Thought would share this, Lancaster bombers operated by the Russian Air Force in WW2

The rounded look to the covered up nose of one of the recovered Lancasters put me in mind of a Ju 88A-4 or Do-188,





although the Do-19 is probably a better likeness in some respects.




interesting to note the Russian Lancs ended up as was suggested for RAF lancs later in the war.
it was suggested by the tech bods to delete the fairly useless front and mid upper turret and fit a glazed nose a la Halifax. They argued the resulting 20mph gain in airspeed would allow them to outpace most German nightfighters. Iirc, deleting guns deemed ‘bad for morale’ So not pushed.
 
Various Squadrons but notably 617 and IX left Scotland, bombed the Tipitz in Northern Norway and then headed to Russia to land, refuel, and then return to Scotland.
There was a rivalry between 617 and IX (who were Tallboy equipped) IX always tried to burst the Dambuster glamour by pointing out that they got the Tirpitz and 617 didn't :)
 
There was a rivalry between 617 and IX (who were Tallboy equipped) IX always tried to burst the Dambuster glamour by pointing out that they got the Tirpitz and 617 didn't :)
No 'was' about it; a rivalry that's still very much alive.
 

tiv

War Hero
*Edit I don't know if these were welded together or held together by a casting or a recast block
ISTR that four Perigrine cylinder banks were attached to a new common crank case giving an X formation and containing a single crankshaft.
 
There was a rivalry between 617 and IX (who were Tallboy equipped) IX always tried to burst the Dambuster glamour by pointing out that they got the Tirpitz and 617 didn't :)

Wife was end of life Carer for a IX Sqn navigator chap who's just passed away.
'617 got all the glory, but we bombed Hitlers house'
 
Heard this story before, wonder what happened to the one sent to the technical school in Riga as instructional airframe? worth a look there?
 
In that rather excellent documentary about the womens' air transport auxiliary, one of the ladies recounts how the process for flying a new type was just to read through the pilot's notes and then get on with it!

Those ladies flew dozens of different types, apparently with little or no conversion training, so i guess that the practice was fairly common in the wartime years. You certainly read a lot of anecdotes about pilots borrowing an aircraft or having a cabby in one. I suppose life and airframes were very cheap back then.
I think that it is Paul Brickhill's book "The Dambusters" that he mentions the raid on a V3 site. Leonard Cheshire flew a silver Mustang over the site and told his squadron to aim for him. It was the first time that he had flown in a Mustang.
 
The joy of standardisation meant that every RAF aircraft had a Basic Six instrument panel so that when an ATA pilot sat into a strange aircraft, at least they had a familiar instrument panel in front of them. All British bombers and many of the multi-engines aircraft were designed as single-pilot operation so one person could ferry a bomber. When American aircraft came on the scene, they had no basic six and instruments were scattered everywhere, which made instrument flying difficult. Later, all US aircraft destined for RAF or RN service were fitted with the Basic Six. A lot of American airmen came to appreciate that the Basic Six layout was superior and they agitated that it be adopted in America. American aircraft tended to have a two pilot cockpit
 
I think that it is Paul Brickhill's book "The Dambusters" that he mentions the raid on a V3 site. Leonard Cheshire flew a silver Mustang over the site and told his squadron to aim for him. It was the first time that he had flown in a Mustang.
I think that was Willie Tait - if ever there was a man who probably ought to have been awarded a VC... that said, four DSOs and two DFCs weren't to be sniffed at, either.
 
In that rather excellent documentary about the womens' air transport auxiliary, one of the ladies recounts how the process for flying a new type was just to read through the pilot's notes and then get on with it!

Those ladies flew dozens of different types, apparently with little or no conversion training, so i guess that the practice was fairly common in the wartime years. You certainly read a lot of anecdotes about pilots borrowing an aircraft or having a cabby in one. I suppose life and airframes were very cheap back then.
My grandfather was an ATA pilot, and instructor, following a stint on Wellingtons. I have, this week, been listening to his oral history, available online via the IWM archives.

There are 3 reels, I have listened to 2. So far he has crashed a Wellington and a Hurricane, had some hairy flying in a Beaufighter and narrowly avoided bailing out of a Mosquito. Looking forward to reel 3!
 
My grandfather was an ATA pilot, and instructor, following a sting on Wellingtons. I have, this week, been listening to his oral history, available online via the IWM archives.

