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Soviet Hurricane II Artillery Spotter conversion

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  • Soviet Hurricane II Artillery Spotter conversion

    Here is another odd variant of the Hurricane I came upon recently. I was just looking through "Hurricane in Foreign Service" #2 by Miroslaw Wawrzynski. On page #63 there is a description of 20 Soviet Hurricane IIs ,along with a color side view on another page,that were modified with a rearward facing seat with a ShKAS machine gun and a port cut out of the bottom of the fuselage. They were used as long range artillery spotters on the Leningard,Volkhov and Kalinin Fronts. Would anyone have some more information on the use of these Hurricanes? How successful were they? What units,Ect?Were they involved in any combat? I wonder if any Luftwaffe pilots got a surprise when attacking what they thought was a standard Hurricane? . Robert

    Last edited by JCFalkenbergIII; 25 Mar 10, 15:12.
    For the first time I have seen "History" at close quarters,and I know that its actual process is very different from what is presented to Posterity. - WWI General Max Hoffman

  • #2
    Well...cutting up the fuselage to make room for some retard in the back seat doesn't speak favorably of the plane. You can bet they would have never cut open a P-47 or a P-51.

    I've read Russian comments on the Lend-Lease Hurricane. They loved it except they thought it wasn't suitable as a combat plane. One Soviet pilot described it as a "sightseeing aircraft" or a "touring aircraft". However, back in early 1942 most of the pre-war Soviet Air force was destroyed. The Soviets were impressing a lot of aircraft they would have rejected 2 years later in 1944.
    Last edited by MonsterZero; 26 Mar 10, 03:11.

    "Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a ugly brawl."
    --Frederick II, King of Prussia

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    • #3
      It seems that the Hurricane wasn't the only plane used as a artillery spotter plane.
      Attached Files

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      • #4
        To be fair, MZ, cutting the fuselage of any aircraft with monocoque construction is asking for trouble.
        Indyref2 - still, "Yes."

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        • #5
          Originally posted by the ace View Post
          To be fair, MZ, cutting the fuselage of any aircraft with monocoque construction is asking for trouble.
          The main fuselage girder (the silvery tubing in this photo) will not be altered by cutting into the hump behind the cockpit because as you can see the girder occupies the lower half of the fuselage. This is the spinal column of the aircraft and it will remain strong. The main problem is this: when designing a WWII fighter plane, chief designers struggled for months to save just 1 pound of weight. Now you're adding a 170 pound crewman behind the center of gravity. All kinds of disastrous consequences can result, including the risk of flat spins. You may have to add dead ballast weight to the nose to compensate for the extra guy in the back.

          Last edited by MonsterZero; 26 Mar 10, 04:20.

          "Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a ugly brawl."
          --Frederick II, King of Prussia

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          • #6
            Cutting the fuselage is like inviting metal fatigue to do it's job

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Cristi View Post
              It seems that the Hurricane wasn't the only plane used as a artillery spotter plane.
              Ahhhhhhh. But the O-52 was designed for observation so it really didn't need any modifications like the Hurricanes . Robert
              For the first time I have seen "History" at close quarters,and I know that its actual process is very different from what is presented to Posterity. - WWI General Max Hoffman

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              • #8
                There appears to have been some two seater conversions for training by the Soviets. And some were made for Iran after the war. The glider towing version is another I had never heard of. Robert

                "Some aircraft were converted for photo reconnaissance. An AFA﷓I camera was fitted in the fuselage behind the pilot. These machines went to special reconnaissance regiments.
                In the Paratroop Academy at Saratov Hurricanes were used for towing of transport gliders (Antonov A-7 and G-11) to carry both equipment and men. Such aeroplane-plus-glider teams were used to provide supplies for partisan units. Hurricanes were used at Saratov until 1945. Some aircraft were converted to two-seater trainers (HL665, for example). One of such aeroplanes was used in 39 CAM of the Northern Fleet. Some went to flying schools. No less than 6 aircraft of the 14th Army were modified this way."

