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      02-29-2024, 06:25 AM   #2575
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Is it Thursday? F-14 Tomcat!
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      02-29-2024, 09:10 AM   #2576
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The ultimate Republic Thunderbolts of World War II:

The North American P-51 Mustang seemed to get all the glory and with some reason, as the P-51's range was greater than that of the P-47. The vast majority of Thunderbolts in World War II were the P-47D model but there were a series of late P-47s -- both prototypes and production models -- that were the fastest single-engine prop-driven fighters of the war.

The single test XP-47J was given the lightweight treatment and had a turbosupercharged R-2800 engine of 2,800 hp. It first flew in late 1943 and in August of 1944 attained 504 mph in level flight.

The same 2,800 hp engine was fitted to just 130 P-47Ms, which were then sent to Europe for the final push against Germany. The P-47M was the aircraft of choice to down V-1 "buzz bomb" cruise missiles or German jet aircraft.

A similar R-2800 was fitted to the P-47N, which was the heavyweight of the P-47 Thunderbolts. The P-47N had a revised wing with squared-off tips, larger ailerons and fuel in the wing. The N model would take off at about 20,000 lbs gross weight with plenty of gas to make it to Japan and back in the final months of the war.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republ...rbolt_variants

The ultimate Thunderbolt derivative, though, was the XP-72: a extensively revised variant with a much more powerful R-4360 engine of 3,500 hp. Like many such airplanes, though, it was too late and the jet fighter was coming, outperforming even such a powerful prop fighter.

I have wondered why the F-47N, as it was then designated after the founding of the U.S. Air Force, was not the USAF close air support aircraft of choice in the Korean War. The WWII P-47 had proven that it could take incredible punishment in combat and return to base, whereas the P-51 would be forced down if the coolant tank or lines were hit.
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      02-29-2024, 02:18 PM   #2577
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Is it Thursday? F-14 Tomcat!
Looks like Miramar.
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      02-29-2024, 03:23 PM   #2578
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Is it Thursday? F-14 Tomcat!



Negative ghostrider. The pattern is full.
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      03-01-2024, 04:57 AM   #2579
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James H. Howard was a Naval Aviator who resigned his commission in 1941 to join the Flying Tigers of the Republic of China Air Force. As such, he became an ace in China with six victories. Shortly thereafter, the former military pilots of the Flying Tigers were offered U.S. Army commissions to fly with the Army Air Forces. Howard accepted and became a Captain in the USAAF. He ended up flying the P-51B Mustang in Europe and won another six victories in that theater.

Captain Howard was the only fighter pilot in the European theater to earn the Medal of Honor in World War II.

He went on to postwar service in the USAF Reserves, ending up as a Brigadier General.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_H._Howard
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      03-01-2024, 07:14 AM   #2580
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The ultimate Republic Thunderbolts of World War II
There were also ultimate P-51 Mustang variants in World War II. Unlike the heavyweight P-47N, the P-51H Mustang just missed combat and also quickly became an anachronism in the coming jet age.

There were a couple of experimental Mustang aircraft, the XP-51F and XP-51G (not pictured) that were tests of lightweight versions. After all, the alternative to more lift or more power is less weight or less drag. Those two experimental Mustangs resulted in the lightweight P-51H, which was the final Mustang model. The P-51H had a 2,218 hp (war emergency) hp engine and a top speed 50 miles per hour faster than the main production model of the time -- the P-51D. The first photo contrasts the P-51D (top) with the extensively revised P-51H (bottom; note that the pictured H has a short tail; most Hs were built with a taller tail that can be seen in the second photo.)

The end of World War II caused the cancellation of contracts for huge numbers of P-51Hs; as a result only 555 were built. Given the large numbers of P-51Ds already in service and the limited number of P-51Hs, for once the Air National Guard got the good stuff -- most Hs went to Guard units. And when the Korean War started in 1950, the USAF committed the fighter that it had plenty of -- the F-51D -- to combat while the H's continued to serve in the ANG.

