Thursday, July 16, 2015

RCAF Deltas in Detail

The Northrop Delta was the first modern aircraft to be operated by the RCAF, and indeed the first stressed skin type to be built in Canada. Even though the Delta was designed as an airliner, the RCAF aircraft were purchased as photo survey aircraft and no airline seats were fitted in the cabin. After the first three aircraft were delivered it was determined that the Deltas should also be outfitted as seaplane bombers. This requirement introduced bomb aimers windows, bomb racks under the wings and fuselage, and gunners hatches in the fuselage. In 1939, it was decided that the Deltas would give up their photographic role and be utilized as bomber-reconnaissance aircraft. The aircraft operated in this role until being relegated to service as instructional airframes in 1941.

The Northrop Deltas were originally purchased by the RCAF for aerial
photography. Shown here are the camera rack fittings inside the cabin. 

A Delta Bomber.  Delta 673 on skis armed to the teeth.  It is hard to imagine
how the underpowered Delta maneuvered in the air with this configuration. 

 The under fuselage bomb racks with a bomb fitted.

A close up look at the under wing light stores carriers.

A view of the cockpit from the rear cabin.

The Very Pistol and shell storage behind the cockpit seats. Note the
window under the cockpit for a prone bombardier.

The Delta’s instrument panel and control wheel.

The cockpit in action.

A Lewis gun could be fitted in the rear fuselage of the Delta though the
fuselage camera port.

A view of a Delta with the wing removed and the crew hatch open.

Delta 675 was assigned to 1 (F) Squadron to assist the pilots with transition
training to their new Hawker Hurricanes. In the end the performance
was found lacking and a Harvard replaced the Delta.

Another view of Delta 675 at Sea Island, B.C. This image illustrates the
Delta’s SR-1820-F52 Cyclone engine.

Ice buildup on the horizontal stabilizers of Delta 667.

The Delta often flew on floats during RCAF service. This photo illustrates the
waterline on the floats of a fully-loaded aircraft. The floats were designed
specifically for the Delta by Canadian Vickers.

Delta 671 of 8 (GP) Squadron at RCAF Station Ottawa.  Note the open cargo
door and the Model 75 floats.

A side of the Delta 667 on floats.

Another view of Delta 667 on floats.

Two Deltas share a dock with an RCAF Norseman.  This would make a
nice, albeit difficult, diorama!

Part of the RCAF naval force assists a Delta 676. Note the second Delta
and Stranraer in the background.

During the winter of 1938, four Deltas were operated on skis.
Operation of the Delta on skis was never completely satisfactory, as trimming
problems during flight could not be overcome. The two bomb
aimers windows of differing shapes under the cockpit are also of note. 

A ski equipped Delta fitted in the ski hoist.

All Photos courtesy of the Canada. Dept. of National Defence/Library and Archives Canada.

No comments: