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Lancaster vs B17

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  • Lancaster vs B17

    in your opinion, what was the better bomber. no american or british/commonwealth bias please

  • #2
    Originally posted by ianbudgep51 View Post
    in your opinion, what was the better bomber.
    They were designed to quite different specifications, one for a day bomber capable of defending itself opposing fighters, while the other was designed to operate in the night bombing role, therefore any direct comparisons are fairly meaningless.

    Having said that, both were excellent aircraft.


    no american or british/commonwealth bias please
    Good luck with that one

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    • #3
      I like them both. I'm American of British ancestry. So I guess I'm biased.
      "The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made."
      Groucho Marx

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      • #4
        Both are wonderful, wonderful aircraft. Not only were they both built to different specifications; but both were designed in different eras. The Lancaster had a larger bomb load and that is a good thing. The 17 could take damage that no other plane could and return. The Axis would have given anything to have either one of the bombers. To pick one; you would need to specify operating environment.





        All American just after collision with BF-109


        All American after landing.


        (images used without permission. No claims made on the images.)
        Eagles may fly; but weasels aren't sucked into jet engines!

        "I'm not expendable; I'm not stupid and I'm not going." - Kerr Avon, Blake's 7

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        • #5
          Except that the Lanc's bomb load was much greater.

          The idea behind the B-17 was to obtain a bomber that could carry the same bomb load over a longer range than extant twins.

          The Avro Manchester was a medium bomber whose specification demanded that two torpedoes be carried internally. With the failure of the Manchester, the Lancaster inherited a bomb-bay that could lift just about anything, leaving it unmatched as a load carrier.
          Indyref2 - still, "Yes."

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          • #6
            Originally posted by the ace View Post
            Except that the Lanc's bomb load was much greater..
            This was because of the different role of the B-17.
            If you stripped out nearly all of the guns and ammo carried by the B-17, its load carrying ability would have been far closer to the Lanc's.

            Its just another example of how direct comparisons are useless.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by redcoat View Post
              Its just another example of how direct comparisons are useless.
              Exactly, both were excellent bombers in the role they did, and both were nearly unmatched in those jobs.
              Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedy. -- Ernest Benn

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              • #8
                If you stripped out nearly all of the guns and ammo carried by the B-17, its load carrying ability would have been far closer to the Lanc's.
                The B-17s biggest flaw was the design of the bomb bay. Using common types of bomb the maximum load was only 6,000lbs (12 x 500lbs or 6 x 1000lbs). Only 2 x 2,000lbs bombs could be carried.

                There were 2 ways to carry a heavier load. Either by carrying 2 large bombs externally, or by using the 1,600 lb bomb, 8 of which could be carried in the bomb bay. Neither method was used much, so B-17s tended to be limited to around 6,000lbs maximum bomb load (and frequently less than that).

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                • #9
                  Well they were designed for different jobs . The B 17 raid by day the Lancaster by night . The B 17 had .50 cal MG where as the Lancaster had .303 MG's . Also the bomber commands had different operational doctrines the USAAF prefered mass group bombings in formation . The RAF went by night in a bomber stream. They were both aimed at bombing targets in Germany . USAAF tried pin point bombing the RAF area bombing .

                  "To all who serve , have or will serve , Thank You"

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                  • #10
                    Everything said above is true, both great aircraft. But given the choice I would serve in the B-17

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by wayneok View Post
                      Everything said above is true, both great aircraft. But given the choice I would serve in the B-17
                      Fair enough, but that would merely indicate which was your favourite aircraft of the two, not which was the best bomber

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                      • #12
                        Before I decide, was the B-17 intended to bomb in daylight without fighter escort?
                        Cymru am Byth

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Kevinmeath View Post
                          Before I decide, was the B-17 intended to bomb in daylight without fighter escort?
                          Yes.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by redcoat View Post
                            Yes.
                            So the B-17 failed to do what it was designed to do?

                            Therefore I'll pick the Lancaster
                            Cymru am Byth

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by redcoat View Post
                              Fair enough, but that would merely indicate which was your favourite aircraft of the two, not which was the best bomber
                              As stated before, since both were designed for different missions, which is the best is impossible to tell because you can't compare them.
                              But yes, you are correct the B-17 would be my personal preference based on the fact no mission is described to make any intelligent choice feasible.

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