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Douglas A-20 Havoc. A photo. Characteristics.
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Douglas A-20 Havoc. A photo. Characteristics.

Douglas A-20 Havoc. A photo. Characteristics.

 

USA

A type: twin-engine light bomber

Crew: three persons

One of the most widely used in World War II light / medium bombers - plane A-20 «Havoc» (Havoc - destruction), built for the requirements of the US Air Force attack aircraft to 1938 years. Initially known as the model 7A aircraft prototype it was soon after the start of flight tests considerably altered for use in Europe. The first order for 100 bombers came from France, not the United States Air Force.

The aircraft received the new designation DB-7. bomber Production started at the end of the year and about 1939 60 aircraft fell to France before the "Blitzkrieg» - 10 May 1940 years. A small amount of undelivered aircraft DB-7 was transferred to the Royal Air Force, which gave the aircraft the name "Boston I» and used it as a training aircraft and night fighter. The scheduled performance of "double" of the company "Douglas" was so high that the plane "Boston" became the basis of the Royal Air Force - Lend-Lease over 1000 aircraft were delivered. US Air Force aircraft entered DB-7 (under the designation A-20) in action in May 1939 years, and by the end of production in September.

In the Soviet Union interested in a new car before, as he was willing to at least one production aircraft. In September, the 1939 "Amtorg" (an American corporation with the Soviet capital, performs the function of the US Trade Office) appealed to the company with a proposal to sell our country party DB-7 aircraft. In justifying the appropriateness of the purchase of an American bomber, the chief commander of the Red Army Air Force AD ​​2-th grade Loktionov 4 October, wrote the People's Commissar of Defense KE Voroshilov: ".This aircraft similar to our plane sat, but has a more powerful small arms (six guns) and most of the flight speed (480 - 507 km / h). Plane DV-7 [sic] has a particularly interesting design feature for us - tricycle landing gear. " The company "Douglas" has agreed to sell its cars, but put the condition - the order party not less than ten copies, and the lack of weapons and military equipment. As such, the planes are primarily of interest for our designers and engineers. The military also required to seek the sale of ten

DB-7 with weapons. 29 September 1939, the Soviet representative Lukashev reported from New York that the company has agreed to sell, as well as to grant a license and to provide technical assistance in the organization of the DB-7 production in the Soviet Union.

In parallel with the "Wright" negotiated a license for R-2600 engine and in October already agreed on the text of the contract. The adoption of the American bombers by the Air Force Red Army seemed quite real.

Negotiations went up to the war with Finland. Immediately after the start of President Roosevelt declared a "moral embargo" on supply in the Soviet Union. US companies, one after another began to break contracts have been signed with our country. We stopped to supply machinery, tools, appliances. Personal assistance in the development of a purely military products are not worth even stutter. Cease and contacts with the company "Douglas".

The Americans did not regret about it - was already a great war, and with it came and huge orders. And here we have a DB-7 not forgotten as soon as possible remembered.

1944 years 7385 not less aircraft "Havoc" was built / "Boston". This type of aircraft involved in operations around the globe. Good build quality has gained special attention from the Soviet Air Force, who used the aircraft A 3125-20. Despite the fact that the aircraft was built in large numbers, a few A-20 lived up to 1990-ies, and only one of them (in the US) is in flying condition.

Basic data

Dimensions:

  • Length: 14,63 m
  • Wingspan: 18,69 m
  • Height: 5,36 m

 

The weight:

  • BLANK: 7250 kg
  • Maximum take-off: 12 338 kg

 

Aircraft performance characteristics:

  • Maximum speed: 510 km / h
  • Range: 1650 2744 km from l. Fuel and 907 kg bombs
  • Powerplant: two engines R-2600-23 «Cyclone» 14 company "Wright"
  • Power: 3200 l. from. (2386 kW)

 

Date of first flight:

  • 26 1938 October, the (plane "Douglas» In 7)

 

The surviving airworthy modifications:

  • A-20G

 

France and DB-7

Bombers for France was collected and obletyvali in El Segundo. There they passed the French representatives. The first plane took 31 1939 October, at the beginning after the Second World War. Then the machine dismantled again to pack in boxes and shipped by sea to Casablanca in Morocco, which was then a French colony.

