Discussion:
Worst Fighter Of WWII
(too old to reply)
b***@gmail.com
2020-06-15 16:55:43 UTC
Permalink
Have you seen the book the P61 guys put out about it praising it but inadvertently damming it when they listed all 700 plus of the production run and their fate , I wouldn’t have ever walked close to one in case the gear collapsed, engine fires, fuselage fires, what’s left to go wrong, makes the Heinkle 177 seem like a walk in the park
Keith Willshaw
2020-06-16 13:51:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by b***@gmail.com
Have you seen the book the P61 guys put out about it praising it but inadvertently damming it when they listed all 700 plus of the production run and their fate , I wouldn’t have ever walked close to one in case the gear collapsed, engine fires, fuselage fires, what’s left to go wrong, makes the Heinkle 177 seem like a walk in the park
Thst is rather overstating it. The problems with engine fires was
associated with the Pratt and Whitney R-2800 engines. It turned out to
be a decent night fighter which was its role but arrived too late to
make much impression in the ETO and MTO. Its armament of 20 mm cannon
gave it much better firepower and fitting AI radar to a single engine
aircraft was not going to work. Simply using development issues would
damn the Chance Vought F4U Corsair utterly.

Another aircraft considered substandard in its first iteration was the
P51 initially the USAAF used it in the ground attack role. Once it got a
better wngine all was forgiven.

The He-177 was a disaster all round mainly because of the coupled
engines. When the same technique was tried with the Avro Manchester the
result was the redesigned Avro Lancaster. Its other main problem was
that it was supposed to do everything from tank busting as a dive bomber
to maritime attack with torpedoes and be a strategic bomber. It did none
of them well and the resources used would have been better spent on
conventional bombers such as the Ju-88 series.

If you want a really bad fighter I would suggest the Me 210, The chief
test pilot commented that the Me 210 had "all the least desirable
attributes an aeroplane could possess." It was the Hungarians who made
the Me 210 C into a usable fighter bomber but by then the air war was
almost lost as the Luftwaffe had neither the fuel not the trained pilots
to use them properly.

For the RAF the Boulton Paul Defiant probably fills the role. The
aircraft flew well enough but the concept of turreted fighter was simply
a mistake. However it did find a role as the first RAF night fighter
until the radar equipped Beaufighter and Mosquito NF came along.
Jeff Crowell
2020-06-19 10:48:49 UTC
Permalink
... fitting AI radar to a single engine
aircraft was not going to work. Simply using development issues would
damn the Chance Vought F4U Corsair utterly.
Hi, Keith. Please expand on the AI radar comment. IIRC the U.S. was
successful using AI radar (in the F-4U Corsair, as happens) although it
needed good external control to reach a point where the onboard radar
would get a usable paint.


Jeff
--
Make sure the bottleneck only works on good product.
Dean Markley
2020-06-19 11:23:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Crowell
... fitting AI radar to a single engine
aircraft was not going to work. Simply using development issues would
damn the Chance Vought F4U Corsair utterly.
Hi, Keith. Please expand on the AI radar comment. IIRC the U.S. was
successful using AI radar (in the F-4U Corsair, as happens) although it
needed good external control to reach a point where the onboard radar
would get a usable paint.
Jeff
--
Make sure the bottleneck only works on good product.
From Wiki, radar was not a development issue: "Technical issues
In part because of its advances in technology and a top speed greater than existing Navy aircraft, numerous technical problems had to be solved before the Corsair entered service. Carrier suitability was a major development issue, prompting changes to the main landing gear, tail wheel, and tailhook. Early F4U-1s had difficulty recovering from developed spins, since the inverted gull wing's shape interfered with elevator authority. It was also found that the Corsair's right wing could stall and drop rapidly and without warning during slow carrier landings.[28] In addition, if the throttle were suddenly advanced (for example, during an aborted landing) the left wing could stall and drop so quickly that the fighter could flip over with the rapid increase in power.[29] These potentially lethal characteristics were later solved through the addition of a small, 6 in (150 mm)-long stall strip to the leading edge of the outer right wing, just outboard of the gun ports. This allowed the right wing to stall at the same time as the left.[30]


An early F4U-1 showing the "birdcage" canopy with rearwards production cockpit location.
Other problems were encountered during early carrier trials. The combination of an aft cockpit and the Corsair's long nose made landings hazardous for newly trained pilots. During landing approaches, it was found that oil from the opened hydraulically-powered cowl flaps could spatter onto the windscreen, severely reducing visibility, and the undercarriage oleo struts had bad rebound characteristics on landing, allowing the aircraft to bounce down the carrier deck.[30] The first problem was solved by locking the top cowl flaps in front of the windscreen down permanently, then replacing them with a fixed panel. The undercarriage bounce took more time to solve, but eventually a "bleed valve" incorporated in the legs allowed the hydraulic pressure to be released gradually as the aircraft landed. The Corsair was not considered fit for carrier use until the wing stall problems and the deck bounce could be solved.

Meanwhile, the more docile and simpler-to-build F6F Hellcat had begun entering service in its intended carrier-based use. The Navy wanted to standardize on one type of carrier fighter, and the Hellcat, while slower than the Corsair, was considered simpler to land on a carrier by an inexperienced pilot and proved to be successful almost immediately after introduction. The Navy's decision to choose the Hellcat meant that the Corsair was released to the U.S. Marine Corps. With no initial requirement for carrier landings, the Marine Corps deployed the Corsair to devastating effect from land bases. Corsair deployment aboard U.S. carriers was delayed until late 1944, by which time the last of the carrier landing problems, relating to the Corsair's long nose, had been tackled by the British.[N 1]

