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United States' Lockheed Hudson bomber, reconnaissance

Photos

Lockheed Hudson Mk III bomber:
United States' Lockheed Hudson Mk III bomber
Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook
Lockheed Hudson Mk III bomber:
United States' Lockheed Hudson Mk III bomber
Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook
Lockheed A-29 Hudson bomber:
United States' Lockheed A-29 Hudson bomber

Design

The design of the Lockheed Hudson was based on the Lockheed Model 14 Super Electra civil transport. The Hudson was to become a maritime reconnaissance plane.

The Hudson differed from the Super Electra by having more powerful engines, a bomb bay, defensive armament, and glass windows in the front of the fuselage.

The British are the ones that named it Hudson.

Fuselage

The internal area could be converted to carry passengers.

Tail

The twin vertical fins allowed for the gunner to have nearly a clear field of fire.

Prototype

The prototype of the Lockheed Model 14 Super Electra first flew on July 29, 1937.

The Hudson prototype first flew on December 10, 1938.

Production

Production of the Lockheed Hudson ended in May 1943 / June 1943.

  • Lockheed Hudson Mk I: 350
  • Lockheed Hudson Mk II: 20
  • Lockheed Hudson Mk III: 414, 428
  • Lockheed Hudson Mk IIIA / Lockheed Hudson A-29: 800
  • Lockheed Hudson Mk IV: 130
  • Lockheed Hudson Mk IVA / Lockheed Hudson A-28: 52
  • Lockheed Hudson Mk V / Lockheed Hudson A-28A: 409
  • Lockheed Hudson Mk VI: 450
  • Lockheed AT-18/A: 300
  • Total: 2,941, 2,942
    • Manufacturer: Lockheed Aircraft Company
    • Manufacturing location: Burbank, California

Variants

In March 1941 Lend Lease began and as a result the aircraft were property of the United States so the Hudsons became the A-28 and A-29 series.

  • Lockheed Hudson Mk I:
  • Lockheed Hudson Mk II: Had hydromatic / fixed pitch propellers.
  • Lockheed Hudson Mk III: Had Wright GR-1820-G205A radial engines (1,200 HP). Additional defensive armament.
  • Lockheed Hudson Mk IIIA / Lockheed Hudson A-29: Lend-Lease supply.
  • Lockheed Hudson Mk IV: Had Pratt & Whitney radial engines.
  • Lockheed Hudson Mk IVA / Lockheed Hudson A-28: Lend-Lease supply.
  • Lockheed Hudson Mk V: Had Pratt & Whitney radial engines.
  • Lockheed Hudson Mk VI: Had Pratt & Whitney radial engines.
  • Lockheed Hudson ??: Search and rescue version with a lifeboat under the fuselage.
  • Lockheed A-28 (Hudson IVA, Hudson V, Hudson VI): US Army Air Force attack version.
  • Lockheed A-28A (Hudson IVA, Hudson V, Hudson VI):
  • Lockheed A-29 (Hudson III, Hudson IIIA): US Army Air Force attack version. Models taken back from the United Kingdom.
  • Lockheed A-29A (Hudson III, Hudson IIIA): Models taken back from the United Kingdom.
  • Lockheed A-29B (Hudson III, Hudson IIIA):
  • Lockheed AT-18: Trainer. Gunnery.
  • Lockheed AT-18B: Trainer. The dorsal turret was removed. Navigation.
  • Lockheed PBO: The US Navy's patrol bomber.

Usage

Used by Australia, Canada, China, Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, South Africa, the Soviet Union, United Kingdom, and United States.

U-boats captured or destroyed

On August 21, 1941 / August 27, 1941, a Hudson of Squadron No. 269 helped cause U-boat U-570 surrender.

On March 15, 1942, US Navy Hudsons sank two U-boats.

On July 7, 1942, an A-29 sank U-701.

In May 1943 a Hudson was the first to sink a U-boat with rockets.

United Kingdom

The Lockheed Hudson was the first American built plane to serve with the Royal Air Force (RAF). The United Kingdom ordered 200 (increased to 350) Hudson Mk Is. The first one arrived in Liverpool on February 15, 1939 / 1939. Eventually the British were to receive ~2,000. Of these 1,170 were supplied under Lend-Lease.

The first unit to receive the Hudson was the Royal Air Force's No. 224 Squadron. These replaced their Avro Ansons. The first unit was with the Coastal Command in Scotland.

The Hudsons were used with Coastal Command as reconnaissance aircraft.

On October 8, 1939, a Hudson shot down the first German aircraft of the war.

A Hudson lead the British navy to the German prison ship the Altmark in February 1940.

The No. 280 Squadron was the first to have Hudsons drop lifeboats in the North Sea in 1943.

2,487 Hudsons were purchased by the United Kingdom. 423 were supplied to Australia, Canada, China, New Zealand, Portugal, and South Africa.

By the end of the war the Hudson was being primarily used as a transport plane in 31 RAF squadrons.

South Atlantic

There were Lockheed Hudsons based in Manaos, Brazil to patrol the South Atlantic.

Australia

Starting in January 1940 the first of 247 Hudsons were delivered to Australia. Two squadrons were hit by the Japanese attack on Malaya on December 8, 1941.

United States Navy

Twenty PBO-1s (A-29s) were received by the US Navy. These scored the first two submarine kills for the US Navy.

