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volkware.xyz
01-21-2005, 09:08 PM
I am hoping someone with extensive knowledge of how things work on a B-17 WWII era bomber could give me some information. This is the sort of thing only one with specialized knowledge or experience could provide. You`ll understand in a minute.

I`m writing some fiction, and I need an answer of some measure to the following hypothetical quandary: if I am a German saboteur posing as a gunner in a B-17, what thing can I quickly adjust/open/close/wreck that would severely impede the flight of the plane? Something like a hydraulic fluid release valve (?), but something *short* of opening up a compartment door and depressurizing the interior.

You`d have to be capable of doing it with just your hands, not with any special tools, or at least with nothing more than a screwdriver.

It would have to be something that the crew of the plane would quickly try to prevent if they saw it occurring.

I`m also thinking it would have to be an act taking place near the center of the plane, between the wings.

Its background info for something I`m writing, so I need enough knowledge to reference it adequately, such that it would not sound like it was written by someone with no knowledge whatsoever of B-17 operation(!). I thought these forums might be good places to research this.

volkware.xyz
01-21-2005, 09:08 PM
I am hoping someone with extensive knowledge of how things work on a B-17 WWII era bomber could give me some information. This is the sort of thing only one with specialized knowledge or experience could provide. You`ll understand in a minute.

I`m writing some fiction, and I need an answer of some measure to the following hypothetical quandary: if I am a German saboteur posing as a gunner in a B-17, what thing can I quickly adjust/open/close/wreck that would severely impede the flight of the plane? Something like a hydraulic fluid release valve (?), but something *short* of opening up a compartment door and depressurizing the interior.

You`d have to be capable of doing it with just your hands, not with any special tools, or at least with nothing more than a screwdriver.

It would have to be something that the crew of the plane would quickly try to prevent if they saw it occurring.

I`m also thinking it would have to be an act taking place near the center of the plane, between the wings.

Its background info for something I`m writing, so I need enough knowledge to reference it adequately, such that it would not sound like it was written by someone with no knowledge whatsoever of B-17 operation(!). I thought these forums might be good places to research this.

p1ngu666
01-21-2005, 09:18 PM
shoot the wing, or maybe transfer fuel about, dropping wheels at high alt it would drop out of formation

HW3
01-21-2005, 09:27 PM
B-17's weren't pressurized.

VOL_Hans
01-21-2005, 09:34 PM
Depends on your seat...

If in waist guns, shoot at engines maybe?

If in the tail/nose/top/bottom turrets you could try to get out, grab your sidearm, and kill off the crew.

Or, if you are a top turret gunner, perhaps a well placed explosive charge in the bomb-bay right near where you are...

wayno7777
01-21-2005, 09:48 PM
In the radio station, just shut off the O2 bottles.

volkware.xyz
01-21-2005, 10:08 PM
The radio station O2 bottles sounds like it may be in the realm I`m looking for - it has to be non-ballistic and non-explosive in nature (i.e. no overt gunnery or planted explosives), and it would have to be something where the instigator was forced up out of his gunnery chair (chair? harness?) to execute.

When you say O2 bottles, are you speaking of oxygen cannisters (oxygen tanks) with valved tops?

More suggestions are also welcome. In-progress thanks...

Daiichidoku
01-21-2005, 10:27 PM
Find out if control cables were exposed in the radio comp

He could possibly "tournequet" a control cable with a screwdriver next to where it passes thru a stringer or bulkhead, limiting or locking a cables travel

VOL_Hans
01-21-2005, 10:34 PM
Wirecutters. Get into the tail near where the tailgunner is, the cables there are exposed.

Perhaps a pair of wire cutters to slice the elevator cables...

Or go to the bomb-bay. There werent any tanks in there when it was loaded normally...transfer fuel to there so it spills everywhere...

Stackhouse25th
01-21-2005, 11:33 PM
take off the 50 cal and use it as a personal weapon. start a fire. distractions are good

Taylortony
01-22-2005, 07:15 AM
It depends what you need to do to it, disabling the oxygen supply may indeed disable the crew but at least one supply will need to be on.... yours.
it would also force them down to lower levels if they remained alert long enough.

as you can see the gunners each have their own oxygen supply (yellow bottles) and the one opposite unless you take him out ain't going to let you turn it off

http://www.ultimatesacrifice.com/images/P9160010_400.JPG

as you can see the main supply is just aft of the cockpit and under the upper turret

http://www.ultimatesacrifice.com/images/Sal_pic_983_400.jpg

but there are more under the cockpit floor too

http://www.ultimatesacrifice.com/images/Sal_pic_1198_400.jpg

these will show the amount of individual oxygen systems you would need to try to take out.