Design modifications
Production F4U-1s featured several major modifications from the XF4U-1. A change of armament to six wing-mounted .50 in (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns (three in each outer wing panel) and their ammunition (400 rounds for the inner pair, 375 rounds for the outer)[32] meant that the location of the wing fuel tanks had to be changed. In order to keep the fuel tank close to the center of gravity, the only available position was in the forward fuselage, ahead of the cockpit. Later on, different variants of the F4U were given different armaments. While most Corsair variants had the standard armament of six .50 caliber M2 Browning machine guns, some models (like the F4U-1C) were equipped with four 20 millimeter M2 cannons for its main weapon. While these cannons were more powerful than the standard machine guns, they were not favored over the standard loadout. Only 200 models of this particular Corsair model were produced, out of the total 12,571. Other variants were capable of carrying mission specific weapons such as rockets and bombs. The F4U was able to carry up to a total of eight rockets, or four under each wing. It was able to carry up to four thousand pounds of explosive ordnance. This helped the Corsair take on a fighter bomber role, giving it a more versatile role as a ground support aircraft as well as a fighter.[33][34] Accordingly, as a 237 US gal (897 l) self-sealing fuel tank replaced the fuselage mounted armament, the cockpit had to be moved back by 32 in (810 mm) and the fuselage lengthened.[24] In addition, 150 lb (68 kg) of armor plate was installed, along with a 1.5 in (38 mm) bullet-proof windscreen which was set internally, behind the curved Plexiglas windscreen. The canopy could be jettisoned in an emergency, and half-elliptical planform transparent panels, much like those of certain models of the Curtiss P-40, were inset into the sides of the fuselage's turtledeck structure behind the pilot's headrest, providing the pilot with a limited rear view over his shoulders. A rectangular Plexiglas panel was inset into the lower center section to allow the pilot to see directly beneath the aircraft and assist with deck landings.[N 2] The engine used was the more powerful R-2800-8 (B series) Double Wasp which produced 2,000 hp (1,491 kW). On the wings the flaps were changed to a NACA slotted type and the ailerons were increased in span to increase the roll rate, with a consequent reduction in flap span. IFF transponder equipment was fitted in the rear fuselage. These changes increased the Corsair's weight by several hundred pounds.[35]"
Jim Wilkins
2020-06-19 11:58:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dean Markley
It was able to carry up to four thousand pounds of explosive ordnance.
That bomb load was one of Lindbergh's accomplishments.
http://www.vought.org/special/html/sclark_lind.html
Geoffrey Sinclair
2020-06-21 06:23:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jim Wilkins
Post by Dean Markley
It was able to carry up to four thousand pounds of explosive ordnance.
That bomb load was one of Lindbergh's accomplishments.
http://www.vought.org/special/html/sclark_lind.html
With some help.

Francis Dean in America's Hundred Thousand gives the basic
weight of the F4U-1 late model, water injection, as 9,726 pounds,
which includes the pilot and machine guns. Maximum weight
14,080 pounds, difference 4,354 pounds, take out the machine
gun installation and you gain another 398.5 pounds. So in
round terms with 4,000 pounds of bombs and no machine guns
you have 750 pounds for fuel and oil, or about half the capacity
of the 237 gallon internal fuel tanks, less oil weight (maximum 180
pounds) and still stay within the weight limits. But there would be
a weight penalty to strengthen the bomb racks and surrounding
area, or maybe as a stop gap at least halving the G limits of
the aircraft when carrying 2,000 pounds of bombs. Not sure what
the standard bomb carrying restrictions were.

Also not sure what the safe dropping height for a 2,000 pound
bomb was.

They were clearly bombing nearby locations with little chance of
being intercepted.

The 1952 AU-1 was meant to carry 4,000 pounds of bombs,
it had a gross weight of 19,400 pounds

If anyone has a log in to the following discussion board the answer
for

https://ww2aircraft.net/forum/threads/f4u-4-start-of-production.36062/

Aircraft acceptances, Vought, Stratford,
Month / F4U-1C / F4U-1D / XF4U-4 / F4U-4 and 4C

Nov-44 / 66 / 131 / 0 / 0
Dec-44 / 28 / 135 / 2 / 3
Jan-45 / 2 / 72 / 0 / 44
Feb-45 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 150

Probably by end June 1945 300 F4U-4C had been built.

Aircraft acceptances, Goodyear
Month / FG-1 / FG-1D
Nov-44 / 5 / 140
Dec-44 / 1 / 143
Jan-45 / 1 / 102
Feb-45 / 0 / 178

FG-1D production began in September 1944.

Geoffrey Sinclair
Remove the nb for email.
Keith Willshaw
2020-06-19 16:49:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jeff Crowell
Hi, Keith. Please expand on the AI radar comment. IIRC the U.S. was
successful using AI radar (in the F-4U Corsair, as happens) although it
needed good external control to reach a point where the onboard radar
would get a usable paint.
Jeff
--
Make sure the bottleneck only works on good product.
Its hard to install a radar transceiver on an aircraft with a big engine
and fan up front. In the ETO by 1945 the USAAF was transitioning from
Bristol Beaughters to the P61 and the RAF was using the Mosquito. I
believe one workaround in the PTO was to use radar equipped TBF
Aavengers to act as AEW aircraft and guide fighters towards Japanese
night attackers

In the case of naval aicraft the Fairey Swordfish managed the trick with
a radar mounted between the legs of the undercarriage. It was post war
before radar equipped Corsairs were available.

As for fighters the RN was using the Wildcat before the USN with the
first combat for they type being over Scapa flow in 1939. After Pearl
Harbour they could never get the number of F6 Hellcats they wanted. The
USN had ruled that the Corsair was not suitable for carrier deployment
but the RN managed to work up changed tactics such as the curve approach
with local modofications to reduce the bounce on Landing and the Malcom
Hood to increase visibility. This meant that the RN carrier qualified
the Corsair before the USN
Gernot Hassenpflug
2020-06-22 03:04:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Keith Willshaw
Post by Jeff Crowell
Hi, Keith. Please expand on the AI radar comment. IIRC the U.S. was
successful using AI radar (in the F-4U Corsair, as happens) although it
needed good external control to reach a point where the onboard radar
would get a usable paint.
Jeff
--
Make sure the bottleneck only works on good product.
Its hard to install a radar transceiver on an aircraft with a big
engine and fan up front. In the ETO by 1945 the USAAF was
transitioning from Bristol Beaughters to the P61 and the RAF was
using the Mosquito. I believe one workaround in the PTO was to use
radar equipped TBF Aavengers to act as AEW aircraft and guide
fighters towards Japanese night attackers
I may be missing the point of the thread here, but I thought the F6F was
used as a night-fighter with radar fitted (Enterprise CV-6 IIRC became a
specialist night-fighter carrier late in the war).
--
NNTP on Emacs 25.2 from Windows 7
Jim Wilkins
2020-06-22 10:51:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Keith Willshaw
Post by Jeff Crowell
Hi, Keith. Please expand on the AI radar comment. IIRC the U.S. was
successful using AI radar (in the F-4U Corsair, as happens) although it
needed good external control to reach a point where the onboard radar
would get a usable paint.
Jeff
--
Make sure the bottleneck only works on good product.
Its hard to install a radar transceiver on an aircraft with a big
engine and fan up front. In the ETO by 1945 the USAAF was
transitioning from Bristol Beaughters to the P61 and the RAF was
using the Mosquito. I believe one workaround in the PTO was to use
radar equipped TBF Aavengers to act as AEW aircraft and guide
fighters towards Japanese night attackers
I may be missing the point of the thread here, but I thought the F6F was
used as a night-fighter with radar fitted (Enterprise CV-6 IIRC became a
specialist night-fighter carrier late in the war).

=================
https://ethw.org/The_Night_Fighters_-_Chapter_11_of_Radar_and_the_Fighter_Directors
Keith Willshaw
2020-06-24 17:06:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gernot Hassenpflug
I may be missing the point of the thread here, but I thought the F6F was
used as a night-fighter with radar fitted (Enterprise CV-6 IIRC became a
specialist night-fighter carrier late in the war).
=================
https://ethw.org/The_Night_Fighters_-_Chapter_11_of_Radar_and_the_Fighter_Directors
It was BUT the P-61 requirement was issued in 1940 well before the
lightweight centrimetic radars were available. At that time radars were
large, heavy and bulky. Another problem was that choosing a brand new
airframe the development process was lengthy and the major design
changes made that even worse.

