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The contest nobody seems to be able to win...

Antonio

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I'm anxious to know what aircraft is that ???
 

Antonio

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It was a really hard to identify aircraft (I'm happy that I was right when I thought it was not a fighter).

Thank you very much for the additional info and pics and for the promised article to be included in eAPR. Info about unbuilt US projects before 1945 are not so easy to find as those from other nations, that's why I love it so much.

Convair's tanker is a very interesting design because I can't remember an earlier dedicated tanker design intended to be developed into service. Corrections from forum's member will be very wellcomed. There are some mid-air refuelling conceptual drawings at "Luftwaffe over America" page 218 and 219 but nothing to such detail. Luftwaffe would have developed tanker versions of its Ju-290, Ju-390 or Me 264.

I have a couple of questions:

1. why refuelling the B-24 and B-17 bombers in the air?. They had enough range to operate in European missions. It was to allow more bomb load to be carried over that distances?.

2. Scott, in your blog you wrote the air tanker projected operational altitude was 2000 ft. It seems a bit low. Can you confirm this figure?. Thanks
 

Skybolt

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Jones, the father of the American swept wing (and of a lot of other things, like to American oblique wing), did studies during the early war to extend range on both fighters and bombers, with schemes that included the British style air-refuelling but included towed gliders, tip-to-tip winged fuel tanks und so weiter. Problems with existing aircrafts were twofold: before the B-29 and the conquest of Tinian (actually even later, given the wind conditions above Japan when bombing from altitude), really American bombers hadn't the range to be effective in the Pacific. And then there was the problem of load: the dream of the gunless bomber gave place to machine guns everywhere and weight went up. Without long-range escorts fighters (late-model P-51) and begore the B-29, it was a problem in the Pacific.
 

Abraham Gubler

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pometablava said:
1. why refuelling the B-24 and B-17 bombers in the air?. They had enough range to operate in European missions. It was to allow more bomb load to be carried over that distances?.

It was probably for the Pacific Theatre to provide a long range bomber capability for the non-B-29 bombers. To get improved range from the legacy bomber force and ongoing production.

pometablava said:
2. Scott, in your blog you wrote the air tanker projected operational altitude was 2000 ft. It seems a bit low. Can you confirm this figure?. Thanks

Not for tank after takeoff (TATO) so the bomber's maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) can be exceeded. Taking onboard >20,000 lbs of fuel after takeoff (total fuel load of > 40,000 lbs) would double the B-24's range and there is no way a B-24 could takeoff with 8,000 lbs of bombs and more than 20,000 lbs of fuel.
 

Justo Miranda

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Extreme thick (20%?) wing and rounded fins denotes pre-compressibility buffeting era design.
Maybe 1938 long range recce plane?
 
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