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Civilian versions of bomber aircraft

Triton

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Stargazer2006

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XP67_Moonbat said:
Hailing all the way from formerly East Germany....the Baade-152!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baade_B-152
Was the "Baade" name official? In Interavia N°2, 1961 (French edition), the aircraft was presented as the "VEB Flugzeugwerke Dresden Type 152".
 

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taildragger

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frank said:
I don't think it was the nose section of a bomber, I don't think it would have interchanged, it's just that they liked to put the nav in the nose. Remember, pure transports not derived from bombers, like the An-8, 10, 12 & 22 & Il-76 used the same set-up.


Firefly 2 said:
JohnR said:
A detail that has intrigued me for years, why did the T104 have a "bomb aimers" position?
For the navigator, to see which way they are heading?

I always gathered it was because the plane simply used the nose section of a bomber.
My theory is that Soviet airliners were designed for a secondary role as bombers. Not a real fight-your-way-to-Berlin sort of bomber, but a bomb truck suitable for level bombing from undefended airspace (E. Germany, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Afghanistan) with external stores. The greenhouse nose, with it's flat panel, would allow use of a visual bomb sight from the navigator's position. I've got no direct evidence for this theory but offer the following:
- Is a greenhouse nose really necessary for any sort of civil visual navigation and worth the cost? I don't recall any Western airliners employing this feature, even going back to the 1930's when navaids were primitive and it wouldn't have been that costly. Putting a greenhouse nose on a high-subsonic speed, pressurized airliner imposes penalties in weight (compared to a pressure bulkhead and plastic nosecone), drag (from the radome which is typically relocated to project outside of the aircraft's natural contours), safety (birdstrikes on plexiglass), maintenance and internal arrangement (the navigator has to have an access route).
- I believe that Aeroflot aircrew positions were filled by Soviet Air Force personnel on normal career rotation, or at least on reserve status. Certainly they all ultimately had the same employer. This would make a reserve bomber force easier to implement.
- I've seen a photo of a Tupolev airliner (Tu-124, I think) in Soviet Air Force service with an external store (some sort of electronics) under a wing. Granted, an airliner can be relatively easily modified to hang electronics under a wing, but the installation could also have used pre-existing hardpoints intended for bombs.
If Aeroflot did provide a reserve bomber force, I've never read anything about it. This could be because Aeroflot is still around today, such an arrangement could still be in place (this might explain retention of older types that other airlines parked long ago), and widespread knowledge of a role as a combat arm of the Soviet/Russian Air Force could be a negative in the business world.
The above is speculation, of course. Does anyone have actual information on the topic?
 

Jemiba

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I don't think, that those glazed nose positions on soviet airliners and transport indicates
the intended use as make-shift bombers, their general thinking, how navigation without
the use of radar should be done. If you look at soviet transports up to the Il-76, they
all featured glazed noses, at least in the case of the An-22 with an additional weather/
nav radar, that maybe would have been sufficient for an improvised use as a bomber.
BTW, the "Baade 152" featured a glazed nose, too, and quite probably wasn't intended
to be used as a bomber, as the SU would hardly have allowed the GDR to build indigenous
military aircraft .
About the designation, I don't think the designation "Baade 152" was an official one. If you
have a look at http://www.skybird-ev.de/152/qb.htm, a list of sources about the
"152", the designation "Baade 152" isn't used in contemporary sources.
 

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FliegerRevue Extra Nr.1/1991 use only "152", sometimes "Typ 152", but no Baade 152!
 

taildragger

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Jemiba said:
I don't think, that those glazed nose positions on soviet airliners and transport indicates
the intended use as make-shift bombers, their general thinking, how navigation without
the use of radar should be done. If you look at soviet transports up to the Il-76, they
all featured glazed noses, at least in the case of the An-22 with an additional weather/
nav radar, that maybe would have been sufficient for an improvised use as a bomber.
BTW, the "Baade 152" featured a glazed nose, too, and quite probably wasn't intended
to be used as a bomber, as the SU would hardly have allowed the GDR to build indigenous
military aircraft .
Jemiba,
A couple of further points in support of my theory:
- A brief review of Soviet airliners' glazed noses shows that most, if not all of them, had an optically flat panel. As I'm sure you know, these panels were used on bombers to provide visual bombsights with a view free of the distortions (primarily refraction) inherent in curved panels. I'm not that familiar with aerial navigation, but it seems to me that this sort of precision is more suited to "where's it going to impact?" than "where are we?".
- In Tupolev designs, the optically flat panel might have just been a holdover from their bomber origins. Airlifters such as the An-12, An-26 and Il-76 had no bomber ancestry but still have the optically flat panels. Maybe they had some utility in lining up for airdrops, but I wouldn't think so. As covered in the thread on Operational Turboprop Bombers (http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,9943.0/all.html), Antonov created a bomb truck version of the An-12 in the wake of the Indo-Pakistan War.
- Smaller aircraft such as the An-26 and Il-14, which one might expect to operate in more austere conditions and therefore have greater need for visual navigation, didn't have glazed noses. Due to their shorter range and lower payload, they would be less useful as bomb trucks though.
- Regarding the Baade 152, the pictures I've seen don't show an optically flat panel and a glazed nose doesn't make an airplane a bomber. The Germans may have just been following established Soviet practice, whatever the reasons for the Soviet practice were. I don't doubt that the greenhouses were were used as navigator's stations - I'm just speculating that that navigation may not have been the only reason that they were designed in.
 