At the German-French border was a "phony war." Britain and France after the German invasion of Poland declared war on Germany, but did not show much activity. Aviation conducted reconnaissance, and prevailed upon the earth a lull. The French army took refuge behind the fortifications "Maginot Line" and did not try to help the Poles, who quickly retreated to the east. September 28 Poland capitulated. A "phony war" continued. Both warring sides amassed forces.

France hastily conducted modernization of its air force. Part of this is the development of equipment purchased in the United States. In Casablanca bombers were collected again. Due to the shortage of skilled labor rate of the assembly is significantly lagging behind the plan. Boxes do not even have time to take out of the port.

US aircraft have received in the French Air Force designation DB-7B3 (the last letter and digit means "triple bomber"), intended to re-equip five squadrons. Retraining of personnel took place on the ground in Morocco and Algeria, which has always been warm and dry. By May, the 1940 The French took the US about 130 aircraft, of which approximately 70 had come to North Africa. These bombers managed to equip three squadrons - GB 1 / 19, GB 11 / 19 and GB 11 / 61, but not all the crews have mastered the technique sufficiently. Two squadrons 32-th group, GB 1 / 32 and GB 11 / 32, just started retraining. In total, these parts there 64 machine.

May 10 Germany suddenly invaded neutral Belgium and the Netherlands. Fast breaking the resistance of small armies of these countries, the Wehrmacht in the rear of the compound were "Maginot Line." Luftwaffe bombings paved the way mechanized columns, tearing deep into France. Here it was not until the completion of the program of retraining of pilots. All three, to some extent ready squadrons were ordered to urgently return to France.

The first on the front of the squadron arrived GB 1 / 19 and GB II / 19, numbering together

23-bodied aircraft. Happy dozen DB-31B7 May 3 made the first sortie against a column of German troops in the area between Saint-Quentin and Peronne. They were met by heavy fire anti-aircraft artillery and enemy fighters. The French lost three (according to other sources - four) machines, but they themselves have declared downing shooters fire fighter German Messerschmitt Bf 109.

Until June 14 70 made about self-summer departures in small groups (up to ten aircraft) and without cover. This tactic cost is quite expensive - at the same time lost by five to eight cars. The goals were at the bombing columns of troops, carts, bridges and cluster technology. Most lost bombers were victims of German anti-aircraft gunners. About half of them died because of the fire - riddled flared gas tanks. The French demanded installation on aircraft fuel tanks tested. The Americans have done this, but such cars in France have not got.

The defeat of the French army was already clear, the Germans entered Paris. The British Expeditionary Force retreated to Dunkirk and throwing technique quickly was loaded on ships. The most efficient part of the Air Force were ordered to fly to the North African colonies. By 25 June, when signed a truce, not a single serviceable DB-7B3 French left.

Under the agreement, the Germans occupied two-thirds of the country, leaving the government of Marshal Petain, which is located in the resort town of Vichy, limited power over the rest of France. Partially preserved and the French armed forces.

After the surrender of US deliveries stopped. But the losses offset by technology, has arrived in Morocco, but has not yet been distributed in parts. Total counted 95 machines, the available stock. The result is fully staffed with four squadrons. GB 1 / 32 based in Casablanca (Morocco), GB II / 32 - Agadir (Morocco too), a GB 1 / 19 and GB II / 61 - in Blida (Algeria).

On aircraft attacked the special decals that the Germans did not consider their enemy. Originally it was a white border markings on the fuselage, and a white stripe along it, which would have been imposed as a badge. The front end of the white band sometimes looked like an arrow. To this was added the bright yellow color of the tail, and finally, the tail and hood motors were covered with red and yellow longitudinal stripes.

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill feared that the French fleet joining the German and become a serious threat. So he ordered to attack the French ships off the coast of Algeria.

24 September 1940, the British carrier-based planes attacked them. In response, the French government organized a series of night raids on Gibraltar. They attended Squadron GB 1 / 32. The results were insignificant: no serious injuries based French pilots did not cause, but they themselves have returned without great losses. One DB-7 was shot down by the British "Hurricane."