There are 3 reels, I have listened to 2. So far he has crashed a Wellington and a Hurricane, had some hairy flying in a Beaufighter and narrowly avoided bailing out of a Mosquito. Looking forward to reel 3!
If anyone is interested I will be happy to PM a link
 
There was a rivalry between 617 and IX (who were Tallboy equipped) IX always tried to burst the Dambuster glamour by pointing out that they got the Tirpitz and 617 didn't :)
No.9 Squadron was my grandfather's (see above) which he joined at the beginning of the war from the RAF VR. A crash grounded him during which time he transferred to the ATA, who were somewhat less strict about physical fitness.
 

Wordsmith

LE
Book Reviewer
Be interesting to see the performance figures for the modified Lancasters. The Russians stripped the turrets out of them - which would have added about 50 mph to the cruising and maximum speeds.

There were those in the UK's operational research teams who wanted to do likewise. The twin engined Luftwaffe night fighters only had a small speed margin over the Lancaster due to the drag from radar antenna and all the other crap handing off to them. A Lancaster that was 50 mph faster would have been impossible to catch from astern.

Wordsmith
 

tiv

War Hero
interesting to note the Russian Lancs ended up as was suggested for RAF lancs later in the war.
it was suggested by the tech bods to delete the fairly useless front and mid upper turret and fit a glazed nose a la Halifax. They argued the resulting 20mph gain in airspeed would allow them to outpace most German nightfighters. Iirc, deleting guns deemed ‘bad for morale’ So not pushed.
Though as you point out the Halifax had the nose turret removed and a streamlined perspex nose fitted containing a hand operated Vickers K. It also had the C Type dorsal turret replaced with a less drag inducing A Type turret to boost performance.
 

Tyk

LE
If anyone is interested I will be happy to PM a link
Yes please!

The basic 6 made a hell of a lot of sense, easier to adapt to as a pilot and a damn sight cheaper and faster to make. While the Brit bombers were designed for a single pilot it wasn't unknown for another member of the aircrew to know how to fly the bus even though not a full pilot so they had some backup if the driver got hurt.

I used to know a Polish pilot (worked with his son) who started off flying Hurricanes and ended the war in Mustangs then stayed in the RAF and finally retired when Lightnings were all the rage.
He said converting between the types was trivial for experienced pilots, no more tricky than jumping into an unfamiliar car, although he did say it had some risks. One of his younger mates on his first Mustang flight decided it was a great idea to throw the throttles wide open, rather than easing them up, while still close to the ground and the torque slammed it into the nearest hillside.
I'm not in the slightest bit surprised by the Tedder memoir, in those days innovation was encouraged and the build time for a prototype was pretty short, ironing out the kinks took some time, but clearly the Lancaster didn't have a lot of those.
 

tiv

War Hero
Yes please!

The basic 6 made a hell of a lot of sense, easier to adapt to as a pilot and a damn sight cheaper and faster to make. While the Brit bombers were designed for a single pilot it wasn't unknown for another member of the aircrew to know how to fly the bus even though not a full pilot so they had some backup if the driver got hurt.
ISTR That they began giving the Flight Engineers enough training to get the aircraft back if the pilot was incapacitated.
 
Be interesting to see the performance figures for the modified Lancasters. The Russians stripped the turrets out of them - which would have added about 50 mph to the cruising and maximum speeds.

There were those in the UK's operational research teams who wanted to do likewise. The twin engined Luftwaffe night fighters only had a small speed margin over the Lancaster due to the drag from radar antenna and all the other crap handing off to them. A Lancaster that was 50 mph faster would have been impossible to catch from astern.

Wordsmith
Would a turretless Lancaster still have been 50mph faster when fully loaded with bombs? The Russian Lancasters had neither turrets nor bombs.
 

Wordsmith

LE
Book Reviewer
Would a turretless Lancaster still have been 50mph faster when fully loaded with bombs? The Russian Lancasters had neither turrets nor bombs.
Apparently so.

The calculations were done by Freeman Dyson, who became a very well known physicist after the war. I first came across this in his autobiography "Disturbing the Universe" - he worked in Operational Research during WW2.

The thread I've referenced above is too long to quote, but it shows this is shades of grey rather than black and white.

Wordsmith
 

Tyk

LE
I guess it's more about the aerodynamic drag than the load if the engines had heaps of power to spare, just acceleration time being the difference in load.
 
I guess it's more about the aerodynamic drag than the load if the engines had heaps of power to spare, just acceleration time being the difference in load.
Realistically, though, if half a ton of turret were removed, that would just mean either an extra half ton of bomb load or an extra half ton of fuel to increase range. Perversely, in the latter case, that would put the aircraft over enemy territory for longer.
 
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