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Excellent! This is the first time I've seen both designs superimposed. I didn't think they were that different in size.
 

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I found another version of the artist's impression of the commercial derivatives of Boeing B-47 Stratojet.
It appeared of Flight (14-20 February 1990) but I have only this bad photostat
Nico
 

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I have reworked the aircraft that's in the foreground, which to me looks more like a six-engined B-52 than a B-47 derivative...
 

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Boxman

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circle-5 said:
SOC said:

There was an SST derivative/relation of the XB-70 studied at one point.


Attached is a manufacturer's model of the North American Aviation M-3000, the direct civilian variant of the XB-70 bomber. The fuselage "hump" was increased in size, to accommodate 48 passengers (an un-modified hump could only fit 36 passengers). Even then, the M-3000 had one J-93 engine for every eight passengers -- not your ideal, eco-friendly carbon footprint. With the M-3000, the U.S. could have had the ultimate, trisonic SST in service by 1965-66, a full decade before Concorde!

circle-5 said:

... And here is a North American Aviation artist rendering of an M-3000 SST in flight. This is the 76-passenger variant, with an even bigger fuselage "hump". While still capable of Mach 3 flight, this larger variant was rejected early because projections showed the range would be reduced to 3600nm.
Here are a couple of photos at the San Diego Air & Space Museum (SDASM) Archive photostream at Flickr featuring both the model and illustration of the M-3000 with aviation executive James R. Pfeiffer.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sdasmarchives/5021503400/in/photostream/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sdasmarchives/5020895885/in/photostream/
 

Stargazer2006

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A picture of the Handley Page HP.97 project (a civilian Victor) from an old split-up topic:

[quote author=Dronte]Why to spend money in a development from zero if military designs can adapt?

HP.97 derived of the HP Víctor (it exists another version of simple cover of this design)
[/quote]
 

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Bill Walker

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Just discovered this very interesting thread. I was told by an Aeroflot employee, many years ago, that Soviet Union civil aircraft used a military style drift sight in the nose, for navigation between navaids. This could explain the optically flat panel.
 

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Factory model of the Vickers V.1000 (VC-7), proposed passenger derivative of the Valiant bomber.
 

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Stargazer2006 said:
I have reworked the aircraft that's in the foreground, which to me looks more like a six-engined B-52 than a B-47 derivative...
Nice!!

It looks like a sort of XB-52 with six engines and a fuselage section modified like the Model 377/C-97.
 

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Here is a comparison between the Vickers V 1000 and the Valiant showing that they were really separate designs, rather than a new fuselage on existing wings and tails as was the case for many other civilian projects.
 

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RAP

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Here is a short article on the Baade-Bonin BB-152 which includes a little development history.
 

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Jemiba

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hesham

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Hi,


http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1990/1990%20-%200515.html
 

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XB-70 with fake windows added to simulate civil design. Sorry that I don't have any other details on the photo.
 

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Bill Walker

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Can we expand the scope of this interesting thread to include conversions of bombers to high speed transports? The Howard series of Ventura and Harpoon conversions, and the On Mark conversions of the A-26 have always fascinated me. Are there other similar conversions or projects out there?



 

Jemiba

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Bill Walker said:
Can we expand the scope of this interesting thread to include conversions of bombers to high speed transports?
Cannot see a problem, as long as at least the conversions are postwar designs and maybe the bomber were
still in military use then. Not sure, that the B-17 would qualify, as it's main career as a bomber was over with
the end of the war, I think.
 

Jemiba

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With about 70 cm spacing of the windows, seat spacing probably would have been adequate
for tourist class only ! :(
 

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Perhaps, but at Mach 3, with a couple flutes of Krug, there would have been little time to get uncomfortable.
 

hesham

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Hi,


from Warbird Tech XB-70 Valkyrie book,here is a three version of M-3000,as
a capacity of carrying passengers.
 

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Another image of the model Handley Page HP 97 Victor civil derivitive from a 1954 Handley Page Bulletin (No 215).

Carrying 120 passengers it would have operating costs of £14 per passenger!
 

