B-17, B-24, B-29, or Lancaster?

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by Pistolenschutze, Jul 20, 2007.

  1. mjp28

    mjp28 Well-Known Member

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    I'm a BIG WWII buff and probably have seen every History, Military Channel and every other show out there on WWII.

    The European Theater was the real media show in WWII so a lot was shown, at least for the US audience of the Eigth Air Force and all the B-17 raids into Germany. Plus the B-17 was mass produced in American factories! A sturdy work horse with many, many sorties -but- I think the Lancaster was a better overall bomber.

    On the B-24 and B-25 it depends on usage but overall the B-25 was faster and basically turned into an 8 (or more) .50 cal gunship that could drop bombs...nasty combimation! Tore the Japanese up in the Pacific.

    B-29 was an engineering marvel, perfect for carrying massive bombloads to burn Toyko and Japan down and killed more people than Fat Man and Little Boy together....which the B-29 was well suited to drop.

    Best overall plane that won the war? The P-51 Mustang! Ford even named it's new 1964 car after it...not a pony which is what caught on.

    (also the Chevy Corvette was named after the WWII Corvette class ships, hmmm)
    Last edited: May 8, 2012
  2. Fast Forward

    Fast Forward Member

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    If your talking 2 engine bombers how about the Wooden Wonder,,The British Mosquito
  3. DixieLandMan

    DixieLandMan Member

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    Although I love the design and look of the B-17 (had great uncle serve on one), I'm smitten with the B-24. It may be ugly but that is my vote.

    1, B-24
    2, B-17
    3, B-29
    4, Lancaster
  4. flyingtiger85

    flyingtiger85 Well-Known Member

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    I think the B-17 was best because it could take so much damage and still keep flying.Here is a picture I snapped at Nellis AFB in Las Vegas at an airshow.I paid a $20 donation to go up inside of it.It's really small in there and you had to stoop down to walk around in it.

    [​IMG]

    Uploaded with ImageShack.us
    Last edited: May 17, 2012
  5. Little Rooster

    Little Rooster New Member

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    add one more to the like list
  6. armoredman

    armoredman New Member

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    [​IMG]

    My son and I infront of a perfectly restored B-17G, which maintains active Air Force registration so the crew can maintain live guns. Yes, the guns are live and loaded...firing circuits disabled, this from the gentleman who flew this plane after the war.

    Better view.

    [​IMG]

    The gent in the red hat was the copilot I spoke of earlier, and the gent in the wheelchair was a B-17 navigator in WWII, who spent time in a Nazi prisoner of war camp.

    The plane is in 100% condition. All that would be needed it to drain the preservation fluids, fill the oil and gas, charge the batteries...and figure out how to get it out to a runway.

    The B-24 is nice, but not was well restored, still very nice. Yes, not as flashy, but a workhorse plane for certain.

    [​IMG]

    My son was unimpressed with the B-29, seen behind the Oscar - he was very disappointed there wasn't a Zero there...

    [​IMG]

    I found some restorers who MIGHT someday have a Zero propeller blade I might be able to buy and hang in his room.

    I have to also vote emotionally, and say B-17, though the Superfortress was a far better bomber that went on for many years.

    Of course the only one my family was in was one just like this.

    [​IMG]

    My stepfather was a radio operator in a C-47 during the Normandy invasion, and was one of the guys trying desperately to keep Patton supplied with gasoline. I know, not a bomber...
    Last edited: May 17, 2012
  7. armoredman

    armoredman New Member

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    Flying Tiger, here's some shots I made with my camera held up on the tripod of the interior of the B-17G.

    Cockpit area.

    [​IMG]

    Forward of the bomb bay

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    And the bomb bay itself, much smaller than I thought it would be.

    [​IMG]

    Bomb bay, while my son is learning about the bombs she carried, dummies, of course...

    Magnificent aircraft.
    Last edited: May 17, 2012
  8. mjp28

    mjp28 Well-Known Member

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    I found this little piece, kind of agree with it.....

    By verduijn

    The Avro Lancaster: Roy Chadwick's legendary bomber!

    The British Avro Lancaster bomber shares first place with the American Boeing B-17 as the best-known heavy bomber of World War II. This "shared position" is the result of each aircraft excelling in different aspects: although the B-17 was better armed than the Lancaster, the Lancaster could carry a much higher bomb load, and although the Lancaster delivered this larger load with a smaller crew, the B-17 crew had a better chance to get out alive in case the aircraft had to be abandoned by parachute. More than six decades after the end or WWII there are fewer and fewer octogenarians left who have actually flown either or both aeroplanes, so a comparison straight from the horses mouth is hard to get nowadays.

