Fulmar as scout bomber?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by mexchiwa, Apr 11, 2015.

  1. mexchiwa

    mexchiwa New Member

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    Here's a what-if: could the RN have gotten more mileage out of their Fulmars if they were used/converted to light bombers? It was the original design purpose of the P7/34, and I think I've read that the Fulmar could carry 2 250 lb bombs or 1 500 pounder (though I've never seen a pic of a Fulmar with bombs). Any thoughts?
     
  2. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    The 'Warpaint' book on the Fulmar states indeed a 500 lb bomb as an option for the Fulmar II; the Fulmar I was limited to 8x25 lb bombs max, per same source. The 'strike radius' with 500 lb bomb was quoted at 220 miles - quite useful. Fulmar was carrying 186 US gals of fuel internally in a protected tank, for eg. the SBD-1 was at 180 gals, the SBD-2 and subsequent were at 260 gals of protected fuel (only possible with a bomb of 1000 lbs and less).
     
  3. freebird

    freebird Active Member

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    Why bother? The Albacore was introduced in late 1940, and could carry 2,000 lb of bombs.
    The Fulmar was needed as fighter/scout until 1942 when the RN carried Sea Hurricanes.

    By late 1942 the Barracuda is soon to be introduced, a far more capable bomber.
    Rather than waste design effort to upgrade an old design, better to work on the replacement
     
  4. RCAFson

    RCAFson Well-Known Member

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    IIRC, at least one squadron of shore based Fulmar IIs were operational as dedicated dive bombers. According to The Secret Years, the Fulmar II could drop a 500lb bomb at 60degs, and a maximum speed of 310 knots.
     
  5. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    I think the Royal Navy got a huge amount of mileage out of its Fulmars as fighters, probably more than anyone else would have in its situation. It certainly was no match for enemy fighters it encountered in combat, the Bf 109 and Mitsubishi Zero, but its pilots made the best of the situation they found themselves in until more suitable aircraft arrived in the navy's ranks. Using Fulmars as bombers was a bit of a waste; the navy needed modern fighters and in the first couple of years of the war it was either the Fulmar, the Sea Gladiator or the Skua.
     
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