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Douglas DB-4...?

lark

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In an article by René Francillon for Air Magazine N°47-Octobre 2009
mention is made of a bomber development of the Douglas DC-4E liner
under the designation DB-4.

This design was offered to the U.S.Army Air Corps in 1938 to replace
the XB-19 who was already almost outdated at that time.

Is there anyone who haves more information or illustrations..

Thanks in advance.
 

archipeppe

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lark said:
In an article by René Francillon for Air Magazine N°47-Octobre 2009
mention is made of a bomber development of the Douglas DC-4E liner
under the designation DB-4.

This design was offered to the U.S.Army Air Corps in 1938 to replace
the XB-19 who was already almost outdated at that time.

Is there anyone who haves more information or illustrations..

Thanks in advance.

Did the DC-4E was acquired by Japan in order to obtain a bomber??
 

lark

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The Nakajima G5N1 who was based on DC-4E technology has nothing
to do with the planned DB-4...

This should have been a entirely different design.
By the way , in Air Classics , mention is made that the
initial concept for the XB-19 should have been a six engined design.
Maybe this is related to the Douglas 6 engined bomber in the 'US bombers' thread.
 

frank

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Hmm. I've mentioned before that I've read somewhere that Douglas had offered a bomber version of the DC-4 in their designs for the XB-31. This has me wondering if they meant the DC-4E!


lark said:
In an article by René Francillon for Air Magazine N°47-Octobre 2009
mention is made of a bomber development of the Douglas DC-4E liner
under the designation DB-4.

This design was offered to the U.S.Army Air Corps in 1938 to replace
the XB-19 who was already almost outdated at that time.

Is there anyone who haves more information or illustrations..

Thanks in advance.
 

airman

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any pics of original Douglas DB-4 ?

here and below link and images of Nakajima G5N Shinzan born by project of Douglas DC-4E (
http://www.j-aircraft.com/gallery/navy/g5n_gallery/g5n-peter_fearis_01l.jpg
 

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Stargazer2006

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lark said:
In an article by René Francillon for Air Magazine N°47-Octobre 2009
mention is made of a bomber development of the Douglas DC-4E liner
under the designation DB-4.
Surprising since the DB-4 designation had already been given to the B-18A Bolo.
I'm not saying this is impossible, however, considering the DC-4, DC-7 and DC-8 designations were all re-allocated to newer designs.

See here for the bomber development of the first DC-4:
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,488.msg157967.html#msg157967
 

lark

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The Douglas DB-4 design, together with the Boeing Y1B-20
are mentioned as follow on designs for the XB-15
by Bill Norton in his brilliant new book

"American Bomber Development in WW 2" ....
 

gatoraptor

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There is a great article about this topic in the new issue 28 of "The Aviation Historian".

"we examine the – ultimately fruitless – attempts to turn Douglas’s DC-4E airliner and its smaller brother the DC-4/C-54 into bombers"
 

ACResearcher

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I do hope you will all get a copy of the latest "The Aviation Historian", Issue 28. In it I recount what is - and may well remain so - the most complete history of the attempts to make the DC-4E and, eventually, the DC-4 into bombers.

In the meantime I shall correct some errors in Bill Norton's book. The DB-4/DC-4E bomber design did indeed come AFTER the Y1B-20, but was not exactly a "follow on" Project. The DC-4E bomber was Douglas' entry into CP 39-645, a relatively hastily written Emergency Proposal to basically jump through the right hoops so the AAF could order the B-24, a decision they had already made. It is my belief that Douglas submitted this bomber version in order to recoup its investment in the DC-4 (as it was then known) due to the fact that once the prototype was built all the airlines that had participated in its design and building summarily rejected it. The reasons for this, as well as the AAF's engineering reports on both the DB-4 and the DC-4/DS-300 bomber submissions, are all lovingly recounted from the original AAF documents in this new article, including a number of new drawings of both. It was - to me - a fascinating story of virtually unknown (and generally badly researched) aircraft projects.

I hope you will enjoy reading the article as much as I enjoyed writing and illustrating it. I have to hand it to the chaps at TAH for the beautiful job of layout they did. They are true pros.

Submitted for your consideration,

AlanG
 

hesham

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I have a copy of picture to a Model for this Project,but the scanner is out of service now.
 

