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Allied and Soviet Air Forces Please use this forum to discuss the Air Forces of the Western Allies and the Soviet Union.

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Old 8th December 2017, 15:00
Brian Brian is offline
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Photo-electric bombs 1940

Hi guys

I've read that the RAF experimented in 1940 with photo-electric 250lb anti-aircraft bombs for dropping by Hurricanes on mass flights of German bombers.

I realise that such operations did not materialize, but has anyone information re trials etc?

Cheers
Brian
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Old 8th December 2017, 18:33
RSwank RSwank is offline
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Re: Photo-electric bombs 1940

This might be where you read about it. "The Blitz on Britain" by Alfred Price.

There is a photo of a Hurricane with 2 bombs under the wings. The caption says:

"During 1940 and the early part of 1941, experiments were conducted in Britain in air-to-air bombing as a means of breaking up enemy formations. The Hurricane depicted was carrying two 250 pound antiaircraft bombs, each fitted with a photoelectric cell to detonate it as it passed another aircraft during its fall. The photoelectric cells proved unreliable for this purpose, however, and the antiaircraft bombs were never used operationally by the RAF."


https://books.google.com/books?id=UI...%20RAF&f=false
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Old 8th December 2017, 18:45
edwest2 edwest2 is offline
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Re: Photo-electric bombs 1940

Hi Brian,


Testing of the PE fuse began in the late Spring of 1938 using a large but unidentified bomber. Testing with bombs began in 1939 in an unspecified number of trials. Two out of five bombs detonated and it was felt that the problems associated with the three that did not could be rectified. As a result, the Tizard Committee ordered 400 to 500 bombs of unspecified weight to be made by Metropolitan-Vickers. The fuses did not perform as anticipated. Strangely (to me), it is stated that no accounts of the tests survived since "most RAE reports were destroyed after the war."



Hope this helps,
Ed
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Old 9th December 2017, 21:22
Brian Brian is offline
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Re: Photo-electric bombs 1940

Thanks guys

Much appreciated - now a little wiser!

Cheers
Brian
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