Tuesday, February 28, 2012

TBD Devastator Stores Bay

The Douglas TBD was designed to carry several different loads under its fuselage and had a stores bay to accommodate some of them.
The basic loads as shown above were:

- Mk 13 torpedo

- Mk 7 torpedo

- Two or three 500-lb bombs

- One 1000-lb bomb

There were three bomb racks, two forward on the belly and one aft, located at the roof of the stores bay, which was also the floor of the gunner's compartment.
The doors with lightening holes on the inner panel were opened when the Norden bomb sight was to be used for level bombing. According to Steve Ginter's excellent monograph, the doors were changed to have solid inner skins to reduce buffeting and there were only two hinges, not three as shown above. However, WymanV notes that the bombardier sighting doors were only changed on BuNos 1505-1519.

There were several different panels that closed off some or all of the stores bay depending on what was being carried. Originally, there also fairings provided between some of the stores and the belly to reduce drag.

In this picture, all the close-out belly panels are installed.

The 500-bombs were mounted directly on the bomb racks.
Note that the well did not need to be exposed for the two forward bombs to be carried.

A panel with an opening was provided when the aft 500-lb bomb was carried.
Note: In Steve Ginter's monograph, the caption for this picture incorrectly identifies the above as the 1,000-lb bomb installation.

The 1,000-lb bomb and the torpedoes were attached using straps between the two forward bomb racks.
Pictured above is the Mk 7, which required using the full length of the stores bay. Note that the bomb-sight doors would not be open as shown when a torpedo was being carried.

Like the torpedoes, the 1,000-lb bomb protruded into the stores well and specific panels were provided for its installation.

In addition to the various belly panels, ballast weights were provided to be loaded on the aft bomb rack depending on the loading configuration. For example, ferry flights with no crew other than the pilot and no armament required that the maximum ballast of 500 lbs be loaded on the aft bomb rack.

In addition to the bomb/torpedo loading options under the fuselage, panels were provided that could be mounted on the wings outboard of the landing gear and inboard of the wing fold on which several small bombs could be carried.

For a comprehensive description of the Douglas TBD Devastator, obtain the following monograph from Amazon.com or directly from Steve Ginter (http://www.ginterbooks.com/NAVAL/NAVAL.htm)

1 comment:

  1. Hi There

    A great blog I'm glad I found it.

    Do you know if the torpedo stowage was the same on the single floatplane built please. The new Great Wall Hobby kit has a very basic arrangement I think needs help. I've got the Ginter book on order.

    TIA for any input