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Thread: Heavy Bomber tail gun radar

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    Default Heavy Bomber tail gun radar

    I have heard of a special radar that was fitted to the rear of heavy bombers which had the ability to electronicaly detect a following enemy aircraft and then automatically fire the rear guns. Could someone ilucidate please?
    Norman

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    Sounds like you mean the AGLT:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Village_Inn_(codename)

    A

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    Thank you Amrit for giving me the link. I have now read the article but a little confused. I fail to understand how the AGLT was able to identify enemy from friendly aircraft, perhaps I'm overlooking something quite basic. My initial question was based on reading my late fathers training notes. There is a sketch of a rear turret which the wikipedea article confirms - showing a radar housing beneath the rear turret and on another sketch, which I'm assuming is also the rear - two circular windows/panels close together - like a figure of 8 sideways - marked "auto gun detection" and a blob below. I am now thinking the second sketch may in fact be the front turret as he flew in both Halifax IIs and IIIs. Perhaps there were two similar devices fore & aft that I'm muddling up.

    Norman
    Last edited by namrondooh; 20th March 2009 at 21:46. Reason: adding more information from my fathers notes

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    Part of the unit were infra-red signal receivers, and friendly fighters were supposed to carry infra-red transmitors that would emit a particular signal, changed on a daily basis.

    A

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    Was this unit successful? I seem to remember reading about the Germans cottoning on to it and using it to home in on their targets. Or was that H2S?
    David

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    hello,

    The Germans developed devices which could home their fighters on "Monica" which was a tail-mounted warning device, and on H2S and Fishpond emissions.

    I can't tell about AGLT. It arrived much later in the war. But I've never read that.

    Joss

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    Default Automatic Gun Laying Turret

    The text below is taken from a section of AIR14/1864 and was a document used to brief those who interrogated escapers and evaders - presumably they needed to technically aware of the latest equipment.

    A.G.L.T. (VILLAGE INN) is a range and direction finding device used by the rear gunner which is sufficiently accurate to allow blind firing when the aircraft has been identified by Type Z (see below). Unlike MONICA and FISHPOND where a wide area is covered, A.G.L.T. sends out a narrow beam of radiation, arranged to point in the same direction as the guns in the rear turret. The gunner must therefore carry out normal search procedure but radar pickup is obtained instead of visual. The radar display is superimposed on the gunsight. When an aircraft is picked up, inside the range of 4,000 ft. a spot moves over the sight to the actual position of the aircraft (as it would be seen in daylight). Wings also appear on the spot and these increase in size as the aircraft approaches. Fire can thus be opened blind on this radar image. For greater accuracy at the increased ranges of possible fire, a gyro gunsight is used. For the benefit of the whole crew a warning note is injected into the intercomm consisting of pipping; the speed increasing as the aircraft approaches. In addition the wireless operator has a remote range indicator and he is responsible for calling out ranges as aircraft approach. The wireless operator will normally have MONICA III or FISHPOND. With either of these he may be able to warn the rear gunner of suspicious aircraft closing in to A.G.L.T. range. He should also watch for other approaching aircraft when the gunner is holding a suspected contact or preparing to fire.

    TYPE Z LAMPS AND DETECTORS Blind firing with A.G.L.T. requires some method of identification of friendly aircraft. This is provided by Type Z Infra-Red lamps carried in the nose of all bombers and Infra-Red telescopes (detectors) in A.G.L.T. aircraft, aligned with the gunsight.
    On an operation for which the whole force is not equipped with Type Z lamps, A.G.L.T. can be used as a tail warning device allowing early combat manoeuvres to be taken and more accurate firing on a visual target. It cannot be used for blind firing.

    Hope this helps

    Mike

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