July 4th - Planes to Remember...

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by xcel, Jul 3, 2016.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Bill:

    Good points!

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  2. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    Great content next to a row of older 3-blade prop F4U Corsairs!

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  3. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    Any landing you can walk away from is a good one I guess. :)

    The Corsair F4U landing on the USS Shangri La in 1945 did not fare as well.

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  4. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    Heart wrenching! Looks like the plane was "tripped" rather than a nose dive/crash from the air. Maybe came in too fast?
    xcel likes this.
  5. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    I'd say he didn't 'flare' as well --except navy pilots don't do that. He did a nice job rototilling the deck, though.
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  6. basjoos

    basjoos Well-Known Member

    The long nose combined with the rear mounted cockpit and the large, low-mounted wings made the corsair very difficult to land on a carrier since the pilot had a huge blind spot over the nose and wings when making the approach. When the corsair was first introduced to the service, the navy refused to rate it for carrier landings, so it was used on airfields by the marines.
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  7. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    If you were in the German military in late 44 or early 45, you prayed not to see one of these coming down from the heavens to mangle your column...

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  8. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    And the P47 could carry LOTS of rockets
    granted they were unguided-but launching "a bunch" at a column of armor trucks-devastating
    and hard to believe-but the 50 caliber machine guns apparently could damage even those late in the war German tanks-
    guessing they could damage the tracks-plus kill all the infantry that are "PROTECTING" the tank for infantry ambushes-
    I think our man portable anti tank weapons-bazooka- weren't great- not as good as what the germans had-but they certainly could damage the track-
    Yeah armor and infantry were scared of those P47s-good reason
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  9. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    Great shot of an F-15 Eagle.


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  10. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    How World War I created our dependence on oil

    (no mention of the Baghdad railway, though -- which created a lot of 'tension' between Great Britain, France, and Germany -- right before all the shlt hit the fan)

    Moving forward, .. China (hard at work producing an "expressway network" and aircraft carriers) is consuming 12 mbpd, and has increased consumption by 2 mbpd every 4 years for the past 12.
    "(6,870 mi) of expressway were built in 2015 alone" [They built I-40 3 times in one year!]
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2017
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  11. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    A drop tank ladened Mustang... The D variant had a range of over 2,050 miles with the tanks which provided a total of 489 gallons of fuel. 4.2 mpg does not sound to great but in the WW-II time frame, it was huge!


    There were P-47 Thunderbolt variants - the N - near the end of 44/early 45 that were not only faster at 467 mph at 32,500 ft but also had longer range with three drop tanks installed allowing an incredible 2,350 mile range. In this configuration, the P-47N had an mpg of just 2.55 mpg at 15k ft.

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  12. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    Those 467 mph P47 must have had HUGE superchargers-turbochargers
    the large cross section lotta' drag wasn't as important at 32,000 feet I guess
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  13. jcp123

    jcp123 Caliente!

    Radial engines, if you'll pardon the phrase, are sonic sex. Though the Merlin/Packard V12s aren't that far behind

    Out in California, the state flew retired Navy S2s, and I always loved that grumbly radial/prop noise.
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  14. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    As the D-day anniversary comes to a close, here is one of the true unsung heroes of the air throughout WW-II.

    McDonnell Douglas DC-3

    In its D-day Army green paint with triple stripes on each wing in an attempt to avoid freindly fire.​
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  15. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    The pursuit fighter called Lightning from behind...

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  16. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    In 1941, this was arguably the best fighter plane in the air.

    Meet the Mitsubishi Zero...

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  17. jcp123

    jcp123 Caliente!

    I've thought a few times that if I were the business type in need of a plane, I'd look at a P38.
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  18. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    The elephant that roared...

    Earlier this week, Bob Winger was fortunate to catch a ride in one of the most famous planes of WW-II. That being the Boeing B29 Superfortress.

    Boeing B-29 Superfortress

    Bob Winger at the controls...


    Some may not know but the B-29 was the single most expensive weapons project undertaken by the U.S. and even exceeded the cost of the Atomic Bomb design and construction Manhattan Project!

    3,970 Boeing B-29s were built with only two examples, Fifi and Doc, restored to flying status. Bob was on-board FiFi which in today's $s cost approximately $10k/hour of flight to maintain.

