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the 1938 bomber mystery....

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  • the 1938 bomber mystery....

    By 1938 The new douglas DB-7 had flown - and the USAAF was well aware that the workhorse B-18's were outmoded.
    Why didn't the USAAF place an urgency order?
    http://www.historyofwar.org/articles...-20_havoc.html
    The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

  • #2
    vrs
    The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

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    • #3
      The Americans already had production lines set up for other designs and the DB-7's were being made for the French Air Force. When France surrendered, there were a number of aircraft waiting for shipment. The RAF got some and the USAF got some. New aircraft replaced them as time went by.

      Pruitt
      Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

      Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

      by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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      • #4
        The DB-7 was considered an "export" aircraft being made for countries like Britain or France, or China for that matter. The USAAC didn't spec the design so they didn't want it.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
          The DB-7 was considered an "export" aircraft being made for countries like Britain or France, or China for that matter. The USAAC didn't spec the design so they didn't want it.
          good point. They dfid order, according to Rickard, sixty three craft in june 1939...In the meantime the March tests had not gone well. The Martin design had been rejected, and the North American NA-40 had been destroyed in the crash of 11 April. In June 1939 the Army Air Corps placed an order for 63 A-20s, similar in design to the RAF’s DB-7B. Douglas received their first American order for the A-20 two months before the prototype DB-7 made its first flight.

          http://www.historyofwar.org/articles...20K_Havoc.html
          The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
            The Americans already had production lines set up for other designs and the DB-7's were being made for the French Air Force. When France surrendered, there were a number of aircraft waiting for shipment. The RAF got some and the USAF got some. New aircraft replaced them as time went by.

            Pruitt
            IIRC, the production of the B25 was delayed while they figured out why the prototype ( NA-40) had crashed.......
            Teh previous DB-7 crash was attributed to pilot error
            3 JanuarySole prototype Douglas 7B twin-engine attack bomber, designed and built as a company project, suffers loss of vertical fin and rudder during demonstration flight over Mines Field (now Los Angeles International Airport, California), flat spins into parking lot of North American Aviation, burns. Another source states that the test pilot, in an attempt to impress the Gallic passenger, attempted a snap roll at low altitude with one engine feathered, resulting in the fatal spin.[171] Douglas test pilot Johnny Cable bails out at 300 feet, chute unfurls but does not have time to deploy, killed on impact, flight engineer John Parks rides airframe in and dies, but 33-year-old French Air Force Capt. Paul Chemidlin, riding in aft fuselage near top turret, survives with broken leg, severe back injuries, slight concussion. Ten injuries on the ground from flying debris. "The Frenchman was rushed to a nearby hospital. In an effort to maintain the secrecy veiling the flight, Douglas officials said he was a mechanic named Schmidt. The ruse didn't work. The press quickly penetrated Chemidlin's alias and Douglas was faced with admitting that he was a pilot and technical adviser with the French mission." His presence, as a representative of a foreign purchasing mission, causes furor in Congress by isolationists over neutrality and export laws.[172] Type will be developed as Douglas DB-7.[173]11 February

            Wiki

            Is it possible that the USAAF was committed to high level bombing and two pilot designs, and the DB-7 faCed resistance.?

            Or resistance form Congress that the USAAF waS GROWING TOO FAST??
            The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

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            • #7
              or: Was there, perhaps, a backlash against Douglas Aircraft for gaining too large a share of the small 1930's depression era defense contracts?
              Between the SBD and the B18, plus its dominance of the Commercial world airliner market, a lot of smaller companies could have seen Douglas a sa threat.
              They did possess tooling, such as hydropresses for forming sheet metal, that not all smaller firms had...


              This leads to an alternative scenario, where ramped up production of DB-7's would allow squadrons in the philippines in 1941, with the B-18 either alloted to the new Philippine Army Air Force, or sold to Canada for Anti Submarine duties.
              Which belongs in a different thread...
              Last edited by marktwain; 18 Feb 20, 13:40.
              The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

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              • #8
                Originally posted by marktwain View Post
                or: Was there, perhaps, a backlash against Douglas Aircraft for gaining too large a share of the small 1930's depression era defense contracts?
                Between the SBD and the B18, plus its dominance of the Commercial world airliner market, a lot of smaller companies could have seen Douglas a sa threat.
                They did possess tooling, such as hydropresses for forming sheet metal, that not all smaller firms had...
                The DB 7 simply wasn't a plane the USAAF wanted. They were looking for aircraft that would fulfill roles that made the USAAF look like a separate service for the argument that they needed to be a separate service. Thus, pursuit (eg., fighter and interceptor) aircraft and "strategic" bombers were what they wanted not a plane used for tactical support of ground forces. This was an internal political decision rather than what perceived roles the USAAF might be forced to accomplish.

