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Britain's "Black Lancaster" squadron
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Picture of Bill/Oregon
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I had no idea it existed -- to drop the atomic bombs on Japan if we couldn't adapt the B-29 in time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XX9ptCNpik


There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn’t.
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Posts: 14070 | Location: Alamogordo, NM | Registered: 03 June 2000Reply With Quote
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One reason was at first it looked like the A Bomb would ve long long and no plane has the long (33 feet I think) bombay door of ythe Lancaster.

The Lancaster dropped the heaviest bomb load in WWI with the 22,000 pound eartquake bombs. One real speciality of the Lancaster was the huge load of incendiary bomgs it could drop in conjunction with a 5000 pound block buster to open buiding and bust water mains etc. The Lancaster virtually burnt Germany to the ground.

The modified B29s were called Silverplate models. The B29s had a coupe of big things gping for them in the context of the A Bomb, remembering that they hardly had a warehouse full of A Bombs. They flew at very high altitude, over 30,000 feet and their gun control system made them deadly on enemy fighters. They would initially fly 2 or 3 over Japan ona regular basis so the Japs saw 2 or 3 B29s as just reconnaissance planes. The Jaops did not have the fuel to waster on reconnaissance planes. They flew 2 or 3 because the A Bomb drop was to have a couple of other B29s for observation and camera purposes.

Where the Lancaster would have been poor it was a slow plane and about 19,000 feet was the limit. Also, Lancasters flying over Japan would have raised enormous suspicion.

Actually the B29s career was cut short or limited by the A Bomd. If there had been no A Bomb the B28s could have bombed Japan at will.

The B28 was about twice the size/weight of the Lancaster. However, both were very different designs, The Lancaster was a very low (for a bomber) wing loading and low wing aspect ratio and the B29 was just the opposite. In some way you could liken wing loading and wing aspect ratio to gearing in a car and think of low wing loading and low aspect ratio as low gearing. As an example it would have been nigh on impossible for B29s to do somethinng like the Dambuster raid. Te Lancasters were flown at extreme low altitude on the way to avoid radar and at only about 60 feet altitide over the dams and had to then be able to climb and turn out very quickly.
 
Posts: 7046 | Location: Sydney Australia | Registered: 14 September 2015Reply With Quote
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Mike, I'd love to see a Lancaster in person. Maybe someday I will make it to Farnborough.


There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn’t.
– John Green, author
 
Posts: 14070 | Location: Alamogordo, NM | Registered: 03 June 2000Reply With Quote
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Would be good stuff Bill. I think there are 2 in flying condition and the do the fly past on the revelevant occasions with the Spitfires. Lots of Rolls Royce Merlins there.
 
Posts: 7046 | Location: Sydney Australia | Registered: 14 September 2015Reply With Quote
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Here's what it could have been:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/..._XB-39_Superfortress

50 mph faster and twice the range of the B29. Likely far more reliable. I worked for a former B29 mechanic and he said the radials in them were a disaster.
 
Posts: 2777 | Location: SC,USA | Registered: 07 March 2002Reply With Quote
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I saw one of them many years ago land at Boeing field. At the time I didn't know the history behind them. I was just happy to see my first Lancaster in flight and hear the four Merlins!


Roger
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Posts: 2464 | Location: Washington (wetside) | Registered: 08 February 2005Reply With Quote
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The later twin Wasp largely solved the B-29's reliability issues which is why it went on to serve so long in the B-29 & B-50, the Boeing Stratocruiser and other aircraft. In fact it's still in service today on the Super Guppy.

The Lancaster was undoubtedly the best heavy bomber in the European theater but wouldn't have done so well in the much more vast pacific theater.

If I had to choose which plane to drop a nuke in it would be the one that flew faster and higher. That plane is the B-29.

Of course I'm biased nice I've been on board "Fifi" one of the few remaining flying B-29's and I retired from Boeing. Wink


Roger
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Posts: 2464 | Location: Washington (wetside) | Registered: 08 February 2005Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by Cougarz:

The Lancaster was undoubtedly the best heavy bomber in the European theater but won't have done so well in the much more vast pacific theater.

If I had to choose which plane to drop a nuke in it would be the one that flew faster and higher. That plane is the B-29.



Both were ideal for their intended purpose.
 
Posts: 7046 | Location: Sydney Australia | Registered: 14 September 2015Reply With Quote
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What is amazing is the age of the blokes flying WWII stuff in combat. Lots at age 19 and 20 in Spitfires and P51 Mustangs. Guy Gibson was only 25 when he led the Dambusters raid.

Biggest problem for a bloke age 20 today is his iPad or iPhone is not working Big Grin
 
Posts: 7046 | Location: Sydney Australia | Registered: 14 September 2015Reply With Quote
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Picture of Cougarz
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quote:
Originally posted by Mike McGuire:
quote:
Originally posted by Cougarz:

The Lancaster was undoubtedly the best heavy bomber in the European theater but won't have done so well in the much more vast pacific theater.

If I had to choose which plane to drop a nuke in it would be the one that flew faster and higher. That plane is the B-29.



Both were ideal for their intended purpose.


