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Armaments page 5

On this page are parts belonging to a B17 Flying fortress Ball and mid upper turret's purchased by us on one of  one of our trips to Arnhem.

The ball turret was a tiny space anyone over 5’4” would not physically fit into the bubble shaped turret. The turret machine guns stuck into the cramped bubble and the knees of the unfortunate gunner had to brought up almost touching the gunners chest! This tortuous position had to maintained perhaps for five hours or more of flight!  The life expectancy of a B17 ball turret gunner was less than that of the other aircrew for several reasons. Enemy fighters would still prefer to attack the American bomber from below in an attempt to hit the wing fuel tanks or hit the bombs in the bomb bay. This form of attack often resulted in the ball gunner being shot to pieces by cannon shell from a German fighter.
The “Sperry” turret's were operated electrically and by hydraulic pressure. The turret was extremely susceptible to the loss of either of the operating systems. If a engine was hit and had to shut down sometimes this meant the turret could not be moved through lack of electrical supply.
The unlucky ball gunner did not have room in his turret for a parachute! If his turret was hit badly he would often fall out into the freezing skies over Germany and fall 21,000ft to his death. The worst fear for the ball gunner was the turret being jammed through loss of electrics or hydraulics. The turret couldn’t be moved to extricate the gunner.
There are many reported cases of a badly shot up B17 having to land with its undercarriage up! In other words a belly landing, the full weight of the B17 would squash the poor gunner to death.

We do our best to describe the parts accurately. The following parts are not in working order unless otherwise stated some have repairs, expand the pictures and look carefully what you see is what you get.  

Click on the pictures to enlarge them.

£95

B 17 flying Fortress Ball Turret manual (pg5 Armaments )

Here is a copy of the original comprehensive manual for the B17 Ball turret.

Hard copies (not CD ) will be supplied.

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B 17 flying Fortress Ball Turret Part 1 (pg5 Armaments )

Ball Turret elevation drive unit.

£125

 

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B 17 flying Fortress Ball Turret Part 2 (pg5 Armaments )

 

Elevation to sight gearing assembly

 

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£95

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B 17 flying Fortress Ball Turret Part 3 (pg5 Armaments )

Azimuth Power Gearing Assembly

£95

 

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B 17 flying Fortress Ball Turret Part 4 (pg5 Armaments )

Yoke Clutch

Azimuth Power Gearing Assemberly

£75

 

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B 17 flying Fortress Ball Turret Part 5 (pg5 Armaments )

 

Clutch-Throwout Yoke

Azimuth Power Gearing Assemberly

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£45

 

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B 17 flying Fortress Ball Turret Part 6 (pg5 Armaments )

 

Clutch - Azimuth Power Unit Disengage

Azimuth Power Gearing Assemberly

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£45

 

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B 17 flying Fortress A1 Mid Upper Turret Azimuth gear assembly Part 7 (pg5 Armaments )

 B 17 A1 Mid upper turret Azimuth gear assembly. This piece is in very good condition the gears all turn together and there is no visible damage to the casing.

Currently Out of Stock More Wanted Contact US

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B 17 flying Fortress A1 Mid Upper Turret elevation gear assembly Part 8(pg5 Armaments )

B 17 A1 Mid upper turret Azimuth gear assembly it has some damage to the casing please see the pictures, the damage is indicated by a red arrow.

 Sold as non working.

Currently out of Stock More Wanted Contact Us

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B 17 flying Fortress A1 Mid Upper Turret emergency hand crank Part 9 (pg5 Armaments )

This piece is is very good condition no damage and functions perfectly.

 

£475

 

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Shown in situ below in the aircraft click on the picture to enlarge it.

£175

B 24 42-7638 Big Banner Emergency bomb release handle (pg5 Armaments)

This is a great piece of History from a named aircraft B24 Liberator serial number 42-7638 which was recovered from the Zuyder Zee in Holland a large part of which is now dry land. The piece itself firstly opened the bomb doors and on the second pull jettisoned the bombs. Emergency bomb release pull until bomb doors open . Pull again to release bombs . Red light on instrument panel indicates doors are open.

This B-24 Liberator, nicknamed Big Banner, was piloted by Capt. Kent Miller and went on it’s final bombing mission on December 22, 1943.  It set out from an airbase at Shipdham, England and headed to Munster, Germany where it successfully emptied its payload.  It was hit by flak on route back to Shipdham.  The Big Banner was ditched in Lake IJsselmeer, Netherlands where it rested until its excavation in August of 1975.  All crew members perished with the exception of the co-pilot Charles E. Taylor.

The co-pilot, Charles E. Taylor, wrote the following: “On December 22, 1943, our group bombed Muenster, Germany. We were flying on Oakley’s wing, and after leaving the target realized we were both losing the formation. Flak had damaged three of our engines and when we realized we would never make it back to England, Miller gave the order to bail out. Four of the crew did bail out in the rear, but when we opened the bomb bay doors, there was a break in the clouds and we saw we were over water, so the order was changed to prepare for ditching, which six of us did. “We hit the water at over 100-mph and submerged immediately.

When I released my seat belt, I floated free of the plane. No one else appeared in the water, which I have never understood! I swam around for a few minutes, thinking the plane would sink, but it never did, so I released one of the dinghies, which floated away from me. I caught up with it, but with my wet winter flying suit, flak jacket and Mae West on, I could not climb into it, but just put my arm over the side and passed out.

  “Obviously, it was not long before a German patrol boat picked me up or I would have died from hypothermia within 15 or 20 minutes, I am quite sure. I was taken to a jail in Amsterdam, awaiting transfer to Frankfurt for interrogation, when I saw that Doug Powers, from Oakley’s crew was also there. We chatted for a few moments, until the Germans broke it up. After interrogation, we were sent to Stalag Luft. 

“The war in Europe ended on May 8th and on May 13th we were flown to France in B-17s. In June we sailed home, and in September I was ‘separated’ from the service. The next month I went back to my old job with AT&T Long Lines Department.  “Thirty years later [in 1975], the Westfield police called me and informed me that the Royal Dutch Air Force had found my plane, after draining a large area of the Zuyder Zee.

 

Here is a link with more information on the aircraft http://www.zzairwar.nl/dossiers/148.html

 

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B 17 flying Fortress A1 A Mid Upper Turret fire cut off and limit unit Part 10 (pg5 Armaments )

This piece is is very good condition no visible damage . This piece automatically shuts off the guns if they threaten to hit any part of the aircraft the guns are mounted to allowing the gunner to track and fire at EA without worrying about hitting parts of his own aircraft. This unit cannot be used in the type A1 turret, the type A1A being modified with the cupola and elevation axis of the guns raised to accommodate it.

Out of stock

This piece is large and heavy overseas buyers please contact me for a shipping quote.

 

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