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JorBR
06-12-2004, 07:09 PM
Another one for our "Forgotten Plane" series: the Piaggio P.108, didn´t know it fought in eastern front.

"The Piaggio P.108 B was the only heavy four-engine bomber to see service with the Regia Aeronautica during World War Two. Too few were built to play a significant role in the war, only 163 P.108 Bs having been built. The P.108 B was an all-metal cantilever low-wing monoplane with an retractable under-carriage, driven by four 1,350 hp Piaggio P.XII radial engines. The first prototype was finished in 10/39 and had a very advanced defensive armament for its day of two 7.7 mm machine waist guns, a 12.7 mm machine gun in the lower turret and a similar weapon in the nose turret, and two remotely-controlled twin gun turrets in outer engine nacelles. The first Allied bomber with a similar armament was the Boeing B 29, developed four years later. The bomb load of the Piaggio comprised of 7,700 lbs, all carried internally in the bomb bay.

The only unit of the Regia Aeronautica ever to fly the P.108 B was the 274th Long-Range Bombardment Group. This unit was formed in 5/41 around the first machines that came off the assembly lines. The training of the crews lasted far longer than anticipated and in 6/42 the 274th became operational. The most spectacular raids with the P. 108 B were flown in 10/42 when several night attacks against Gibraltar were undertaken from Sardinia. Several versions were derived from the P. 108 B: such as the P.108A, which had a 102 mm anti-shipping gun in the nose; the P.108C airliner and the P.108T transport. The latter two versions had a larger diameter fuselage for transporting passengers or freight. They were hardly used by the Regia Aeronautica, the main user being the German Luftwaffe. In 9/43, after the Italian armistice, the Luftwaffe had captured all fifteen P.108 Cs and P.108 Ts built. They were used at the Russian front, as part of Luftflotte 2, where they performed sterling duties, among others during the evacuation of the Crimea in 1944."

http://www.vvs-regia-avions.com/Regia/P108-003.jpg
http://www.vvs-regia-avions.com/Regia/P108-001.jpg
http://www.vvs-regia-avions.com/Regia1/P108-B0-1.jpg

"Never wrestle with a pig; you both get dirty but the pig enjoys it!"

JorBR
06-12-2004, 07:09 PM
Another one for our "Forgotten Plane" series: the Piaggio P.108, didn´t know it fought in eastern front.

"The Piaggio P.108 B was the only heavy four-engine bomber to see service with the Regia Aeronautica during World War Two. Too few were built to play a significant role in the war, only 163 P.108 Bs having been built. The P.108 B was an all-metal cantilever low-wing monoplane with an retractable under-carriage, driven by four 1,350 hp Piaggio P.XII radial engines. The first prototype was finished in 10/39 and had a very advanced defensive armament for its day of two 7.7 mm machine waist guns, a 12.7 mm machine gun in the lower turret and a similar weapon in the nose turret, and two remotely-controlled twin gun turrets in outer engine nacelles. The first Allied bomber with a similar armament was the Boeing B 29, developed four years later. The bomb load of the Piaggio comprised of 7,700 lbs, all carried internally in the bomb bay.

The only unit of the Regia Aeronautica ever to fly the P.108 B was the 274th Long-Range Bombardment Group. This unit was formed in 5/41 around the first machines that came off the assembly lines. The training of the crews lasted far longer than anticipated and in 6/42 the 274th became operational. The most spectacular raids with the P. 108 B were flown in 10/42 when several night attacks against Gibraltar were undertaken from Sardinia. Several versions were derived from the P. 108 B: such as the P.108A, which had a 102 mm anti-shipping gun in the nose; the P.108C airliner and the P.108T transport. The latter two versions had a larger diameter fuselage for transporting passengers or freight. They were hardly used by the Regia Aeronautica, the main user being the German Luftwaffe. In 9/43, after the Italian armistice, the Luftwaffe had captured all fifteen P.108 Cs and P.108 Ts built. They were used at the Russian front, as part of Luftflotte 2, where they performed sterling duties, among others during the evacuation of the Crimea in 1944."

http://www.vvs-regia-avions.com/Regia/P108-003.jpg
http://www.vvs-regia-avions.com/Regia/P108-001.jpg
http://www.vvs-regia-avions.com/Regia1/P108-B0-1.jpg

"Never wrestle with a pig; you both get dirty but the pig enjoys it!"