                Robert
                For the first time I have seen "History" at close quarters,and I know that its actual process is very different from what is presented to Posterity. - WWI General Max Hoffman

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                • #9
                  Even though it might weaken the fuselage the modification to a two seater was done a few times during the war. Robert






                  "This Hurricane is LB640, which was being operated as a target-tug with the P-39-equipped 346th Fighter Squadron (FS), 350th Fighter Group (FG) of USAAF in Sardinia in early 1944.
                  It was converted into a two-seater as a liaison plane by the unit's crew.
                  Two further Hurricanes were converted to two-seaters, flying with the 345th and 347th FSs, and operated for more than a year."

                  http://mig3.sovietwarplanes.com/lend...thurricane.htm
                  For the first time I have seen "History" at close quarters,and I know that its actual process is very different from what is presented to Posterity. - WWI General Max Hoffman

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MonsterZero View Post
                    The main fuselage girder (the silvery tubing in this photo) will not be altered by cutting into the hump behind the cockpit because as you can see the girder occupies the lower half of the fuselage. This is the spinal column of the aircraft and it will remain strong. The main problem is this: when designing a WWII fighter plane, chief designers struggled for months to save just 1 pound of weight. Now you're adding a 170 pound crewman behind the center of gravity. All kinds of disastrous consequences can result, including the risk of flat spins. You may have to add dead ballast weight to the nose to compensate for the extra guy in the back.

                    Precisely my point. Trying this with a Mustang, P-47 or even a Spitfire would seriously compromise the integrity of the fuselage, the fabric-covered Hurricane could get away with it.

                    Obviously, the balance and handling of the aircraft would suffer and modifications would have to be made, but the simple, rugged construction of the Hurricane would make this feasible while leaving the fuselage relatively robust.
                    Indyref2 - still, "Yes."

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                    • #11
                      Were the USAAF TP-51D or TP-47G two seaters frames strengthened or the ones converted in the field? Robert
                      For the first time I have seen "History" at close quarters,and I know that its actual process is very different from what is presented to Posterity. - WWI General Max Hoffman

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by the ace View Post
                        Precisely my point. Trying this with a Mustang, P-47 or even a Spitfire would seriously compromise the integrity of the fuselage, the fabric-covered Hurricane could get away with it.
                        Yes, because in the newer aircraft types that you mentioned the skin is of the stressed type, meaning the skin is part of the load-bearing structure. This results in aircraft that are a lot more hollow on the inside decreasing weight and making more room for internal equipment but removing any skin will compromise the structure.

                        "Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a ugly brawl."
                        --Frederick II, King of Prussia

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                        • #13
                          I would assume that these 4 were strengthened. I don't know about those modified in the field. Robert

                          "TP-51D

                          Several Dallas-built P-51Ds were modified as two-seat trainers with an additional seat fitted behind the pilot's seat. These were given the designation TP-51D. In order to accommodate the second seat, the radio equipment had to be relocated and an additional seat with full dual controls was installed behind the normal seat. The standard bubble canopy was large enough to accommodate the extra seat. One of the TP-51Ds was modified for use as a special high-speed observation post by Supreme Allied Commander General Dwight D. Eisenhower, which he used to inspect the Normandy beach-heads in June of 1944. "

                          http://www.ipmsstockholm.org/magazin...ng_p51late.htm
                          For the first time I have seen "History" at close quarters,and I know that its actual process is very different from what is presented to Posterity. - WWI General Max Hoffman

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                          • #14
                            TP-47 Doublebolt

                            For the first time I have seen "History" at close quarters,and I know that its actual process is very different from what is presented to Posterity. - WWI General Max Hoffman

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by JCFalkenbergIII View Post
                              I would assume that these 4 were strengthened. I don't know about those modified in the field. Robert

                              "TP-51D

                              Several Dallas-built P-51Ds were modified as two-seat trainers with an additional seat fitted behind the pilot's seat. These were given the designation TP-51D. In order to accommodate the second seat, the radio equipment had to be relocated and an additional seat with full dual controls was installed behind the normal seat. The standard bubble canopy was large enough to accommodate the extra seat. One of the TP-51Ds was modified for use as a special high-speed observation post by Supreme Allied Commander General Dwight D. Eisenhower, which he used to inspect the Normandy beach-heads in June of 1944. "

                              http://www.ipmsstockholm.org/magazin...ng_p51late.htm

                              I'd imagine that the saddle-tank was removed as well.

                              You reinforced my point earlier by describing monocoque construction.

                              I'd imagine most such conversions took place at the factory, starting with a redesigned fuselage. Certainly, a single-seater with fuel carried behind the pilot could have this tank removed to save weight, at the expense of range. This happened with the Me 262, external tanks being carried by the night-fighter versions to compensate.
                              Last edited by the ace; 01 Apr 10, 07:38.
                              Indyref2 - still, "Yes."

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