Indeed! tu2


Roger
___________________________
I'm a trophy hunter - until something better comes along.
- Glen St Charles

*we band of 45-70ers*
 
Posts: 2464 | Location: Washington (wetside) | Registered: 08 February 2005Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by Cougarz:
quote:
Originally posted by Mike McGuire:
quote:
Originally posted by Cougarz:

The Lancaster was undoubtedly the best heavy bomber in the European theater but won't have done so well in the much more vast pacific theater.

If I had to choose which plane to drop a nuke in it would be the one that flew faster and higher. That plane is the B-29.



Both were ideal for their intended purpose.


Indeed! tu2


If the A Bomb had not materialised the B29 with the speed, altitude, range and the gun firing system would have bombed Japan with a free hand. Also tops for very long range for crew comfort with the pressurised cabin.
 
Posts: 7046 | Location: Sydney Australia | Registered: 14 September 2015Reply With Quote
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A little bit of trivia, FIFI was the last B-29 the Air Force owned, well into the 1980's if I remember correctly. It was parked across the street from where I worked at the Boeing Developmental Center.

It was a long drawn out process to get the Air Force to release it from their inventory. Our military hates to let go of something no matter how old. The Confederate Air Force finally bought it.

When they were getting ready to move it is when I walked over and got a chance to go through it. They of course later restored it completely to flying status.


Roger
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I'm a trophy hunter - until something better comes along.
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Posts: 2464 | Location: Washington (wetside) | Registered: 08 February 2005Reply With Quote
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Would have been great to go through a B29 like you did.

A lot of people think that after the space program of projects Mercury, Gemini and Apollo that the Manhattan Project was the most costly but in fact the B29 was a bigger cost than the Manhattan Project.
 
Posts: 7046 | Location: Sydney Australia | Registered: 14 September 2015Reply With Quote
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Hi Bill
If you want to see a Lancaster if you are ever around Calgary Alberta they have one there not airworthy but they run the engine, Bomber Command Museum of Canada or Nanton Lancaster Society Air Museum. If you want to see one of the only two flying Lancasters , the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton Ontario has one they fly regularly even took it to England and back about four or five years ago and the two Lancs toured all over The UK that summer. Should be able to Google all that.
Take care and stay safe. Bill


DRSS
 
Posts: 174 | Location: Vancouver Island/High Arctic | Registered: 04 February 2011Reply With Quote
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Bill Brady,

I drive through Nanton on my way hunting with a friend every other year in Alberta. Considering I'm an airplane junky I hate admit I've never stopped! CRYBABY I need to change that next time.

I've heard its good and I always get a kick out of the AM radio broadcast they have as you drive through town.


Roger
___________________________
I'm a trophy hunter - until something better comes along.
- Glen St Charles

*we band of 45-70ers*
 
Posts: 2464 | Location: Washington (wetside) | Registered: 08 February 2005Reply With Quote
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posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Mike McGuire:
quote:
Originally posted by Cougarz:
quote:
Originally posted by Mike McGuire:
quote:
Originally posted by Cougarz:

The Lancaster was undoubtedly the best heavy bomber in the European theater but won't have done so well in the much more vast pacific theater.

If I had to choose which plane to drop a nuke in it would be the one that flew faster and higher. That plane is the B-29.



Both were ideal for their intended purpose.


Indeed! tu2


If the A Bomb had not materialised the B29 with the speed, altitude, range and the gun firing system would have bombed Japan with a free hand. Also tops for very long range for crew comfort with the pressurised cabin.


What was special about the gun firing system?
 
Posts: 709 | Registered: 20 December 2005Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by rabbithabit:
quote:
Originally posted by Mike McGuire:
quote:
Originally posted by Cougarz:
quote:
Originally posted by Mike McGuire:
quote:
Originally posted by Cougarz:

The Lancaster was undoubtedly the best heavy bomber in the European theater but won't have done so well in the much more vast pacific theater.

If I had to choose which plane to drop a nuke in it would be the one that flew faster and higher. That plane is the B-29.



Both were ideal for their intended purpose.


Indeed! tu2


If the A Bomb had not materialised the B29 with the speed, altitude, range and the gun firing system would have bombed Japan with a free hand. Also tops for very long range for crew comfort with the pressurised cabin.


What was special about the gun firing system?


The gunner did not sit in a gun turret, the guns were remote controlled and also had a range allowance and also speed of fighter plane for the necessary lead. Not exactly laser range finder level but it is not like trying to hit a beer can at 400 yards with a rifle.

In short, the guns in addition to the altitude and speed meant the B29 could defend itself very well. The very long range also made it tops for the Pacific.
 
Posts: 7046 | Location: Sydney Australia | Registered: 14 September 2015Reply With Quote
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Thanks
 
Posts: 709 | Registered: 20 December 2005Reply With Quote
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The B-29 was the first bomber with a analog computer fire control system. The gunner could select the guns he wanted to use to address an incoming threat. The radar linked computer compensated for range, speed, barometric pressure and deflection.

Since he was remote from the guns themselves he also didn't feel the effects of having two .50 caliber machine guns firing by his head like earlier bombers.


Roger
___________________________
I'm a trophy hunter - until something better comes along.
- Glen St Charles

*we band of 45-70ers*
 
Posts: 2464 | Location: Washington (wetside) | Registered: 08 February 2005Reply With Quote
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