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On another forum, this question was recently asked.

 

What is the purpose of the wires between the undercarriage legs on this Swordfish?

 

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I have looked through various sources and in most photos, the wires are not visible. But they are there in some and they are usually seen on later aircraft with the white undersurfaces and no torpedo.

 

 

Chris

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Maybe to add more drag. There clearly wasn't enough going on there in the first place.

 

In most photos I've seen, it always looks to be loose.

Could it be that it prevents the undercarriage from spreading too much on landing (my preferred guess)?

A message pick-up mechanism?

A radio antenna?

A supplemental arresting mechanism (a-la some pre-war USN undercarriage)?

Edited by Blimpyboy
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Looking at the Dutch video from the link above, the wire is taught once the aircraft has landed, so yes, I'd say it was to stop the legs moving too far out on touchdown. Perhaps only used if there was an extra-heavy payload?

 

Paul.

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But were the wires fitted to earlier Mk.1 torpedo carriers? Those wires would be torn out when the torpedo was dropped. The Mk.II's that had the radar pod between the legs don't seem to have the wires fitted.

 

 

Chris

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Were they only fitted to aircraft that were operated off the smaller escort and MAC Carriers? These ships pitched and heaved a lot in the rough seas of the Atlantic and Arctic convoys and the Swordfish were operated off the decks in these conditions. Many a Swordfish undercarriage was taken off by the ship's deck coming up to meet it. Being able to operate off these ships in these conditions was the main reason the Swordfish was kept in production.

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 Looks like some in field modification.  The most probable for me is idea that it was an aerial for some specific radio equipment. As for a mechanical purpose it looks too delicate.

J-W

 

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Like several posts here say, it is reported in "From the Cockpit No. 10 - Swordfish" that the transversal wire was added to help prevent the wheels from splaying out too much on landing. The book includes a photo of a Mk. III with the wire stretched between the wheels, showing that it did not interfere with the radar pod. Of course, the wire could not be employed as long as the Swordfish was used as a torpedo bomber.

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I went through seven Swordfish specific books and the cord is rarely shown and when it is shown, there is no explanation of what its for. Many, many photos of Swordfish on carriers and the cord isn't shown. Sorry Chris, best I can do.

 

 

 

George

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10 minutes ago, fubar57 said:

I went through seven Swordfish specific books and the cord is rarely shown and when it is shown, there is no explanation of what its for. Many, many photos of Swordfish on carriers and the cord isn't shown. Sorry Chris, best I can do.

 

 

 

George

 

Hey, I just the same thing this morning and got the same. Nada! It only appears on later Swordfish with the white undersurface and usually armed with rockets. It might have something to do with them being onboard smaller escort carriers.

 

 

 

Chris

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Usually seen on Swordfish operating from small Escort or MAC Carriers and as others including Claudio have said, it was added as bracing for the undercarriage to prevent it from splaying out upon a hard landing,...... as quite a few were damaged or lost when one or both uc legs collapsed. 

Cheers

            Tony 

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