US Bomber Turrets - How to avoid self fratricide

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by Matt308, Apr 13, 2005.

  1. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    Any enlightenment on what devices may have been used on US bomber airplanes to prevent dorsal turrets from shooting their own vertical stabilizer? Training, fear, luck or mechanical interlocks? I know that waist gunners were notorious for shooting other aircraft, but did they too have cords/wire that prevented gun rotation into wing structures on their own aircraft?
     
  2. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    There was a cam and lock out mechanism which prevented the turret guns from being fired when the guns passed by aircraft structure (Martin Dorsal Turrets). I always thought of what would happen if the 2 dorsal gunners on a Privateer got mad at each other! :shock:
     

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  3. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    Thanks! I suspect that was learned the hard way as we migrated from WWI to WWII. I have seen waist gunner positions with cord attached on one or both sides of the machine gun that apparently were used for both relief to the gunner to not have balance his weapon as well as what apparently looks like a means of limiting field of fire. A field expedient "lock-out", if you will.

    I note that the Martin turret pic that you included in your response appears to have crazed "glass". Is this a replica of the original Perspex or is this just how Perspex ages over time? The pic looks like you may personally taken a look at the turret.

    The B-29 sight alignment for multiple turrets is another fascinating topic. I have also read that some USAAF B-29s that were scrapped in the field, removed the turrets and sighting system and used them as field expedient AA with some limited success. Sounds like a lot of mechanical alignment work that perhaps was more of a means of passing time than actually resource efficient.

    Matt
     
  4. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    That's true - In addition many of the B-29s used during Korea had their turrets removed because they couldn't track MiGs. The tail gunner was the best position to get a shot at a MiG and I think all the B-29 gunners who brought down Migs during the Korean War were tail gunners.

    Interesting note - the B-36 supposedly had improved turret that could track high speed aircraft. These were kept highly classified for many years and there are not very many photos of the B-36 turrets exposed!

    As far as the glass on the turret - Beats Me?!? :rolleyes:
     
  5. elmilitaro

    elmilitaro Member

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    The turrets of the bombers back then I think were made from plexiglass. :?:
     
  6. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    "THERMOSETTING" PLEXIGLASS TO BE EXACT, BUT COMMONLY KNOWN AS"GLASS" FOR THOSE OF US WHO WORK AROUND THIS STUFF 8)
     
  7. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    Really.

    Didn't think perspex was made any more. Perspex and household plexiglass are not one and the same.

    Any insight?
     
  8. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    I belive perspex is still made, If I remeber right, it was manufacturing methods, cost and enviornmental considerations which caused manufacturers to look into other plastics.
     
  9. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    Interesting. Good info.
     
  10. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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  11. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    Hey Flyboy,

    You a Fed? FAA Flight Standards type?
     
  12. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    No, I am a CFI and an IA, but I do work with Flight Standards all the time.
     
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