Hood

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The Aviation Historian article on the various efforts to build a bomber out of the DC-4E and DC-4 is indeed very interesting.

I have one question though, in the recent American Secret Projects Vol.2 there is a brief description of a couple of other DC-4 bombers on p.33 that look very similar but are more 'basic' conversions with a ventral gondola for the bombs and/or the bomb-aimer. Where do these studies fit into the story? I assume these were slightly earlier than the definite DS-412 design covered in depth in the article?
 

ACResearcher

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Hood,

This is one of the "joys" of research!

Craig Kaston, one of the authors of ASPII, came up with those two versions in a source to which I have no access. I came up with my drawings from a source to which HE had no access. THe story of the DC-4E bomber was gathered by me through in-depth (and VERY lucky) research at NARA II in a file I had pulled mostly in desperation and of which Craig had no knowledge at all. Craig has to get permission from his source before I can officially have access to his drawings and any materials accompanying them.

In the meantime, I have come across an entry for the DC-4E bomber in a Type Specification dating from March, 1938, nearly two years before CP 39-645. This brings up TONS of questions yet to be answered: I assume it was an entry of the same configuration seen in 39-645, but maybe not. If so, did the AAF just throw it into the consideration on 645 because they then had three complete proposals with one to toss so they could choose both the B-24 and the Boeing entries which were newer versions of the B-17? The Type Specification mentioned earlier has a TON of entrees, including one from Sikorsky and one from the Materiel Division. The drawings accompanying all the entries are listed in the documents, but are not IN the documents, and no one seems to have any idea where they might be. One of the Boeing entrees is for a Model 299G. What in the devil is a Model 299G? Still no word from Boeing.

This is not really anything new among serious researchers and it just takes time to gather everything. The "gatherers" who seem to write most of the books and monographs will just steal this info and use it in one of their missives, almost never crediting their sources. One sees that a lot on HERE, too.

Anyway, I hope this answers your question as this is all the information there is to date (that I'm wiling to share) about what has transpired.

AlanG
 
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Hood

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That is indeed the joy of research, especially when things are scattered in different archives and locations. Every unexpected find leads to more questions, I've had that experience several times too.
The definitive story is always a never-ending hope just tantalisingly out of reach.
There are early plans afoot here in Britain to create a central aviation archive which The National Archives seem to be advising on. Whether it will ever happen is open to question, but if it ever did come off then it would make research a lot easier. What worries me is the loss of expertise, every archive has its band of custodians who often have direct knowledge and experience and those guys are getting no younger. In twenty years time we might be all the poorer for the loss of knowledge they have about their archives and the contents.
 

Schneiderman

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…….There are early plans afoot here in Britain to create a central aviation archive which The National Archives seem to be advising on. Whether it will ever happen is open to question...…..
Interesting. Given the large number of archives in the country, and the variable ease of access to these, it will be a task of epic proportion. I wish whoever is leading this the very best of luck and they have my full support, for what it is worth. I am a volunteer at the Royal Aero Club Trust archive which contains a significant amount of material relating to aircraft and projects unrelated to the Club and I am slowly drawing this together in a catalogue, of sorts.
 

Hood

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Interesting. Given the large number of archives in the country, and the variable ease of access to these, it will be a task of epic proportion. I wish whoever is leading this the very best of luck and they have my full support, for what it is worth. I am a volunteer at the Royal Aero Club Trust archive which contains a significant amount of material relating to aircraft and projects unrelated to the Club and I am slowly drawing this together in a catalogue, of sorts.
My assumption is that it will be for the smaller and independent collections and perhaps where some the larger 'national' archives can deposit things. Air Britain for example is involved, they have a ton of stuff it seems but no real archive as such that is regularly accessible. I can't see BAE Systems for example consolidating all their material yet, though I suspect in the long-term it might prove difficult to keep several sites going. If Leonardo ever closes Yeovil then the Westland/Fairey material would need a place to go, so some future proofing would be sensible. Whether it can happen on an achievable timescale and effort who knows? Getting more collections onto the TNA's Discovery catelogue (as some of Aerospace Bristol's are) would be a welcome start.
 

Schneiderman

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I guess one of the biggest stumbling blocks is that many use access to their archive material as a useful source of income, and hence will be loath to give that up
 
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