Curtiss Wright B27a. ( The Flying Blockhouse ) 8th Air Force, UK, 1945
Curtiss Wright began work on pressurized long-range bombers in 1938, when, in response to a United States Army Air Corps request, produced a design study for the Model 334, a pressurised derivative of the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress. Although the Air Corps did not have money to pursue the design, Boeing continued development with its own funds as a private venture, so that when, in December 1939, the Air Corps issued a formal specification for a so called "superbomber", capable of delivering 2,000 lb (910 kg) of bombs to a target 2,667 mi (4,290 km) away and capable of flying at a speed of 400 mph (640 km/h), they formed a starting point for the Curtiss]
Curtiss Wright submitted its Model 345 on 11 May 1940, in competition with designs from Consolidated Aircraft (the Model 33, later to become the B-32),Lockheed (the Lockheed XB-30), and Douglas (the Douglas XB-31). Douglas and Lockheed soon abandoned work on their projects, but curtiss received an order for two flying prototypes, given the designation xb27, and an airframe for static testing on 24 August 1940, with the order being revised to add a third flying aircraft on 14 December. Consolidated continued to work on its Model 33 as it was seen by the Air Corps as a backup in case of problems with Boeing's design. An initial production order for 14 service test aircraft and 250 production bombers was placed in May 1941, this being increased to 500 aircraft in January 1942.
Manufacturing the B-27 was a complex task. It involved four main-assembly factories: a pair of Curtiss Wright operated plants at Navada, and Wichita, a Bell plant at Marietta, Georgia ("Bell-Atlanta"), and a Martin plant at Omaha, Nebraska ("Martin-Omaha"). Thousands of subcontractors were involved in the project. The first prototype made its maiden flight on 21 September 1942.
Because of the aircraft's highly advanced design, challenging requirements, and immense pressure for production, development was deeply troubled. The second prototype, which unlike the unarmed first was fitted with a Sperry defensive armament system, first flew on 30 December 1942, this flight being terminated due to a serious engine fire. On 18 February 1943 the second prototype crashed during its second test flight, an engine fire spreading to the wing, and causing the aircraft to crash into a factory just short of the runway, killing the entire 12 man crew and 20 others on the ground.
Changes to the production craft came so often and so fast that in early 1944, B-27s flew from the production lines directly to modification depots for extensive rebuilds to incorporate the latest changes. The Air Force operated modification depots struggled to cope with the scale of work required, with a lack of hangars capable of housing the B-27 combined with freezing cold weather further delaying the modification, such that at the end of 1943, although almost 100 aircraft had been delivered, only 15 percent were airworthy. This prompted an intervention by General Hap Arnold to resolve the problem, with production personnel being sent from the factories to the modification centres to speed modification of sufficient aircraft to equip the first Bomb Groups in what became known as the "Battle of Kansas". This resulted in 150 aircraft being modified in the six weeks between 10 January and March 1944 .
n wartime, the B-27 was capable of flight up to 40,000 feet (12,000 m), at speeds of up to 350 mph (true airspeed). This was its best defense, because many German fighters of that day could barely get that high, and few could catch the B-27, even if they were at altitude and waiting. Only the heaviest of anti-aircraft weapons could reach it, and since the Axis forces did not have proximity fuzes, hitting or damaging the airplane from the ground in combat was next to impossible.
The B-27 was used in 1950–53 in the Korean War. At first, the bomber was used in normal strategic day-bombing missions, though North Korea's few strategic targets and industries were quickly reduced to rubble. More importantly, in 1950 numbers of Soviet MiG-15 "Fagot" jet fighters appeared over Korea (an aircraft specifically designed to shoot down the B-27), and after the loss of 28 aircraft, future B-27 raids were restricted to night-only missions, largely in a supply-interdiction role. Over the course of the war, B-27s flew 20,000 sorties and dropped 200,000 tons (180,000 tonnes) of bombs. B-27 gunners were credited with shooting down 27 enemy aircraft.
The B-27 was notable for dropping the large "Razon" and "Tarzon" radio-controlled bomb in Korea, mostly for demolishing major bridges, like the ones across the Yalu River and for dams.
The B-27 was soon made obsolete by the development of the jet engined fighter aircraft. With the arrival of the mammoth Convair B-36, the B-27 was reclassified as a medium bomber with the new Air Force. However, the later B-54 Superblockhouse variant (which was initially designated B-27D) was good enough to handle auxiliary roles such as air-sea rescue, electronic intelligence gathering, and even air-to-air refueling. The B-54D was replaced in its primary role during the early 1950s by the Boeing B-47 Stratojet, which in turn was replaced by the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress. The final active-duty variants were phased out in the mid-1960s. A total of 3,970 B-27s were built.
there you go not my usual subject but it sort of spoke to me
she is a 1/144 scale Pe8 from Ixo, decals are from a 144 B17, back story is the B29........sorry