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Hampden torpedo bomber

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Hi

i know that cosford are rebuilding a hampden torpedo bomber in the conservation arae of RAFcosford and i was wondering if anyone knew if the section underneath was glassed or metal

Fuselage-centre-section-work-almost-stru

from http://www.warbirdsnews.com/warbird-restorations/handley-page-hampden-restoration.html

for discussion only

its the triangular section underneath i am interested in.

Thanks

Graeme

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Based on everything I've seen I would agree with Scott's comment above. I am unsure about the torpedo bomber (I'm building one right now myself - the old Airfix kit) but there should be, at least on the B.Mk I, a crew door in that same area that you're looking at. For the life of me though I can't recall if it's on the port or starboard side of the aircraft....

Cheers,
Dave

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Here is a photo of the area on a standard bomber showing the glazed areas. This area on the torpedo version is somewhat shallower in depth as you can see by comparing it with the photo of the restoration, so that when closed, the bomb bay doors project below this rear section.

Scan1.jpeg

Edited by Iain Wyllie

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Are we going to go through the whole "larger bomb bay doors"/"not larger bomb bay doors" debate now? :winkgrin: :winkgrin: :winkgrin: :winkgrin: :winkgrin: :winkgrin: :winkgrin:

Cheers,

Dave

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We don't need to - they weren't, and this example shows it. I have handled that lower gondola piece before it went back onto the airframe.

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We don't need to - they weren't, and this example shows it. I have handled that lower gondola piece before it went back onto the airframe.

Come on Graham.. let's revisit that discussion just one . . . more . . . time :D

In jest,

Dave

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As someone who is still undecided on the matter,.....and currently building a pair of Hampden TB.I`s,...... can we please confirm whether the section behind the bomb bay was reduced in order for the torpedo`s air tail to fit into place? I would really like to know for sure one way or the other.

Cheers

Tony

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See post 6. The action taken is described in the Putnam Handley Page Aircraft (1970s?) and the existing gondola at Cosford is shorter than the bomber version. Go visit and chat, as I did. You can see this in some photos by looking at the depth of the lower triangular window and the shape of the aft curve - not all photos show this well, that is true, but there are a lot around. You can put your ruler on sideview photos and see that the bottom edge of the bombbay on the torpedo bombers is just as parallel to the top surface as it is on the bombers. You can place a 1/72 torpedo into the bombbay and see that it fits in nicely except for the Monoplane Air Tail. The tail is required to provide stability in the drop at the higher approach speeds of the later types. Basically, the bombay and its doors were not modified other than to attach a heavy duty carrier to the roof. The outer door closed normally and the inner doors rested on the sides of the torpedo until it was dropped, then closed normally. I do have drawings of the test installation, but this basically concentrates on the way the torpedo is carried rather than showing the mods to the gunner's position.

What this proves is that no matter how often a truth is repeated, the myth has got its boots on first and is halfway around the world! (Thanks to Mark Twain, I think?)

Edited by Graham Boak

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I used a bit of lateral thinking and looked through my Russian aircraft references to see if I could find photos of any of their Hampdens fitted with torpedoes. I did find one showing a loaded torpedo which is clearly fitted with the aerodynamic tail. You can see the rudder and propeller as well as the tapered tailcone of the torpedo. The forward edge of the vertical surface of the aerodynamic tail is just visible behind the ground crewmans collar, as well as the horizontal plane.

EDIT You can also see that the front end of the bomb bay doors are slightly open, due to their being held apart by contacting the torpedo.

Might be an idea if someone could measure the depth of the lower gondola section at Cosford and take a photo of its underside in order to put an end to speculation about it.

Scan1_1.jpeg

Edited by Iain Wyllie

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Thanks for the clarification Graham,.....unfortunately I don`t have the Putnam book and have never managed to get into the restoration centre at Cosford as they only open it up on weekdays, so I`ve been relying on photos which don`t show this section very clearly. Without any clear evidence that I could find in any of my books or on the web to say that this rear section was cut down I have been trying to compare lots of B.1 & TB.1 photos to satisfy myself before I start cutting plastic. Your testimony does help, cheers.

Cheers for the photo Iain which is a great help and thanks to Dogsbody too for the links, I`ve seen some of the pics but one of them was really helpful and Lucky 13`s avatar cheered me up no end!