    Fortunately I vividly remember the words of a now long-dead Lancaster pilot who had also flown just about everything else that was capable of taking to the air in the Second World War: "The Lancaster was the most boring bomber I ever flew. She had no character, no temperament, no vices... simply the dullest plane one could imagine flying. And that is exactly how war time pilots like their bombers: docile, trustworthy, doing exactly as they're told, without a will of their own".......
  9. whymememe

    whymememe Former Guest

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  10. flyingtiger85

    flyingtiger85 Well-Known Member

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    Nice pictures Armoredman!Is that the Air Museum in Tucson.I have a large collection of aviation VHS and DVD's.Many are of combat dogfights and ground attacks.One comes to mind that shows ME-109's and FW-190's shooting B-17's and B-24's to pieces with parts of the tails and wings flying off.Tracers with large caliber rounds riddled the bombers in the tail gunner spot and fuselage.It was sad to watch when you know some of those guys were dying.Some of the films showed the fighters only shooting out the engines.I had an Uncle that was a B-17 gunner.I remember talking to him in the 1970's because I was an airplane nut but he really never talked about any of his service flying over Germany at all.I used to ride my bicycle when I was around 12 several miles to look at airplanes and watch them land.
  11. whirley

    whirley Member

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    Ken Runkle was a gunner on a B-17. Jumped three times. Landed in England, in the Channel and finally jumped over Germany. He always said "If a B-29 could fly, it would bring you home no matter how much it was damaged. He flew 37 missions and spent 17 months as a POW. The last 3 months being marched around by the Germans so they wouldn't be released by the Russians or Americans
  12. armoredman

    armoredman New Member

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    Yes, flyingtiger, that's the Pima Air and Space Museum just south of Tucson, AZ. I invite anyone interested in airplanes to visit. Just two more pics for interest, and then it's back to bombers.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The place is amazing and a lot of fun.

    We return you to our previously hi-jacked thread...
  13. Taroman

    Taroman New Member

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    Most of the B17s were based in England, as were most of the "hot shot" reporters of the era. Included were Edward R. Murrow and Andy Rooney.
    Therefore, it appears that the B17s got most of the good press of the day.
    B24s, OTOH, were based in much less hospitable locations. Usually devoid of many reporters, so they got less of the glory.
    With no disrespect to any of the Greatest Generation, my vote goes to the under-appreciated Liberator. Also noteworthy is the yeoman service the did in maritime patrol keeping the shipping lanes open.

    My $0.03, YMMV.
  14. cutter

    cutter New Member

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    Great Post!!! Love those old bombers! One of my good friends (he was like a second dad) was a tailgunner on a B-17. When the war was over in europe he was transfered to the pacific in a B-29. He was in the deversion flight that took off from Tinion on that big day. He talked a little bit about it but not a lot, he would talk about the "milk runs" but not the bad ones. He passed away 2 yrs ago, he was a great man! He was also the toughest man I have ever known, They were a great generation. I can't imagine being a tailgunner with the ME-109's around, that cannon in the nose had to scare the you know what out of you.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2012
  15. Kevin Rohrer

    Kevin Rohrer Member

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  16. GLS_1956

    GLS_1956 New Member

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    The B-24 Liberator. Used in every theater of operations, operated by Allies as well as the USAAC and USN. Carried more bombs further than the B-17, built in greatest numbers.

    The B-17 Flying Fortress was a bit more rugged, the B-24's wing spar was her weak point. The Memphis Belle, aA B-17F holds the distinction of being the first American bomber to survive 25 missions over Europe.

    The Lancaster could carry a heavier bombload than either the B-17 or the B-24. I'm unsure, but it might be that the Lanc had longer range that either of the American heavy bombers. The Lancaster was not as well equiped defensivily, she carried .303 caliber machine guns and not the .50 caliber that the US craft did. Also the Lancaster had smaller crew, including just a single pilot. The Lancaster evolved into the Avro Shackleton series of aircraft.

    B-29 SuperFortress desinated a Very Heavy Bomber. Long range, heavy bombload, and formidible defensive armament. In World War Two the B-29 only opperated against Japan. The B-29 also was used in Korea. The B-29 stayed in US Air Force active inventory until the 1960s. serving in weather research. The B-29 was also the basis for the B-50 SuperFortress and the C/KC-97 Stratoliner/StratoTanker
  17. CCHolderinMaine

    CCHolderinMaine Well-Known Member

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  18. jedwil

    jedwil Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    My uncle died in a B17--ball turret gunner. First father-in-law was a navigator in a B24---swore it was the greatest bomber.
  19. WHSmithIV

    WHSmithIV Well-Known Member

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    I have to say that without a doubt the B17 takes the title. The B29 could have done so but it didn't come into service until late and therefore had far less impact than the B17. While the B24 was a fine aircraft, it had faults that the B17 didn't have. The twin tail design didn't help it at all. The B17 could lose more than half it's single tail and still fly.

    Enemy pilots absolutely hated coming up from under the B17 and, most especially the B29. The massed firepower of the B17 coordinated flights sent many defensive fighters down in flames. The B29's, because of their altitude became virtually untouchable - again though, they were too late in the war (as was the ME 262)

    Now, the B17 had a range of 2,000 miles, a typical payload of 5-8,000 lbs. of bombs maximum payload was 17,500lbs) and a speed of 287 mph.

    The B24 had the same range (2,100 miles actually, depending on payload) and a maximum payload of 8,000 lbs (so typical payload of about 5,000 lbs.) - maximum speed at 290 mph

    The Lancaster had a little longer range of 2,700 miles, smaller crew of 7 and fewer defensive guns. It's speed was just a little slower at 280 mph, but it did carry a superb payload of from 14,000 lbs to 22,000 lbs of bombs. Due to it's lower defensive capability it was more vulnerable than the B17.
  20. jbmid1

    jbmid1 Well-Known Member

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    My favorites are the planes that were available early in the war that our pilots learned to use their advantages, if they had any at all, to beat back the axis. I'm talking P-40,
    F4F, B-25, Dauntless, and of course, the B-17. They weren't technologically superior to their opposition, but had just enough armament, armor and speed under the right conditions to contend with a sometimes superior enemy, and helped turn the tide.
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