I am writing an alternate WWII story, and I was wondering if you fine fellows on this site could help me. I am trying to make a fantasy bomber version of the USN Boeing C-98 Clipper, AKA the Boeing 314 Pan-Am Clipper flying boat. My idea is that the Navy ordered more C-98's as new builds after being impressed with the performance of the Pan-Am craft, and a bomber variant was developed. Boeing C-98

So, were there any WWII era flying boats that had internal bomb bays? The German Blohm & Voss BV 238 is listed on Wikipedia as having 'wing bomb racks' and 'external racks'. The later jet powered 1960's Martin P6M Seamaster has an internal bay, but could that have been done back in WWII, or was the technology to keep the doors sealed when the craft was sitting on the water not up to par in the 1940's? Could they have used something similar to torpedo tube door seals from submarines? Martin P6M Seamaster P6M bomb bay loaded with two bombs

Could something like this have been done with the hull of a modified C-98 design, or would it not be feasible with 40's tech?

Also, how would turrets be laid out on a flying boat? I'm thinking this craft is a long-range strategic bomber like the Flying Fortress, but I think belly turrets would probably be out of the question if this thing is going to land on the water. Would it have low down turrets on the sides of the fuselage to attempt to compensate for this?

Thanks in advance for any help.

  • $\begingroup$ For the bombs, the Short Sunderland used extendable racks. I think this aircraft is a good start to have a rough idea for your question. $\endgroup$
    – Manu H
    Aug 24 '20 at 18:44
  • $\begingroup$ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consolidated_PBY_Catalina#/media/… would indicate that PBY Catalinas had bomb bay doors in WWII... $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Aug 24 '20 at 19:49
  • $\begingroup$ @JonCuster no those are doors added under an STC for water bombing. WWII Catalinas/Cansos didn't have them. They carried stuff on external racks under the wings. That being said, there's nothing to say a flying boat bomber couldn't have had a bomb bay with belly doors like that. They would just have to be heavy water tight doors. $\endgroup$
    – John K
    Aug 24 '20 at 19:54
  • $\begingroup$ @JohnK - Sounds reasonable. Even the homing torpedos for ASW were carried externally? $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Aug 24 '20 at 19:56
  • $\begingroup$ Yes the PBY had no provision for internal weapons storage. The aerial torpedoes were much shorter than naval ones and just look like elongated bombs. If you wanted to drop bombs out the belly of the boat hull, best to incorporate that into the original design. Never heard of a flying boat that did that, only purpose built modern water bombers like the CL-215/435, etc. $\endgroup$
    – John K
    Aug 25 '20 at 1:10

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