Frankly the P-61 shows all the characteristics of an aircraft designed
by a committee. The weight rose from 22,000 lbs to over 29,000 lbs and
it was almost 5 years before it was ready for combat.

The Mosquito NF was basically a standard Mosquito FB with a radar
installation in the nose, the .303 guns were also removed but it still
had 4x20mm cannon, It weighed in at approx 21,000 lbs

The radar used in the P61 and Mosquito Mk NF XVII was the SCR-720A (AI
Mkk 8 in RAF use) which was rather bulky, it used a 29" rotatable
parabolic dish which could scan 180° forward of the aircraft, and its
altitude search settings were 0° to 0°, -5° to +5°, +5° to +20° and +20°
to +50°.

The late models had two tubes, the left one or the ‘C’ scope displaying
the target as a spot on an azimuth/ elevation grid. The right one or
the‘B’ tube has again an azimuth calibration on the horizontal axis but
the vertical axis shows the range of the target. A range marker line,
adjustable by the operator, can be moved up and down the trace to select
a particular target. The control used to adjust the marker is calibrated
in range, giving a more accurate reading from that obtained from the
graticule markings. Only when this marker line overlays the target does
the target appear on the left hand ‘C’ tube. The amount of vertical
scanning or tilt can be selected by the operator and has 5 switched
ranges. The maximum scan is +40 degrees to -20 degrees down to -5
degrees to +10 degrees. A fixed -5 degrees is used when homing onto a
beacon. The range can also be selected from 2 miles, 5 miles, 10 miles
up to 100 miles for use with a homing beacon.

The beam width is some 10 degrees with a vertical rotation speed of 360
RPM. (100 rpm for the beacon range). There are 12 scan lines up and 12
down for the +40/-20 degree range, giving a full scan time of 4 seconds.

It was an excellent radar but you really did need a dedicated operator
for the beast.

For carrier use the NF aircraft in the British Pacific Fleet off Okinawa
was the Fairey Firefly using the ASH (air-to-surface homing) radar.
They wanted to use the APS-6 but the USN got first dibs. They did have a
second seat so the observer manned the radar leaving the pilot to do the
flying. It also had 4x20 mm cannon so had good firepower.
Peter Stickney
2020-06-24 18:18:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Keith Willshaw
Post by b***@gmail.com
Have you seen the book the P61 guys put out about it praising it but
inadvertently damming it when they listed all 700 plus of the
production run and their fate , I wouldn’t have ever walked close to
one in case the gear collapsed, engine fires, fuselage fires, what’s
left to go wrong, makes the Heinkle 177 seem like a walk in the park
So, having sorted through nearly 60,000 Accident Reports for all types
from 1943-August 1945, here's what falls out.
These numbers are all for Continental US-based aircraft, so any losses
are due to normal activity, and not somebody makng holes in the airplane
with intent.
The first P-61s listed as "On Hand - Accepted by the USAAF and available
for issue was in October 1943. The number On Hand in CONUS (Continental
US) began at squadron level numbers in January 1944, and built up to a
nominal level of about 150 (Remember, these aircraft are the ones used
for training and being prepped for deployment overseas, so it does bounce
around a fair bit.
Flying Hours/month averaged at 1000 Hrs in 1944, and roughly 4000-5000
hrs/month in 1945 - Until August, after which the urgency had worn off.

Total P-61 accidents, ranging from a dinged wingtip from a line truck, to
crashing into a schoolhouse full of nuns, was 61.
Class A accidents, where the aircraft was writted off, or someone was
killed, was 23.
Fatal accidents were 7.
Total Flight Hours were 45,000
So, here are the numbers in standard format:
Flying Hours Total Accidents Class A (Destroyed Aircraft) Fatal
45,000 61 23 7
Which gives rates per 100,000 flying hours (The standard measurement for
comparison) of:
Accidents / 100K Hrs - 136 Percentage of total accidents: 100%
Class A / 100K Hrs - 51 Percentage of total accidents: 38%
Fatal / 100K Hrs - 16 Percentage of total accidents: 11%

Here are the corresponding numbers from the USAAF Statistical Digest for
the P-38 and A-20, which are roughly equivalent in size and performance
and configuration:
Aircraft Accident Rate Percent Class A Percent Fatal
P-38 139 55% 24%
A-20 131 45% 23%
P-61 136 38% 11%

Some things to consider on the aggregate numbers - They will always start
high, with a small number of aircraft and flight hours, a single accident
can skew the rates significantly. These numbers tend to go down as the
Learning Curve is climbed, and mechanical/design, training, and general
familiarity issus are encountered and resolved, So the P-38 and A-20
numbers had 4-5 years to stabilize, and the P-61 was still in the initial
stage.
Given that, we can see that the overall accident rate is what would be
expected for a single pilot twin engine fighter, the severity of the
accidents was significantly lower, and the chances of ketting killed in
an accident are shout half.

So, taken in context, the P-61, despite the novelty of many of its
features, was less likely to be written off, and much less likely to kill
its crew.
Post by Keith Willshaw
Thst is rather overstating it. The problems with engine fires was
associated with the Pratt and Whitney R-2800 engines. It turned out to
be a decent night fighter which was its role but arrived too late to
make much impression in the ETO and MTO. Its armament of 20 mm cannon
gave it much better firepower and fitting AI radar to a single engine
aircraft was not going to work. Simply using development issues would
damn the Chance Vought F4U Corsair utterly.
Another aircraft considered substandard in its first iteration was the
P51 initially the USAAF used it in the ground attack role. Once it got a
better wngine all was forgiven.
The initial production order of the Mustang as a Dive Bomber was as much
as anything else, an act of Buracratic Jiu-Jitsu. Fighter production
resource and funding allocations were all used up, but there was money in
the Light Bomber/Dive Bomber bucket (Since the A-24 Dauntless/Banshee
wasn't viable, and we already had far more A-25 Helldivers and Vultee
Vengeances on order than we could ever want - for values of more than one.
And, I must say, that while the Allison Mustangs weren't the absolute
world beater that the 2-stage Merlin Mustangs were, it equalled or
exceeded the contemporary Fw-190s
Post by Keith Willshaw
The He-177 was a disaster all round mainly because of the coupled
engines. When the same technique was tried with the Avro Manchester the
result was the redesigned Avro Lancaster. Its other main problem was
that it was supposed to do everything from tank busting as a dive bomber
to maritime attack with torpedoes and be a strategic bomber. It did none
of them well and the resources used would have been better spent on
conventional bombers such as the Ju-88 series.
I've often wondered whether the RLM got hold of the Specification for the
Manchester. About the only thing they didn't duplicate was the ability
to be launched by catapult. (The Manchester, in addition to being a
coupled-engine Heeavy Bomber, was also supposed to be capable of dive and
torpedo bombing.
Post by Keith Willshaw
If you want a really bad fighter I would suggest the Me 210, The chief
test pilot commented that the Me 210 had "all the least desirable
attributes an aeroplane could possess." It was the Hungarians who made
the Me 210 C into a usable fighter bomber but by then the air war was
almost lost as the Luftwaffe had neither the fuel not the trained pilots
to use them properly.
For the RAF the Boulton Paul Defiant probably fills the role. The
aircraft flew well enough but the concept of turreted fighter was simply
a mistake. However it did find a role as the first RAF night fighter
until the radar equipped Beaufighter and Mosquito NF came along.
Well, there were also the Night Fighter Blenheims, no feathering
propellers, and a full 4 .303s.
--
Peter Stickney
Java Man knew nothing about coffee
Stephen Harding
2020-06-24 21:36:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Stickney
The initial production order of the Mustang as a Dive Bomber was as much
as anything else, an act of Buracratic Jiu-Jitsu. Fighter production
resource and funding allocations were all used up, but there was money in
the Light Bomber/Dive Bomber bucket (Since the A-24 Dauntless/Banshee
wasn't viable, and we already had far more A-25 Helldivers and Vultee
Vengeances on order than we could ever want - for values of more than one.
And, I must say, that while the Allison Mustangs weren't the absolute
world beater that the 2-stage Merlin Mustangs were, it equalled or
exceeded the contemporary Fw-190s
Very nice write up Peter!

