taking a pounding - b-17 or b-24

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by mlpractice, Nov 4, 2008.

  1. mlpractice

    mlpractice New Member

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    how compairable where these 2 daylight bomber work horses?
    bomb load
    to fly
    defense
    range
    taking a beating
    speed etc
     
  2. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    B-17, could take more damage, fly higher and was easier to fly.

    The B-24 had better range, was faster and carried a larger bomb load. It was difficult to fly if damaged or if it had an engine out. It also had some maintenance problems (fuel leaks) that were troublesome too.

    The later B-24s had turrets in the nose and tail which I think gave it an advantage. These turrets were hard to get out of if gunners had to bail out. Additionally I understand that a gunner could get crushed if the guns weren't positioned correctly in relation to the turret position needed for loading. Maybe some of our other members has more on this.
     
  3. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    No doubt about it.... the B-17 could take more punishment and keep going.

    Charles
     
  4. Doubl3Ac3

    Doubl3Ac3 Member

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    ok heres what i was able to find out
    The b-17 and the b-24 had the same Browning M-2 .50 caliber machine guns. the difference there was the b-17 had 13 while the b-24 only had 10 Brownings.Another interesting fact i found was the b-17 could actually carry more of a bomb load then the b-24 if its fitted with special external racks which would carry its total bomb load to as high as 17,600 lbs. The cruising speed of the b-17 is actually around the same as a b-24. Now the b-24 could stay in it for the long run with a range of roughly 3,000 miles with a bomb load compared to the short range capability of around 1,800 miles.

    As for armor i can see the b-17 can take alot more damage and still make the journey. Theres actually a couple reports of a b-17 that suffered a midair collision with a Focke-Wulf 190, losing an engine and suffering serious damage to both the starboard horizontal stabilizer and the vertical stabilizer, and being knocked out of formation by the impact. The airplane was reported as shot down by observers, but it survived and brought its crew home without injury. The b-24 was made for long range bombing that sacraficed armor and turrents for manuverability. Ultimately i'd say the b-17 is more of a tank between the two

    Hopefully that helps ya guys out
     
  5. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Those bomb racks were rarely used and I think with them on it gave the B-17 about a 300 mile combat radius.
     
  6. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    a little different point of view gentlemen ............

    when the newer M-rounds were released to the LW in June of 44 it did not matter really as both US bombers took it and were torn apart. All I can say is the bomber crews thanked the good Lord above for little friends
     
  7. Doubl3Ac3

    Doubl3Ac3 Member

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    another interesting fact i found on the b-17 was they carried about only a full minute burst of ammo for each turrent. And your Right FLYBOYJ it gave them a very limited combat radius and made any kinda of manuvers really hard to do. But even without the external racks the b-17 could still carry about the same bomb load as a b-24. I might be mistaken in my research but thats what i see
     
  8. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    No, the B-24 carried a heaver bomb load on most missions.

    "The B-17 lacked the range and bomb load of the B-24 Liberator"

    The Great Bombers of World War II

    From Wiki...

    Specifications (B-17G)


    General characteristics

    Crew: 10: Pilot, co-pilot, navigator, bombardier/nose gunner, flight engineer-top turret gunner, radio operator, waist gunners (2), ball turret gunner, tail gunner[114]
    Length: 74 ft 4 in (22.66 m)
    Wingspan: 103 ft 9 in (31.62 m)
    Height: 19 ft 1 in (5.82 m)
    Wing area: 1,420 ft² (131.92 m²)
    Airfoil: NACA 0018 / NACA 0010
    Empty weight: 36,135 lb (16,391 kg)
    Loaded weight: 54,000 lb (24,495 kg)
    Max takeoff weight: 65,500 lb (29710 kg)
    Powerplant: 4× Wright R-1820-97 "Cyclone" turbosupercharged radial engines, 1,200 hp (895 kW) each
    Performance

    Maximum speed: 287 mph (249 knots, 462 km/h)
    Cruise speed: 182 mph (158 knots, 293 km/h)
    Range: 1,738 nmi (2,000 mi, 3,219 km) with 2,722 kg (6,000 lb) bombload
    Service ceiling 35,600 ft (10,850 m)
    Rate of climb: 900 ft/min (4.6 m/s)
    Wing loading: 38.0 lb/ft² (185.7 kg/m²)
    Power/mass: 0.089 hp/lb (150 W/kg)
    Armament


    Guns: 13× M2 Browning .50 caliber (12.7 mm) machine guns in twin turrets, plus single dorsal, fore and aft beam positions (with optional extra nose armament fitted in glazed nose).
    Bombs: **Short range missions (<400 mi): 8,000 lb (3,600 kg)
    Long range missions (≈800 mi): 4,500 lb (2,000 kg)


    Specifications (B-24J)

    General characteristics

    Crew: 7-10
    Length: 67 ft 8 in (20.6 m)
    Wingspan: 110 ft 0 in (33.5 m)
    Height: 18 ft 0 in (5.5 m)
    Wing area: 1,048 ft² (97.4 m²)
    Empty weight: 36,500 lb (16,590 kg)
    Loaded weight: 55,000 lb (25,000 kg)
    Max takeoff weight: 65,000 lb (29,500 kg)
    Powerplant: 4× Pratt Whitney R-1830 turbosupercharged radial engines, 1,200 hp (900 kW) each
    Zero-lift drag coefficient: 0.0406
    Drag area: 42.54 ft² (3.95 m²)
    Aspect ratio: 11.55
    Performance

