B-17G chin turret

Discussion in 'Technical' started by KeithA0000, Aug 15, 2012.

  1. KeithA0000

    KeithA0000 New Member

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    Hi. Sorry if this is a repeat.
    Just wondering why the need for the chin turret that characterizes the B-17G profile. I know they needed firepower to combat the head-on attack, but with 2 guns in each of the dorsal and ball turrets, and from 1-3 guns in the nose, was that really not enough? Especially combining these guns from multiple ships in the formation. Just had to ask, as the chin turret sure looks like an aerodynamic sink-hole....
     
  2. Melonfish

    Melonfish Member

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    well, it wasn't called the flying fortress for nowt.

    very much like the halifax and lancaster its blind spots were picked out early. for the 17F this was dead on from the front and a little from below leaving the upper turret useless being unable to depress far enough, the ball turret was too far back to shoot properly to the front and the two guns in the nose didn't point ahead. made sense to add the chin turret.
    interesting that the F carried 10 guns and the G carried 13.
     
  3. superkeith1872

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    The American Bombers in all theaters and all heavy bombers quickly found out that the enemy's head on attacks were really hard to defend against with single flexible .50 brownings. The head on attacks were a great tactic for the fighters because when you are going 300mph and the bomber is going 250mph, you are closing on each other head on at 500 plus mph and it limited the ability of the bomber gunners to return fire. That being said, the chin turret was added to counter this major threat and add highly focused firepower to the front to make the fast closing head on attacks less fun for the fighters. The same thing happened with the B-24 bombers in the pacific, so the mechanics in the field started taking the rear b-24 turrets and adding them to the front of the b-24 aircraft and it worked great for them too. I can't imagine how much work it took to add a turret in the field like that with the extreme modification to the front of the aircraft, including a larger area added underneath the turret. With the B-24 front turret, they couldn't add them too the production line quick enough, so the new aircraft would get sent to modification centers across the country to get the front turret added and the guys no longer had to jerry rig turrets into the aircraft in the field.
     
  4. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    The idea for the chin turret of the B-17G actually came from the YB-40 gunship concept during the time period of the B-17F production run. The YB-40 gunship concept was a failure, but the B-17G inherited not only the chin turret, but the offset waist gunner positions and the improved tail gun station (referred to as a "Cheyenne") from the YB-40.

    As a side note, the 13 .50 caliber guns of the B-17G paled in comparisonto the YB-40's average of 16 .50 guns, but a few were known to have been modified to carry more than this number.
     
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