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Author Topic: British B.1/39 Heavy Bomber Competition  (Read 980 times)

Offline blackkite

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British B.1/39 Heavy Bomber Competition
« on: September 25, 2017, 05:07:13 pm »
Hi!
https://www.warbirdsforum.com/topic/366-additional-raf-might-have-beens/

"The B1.39 spec was to carry 9,000lb over 2,500miles cruising at least 280mph. Maximum bomb load was to be 10,000lb and some could be carried externally if necessary. Provision was made to stow 20 x 250lb or 500lb bombs, 10 x 1,000lb bombs, 5 x 2,000lb AP bombs, 2 2,000lb SCI containers or 10 small bomb containers. The 20mm cannon were drum fed with 30 rounds per drum, 5 drums per gun and an additional reserve supply of 20 drums per turret was to be carried but not necessarily in the turret. The aircraft was to be stressed to carry alternate turrets with 2 40mm cannon each with 110 rounds of ammunition. Armstrong Whitworth, Blackburn, Bristol, Fairey, Gloster, Handley Page, Avro, Shorts and Vickers all produced designs with Hercules, Griffin or P.24 engines."

Also Bristol 159 is here.
https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,29457.0.html
Fairey proposal is here.
https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,5496.msg44089.html#msg44089
« Last Edit: September 25, 2017, 09:06:39 pm by blackkite »

Offline Schneiderman

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Re: British B.1/39 Heavy Bomber Competition
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2017, 01:46:26 pm »
And this is how a twin 4xHispano cannon turret would function.

Offline Avimimus

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Re: British B.1/39 Heavy Bomber Competition
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2017, 05:13:12 pm »
And this is how a twin 4xHispano cannon turret would function.

Ah! That answers my questions!

A mechanical loader and two assistants for a crew of two people per turret! That would compensate for the speed with which ammunition would become exhausted.

Offline Hood

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Re: British B.1/39 Heavy Bomber Competition
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2017, 01:46:40 am »
That's an interesting diagram.
The provision of two loaders would push the crew of an RAF 'heavy' to around 9-10 men. I'm guessing the increased firepower was seen as more than compensating the additional weight of ammunition and crew and the consequent reduction in payload.

Offline Harrier

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Re: British B.1/39 Heavy Bomber Competition
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2017, 02:27:49 am »
A few machine gun bullets from a fighter would also take out the entire defensive capability in one go by killing/injuring the gun crews.
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Offline JFC Fuller

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Re: British B.1/39 Heavy Bomber Competition
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2017, 03:12:23 am »
Schneiderman, thanks for the photo. That diagram demonstrates one of the three key issues with this scheme:

1) The RAF/UK had yet to develop an acceptable continuous feed system for the Hispano cannon so were forced to use the 20 round drum magazines, the knock-on effect was the need for manual loading arrangements as seen here.

2) The CoG issues associated with such heavy armament/turret arrangements, the entire aircraft had to be designed around them. The RAF apparently preferred the direct over/above configuration shown here but the preferred Bristol design got away with staggering the arrangement.

3) At Kew there are several files that indicate there were severe problems experienced with dispersion resulting from barrel bending as the turret rotated in addition to the drag caused as the turret slewed to either beam

At first glance the quad hispano turret (especially if paired with a gyro gunsight) would have been a remarkable defensive mechanism but the early challenges were substantial.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2017, 04:07:57 am by JFC Fuller »

Offline Harrier

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Re: British B.1/39 Heavy Bomber Competition
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2017, 03:26:01 am »
The Bristol design might allow only one loader, servicing both turrets. A lot of ammo is shown between them here: https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,29457.msg314179.html#msg314179

There are two lookouts at the rear though, so crew per turret seems quite high in any case.
BAe P.1216 Supersonic ASTOVL Aircraft: www.harrier.org.uk/P1216.htm

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Offline Foo Fighter

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Re: British B.1/39 Heavy Bomber Competition
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2017, 04:01:05 am »
A few machine gun bullets from a fighter would also take out the entire defensive capability in one go by killing/injuring the gun crews.

Much like any other system in use at the time.

Offline JFC Fuller

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Re: British B.1/39 Heavy Bomber Competition
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2017, 04:10:30 am »
The Bristol design might allow only one loader, servicing both turrets. A lot of ammo is shown between them here: https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,29457.msg314179.html#msg314179

There are two lookouts at the rear though, so crew per turret seems quite high in any case.

Suspect it still would have been one loader per turret, the workload would have been pretty high- or at least intense for short bursts.

Offline Harrier

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Re: British B.1/39 Heavy Bomber Competition
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2017, 05:12:57 am »
A few machine gun bullets from a fighter would also take out the entire defensive capability in one go by killing/injuring the gun crews.

Much like any other system in use at the time.

Noes/dorsal/tail turret much less likely to all be knocked out by one quick strafe. Key tenets of aircraft survivability studies; duplicate/triplicate & separate essential things. All eggs literally in one basket with B.1/39.

Also wonder how quickly turrets could align. Assume they thought you could knock 'em down at long range, hence low crossing rates. But once a fighter got close? Need for lookouts also seems curious.
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Offline hesham

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Re: British B.1/39 Heavy Bomber Competition
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2017, 05:13:26 am »
Hi,

here is a proposals from Avro (Model-680),Fairey and Gloster.

Offline Harrier

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Re: British B.1/39 Heavy Bomber Competition
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2017, 05:15:52 am »
The Bristol design might allow only one loader, servicing both turrets. A lot of ammo is shown between them here: https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,29457.msg314179.html#msg314179

There are two lookouts at the rear though, so crew per turret seems quite high in any case.

Suspect it still would have been one loader per turret, the workload would have been pretty high- or at least intense for short bursts.
Any idea where the spent cases (and links) went? Intense indeed, and gunners' feet/hot metal whizzing around your head might reduce efficiency of loaders.

ventral guner reminds me of John Fozard's view of prone pilots. "it's a good position, but not for flying!".
BAe P.1216 Supersonic ASTOVL Aircraft: www.harrier.org.uk/P1216.htm

100 Years  - Camel, Hurricane, Harrier: www.kingstonaviation.org

Offline JFC Fuller

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Re: British B.1/39 Heavy Bomber Competition
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2017, 06:15:05 am »
I suspect the links and cases were to be expelled from the aircraft in some way, probably gravity falling out of hatches in the lower fuselage.

The spotter/gunner coordinator is an odd feature of more than one British design, he makes an appearance in the Albemarle as well. Bomber Command were obsessed with defending against attacks from the rear, many senior officers were convinced that beam attacks were impossible so focus was placed on rearward defence- the design challenge was the center of gravity. As far as I can make out the logic behind the Lancaster's original layout was less about true all-round defence than the ability to point 10 .303s aft (including the soon abandoned under turret). 

Offline Schneiderman

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Re: British B.1/39 Heavy Bomber Competition
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2017, 08:29:12 am »
...he makes an appearance in the Albemarle as well.

Ah, it may be an AW thing then as the drawing I posted is from AW's B1/39 submission

Offline Tonton-42

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Re: British B.1/39 Heavy Bomber Competition
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2017, 09:43:31 am »
Hi,

here is a proposals from Avro (Model-680),Fairey and Gloster.

Hello !
You go to find me irrelevant and what that adds nothing to the debate, but I find that Fairey looks like a four-engined big Do-17 ! Would it be more than a latest fad in the time ?
@+
Tonton
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