Gerako98

Lancaster FN-64 ventral/belly turret (For Mk1 & Mk2)

0039-02-2-2.jpgFor full size, see image 3

 

The FN 64 turret was first fitted to the second Lancaster prototype, DG595 (Source 8  and image 2). It was subsequently fitted to the early Mk 1 production aircraft (source 1).

 

It was, however, found the be quite useless due to the difficulty in aiming (unlikely to be modeled in game) through the periscope and the small field of view that came with this aiming system (see image 7). As such, it was removed and the hole in the fuselage commonly being filled with a radar, or hand operated guns of various calibers (Source 3 and Source 5).

Late in the war, with the introduction of Schräge Musik, some aircraft had the turret re-fitted. (Source 5)

 

The introduction if this turret in game would certainly help the Lancaster Mk1's defensive armament, not only by bringing its reward facing armament to 8x 7.7mm guns, but also removing the aircraft's vulnerable weak-spot, attack from below, and making it much easier to 'gunship' soft ground targets. 

 

Specifications of the turret can be found in source 2

 

Edit: Confirmation of the Turret being mounted on the Mk2 Lancaster has been found (See images 3 and 4) :

 

An FN 64 was also found in Australia in 2006, but it was in rough shape and I have no idea where it is now (See image 5)

 

I have found a illustration of a cutaway of a Lancaster Mk1/3 hat shows exactly where it was mounted (See image 6 and post #19)

 

I have identified the aircraft in image 8; it is R-5727. This aircraft was built in England and sent to Canada in August 1942 as a basis for their licence built versions.

 

I have found a source stating that the turret had 1000 rounds of ammunition, 500 rounds per gun (Source 4 and Source 5). This is not very much and will be a weakness  of the turret. For comparison, the nose and dorsal turrets have 1000 rounds per gun, and the tail turret has 2500 rounds per gun.

 

 

Concrete evidence from official RAF sources has been provided by JimSan (See sources 6 & 7)

 

Source 1

[spoiler] Details of the first batch of production Lancasters produced with the Belly turret

aM18SPm.jpg

http://www.lancaster-archive.com/lanc_prod_avro1.htm

[/spoiler]

 

Source 2

[spoiler] Specifications of the Turret

 MeEDHlp.jpg

http://www.lancaster-archive.com/lanc_mid_lower_turret.htm  

[/spoiler]

 

source 3

[spoiler]

Note the single MG mounted in the hole left behind when the turret was removed form this "Dambuster" Lancaster

http://i.imgur.com/Q8tuCQv.png

[/spoiler]

 

source 4

[spoiler]


 

 

The Lancaster was usually fitted with three turrets, although some had a fourth or mid-lower turret, positioned underneath the aircraft to the rear of the bomb doors. This would carry two Browning 0.303in guns with 1,000 rounds of ammunition

http://www.airpages.ru/eng/mn/lan_03.shtml 

[/spoiler]

 

source 5

[spoiler]


 

 

The ventral position was soon deleted on most RAF Lancasters as it was thought unnecessary and took the same position as the H2S radome. Where possible, and unofficially, many crews installed a single 7.7 mm (0.303 in) or 12.7 mm (0.50 in) Browning machine-gun on aircraft lacking the ventral turret in order to deal with the ever increasing 'behind and below' attacks of German night fighters using Schräge Musik, which interesting, did not use tracer ammunition. These were hastily installed configurations usually consisting of the gunner sitting on a bicycle type seat with the ammunition box being bolted to the floor and the gun mounted in a hole cut into the floor. The British would eventually re-introduce the F.N.64 turret on aircraft equipped with G-H radar (an improved version of Gee) since that type of radar did not have the large radome as the H2S required. During 1943/1944 when the use of Schräge Musik on german Nachtjagd (night fighters) became widespread, the new twin-gun F.N.64 power-operated turrets became the most important gun position on the bomber.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     2 x 7.7 mm (0.303 in) Browning Mk II trainable rearward firing machine-guns in a power-operated Frazer-Nash F.N.64 ventral turret with 500 rounds per gun using a periscopic sight. (This position did not have a dedicated gunner).  

