Aviation of Word War II
The B-25D (41-30116), 405 BS, 38 BG, New Guinea, August, 1943.
In the course of serial production, new changes were made to the aircraft design. Starting from the 383rd copy (41-12817), the volume of fuel tanks was increased. The standard B-25C now carried 974 gallons (3687 liters) tanks. In addition, it was possible to place more tanks with a volume of 710 gallons (2688 liters) in the fuselage and wings. A small glazed turret was installed above the cockpit, allowing the navigator to monitor the position of the sun and stars. The aircraft was equipped with modified Bendix Amplidyne turrets. Air intakes for carburetors appeared above the engines. The next change in the design of the aircraft was made on the 607th bomber (41-13039). Bomb racks were installed under the wings, and a holder for one torpedo was installed under the fuselage. This entailed the need to strengthen the design and change the electrical circuit. These aircraft were designated B-25S-1. Another 150 bombers, designated B-25C-10, were equipped with an AM compass capable of remotely receiving navigation signals. In addition, on these aircraft, the cabin heating system was strengthened and the bomber sight was modified. The last aircraft of the series (42-32383) became the prototype for the B-25C-15. These machines have changed the design of the nacelles. Each cylinder now had its own tailpipe, giving the nacelle cover a distinctive look. The new exhaust system was designated the Clayton "S". The aircraft was also equipped with an emergency landing gear release system. Instead of a 7.62 mm machine gun, two 12.7 mm machine guns were installed in the frontal fairing. One of them was rigidly fixed with the muzzle forward, while the other could be guided. The aircraft were adapted to operate in the far north. In February 1943, the contract for the production of aircraft was extended and the production of the B-25C-20 (NA-96) series began. Starting with aircraft 42-64702, the forward view from the pilot's seats has been improved by reducing the number of bindings in the canopy. In addition, an additional 215 gallon (814 L) self-sealing fuel tank was installed in the bomb bay. Every other aircraft was equipped with an additional 335 gallon (1268 L) gas tank, also installed in the bomb bay. Such aircraft were designated as B-25S-25. Serial numbers:
B-25C NA82-5069 ... 5673 41-I2434 ... 13038
В-25С-1 NA 82-5674 ... 4931 41-13039 ... 13296
B-25C-10NA 94-12641 ... 12790 42-32233 ... 32382
B-25C-15NA 93-12491 ... 12640 42-32383 ... 32532
В-25С-5 NA90-11819 ... 11980 42-53332 ... 53493
В-25С-20 NA 96-16381 ... 16580 42-64502 .. .64701
B-25C-25NA 96-16581 ... 16680 42-64702 ... 64801
B-25D-35NA 100-23946 ... 24195 43-3620 ... 3869
F-10. The wide capabilities of the bomber made it possible to use it as a photo reconnaissance aircraft. For this purpose, 45 new B-25Ds were selected. After the alteration, the vehicles were designated F-10. It should be borne in mind that in the period from 1930 to 1947, the US Air Force had a completely different nomenclature than after 1947. Then the fighter was designated by the letter "P" (pursuit), and the photographic reconnaissance - by the letter "F" (foto). Later, the letter "F" became a fighter.
In the war in the South Pacific Ocean, accurate maps played a huge role, which allowed pilots and navigators to confidently navigate in space. Photo reconnaissance was carried out using the following types of aircraft: P-38 / F-4 and F-5, A-20 / F-3, P-51 / F-6, B-17 / F-9, B-24 / F- 7, V-25 / R-10 and V-29 / R-13. All 45 B-25Ds were converted in late 1942 - early 1943, but the designation F-10 was received only after a few months of service - on August 18, 1943.
The alteration consisted in the fact that all bomber equipment, weapons and armor were removed from the plane, and in their place were three aeronautical cameras (trimetrogon mapping system) T-5 or K-17, of which one shot a vertical plan, and two others were oriented diagonally. The vertical camera was behind the cockpit, and the diagonal cameras were in the nose compartment, while the frontal fairing received two swells. Flying at 320 km / h, the F-10 could take off 20,000 square miles (32,000 km2) in four hours. The F-10's crew consisted of two pilots, a navigator, a radio operator and a photographer.
The first units equipped with F-10 aircraft were the 311th Photo Wing and the 1st Photo Charting Group, stationed in the United States. During the war, F-10 aircraft operated with nine more squadrons. In March 1943, the 3rd Photo Recon Squadron, with 12 F-10s, arrived in Alaska, where he conducted aerial photography of Alaska and northwestern Canada. The squadron's aircraft were prepared for the high north conditions at Camp McCoy, Wisconsin. In the north, the squadron operated until late June, after which it relocated to Ogden, Utah. There the squadron's planes were equipped with the Clayton "S" system. The next location for the 3rd PRS was Brazil, followed by India and China. Gradually, some of them switched to B-17 / F-9 aircraft, and then to B-29 / F-13. The 7th and 10th PRS were training units in which crews were trained for photographic reconnaissance aircraft. In 1944 and 1945, F-10 scouts were actively used in the llth Tactical Recon Squadron. In the summer of 1943, the 18th Combat Mapping Squadron took photographs of the South Pacific from bases in New Caledonia and New Hybrids. The photographs of North America between 1943 and 1945 were conducted by the 19th Recon Squadron, which later operated in the Middle East and Africa.
In Europe in 1944, the 34th PRS operated, arriving in the UK in March of that year. Initially, the squadron was part of the 8th Photo Group, and later it was reassigned to the command of the 10th group. From August 1944, the squadron operated from bases in France.
In 1943, the US government managed to obtain consent from some states of Central and South America to conduct aerial photography of their territory. The area of the Panama Canal was of interest primarily as the most vulnerable to a possible attack by Japanese or German sabotage groups. In September 1943, the 91st Photo Mapping Squadron departed from Reading Field, Pennsylvania, relocating to Recife and Natala (Brazil), Talara (Peru), Santiago (Chile), British Guinea, the Panama Canal Zone and the Caribbean. It is also known about the activities of the 101st Photographic Bombardment Squadron, which used the F-10 in the Caribbean in 1944-45.
B-25E. The prototype of the XB-25E was created on the basis of the standard B-25C-10 (42-32281). The aircraft was equipped with an additional anti-icing system. The fact is that front-line vehicles were constantly faced with icing on vehicles. The problem was so acute that it had to be solved at the level of the Air Force command. Work on the prototype began in the winter of 1943 at the NAA's experimental department in Inglewood, California. In the upper front of the engine casings, standard air intakes for carburetors were installed. An anti-icing system air intake was placed in the lower part of the hood. Inside each nacelle was a conduit that directed warm air from the engine to the wings, tail, and fuselage. In some places of the wings and fuselage, additional heaters were installed, which were located so that heat loss was minimal. Warm air circulated under the skin of the aircraft, preventing its icing. The aircraft, dubbed the Flamin 'Maimie, was ready for testing in early 1944. The first flight took place on February 4. The plane was flown by Joe Barton. The program included a climb to 20,000 feet with control measurements every 1,000 feet. On February 11, during the next flight, smoke and open flames appeared in the right wing. Barton made an emergency landing at the nearest airfield, the Los Alamitos Navy base. It turned out that one of the heaters had burned out. The malfunction was eliminated and tests resumed in early March. The system turned out to be very expensive and not efficient enough. Therefore, it was not implemented in mass production. In July 1944, the XB-25E was tested at the NACA center at the Lewis Research Center in Cleveland (Ohio). There the car passed under the code NACA 123. Tests continued until February 1953, after which the car was transferred to the Wright Field base.
The total number of B-25C aircraft produced in Inglewood was 1625.