    In wartime, the B-29 could fly at altitudes of almost 32,000 ft. at speeds of up to 350 mph. Japanese fighters could barely reach that altitude, and few could catch the B-29 even if they did attain that altitude. Only the heaviest of anti-aircraft weapons could reach it, and since the Axis forces did not have proximity fuzes, hitting or damaging the aircraft from the ground in combat proved exceedingly difficult.

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  19. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    Germans?? didn't have proximity fuzes?
    The V2 ME262 best tanks best planes TV guided drones Germans
    didn't have proximity fuzes? mini radio/radar sensors-send out radio signal-if they get a quick return-BANG(think that is how they worked)
    Hard to believe they didn't-those waaay to clever Germans?
    and guessing they would have given them to their Japanese allies
    but the japanese plenty clever too-but nothing like the industrial engineering might expertise of their Germanic allies
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  20. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    HI Charlie:

    American's were pretty darn clever too. ;)

    Here is a story I dug up from 1993 about the U.S. WW-II Proximity Fuse.

    'The secret weapon of World War II' Hopkins developed proximity fuse

    Douglas Birch - Baltimore Sun - Jan 11, 1993

    At dawn over Guadalcanal 50 years ago, two Japanese dive bombers plunged toward the cruiser USS Helena and ran smack into the future of warfare.

    Until that January morning, ships without air cover were sitting ducks. Anti-aircraft fire was frustratingly inaccurate. With ammunition that exploded on impact, even the best gunners had to fire about 2,500 rounds on average to score a hit. Timed fuses that exploded a set number of seconds after firing worked a little better, but not much.


    "Almost no one ever hit an airplane with the old-fashioned fuses," recalled Dr. James A. Van Allen, the discoverer of the Earth's radiation belt, who worked on fuses at the Applied Physics Laboratory of Johns Hopkins University during the war. "It would be just a sheer stroke of luck to hit anything."

    But the Helena had more than luck that morning. It carried one of history's first smart weapons -- anti-aircraft shells armed with Hopkins' new proximity fuse, an electronic device designed to detect its target and detonate if it flew within about 75 feet.

    That weapon was a closely guarded secret. So the pilots of the nimble Aichi 99 bombers may have felt they had the advantage as they screamed toward the Helena, an island of guns and steel as long as two football fields.

    Within 90 seconds, two gun crews, firing an estimated 50 to 60 shells, brought down both planes. (Not all the shells fired had proximity fuses, but the ship's chief gunnery officer gave the new fuse credit for both kills).

    The proximity fuse obviously didn't have the awesome power of the atomic bomb, which helped shape global politics after the war. It didn't have the broad military and civilian application of radar. But some think it was just as crucial to the Allied victory as the other two devices.

    "In my opinion this is the real secret weapon of World War II," said Ralph B. Baldwin of Naples, Fla., a scientist who worked on the fuse project and later wrote a book about it. "It shortened the war drastically. And at the end of the war the general staffs of Japan and Germany didn't know what had hit them."

    It helped gun crews destroy hundreds of dive bombers, torpedo planes and kamikazes in the Pacific. It blasted hundreds of German V-1 rockets in mid-flight over the English Channel and the newer V-2s over Allied-occupied Antwerp, Belgium.

    On a foggy night during the Battle of the Bulge, Gen. George S. Patton's troops lined up and began shelling German tank crews. Most shells with impact fuses would have detonated on the ground. But Patton's men fired shells with proximity fuses designed to detonate about 10 feet above the ground, creating lethal storms of shrapnel.

    "The new shell with the funny fuse is devastating," General Patton wrote to the war department. "I'm glad you all thought of it first."

    The fuse was developed by hundreds of civilians working under a Navy contract, first at Washington's Carnegie Institution and, after March 1942, at the newly created Applied Physics Laboratory.

    When Merle A. Tuve, chief physicist at Carnegie, persuaded federal officials to back an effort to develop the proximity fuse in August 1940, he picked up where many others had quit in frustration.

    A feasibility study produced "one fairly thick book of failures and one thin book of possibilities," said Elmore Chatham of Silver Spring, a radio engineer and retired Applied Physics Laboratory employee who worked on the top-secret project.

    Sifting through the slim possibilities, researchers concluded that the best bet was a miniature device that could bounce radio waves off nearby objects.

