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 Post subject: Bendix turret?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 8:40 am 
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Of the suriving B-17E's today...are any of them fitted with the Bendix bottom turret? Or do they all have the Sperry? I know they put the Sperry on beginning with the 113 production B-17E and was standard for the rest of the B-17 production.

thanks,
Nathan

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 2:11 pm 
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Swamp Ghost is still fitted with a Bendix turret.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 4:53 pm 
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there are only 2 bendix belly turrets left, one on Swamp Ghost, the other is on the B-25 that was pulled from a lake.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 4:57 pm 
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I wonder if anything is going to be done with that one from the b-25.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 6:02 pm 
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Matt Gunsch wrote:
there are only 2 bendix belly turrets left, one on Swamp Ghost, the other is on the B-25 that was pulled from a lake.


Aren't those two different kind of turrets? Didn't know the B-25 had them too.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 6:34 pm 
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Not sure about what you are saying is a Bendix turret on the B-17. The early 'Es had the Sperry remote turret, later replaced by the Sperry ball turret.

The late B-17F and B-17G chin turrets were Bendix; in fact, the early chins were surplus turret rejected from installation on the B-25s.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 6:45 pm 
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aerovin wrote:
Not sure about what you are saying is a Bendix turret on the B-17. The early 'Es had the Sperry remote turret, later replaced by the Sperry ball turret.

The late B-17F and B-17G chin turrets were Bendix; in fact, the early chins were surplus turret rejected from installation on the B-25s.


These early turrets on the B-17E were called the Bendix turret. It was a remote controlled turret operated by a gunner lying on his knees looking out throw a parascopic scope threw a dome window on the bottom of the fuselage. They did away with the Bendix turret starting with the 113 production B-17E and replaced it with the Sperry turret.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 6:52 pm 
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Early model B-25's did have the bendix turret. The Doolittle Raiders had their's removed, and most had them removed as well.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 6:59 pm 
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mustangdriver wrote:
Early model B-25's did have the bendix turret. The Doolittle Raiders had their's removed, and most had them removed as well.


I knew they had bottom turrets. Just never realized they were the same model turrets found on the B-17E.

Cool..thanks. :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 7:21 pm 
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Nathan wrote:
aerovin wrote:
Not sure about what you are saying is a Bendix turret on the B-17. The early 'Es had the Sperry remote turret, later replaced by the Sperry ball turret.

The late B-17F and B-17G chin turrets were Bendix; in fact, the early chins were surplus turret rejected from installation on the B-25s.


These early turrets on the B-17E were called the Bendix turret. It was a remote controlled turret operated by a gunner lying on his knees looking out throw a parascopic scope threw a dome window on the bottom of the fuselage. They did away with the Bendix turret starting with the 113 production B-17E and replaced it with the Sperry turret.


I respectfully beg to differ and offer the following: Sperry built 113 remote control lower turrets for the B-17, later replaced with the Sperry ball turret. The only Bendix turret on a production B-17 was the chin turret, which was based on the basic design of the unsuccessful Bendix lower turret used on early B-25s.

Good source would be the USAF Historical Research Agency:

http://afhra.maxwell.af.mil/numbered_studies/studiesintro.asp

Look at study #54, Development of AAF Gun Turrets, page 107 for a some material about these turrets.

There are many sources, offiicial ones included, that incorrectly refer to the remote lower turret on the B-17E as being a Bendix turret.

Take a look at the two remote lower turrets (Bendix on the early B-25s, Sperry on the first 112 B-17Es). They look nothing alike.


Last edited by aerovin on Thu Nov 13, 2008 8:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 7:33 pm 
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I guess I can't really say much more. :) I have done my research for the past several years and I've always heard the turret refered to as the Bendix turret on the early B-17E models. Could my sources be wrong? I guess thats a possibility. All I know from all the historians I have talked with they called it a Bendix turret. If anyone else can add to this.

Thanks,
Nathan(the confused)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 7:50 pm 
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My suggestion is to go to a pretty reliable source, the before mentioned AAF study #54 that has about 209 pages about the development of gun turrets for AAF airplanes written in 1947. It has several long sections about Sperry and Bendix and their respective turrets, and talks about the Sperry remote lower turret for the B-17E being replaced by the Sperry ball when it was finally in production.

And, I'm sure there are those out there with some B-17E parts manuals that might be able to give us a Sperry part number for the lower turret, eh?

Unfortunately, the NMUSAF site and many others keep repeating the same inaccurate information...it's kind of like cross-breeding, I guess. After all, the NMUSAF is an authoritative site, right? Well, no, I guess it isn't, at least when it comes to B-17E lower turrets.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 7:56 pm 
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It is true. It is a SPERRY remote lower turret on
the first 113 B-17Es. There was a thread about this
earlier this year on Aerovintage, verified by looking
at the blueprints and Armament manuals for the B-17E.

http://aerovintage.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=351


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 9:27 pm 
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Here is some information on the Sperry lower turret in the B-17E which was a remote turret. The gunner had a separate sighting station aft of the turret. The dome for the Sperry lower was the same early dome used for the Sperry upper with the glass replaced with metal and a chute for spent cases and links.

The following is from TO 01-20EE-2 RB-17E erection and maintenance manual.

Image

Image

Check out the early version of the K-4 computing sight in the sighting station. I am amazed how early in WWII the computing sights were used.

Image

Image

Here is the Bendix lower turret on the B-25 C&D that was sighted through the center of the turret with a periscope so it really isn't a remote turret. Note the resemblance and the obvious lineage to the Bendix chin turret on the late B-17's. Remember that this turret was retractable as it could hit the runway (or flight deck) on rotation or flare. You can see a good shot of this turret retracted in 30 seconds over Tokyo as they walk by it on the carrier deck. One minor flaw in the movie since the Doolittle Raiders didn't have this turret installed.

The information below is from the NAA factory maintenance manual on the B-25C&D

Image

Image

Image

Incidentally one other Bendix lower does exist besides the one on the Lake Murray B-25. It is almost complete and resides with Carl Scholl at Aero Trader. I believe it came out of the Jack Hardwick collection. I think he intends for it to go into his C model project.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 9:34 pm 
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I have to admit, I've never heard of a Bendix belly turret in a B-17, even the early ones. On the other hand, the subject of turrets from the WWII period had proven to be more complicated than I ever imagined. Does anyone have photos of the belly turret in Swamp Ghost? I've seen photos of the upper turret but never the belly turret.

Here's a great bit of history on turrets, including the Sperry ball turret. There is no mention of a Bendix ever being in the belly of a B-17 in this post. No idea about Mr. Hurst's source materials but There is information here that I've never found anywhere else regarding several turret types.


http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... highlight=

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