XB259 - The Tail Boom

The tail boom could carry 36 passengers, as many as a lot of passenger aircraft of the day.

Looking aft in the BoomThe front of the boom

Mannequins of paratroopsABOVE LEFT: Looking aft in the Boom. Paratroop seats are along the sides. 30 paratroops could be carried in the Boom with 40 more in the Freight Bay. A perspex shield at the far end prevents visitors from falling through the paratroop exit. The paratroop doors are open as part of a display.

ABOVE RIGHT: Looking forward in the Boom. The green panels are where the ladders up from the Freight Bay are positioned.

LEFT: Mannequins of paratroops on each side of the paratroop doors. In reality the paratroops would form up in single file facing the doors, ad drop through one at a time in rapid succession. The RAF Paratroop Despatcher controlling the exit would be to the side of the Boom. The green tinge in the door is a perspex shield fitted to the floor.

Cable fixingFlap mechanism

ABOVE LEFT: Front fixing for the parachute static line cable.

ABOVE RIGHT:The flap actuating motor (bottom left), and the handle for manual lowering of the flaps in case of motor failure.

Ditching exitToilet entranceLEFT: The starboard of the two ditching exits at the front of the Boom.

RIGHT: The entrance to the toilet beyond open parachute doors.

Headset panelLEFT: A panel for an intercom headset on the starboard side of the Boom at the front. I spent many an hour connected to one of these on the way to and from dropping zones.