ETO: US Lancaster/Lincoln vs. B-29/B-32

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by gjs238, Apr 18, 2014.

  1. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2009
    Messages:
    1,710
    Likes Received:
    107
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Rather than transition from B-17's B-24's to B-32's in the ETO as planned, would it have been more cost effective (or simply more effective) for the US to transition to Lancasters or Lincolns?
     
  2. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Messages:
    5,906
    Likes Received:
    853
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Electrical Engineer, Aircraft Restoration
    Location:
    Rancho Cucamonga, California, U.S.A.
    With the B-29 being developed and slated for deployment to the PTO, and with the eventual failure to deliver B-32's, why would we not stay with the B-17 and B-24 since the war in Europe was winding down by that point and the B-17 / B-24 were doing the job?

    There was no possibility for the USA to abandon the B-17 / B-24 before late 1943 and no incentive whatsoever after that. Exactly what would it buy us that we weren't already accomplishing and where would the proposed bombers come from? I was not aware that the UK had excess bomber capacity to supply us with them and there is no US aircraft manufacturer who was building B-17's or B-24's who would shut down and retool for British bomber production in the middle of a war.
     
  3. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,199
    Likes Received:
    784
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    Had the B-32 met schedule, the plan was to replace the B-17 and B-24 with it.
     
  4. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Messages:
    5,906
    Likes Received:
    853
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Electrical Engineer, Aircraft Restoration
    Location:
    Rancho Cucamonga, California, U.S.A.
    Hi Joe,

    I got that from the other thread, but we seem to have a spate of people who think we should have used British planes in WWII. While it MIGHT be possible today, they seem to be forgetting the depression of 1929 and the fact that it still wasn't quite over yet when WWII broke out for us. We were an isolationist country at the time and it was not possible for us to purchase foreign military equipment, politically. Whoever DID would have been out of office immediately.

    The US people needed work and we were an arms supplier nation. Countries that were arms suppliers at the time did not import military equipment ... they built their own. The British would never have taken American military equipment if they had the capacity to build their own in sufficient numbers. Not because they didn't like our equipment (which they might not have ...), but because they were also an arms supplier ... they built ships for Japan between WWI and WWII and were an arms developer and supplier to many other nations.

    What the USA did was to cover the gap between what the UK needed immediately and what it could produce before ramping up enough to cover their own needs. The US was never in that position at all. We HAD the capacity to produce our own designs, once we ramped up for it. The Merlin was only license-built for "war necessity" since the ETO was a high-altitude fight and the War Department didn't fund a 2-stage integral supercharger for the Allison. So it was "expedient" to build a proven high-altitude engine and politically possible essentially because it succeeded. If it had not, political heads would have rolled.

    There was no such "war expedient" need for US bombers. Both the B-17 and B-24 could get to high altitudes just fine and our medium bombers were as good as anyone else's. Had the B-32 been built in time by Consolidated, I'm sure we would have supplemented the B-17's and B-24's with the B-32's. As it happened, Consolidated didn't deliver the goods on the B-32 while Boeing DID with the B-29.

    We didn't buy a British plane for primary US use in WWII up until the post-war Canberra, and it had a completely Americanized front fuselage instead of the British cockpit, plus our version used American turbojets, US instruments and instrument layout, and was built here. Not all that much was interchangeable with the British Canberras.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,199
    Likes Received:
    784
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    Agree on all points Greg - the Canberra (B-57 in American ;) ) was an excellent aircraft and the exception to the rule.
     
  6. timmy

    timmy Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    8
    I am not sure what your getting at?

    Are you saying licence build Lancasters Lincolns in the U.S?

    Anyway hypothetically, I have allways felt that 3 aircraft the U.S should have licence build was the early Spifires/Mosquito and Lancaster

    The Lancaster gave you some thing different to the B17/B24. It had more Range/Payload and was clearly faster at lower altitudes. This would be handy in the Pacific, but I doubt it would help you with daylight raids over Berlin
    There you need a B17 with 14 50s, a Rugged tank like contruction, and the ability to fly way above the Lancasters 20 000ft
    The Lancaster V/Lincoln is different. It does now have 50s and can fly up to 30 000 ft with a huge payload. But how rugged was it ?

    Still I think cost needs to come into the argument. Take the B-29 for example. Now its a great Bomber with great range/ payload and altitude/speed performance. But fully loaded a B-29 is still flying at 300mph and needs to still fly at say 25 000ft. Is it any less vulnerable than a B-17? With well over $600 000 unit cost compared to a $230 000 B-17 it would need to be 3 times as good. I'm not sure of the unit cost of a Lincoln but its something to think about

    Anyway as mentioned the U.S didn't really licence build anything so the point is probably mute
     
  7. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,199
    Likes Received:
    784
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    er... The Merlin?
     
  8. Garyt

    Garyt Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2014
    Messages:
    351
    Likes Received:
    23
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Well, it can carry about 4x the bomb load and it can carry it further. Seems that you get more bomb for the buck with the B-29:lol:
     
  9. timmy

    timmy Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    8
    I forgot the obvious :oops:

    It would have been very interesting to see how the B-29 would have gone over Berlin. Would the Luftwaffe be able to intercept it? Just how effective are those remote guns? Was the B-29 as rugged as the the B-17? Just how many would the USAF be willing to lose compared to the B-17? Then again if its dropping 3/4 times the load anything above 1:3 loss ratio with the B-17 would be good. Not to mention less men would be lost


    Still sometimes better is not always better. Take the C-47/ Catalina for instance. Old obsolete designs that should have been replace by something newer/bigger/faster. Problem was they where the best, simpliest ,cost effective solution

    THe USAF may have had the some problem if they tried to replace the Old B-17 with the B-29
     
  10. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Messages:
    5,906
    Likes Received:
    853
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Electrical Engineer, Aircraft Restoration
    Location:
    Rancho Cucamonga, California, U.S.A.
    We weren't fighting to be cost effective. We were fighting for national survival.