The end of the war also caused the cancellation of a further improved version, the P-51L, which never flew but would have had an even more powerful V-1650 Merlin engine.

Had the war not ended so early, there would have been thousands of USAAF heavyweight P-47Ns and lightweight P-51Hs and P-51Ls active in the final stages of the air war.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_...stang_variants
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      03-01-2024, 08:08 AM   #2581
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The experimental lightweight XP-51F & G Mustangs also led to a further development of the P-51: The P-82 Twin Mustang.

In 1944 the fear was that an invasion of Japan would need to be undertaken from distant islands (the Marianas or the Philippines) and no fighter had the range to escort bombers over those vast distances. The Army Air Forces and North American Aviation embarked on a project to develop a very long-range fighter to meet this need. Two lightweight P-51 fuselages were lengthened and joined with a constant-chord center wing section and a constant-chord horizontal stabilizer to make the P-82 Twin Mustang.

The XP-82 first flew in April of 1945 and by then it was clear that a very long-range fighter would not be needed for the invasion of Japan. Production was cut at the end of the war from 500 to 20 P-82s, including 18 escort fighters and two night fighter test aircraft.

After the USAAF became the USAF in 1947, the escort fighter concept was resurrected and 100 F-82Es were built.

But the Twin Mustang really shined as a night fighter, with a radar in a large pod on the wing center section. The F-82F and F-28G were similar, varying only in the radar used. 99 Fs and 59 Gs were built. In place of the escort fighter's two pilots, the night fighters had a pilot on the left and a radar operator on the right.

When North Korea invaded the South in 1950, several squadrons of F-82Fs were based in Japan and were soon flying combat missions. After a year in combat, they were replaced by all-weather jet fighters.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_...2_Twin_Mustang
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      03-04-2024, 06:38 AM   #2582
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A Navy F-18 from the Strike Directorate at the Naval Air Station Patuxent River dropping bombs. Note the test markings on both aircraft and bombs.
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      03-04-2024, 06:00 PM   #2583
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The new Boeing-Saab T-7a Red Hawk replacing the T-38 Talon.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing...b_T-7_Red_Hawk


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      03-05-2024, 07:19 AM   #2584
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I previously posted the story of the later versions of the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt and the North American P-51 Mustang. These two fighters were the most produced and most successful U.S. Army Air Force fighters of World War II and were widely used in all theaters.

A fuller story of the P-47 can be found at Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_P-47_Thunderbolt

The P-47 was a very large heavyweight fighter with the impressive total of eight .50 machineguns and with a large air induction system using a turbosupercharger for good high-altitude performance. Given its size and the reliability and damage tolerance of its Pratt & Whitney R-2800 radial engine, it also proved useful in the ground attack role. The first P-47s got into the fight in late 1942 when the 56th Fighter Group began flying missions from England. The P-47D was the main production model, built initially in so-called "razorback" form and then later with a bubble canopy for improved visibility. A total of 15,660 P-47s were built from 1941 to 1945, making it the most-produced American fighter of the war. (For the ultimate P-47N version, see my earlier post on advanced P-47s.)

The Wikipedia story of the P-51 Mustang can be found at:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_...n_P-51_Mustang

The P-51's origins were rather interesting: The RAF approached North American seeking another source for license production of the Curtiss P-40. North American countered with a proposal for a more modern fighter to be designed and built very quickly and the RAF agreed. The Mustang, though a more advanced design, flew before the P-47 and became operational in early 1942 with the RAF. The U.S. Army Air Force looked at the aircraft with interest and bought limited numbers of early versions.

Then, in mid-1942, the RAF replaced the Mustang's Allison V-1710 V-12 engine with the Rolls-Royce V-1650 V-12 and the Mustang was transformed into a very capable fighter. The U.S. ordered large numbers of P-51B and P-51C versions, which arrived in the UK in mid-1943. The Rolls-powered P-51s had excellent range and extended the protection available to B-17 and B-24 bombers engaged in the daylight bombing campaign against the Axis.

