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Thread: Handley Page Hampden top turret question

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    Default Handley Page Hampden top turret question

    Hi all,

    I am interested in the wire construction placed on the top of Hampden fuselage aft of the top gunner turret.
    It is visible partially for example on this picture:

    https://www.gettyimages.com.au/detai...-photo/3323568

    I suppose it was there just to protect the rear part of fuselage and aircraft tail to be hit by the gunner?

    I will be thankful for any comments.

    TIA

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    Yes definitely to protect Fuselage/Tailplane/Fins from 'Friendly' fire if the gunner got 'Target Fixation' on an incoming enemy attacker.

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    thanks for prompt confirmation!

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    Pavel,

    When the Shackleton’s were detached to El Adem, I used to spend as much time as possible flying with them!
    When I was not being a “Galley Slave”, or being an Observer at one of the mid-fuselage observation ‘blisters’, I used to sit in the mid-upper turret (the guns had been removed) and note the weather observations. I often thought that if there had been guns in the turret, there were large parts of the aircraft that I could have “shot up” if I was not careful. There was, presumably, some form of ‘interrupter gear’ in the traverse/elevation of the m/u guns that prevented this? Was it physical – as per photo – or was it mechanical/electronic?

    ‘Them’ (up the ‘front office’) would have been a bit upset if I’d shot one (or both!!) of those huge rudders off the Shack!!

    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    These devices were not unknown on other types (Airspeed Oxford springs to mind, and possibly Ansons, maybe early Blenheims?). More modern types had, as Peter ponders upon, electro-mechanical interrupter gear which "blocked" the gun from firing when various parts of the mother aircraft were in the line of fire. However some things were rather too difficult to protect, such as radio aerials, and these had to take their chances in the heat of combat. Aerials, being somewhat flexible, could assume slightly different curves due to the effects of being forced through the air at high speed. One of my uncles was a wireless mechanic in the RNZAF during WW2 and served in the Solomon Islands in 1944 servicing the equipment on PV-1 Venturas. He had to do a "lash-up" repair for one aircraft which had lost part of one of the two aerials which ran between the mast on upper forward fuselage and the twin tail fin tips, as no spare aerials were held in stock, nor did they have access to equipment to make up their own aerials. This aircraft was due to return to New Zealand as it happened, so he had to write a note "to whom it may concern" explaining why he had made an unauthorised repair on this aircraft. When he himself arrived back in NZ he was called to Air HQ to explain his "illegal repair" (apparently the note was lost, or ignored, as they knew he was the man concerned), so he had to defend his position as he had absolutely no choice in his repair scheme short of grounding the aircraft until new supplies of aerials arrived.
    David D

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    I believe that the Lancaster had a cam follower on the dorsal turret which rotated with it, identifying the angles at which fire was interrupted. This was a Frazer Nash turret - Halifaxes had Boulton Paul and the Shackletons had Bristol, so there may well have been other ways of doing it.

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    Peter, David and Graham, thank you for additional details. Much appreciate as I have been never thinking about this matter that there were so many types where it was necessary to solve this situation.

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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