B17 TAIL GUN

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B17 TAIL GUN

  • Ok maybe I'm missing something but looking at the tail gunner on B17's it looks like between him and the gun is a blast panel.  How did the tail gunner fire the gun with this panel in front of him.  Any help would be appreciated. Thanks 

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  • Do you have a photo of this. From the photos i could find, there doens't seem to be anything behind the guns.

     

  • Bish,  Thanks for the photo that may clear things up for me.  What I was looking at were some of the B17 models done in this forum which showed the interiors with some type of panel between the gun and the gunner. 

  • I'm saying this from the top of my head (so it could be wrong) but I think you'll find that the later Mks had remote guns which put the gunners behind plates. I'd need to check my books but I "think" I'm rigth on this.

    Yea, Though I Fly Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I Shall Fear  No Evil.  For I am at  50,000 Feet and Climbing.'

  • There were two different tail gun installations on the B-17.  Up to the early G models, the guns were mounted on a simple pivot mount, wiht the gunner actually having his hands on the guns.  The second mount was definitely an improvement--the Cheyenne Tail Turret.  It was used in later G models.  It was a remote mount system--from the outside, you can tell the Cheyenne mount by looking at where the guns protrude from the fuselage.  The early pivot mount used a piece of canvas to cover up the open space, like a shift boot in a standard transmission car.  The Cheyenne mount used a metal ball that would pivot in its mounting.  The Cheyenne mount was powered, had a greater field of fire, and also included a reflective gun sight that improved accuracy.  My guess is that you are seeing an example of this later system when you see a panel there.  Look on currently flying B-17s, you will see the later Cheyenne powered mount on "Sentimental journey".

  • F-8, thanks for that info. I knew about the two different types of rear gun position, but didn't realise the Cheyenne was remote fired. I will have to keep that info in mind.

    So Panzer, it really depends on the B-17 your building.

     

  • Thanks all for the info.  I knew I'd get a good explanation here, now I know whats what. 

  • Hey Guys,

    The Chyenne Tail Turrent was not remote controled or powered.  Here is a link I Googled and it has some great interior shots and a shot of the older tail turrent with the vertical armor plate the gunner reached around to fire the guns.  The Chyenne tail guns were set up pretty much the same on pivots except the mount was brought in closer to the gunner where the fuselage was wider enabling a larger field of fire, and the canvas replaced with streamlined ball cover. 

    http://01f15b4.netsolhost.com/b17_turret.htm

    Clear Left!

    Mel

  • Melgyver

    Hey Guys,

    The Chyenne Tail Turrent was not remote controled or powered.  Here is a link I Googled and it has some great interior shots and a shot of the older tail turrent with the vertical armor plate the gunner reached around to fire the guns.  The Chyenne tail guns were set up pretty much the same on pivots except the mount was brought in closer to the gunner where the fuselage was wider enabling a larger field of fire, and the cavas replaced with streamlined ball cover. 

    http://01f15b4.netsolhost.com/b17_turret.htm

    Beat me to it! The armor plate resembled an i-beam, which the gunner reached thru to fire the guns

      

  • B17Pilot,

    We need to keep these young'ins straight!  Too much rewriting of "history" without any fact checking!   I still fondly remember my 45 min flight in the "Texas Radier" in April of 1979.   Started out in the nose compartment for take off and ended up in the tail position for landing!   

    Clear Left!

    Mel