http://www.pilotfriend.com/photo_albums/timeline/ww2/Avro%20Lancaster.htm [/spoiler]

 

source 6 (Official RAF document) Provided By  JimSan

[spoiler]

The flowing are extracts from "Pilot's and Flight Engineer's Notes. Lancaster MkI, MkIII, MkX"  

 

This is an extract (Part 1, paragraph 11 [i]) proves that the FN 64 was fitted to some production Lancaster Mk1s. It says that the port-inner engine powered the hydraulic pump that ran the "Mid under [i.e. FN64] turret"

 w1EoY56.png

 

Unfortunately, this version of the pilots notes is from the late war, so any other information about the FN-64 has been covered over. For example, this extract (Part IV, paragraph 53 [v])  specifying what services will be lost if certain engines are shut off, now classifies the hydraulic pump on the port-inner engine as  "Main services". Note a piece of paper with this information has been stuck over the original information after the manual's printing, so it is possible that the information underneath mentions the FN-64.

0wU3hrw.png

 

Source

 

 

[/spoiler]

 

source 7 (Official RAF document) Provided By  JimSan

[spoiler]

The flowing are extracts from "Pilot's Notes for Lancaster II"  

 

This is an extract (Part 1, paragraph 9 [i]) proves that the FN 64 was fitted to some production Lancaster Mk2s. It says that the port-inner engine powered the hydraulic pump that ran the "Mid under [i.e. FN64] turret"

OXMncfE.png

 

This is a diagram, near the end of the manual, which shows the various escape routs for the crew. Not only does it show the FN64 fitted, it also specifies where the parachute for the crew member manning that position is stowed, affirming that this turret is a part of the aircraft's basic design.

nHleA8J.png

Source

[/spoiler]

 

source 8 (Official RAF docuentmt) 

[spoiler] this is a extract from a document reporting on a flight test of the prototype

 2g0YDyB.jpg

Full document can be found here [/spoiler]

 

image 2

[spoiler] The second Lancaster prototype, note the turret to the bottom right of the roundel.

600x362xAvro-Lancaster-BT308-prototype.j[/spoiler]

 

Image 3 (Found by markskinner87)

[spoiler] Mk2 Lancaster with bulged bomb-bay doors and the FN64 fitted

lancaster-6.jpg[/spoiler]

 

Image 4  WARNING, very large

[spoiler] Different examples of Mk2 Lancasters. Note the third example with the bulged bomb-bay doors and the FN64 fittedhttp://www.hobbymania.com.au/wp-content/uploads/AVRO-LANCASTER-B-MK-II-72-SCALE.jpg

 

[/spoiler]

 

Image 5 WARNING very large

[spoiler] surviving FN64 in in 2006

http://i.imgur.com/vcPMmHR.jpg 

[/spoiler]

 

Image 6 WARNING very large [spoiler]

A cutaway of a Lancaster showing where the Fn64 was mounted in the structure.

EosGypF.jpg

[/spoiler]

Image 7[spoiler]

Extract from Lancaster in action by R.S.G. Mackay

 

http://i.imgur.com/wOH6Kst.png 

[/spoiler]

 

Image 8  WARNING, very large [spoiler]

lanctur2.jpg
[/spoiler]
 

Other images

[spoiler]

http://www.aviation-history.com/avro/683-6.jpg

http://i1299.photobucket.com/albums/ag79/faireyfulmar/P1050191a1_zps2677e8ec.jpg

http://i113.photobucket.com/albums/n237/miduppergunner/underturret2.jpg 

[/spoiler]

 

Edit: I should probably elaborate on the pros and cons of this turret and how it could be implemented.

 

The Pros are that it would increase the overall defensive capability of the aircraft, as well as making it easier to use as a gunship. It would also add some more variation to the Lancaster line

 

The Cons are that the turret increases the weight and drag of the aircraft, which would negatively impact performance. 

 

 

Implementation of this turret is somewhat more complicated than I original anticipated. I know of 3 possible ways to implement it.

 

1. The easiest in terms of development and with the least grind is to simply add it to the upcoming Lancaster Mk1. This would mean that there is only 2 Lancasters to research to get to the Canberra, but it would also mean that the players have no option to use the Mk1 at its full performance, if they prefer speed over armament, this option will not be ideal. It also Makes it more difficult to implement the 14.000 lb tallboy bomb, as this slightly modified Mk1 did not carry the FN-64.

