Bristol Blenheim

PMN1

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Did any of the other British aircraft manufacturers have designs equivalent to what became the Blenheim?
 

Jemiba

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As the Blenheim was derived from a civil design, I would say "no", but in fact,
looking at the intended roles and date of maiden flight, the Fairey Battle, the
Armstrong Withworth A.W.29 and the Vickers Wellesley could be counted as
"equivalent designs", I think, for a light to medium bomber.
 

Avimimus

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There are accounts of SAAF field modified MK.IVs with a single Hispano cannon for staffing in the middle east? A while back someone demonstrated to me that one of the photograph was faked.

Does anyone have any more evidence (or opinions on the subject)?
 

Merv_P

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From memory, the Blenheim was one of a number of aircraft where the Air Ministry wrote a specification round the design rather than the manufacturer desgning to the specification. If that's correct, there wouldn't have been any direct competitors, though there might well have been similar designs.
 

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BSG-75

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Avimimus said:
There are accounts of SAAF field modified MK.IVs with a single Hispano cannon for staffing in the middle east? A while back someone demonstrated to me that one of the photograph was faked.

Does anyone have any more evidence (or opinions on the subject)?
The old ian Allen book on the Blenheim by Chaz Bowyer has a close up of a 113 Squadron aircraft with a single 20mm fitted on the lower starboard side - seems pretty real to me. page 79, credited to V Cashmore.
 

Avimimus

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Some more input:
http://forum.1cpublishing.eu/showthread.php?t=2139

The plot thickens
 

smurf

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The "doctored to appear to show a nose gun" image on
http://forum.1cpublishing.eu/showthread.php?t=2139
appears to me to be a reproduction with different contrast which makes clearer (or is doctored to appear to show - monoplane instead of biplane??) -the wing of an aircraft on the ground behind the Blenheim. It does look like a nose gun at a casual glance, but if so it's bent.
 

smurf

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How about this?
http://images.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://samilitaryhistory.org/vo122jcb.jpg&imgrefurl=http://samilitaryhistory.org/vol122jc.html&usg=__ETMwWWFkBKPuBlFE76CcSpXkJ_Y=&h=204&w=320&sz=10&hl=en&start=101&tbnid=qaqlXOnl6uMO8M:&tbnh=75&tbnw=118&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dnose%2Bgun%2B%2522bristol%2Bblenheim%2522%26as_st%3Dy%26ndsp%3D18%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Doff%26sa%3DN%26start%3D90
but the picture is not too clear.
 

Avimimus

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Thank you all,

I'm not convinced that the 'cannon' isn't infact the blenheim's own wingtip (although I want to be).

Here's another picture from the same article:


The aircraft has a belly back, but I can't make out a cannon (although there is a small chance it could be obscured by the people).

Here's a standard MkIV in a comparable position (but from Singapore in 1941 and without a belly pack):


So we have some historical reports of hispanos on Blenheims, an alleged case of photoshoping (which may in fact be simply an artifact), two pictures with projections from the nose of blenheims (but which may be the result of wingtips from either parked aircraft or possibly the same aircrafts and no clear answers yet. In other words fun! ;D

I wonder if we could track down higher resolution pictures or vets (the article mentions Eddie Hall as donating the pictures)...
 

smurf

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Hispanos, you said. But it was very common practice at the time in North Africa to up-gun trucks and armoured cars with captured Italian weapons, and as the S. African 20mm seems to be at their initiative, that may be true for the Blenheims, which if nothing else would solve any supply problems.
 

Merv_P

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From airwar.ru:

Part of an image of a Mark IV with a nose cannon, and accompanying text - maybe someone can translate?
 

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robunos

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i don't speak or read russian, but from the shape of the gun in the drawing, and from some of the cyrillic characters, it's a Vickers K gun, a rifle calibre weapon, see:-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vickers_K_machine_gun


cheers,
Robin.
 

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Jemiba

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That's an installation, that is shown in the Squadron Siganl issue about the
Blenheim, too, I think. Will post the picture this evening.
 

Jschmus

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I don't read much Russian either, but I can definitely make out the "7.71mm". What an odd caliber, though.
 

Merv_P

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Not bad - I've managed to display my ignorance both of Russian and of weapon calibres in the same post... ::)
 

Avimimus

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Its still a very interesting find. A Blenny with a (forward firing) nose gunner!
 

Jemiba

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Here is a photo from the mentioned Squadron Signal N°88 and a drawing
of this installation. Another photo shows a Blenheim IVF night fighter
with an installation in the nose, that looks like the one on Justos drawing
and could be a gun. Unfortunately, it's quite a blurry photo and the caption
gives no clue about this detail.
 

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Avimimus

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Also Jemiba has recently posted a picture of the MkV strafer:
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,11854.0.html

Now for some satisfaction:
Originally found by Docholiday;
Source: "The Bristol Blenheim"
 

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Rzhevski

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Merv_P said:
From airwar.ru:

Part of an image of a Mark IV with a nose cannon, and accompanying text - maybe someone can translate?
Blenheim MKIV with nose 7.71 mm "Vickers K" gun in landing configuration. Very rare there was a pair of such guns mounted. Right console not shown.
 

simmie

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Ok thread revival time.

Had a thought earlier today, was any attempt/proposal produced with regards to up-engine the Blenheim at any stage during it's life time??
 
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