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Thread: Bristol Blenheim's maximum bomb load

  1. #1
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    Bristol Blenheim's maximum bomb load

    I was earlier under the impression that Blenheim's maximum bomb load was around 1000 lbs. However now I've seen few Finnish mission reports that state that a Mk. I could carry as much as 1600 lbs. (725 kg - 6x100 kg + 2 x 50 kg and 2 x 12,5 kg). Was there a limit set by the factory?

  2. #2
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    Here we have a load of 800 kg (1800 lb.), consisting of 8 x 100 kg bombs.
    http://digi.narc.fi/digi/fullpic.ka?kuid=2917762 (in Finnish)

  3. #3
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    Martti, you might try sending this question to Kigas via a PM. He may have some info for you.

    regards

    Tim
    Watching the planes fly by...

  4. #4
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    R A Saville-Sneath's "British Aircraft Volume One" (published March 1944) gives the "Armament " for a Mark IV (described as the Long-nose Blenheim (Bristol 149) Bomber as: Five .303-in. machine guns disposed in fuselage, port wing and dorsal turret; maximum bomb load 1,000 lb.

    The Mark I is described as the Short-nose Blenheim (Bristol 142M) Bomber but the book gives no maximum bomb load, listing the "Armament" as: Three .303-in. machine guns disposed in fuselage, port wing and dorsal turret; bombs carried internally.

    Incidentally, the Mark IF is given as the "Fighter" which: Carries four additional .303-in. machine guns in ventral gun position.

    Pages 136-143 refer.

  5. #5
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    Bungy-chord limit

    The original Blenheim bomb-bay doors were operated by the 1930s equivalent of bungy-chords. The 1,000-lb bomb limit was likely to have been because 4x standard RAF 250-lb bombs was all that could fit into the bomb-bay with the bomb-bay doors shut. There are a number of photos to show those irregular rascals of the Desert Air Force flouting regulations by removing the bomb-bay doors off Blenheim IVs and carrying 500-lb bombs protruding into the slipstream. The statistics of Finnish Blenheims carrying in excess of 1,500-lb of bombs would indicate that 1,000-lb was not a load carrying limit for the Blenheim.

    ...geoff
    ...converting fuel to noise.

  6. #6
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    A.P. 1530B

    Hi guys, just been checking Air Publication 1530 B on the Blenheim IV for this. I've always known the Blenheim's max bombload to be 1000 lbs but oddly no max bombload is specified in the above A.P.

    This manual does indicate that a number of alternative bomb loads can be carried the heaviest of which appear to be 2 x 500 lb or 4 x 250 lb i.e. 1000 lbs in total.

    Bearoutwest is correct about bomb doors being removed sometimes but this did not apply to the 500 lb bombs, the bomb doors just closing around this type of bomb. The A.P. does specify that when carrying a load of 2 x 250 lb type B bombs the bomb doors have to be removed. Haven't been able to find out yet extactly what a 250 lb type B bomb is however and can only imagine that the diameter of this weapon interfered with the bomb doors. Only two of those bombs could be carried by the way.

    The AP is dated September 1939 and only briefly mentions the 250 lb Small Bomb Container but I have it first hand from a former 18 Sqdn rigger that when these SBC's were carried the bomb doors had to be removed as they interfered with the SBC's release bars and, additionally, the small bombs carried in the SBC were not heavy enough to open the bungee loaded doors. Photos of Blenheims minus their bomb doors often show these SBC's.

    I'f I'm not mistaken the Finnish Blenheims had bomb doors that differed somewhat from the British ones, taking into account different bomb design perhaps. Perhaps they could carry a heavier bombload when taking on less than a full fuel load, ie for shorter distances?

    I hope to have been of help with the above.

    By the way, if anyone has a copy of an A.P. giving details of the SBC I'd love a scan or copy!

    Cheers,

    Walter

  7. #7
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    I seached my copies of the Blenheim flight manuals, but no cigar. According to J. Raunio's summaries:

    Series I (Mk.I, British) = 1000 lb. or 900 kg (8x100 + 4x25 kg.) with Finnish racks.
    Series II (Mk.I, Finnish) = 922 kg. (8x100 + 4x12,5 + 24x3 kg.).
    Series III (Mk.IV, British) = 1160 lb. (4x250 + 4x20 + 4x20 lb.)

    Series IV (Mk.I, British) = ""
    Series V (Mk.I, Finnish) = 972 kg. (8x100 + 4x25 + 24x3 kg.)
    Series VI (Mk.IV, Yugoslavian/Finnish) = ""
    Last edited by Martti Kujansuu; 25th August 2010 at 08:42.

  8. #8
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    Interesting... either something is wrong with the reference, or the Finns were hanging twice the bombload, since one KG = 2.2 LB!

    Thus, that 900 KG "Finnish" load is 1,980 lb, and the 972 kg load is 2,138 lb!

  9. #9
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    By the way, if anyone has a copy of an A.P. giving details of the SBC I'd love a scan or copy!

    Cheers,
    http://rapidshare.com/files/39210460...1_complete.pdf
    The garage that keeps on giving

  10. #10
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    It's not a case of getting Ibs and kgs confused is it?
    Strange how the list goes from one to the other, but the numbers are quite close.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martti Kujansuu View Post
    Here we have a load of 800 kg (1800 lb.), consisting of 8 x 100 kg bombs.
    http://digi.narc.fi/digi/fullpic.ka?kuid=2917762 (in Finnish)
    what they dont say is that the aircraft only has 10 litres of fuel in it

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Air Ministry View Post
    That is just BRILLIANT - ta ever so much Alan !

    Brgds,

    Walter

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by pagen01 View Post
    It's not a case of getting Ibs and kgs confused is it?
    No, they're correct figures. Series I with eight hundred kilogram bombs.





    Quote Originally Posted by Petedcollins View Post
    what they dont say is that the aircraft only has 10 litres of fuel in it
    In this peculiar case the plane had fuel to fly three hundred kilometers to the target and back. Consumption during cruise was 300 l/h, for two hour flight that's about 600 liters.

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