    Maximum speed: 290 mph (250 knots, 470 km/h)
    Cruise speed: 215 mph (187 knots, 346 km/h)
    Stall speed: 95 mph (83 knots, 153 km/h)
    Combat radius: 2,100 mi (1,800 NM, 3,400 km)
    Ferry range: 3,700 mi (3,200 NM, 6,000 km)
    Service ceiling 28,000 ft (8,500 m)
    Rate of climb: 1,025 ft/min (5.2 m/s)
    Wing loading: 52.5 lb/ft² (256 kg/m²)
    Power/mass: 0.0873 hp/lb (144 W/kg)
    Lift-to-drag ratio: 12.9
    Armament


    Guns: 10× .50 in (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns
    Bombs:

    Short range (˜400 mi): 8,000 lb (3,600 kg)
    Long range (˜800 mi): 5,000 lb (2,300 kg)
    Very long range (˜1,200 mi): 2,700 lb (1,200 kg)
     
  9. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    Joe is correct in making the distinction between operational and theoretical. Extremely few ETO missions were ever carried with anything but Internal store. The B-17 norm was 4000 or 5000 pounds depending on the range for the target. The 24 almost always carried 5,000+.

    I have heard of short range missions in which two 4,000 pound bombs were carried externally but candidly I'm still looking for the documentation.

    I think B-24s had a lower loss ratio during WWII but I believe that is misleading if applied to ETO/MTO where the intensity of the airwar was much higher than PTO. PTO virtually was all B-24 from 1943 forward when all the B-17s went to Europe.

    Standard turret load was one full box of 50's per gun. at least two more were stored in navigator/bombadier compartment and IIRC 10 more boxes
    were stored in waist area to re-supply top/ball/waist and tail.

    B17sam could comment here for a reality check. I think the 17 was slower inbound at 150mph IAS whereas the B-24 was 160+, but when the 17 dropped it's load it was churning at 180+ IAS coming home.

    It was only in the early days of B-24 ops in ETO that they would fly with the B-17 missions in close proximity (lower).

    When 2nd BD was organized as all B-24s in Sept 1943, they flew entirely as B-24 Strike force at their optimal cruise speeds.

    Before that the B-24 groups (i.e 44 and 93rd and 389th - part of Ploesti strike Avalanche) were in 2nd Combat Wing and flew with B-17s in a Task Force often going to same target.
     
  10. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    "Another problem was that B-17's and B-24's could not fly formation together due to the difference in performance of the two type aircraft. The B-24 had a long narrow Davis wing, perhaps the only graceful thing about the Liberator. This allowed the B-24 to fly 20 miles per hour faster than the B-17 but resulted in a more difficult plane to fly in formation as the prop wash of the lead planes tended to make the B-24 unstable. This required more effort on its pilots to keep a tight formation. Yet in all the hours I flew as navigator, I never heard any complaint from our pilot, Charles Peritti nor co-pilot, Burr Palmer. Neither did we ever seem to have trouble keeping a good formation."

    History 44th Bomb Group
     
  11. kool kitty89

    kool kitty89 Well-Known Member

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    I believe the B-24 cruised faster than the B-17 on the way in, but the B-17 became faster after both their loads had been dropped. (these are cruise speeds of course, at millitary/emergency power at altitude, the B-17E/F was a lot faster than the B-24D at its optimim altitude, the B-17G was only marginally faster than the later B-24J, which was in turn somewhat slower than the earlier D model)

    Some refrences:

    Consolidated B-24 Liberator

    Boeing B-17 Fortress

    Also according to this Boeing B-17F Fortress the maximum internal bombload was 8x 1,600 lb bombs. (12,800 lbs)

    But, according to Consolidated B-24D Liberator the late model B-24's (ie J) could also carry up to 8x 1,600 lb bombs internally. (and, like the B-17 had the capability to be equipped with external racks for 2x 4,000 lb bombs)
     
  12. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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  13. seesul

    seesul Active Member

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    ...and also the speed would go pretty down...
     
  14. kool kitty89

    kool kitty89 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for that page, I was dissapointed when it got deleted.

    Yes, most operational bombloads were far less (particularly for the USAAF) and the B-24 certainly had a longer operational range, but if you notice on the RAF in the CBI carried massive bobmloads with their B-24's. (nearly 12,000 lbs over more than 1,400 mi)
     
  15. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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  16. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    My first boss at Bell was a B-24 driver in MTO. Dad worked for Ted Timberlake in 5th AF during Korea. Both had enormous forearms for a pilot - both attributing to maintaining formation above 20,000 feet. Both acknowledged how mush easier a fully loaded B-17 flew in comparison to B-24.

    The B-17 primary issue for formation flying was aft cg issues through bombs away (including ammo stores in the aft cg locations) requiring elevator trim, but controls were lighter and (allegedly) throttle change/respnsivenes to maintain formation were easier..
     
  17. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Interesting Bill - I heard the same things about B-24 drivers. One of my first bosses at Lockheed flew them and he had fore arms the size of tree trunks.
     
  18. Ome_Joop

    Ome_Joop New Member

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  19. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    I've also heard about this Bill and Joe. Infact heres a quick (and rough!) scan of a cartoon from the book "Wild Blue" by Stephen E. Ambrose.
     

    Attached Files:

  20. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    A lot more built, more versatile.. the lack of space was more limited to the cramped nose, true, and the nose wheel sucked on the B-24.
     
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