I actually get annoyed when some WWII commentators pronounce judgment on
the P-51A as junk until Merlin engined.

The Allison was a decent low to mid altitude engine and quite strongly
built. Problems with that engine were largely with the turbocharger
(P-38) although there were at times other Allison issues.

The Merlin made the P-51 B/C/D/K into perhaps the ultimate long range
escort fighter, but the Allison engined A model was well received by the
RAF at a time where most US designed/built aircraft were rejected or at
least not too well thought of.

While the engine is certainly a very important component of aircraft
success in combat, the air frame is far too often overlooked. The
Mustang was an aerodynamically slippery aircraft and was was 30-50 mph
faster than a similar engined Spitfire. Air frames do count for something!

I think in the 1941 time frame, the Mustang I would be somewhat like a
later Typhoon as far as ground attack, far out raging a Spitfire and
very useful to the RAF as a low level reconnaissance platform. It was
the fastest fighter in Europe when first introduced.

It wasn't "junk" until Merlin engined as I've often seen in discussion
groups.


SMH
Jim Wilkins
2020-06-25 02:51:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Stickney
The initial production order of the Mustang as a Dive Bomber was as much
as anything else, an act of Buracratic Jiu-Jitsu. Fighter production
resource and funding allocations were all used up, but there was money in
the Light Bomber/Dive Bomber bucket (Since the A-24 Dauntless/Banshee
wasn't viable, and we already had far more A-25 Helldivers and Vultee
Vengeances on order than we could ever want - for values of more than one.
And, I must say, that while the Allison Mustangs weren't the absolute
world beater that the 2-stage Merlin Mustangs were, it equalled or
exceeded the contemporary Fw-190s
Very nice write up Peter!

I actually get annoyed when some WWII commentators pronounce judgment on
the P-51A as junk until Merlin engined.

The Allison was a decent low to mid altitude engine and quite strongly
built. Problems with that engine were largely with the turbocharger
(P-38) although there were at times other Allison issues.

The Merlin made the P-51 B/C/D/K into perhaps the ultimate long range
escort fighter, but the Allison engined A model was well received by the
RAF at a time where most US designed/built aircraft were rejected or at
least not too well thought of.

While the engine is certainly a very important component of aircraft
success in combat, the air frame is far too often overlooked. The
Mustang was an aerodynamically slippery aircraft and was was 30-50 mph
faster than a similar engined Spitfire. Air frames do count for something!

I think in the 1941 time frame, the Mustang I would be somewhat like a
later Typhoon as far as ground attack, far out raging a Spitfire and
very useful to the RAF as a low level reconnaissance platform. It was
the fastest fighter in Europe when first introduced.

It wasn't "junk" until Merlin engined as I've often seen in discussion
groups.


SMH

===================================

The supercharger consumes power to compress air as well as increasing power
through higher intake pressure. Detonation sets the limit to intake
pressure, any excess from a supercharger that's designed for high altitude
and creates too much pressure at sea level must be wasted by partly closing
the throttle, though it's still consuming power that doesn’t reach the prop.

The Allison supercharger was sized to match engine consumption at sea-level
take off on the assumption that a less wasteful turbocharger could be fitted
later, to maintain sea level pressure at the supercharger inlet, though that
proved impractical for a sleek single-engine fighter. Turbo plumbing was
largely the cause of the bulk of the P-47.

A turbo extracts only as much power from the exhaust flow as it needs to
maintain the set supercharger inlet pressure. The waste gate freely releases
the rest. Later superchargers better matched engine demand by shifting gears
or including an automatic transmission, but both took up space and added
weight.

GM issued a little booklet that covered it pretty well.
https://olpl.pastperfectonline.com/library/19E3D40D-362F-4B74-A82C-134049934600
https://www.amazon.com/Airplane-Power-Engines-Altitudes-General/dp/B0186URQN4
Geoffrey Sinclair
2020-06-25 13:50:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Stickney
So, having sorted through nearly 60,000 Accident Reports for all types
from 1943-August 1945, here's what falls out.
These numbers are all for Continental US-based aircraft, so any losses
are due to normal activity, and not somebody makng holes in the airplane
with intent.
The first P-61s listed as "On Hand - Accepted by the USAAF and available
for issue was in October 1943. The number On Hand in CONUS (Continental
US) began at squadron level numbers in January 1944, and built up to a
nominal level of about 150 (Remember, these aircraft are the ones used
for training and being prepped for deployment overseas, so it does bounce
around a fair bit.
Flying Hours/month averaged at 1000 Hrs in 1944, and roughly 4000-5000
hrs/month in 1945 - Until August, after which the urgency had worn off.
Total P-61 accidents, ranging from a dinged wingtip from a line truck, to
crashing into a schoolhouse full of nuns, was 61.
Class A accidents, where the aircraft was writted off, or someone was
killed, was 23.
Fatal accidents were 7.
Total Flight Hours were 45,000
Flying Hours Total Accidents Class A (Destroyed Aircraft) Fatal
45,000 61 23 7
Which gives rates per 100,000 flying hours (The standard measurement for
Accidents / 100K Hrs - 136 Percentage of total accidents: 100%
Class A / 100K Hrs - 51 Percentage of total accidents: 38%
Fatal / 100K Hrs - 16 Percentage of total accidents: 11%
Here are the corresponding numbers from the USAAF Statistical Digest for
the P-38 and A-20, which are roughly equivalent in size and performance
Aircraft Accident Rate Percent Class A Percent Fatal
P-38 139 55% 24%
A-20 131 45% 23%
P-61 136 38% 11%
Some things to consider on the aggregate numbers - They will always start
high, with a small number of aircraft and flight hours, a single accident
can skew the rates significantly. These numbers tend to go down as the
Learning Curve is climbed, and mechanical/design, training, and general
familiarity issus are encountered and resolved, So the P-38 and A-20
numbers had 4-5 years to stabilize, and the P-61 was still in the initial
stage.
Given that, we can see that the overall accident rate is what would be
expected for a single pilot twin engine fighter, the severity of the
accidents was significantly lower, and the chances of ketting killed in
an accident are shout half.
So, taken in context, the P-61, despite the novelty of many of its
features, was less likely to be written off, and much less likely to kill
its crew.
Nice analysis, I have a reservation in that average accident rates were
trending down 1942 to 1945, the USAAF Statistical Digest has the
rates as all accidents, fatal accidents, fatalities, aircraft wrecked,