http://www.ultimatesacrifice.com/images/Boeing5B.jpg

http://www.ultimatesacrifice.com/images/Boeing6B.jpg

http://www.ultimatesacrifice.com/Boeing3.jpg

http://www.ultimatesacrifice.com/Boeing1.jpg

now as for control runs, Controls will without a doubt cause problems and these run the length of the fuselage, you will be able to disable the rudders or the elevator and the trim. you pulling on a cable as you try to cut it will be felt as you are deflecting the surface and they may send someone to have a look, I don't know where the turnbuckles are but you could undo them too. you will also see them run through the radio section in that picture.

in this picture you can see them running the length of the cabin above the gunners position, infact the red leadlight in the centre is hanging off them. further fwd you will have the engine controls too and the ailerons.

http://www.ultimatesacrifice.com/images/001_400.JPG

one interesting possibility and i quote from the MY GAL SAL'S website.

"The heart of the hydraulic system has been installed. "Sal" had a thermos stowed in the same area as the hydraulics".
so a small device in the flask would not opportion blame to you, would kill most turrets, drop the gear dependant on what it uses as uplocks and slow the thing to a crawl.also that brown cylinder will be the reservoir for the systems a screwdriver punched through that would do it too or break, kick, lever the supply line off it. the flaps where electrical if you look at the radio compartment picture you can see the solenoids for them, possibly messing with the wire you could get them to drop.... do you know what a solenoid is?
http://www.ultimatesacrifice.com/images/P6200095_400.JPG

AND FOR THOSE THAT DO NOT KNOW THIS EXCELLENT SITE WITH HUNDREDS OF PICTURES OF THE STEP BY STEP REBUILD OF THIS PLANE SEE
http://www.ultimatesacrifice.com/

Heavy_Weather
01-22-2005, 09:18 AM
under the "patriot act" you would be considered a "turrorist" shame on you http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

LStarosta
01-22-2005, 09:41 AM
I have played Call of Duty: United Offensive, and I feel that I am sufficiently qualified to answer. Near the center of the plane (you might have to press C to crouch and get through to the area) you'll find the fuel cutoff valves. You can simply cut the flow to one or more engines.

volkware.xyz
01-22-2005, 01:10 PM
Thanks for the feedback people. Thanks to TaylorTony for the considerable exploration of the oxygen tank idea too. Hmm. I think the fuel feeds, the severing/tangling of control cables, or the destruction/dismantling of the flap solenoid would be good; something potentially catastrophic that can be done quickly. The oxygen ploy might require too many separate sabotage incidents to get away with.

Thanks again - I appreciate it!

(very cool interior pictures too; forget the motorhome, we`ll reside in the bomber fuselage...)

Taylortony
01-22-2005, 02:25 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Warlok_0:
Thanks for the feedback people. Thanks to TaylorTony for the considerable exploration of the oxygen tank idea too. Hmm. I think the fuel feeds, the severing/tangling of control cables, or the destruction/dismantling of the flap solenoid would be good; something potentially catastrophic that can be done quickly. The oxygen ploy might require too many separate sabotage incidents to get away with.

Thanks again - I appreciate it!

(very cool interior pictures too; forget the motorhome, we`ll reside in the bomber fuselage...) <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

well kick the fitting off the oxygen tank and fire the very pistol into it or even into the cockpit, the flare will do the rest

BfHeFwMe
01-22-2005, 03:14 PM
Makes no sense why an onboard agent would try a catastrophic failure. You'd have to be pretty intellegent and a sharp cookie to penetrate the enemies own primary frontline war machine. Not the type of guy that country would throw away in one act of stupidity just to bring an ordinary bomber down.

I'd go for the subtle disabling and forcing down over enemy territory. Few tufts of fibers tossed into the engine oil resevoiers prior to takeoff, little bit of sand here and there, maybe a small hole patched with something that quickly disolves into a leak in the fuel cell. Or the classic rubberbanded grenade dropped into the tank, but you wouldn't catch me flying on it.

You'd have to have access alone for very brief periods before takeoff, not at all difficult or impossible to do.

GT182
01-22-2005, 03:46 PM
Make sure they're very good wire cutters as the cables are the very strong kind. They had to be with the forces exzerted on them. Cables are exposed all through the a/c but you would be seen by others in the crew when you try to cut them. Find a place where you're not likely seen. Oh, wandering around in a B17 on a mission in WWII was fround upon and would be a giveaway on what you're up to. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

O2 bottles would work but only above 18,000 to 19,000 feet. O2 wasn't required below that.... and wear your parachute.

