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Extra Fuel/Bomb Load

 
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Extra Fuel/Bomb Load - 12/11/2020 3:45:39 PM   
zgrssd

 

Posts: 3081
Joined: 6/9/2020
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When looking up values for the B-17, I noticed that there are two values for both bombadload and fuel:
Normal
If you put extra on the wings

The B-17 could carry:
1,700 gallons Fuel
3,630 gallons Fuel with Tokyo Tanks

8000 lbs of bombs
17600 lbs of bombs with external racks

I think the game could benefit from similar options.

External Fuel Tanks
I was already aware of those, but oddly never considered them for Bombers. I guess air-refueling kinda replaced them.
Those do not offer a 1:1 range increase of course - the extra weight for the fuel and extra drag from having those under the wings, usually meant reduced fuel efficiency and speed.
However those were also usually consumed first for fuel and dropable once empty - a really nice feature when it was possible.

Useage in the game would be for "change airbase" operations or as a maximum range extension. They are not particulary dangerous, as fuel is not excessively combustible.
The cost would be reduced Fuel efficiency for the entire flight.

Internal Fuel Tanks
Cargo Planes should be able to sacrifice their Capacity for extra range. They could keep the stuff in internal tanks wich mitigated any drag penalty. But of course still added weight and reduced capacity.

External Bomb Racks:
Again I was aware of them, but did not consider them for Bombers. The usual place is under the wings.

For WW2 bombers it is a pretty dangeroous prospect to carry bombs under the wings. There were very few ways to arm bombs mid-flight and the explosives were pretty easily "disturbed" by random shrapnel or bullets. It basically made a you leagues better AA target. And of course the extra drag while not carrying extra fuel also made the range much worse.
Post WW2 bombers had less issues with arming and safety,

For figthers and figther-bombers meanwhile, under-wing bombracks are the rule - not the excetpion.
Only with the advent of stealth figthers did we reconsider putting the fighters load on the inside. The reason was that external missiles had quite the radar signature and are hard to hide.
But even those fighters still have a option to carry external missile/bomb racks - for when they really need ammunition.

Game useage
In the game, these would allow modifying the misson profile of a plane somewhat. The same modern plane could be used as a Recon (extra fuel), a interdictor (extra AA missiles) or a fighter-bomber (external ground bombs).
There have been example of Scoutplanes being turned into impromtu Tank-Hunters, as "Bazooka Charlie" can attest:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2svhYn1HDY

The main limiter for those external things would be the wing size. And of course those external fittings would be worse performance wise then purpose build fittings for weapons. But it would still give options.
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