British Cluster Projectile, 500 lb, No. 24 Mk 1
These clusters are identical in construction, and function in a similar manner. The Cluster No. 23 Mk I, however, is approximately hexagonal in cross-section, while the No. 24 Mk I is roughly octagonal.
The bombs forming the cluster are retained in two fagots of 7 bombs each in the No. 23 and 10 bombs each in the No. 24 by means of top and bottom beams, front and rear end plates, side fairings, and four tensioning straps. The tensioning straps are held in position by lateral pegs on the release rod, which is carried on the top beam. The release rod is connected to a lever and piston mechanism, the cylinder of which also forms an adapter for the barometric fuze and is located on the rear end plate. Before the fuze is fitted, the adapter is closed by a washered plug.
The cluster is converted into an aimable cluster by the addition of a blunt nose fairing and a drum-type tail. A special streamlined nose fairing is designed only for the Cluster No. 24 Mk I, when it is to be stowed externally on the aircraft.
The Tail Unit No. 66 Mk I of the Cluster No. 24 consists of a tail cone having an approximately octagonal base to which a circular strut is attached by seven tail fins. The cone is fitted with the conventional arming assembly consisting of arming vanes, arming spindle, and an arming fork. The tail is fastened to the cluster by a tie rod, and has two dowel holes in its base to position it. The cone is fitted with two inspection windows.
The Tail Unit No. 65 Mk I is similar to the No. 66 Mk I except that it has a hexagonal base, and only six tail pins.
A British type suspension lug is fitted to the top beam, and two crutching pads bolted to the beam are used when a British type bomb carrier is fitted to the cluster. Two sets of four tapped holes are provided in the top beam for the attachment of American type suspension lugs. Two of the four holes at the nose end of the beam normally house the bolts securing one of the crutching pads to the beam. If American type lugs are fitted, the British type lug and crutching pads must first be removed.