                This leads to an alternative scenario, where ramped up production of DB-7's would allow squadrons in the philippines in 1941, with the B-18 either alloted to the new Philippine Army Air Force, or sold to Canada for Anti Submarine duties.
                Which belongs in a different thread...
                The problem with the Philippines was one of shipping space. You couldn't fly DB-7's there like you could B-17's. So, they'd have to be shipped and probably shipped disassembled then put together when they arrived. Shipping space was already limited and now you need to ship the assembly plant equipment to the PI.
                If you sent them via aircraft transport like aboard the Langley, then the shipping space is very limited.



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                • #9
                  Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post

                  The DB 7 simply wasn't a plane the USAAF wanted. They were looking for aircraft that would fulfill roles that made the USAAF look like a separate service for the argument that they needed to be a separate service. Thus, pursuit (eg., fighter and interceptor) aircraft and "strategic" bombers were what they wanted not a plane used for tactical support of ground forces. This was an internal political decision rather than what perceived roles the USAAF might be forced to accomplish.



                  The problem with the Philippines was one of shipping space. You couldn't fly DB-7's there like you could B-17's. So, they'd have to be shipped and probably shipped disassembled then put together when they arrived. Shipping space was already limited and now you need to ship the assembly plant equipment to the PI.
                  If you sent them via aircraft transport like aboard the Langley, then the shipping space is very limited.


                  I believe Senor Draco described a solution once- towing the craft behind four engined flying boats on 'long cables'/...
                  The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post

                    The DB 7 simply wasn't a plane the USAAF wanted. They were looking for aircraft that would fulfill roles that made the USAAF look like a separate service for the argument that they needed to be a separate service. Thus, pursuit (eg., fighter and interceptor) aircraft and "strategic" bombers were what they wanted not a plane used for tactical support of ground forces. This was an internal political decision rather than what perceived roles the USAAF might be forced to accomplish.



                    The problem with the Philippines was one of shipping space. You couldn't fly DB-7's there like you could B-17's. So, they'd have to be shipped and probably shipped disassembled then put together when they arrived. Shipping space was already limited and now you need to ship the assembly plant equipment to the PI.
                    If you sent them via aircraft transport like aboard the Langley, then the shipping space is very limited.


                    good point. shipping in the 1930's moved at about 8 knots an hour- on average, iirc- and the Pacific is a very long ways across. One of the reasons the b-18 was a 'slow plane' was the desire to carry 4,400 lbs of bombs on a 900 mile combat range. \this meant compromising on a high lift wing, in the 1930's before high lift devices, on 900 hp engines. (2)
                    The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

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                    • #11
                      I looked through two references on the DB-7/A-20 I have, Scott Thompson's book from the Crowood aviation series and this monster:
                      61HO9vXl5wL._SX387_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
                      Both outline the bidding process in place that led to the adoption of the A-20 from the C-103A proposals. The delay in adoption was due to the redesign necessary to convert the DB-7 into the A-20, including a change in powerplant. The production contract for the A-20/A-20A was announced on May 20th, 1939 with 63 A-20's and fourteen A20A's ordered from FY 1939 funds. An additional 109 A-20A's were ordered from FY1940 funds. Changes in armament, equipment and radio installations as well as powerplant adjustments were the difference between the A-20A and the DB-7B. The noses were also different and some construction elements and techniques changed ( for example steel wing attachment forgings on the A20A versus aluminum on the Db-7). (Thompson p43).
                      These redesigns obviously impacted the production times on each type.

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                      • #12
                        In his book "Flying Tigers ...";
                        https://www.amazon.com/Flying-Tigers.../dp/0692734732
                        Daniel Ford mentions that around late July 1941 FDR authorized the formation of the 2nd AVG (American Volunteer Group)-Bombardment and such would be equip with 33 Douglas Boston A-20 ...
                        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_A-20_Havoc
                        ... and 33 Lockheed Hudson A-29
                        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_Hudson

                        Aircraft were diverted from British production and air and ground crews recruited. The Bostons were to travel by ship to Africa and from there fly on to China.
                        The Hudsons would be fitted with extra fuel tanks and fly the Pacific routes to China.
                        About 100 of ground crew set our about Nov.21 by ship for China, but after Dec.7th, the ships diverted to Australia and these men were re-inducted into the USAAF. The Hudsons were still on the West coast being fitted with those extra tanks and would later(about July 1942) be seen at an RAF airfield in East Africa (South Egypt?) awaiting assignment. The Boston A-20s had not shipped by Dec.7 and were diverted to pipeline of other users.

                        Images of the A-20 Boston/Havoc
                        https://www.google.com/search?q=doug...XSoACKXhvqwGM:
                        Images for the A-29 Hudson;
                        https://www.google.com/search?sa=N&q...w=1280&bih=910


                        About this time (pre-Dec. 7) FDR also authorized another pursuit group, 3rd AVG which were to be equip with the Vultee Vanguard, P-66;
                        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vultee_P-66_Vanguard
                        Last edited by G David Bock; 20 Feb 20, 16:13.
                        TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

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                        • #13
                          We were not expecting to get drawn into the European war.
                          Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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