Like the P-47, later P-51s were given a bubble canopy and these became the P-51D produced in very large numbers. (For info on the ultimate P-51H Mustang and the P-82 Twin Mustang, see my earlier posts.)

The production total for the P-47 was about a hundred fighters more than that of the P-51. Note, however, that for much of the war the USAAF had more P-47s as a greater proportion of P-51 production went to the Allies.

After the end of World War II, the P-47 was fairly quickly relegated to second-line duties, while the P-51 continued in front line service. The P-51D played an important role in the Korean War as a ground attack aircraft.

Both types continued to serve into the early 1950s. Today, surviving civilian-owned warbird P-51s far outnumber P-47s, although both types have become extremely valuable.
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      03-05-2024, 09:11 AM   #2585
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Llarry View Post
I previously posted the story of the later versions of the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt and the North American P-51 Mustang. These two fighters were the most produced and most successful U.S. Army Air Force fighters of World War II and were widely used in all theaters.
Just to add to the WWII U.S. fighter story, here are the most-produced U.S. fighters of the era in order of most-produced:
1) Republic P-47 Thunderbolt 15,660 1942-1945
2) North American P-51 Mustang 15,586 1940-1951
3) Curtiss P-40 Warhawk/Tomahawk 13,738 1939-1944
4) Vought F4U Corsair 12,571 1941-1952
5) Grumman F6F Hellcat 12,275 1942-1945
6) Lockheed P-38 Lightning 10,037 1941-1945
7) Bell P-39 Airacobra 9,584 1938-1944
8) Grumman F4F/FM Wildcat 7,885 1937-1945

There were others built in smaller numbers, such as the Douglas P-70 night fighter, the Northrop P-61 Black Widow, the Bell P-63 King Cobra (which mostly went to Russia) and a few late-war types that were produced during the war but never saw combat such as the Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star jet and the Grumman F7F Tigercat and F8F Bearcat.
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      03-06-2024, 05:40 AM   #2586
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Fast jet training in Canada will cease this month as the RCAF CT-155 Hawks of 419 Squadron are retired. Canada will now participate more fully in the NATO advanced jet training on the T-38 (and T-7A in the future) in the USA. Lead In Fighter Training will be conducted in Finland and Italy. (I'm not sure what this last part means: with the Finnish and Italian Air Forces?)

The CT-155s will become instructional airframes for maintenance training.
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      03-06-2024, 05:49 AM   #2587
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Here's an unusual military aircraft: A U.S. Navy EC-24A of the Fleet Electronic Warfare Support Group. This single Douglas DC-8-54F was used by the Navy through 1998 for fleet electronic warfare training, alongside a pair of Boeing NKC-135As (also pictured) that were similarly outfitted.
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      03-06-2024, 06:53 AM   #2588
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Lead In Fighter Training will be conducted in Finland and Italy. (I'm not sure what this last part means: with the Finnish and Italian Air Forces?)
International Flight Training School.

https://www.cae.com/defense-security...ng-school-ifts

https://www.canada.ca/en/department-...ns-hiatus.html
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      03-06-2024, 06:36 PM   #2589
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Long shot question. Does anyone here have stick time in both the regular tail and T-tail Piper Saratoga? Does the T-tail version have any notable handling deficiencies at slow speeds, stalls, and unpowered glide when compared with the regular tail version?

The Canadian Saratoga that was in the fatal Nashville crash a few days ago was a 1978 T-tail version, and from what I've read Piper quickly abandoned the T-tail design early in the Saratoga's production run.....
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      03-06-2024, 06:44 PM   #2590
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Long shot question. Does anyone here have stick time in both the regular tail and T-tail Piper Saratoga? Does the T-tail version have any notable handling deficiencies at slow speeds, stalls, and unpowered glide when compared with the regular tail version?

