A-20 bombardier

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Maxrobot1, May 21, 2010.

  1. Maxrobot1

    Maxrobot1 Member

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    How did the bombardier get in the nose of a Douglas A-20 ? How did he escape in an emergency? What about the rear gunner? Where was his entryway? Enquiring minds want to know!
     
  2. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    #2 FLYBOYJ, May 21, 2010
    Last edited: May 21, 2010
    Here ya go...
     

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  3. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    The rear gunner(s)/radio op boarded and exited via a pull-down step on the post side, and kick-in steps on the fuselage, through the rear canopy, the rear section of which slid forward, under the fixed glazing. This assembly hinged to starboard for emergency exit on the ground. However, in flight, the rear gunner was the last to exit, in an emergency, over the side, possibly the only aircraft where the captain was not last to leave. This was beacause the pilot had to jettison the canopy roof, climb out onto the wing, and slide off the trailing edge, port side.
    The rear compartment was fitted with basic stick and rudder pedals, in order that the gunner could hold the aircraft steady whilst the pilot bailed out.
    Those later models fitted with a powered top turret still had the basic controls, but I believe exit in the air was via the tunnel-gun hatch in the rear belly.
     
  4. Maxrobot1

    Maxrobot1 Member

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    #4 Maxrobot1, May 22, 2010
    Last edited: May 22, 2010
    Thanks for the replies!
    I always thought that the A-20 pilot had a tricky job climbing up onto the fuselage, opening the long hatch/canopy section and climbing in! That must have been a task in the rain, wearing flight gear and a parachute. I didn't know the rear gunner had to be as athletic too!!
    Years ago in NY there was a radio personality on WOR AM who had a crippled foot from when he was a B-29 crewman in WWII. Gene Klaven exited via the crew door in the tail section and the little ladder collapsed causing him to fall and be injured.
    Sometimes exiting a plane on the ground can be dangerous too.
     
  5. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Don't I know it! Got a really nasty crack on the head when climbing out of a Canberra once. I forgot about the hatch door, which hinges upward!!
     
  6. Maxrobot1

    Maxrobot1 Member

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    Sometimes I look at the P-38 lightnings with the glass nose and shudder thinking how uncomfortable it must have been on a mission up there.
    The P-38 was notorious for having a cold pilots compartment. What about the poor guy in the nose?
    And how would he get out in an emergency?
     
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