Specifications

  Lockheed Hudson
Type Reconnaissance bomber
Crew 4 - 5
Engine (Type)  
Cylinders  
Cooling  
HP  
Propeller blades  
Dimensions  
Span 65' 6"
19.96 m
Length 44' 3.75"
13.5 m
Height 10' 10.5"
3.32 m
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded  
Performance  
Speed  
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range  
Range with max load  
Armament  
  Lockheed Hudson Mk I
Type Maritime patrol / bomber, Reconnaissance
Crew 4, 5
Pilot, navigator, bomb-aimer, radio operator
Engine (Type) 2: Wright GR-1820-G-102A piston
2: Wright R-1820-G102A Cyclone
Cylinders Radial, Radial 9
Cooling Air
HP 1,100 each
Propeller blades 3 each
Dimensions  
Span 65', 65' 6"
19.96 m
Length 44', 44' 4"
13.51 m
Height 11' 10", 12'
3.61 m
Wing area 551 ft2
51.19 m2
Weight  
Empty 11,605 lb
5,275 kg
Loaded 17,464 lb, 17,500'
7,938 kg
Performance  
Speed @ 6,500' /
1,980 m
245 mph, 246 mph
396 kph
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling 25,000'
7,620 m
Range 1,500 miles, 1,955 miles
3,154 km
Armament 5: MG
up to 7 0.303" MG
Nose 2: 7.62 mm MG
Dorsal turret 2: 7.62 mm MG
Bombs 750 lb
Bomb-bay - bombs or depth charges 1,400 lb, 1,600 lb
635 kg, 726 kg
  Lockheed Hudson Mk II
Type  
Crew  
Engine (Type) 2: Wright R-1820-G102A Cyclone
Cylinders Radial 9
Cooling  
HP 1,100 each
Propeller blades 3 each
Dimensions  
Span  
Length  
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded  
Performance  
Speed  
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range  
Armament  
  Lockheed Hudson Mk III
Type  
Crew  
Engine (Type) 2: Wright R-1820-G205A
2: Wright Cyclone
Cylinders  
Cooling  
HP 1,200 each
Propeller blades 3 each
Dimensions  
Span 65' 6"
Length 44' 4"
Height 11' 10"
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty 13,160 lb
5,969 kg
Loaded 18,500 lb, 20,000 lb
9,072 kg
Performance  
Speed 285 mph
Speed @ 15,000' /
4,572 m
252 mph
405 kph
Cruising speed 155 - 196 mph
249 - 315 kph
Climb to 10,000' /
3,050 m
1,200'/minute
366 m/minute
Service ceiling 25,000'
7,620 m
Range 1,355 miles, 2,100 miles
2,180 km
Range with max load 780 miles
1,255 km
Armament up to 7 0.303" MG
Nose 2: MG
Dorsal turret 1: MG
Ventral position 1: MG
Bomb-bay - bombs or depth charges 1,600 lb
726 kg
  Lockheed A-29 / Hudson Mk IIIA
Type Bomber , Light Bomber
Crew 4
Engine (Type) 2: Wright R-1820-87 Cyclone
2: Wright 1820-G205A
Cylinders Radial, Radial 9
Cooling Air
HP 1,200 each
Propeller blades 3 each, 3 constant speed
Dimensions  
Span 65' 6"
19.96 m
Length 44' 4"
13.51 m
Height 11' 11"
3.63 m
Wing area 551 ft2
51.19 m2
Weight  
Empty 12,825 lb
5,817 kg
Loaded 20,500 lb
9,299 kg
Performance  
Speed  
Speed @ 15,000' /
4,570 m
253 mph
407 kph
Cruising speed 205 mph
Climb to 10,000' /
3,050 m
6.3 minutes
Service ceiling 26,500'
8,075 m
Range - Loaded 1,550 miles
2,494 km
Range - Max 2,800 miles
Armament  
Nose 2: 7.62 mm MG
2: .30 cal MG
Dorsal turret 1: 7.62 mm MG
1: .50 cal MG
Ventral position 1: 7.62 mm MG
Bomb-bay - bombs or depth charges 1,400 lb, 1,600 lb
726 kg
  Lockheed Hudson Mk IV
Type  
Crew  
Engine (Type) 2: Pratt & Whitney R-1830-SC3G Twin Wasp
Cylinders Radial 14
Cooling  
HP 1,200 each
Propeller blades 3 each
Dimensions  
Span  
Length  
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded  
Performance  
Speed  
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range  
Armament  
  Lockheed A-28 / Hudson Mk IVA
Type  
Crew  
Engine (Type) 2: Pratt & Whitney R-1830-SC3G Twin Wasp
Cylinders Radial 14
Cooling  
HP 1,200 each
Propeller blades 3 each
Dimensions  
Span  
Length  
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded  
Performance  
Speed  
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range  
Range with max load  
Armament  
  Lockheed A-28A / Hudson Mk VA
Type  
Crew  
Engine (Type) 2: Pratt & Whitney R-1830-S3C4-G
Cylinders  
Cooling  
HP 1,200 each
Propeller blades 3 each
Dimensions  
Span  
Length  
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded  
Performance  
Speed  
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range  
Armament  
  Lockheed Hudson Mk VI
Type  
Crew  
Engine (Type) 2: Pratt & Whitney R-1830-S3C4-G
Cylinders  
Cooling  
HP 1,200 each
Propeller blades 3 each
Dimensions  
Span  
Length  
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded  
Performance  
Speed  
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range  
Armament  

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, General Editor: Jim Winchester, 2004
  2. Fighting Aircraft of World War II, Editor: Karen Leverington, 1995
  3. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  4. World War II Airplanes Volume 2, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  5. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
  6. American Attack Aircraft Since 1926, E. R. Johnson, 2012
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