Carrier capable bomber: you are in charge

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by tomo pauk, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    How would the carrier capable dive/torpedo bomber looked like if you were in charge back then? The time frame would be the plane in service in 1940/41, and another one for 1943/44. Since the requirements for dive bomber and torpedo bomber are not always in accord, the good compromise is to be found so the plane can do both tasks. Almost forgot, the plane should be able to serve as a sub hunter, when proper electronics stuff arrives.
    The championing of existing planes is discouraged :)
     
  2. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    Hello Tomo
    the early one, maybe SB2C could have just made it, if Curtiss would not have first played with too small tail and with too weak wings. A bit lighter version than -1, at least wing armament halved and something else too, because early R-2600 developed only 1600hp and of course perforated dive flaps of -4 for more accuracy. I cannot remember when SB2C got its slats but those too for better low speed handling. But SB2C had a bomb-bay long enough for a Mk 21 aerial torpedo, so it could be used also as a TB.

    The later one smaller and lighter version of Douglas AD/A-1 Skyraider because R-3350 was not ready then, so powerplant had to be R-2800, so a bit the plane had to be a bit lighter but the concept like that of AD.

    Juha
     
  3. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    For the 1940/41 time frame it probably can't be done. Each role requires too many specialized attributes and and few, if any engines available (in production) at the time offer the power to have the plane work in both roles. Building extra room and weight allowances into the aircraft for future needs/roles just degrades performance even more.
     
  4. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    For '43/'44 I would suggest a Sea Mosquito...though the dive bombing role wouldn't be so easy for it.
     
  5. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Hercules of 1940 was managing 1400 (87 oct fuel) -1500 HP, R-2600 was good for 1600 HP (1700 in 1941). I'd say that's decent power.

    My plane of choice for 1940/41 would have wing area of some 350-400 sq ft, Fowler flaps, 35-40 st long, with the most powerful engine available, no bomb bay (to save on weight complexity).
     
  6. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    #6 oldcrowcv63, Feb 13, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2012
    In service in 41, suggests something beyond the Douglas TBD-1 Devastator and Fairy Swordfish, both obsolescent at that point, and contemporary with the B5N. All having a optional crew of three, which was di rigueur at the time. Given the unimaginative clod that I am, it seems an upgrade to the existing B5N is in order. Give it the lightest possible 1200+ hp radial engine, armor and strengthened wings, slightly shorter and more reinforced (continuous, one piece) than the B5N. Should end up with at least a decent glide-bomber (more shallow descent) if not a perfect dive bomber as a compromise.

    It's gonna look something like a stretched SBD on steroids, remove one of the two fifties to save weight. Alternatively, redesign the TBD around the same engine as the stretched SBD, upgraded B5N (add at least 300 hp) so it includes armor, at least one forward firing gun. Not sure this is championing of existing aircraft as these are significant upgrades to the prototype. I think to be ready for 1940-circa service (means a prototype flying NLT sometime in (1938-early 1939) it's got to be a fairly traditional configuration that doesn't deviate too much from existing concepts. Add folding wing tips, perhaps no more than quarter span. Mount ASV antenae on wings and scope in hooded middle crew position. Later aircraft is going to be a lot different, built around a 2600 or 2800 radial. Perhaps twin engined. Looking more like a small Douglas DB7 Havoc, Beaufighter, Mossy or a pregnant Tigercat the latter with a blown turtleback for the additional crew like the EA-1 electronic skyraider. at least two crew to provide an independent RADAR operator. 4 wing mounted x 20 mm cannon. Major perforated dive flaps for the twins.
     
  7. Tante Ju

    Tante Ju Banned

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    I do wonder why was there a need for seperate torpedo bombers and dive bombers. It doesnt seem to me rational why not just dive bombers, which can also act as TBs. One type of aircraft to service, crew does seem an advantage.
     
  8. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    IMHO if possible navies tried to avoid twin-engine planes, they were big and landing with one engine out was very difficult to WWII carrier if not impossible.

    Juha
     
  9. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    Hello Tante-Ju
    probably because DB had to be stressed for dive-bombing and so was unnecessarily heavy for TB work. TBs tended to be bigger to be able to carry heavy and long torpedo and before the more powerful engines like R-2600/R2800 there was very difficult problem to how to power a big enough plane to act as TB which was also strong enough to carry out dive-bombing.

    Juha
     
  10. freebird

    freebird Active Member

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    And it wasn't in service before V-E day either.
    The answer to a multi-role 43/44 carrier aircraft is the Firefly.

    Different operational requirements, the DB needs strengthened structure, the TB needs long range, payload and good low speed characteristics.
     
  11. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    #11 oldcrowcv63, Feb 13, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2012
    Yours is an eminently practical observation which is borne out in practice until the end of the war, when the CVB was on the horizon. Yet, with USN encouragement, Grumman and others were experimenting with carrier based twins as early as 1939: consider as an example:

    Grumman XF5F Skyrocket - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    first flight: April 1, 1940
     
  12. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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  13. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    A toss up between the U.S. SBD and German Ju-87C. Both could deliver a decent size bomb with good accuracy.

    Of course Germany doesn't get any benefit from the Ju-87C without operational aircraft carriers. :)
     
  14. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    #14 oldcrowcv63, Feb 13, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2012
    While the first production BTD's coming off the line in 1944, the Tomo-specified later design, with in-service dates between 1943-1944 suggests, as has already pointed out, a 2260 or 2800 engine and not the 3350 class engine powering the BTD-1. I think the most realistic best option would be to replace the Curtiss SB2C Beast with almost anything designed by Ed Heineman at Douglas.

    or adopt the XTBU-1 Sea Wolf. The TBF itself proved to be a pretty good dive bomber so I'd expect anything contemporary to be similarly effective. I cannot, I might add, consider the Barracuda-derivative because I consider it to be among the ugliest aircraft ever created.

    I'd be interested to know what Blackburn was up to in the way of prototypes at that time.
     
  15. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    ".... The championing of existing planes is discouraged ..."

    Sorry, but this is the gold standard :)

    MM
     

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  16. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Standard indeed.
    Well, I guess I do not listen what other people 'order' in their threads ;)

    Usage of Fowler-type flaps both increases wing area and increases wing curvature, allowing for great increase of lift capability of wing. The planes with such high-lift device were Westland Whirlwind, Arado Ar-240 (differently named; full span flaps!), Lockheed Electra, P-38, just to name few.
    The wing of 350-400 sq ft allows for plenty of internal fuel, needed for both dive- and torpedo-bomber duties.
     
  17. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    Dave, certainly both are good dive bombers, but you probably mean a modification of these to be torpedo-capable, yes?
     
  18. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    #18 oldcrowcv63, Feb 13, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2012
    It is indeed... :)

    Especially when one considers its long post war life in a variety of roles: including dedicated AEW and ASW aircraft.
     
  19. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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  20. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    First, I would take the Naval chief of armament and march him to a firing squad for criminal incompetence. Second I would develop a torpedo that worked, could be dropped from a much higher altitude and airspeed, or, to save time and money, steal a type 91 torpedo from Japan, while I was there I would also get a type 91 for our destroyers, and copy them.

    Then I would develop a plane capable of about 300 mph dash speed at SL with torpedo (internal bomb bay). I would probably not include dive bombing capability but rather emphasize low level bombing techniques including skip bombing. Two man crew may be all that's needed. It would probably look like a TBY-2 or XTBU-1, only with an R2600 engine.

    Interesting, the TBF would almost meet the requirements given the developed torpedo.
     
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