The 138 and 161 Squadron Aircraft.

The Lockheed Hudson

The Hudson was a mid-wing monoplane with all-metal stressed-skin construction. The fuselage was elliptical in cross-section, with a transparent nose to facilitate bomb aiming. The wing tapered toward the wingtips, and had a high loading for its day. To reduce the length of take-off and landing runs, Fowler flaps of generous size were fitted. The Hudson was built with a choice of engines, similar in displacement (about 30 liters) and power (1,100 to 1,200 hp), but each having its own small advantages. The nine-cylinder Wright R-1820 Cyclone was the lighter of the two, while the 14-cylinder Pratt & Whitney R-1830 Twin Wasp ran a little smoother and, because of its double-row layout, had a little less wind resistance. The crew was normally a pilot, navigator, bomb aimer, radio operator, and gunner.

The Hudson spanned 65.5 feet and weighed 17,500 pounds loaded. Weapons included 1,400 pounds of bombs in an internal weapons bay, two fixed forward-firing .303 (7.7mm) machine guns in the nose and two similar machine guns in a Boulton-Paul dorsal turret. Range was a respectable 1,960 miles at a 220 mph cruise.

The Hudson was considered a "hot ship", and was not an easy aircraft to master compared to the docile Avro Anson it replaced. There were many accidents during conversion training. A chief cause was the Hudson's propensity to swing off of the runway during take-off and landing. Pilots also found the cockpit layout inconvenient. In flight, the Hudson was well-behaved and comfortable.


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