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petet

AW FK8 Bomb Racks

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petet

Has anyone got a photograph showing the bomb rack fitted to an AW FK8 (either loaded or unloaded [or both]) that I can utilise to show the equipment that was fitted to No. 35 Squadron aircraft on my History of No. 35 Squadron website?

 

Regards

 

Pete

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MikeMeech
1 hour ago, petet said:

Has anyone got a photograph showing the bomb rack fitted to an AW FK8 (either loaded or unloaded [or both]) that I can utilise to show the equipment that was fitted to No. 35 Squadron aircraft on my History of No. 35 Squadron website?

 

Regards

 

Pete

Hi Pete

 

There is the famous photo of Freddie West (later VC) with a n other in front on a No.8 Sqn. FK.8 that shows an empty bomb rack under the starboard wing (and the Klaxon under the fuselage), it is from the Jack Bruce collection and the RAF Museum number is X003-2602-0280.  Windsock Datafile 64 AW FK.8 by J M Bruce on page 32 has photo 87 with a close up of Cooper bombs on a bomb carrier under the starboard wing, that is sourced as from 'The Liddle Collection, Leeds University Library'.  Many of these WW1 aircraft photos appear in several different collections so it may pay to look round or just ask the relevant source as they may have better images.

 

Mike

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petet

Thanks as always Mike; I will follow these up

 

Regards

 

Pete

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petet

As a follow up, I note that you mentioned that the rack was "under the starboard wing", suggesting that the rack was not centrally mounted. I also note on a Casualty Report that one aircraft carried "bomb racks 20lb, bomb rack 112lb and a bomb launching tube".

 

All this is suggesting that my simplified view of a single centrally mounted bomb rack is incorrect .... can anyone supply any guidance?

 

Regards

 

Pete

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MikeMeech
1 hour ago, petet said:

As a follow up, I note that you mentioned that the rack was "under the starboard wing", suggesting that the rack was not centrally mounted. I also note on a Casualty Report that one aircraft carried "bomb racks 20lb, bomb rack 112lb and a bomb launching tube".

 

All this is suggesting that my simplified view of a single centrally mounted bomb rack is incorrect .... can anyone supply any guidance?

 

Regards

 

Pete

Hi Pete

 

Bomb racks, of various types, could be fitted under each wing and/or fuselage depending on what was needed.  The 'bomb launching tube' could be referring to the RL Tube used for launching parachute flares and other pyrotechnic devices usually.

 

Mike

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petet

Thanks as usual Mike; another avenue of research for me to pursue

 

Regards

 

Pete

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MikeMeech
20 hours ago, petet said:

Thanks as usual Mike; another avenue of research for me to pursue

 

Regards

 

Pete

Hi

The bomb racks being used on the FK.8 and other aircraft had basically become standard items of equipment by the end of 1916. These were the 'Skeleton-type carriers'.  They were in three sizes for 112 lb, 250 lb and 520 lb bombs, the carriers being lighter and had lower head resistance than the previous Woolwich and other designs.  The four Cooper bomb carriage also became a standard item.

The first attached image shows an FK.8 (of 82 Sqn) fitted with an under fuselage rack carrying two 112 lb bombs and the four Cooper bomb rack can also be seen under the wing.  The racks could be removed when not needed, the second image shows the under wing ribs that the bomb racks could be fitted to.

I hope that helps.

Mike

WW1FK8bombracks001.jpg.8445e780201c59292f44ea9eec6bea29.jpg

WW1FK8bombracks002.jpg.61a7fbf70f93290c3f45691e801c8aef.jpg

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petet

Mike; that is brilliant .... thank you for your time and effort.

 

Can I assume that if the under wing rack was used, one would have been fitted to each wing to maintain the balance of the aircraft (sorry if this is a daft question, but as you know I do like to make sure I have got things straight in my head)

 

Regards

 

Pete

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ICM - RAF Retd

Mike, Pete:  This looks a little clearer to me - does it help at all?

AW FK8 Spotter 10 Squadron 1918.jpg

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petet

Thanks for the additional photograph.

 

Just to conclude this discussion in relation to my current needs:

 

1. Was there a maximum bomb load for the FK8 (WIKI shows "up to 260lb")?

2. Was there a "normal" configuration for a Corps squadron?

3. Would I be correct in assuming the Bomb Launching Tube was attached to the outside of the aircraft? [Would any photographs of this exist?]

 

Regards

 

Pete

Edited by petet

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MikeMeech
4 hours ago, petet said:

Thanks for the additional photograph.

 

Just to conclude this discussion in relation to my current needs:

 

1. Was there a maximum bomb load for the FK8 (WIKI shows "up to 260lb")?

2. Was there a "normal" configuration for a Corps squadron?

3. Would I be correct in assuming the Bomb Launching Tube was attached to the outside of the aircraft? [Would any photographs of this exist?]

 

Regards

 

Pete

Hi

1. As there appear to be photos of the FK.8 carrying 2 x 112 lb and 8 x 20 lb (25 lb) bombs I think it will be fairly flexible.  The squadron may very well remove items of equipment that were not needed for a bombing mission eg. wireless and accumulator, to maximise the bomb load.

2.  Depends what you mean by 'normal' as the Corps squadron had a variety of roles it have a different 'normal' for each role.  Photo recce would require a camera fit, artillery spotting wireless of course, a Counter Attack Patrol a wireless plus bombs, Contact Patrol a Klaxon, Smoke screen production (as 35 Sqn. did on 8 Oct. 1918) a number of 40 lb phosphorus bombs and variations of the above.  Supply dropping could include food supplies in sandbags carried in the cockpit or ammunition and even barbed wire carried on bomb racks and dropped by parachute.  The Corps aeroplanes may also have been fitted with and/or painted with special markings for tasks that required them to be recognised from the ground.

3. The RL tube when first introduced appears to have been fitted outside the fuselage (see attached image), however, drawings of the RE.8 appear to show the RL Tube fitted inside the pilot's cockpit on the starboard side I suspect the FK.8 would have it fitted inside the fuselage as well.  But I would caution to be wary of stating a 'standard' fitting location as squadrons may have different ideas as they did when fitting other equipment.

I hope that helps.

 

Mike

WW1FK8bombracks004.jpg.8f4f48ac895545cbaee225f17afe078d.jpg

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petet

Mike

 

Thanks, as always, for your comprehensive response. 

 

I think I have enough now for my needs, but as I have said before, I do like to have a basic understanding of each subject. 

 

I am now on a new mission ...... to understand what a "navigation set" was!

 

Regards

 

Pete

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