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Thread: Ferrying Wellingtons from UK to the Middle East

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    Default Ferrying Wellingtons from UK to the Middle East

    Hi all,

    I have read following account about preparation of planes for long distance ferry flights:

    Apart from Wellingtons with 2 overload-tanks in both outside bomb-beams, we saw Hurricanes with auxiliary tanks under the wings.

    Under-wing auxiliary tanks for Hurricanes that is common, but what about Wellingtons?
    I have never read/hear about such modification except a short note and diagram in the Pilot's Notes.
    Can anybody provide me more detailed information about such modification? Is there available any photo of Wellington with auxiliary tanks?

    TIA

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

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    Pavel, the overload tanks in the Wellingtons almost certainly are carried in the bomb bay, not under the wings. I will check up on my Wellington I, III and X Pilot's Notes if required.
    David D

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    I have checked my copy of the pilot's notes.

    "Mk.III and X aircraft - In addition to the normal tanks, an auxiliary self sealing tank of 140 gallons capacity can be installed in each outer bomb cell." it goes on to say that for Mk.XI, XII, XIII and XIV aircraft can carry "up to three auxiliary tanks can be carried, one in each bomb cell."

    For the latter group the following combinations of tanks are stated:

    1x185 Gallon, secured in the centre bomb cell
    2x140 Gallon, one in each outer bomb cell
    1x185 Gallon and 1x140 Gallon tank, the 185 was in the centre cell and the 140 in the starboard cell. The port cell was to be taken up by a torpedo
    3x185 Gallon, one in each of the three cells

    Also Mk.III and Mk.X aircraft fitted with "high capacity bomb beam carry an auxiliary tank of 295 gallons capacity in the bomb compartment" and tropical versions could also carry two 55 Gallon tanks but the location of these isn't stated.
    Alan Clark

    Peak District Air Accident Research

    http://www.peakdistrictaircrashes.co.uk/

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    Many thanks chaps, now it is clear:-)
    I was really wondering where the tanks were...

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

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    Just could not help myself, have copied out various extracts from the Pilot's Notes to the Wellington Mk.I family (Mks I, IA, IC) which make it abundantly clear that the bomb cells comprised the longitudinally divided bomb bay.


    The information reproduced below has been extracted from AP 1578A, Pilot’s Notes for the Wellington I, IA and IC Aeroplanes (Two Pegasus XVIII engines), which incorporate Amendment Lists 1 to 12 (last incorporated September 1941).

    From Introduction:

    Paragraph 6:- The two Pegasus XVIII engines are mounted on nacelle structures built into the main plane. Fuel is normally drawn from two pairs of main plane tanks arranged fore and aft of the main spar outboard of the engine nacelles, and from two smaller tanks carried in the engine nacelles. Overload tanks can be carried in two additional tanks installed in place of bombs in the outer bomb cells. (etc, etc)

    Paragraph 7:- Two Vickers hydraulically-operated turrets in the nose and tail are armed with Browning .303 in. guns, one being carried in the nose and two in the tail. (Note; the nominal crew of the early Wellington I was four; pilot, navigator [also acting as the front gunner and bomb aimer], wireless operator and rear gunner).
    Various alternative bomb loads are carried in three long bomb cells in the belly of the fuselage. The bomb doors are arranged in five longitudinal rows of six doors each, the outer cells possessing double doors and the central one single doors. With the exception of the foremost three doors in each outer bomb cell, which are actuated in both directions by double-acting hydraulic jacks, all the doors are opened by the action of compression springs upon the pressure being released in the single-acting hydraulic retaining jacks which are employed to close them.
    (Special note; the details of turrets above is correct only for the original Mark I Wellington; the Marks IA and IC differed in that Nash and Thompson turrets are substituted for the original Vickers turrets in the nose and tail locations, “and an additional retractable one is introduced amidships in the undersurface, all being hydraulically operated and carrying an armament of two Browning .303 in. guns each; the mid-turret is operated by an additional pump driven by the starboard engine. The provision of a further gun station increases the nominal crew complement to five.”)


    From Section One (Controls and Equipment for Pilot, and general emergency equipment and exits).

    Paragraph 47:– Bomb Door controls. With the exception of the three fore-most doors in each outer bomb cell, the bomb doors are closed by single-acting hydraulic jacks and when the hydraulic pressure is released, are self-opening under the action of compression springs; the remaining six doors are operated by double-acting jacks. The control consists of a valve handle (29), at the port side of the instrument panel, which can be rotated to the OPEN or CLOSED position upon releasing the handle lock by depressing the spring-loaded thumb knob provided. The handle is linked up with a master switch (30) so as to prevent the release of bombs until the bomb door control is in the OPEN position. Provided the bomb release master (120) on the starboard side of the cockpit is also closed, an indicator on the bomb-aimer’s switch panel is illuminated when the bomb doors are open.

    (Paragraph 48 details Bomb Release control, Para 49 Bomb Jettisoning controls, and Para 50 covers Pilot’s steering indicator).

    Paragraph 52 – Bomb cell lamps:- Three lamps providing a measure of lighting in the bomb cells, are located at their forward end, and are controlled by a switch on the electrical system control panel. The lamps enable an observer, such as a mid-gunner, to inspect the interior of the bomb cells after the bomb load has apparently been disposed of, to guard against the possibility of any bombs accidentally remaining. It is important that these lamps should be switched off when the bomb doors are open, during night flying.

    The fuel system diagram clearly shows the two 140 Imperial Gallon overload tanks as carried in the outer bomb cells, which raise the total fuel capacity to some 1,030 gallons (normal capacity using only wing tanks is 750 Imp gallons). The approximate fuel consumption (per engine) is stated to be:-
    (Rich mixture) – 61 Imp gallons per hour @ 2,250 RPM @ + 2 1/2 pounds boost.
    (Weak mixture) – 40 Imp gallons per hour @ 2,250 RPM @ zero boost.
    (Weak mixture) – 28 Imp gallons per hour @ 1,750 RPM @ - 4 pounds boost.

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    Whoops, error in the paragraph 6 in previous post. Should read "Overload fuel can be carried in two additional tanks ...."
    David D

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    Many thanks David as always!

    BTW have you any idea wheere I can get this Pilot's notes for Wellington Mk.I family (Mks I, IA, IC) as from Crecy I have bough only later versions.

    TIA

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

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    Pavel,
    I have never seen a modern reprint of Wellington Mk.I versions, but the RNZAF Museum has one, which I have managed to get access to. If you require any particular item I could copy it out for you.
    David D

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    Thanks for info David. To be honest I would like to have the complete brochure. I will try to get one on ebay if it will be possible.

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

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