1942 the figures are 71, 8, 17, 17
Jan to Aug 1945 are 43, 5, 14, 12

From now on 1945 is January to August.

So the P-61 was arriving in a more flight safety environment.

USAAF Statistical Digest,

P-38 1942 to 1945 all accidents rate, yearly, 234, 165, 128, 78, entire
period 139
A-20 1942 to 1945 all accidents rate, yearly, 206, 155, 78, 127, entire
period 131
A-26 1943 to 1945 all accidents rate, yearly, n/a, under 0.5, 84, 51, entire
period 57

Also the fatality rates, the P-38 having one person on board versus
multiple crew members on the A-20 (3 crew), A-26 (3) and P-61 (3),
makes a difference and I suspect fatalities include those on the ground,
P-38 337 fatal accidents, 379 people killed (P-39 369/396, P-40
324/350, P-47 404/455, P-51 131/137). So the fatal accidents is
when someone dies, nuns on the run for example?

One RAAF fatal accident report was for a ground crew member who
was guiding the aircraft, but was thrown off the wing.

I assume the aircraft wrecked figure is just the actual aircraft involved in
the crash, even if it careers down the flight line wrecking a whole lot
more.

Anyway 1944 P-38 467 accidents, 23.8% fatal, 55.2% aircraft wrecked,
1945 186 accidents, 25.3% fatal, 58.6% aircraft wrecked.

1944, A-20 182 accidents, 24.1% fatal, 50.5% aircraft wrecked,
1945, 45 accidents, 24.4% fatal, 40% aircraft wrecked.

1944 A-26, 44 accidents, 20.5% fatal, 31.8% aircraft wrecked
1945, 135 accidents, 14.1% fatal, 25.9% aircraft wrecked.

To put back Peter's figures, 1944 to 1945, P-61, 136 accidents, 11%
fatal, 38% aircraft wrecked. So around half the fatalities rate, but more
similar aircraft lost rates.
Post by Peter Stickney
The initial production order of the Mustang as a Dive Bomber was as much
as anything else, an act of Buracratic Jiu-Jitsu. Fighter production
resource and funding allocations were all used up, but there was money in
the Light Bomber/Dive Bomber bucket (Since the A-24 Dauntless/Banshee
wasn't viable, and we already had far more A-25 Helldivers and Vultee
Vengeances on order than we could ever want - for values of more than one.
Yes, it kept the P-51 line open, the USAAF was still not that interested
in it as a fighter.

The RAAF, after much effort, put a Vengeance wing into the field in
new Guinea, a few weeks later they were pulled out as not worth the
airfield space etc. they required. Shortly after they started arriving in
numbers in 1943 target towing modifications were being trialed.

Meantime the RAAF Helldivers were sitting on the US West Coast for
a while awaiting shipment, they were railed to the East Coast as there
was cargo space available there. For the 1945 invasion of Japan the
US trans continental rail links could not handle the amount of cargo
required, so ships were loaded in the East Coast ports and sent
via the Panama Canal.
Post by Peter Stickney
And, I must say, that while the Allison Mustangs weren't the absolute
world beater that the 2-stage Merlin Mustangs were, it equalled or
exceeded the contemporary Fw-190s
Down low especially.
Post by Peter Stickney
Post by Keith Willshaw
The He-177 was a disaster all round mainly because of the coupled
engines. When the same technique was tried with the Avro Manchester the
result was the redesigned Avro Lancaster. Its other main problem was
that it was supposed to do everything from tank busting as a dive bomber
to maritime attack with torpedoes and be a strategic bomber. It did none
of them well and the resources used would have been better spent on
conventional bombers such as the Ju-88 series.
I've often wondered whether the RLM got hold of the Specification for the
Manchester. About the only thing they didn't duplicate was the ability
to be launched by catapult. (The Manchester, in addition to being a
coupled-engine Heeavy Bomber, was also supposed to be capable of dive and
torpedo bombing.
Doubt it, the comments on the He177 being fragile, not something
Lancasters have been accused of.
Post by Peter Stickney
Post by Keith Willshaw
If you want a really bad fighter I would suggest the Me 210, The chief
test pilot commented that the Me 210 had "all the least desirable
attributes an aeroplane could possess." It was the Hungarians who made
the Me 210 C into a usable fighter bomber but by then the air war was
almost lost as the Luftwaffe had neither the fuel not the trained pilots
to use them properly.
For the RAF the Boulton Paul Defiant probably fills the role. The
aircraft flew well enough but the concept of turreted fighter was simply
a mistake. However it did find a role as the first RAF night fighter
until the radar equipped Beaufighter and Mosquito NF came along.
Well, there were also the Night Fighter Blenheims, no feathering
propellers, and a full 4 .303s.
But radar, name anyone else with that little aid. :-). They did things
like remove the turret, which helped. In any case the RAF needed to
develop night ground control intercept, with appropriate radar
coverage over land. At least the Blenheims could help a lot in that
work before the Beaufighters arrived.

Really worse is the Blenheim fighters being used as long range escorts,
mostly for Coastal Command operations in 1940.