The Canadian Saratoga that was in the fatal Nashville crash a few days ago was a 1978 T-tail version, and from what I've read Piper quickly abandoned the T-tail design early in the Saratoga's production run.....
You can scroll down to the Variants section for your answer: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piper_PA-32R
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      03-06-2024, 07:41 PM   #2591
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Long shot question. Does anyone here have stick time in both the regular tail and T-tail Piper Saratoga? Does the T-tail version have any notable handling deficiencies at slow speeds, stalls, and unpowered glide when compared with the regular tail version?

The Canadian Saratoga that was in the fatal Nashville crash a few days ago was a 1978 T-tail version, and from what I've read Piper quickly abandoned the T-tail design early in the Saratoga's production run.....
I know the Tomahawk's nickname is/was Traumahawk.; and the T-tail had a lot to do with that.
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      03-07-2024, 07:57 AM   #2592
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My, my -- look at the calendar -- it's already Tomcat Thursday.
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      03-07-2024, 08:29 AM   #2593
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The U.S. Air Force has been accused by some, including me, of neglecting close air support to ground troops. The outstanding Republic A-10 Warthog of the past several decades fixed this deficiency, though the A-10's days are numbered. It may be that precision weapons, like the small-diameter bomb that's now operational, will allow fast jets like the F-16 or F-35 to fill the A-10's shoes; the jury is still out on that question.

But in the days of the Army Air Corps and Army Air Forces of the 1930s and 1940s, there were a number of attack aircraft that were designed for support of ground troops. These were either single-engine light bomber size or twin-engine medium bomber size.

The first to play a part in World War II was the Douglas A-20 Havoc. The A-20 first flew in 1939 and was in production for most of WWII. About a third of the 7,478 produced went to the USSR, but the USAAF used the A-20 in all theaters. A-20s carried bombs and many were used as strafers.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_A-20_Havoc

The USAAF also bought two types of Navy dive bombers: The Douglas A-24 Banshee (Navy SBD) and the Curtiss A-25 (Navy SB2C). The A-24 saw action early in the Pacific war but did not shine in Army service. The A-25 fared worse; the USAAF ordered A-25s and then turned them back to the Marines -- the A-25 never saw action. (No photos of A-24 or A-25).

The definitive attack aircraft of WWII was the A-20's successor, the Douglas A-26 Invader. The A-26 entered combat in 1944 and proved useful, although for a close air support aircraft the visibility was rather poor. It was built both with a clear nose for a bombardier and with a gun nose; Some late strafing versions had up to 14 forward-firing .50 machine guns! 2,503 were built and the A-26 survived into postwar service. Confusingly, it was redesignated B-26 in 1948, by which time the earlier Martin B-26 Marauder was no longer in service.

The B-26 was very active in the Korean War. The attached photos show B-26s in both natural metal finish and black paint for night missions.

The B-26 continued to serve well after the Korean War as well. The CIA used B-26s painted up in Cuban colors to support the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961 (see photo) and the B-26K, later re-redesignated A-26 (!), served as a counterinsurgency aircraft in Southeast Asia and Vietnam.

Even the Navy got in on the act, obtaining a few surplus A-26s which were used in utility squadrons to tow gunnery targets and to launch target drones for fleet training. These were some of the most colorful aircraft in the Navy, designated JD-1 (new UB-26J).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_A-26_Invader
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      03-07-2024, 10:35 AM   #2594
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The U.S. Air Force has been accused by some, including me, of neglecting close air support to ground troops. The outstanding Republic A-10 Warthog of the past several decades fixed this deficiency, though the A-10's days are numbered. It may be that precision weapons, like the small-diameter bomb that's now operational, will allow fast jets like the F-16 or F-35 to fill the A-10's shoes; the jury is still out on that question.[/url]
The jury..... was stacked.

