B-24 with bomb bay redesign possible and other possibilities?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Golladay, May 29, 2013.

  1. Golladay

    Golladay New Member

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    Going over the B-24, the main problem preventing it from carrying 4,000 pound bombs internally was the catwalk and the center connector that cut the bomb bay into a forward and aft section.

    However, the reason for this design has eluded me. Did the cat walk and center connector play a structural role in the B-24? Were they necessary for the garage door system the B-24 used for its bomb bay? To me, if not, then there was no reason not to omit those parts to allow bigger bombs to be carried internally. The other thing that bugged me was why greater thought wasn't given to installing the General Electric GE2CFR12A3 gyroscopic fire control computer and remote control gun turrets to B-24s and the B-17s for that matter. It would have allowed the deletion of several crew members and reduce the causalities suffered when a plane gets shot down.
     
  2. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    Without looking at the airframe stress analysis - it would be hard to say.

    The bomb bay section of the B-24 is responsible for transferring the lift and torsion loads on the wings to the fuselage. Longerons/shear panels - lower and upper through the bomb bay are also the load path from the tail through the forward fuselage.

    Without a catwalk there is no physical connection from forward cabin to aft section, and possibly upon removal for large CL bomb, would require further weight due to increased longeron/shear panel weight. So, was crew mobility via a catwalk a key consideration as it was used on all US bombers?
     
  3. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Start by installing R2600 engines. Now you've got the power to lift a larger bomb load.
     
  4. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Not that simple. Is the aircraft stressed for the extra horse power and are the nacelles stressed for the extra torque? At the end of the day its probably better to go from the ground up with the bigger engines rather than retrofit, especially when dealing with recips.
     
  5. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    We have been through this before but you don't seem to grasp it. EACH engine is about 500lbs heavier DRY WEIGHT. Granted you can save some weight by dropping the turbos (no production aircraft used a Turbo R-2600). BUT you need bigger propellers, bigger cowl, bigger engine mounts, bigger oil tanks and so on, closer to 1000lbs PER engine by the time you are done.

    As Flyboy has stated, can the existing structure take the increased power without being beefed up?

    You want to add to the payload (bombs and or fuel) in addition to the 2 extra tons of engine/powerplant. Now you need bigger, heavier landing gear (B-24s were noted for having weak nose gear or over loaded once they added extra stuff from the early models).
    A lot of these bombers were VERY restricted in what flight maneuvers they could do in overload condition. adding power does NOT make these restrictions go away. Adding more weight, even if you can lift it and fly straight and level just makes the restrictions worse.

    And without the turbos any performance increase is going to very marginal at altitude because a non-turbo R-2600 makes very little more power (if as much) as a turbo R-1830 at altitudes of 20,000-25,000ft.

    Great, you can get more weight off the runway but you can't turn as well while forming up, it takes you just as long to climb to altitude (while burning more fuel), and you aren't any faster at altitude ( are are burning more fuel for the same speed as the turbo R-1830s). Not much of an improvement.
     
  6. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Better to go from the ground up with a larger bomb bay too.
     
  7. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    now ya got it!
     
  8. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    Were external stores ever mounted on the wings of the B-24?
     
  9. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    I don't believe so. IMO if you put anything extra on a B-24 wing, you were probably asking for trouble.
     
  10. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    Maybe like a B-32?
     
  11. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    Was the B-24 bomb bay long enough for 4000lb bombs? I vaguely remember seeing that the B-17's bomb bay wasn't long enough for such a bomb.
     
  12. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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  13. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    Is it true that Mickey Rooney piloted the prototype Bats?
     
  14. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    Are you serious ??
    No known human piloted Bats, plus Mickey Rooney was never a pilot.
     
  15. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky Active Member

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    Did the US really need to drop 4000 lb bombs? Did it really want to drop 4,000 lb weapons?

    Looking at the USAAF weapon drop numbers in WW2, the army air force seemed to prefer the lighter weapons (1000 lb, 500 lb, 250 lb and 100 lb) over heavier weapons like the 2000 lb or 4,000 lb. Even the B-29s seemed to favour the smaller bombs.

    The USAAF dropped a total of 158 4,500 lb bombs, 1,220 4,000 lb bombs and 64,962 2,000 lb bombs.

    In comparison it dropped:
    3.7 million 500 lb bombs (46.5% of all HE bombs dropped)
    2.1 million 100 lb bombs
    1.7 million 100 lb incendiaries
    1.33 million 250 lb bombs
    1 million 120 lb cluster bombs
    753,000 1,000 lb bombs
     
  16. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    A few B-24's did mount this system, or one just like it, as trainers for B-29 gunners. This was photographically verified by William T. Larkins in his wonderful book "Surplus WWII US Aircraft". A must have in my humble opinion.
     
  17. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    How about a fuselage plug aft of the bomb bay to make it longer? It could do away with the catwalk issue, if that indeed was needed as part of the structural loading from the wings.
     
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