Taylortony
01-22-2005, 03:49 PM
you can chop a cable with a hammer and a sharp edge

GT182
01-22-2005, 04:09 PM
Yeah but the noise doing it might get ya killed. I'd imagine it could be heard over the dull roar of the engines. Someone would hear you. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

A good strong, small pair of cable cutters would be the best way. Not too bright to do but it could work. I'd think nine times out of ten you'd die along with the rest of the crew. Or just you by getting caught.

LStarosta
01-22-2005, 05:41 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by GT182:
O2 bottles would work but only above 18,000 to 19,000 feet. O2 wasn't required below that.... and wear your parachute. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


After long periods of time you can begin to notice effects of oxygen deprivation starting at 10,000 feet. 18,000 IS PUSHING IT. You DEFINATELY would be using oxygen below 18,000 feet. Believe me, I know from experience, that starting at 10,000 feet, oxygen deprivation slowly begins taking its toll on you mentally and physically.

MoeLarryCheese
01-22-2005, 06:00 PM
Short of a suicidal attack it would be tough to bring
down a B-17 from within, except from the flight deck.

The top turret gunner would be the best to do the damage.

By shooting both pilots then bailing you might bring
down the bomber.
But crews were self trained most times so any of them
could fly the bomber in a pinch...
Cutting cables is tough, hard to do in a hurry.

Truth is the second best thing is to plant a small bomb
in the bomb bay and bail.

B-17's used no hydraulics in flight. Everything
was manual and there was no pressurization.
The B-17 earned it's reputation as a tough
plane for a good reason.

Plant a small bomb in a critical place, bomb bay
is best.

MLC

volkware.xyz
01-22-2005, 06:04 PM
Alright, very cool. I`ve got enough to do what I need to. Thanks heaps folks.

GT182
01-22-2005, 06:08 PM
LStarosta, thanks for the info. I wasn't too sure but knew no O2 above 18 or 19,000' is a no no.

volkware.xyz
01-24-2005, 09:29 PM
Or maybe not.

A series of bulkheads separate the sections from one another. Instinct would tell me that these bulkhead doors would remain open through the length of the plane, at least so as not to isolate anyone and thereby drive them insane. Correct? In other words, under what conditions were these doors *closed*? Only as safety measures when at altitude and part of the plane structure had been compromised (to preserve oxygen)? Did the pilots close a few to try to escape the reverberation of the roaring engines every once in a while? I`m kind of searching for a reason to have them shut prior to any sabotage... .

Pursuant to the deafening engine roar over extended periods of time (long flights), did any of the crew wear earplugs/headphones?

One last question (I think): how many crewman on one of these things? 10? Pilot, co-pilot, nose-gunner, bombardier/navigator, top turret gunner, radioman, belly gunner, sidegunner 1, sidegunner 2, tailgunner?

volkware.xyz
01-25-2005, 09:13 PM
Bump for attention`s sake... (please refer to the previous post - just a few more questions).

This is one of the busiest forums I`ve ever seen.

MoeLarryCheese
01-26-2005, 03:23 AM
There are no bulkhead doors, no compartment seperation in a B-17.
The fuselage has no means for any form of pressurization
designed into it.
Inside a B-17 is was mind boggelingly LOUD at all times.
All piston engined bombers and fighters were defeningly loud.
By the way one of the worst was the B-25.

MLC

volkware.xyz
01-26-2005, 12:26 PM
Aah, alright - no doors. I see.

(rubs goatee absorbingly)

Did the crew ever wear earplugs? The pilots had headsets... anybody else not 'headsetted' use earplugs as standard flight procedure? I`m thinking if they did they`d have to remove them before reaching enemy airspace, so as to hear each other.

Number of crew?

Zyzbot
01-26-2005, 01:15 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Warlok_0:
Aah, alright - no doors. I see.

(rubs goatee absorbingly)

Did the crew ever wear earplugs? The pilots had headsets... anybody else not 'headsetted' use earplugs as standard flight procedure? I`m thinking if they did they`d have to remove them before reaching enemy airspace, so as to hear each other.

Number of crew? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Number of crew was usually 10.

The crew wore headsets so that they could talk to each other on the intercom.

Check this site for photos of the inside of the B-17:

http://andrew.pure-chaos.com/b17.html