SUPERAEREO
06-12-2004, 08:01 PM
AFAIK only the transport versions saw service on the Eastern Front with the Luftwaffe.

The main problem with th plane were the engines, which were not particularly powerful or reliable.

Mussolini's own son, Bruno, who was a Captain in the Regia Aeronautica died at the controls of an early-production machine which crashed in August 1941, following engine trouble during landing, and the 274Th Squadriglia Bombardamento a Grande Raggio (it was a squadron really, not a group) was named after him, and its planes bore a reproduction of his signature in red paint as a squadron emblem.

One interesting feature of the aircraft were its dorsal defensive positions, two barbettes armed with two heavy machine guns each and situated on top of the inner engine nacelles.
The barbettes were remote-controlled and aimed and fired by the gunner who sat under a clear dome in the fuselage.

The P.108 Artigliere was a version intended for maritime warfare and was armed with a 102mm. cannon in the nose, but only one example was built.

A bigger and more powerful plane was to be the P.133, which was to be armed with 4 x 12.7mm. and 6 x 20mm and engined with 4 Piaggio engines rated at 1700 HP each, bu the armistice meant the end of the prototype, which was 90% complete at the time.

S!



"The first time I ever saw a jet, I shot it down." - Chuck Yaeger

"Ja, Hunde, wollt ihr denn ewig leben?" - Friedrich der Große

"Timeo Danaos, et dona ferentes" - *neid

rfa0
06-12-2004, 08:04 PM
'The first Allied bomber with a similar armament was the Boeing B 29, developed four years later."

Actually, the B-29 design dates to 1939, first flight in 1942.

rfa0

mortoma
06-12-2004, 08:57 PM
Wjy did you go and remind me of that bomber?? I had forgotten about it.......

JorBR
06-12-2004, 09:22 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by mortoma:
Wjy did you go and remind me of that bomber?? I had forgotten about it.......<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Sorry mate http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif, it´s quite like the Pe-8, very unknown and very interesting.

I hope you haven´t forgot the SM79 though http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

"Never wrestle with a pig; you both get dirty but the pig enjoys it!"

Prof.Wizard
06-13-2004, 04:23 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by SUPERAEREO:

The P.108 Artigliere was a version intended for maritime warfare and was armed with a 102mm. cannon in the nose, but only one example was built.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
102mm?! http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif
Boy, that would rock. Any photos of the Artigliere?

Nice plane, hehe, funny that Piaggio today makes scooters (tiny machines) when in WW2 made such an interesting behemoth! http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

-----------------------------

Me-163's HWK 109-509 Rocket Engine
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p1ngu666
06-13-2004, 05:39 AM
i think the lib and b17 had 1200 bhp engines
turboed so kept power all the way up, but its not much
dunno why they didnt stick the jugs engine on em http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-indifferent.gif

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Red_Storm
06-13-2004, 05:57 AM
I think a B-17 would be able to carry a 102mm gun too, but I have no idea how safe it would be. I know I would not like to be in that Italian plane carrying a 102mm. It would probably fall apart after six shots or so. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

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SUPERAEREO
06-13-2004, 06:11 AM
From: http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/Hangar/8217/fgun/fgun-bi.html

"A much more ambitious project was the Piaggo P.108A. The P.108 was Italy's modern four-engined bomber, a neat aircraft in the class of the B-17. Only a handful were built, and they equipped the only strategic bomber squadron of the Regia Aeronautica. The P.108A --- A for Artigliere --- carried a naval 102mm cannon in the nose, angled slightly downwards. With the recoil system, this gun weighed no less than 1500kg, and a generous 50 rounds of ammunition were provided, adding another ton to the installed weight. Apart from the need for some local strengthening and the compilation of new firing tables, the aircraft was considered a success. Plans for production of series aircraft, and conversion of P.108B bombers to P.108A configuration, were halted by the Italian surrender."

According to my sources ("Il Piaggio P.108" by G. Garello, Italy 1973) aiming problems were solved by the installation of a sight that would "track" the target on the vertical plane as the aircraft got closer. Unfortunately I haven't got a scanner so I can't share a photo, but the P.108 A had a solid nose and the 102mm. gun was installed in the lower part of it, a little like the 57mm. cannon installation in the Mosquito FB Mk.XVIII.

S!



"The first time I ever saw a jet, I shot it down." - Chuck Yaeger

"Ja, Hunde, wollt ihr denn ewig leben?" - Friedrich der Große

"Timeo Danaos, et dona ferentes" - *neid