Faiery Battle bomb release

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maltesefalcon
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Faiery Battle bomb release

Post by maltesefalcon » 09 Apr 2019 03:14

I have a very specific quextion in regards to the Fairey Battle. There was a dedicated bomb aimer's station and crew member.
If that crew member was incapacitated, could tbe pilot arm and/or release the bombs from his position?

Would be a bit ugly, landing a damaged kite with a dead bomb aimer and a fully armed bombload....

Anyone have insight?

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Ironmachine
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Re: Faiery Battle bomb release

Post by Ironmachine » 09 Apr 2019 07:09

I found this:
A Vickers machine-gun is fixed in the wing. This machine-gun can be fired by the pilot, the sight for the gun being mounted on the windscreen. The pilot also has a bomb release switch.
https://www.wondersofworldaviation.com/ ... attle.html
So it seems the pilot could release the bombs, but a better source may be needed.
Regards.

Knouterer
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Re: Faiery Battle bomb release

Post by Knouterer » 09 Apr 2019 12:29

Greg Baughen's book about the Fairey Battle notes that in May 1940 the navigator/bomb aimer was generally left behind as the pilots were able to find their targets without them. It follows that the pilots were able to release the bombs. Usual load was four 250 lb (113 kg) bombs in bomb bays in the wings. The bomb racks could be lowered hydraulically to make sure the bombs would clear the aircraft in a dive bombing attack. Picture shows the sliding cover of the bomb aimer's window:
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"The true spirit of conversation consists in building on another man's observation, not overturning it." Edward George Bulwer-Lytton

maltesefalcon
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Re: Faiery Battle bomb release

Post by maltesefalcon » 13 Apr 2019 17:26

Thank you both for your assistance!

ROLAND1369
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Re: Faiery Battle bomb release

Post by ROLAND1369 » 18 Apr 2019 14:18

I believe that you will find that all WW II bombers had at least and emergency bomb release accessible by the pilot. My father was an aircraft commander on B24s during WW II and told me of once reaching to turn off the auto pilot and hitting the emergency bomb salvo by accident. It only makes sense to enable the pilot to be able to lighten the aircraft in an emergency.

Knouterer
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Re: Faiery Battle bomb release

Post by Knouterer » 05 Jun 2019 12:26

Indeed it does. In the Westland Lysander the pilot did the bombing, but the rear gunner/observer could also release the bombs, in an emergency (like just before a crash landing) if the pilot for some reason (technical failure, injury) was unable to do so. However, he could not arm them.

On checking again, I see that there was in fact a small bomb aiming window in the floor of the aircraft for the observer too.
"The true spirit of conversation consists in building on another man's observation, not overturning it." Edward George Bulwer-Lytton

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