Read here to to see what the AF & Congress tried to bury (and if this doesn't keep you up at night, nothing will):

https://www.pogo.org/analysis/f-35-a...-flyoff-report


And here's the (highly redacted) actual report that had to be obtained through FIO channels. If you're military or ex-military, you can read between the lines pretty well:

https://www.documentcloud.org/docume...omparison-test

The AF is all aflutter to get rid of the Hog. But, even the *actual* test participants described the best strike package to be suppression of enemy defenses with the F-35 and then follow-on strike with the A-10, with both elements working synergistically. The F-35 does NOT have the capability of the A-10-- either in the gun, bomb load or survivability in a low-altitude threat environment.

(For bonus points, the A-10 GAU-8 30mm cannon is one hell of a can-opener for tanks-- the nose gear is actually offset to accommodate the gun. The F-35? Has a gun that can't shoot straight and has minimal ammunition carrying capability-- not *remotely* similar to the A-10 in capability or lethality.)

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      03-07-2024, 01:30 PM   #2595
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The jury..... was stacked.
Wow! I try to follow this stuff and that was news to me. Thank you for posting this!

This issue calls in question the integrity of recent/current USAF leadership.
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      03-07-2024, 05:09 PM   #2596
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Wow! I try to follow this stuff and that was news to me. Thank you for posting this!
Not from me, but a nice summation on how bad the F-35 internal gun is.

And remember..... it's supposed to take over the A-10's Air/Ground tank-killer role..... and be better at it. (Ha! Funny guys, these defense industry guys.)

The integrated gun on the A-variant of the F-35 currently has two major issues according to the Pentagon’s DOT&E:

"The mounts for the internal gun that attach it to the airframe are not being manufactured / installed precisely enough, meaning that the guns are not already boresighted (aligned with where the pilot’s displays say they should be aiming) as they leave the factory. When the gun is on a test-stand by itself, it fires with greater accuracy than the M61 Vulcan used on most US fighters, and with accuracy equal to the GAU-12 (from the Harrier) and GAU-8 (from the A-10), which is good.

To fix the gun’s accuracy, the Pentagon and Lockheed are testing and will soon be deploying some kind of kit that allows squadron maintainers to boresight the cannon - this will likely be done via a method such as placing a laser in the gun barrel, aiming it at some kind of specialised target and then calibrating the jet’s software so that the computers that predict trajectories will do so with a proper offset - in other words, zeroing the gun without firing any rounds. Presumably this calibration would also be performed to all new F-35s coming out of the factory at some point in the near future.

While the DOT&E identified the mount as the primary issue, there is also the possibility that the jet will benefit from some tuning of the flight control computer as well, as the cannon is mounted away from the jet’s centre of gravity, meaning that the cannon tries to yaw and pitch the jet a little bit when it fires. Having the flight computer begin to counter this recoil as soon as it detects the pilot pull the trigger (rather than waiting for the recoil to begin a fraction of a second later) might help a little as well; Lockheed may have already programmed and correctly tuned such a system, but we don’t know.

The internal gun on F-35As manufactured after production Lot 8 (LRIP 8) is causing cracking and damage to the skin of the fuselage near it. Earlier jets are unaffected likely because of some change to the manufacturing process that was probably done to either make the jet lighter, quicker to manufacture, and/or cheaper to manufacture. It’s expected that Lockheed will roll back whatever change they’ve made, or design a further modification, but for now all F-35A variants produced after LRIP 8 can only use their gun in an emergency."


This is just.... I just can't..... The more you read about this sort of thing, the more your blood pressure rises.

You're tax dollars at work..... for the Military/Industrial Complex.

Guys.... it's real simple. Design an aircraft FOR THE BATTLEFIELD-- it may look all shiny on the spec sheet..... but when your vaunted gun can't be used operationally EXCEPT IN AN EMERGENCY..... I'm going with "You've got a teensy little design problem there.

Idiots.

R.
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