Geoffrey Sinclair
Remove the nb for email.
Peter Stickney
2020-06-25 19:06:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Geoffrey Sinclair
Post by Peter Stickney
So, having sorted through nearly 60,000 Accident Reports for all types
from 1943-August 1945, here's what falls out.
These numbers are all for Continental US-based aircraft, so any losses
are due to normal activity, and not somebody makng holes in the
airplane with intent.
The first P-61s listed as "On Hand - Accepted by the USAAF and
available for issue was in October 1943. The number On Hand in CONUS
(Continental US) began at squadron level numbers in January 1944, and
built up to a nominal level of about 150 (Remember, these aircraft are
the ones used for training and being prepped for deployment overseas,
so it does bounce around a fair bit.
Flying Hours/month averaged at 1000 Hrs in 1944, and roughly 4000-5000
hrs/month in 1945 - Until August, after which the urgency had worn off.
Total P-61 accidents, ranging from a dinged wingtip from a line truck,
to crashing into a schoolhouse full of nuns, was 61.
Class A accidents, where the aircraft was writted off, or someone was
killed, was 23.
Fatal accidents were 7.
Total Flight Hours were 45,000 So, here are the numbers in standard
Flying Hours Total Accidents Class A (Destroyed Aircraft) Fatal
45,000 61 23 7 Which
gives rates per 100,000 flying hours (The standard measurement for
Accidents / 100K Hrs - 136 Percentage of total accidents: 100%
Class A / 100K Hrs - 51 Percentage of total accidents: 38%
Fatal / 100K Hrs - 16 Percentage of total accidents: 11%
Here are the corresponding numbers from the USAAF Statistical Digest
for the P-38 and A-20, which are roughly equivalent in size and
Aircraft Accident Rate Percent Class A Percent Fatal P-38
139 55% 24%
A-20 131 45% 23%
P-61 136 38% 11%
Some things to consider on the aggregate numbers - They will always
start high, with a small number of aircraft and flight hours, a single
accident can skew the rates significantly. These numbers tend to go
down as the Learning Curve is climbed, and mechanical/design, training,
and general familiarity issus are encountered and resolved, So the P-38
and A-20 numbers had 4-5 years to stabilize, and the P-61 was still in
the initial stage.
Given that, we can see that the overall accident rate is what would be
expected for a single pilot twin engine fighter, the severity of the
accidents was significantly lower, and the chances of ketting killed in
an accident are shout half.
So, taken in context, the P-61, despite the novelty of many of its
features, was less likely to be written off, and much less likely to
kill its crew.
Nice analysis, I have a reservation in that average accident rates were
trending down 1942 to 1945, the USAAF Statistical Digest has the rates
as all accidents, fatal accidents, fatalities, aircraft wrecked,
1942 the figures are 71, 8, 17, 17 Jan to Aug 1945 are 43, 5, 14, 12
From now on 1945 is January to August.
So the P-61 was arriving in a more flight safety environment.
I considered that aspect, and it gets rather murky. While it's true that
the "Safety Culture" of the USAAF had improved with experience,
particularly with high performance multi-engine training. (As someone who
has flown a number of light Twins, such as the Piper Aztec and Beech
Baron, and also a high performance twin - The Mu-2, I can tell you that
there's a big step in the discipline and attention required to be safe.)
But - there is also the fact that an aircraft entering service will have
a higher rate of incidents - with small numbers in service, and low
number of flight hours, a single incident can skew the numbers a great
deal. Add in that not only the students, but instructors having little or
no experience in the aircraft, there's going to be a high rate at the
beginning of service, that will, at some point, level out.
The P-38 and A-20 had that benefit. The P-61 hadn't really had a chance
for that.
So - I took the quick way out and used the aggregate numbers.
The relationship between Accident, Wrecked (Class A), and Fatal seems to
be pretty consistant.
Post by Geoffrey Sinclair
USAAF Statistical Digest,
P-38 1942 to 1945 all accidents rate, yearly, 234, 165, 128, 78, entire
period 139 A-20 1942 to 1945 all accidents rate, yearly, 206, 155, 78,
127, entire period 131 A-26 1943 to 1945 all accidents rate, yearly,
n/a, under 0.5, 84, 51, entire period 57
Also the fatality rates, the P-38 having one person on board versus
multiple crew members on the A-20 (3 crew), A-26 (3) and P-61 (3),
makes a difference and I suspect fatalities include those on the ground,
P-38 337 fatal accidents, 379 people killed (P-39 369/396, P-40 324/350,
P-47 404/455, P-51 131/137). So the fatal accidents is when someone
dies, nuns on the run for example?
In the modern measure, yes. Given that the Statistical Digest lists, in
the P-38 case, more fatalities than the number listed for fatal
accidents, I'd have to say that it does include ground casualties.
The P-61 info didn't have info for the number of fatalities, so I chose
to use just the number of fatal accidents regardless of number. Short of
crashing into a Schoolhouse Full of Nuns, the number of people walking
into propellers or dropping a bomb on themselves when loading will
average out.
Post by Geoffrey Sinclair
One RAAF fatal accident report was for a ground crew member who was
guiding the aircraft, but was thrown off the wing.
I assume the aircraft wrecked figure is just the actual aircraft
involved in the crash, even if it careers down the flight line wrecking
a whole lot more.
Right - in that case, each airplane involved gets its own record.
A case in point is the AAIR data for the mid-air collision between a
YF-14 (Prototype Recon P-80) and a B-25 during night formation tests.
Each aircraft has its own record, but the damage type is mid-air, and
dates and locations are the same.
Post by Geoffrey Sinclair
Anyway 1944 P-38 467 accidents, 23.8% fatal, 55.2% aircraft wrecked,
1945 186 accidents, 25.3% fatal, 58.6% aircraft wrecked.
1944, A-20 182 accidents, 24.1% fatal, 50.5% aircraft wrecked,
1945, 45 accidents, 24.4% fatal, 40% aircraft wrecked.
1944 A-26, 44 accidents, 20.5% fatal, 31.8% aircraft wrecked 1945, 135
accidents, 14.1% fatal, 25.9% aircraft wrecked.
To put back Peter's figures, 1944 to 1945, P-61, 136 accidents, 11%
fatal, 38% aircraft wrecked. So around half the fatalities rate, but
more similar aircraft lost rates.
Post by Peter Stickney
The initial production order of the Mustang as a Dive Bomber was as
much as anything else, an act of Buracratic Jiu-Jitsu. Fighter
production resource and funding allocations were all used up, but there
was money in the Light Bomber/Dive Bomber bucket (Since the A-24
Dauntless/Banshee wasn't viable, and we already had far more A-25
Helldivers and Vultee Vengeances on order than we could ever want - for
values of more than one.
Yes, it kept the P-51 line open, the USAAF was still not that interested
in it as a fighter.
The RAAF, after much effort, put a Vengeance wing into the field in new
Guinea, a few weeks later they were pulled out as not worth the airfield
space etc. they required. Shortly after they started arriving in
numbers in 1943 target towing modifications were being trialed.
Meantime the RAAF Helldivers were sitting on the US West Coast for a
while awaiting shipment, they were railed to the East Coast as there was
cargo space available there. For the 1945 invasion of Japan the US
trans continental rail links could not handle the amount of cargo
required, so ships were loaded in the East Coast ports and sent via the
