Aviation of World War II
In the pre-war period, Lockheed designers gained some experience in adapting their aircraft for military purposes. In 1938, the government of the Dutch East Indies offered the company to develop a project for a training bomber based on the six-seat L-12A Elektra Junior. The order was accepted and a machine was built, called the L-212A. Design changes were minimal: the aircraft was armed with two rifle-caliber machine guns (one fixed in the forward fuselage, and the second on a shielded turret on top) and bomb racks under the center section. 16 of these aircraft, handed over to the customer in 1939 - 1941, patrolled the coasts of the islands of present-day Indonesia in the first months of the Pacific War.
In June 1938, the British Purchasing Board in the United States asked Lockheed to do similar work on the large L-14. The aircraft was supposed to perform the functions of a training bomber, naval reconnaissance and anti-submarine patrol vehicle. Accordingly, changes in the design of the base model went more deeply. The machine, named first B14, then B141 and finally L-214 "Hudson", had a glazed nose with a navigator-scorer's cabin, a bomb bay under the floor of the former passenger cabin, new engines and enlarged gas tanks. Offensive and defensive small arms have been significantly strengthened compared to the L-212A. The Hudson has been in service with the RAF since September 1939.
The aircraft was adopted not only in Great Britain, the countries of the British Commonwealth, but also in the United States itself - under the designation A-28 and A-29 (with different weapons) in the army aviation and RVO-1 - in the navy. A-28A also arrived in Brazil, A-29 and A-29A - in China. They were used as day and night bombers, reconnaissance, submarine chasers, transports and rescue vehicles; fought all over the world - from the ice of the Arctic to the jungles of New Guinea.
"Hudson" was built in large series in series - production was stopped in 1943 on the 2941st copy.
The most famous victories. Aircraft Hudson from the 224 Squadron October 8, 1939. shot down a Dornier Do 18 flying boat. It was the first RAF victory in World War II won by US-built aircraft. Hudson from the 220th Air Force Squadron in February 1940 located the German prison ship "Altmark" and pointed British ships at it. In the Atlantic on August 27, 1941. a Hudson of 269 Squadron damaged and captured the German submarine U 570. In May 1943, a Hudson of 608 Squadron became the first RAF aircraft to sink a German U-class submarine with rocket fire. U-701) July 7, 1942 belongs to the US Air Force Lockheed A-29. A US Navy PBO-1 (US Navy designation A-29) sank two submarines on March 1 and 15, 1942.
In the summer of 1941, General Arnold, commander of the US Army Aviation, offered the A-29 for delivery to the USSR under Lend-Lease. But the commission under the leadership of M.M. Gromov refused the machine due to weak defense capability and insufficient survivability (our Air Force needed a front-line bomber).
In all, 2941 Hudsons were built, and many remained in service in a secondary role until the end of the war.