French bombers were in North Africa until the landing of the allied forces in November of 1942

Those aircraft that do not have time to send in the US until the defeat of France, "inherited" passed to the British.

 

Of the bombers - in the fighter

After France became interested in new American bomber Great Britain. Procurement Negotiations began in January of 1940 For the British prepared a modification of DB-7B, similar to DB-73 last French order. It also had a new glazing elongated nose and enlarged vertical tail. Inside, however, there has been a lot of changes: altered fuel system and hydraulic system, improved armor protection, zaprotektirovali gas tanks, which are now housed almost twice as much fuel (its stock increased from 776 1491 L to L). All this is more than two tons of increased take-off weight, but increased the power of the engines does not only make up for it, but also allowed to raise the maximum speed and ceiling. On these machines, of course guns, equipment and appliances were the British sample caliber 7,69 mm. The forward fuselage mounted machine guns "Browning", which fed the split belt of ammunition boxes, and in the cabin radio operator-gunner stood alone (later began to put two) machine gun "Vickers K" disc on top. The need for periodic replacement, of course, reduced the practical rate. The British guns were more cumbersome, on the instructions of ammunition - more. Inside the fuselage all this no longer fits and a second pair of machine guns carried in the characteristic ridges on the sides. According to customer demand changed navigational cockpit glazing.

Satisfied with the amendments, members of the British Purchasing Commission in February 1940 was signed on 150 machines. The document provides for the possibility to increase in order 300 aircraft that did two months later, in April. As in England, all combat aircraft give the names, it gave him and DB-7B - «Boston," which was on the point of American origin.

But before the ship began to DB-7B, the UK began to arrive bombers, previously ordered by the French, but had not managed to reach France until its defeat. Some ships on the high seas have received telegrams with the order to go to the discharge ports in English. There were redirected around 200 DB-7, 99 DB-7A (one crashed while flying over the plant, but instead of "Douglas" later shipped an additional DB-7B) and 480 DB-73. They added

16 DB-7, ordered by Belgium. They correspond to the early French version with motors R-1830-SC3-G, but had to be equipped with machine guns «FN-Browning" of local production. Some authors write that these aircraft simply stood Belgians from the first French order. All of these cars have decided to call off suit, too, "Boston."

This Belgian planes reached the UK in the first of July 1940 They disembarked in Liverpool and began to gather at the nearby airfield Speke. It was not easy, as all accompanying documentation has been written in French. Collect still collected. Then it became the command of the Royal Air Force to decide what to do with them. They came to the conclusion that the bombers are not suitable: small power motors, combat survivability due to lack of retreading tanks and armor-protection - is not sufficient. Belgian variant was given the designation "Boston» I decided to use the aircraft as a military training and support.

The problems started already with the first aerial survey collected bombers. Later, the English airman G. Taylor, described in detail how long he understood with French inscriptions in the cockpit and unusual scales of devices in the metric system. But he forgot about all the suffering, when released the brakes and taxied for takeoff.

The machine features excellent handling, the pilot from the cockpit perfectly seen all around. It turned out that the unusual three-wheeled chassis greatly simplifies the taking off and landing.

But before using Belgian planes had to be subjected to revision. Replacement device to be considered in the usual miles, feet and gallons. Altered gas sector. The fact that in the Belgian French standard was adopted: to increase the motor turns the knob moved back, while in the UK, the USA, and have gas added forwards. They put the English radio and oxygen equipment. As for weapons is not clear. Someone wrote that the British have put machine guns, someone claims that these machines were flying without any weapons.

On these planes the British pilots accustomed to the tricycle landing gear and a lack of an automatic boost control; new machines British manufacturing has recently considered mandatory. Unusually there were American electric inertia starter. We had to wait until the flywheel spin up, and only then start the engine. In England, the engines of military aircraft struck up an electric starter direct type (from large airfield battery-carts) or gunpowder Coffman starters.

Arriving a little later DB-7 French Order with the motors R-1830-S3C4-G, called "Boston» II, used as bombers, too, did not want to. It considered that the bomb load and range too small a flight to from bases in southern England to bomb Germany. However, these aircraft have found another use. They decided to convert into heavy night fighters.

