every bit the equal of the B-25 and was effective in four wars.
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#17 T. A. Gardner

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 09:43 PM

Just a note: The Corvair was a car manufactured by GM in the 60's and later unjustly vilified by Ralph Nader in his book Unsafe at any speed which marks the beginning of the consumer safety lawsuit movement. The Corsair was an aircraft manufactured by the Vought corporation during and after WW 2.

#18 TA152

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 10:09 PM

I had a 1960 Corvair and they were unsafe to drive. If the streets were slick and you went around a corner too fast, your rear end would get there before the front end. :eek: Too much weight in the rear because of the engine. I got mine in 1970 for $225 It ran well until I did not notice I had a transmission leak and trashed the transmission.

Also the heater did not work very well and it had no A/C, or power anything.

I think Sea Dog was looking at Convair and wrote Corvair.

He's an abstract thinker like myself. :D
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#19 T. A. Gardner

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Posted 24 February 2007 - 01:24 AM

Sounds like a Porsche 911 or 912 to me. Same problems, same era.

#20 Seadog

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 12:03 AM

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#21 Kai-Petri

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Posted 26 April 2007 - 02:53 PM

Wow! Just look at this "babe"!!

Convair B-36:

http://en.wikipedia....ki/Convair_B-36

The genesis of the B-36 can be traced to early 1941, prior to the entry of the US into World War II. At the time it appeared that there was a very real chance that Britain could fall, making a strategic bombing effort by the US against Germany impossible.

The United States Army Air Corps opened up a design competition for the very long-range bomber on 11 April 1941, asking for a 450 mph top speed, a 275 mph cruising speed, a service ceiling of 45,000 feet, and a maximum range of 12,000 miles at 25,000 feet.These proved too demanding for any short-term design, so on August 19, 1941 they were reduced to a maximum range of 10,000 miles, an effective combat radius of 4,000 miles with a 10,000 pound bombload, a cruising speed between 240 and 300 mph, and a service ceiling of 40,000 feet.

B-29 to the left and B-36 to the right!!!!! Looks like a baby´s toy!
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#22 TA152

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Posted 26 April 2007 - 05:04 PM

They are big but I don't think they would have survived very well against the Mig-15. They tried B-29 strikes in Korea and had alot of losses so a larger target would not do much better at such a low speed.

The USAF must have known that too because they tried several types of parasite fighters to be carried in the B-36 bomb bay such as the Goblin and a version of the F-84 but found it too dangerious to recover the aircraft in flight.

I think the B-47 put the B-36 out to pasture in about 10 years of less as well as air to air refueling.
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#23 T. A. Gardner

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Posted 26 April 2007 - 05:16 PM

The only reason the B-36 saw any operational service post war at all was the USAF's need for a credible intercontinential bomber. In the late 40's and early 50's the B-36 was it. The B-47 didn't have the range or load capacity. The B-52 wasn't on line yet. So, in order to justify their existance as a seperate service the USAF needed the B-36.
It certainly was not because the aircraft was really that good. It wasn't. By late 1940's early 50's standards it was a sitting duck to enemy interceptors. It was slow, huge, and horribly unmaneuverable. The USAF tried to help this with more powerful engines and then adding four small turbojets. But, these did little to fix what was an obsolete design before it even flew the first time.

#24 TA152

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Posted 26 April 2007 - 05:27 PM

I have seen the XC-99 a number of times in the 70's and 80's. It was parked out in a field between Kelly and Lackland AFB. There used to be a number of surplus types parked there but I don't know what became of them. They were just parked in the field and left. They had a T-38, a C-45, an F-100 and several F-105's and a Huey, all in poor condition but intact.

The XC-99 had fire in the cockpit section set by homeless people in the past and had sat there decades.
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