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famvburg

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There were a number of corporate conversions to B-25s and A-20s. An A-20 used to sit abandoned in a field across the runway at my airport until the early '70s. It was later restored and put on the airshow circuit in the early '80s, IIRC. There was at least one Martin B-26 converted. The one that the Confederate Air Force had was a corporate conversion when they got it. Not that their B-24 was a true B-24 but it was a corporate aircraft when they got it, IIRC. ISTR a number of B-17s were converted. Some PBYs were converted, many to exotic "flying yachts". Howard Hughes had a B-23 and I think there were others converted. As long as we've added this "category", maybe we should include all of the bomber types that were converted to firebombers. There were a couple of other outfits besides On Mark that converted A-26s but I can't recall who they were. Lear converted some Lockheed Twins in addition to Howard.
 

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The Fortress Executive as envisioned by a Boeing artist.

"In a move to generate some sales to civilian business, Boeing circulated this drawing of their postwar "Fortress Executive," advertising the availability of surplus B-17s for peacetime conversion. On paper the idea looked good, but the B-17 was just too big a machine for a company aircraft and not big enough for commercial airlines."
Quote and image from "A Fortress Is Forever" by Peter M. Bowers in Wings, February 1977.
 

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Antonio

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Great contribution!, many thanks
 

Arjen

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Avro Lancastrian - Lancaster bomber converted for civilian use. Image source https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/it/7/7a/Avro_691_Lancastrian_I-DALR_Alitalia.jpg

Avro York - transport that used Lancaster wings + empennage mated to a new fuselage. Not really a converted bomber, but it used a lot of Lancaster bits so I thought to include it for completeness' sake. Image source http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ed/Avro_685_York_G-AMXM_Hunting_Clan_Ringway_27.08.55_edited-3.jpg

Avro Lincolnian - Lincoln converted for civilian use. Image source http://www.abpic.co.uk/images/images/1318576F.jpg

Handley Page Halton - Halifax converted for civilian use. Image source http://crimso.msk.ru/Images6/MM/MM-64/0214-03-1-1.jpg

Slightly surprised these didn't get mentioned earlier.
<edit> attached images instead of linking them.
<edit2> Hammer Birchgrove mentioned the Lancastrian earlier: http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,3126.msg64156.html#msg64156
 

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J.A.W.

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Did the 'executive' FW Condor ex-Nazi big-wig conversions captured intact - see any post-war service?
 

hesham

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Hi,


the Boeing Model 473 aircraft project,from Airpower 5/2004.
 

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Arjen

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This is probably out of place in a Postwar Aircraft Projects thread, but as redstar72 strayed into prewar territory earlier in this topic (http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,3126.msg64340.html#msg64340)...

Handley Page built lots of O/100 and O/400 bombers at the end of Word War 1, some little-used, others not even delivered.
Three designations for different conversions, in chronological order:
O/7 - converted O/400 to carry mainly passengers
O/11 - converted O/400 to carry mainly cargo and ~ 3 passengers in a sparsely furnished cabin at the back, as well as 2 passengers in the cockpit. Brrr.
O/10 - initially converted O/11 to carry mainly passengers, when Handley Page realised 1920 summer traffic allowed for more flights. Subsequently more O/400 were directly converted to O/10 configuration

Image source: http://flyingmachines.ru/Images7/Putnam/Bi2Mono/16-2.jp
 

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Spook

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Proposed civil version of canceled Tupolev Tu-64. Originally posted by redstar 72.

As it was typical for Tupolev OKB, a civil passenger version of Tu-64 was also projected. This 50-52-seat aircraft was called Project 66 or Tu-66. The inicial design was made in Autumn, 1944, and the works were stopped at the same time as on the military version. The drawing is from "Aviatsia i Kosmonavtika" No. 7-1998.
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,7138.msg61521.html#msg61521
 

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hesham

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Hi,


anther model to NA M-3000 SST aircraft.


http://books.google.com.eg/books?id=D-MDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PP1&dq=popular+mechanics+1963&hl=en&sa=X&ei=VRj_U6LtFerB0QWO2oGYBQ&ved=0CDQQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=popular%20mechanics%201963&f=false
 

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hesham

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Also from Kryl'ya Rodine 9/2000,


here is the Tupolev Tu-66 in details.
 

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MaxLegroom

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hesham said:
Hi,


anther model to NA M-3000 SST aircraft.


http://books.google.com.eg/books?id=D-MDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PP1&dq=popular+mechanics+1963&hl=en&sa=X&ei=VRj_U6LtFerB0QWO2oGYBQ&ved=0CDQQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=popular%20mechanics%201963&f=false
That probably isn't another M3000 idea, but possibly a wind tunnel model of the Boeing 733, in a very early form. Still, the article you linked to did show how we intended to use B-70 research to build an SST.
 
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