    You think the Brits cared what beating the Nazis cost? They did AFTERWARD, but when national survival was at stake, they wanted to fight no matter what ... as it should have been. They are still the United Kingdom today ... and still speaking English.

    The USA stood almost no chance of direct invasion or even direct attack but we entered into an immense expenditure, supporting the UK, Russia, Turkey, France, etc. The end goal was not cost containment, it was to defeat the expansionist Nazi / Axis powers, especially Japan as they had cost us about 5,000 men at Pearl Harbor when no declaration of war had yet been received.

    An act of war deserves to be returned tenfold until surrender of the other side or, at least, an armistice. Personally, I would not settle for an armistice, but I'm not a nation that can't continue, and understand the realities of accepting that option. We did that in Korea ... it's still a cease-fire, for how long ... nobody knows.

    Why EVER accept another one? The cost of maintaining your vigilance is not worth it.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Garyt

    Garyt Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2014
    Messages:
    351
    Likes Received:
    23
    Trophy Points:
    18
    It's not a question of spending less money, but where those resources may be allocated. I look at the P-51 for instance. I think you could make almost 2 P-51's for one P-38. Would you rather have 2,000 P-51's, or 1,000 P-38's?

    Even though the US had more resources than any other country of the war, they also had to keep on eye on where they spent their resources. Not saying we'd want to continue making Brewster Buffaloes if they were cost effective, but cost and cost in resources was important.

    On a different scale, look at Japan. The spent an ungodly amount of Yen on the Yamato's, when they could have had perhaps 2 Shokaku's for every Yamato, which would have served them better. If they could fix their pilot training issues that is :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Greyman

    Greyman Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2009
    Messages:
    711
    Likes Received:
    130
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Bofors and Oerlikon were other big ones.
     
  13. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,199
    Likes Received:
    784
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    #13 FLYBOYJ, Apr 19, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2014
    Somewhere on this site is posted US fighter costs, the P-38 was more expensive to build and operate than the P-51 but not by double. Regardless, the P-38 was the perfect fit for the mission and was available to those commands who needed it, especially in the PTO. When the P-51 became available in the PTO, the P-38 was being phased out, point being the P-38 fulfilled a role until something better and more cost effective came along.

    But to the question at hand - the B-29 was the most advanced weapons system of WW2 next to the A bomb, hands down. There was a push to make sure it was successful and despite all the issues it had at it's introduction, it served well. It was a generation a head of the Lancaster and offered systems that eventually became "standard equipment' in the first combat and civilian jet aircraft.

    The B-29 was probably more money to build than the Lincoln, all you have to do is look at the configuration and performance of both aircraft. Don't forget the B-29D which eventually became the B-50 - this aircraft solved most if not all of the early issues found on the B-29 and further pushed the bar on recip bomber aircraft.

    The B-29 had about a 10% combat loss during WW2 and Korea. Although the aircraft suffered substantial losses during daylight raids over Korea, it also wasn't properly escorted during the missions. The B-29 was later converted to a tanker and served until the early 1960s. To further show the effectiveness of the B-29, the RAF, despite operating the Lincoln (which didn't have the range to reach parts of Europe), operated 87 B-29s. The "Washington B.1" remained in service from March 1950 until early 1954, having been replaced by the Canberra.
     
  14. Milosh

    Milosh Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2009
    Messages:
    1,918
    Likes Received:
    96
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Gyro gun sights and radar were based on British products.

    Not built in USA but flown by Americans, deHavilland Mosquito, Spitfire
     
  15. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,199
    Likes Received:
    784
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    Look at the development of all these aircraft, when they entered service and how they were operated. the Lancaster emerged as the best bomber in the ETO IMO, it's bomb carrying ability was excellent, but fell short in altitude performance. Compare the Lanc to the B-32 (which was a planning failure).
     
  16. Milosh

    Milosh Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2009
    Messages:
    1,918
    Likes Received:
    96
    Trophy Points:
    48
    P-38: 134,284(39-41) 120,407(42) 105,567(43) 97,147(44)
    P-51: 58,698(42) 58,824(43) 51,572(44) 50,985(45)

    Close enough to being double
     
  17. Garyt

    Garyt Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2014
    Messages:
    351
    Likes Received:
    23
    Trophy Points:
    18
    OK, how about 1,883 P-51'a for 1000 P-38's?:)

    And that was about when P-38's were the "cheapest" compared to P-51's comparatively.
     
  18. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,199
    Likes Received:
    784
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    Perhaps - also consider the first P-38s were just about hand built, almost 40K per unit reduction from 1939 to1944.
     
  19. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,199
    Likes Received:
    784
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    see my last post
     
  20. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Messages:
    7,990
    Likes Received:
    435
    Trophy Points:
    83
    FWIW:

    cost1.JPG
     
    • Like Like x 1
Loading...

Share This Page