    But radios had not been built small enough to fit in the tip of a projectile. And radio components -- particularly glass vacuum tubes -- were too fragile to survive being fired from guns.

    Dr. Van Allen, now a 78-year-old professor at the University of Iowa, worked on creating rugged tubes. "It was an enormous challenge," he recalled in a recent telephone interview from his office in Iowa City.

    Then in his late 20s, Dr. Van Allen was made a Montgomery County deputy sheriff so that he could legally carry a .45 automatic to protect shipments of experimental fuses on their way to area proving grounds.

    Working with a Massachusetts firm that built miniature electronic tubes for hearing aids, Dr. Van Allen helped find new materials to cushion the glass where it was set on its base. Then researchers solved the trickier problem of keeping the fragile tungsten filaments inside the tubes from snapping when the projectiles were fired.

    The scientists then developed a device called a "mousetrap spring" that looked, naturally, like a mousetrap. This enabled the structure supporting the filament to absorb the shock of firing, but kept the thin metal strip taut.

    To test the tube designs, researchers took them to rural testing grounds -- such as Stump Neck, Md., along the Potomac -- and fired them vertically out of special guns. The tubes were then dug out of the ground and analyzed.

    By January 1942, researchers had their shock-proof vacuum tube -- later patented by Dr. Van Allen and two colleagues. That summer, they tested proximity-fuse-tipped shells that hit their targets about half the time. By early 1943, about 5,000 fuses had been produced.

    By the end of the war, five separate manufacturers and 80 subcontractors around the country were producing 40,000 fuses day -- using the labor of 80,000 people.

    The Carnegie Institution was the center of fuse work only at the outset. It soon became clear that an independent group was needed to oversee development and manufacture of the new device. So, in early 1942, Dr. Tuve, a Hopkins graduate, approached the Hopkins trustees to ask them to sponsor what he called the Applied Physics Laboratory.

    But Dr. Tuve and his colleagues couldn't tell the Hopkins board anything about the laboratory's $1 million military contract. The trustees said no.

    "Then there was some hocus-pocus behind the scenes, and the next thing we heard of, President Roosevelt had gotten word to the president of the school," said Mr. Chatham. "He [Hopkins President Isaiah Bowman] went over and twisted the arm of the trustees, and they all got in lock step in creating APL, even though they didn't know what the hell it was."

    Secrecy was crucial. The new fuse could easily be foiled by a jamming signal. "You could defeat it by putting a 50-watt transmitter in an airplane," Mr. Chatham said.

    During the invasion of Italy, he said, the Navy broadcast spurious radio signals while firing anti-aircraft shells with proximity fuses. The Americans feared that someone using a sophisticated receiver might notice that each time the highly accurate shells were fired, they produced a signal like a hum on radio sets.

    Not until late in the war were proximity fuses used in ground combat, for fear that a recovered dud would give away the secret.

    Each of the 22 million fuses built during the war had a serial number, and the devices were shipped in sealed containers.

    Mr. Chatham said that when he visited Navy ships to help train crews to use the new fuses, he carried technical documents in a briefcase equipped with lead weights, so he could toss it overboard if threatened with capture.

    During the war, Dr. Van Allen, Mr. Chatham and others from APL visited Navy ships on active duty to help sell the new shells and train gunnery officers in their use.

    Not all the sailors welcomed the new weapon. The biggest fear, Dr. Van Allen said, was that "somehow they would explode within the gun." (A mechanism in the fuse kept them from firing until seven-tenths of a second after they were fired. By that time, they were far from the gun.)

    During the battle of the Philippine Sea, in June 1944, the device that Dr. Van Allen helped invent may have saved his skin. He was standing on the bridge of the USS Washington when a Japanese kamikaze bore down on the battleship.

    The Washington erupted with gunfire, including anti-aircraft shells tipped with proximity fuses.

    "I saw at least two or three 5-inch shell bursts in the vicinity of the plane, and then the plane dove into the water several hundred yards short of the ship," he said. "It was so close I could make out the pilot of the plane."

    "I saw at least two or three 5-inch shell bursts in the vicinity of the plane, and then the plane dove into the water several hundred yards short of the ship," he said. "It was so close I could make out the pilot of the plane."
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