 

2. Basically the same amount of Dev time as the first option, but with a longer grind is to have two stacked versions of the Mk1, an Early and Late. This would solve the issue of some people preferring the higher performance over increased armament, and also make it possible to carry he tallboy on the Late variant. Seeing as the Early and Late variants would be stacked, this option would not increase the grind to the Canberra, but it would make it much more difficult to get the Tallboy armed Lancaster

 

3. The the third option would take up the most Dev time, but have an equally small grind as the first option. It is to use the same system as on other aircraft that have Gun-pods, that is to have the turret as a researchable modification that can be applied and removed to a single aircraft depending on the players personal taste. This is obviously the best option in terms of the players, but it has some challenges to overcome. Firstly they would have to implement a system where the Tallboy cannot be used with the turret, and the UI that goes with that. The biggest problem, however, it that they will need to find a solution to the number of gunners in the crew training, as it will have 3 gunners sometimes, and 4 at other times. What will probably have to happen is that the Mk1 will be listed as having 4 gunners, which will mean a longer grind to train your crew.

 

Note. All options are also applicable to to Mk2.

Option 3 is also applicable to the Mk3 and its choice between a 4x 7.7 or 2x 12.7 rear turret, but that is a discussion or another suggestion. 

 

 

Support signature available on page 2

Edited by Gerako98
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open for discussion

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It would be nice, but given that there was no "Standardization" on those FN turrets for any aircraft they were applied to, its hard to justify it.

Yes, its historical, but far more were without it than with it. Plus, its actual effectiveness is extremely hard to gather.

 

Its a great idea, and definitely one worth including, but i cant agree full stop. Particularly since the tail guns on a lancaster are like a minigun, even more so when you add the two dorsal guns already on it. And you want to add two more? XD

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It would be nice, but given that there was no "Standardization" on those FN turrets for any aircraft they were applied to, its hard to justify it.

Yes, its historical, but far more were without it than with it. Plus, its actual effectiveness is extremely hard to gather.

 

Its a great idea, and definitely one worth including, but i cant agree full stop. Particularly since the tail guns on a lancaster are like a minigun, even more so when you add the two dorsal guns already on it. And you want to add two more? XD

I'm not exactly sure what you mean by standardisation. it rolled off the production line with the turret fitted, in fact, removing it is a field modification in many cases.

 

The effectiveness IRL was not very good, for reasons stated here 

 

It was, however, found the be quite useless due to the difficulty in aiming (unlikely to be modeled in game) through the periscope and the small field of view that came with this aiming system. As such, it was removed and the hole in the fuselage commonly being filled with a radar, or hand operated guns of various calibers.

Late in the war, with the introduction of Schräge Musik, some aircraft had the turret re-fitted.  

 

but obviously this is not modeled or represented in-game in any way.

 

If you think that its current defenses are adequate, then you hopefully would be able to elect not to have the turret and take the speed boost instead, much like the real bomber crews did.

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I'm not exactly sure what you mean by standardisation. it rolled off the production line with the turret fitted, in fact, removing it is a field modification in many cases.

 

The effectiveness IRL was not very good, for reasons stated here 

but obviously this is not modeled or represented in-game in any way.

 

If you think that its current defenses are adequate, then you hopefully would be able to elect not to have the turret and take the speed boost instead, much like the real bomber crews did.

 

It was produced with the turret? I got the impression that only a few early ones were produced with it, in a small quantity.

 

I suppose it should definitely be included, particularly since more lancasters are to be added anyway, and it was included in more than a small quantity.

 

I just dont want to be behind a lancaster that has it xD

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It was produced with the turret? I got the impression that only a few early ones were produced with it, in a small quantity.

 

I suppose it should definitely be included, particularly since more lancasters are to be added anyway, and it was included in more than a small quantity.

 

I just dont want to be behind a lancaster that has it xD

 

I'm not exactly sure how many were produced with the turret fitted, but the absolute minimum was 43

Edited by Gerako98

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I'm not exactly sure how many were produced with the turret fitted, but the absolute minimum was 43

 

More than enough to include it, i'd think.

