The B-17 had a notably smaller bomb bay than the Lanc (impressive though the B-17's payload was at the time of its design) - although the 22,000lb figure is for the Grand Slam carrying Lancs rather than the standard maximum load (which was, IIRC, about 14,000lb).
Don't forget that the B-17 could carry an overload (including external racks under the wings) of 17 600lb. Don't think it was used much, if ever, operationally due to parasite drag & other performance issues, but it proved that the basic design could haul a significant bombload. Remember that the B17 was originally designed to threaten the US Navy's role of protecting the US mainland from an enemy navy. Therefore range and endurance were more important than absolute bombload.
Yes, until the Boeing B-29 Superfortress entered service, Britain seemed to have a good handle on making true heavy bombers. The American built Consolidated B-24 bomber could carry 8,000-lbs, yet the HP Halifax could carry 13,000-lbs. The Short Stirling could carry 18,000-lbs. The B-24 and B-17 were, however, reasonably reliable, and available in quantity. The B-24 had good range and speed, but was more vulnerable to damage than the B-17.
The giant Douglas XB-19 would have dwarfed Britain's biggest bombers in shear size alone, had it entered overseas service. The XB-19 could carry 18,000-lbs. of bombs, and for short range missions, could carry in excess of 35,000-lbs of bombs. MTOW was 140,230-lbs.
Bomb load alone doesn't adequately explain what each aircraft type had to carry over what distance. The US Air Force was trying to use precision bombing during daylight and trying to defend their aircraft too and from the target. The RAF had decided night bombing was 'safer' and tended to bomb an area. Those two arguments themselves being gross over simplifications too.
I remember going around the Fort Lewis Museum in Washington State in the early 80s. On display was (if I recall the label correctly) "an experimental bomb dropped from a B-17 and found on the ranges" - it was, in fact, an intact Tall Boy so obviously jettisoned not dropped as intended from altitude - maybe too heavy for the aircraft? Wonder if it was intended for use against the Yamamoto?
India Four Two, Yes, in the dark, solo, below radar, (i.e. low-level), and carrying specialized electronic counter measures tuned for the day that were NOT available to the U.S. 8th Air Force en-mass, the Mosquito was, indeed, a formidable weapon. The RAF Bomber Command was also not privy to many of the counter-weapons specially tuned for the day. Logistics made it very difficult to build, test, and install a counter-measure system that would work in every aircraft of the European Theatre. Also, the Mosquito was of wooden construction, being inherently non-reflective of radar signals, and she had a relatively large avionics bay in relation to her size, in addition, she had a somewhat forgiving aerodynamic envelope that would accomodate a few changes to her foil. Most importantly, she was faster than most of her enemies.
Yes, Simon, if we only had 750,000 more Mosquitos, the war could have been over earlier. The forests would have been denuded, but, cest le guerre.
Let us not forget the de-laminating of the Mosquito's empenage in the tropics. It took a while to formulate a better adhesive to prevent the high speed delamination.
We're flying Flying Fortresses at forty thousand feet We're flying over Germany to give the Huns a treat We've bags and bags of ammo and a teeny-weeny bomb And we drop the bastard from so high we don't know where it's gone
The Mosquito was certainly a wonderful aircraft, but don't forget that the single engine performance was not good, especially after take off. Single engine safety speed was in the order of 190 mph, with lift off at bout 130 mph. It took a long time to retract the undercarriage and clean the aircraft up. A lot of aircrew were lost in this way. It could bite very hard. Read Neil William's account of dealing with an engine failure after tale off at Booker in "Airborne" and Don McVicar's book "North Atlantic Cat", the latter telling the story of ferrying (inter alia) Canadian built Mosquitos to Europe.
My Granfather 'acquired' a Mosquito due to engine failure. He had a farm in Norfolk and one night in 1944 (I think) an aircraft crashed nearby. My mother remembers hearing an aircraft crash that night, but as there was a German raid on Kings Lynn docks at the time, the assumed it was a German bomber as it sounded quiet and the thought it was a long way away. The next morning, it was confirmed a German aircraft had been shot down and had crashed on a nearby farm.
However, in 1975, my Grandfather decided to drain a patch of Fen which had never been touched which was only half a mile from the farmhouse. As the water level dropped, a propeller blade appeared out of the fen, so he called the RAF historical branch. It turned out to be a Mosquito which had taken off from Great Massingham (I think) on a raid to Germany. The wreckage showed that it had suffered an engine failure and the crew obviously couldn't found it hard to manage as they had crashed soon after takeoff. It had been listed as 'Missing in Action' so it was not known where it had come down and it probably wasn't suspected that it had crashed so close to home. The left side of the wreckage was almost intact, and having being submerged in peaty water which has very little oxygen in it, had suffered very little deeriation. The right side however, had taken the impact and was badly damaged. The wreck was complete with crew and armament and gave the RAF bomb disposal crew some problems dealing with the bombs due to their being parly submerged in a bog.
The left wing looked almost perfect. I remember the red of the roundel being almost as brilliant as if it had just been painted. The engine was in good condition and I gather it was restored to running condition. The tyre in that nacelle looked perfect and was still up to it's original pressure and the left nav light worked when a battery was connected. Some parts went to BAe to keep their flying example airworthy.
I had some parts to the aircraft for many years, but gave them to a friend who had a small aircraft museum.
IIRC, the bomb had the typical fixed offset fins that provide the spin stabilisation still in place and, as far as I can remember, no external mods (relative the versions on the side of the Clubhouse at Brooklands or, when I saw them, BAe Weybridge). Didn't the USAF remote control bombs have large box fins a la Fat Man?