Thanks fella`s,

Tony

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The point about the Putnam was to show how long it has been (38 years) since a proper description was in print, in what has to be the definitive reference source. Yet people keep on copying each others' drawings and profiles without actually thinking: what is this torpedo that is being carried? How can it fit? Public knowledge of the tail is at least as old as the Frog Barracuda. How can something be carried that is longer than the bombbay? How come these drawings show a deepening of the bombbay at the rear that isn't present in any of the photos?

Edited by Graham Boak

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Might be an idea if someone with access to Cosford could measure the depth of the rear section of the gondola and photos of the bottom. This would end speculation about it.

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What's unclear about the photos on P 88 of Tim Mason's The Secret Years ?

I don't know as I don't have a copy. It would be of interest if you would post a scan but it still wouldn't give the actual dimension of the depth compared with the standard bomber version.

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If everyone had that book and thought to look at that photo... Not all photos are clear, and I can understand (sort of) how confusion arose in the first place. There is a visible step - obviously it must be the bombbay that has changed. Sadly not. What depresses me is that it still continues to be perpetrated in books and models.

Iain, you could measure that distance and publish it, but it would still only convince those who saw that statement. The facts are already available; the problem is not speculation but the widespread repetition of error, so that the error is what people see first. Given time, perhaps it will die away, especially when the restored Hampden rolls out. Much as DB600-engined Bf109Ds have died away - but you do still see that old chestnut repeated by newcomers who have read an old book on the subject but little else.

Re dimensions. From the Putnam: the new gunner position was 12 inches less in depth than the old one. When carried on the adaptor, the bottom of the torpedo was 3 and a half inches below the bottom line of the existing closed doors. Initial trials were done with the centre bomb doors removed and the side flaps fixed. Back to me - the production fit of the doors was different as can be seen in the photos,

Edited by Graham Boak

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Iain, you could measure that distance and publish it, but it would still only convince those who saw that statement.

Indeed, Graham, but I was thinking more of those modelling a T.B.I, as it would give a definitive measurement for altering a kit.

The main culprits in perpetuating the myth are colour profile "artists" who assumed that the rear section was the same depth as standard bomber and adding larger doors which they then had to deepen and angle down in order to show a step at the rear end. This was even taken a step further in "Soviet Air Power in World War2" by Yefim Gordon where the colour profiles of the T.B.I all display this error but with one, obviously based on the photo that I posted above, having the rear end of the torpedo misinterpreted as a gun mounted below the rear of the gondola! Plagiarism does nobody any favours.

As you say, the information has been in the public domain for a long time, the line drawings accompanying an article in Air International back in November '84 in Vol. 27/5 got it right and, no doubt, others before that.

EDIT I have just pulled out of my library my copy of Famous Bombers of the Second World War by William Green and both the line profiles and the tone drawing get the T.B.I correct, and this in 1960, when I bought the book.

Edited by Iain Wyllie

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Yes, so I went and found the dimensions and modified my earlier post, but we crossed!

I must go back and look at that AI, I'd forgotten about that.

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Yes, so I went and found the dimensions and modified my earlier post, but we crossed!

I must go back and look at that AI, I'd forgotten about that.

See my edit above.

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Finn- cheers for the photo links.

Fella`s,

I feel that I`m being sniped at here and being accused of being thick,...so can I just explain why I added my query to this thread.

I was aware of the air tail on the torpedo from the start and did wonder how this would fit without the rear fuselage being reduced but I wanted to see if anybody here on Britmodeller could help by confirming if there was such a modification made before I began to cut plastic as I was unsure of the full story. As Iain says lots of side view artists have decided to simply alter the bomb bay doors on their drawings but as many people may know I don`t trust drawings without photo evidence yet I could not find a clear photo to compare them with. Personally I had no knowledge of a conversion being made to the rear fuselage but everything pointed to this being the case,......I was simply asking if a more knowledgeable person who might have this information could confirm it and maybe provide a photo, drawing or dimensions. After all we cannot all be experts on everything and I certainly do not profess to be so.

Cheers

Tony

Edited by tonyot

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As I too am modeling the T.B.I as well, I just avoided this entire concern by remaining blissfully ignorant to it :) (I've decided to model the kit with the bomb bay doors open and the torpedo on a trolley instead) :)

That said, I do love just how much information is out there (via this site of course) from folks who can offer it up and how a reasonable discussion can be had on such things!

Cheers,
Dave

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