The available then the British airborne radar were quite heavy and cumbersome. In addition, they were not easy to use, to work with them necessarily required a second crew member. Therefore, all single fighters swept aside and put the equipment is mainly in the twin-engined car with a crew of two or more people. However, the aircraft was supposed to be enough high-speed and maneuverability to intercept enemy bomber and fight with him. "Boston" These conditions are satisfied.

To distinguish from the bombers, night fighters got their own designation - "Havoc" (alternatively offered "Munfayter" and "Ranger"). Its first version was called "Havoc" I. The fuselage nose cab navigator cut off and replaced with glass-free compartment with eight 7,69- mm machine guns "Browning" and radar. Antennas Radar AI Mk.IV (some

mounted machines more sophisticated AI Mk.V) stood on the tip of the nose (arrow-transmitting), on the sides under the cab and on the wings (T-adopted). Defensive weapons such "Havoc" had. Crew members had two - a pilot and radar operator. Bombs these aircraft were not carrying.

There is another option, "Havok» I, the so-called "intrader". This was the official name - "Havoc» I (Intrader). First, though, he was called "Havoc» IV_ If the appointment of the first modification was purely defensive, the "in- tradery" offensive functions performed - at night terrorizing German airfields in the English Channel, attacking enemy planes in the sky and on the ground. In this case, the alteration of the base of the aircraft were minimal. nose Glazing remained, as did the place navigator and bomb weapons (under maximum load 1100 kg). Four gun "Browning" were mounted in the nose and one (according to some sources - two), "Vickers K" in the cabin radio operator-gunner. On the exhaust pipes of engines put on flame arresters. By their tactics "intradery" were similar to those in force in our long-range aviation nocturnal hunter-blockers. The problem was the same: to paralyze the enemy airfields.

In winter, 1940-41's workshops in the town Bartonvud started reworking comes from the United States DB-7 in "Havoc" different options. A few months later maesterskie he held for about a hundred machines. Just "Havoc» I the first two types (night fighter and blocker) altered 181 bomber, including several "Bostons" I. The "Turbinlaytov" made much smaller - 31 car. Eshe appeared less "Pandora" - only two dozen.

The first "Havoc" 1 in the night fighter assembly (in their brackets and wrote "Night Fighter" - "night fighter") received in April 7 1941 85 of-Squadron. For her, these cars were also 25-600-I and Squadrons. By this time, the massive German air raids on the city of England has ceased. About any significant progress "Havoc" is not known. Some of these aircraft further altered in the "Turbinlayty".

"Intradery" act more actively. Since the beginning of 1941 they flew 23-squadron, and then another 605-I. Their main objectives were the airfields on the other side of the Channel. Worked "hunters" alone. Typically, such a plane is attached to a group of enemy bombers returning from a mission. They led him to his airfield. After switching on of landing lights began the show with shooting and explosions. It also happened that "intrader" portrayed the group lags behind the aircraft, released over an enemy airfield at random flares and included navigation lights. If the trick succeeded, he pointed to the runway, and sometimes even highlight it searchlight. Then - as in the previous situation.

The most effective approach was to the bombing at the time of the landing of enemy planes. It is not only able to kill certain number of aircraft on the ground, but also cause panic among the gunners, who started firing on all machines in the air, including his own. There were even cases where, after several such raids consecutive Germans opened fire on their own aircraft, suspecting them of British blockers.

First Squad "Turbinlaytov", named part of the backlight of air targets, and then 1422-Detachment, formed in Heston in May 1941, he was engaged in the elaboration of the tactics of combat use of "flying spotlights." "Turbinlayt" fly together with one or two "Hurricanes".

By December of the same year there were nine (according to other sources - ten) of such units. In fact, they were units - three cars each. But the reality of combat practice diverged from theoretical calculations. Fighters often could not find in the night sky itself "Turbinlayt", they do not even help aid targeting officers from the earth, for in "Hurricane," there were no navigational aids is more serious than an ordinary magnetic compass. A search for "Turbinlayt" had to constantly because he belonged to the other parts and started with another airfield. Even white stripes along the trailing edge of the wings, stands out on a black background, did not help.

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