View Full Version : B-24J Witchcraft Bombay

Heathrow Harry
1st Jun 2012, 08:48
I have a "Ghosts" calendar (the best!) and the May picture shows a currently flying B-24J "Witchcraft"

-also seen here

B24J Witchcraft | Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/sdorn/3469518289/)

Is the open framework seen below the aircraft the bomb doors? I have looked at a lot of photos of B-24's dropping bombs in WW2 but can't see anything like that

1st Jun 2012, 09:10
Keel Beam?

Heathrow Harry
1st Jun 2012, 10:29
possibly - don't see it it any photos tho'............

1st Jun 2012, 11:17
Something like this?...

http://img220.imageshack.us/img220/2667/img689z.jpg (http://img220.imageshack.us/i/img689z.jpg/)

Load Toad
1st Jun 2012, 11:17
Folks - Google is not only your friend it is darn easy to use:


Heathrow Harry
1st Jun 2012, 12:04
thanks - I got there in the end.......

2nd Jun 2012, 07:23
Have a look at the third photo in this thread: GoPro shots (B-24 and P-51 content) - Key Publishing Ltd Aviation Forums (http://forum.keypublishing.co.uk/showthread.php?t=117172)
This was taken from the B-24J mentioned above during 'Bombing camp' and shows a concrete replica bomb being dropped on a range. The keel beam providing structural strength to the fuselage in this area is also used as a walkway through the bombbay. The Flight Engineer was sitting in the cockpit area during this drop but with his foot on the walkway, seen in the photo.

3rd Jun 2012, 04:12
I think asome of the confusion comes from the fact that the B-24 didn't have conventional bob bay "doors:. It had roller shutters that slid up on tracks on outside of the fuselage skin. So no doors hanging down as we see on most bombers. These just went up on the sides like the ones some stores use to close off their display windows at night.

I believe that was one reason that the B-24 had a reputation as being a poor ditching machine. The roller shutter type doors had not much strength and on ditching, the water would push them right in and immediately flooding the aircraft.

Load Toad
3rd Jun 2012, 08:47
B-24 bomb bay doors.
https://www.google.com.hk/search?hl=en&safe=off&biw=1280&bih=709&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=b-24+bomb+bay+doors&oq=b-24+bomb+bay+doors&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&gs_l=img.3...83428.90181.0.90504. .0.0.aPqkFfgwzNE

And a test ditching here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSDa9z4kdOg

After the ditching: File:1944 B-24 James River Ditching Damage.jpg - NasaCRgis (http://crgis.ndc.nasa.gov/historic/File:1944_B-24_James_River_Ditching_Damage.jpg)

3rd Jun 2012, 14:14
Interesting footage Load Toad, but it appears that this particular B-24 had a solid fuselage underbelly without bomb doors, so it is not really representative of a basic B-24 airframe. It does nicely show what happens to an airplane when ditched though. Also the nose breaking off just in front of the wing is a known B-24 weakness.

5th Jun 2012, 11:37
Interesting footage Load Toad

Ditto. I like the bit where the co-pilot(?) gets out and combs his hair. :)