AVRO LANCASTER B1&3 v BOEING B17G FLYING FORTRESS

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Re: AVRO LANCASTER B1&3 v BOEING B17G FLYING FORTRESS

Postby aurora » Thu Dec 04, 2014 11:47 am

Often compared with the better-known Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, the B-24 was a more modern design with a higher top speed, greater range, and a heavier bomb load; it was also more difficult to fly, with heavy control forces and poor formation-flying characteristics. Popular opinion among aircrews and general staffs tended to favour the B-17's rugged qualities above all other considerations in the European Theatre. The placement of the B-24's fuel tanks throughout the upper fuselage and its lightweight construction, designed to increase range and optimize assembly line production, made the aircraft vulnerable to battle damage.

The B-24 was notorious among American aircrews for its tendency to catch fire. Its high fuselage-mounted "Davis wing" also meant it was dangerous to ditch or belly land, since the fuselage tended to break apart. Nevertheless, the B-24 provided excellent service in a variety of roles thanks to its large payload and long range and was the only bomber to operationally deploy the United States' first forerunner to precision-guided munitions during the war, the 1,000 lb. Azon guided bomb.

The B-24's most costly mission was the low-level strike against the Ploiești oil fields, in Romania on 1 August 1943, which turned into a disaster because the defence was underestimated and fully alerted while the attackers were disorganized.

The B-24 ended World War II as the most produced heavy bomber in history. At over 18,400 units, half by Ford Motor Company, it still holds the distinction as the most-produced American military aircraft.
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Re: AVRO LANCASTER B1&3 v BOEING B17G FLYING FORTRESS

Postby Steve Crandell » Thu Dec 04, 2014 2:13 pm

You touched on additional uses of the B-24. It was used extensively as an ASW aircraft, and as long range ocean recon in the Pacific. It was eventually fitted to carry a life raft for rescue of survivors in the water.

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Re: AVRO LANCASTER B1&3 v BOEING B17G FLYING FORTRESS

Postby aurora » Thu Dec 04, 2014 2:26 pm

Yes Steve-the inclusion of the B24 was because it was thought to be a better comparison to the Lancaster than the B17. I,like you admired this aircraft as an invaluable ASW LR bomber-as opposed to bombing targets on land-in fact it was a major player in the Battle of the Atlantic
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Re: AVRO LANCASTER B1&3 v BOEING B17G FLYING FORTRESS

Postby tommy303 » Thu Dec 04, 2014 4:43 pm

The B-24 was also very useful in the Pacific where its long range made it quite effective in island hopping campaign.

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Re: AVRO LANCASTER B1&3 v BOEING B17G FLYING FORTRESS

Postby aurora » Thu Dec 04, 2014 5:03 pm

The Liberator was one of the two American heavy bomber types (the other being the B-17) that formed the backbone of the USAAF strategic bomber offensive in the ETO. It was also widely used in the Pacific Theatre, where its extra range made it superior to the B-17.

The twin tailed B-24 was a high-wing, cantilever monoplane of all-metal construction flown by a crew of ten men. It was produced in many variations and wartime improvements were incorporated. The B-24J had a wingspan of 110', length of 67' 2" and a fully loaded weight of over 60,000 pounds. Maximum speed was 297 M.P.H., powered by four 1,200 h.p. Pratt & Whitney Twin-Wasp air-cooled supercharged and turbocharged radial engines. The normal range was 1,540 miles with maximum internal bomb load.

The defensive armament consisted of ten .50 caliber heavy machine guns. These were distributed in pairs in power driven nose, dorsal, ventral and tail turrets plus manually trained single guns firing from waist positions in each side of the aft fuselage. There were twin bomb bays in the centre fuselage beneath the wings that allowed for a maximum internal bomb load of 8,000 pounds.
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Re: AVRO LANCASTER B1&3 v BOEING B17G FLYING FORTRESS

Postby paul.mercer » Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:05 pm

Gentlemen,
I often wonder whether the gunners in the B17's hit other aircraft flying alongside when they cut loose with all those .050 cal machine guns? Also, didn't the RAF eventually fit .50 cals in their rear turrets?

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Re: AVRO LANCASTER B1&3 v BOEING B17G FLYING FORTRESS

Postby aurora » Tue Feb 24, 2015 5:22 pm

Short answer Paul -YES and YES. It is inconceivable that once a box of B17's comes under attack-the speed of the enemy attack will have the B17 gunners firing all over the sky.

Due to the Luftwaffe Schräge Musik attacks, a variety of unofficial field modifications were made, including fitting of 20 mm cannon or a .50 inch machine gun in the open hole where the FN.64 had been installed, before an official modification (Mod 925) fitted with a .303 inch machine gun was authorized for the same location, though not in all aircraft.

These were rarely installed on other variants as the H2S radar that was not used on the B II was mounted there. Three types of bulged bomb bay were used on the B II, the prototype having a narrow bulge running from just aft of the cockpit to the end of the bomb bay, while early production examples had a full width bulge that ran the same length and on late production examples the bomb bay doors were prominently bulged throughout their length.

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Re: AVRO LANCASTER B1&3 v BOEING B17G FLYING FORTRESS

Postby paul.mercer » Thu Feb 26, 2015 10:32 am

aurora wrote:Short answer Paul -YES and YES. It is inconceivable that once a box of B17's comes under attack-the speed of the enemy attack will have the B17 gunners firing all over the sky.

Due to the Luftwaffe Schräge Musik attacks, a variety of unofficial field modifications were made, including fitting of 20 mm cannon or a .50 inch machine gun in the open hole where the FN.64 had been installed, before an official modification (Mod 925) fitted with a .303 inch machine gun was authorized for the same location, though not in all aircraft.

These were rarely installed on other variants as the H2S radar that was not used on the B II was mounted there. Three types of bulged bomb bay were used on the B II, the prototype having a narrow bulge running from just aft of the cockpit to the end of the bomb bay, while early production examples had a full width bulge that ran the same length and on late production examples the bomb bay doors were prominently bulged throughout their length.

aurora


Thanks for that, it would seem that the scene from 'The Memphis Belle' being attacked by German fighters and blasting away with their 50 cals wasn't far from the truth!

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Re: AVRO LANCASTER B1&3 v BOEING B17G FLYING FORTRESS

Postby RF » Wed Mar 18, 2015 6:21 pm

aurora wrote:Looking at the big picture which of the two mentioned aircraft was the more effective in WW2 ? ?


When I came across the title of this thread I did assume it would mean an aerial combat between two such bombers.

To answer the question actually posed I would say the Lancaster was more effective as a bomber, when used in large numbers.

However if they were to meet in aerial combat ....... it would be an interesting scenario, two bombers acting as fighter aircraft.
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Re: AVRO LANCASTER B1&3 v BOEING B17G FLYING FORTRESS

Postby aurora » Thu Mar 19, 2015 7:35 pm

An aerial combat between the two bombers would,IMHO,result in the Lancaster being shot out of the sky.Lancasters at best were armed with 8X 0.303" m/c guns-two in nose turret,2 mid upper turret and 4 in the tail turret or 2X 0.5" m/c guns and no dorsal turret. The B17 G on the other hand had 13 X 50 calibre m/c guns spread along ,over and under the aircraft. Hence -NO CONTEST Given that the B17G made the correct attacking manouevers-attacking from underneath. :( :(

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