Torpedo Bombers

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See Article History. This article was most recently revised and updated by William L. Hosch , Associate Editor. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. The war ended before the squadron could go into action, but the RNAS had already used torpedoes dropped from Short seaplanes to sink enemy ships in the Mediterranean, and the Cuckoo, with its modest top speed of miles….

World War II also saw the introduction of torpedo-carrying aircraft and homing, or acoustic, torpedoes. Torpedoes are an important element in antisubmarine warfare; attack…. Bomber , military aircraft designed to drop bombs on surface targets. Navy was pounding heavily defended land targets, deaths among radio operators soared [Thomas ].

There was no armor in the bottom of the tunnel as there was around the seats of the pilot and turret gunner, and of course, AA hit from below.

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In high level bombing, most Avengers had no need for the radio operator to use the Norden bombsight as the bombardier. Normally, Avengers doing level bombing had to fly in large gaggles, with a single lead plane containing the bombardier. All the pilots of the other planes simply dropped their bombs on cue when the lead plane released its payload.

Many squadrons dropped the radio operator from their crews late in the war [Thomas ]. The information we have seen is all that is necessary to understand basic crew organization and seating. However, it leaves an obvious question unanswered. It was taken out in later models to make more room for radio equipment.

Premium Carrier Review #2: Torpedo Bombers

Eden and Moeng present a cutaway view of an Avenger beyond the first model. It shows no seat in the middle, and it shows a lot of radio gear that would be difficult for a human to share space with. Of course, the Avengers you see in air shows today usually do have a middle seat, but this was an after-war addition. For in-flight maintenance, the radio operator or turret gunner could climb into the middle compartment from the rear.

In the first production models of the TBF-1, there was indeed a second seat and rudimentary controls [Scrivner 7]. However, after the first 50, the controls were taken out.

TBM/TBF Avenger Torpedo Bomber - Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale Museum

Sometimes, missions undoubtedly did put someone behind the pilot. For example, in observation missions to direct Army and Marine artillery fire but not for naval gunfire , there was always an observation officer from that service aboard [Suerstedt].

It seems likely that he was behind the pilot, but I have found no clear evidence of this. However, this did not necessarily mean that he had a seat.

World's Deadliest Aircraft - TBF Avenger

The caption for Figure 12 specifically states that Lt. Kerlee stood for four hours in the mission, hoisting his two big K cameras when he reached Wake for the picture-taking part of the mission. It does not look like he enjoyed the mission. Two separate canopies front and back would have disrupted air flow. This article cannot address that central question. Opinions have been expressed on the Internet, but none that I have found so far is documented. Some insight may come from a USN publicity photo for the prototype. As Figure 13 shows, the photo shows a crew of four, with someone about to climb into the middle seat.

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The red dot in the middle of the star was removed in May , so this was a very early model. The picture suggests that the airplane may have been intended to have a crew of four but that this was later changed. I hope to amend this blog post in the future with more definitive information.

Chance, William B. Eden, Paul E. Panko, Ray. Rikard, J. No longer online.

List of torpedo bombers

Last viewed June 1, WWII Barracuda bomber to be rebuilt from crash wreckage. Related Internet links. Wessex Archaeology. Naval Aviation Museum. National Museum of the Royal Navy.

Avengers at NAS Fort Lauderdale

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