PB-1W Cadillac II
The PB-1W was a variant of the B-17 Flying Fortress equipped with the APS-20 radar capable of tracking storms out to 100 miles. It entered service in 1946. The shortcomings of the first deck based aircraft of the radar patrol included small free volumes on board and a relatively short range and duration of patrolling. With what, however, had to be reconciled when using from the deck of an aircraft carrier. However, in case of basing on the shore, nothing prevented the use of larger vehicles with a longer duration of flight as a platform.
Simultaneously with the deck TBM-3W, the fleet ordered 24 four-motor PB-1W with the same AN??/APS-20 radar. The radar antenna was located under a large drop-shaped fairing at the place of the bombard. In addition to the radar on the PB-1W, a radar system for identifying aircraft and ships "friend-foe" was installed. In addition to planes with a lower radar location, at least one airplane was built with the radome of the radar.
Airborne ground-based PB-1W aircraft were built on the basis of B-17G bombers. Compared with the "deck" heavy four-engine aircraft had several times the longest flight and the duration of patrolling. And the conditions of habitation on board TBM-3W were much more comfortable, unlike decked aircraft, the operator did not have to radar because of the lack of space to sit crouched. There was an opportunity to have on board 2-3 shift operators and an officer of control and guidance.
Since the size of the aircraft was not restricted to single engine type, this system was designed with the necessary auxiliary equipment so that it might to some extent operate Independently of the surface CIC, thereby increasing its functions and radius of action. To provide the necessary additional space for the auxiliary equipment and personnel, the Navy chose the B-170 airplane for this installation, re-designating it the PB-1W. The PB-1W had, in addition to the search radar and relay equipment, three-gound-stabilized radar repeat indicators, IFF, radio relay, a radar mapping unit, and the necessary VHF, MHF, and CW radio equipment. Like deck-based TBM-3W, PB-1W coast-based patrol aircraft did not make it to the war. The transfer of the first five US Navy aircraft took place in April 1946. Since the fighting was over, all the defensive weapons were dismantled from them, and the number of crew members was reduced from 10 to 8 people.
The PB-1W aircraft served on both the eastern and western coasts of the continental United States. In 1952, four PB-1Ws were sent to Hawaii. In addition to controlling airspace and controlling the operations of fighter aircraft, during missions, operators were assigned tasks to search for submarines and weather intelligence. Characteristics of the AN / APS-20 radar allowed detecting approaching hurricanes at a range of more than 120 km and warning of a threat in a timely manner. At the same time, the intensity of the PB-1W flights was high. As the resource was developed, the aircraft were to be decommissioned, with the last PB-1W fleet parted in 1956.
In addition to Air Early Warning (AEW) and Anti-submarine Warfare (ASW), this system was capable of limited Air Control, Weather Reconnlsance, and Air-Sea Rescue (ASR) - This was the beginning of the true Airborne CIC. Even with the limited facilities provided in this Cadillac II system, operational results obtained with this system Indicated the desirability of a more complete Airborne CIC- In order to test the capabilities of such a system, it was decided to equip two Lockheed Constellations, Navy designation P0-1W, with the necessary equipment for operational evaluation. This program is known as the Cadillac III system.
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