*coughs* and im sorry about skimming over that. I saw the pictures and went "THIS IS A GREAT IDEA" before looking at it in detail XD

Edited by Kingofcrocdiles

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More than enough to include it, i'd think.

*coughs* and im sorry about skimming over that. I saw the pictures and went "THIS IS A GREAT IDEA" before looking at it in detail XD

No worries mate, its a lot of info, and I'm happy to clarify.

 

I'm searching now if there is any more that had it fitted. So far I've found a refrence to some Mk 2s that had it fitted for dailight raids, but no concrete evidance.

 

Edit: apologies, it would appear that this was a hand operated 12.7 machine gun mounted in the hole in the fuselage, so it is possible that they were able to mount the turret (Hence the hole) but found the 12.7 to work better

 

Edit:Edit: concrete evidence found. Disregard this post,  

Edited by Gerako98
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^ yes, it was.

The turret was standard issue/full production on at least some lancs, and more importantly was actually used in combat.
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I bet the belly gunner was the butt of many jokes which other gunners telling to hurry up and vacate the 'crapper'

Ha, that's actually pretty funny :)

Sorry for double post but check this out..

http://forum.keypublishing.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=153607&stc=1&d=1179920378


Note the single mg.

That is quite interesting, of looks like one of the hand mounted mg's mounted in the hole left behind after the turret was removed. I have found references to this, but never any evidence. Very good find, I will look onto it.

side note, I will get to work on a sig ASAP, but it might take a few days, I have things to do. Edited by Gerako98

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I have stumbled upon an explanation for this image

[spoiler]lancaster-6.jpg[/spoiler]

 

It would appear that several Mk2 Lancasters had a slightly misshapen fuselage. I would appear that this was bulged bomb bay doors.

 

WARNING, very big image. 

note the FN64 on the 5th and 6th aircraft

[spoiler]AVRO-LANCASTER-B-MK-II-72-SCALE.jpg

[/spoiler]

What this means is that we have confirmation of the FN-64 being mounted on the Mk2 Lancaster and the highest quality image of the turret found so far. (Markskinner87 found it)

 

Editing OP accordingly 

Edited by Gerako98
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Sure, but the Mk2 was dreadful.

I'm not very familiar with how the Different Marks performed, but I'm just trying to show that the turret wasn't just used on the early Mk 1

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Apologies for the inactivity, but I have been very busy lately and will continue to be for a few more weeks.

 

I found a couple of cutaways of Lancasters that depict it with turret fitted which shows its positioning more clearly, but primary sources are few and far between. If anyone has pilot's notes or the like that give information about the F.N.64, it would be greatly appreciated if you could post it here  :salute: .

[spoiler]lcutawaybw50.gif[/spoiler][spoiler]

EosGypF.jpg[/spoiler]

 

Unfortunately, I have been unable to find a suitable Image for a support signature, which means I will have to heavily Photoshop an existing image or draw a new one. I don't have time for either of those options at the moment so I will slap together something quick and begin work on the fully fledged signature in a few weeks.

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Basic signature complete. Feel free to use these and help spread the word! Don't forget to actually link this thread if you do  :Ps

 

320 x 200 

hAktFWF.jpg?1

 

650 x 406

28pznZn.jpg?1

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It was produced with the turret? I got the impression that only a few early ones were produced with it, in a small quantity.

 

I suppose it should definitely be included, particularly since more lancasters are to be added anyway, and it was included in more than a small quantity.

 

I just dont want to be behind a lancaster that has it xD

Yeah and the Germans learned that very fast and that is why they had cannons that aimed upward so they shot from bellow

medal medal medal

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I support it and why the Manchester talked about in one of those sources did they get this too and if so that was a waste of machine guns because Manchesters were a failure

medal medal medal

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I support it and why the Manchester talked about in one of those sources did they get this too and if so that was a waste of machine guns because Manchesters were a failure

 

The Manchester did not have the FN-64 specifically, but it did have the FN-21A instead. This was a retractable belly turret that looked like this. 

[spoiler]lanc_mid_low_turret.jpg[/spoiler]

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