Panama Canal.
Something that I'll bet the RAAF was eternally grateful for, having then
to make do with Mustangs, Beafighters and Mosauitos.
Post by Geoffrey Sinclair
Post by Peter Stickney
And, I must say, that while the Allison Mustangs weren't the absolute
world beater that the 2-stage Merlin Mustangs were, it equalled or
exceeded the contemporary Fw-190s
Down low especially.
Post by Peter Stickney
Post by Keith Willshaw
The He-177 was a disaster all round mainly because of the coupled
engines. When the same technique was tried with the Avro Manchester
the result was the redesigned Avro Lancaster. Its other main problem
was that it was supposed to do everything from tank busting as a dive
bomber to maritime attack with torpedoes and be a strategic bomber. It
did none of them well and the resources used would have been better
spent on conventional bombers such as the Ju-88 series.
I've often wondered whether the RLM got hold of the Specification for
the Manchester. About the only thing they didn't duplicate was the
ability to be launched by catapult. (The Manchester, in addition to
being a coupled-engine Heeavy Bomber, was also supposed to be capable
of dive and torpedo bombing.
Doubt it, the comments on the He177 being fragile, not something
Lancasters have been accused of.
True, but that's more the execution than the spec. Of course, a lot if
it probably had to do with the fashions of the time - All fighters had to
have inline engines and pointy noses, large bombers were to have the
least number of engines possible, thus the attempts by Rolls, Daimler-
Benz and Allison to make 2000 HP engines by merging 2 smaller motors
together.
Post by Geoffrey Sinclair
Post by Peter Stickney
Post by Keith Willshaw
If you want a really bad fighter I would suggest the Me 210, The chief
test pilot commented that the Me 210 had "all the least desirable
attributes an aeroplane could possess." It was the Hungarians who
made the Me 210 C into a usable fighter bomber but by then the air war
was almost lost as the Luftwaffe had neither the fuel not the trained
pilots to use them properly.
For the RAF the Boulton Paul Defiant probably fills the role. The
aircraft flew well enough but the concept of turreted fighter was
simply a mistake. However it did find a role as the first RAF night
fighter until the radar equipped Beaufighter and Mosquito NF came
along.
Well, there were also the Night Fighter Blenheims, no feathering
propellers, and a full 4 .303s.
But radar, name anyone else with that little aid. :-). They did things
like remove the turret, which helped. In any case the RAF needed to
develop night ground control intercept, with appropriate radar coverage
over land. At least the Blenheims could help a lot in that work before
the Beaufighters arrived.
True - in that case, Some is far better than None.
Post by Geoffrey Sinclair
Really worse is the Blenheim fighters being used as long range escorts,
mostly for Coastal Command operations in 1940.
Then you're stuck in a crack - either you meet a 109 or 110, in which
case you're leading the parade until either you get shot down or he runs
out of ammo, or you meed a Maritime Recon Flying Boat or an Fw 200, and
you'd be better off throwing rocks at them.
--
Peter Stickney
Java Man knew nothing about coffee
Geoffrey Sinclair
2020-06-26 10:57:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Stickney
Post by Geoffrey Sinclair
Post by Peter Stickney
So, having sorted through nearly 60,000 Accident Reports for all types
from 1943-August 1945, here's what falls out.
These numbers are all for Continental US-based aircraft, so any losses
are due to normal activity, and not somebody makng holes in the
airplane with intent.
The first P-61s listed as "On Hand - Accepted by the USAAF and
available for issue was in October 1943. The number On Hand in CONUS
(Continental US) began at squadron level numbers in January 1944, and
built up to a nominal level of about 150 (Remember, these aircraft are
the ones used for training and being prepped for deployment overseas,
so it does bounce around a fair bit.
Flying Hours/month averaged at 1000 Hrs in 1944, and roughly 4000-5000
hrs/month in 1945 - Until August, after which the urgency had worn off.
Total P-61 accidents, ranging from a dinged wingtip from a line truck,
to crashing into a schoolhouse full of nuns, was 61.
Class A accidents, where the aircraft was writted off, or someone was
killed, was 23.
Fatal accidents were 7.
Total Flight Hours were 45,000 So, here are the numbers in standard
Flying Hours Total Accidents Class A (Destroyed Aircraft) Fatal
45,000 61 23 7 Which
gives rates per 100,000 flying hours (The standard measurement for
Accidents / 100K Hrs - 136 Percentage of total accidents: 100%
Class A / 100K Hrs - 51 Percentage of total accidents: 38%
Fatal / 100K Hrs - 16 Percentage of total accidents: 11%
Here are the corresponding numbers from the USAAF Statistical Digest
for the P-38 and A-20, which are roughly equivalent in size and
Aircraft Accident Rate Percent Class A Percent Fatal P-38
139 55% 24%
A-20 131 45% 23%
P-61 136 38% 11%
Some things to consider on the aggregate numbers - They will always
start high, with a small number of aircraft and flight hours, a single
accident can skew the rates significantly. These numbers tend to go
down as the Learning Curve is climbed, and mechanical/design, training,
and general familiarity issus are encountered and resolved, So the P-38
and A-20 numbers had 4-5 years to stabilize, and the P-61 was still in
the initial stage.
Given that, we can see that the overall accident rate is what would be
expected for a single pilot twin engine fighter, the severity of the
accidents was significantly lower, and the chances of ketting killed in
an accident are shout half.
So, taken in context, the P-61, despite the novelty of many of its
features, was less likely to be written off, and much less likely to
kill its crew.
Nice analysis, I have a reservation in that average accident rates were
trending down 1942 to 1945, the USAAF Statistical Digest has the rates
as all accidents, fatal accidents, fatalities, aircraft wrecked,
1942 the figures are 71, 8, 17, 17 Jan to Aug 1945 are 43, 5, 14, 12
From now on 1945 is January to August.
So the P-61 was arriving in a more flight safety environment.
I considered that aspect, and it gets rather murky. While it's true that
the "Safety Culture" of the USAAF had improved with experience,
particularly with high performance multi-engine training. (As someone who
has flown a number of light Twins, such as the Piper Aztec and Beech
Baron, and also a high performance twin - The Mu-2, I can tell you that
there's a big step in the discipline and attention required to be safe.)
But - there is also the fact that an aircraft entering service will have
a higher rate of incidents - with small numbers in service, and low
number of flight hours, a single incident can skew the numbers a great
deal. Add in that not only the students, but instructors having little or
no experience in the aircraft, there's going to be a high rate at the
beginning of service, that will, at some point, level out.
The P-38 and A-20 had that benefit. The P-61 hadn't really had a chance
for that.
So - I took the quick way out and used the aggregate numbers.
The relationship between Accident, Wrecked (Class A), and Fatal seems to
be pretty consistant.
Yes, I saw the 1942 figures in particular and thought they needed to be at
least noted and probably omitted, given how much higher they were,
agreed simply reporting 1944/45 figures would make any new type seem
worse for the reasons given.

