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"Nose up" bomb rack, why?

Discussion in 'Aircraft' started by OpanaPointer, Apr 21, 2010.

  1. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    The Germans loaded their bombs nose up on at least some planes. Why did they do that? It pretty much guarantees a tumble, don't it?
     
  2. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    It guarantees that they come out of the bomb bay tail first, and turn over as they decend, not that they "tumble" per se.

    However, considering the size of the bomb-bays of the available craft of the time, hanging the bombs by their nose on a rack was the least "bulky" of methods and easiest to drop enmasse.
     
  3. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Pretty squirrely drop from the footage I've seen. :mad: But they didn't stay with the bomb for long.
    So it was just the best fit, not some technical issue then?
     
  4. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    From all that I have read it was simply that, best fit for multiple bomb loads in the available bomb bays they had at the time. They didn't call their best medium the "flying pencil" for no reason.

    And if I'm not mistaken that "hanging" design allowed the bombs to be "armed" mechanically when they dropped out of the rack, not armed by air spun little propellers as they were released. Simpler arming process. I could be wrong as hell on that though.
     
  5. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    I'm good with the wire arming, that sounds familiar.
     
  6. Gromit801

    Gromit801 Member

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    German bombes used a fuse with a capacitor, that charged from the aircraft electrical system. When the bomb dropped, the safety and charging wires were pulled out, and it was a live bomb in a couple of seconds.

    For their medium, low level style of bombing, it worked for them. The allies "spinning prop" method of arming worked pretty well also, and armed about as fast since they dropped into the airstream in the direction they had to fall. I'm thinking about this, and what might have happened if the bomb had armed first:

    [​IMG]
     
  7. surfersami

    surfersami Member

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    Looking at this picture, imagine what the tail gunner was thinking!
     
  8. Gromit801

    Gromit801 Member

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    Well, he's actually sitting further aft of the stab, so he would have felt a huge jolt, heard a crashing sound, the stab would have already been gone by the time he actually looked, and at that point, WTF!!!!?????
     
  9. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    I've seen footage of a stick taking out the wing of a B-24. That was a bad day at the office benchmark.
     
  10. mcoffee

    mcoffee Son-of-a-Gun(ner)

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    Getting away from nose up bomb loading, but I believe you are refering to the B-24 shown hit at the 0:35 second mark.
    B-24 Crash

    This was 44-42058 of the 494th BG, named BRIEF. The video is often attributed to a bomb strike. Although bombs from other aircraft can be seen in the frame, it was a direct hit by a flak shell rather than a bomb hit that caused the wing collapse. A close look will show that the bombs are falling on the far side of the a/c. Eye witness accounts in the MACR confirm it was a flak hit.
     
  11. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    I remember that footage as part of a "yeah, but" sequence. Don't have a reference to that one, however. And, as always, I could be remembering the whole thing bass-ackwards.
     
  12. marc780

    marc780 Member

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    Regarding nose up loading, one of the reasons may have been, a crewman could crawl back there and put the fuses in flight. (So take off might be a little bit safer in the event of a crash.)Or he could also remove them if the pilot had to land with the bombs still aboard for some reason.
     
  13. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Wasn't that available on the -17s and -24s though? And without crawling over the bombs?
     
  14. obxgyrene

    obxgyrene Member

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    The storage of the bombs in the He-111 was the result that the length of the bomb bay made vertical storage more practical. Remember, the He 111 started out on the drawing board as a civil airliner. The storage of bombs were added to the original design at a later date. Bombs were carried the bombs in 8 cells in the vertical position so that more could be held.
     
  15. mhuxt

    mhuxt Member

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    IIRC the Fort in photos was lost, during an attack on Berlin. Can anyone conirm?
     
  16. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    The reason has to do entirely with the design of the aircraft from a strength stand point. A large open bomb bay like on a B-17 or 24 requires a design that does not have the wing spars extending through the bay itself. Hence the high wing on a B-24 that clears the bay by extending over the top or the mid wing of a Lancaster with a shallow but very large bay.
    The Germans solved this problem by making the bombs hang vertically in cells between and around the wing spars. The trade off is that this method causes more tumble on the bomb as it leaves the bay causing a decrease in accuracy of the drop through larger scattering patterns of the bombs. It also limits the size of bombs that can be carried internally to those that will fit in the cells. Larger bombs have to be carried externally.
     
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  17. mcoffee

    mcoffee Son-of-a-Gun(ner)

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    Yes, the a/c was 42-31540 "Miss Donna Mae" of the 94th BG, 331st BS and was lost 19 May 44 over Berlin. The pilot was 1Lt. Marion Reid, and all 11 on board were KIA.
     

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