TBD DEVASTATOR DITCH GEAR

BlackSheep

Senior Airman
428
433
May 31, 2018
Does anyone know why more carrier planes didn’t carry flotation devices, like the TBD, in case they had to ditch in water?
Defeatist thinking? Ineffective for the weight? Eliminates space best used another way?

1CA6C330-7165-4C81-BF09-AEA435D01980.jpeg
 

Shortround6

Major General
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Jun 29, 2009
Central Florida Highlands
Some of the 1930s aircraft had sealed (air tight) compartments for flotation, but that requires volume in the aircraft that is either unusable for other purposes or extra care in maintenance. Like after you take the hatch off the XYZ compartment 12 times is the hatch still air tight? It also requires the compartment to be air tight to begin with with, Perhaps easier when you are building 10 planes a week instead of 10 planes a day.
It is also easier when the plane ditches at 50-60mph than at 70-80mph. Structural failure ripping open air tight compartment/s.
Inflatable bags may have been easier to install/service. But then you have to deal with the unintended inflation.
 

pbehn

Lieutenant Colonel
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Oct 30, 2013
People joke about the UK being the worlds biggest aircraft carrier. However it was a shockingly long time before it was realised that any offensive operation from UK involved flying over water. frequently further than a carrier plane flew over water and the water is COLD.
 

Shortround6

Major General
19,766
11,748
Jun 29, 2009
Central Florida Highlands
A nice looking airplane. What went right at Blackburn?
It went wrong.
It might have been too expensive?
Guess work but it used a some stainless steel major components (like spars) and a lot more aluminum that it's competition. It might have needed more labor.
It was using the AS Tiger engine. Which wound up being the kiss of death (or near to it) for a number of mid 30s British aircraft.

It may not have handled quite as nicely as the Swordfish?
 

BlackSheep

Senior Airman
428
433
May 31, 2018
People joke about the UK being the worlds biggest aircraft carrier. However it was a shockingly long time before it was realised that any offensive operation from UK involved flying over water. frequently further than a carrier plane flew over water and the water is COLD.
I was reading about the cold, unsettled waters around the UK and the nightmare it was for pilots ditching or bailing into it. Reading the contents of the so-called rescue buoys, I thought problem solved until I listened to a real life account of a pilot talking about the hell it took to climb aboard one, the either too cold, too hot, or too humid climate, the smells of your mates in a confined space, and the puke inducing rocking. Iirc, this was in the superiorly designed RAF version. Imagine, fighting the seas to make it to a buoy, managing to climb aboard without slipping and breaking something, only to find it occupied by that Luftwaffe bomber crew you shot down an hour ago. You know, the one where everybody’s favorite gunner, best friend, little brother was filled full of 303 holes and they’ve been huddling with his body, since he passed about 10 minutes before your grand entry. Out of the frying pan…..
 

pbehn

Lieutenant Colonel
11,885
8,368
Oct 30, 2013
I was reading about the cold, unsettled waters around the UK and the nightmare it was for pilots ditching or bailing into it. Reading the contents of the so-called rescue buoys, I thought problem solved until I listened to a real life account of a pilot talking about the hell it took to climb aboard one, the either too cold, too hot, or too humid climate, the smells of your mates in a confined space, and the puke inducing rocking. Iirc, this was in the superiorly designed RAF version. Imagine, fighting the seas to make it to a buoy, managing to climb aboard without slipping and breaking something, only to find it occupied by that Luftwaffe bomber crew you shot down an hour ago. You know, the one where everybody’s favorite gunner, best friend, little brother was filled full of 303 holes and they’ve been huddling with his body, since he passed about 10 minutes before your grand entry. Out of the frying pan…..
I have seen cross channel ferries being tossed about so violently in Calais and Dover harbours that they had to stop loading. The idea that you can have moored buoys that are comfortable in all conditions is a joke. It isnt even particularly comfortable on a 100,000 ton stabilised North Sea ferry in the worst weather.
 

BlackSheep

Senior Airman
428
433
May 31, 2018
Here is a newer accident 2017 in a helicopter…interesting because the topic of premature inflation of floats came up early in the thread. Apparently, a manual override was activated and the floats inflated shortly before touchdown, damaging one float, which led to the helicopter capsizing…

14B43A51-1A85-4141-8EC9-7BF2463CE961.jpeg
 

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