(snip)
Post by Peter Stickney
Post by Geoffrey Sinclair
The RAAF, after much effort, put a Vengeance wing into the field in new
Guinea, a few weeks later they were pulled out as not worth the airfield
space etc. they required. Shortly after they started arriving in
numbers in 1943 target towing modifications were being trialed.
Meantime the RAAF Helldivers were sitting on the US West Coast for a
while awaiting shipment, they were railed to the East Coast as there was
cargo space available there. For the 1945 invasion of Japan the US
trans continental rail links could not handle the amount of cargo
required, so ships were loaded in the East Coast ports and sent via the
Panama Canal.
Something that I'll bet the RAAF was eternally grateful for, having then
to make do with Mustangs, Beafighters and Mosauitos.
They wished.

In the end RAAF wartime aircraft supply was roughly a third local, a
third US and a third Britain. The local industry deserves credit when
you allow for the fact that until mid 1939, taking out an early 1930's
RAAF order for 32 DH.60, plus a later order for 6 more, all time total
Australian aircraft production was not far out of single digits.

They were at the end of a long supply chain, had low priorities, had
MacArthur and his attitude to anything non US Army and had a high
level internal feud going on the US local authorities at least were
well aware of.

Beaufighters usually came from Britain in reasonable numbers at the
agreed rates, beginning in March 1943, same for Spitfires, beginning
October 1942, (6 had arrived in August, then a pause). Understandably
enough the US in 1942 to early 1943 had the more erratic supply, after
also understandably being more reliable than Britain in 1940/41. And
everything arrived later than in the original plans.

The administrative mayhem of the early P-40 arrivals, RAAF order,
USAAF order, Dutch Order, assembled by RAAF or USAAF units
based on who had capacity on the day, transferred to and from and
to and from the RAAF and USAAF, compounded by the loss of 14
RAAF order P-40 en route.

The orphan single squadrons of A-20 and Kingfisher from ex
Dutch orders, the Buffalo and P-43 photo reconnaissance, the
almost single squadron of P-39, the single (Dutch aircrew/RAAF
ground crew) B-25 squadron and so on made for spare parts
and training problems.

The inevitable problems of small allocations from current production,
which meant for example, P-40E, P-40K, P-40M, then P-40N with
associated spare parts etc. issues, as production lines were
continually updated. Leading to things like conversion of all Allison
-73 to -81 engines, then stepping up to trying to convert -39 to -81.
Local metal covered aileron trials for P-40. The problems of local
manufacture of spare parts, starting with supply of things like the
relevant alloys. Silver lead bearings for Hercules engines for example.

The 150 Helldivers on order ended up being 10 delivered in
November 1943, versus the 342 Vengeances out of 400, the RAAF
cancelled the order in March 1944. I am not sure but I suspect the
Helldiver order was more cancelled in the US than Australia, it
was gone by end January 1944, in December 1944 five were
transferred to the USAAF, then 5 more the next month. The
Vengeance were harder to shift, 238 still on strength at the end
of June 1946.

The Vengeance squadrons largely became B-24 units.

The remainder of the pre/early war Hudson orders and the locally
built Beaufort were the bomber force in mid 1943, 93 and 279 out
of 412 on strength. Fighters were 200 P-40, 138 Spitfire, 100
Boomerang and 81 Beaufighter.

Wartime imports, 840 Kittyhawk, 656 Spitfire, 210 Beaufighter,
246 Hudson, 73 Mosquito.

The first local production Mosquito flew on 23 July 1943, but it turned
out the wings had not been made correctly, then when they thought
the problem had been fixed there was at least one more crash that
delayed production, so first official local production was in March
1944 and only 28 by the end of the year. The unused wings were
later put through the first "all of wing" fatigue testing experiments.

Local Beaufighter production started in May 1944, did well, 112 built
by year's end.

The Mustang plans were of course victim of the sudden urgent demand
for the type in 1944/45, despite the order for 350 local production being
lodged in mid 1943, local delivery of the first of 80 kits supplied by North
American did not start until May 1945, a month after the first of 262
imports from the US began arriving. A couple of Mustang squadrons
were forming in Australia near the end of the war but were disbanded,
Mustangs replaced Kittyhawks in the 3 squadrons sent to Japan as
part of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force

Mid 1943 transport/communication fleet, 8 C-47, 5 ex Dutch Dornier,
4 Douglas Dolphin, 83 mostly locally made DH.84, 2 Empire flying boats
(about to be returned to Qantas), 2 Fox Moth, 2 C-60 and 5 DC-2.

452 Spitfire squadron had equipped with the local G-Suit design in mid
1943, with plans to do the entire wing, the suit required air conditioned
ready rooms as it was so warm, but it gave adequate floatation in sea
water without a life jacket. Trial installation in Kittyhawks had been
done.
Post by Peter Stickney
Post by Geoffrey Sinclair
Post by Peter Stickney
And, I must say, that while the Allison Mustangs weren't the absolute
world beater that the 2-stage Merlin Mustangs were, it equalled or
exceeded the contemporary Fw-190s
Down low especially.
Post by Peter Stickney
Post by Keith Willshaw
The He-177 was a disaster all round mainly because of the coupled
engines. When the same technique was tried with the Avro Manchester
the result was the redesigned Avro Lancaster. Its other main problem
was that it was supposed to do everything from tank busting as a dive
bomber to maritime attack with torpedoes and be a strategic bomber. It
did none of them well and the resources used would have been better
spent on conventional bombers such as the Ju-88 series.
I've often wondered whether the RLM got hold of the Specification for
the Manchester. About the only thing they didn't duplicate was the
ability to be launched by catapult. (The Manchester, in addition to
being a coupled-engine Heeavy Bomber, was also supposed to be capable
of dive and torpedo bombing.
Doubt it, the comments on the He177 being fragile, not something
Lancasters have been accused of.
True, but that's more the execution than the spec. Of course, a lot if
it probably had to do with the fashions of the time - All fighters had to
have inline engines and pointy noses, large bombers were to have the
least number of engines possible, thus the attempts by Rolls, Daimler-
Benz and Allison to make 2000 HP engines by merging 2 smaller motors
together.
Yes, no one seems to have had much trouble moving to 1,500 HP class
engines, everyone had trouble with 2,000 HP class ones.

Bolting two lower power engines together was a nice shortcut that
apparently eventually largely ended up working, but only after the
engines had acquired such a bad reputation they were taken out
of production.

(snip)

Geoffrey Sinclair
Remove the nb for email.

Peter Stickney
2020-06-24 05:41:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by b***@gmail.com
Have you seen the book the P61 guys put out about it praising it but
inadvertently damming it when they listed all 700 plus of the production
run and their fate , I wouldn’t have ever walked close to one in case
the gear collapsed, engine fires, fuselage fires, what’s left to go
wrong, makes the Heinkle 177 seem like a walk in the park
I haven't seen the book, but this did pique my interest. Checking the
usual Best Sources doesn't give a whole lot of insight - for example, the
USAAF Statistical Digest doesn't give accident stats for the P-61.
That being said, I've pulled the USAAF Continental US Accident Records
for '43-'45, and I'll construct some comparisons using this and the
Statistical Data.
More tomorrow.
--
Peter Stickney
Java Man knew nothing about coffee
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