Hello, aircraft fans!
In this edition of the Plane Crash, we’ll look at the U.S. Navy’s WW2 top three: the Grumman F6f Hellcat, the Vought F-4U Corsair, and the Grumman F4f Wildcat.
Wildcat: Before the greatness of aircraft like the Grumman Hellcat and Vought Corsair, the Grumman F4f Wildcat was a fine aircraft. First built in 1939, this rugged mid-wing 318-mph six machine-gun aircraft held a critical point in the U.S. Navy until better aircraft were supplied. For instance, Lieutenant Butch O’Hare destroyed five Japanese bombers in six minutes. Later, despite being shot down in the Pacific, the Chicago-O’Hare airport was named for him. The Wildcat had a crew of 1, one 895kW (1200hp) Pratt & Whitney R-1830-66 radial engine, a maximum speed of 512km/h(318mph), a range of 1239km (770 miles), and a service ceiling of 10,638m (34,900ft).
Dimensions are as follows: Wingspan: 11.58m (38ft.). Length: 8.76m (28ft. 9in.). Height: 3.61m (11ft. 10in.).
Armament: Six 12.77mm (0.50in.) machine guns in wings and an external bomb load of 91kg (200lb.). Total loaded weight was 3607 kg (7952lb.).
Hellcat: The Hellcat flew for the first time on June 26, 1942. Many of its war abilities had been learned from its predecessor, the Wildcat. Specifications for this war-changing plane are as follows:
Powerplant: one 1492 kW (2000hp) Pratt & Whitney R-2800-10W radial engine.
Performance: Maximum speed: 612 km/h (380mph). Range: 1521km (945 miles). Service ceiling: 11,369m (37,300ft.).
Dimensions: Wingspan: 13.05m (42ft10in.). Length: 10.24m(33ft.7in.). Height: 3.99m (13ft.1in.).
Armament: six 12.7mm(0.50ibn.) machine guns in wings, or two 20mm(0.79in.) cannon and four 12.7mm(0.50in) machine guns, provision for two 453kg (1000lb) bombs or six 12.7cm (5in) RPs.
Weight: 7025kg (15,487lb).
In all, the Grumman F6f ran up a 19 to 1 kill ratio.
And now: the Chance Vought F4U Corsair. The speed, strength, and firepower of the Corsair enabled it to dominate Japanese opposition, shooting down 2140 against a loss of 189. Its performance and dependability allowed great flight leaders like John Blackburn, John Smith, Marion Carl, Joe Foss, and Pappy Boyington to create legendary fighter squadrons. It was truly a superior aircraft.
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Hello, aircraft fans!
In this edition of the Plane Crash, we’ll take a look at the aircraft of the BBMF, or ‘Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’ of the RAF.
Now, we will take a look at the Avro Lancaster. Specifications are as follows: A crew of seven; four 1233kW (1640hp) Rolls-Royce Merlin 28 or 38 12-cylinder V-type engines; a maximum speed of 462km/h (287mph), a range of 2784km(1730miles), a service ceiling of 5790m(19,000ft); a wingspan of 31.09m(102 ft), a length of 21.18m(69ft 6in), and a height of 6.25m(20 ft 6 in), all adding up to a total loaded weight of 229,484kg(65,000lb). In addition, the armament was two 7.7mm (0.303in) machine guns in nose turret, two in dorsal turret and four in tail turret, and a maximum internal bomb load of 8165kg (18,000lb). It was a splendid aircraft, and the BBMF’s Lanc is still flying and is coded ‘PA474’.
The Hawker Hurricanes: coded LF363 and PZ865. Well, despite all of its Battle of Britain fame, the two Hurricanes, Night Reaper and The Last of the Many, have both seen numerous disasters since rolling off the factory lines. Despite this, the little 1-seat, 1460hp Rolls-Royce Merlin-powered 322 mph fighter is still in use in air shows.
Supermarine Spitfires P7350, AB910, MK356, PM631 and PS915 make up the most important part of the Flight. They had not nearly as many disasters as the Hawkers, and all of them, especially ‘THE LAST’, PS915, have been a great part of RAF history. With a crew of one; one 1074kW(1440hp) Rolls-Royce Merlin 45/46/50 V-12 engine; a maximum speed of 602km/h(374mph), range of 756km (470 miles), a service ceiling of 11280m(37,000ft); as well as two 20mm(0.79in) cannon and four 7.7mm(0.303in) machine guns. This all added up to a total loaded weight of 3078kg (6785lb).
And now: The Douglas DC-3 Dakota (or C-47 Skytrain)-ZA947. The Flight’s DC-3 succeeded the de Havilland Devon as the main support in 1993. The Flight also uses the de Havilland Chipmunk.
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Hello, aircraft fans!
In this edition of the Plane View, we’ll take a look at the long line of Grumman aircraft. From the ’31 FF-1 to the EA-6, we will see how Grumman has one of the longest lines, and also is one of the best.
And now: The Grumman FF-1. The FF-1 was a Golden Age aircraft, and still served in the Spanish Civil War on the Republican side. It had a crew of one, a 709kW(950hp) Wright R-1820-22 Cyclone 9-cylinder radial engine, a maximum speed of 418km/h(260mph), a range of 1819km(1130 miles), a service ceiling of 9845m(32,300ft), as well as a wingspan of 9.75m(32ft.), a length of 7.01m(23ft), and a height of 2.84m(9ft.4in.). The weight was2155kg(4750lb) loaded; an armament of one 12.7mm(0.50in) and one 7.62mm(0.30in) machine gun in upper forward fuselage, as well as an external bomb load of 105kg(232lb.).
The Grumman G-12 Goose was a high-winged, amphibious aircraft with retractable landing gear, as well as a crew of 2, and a variable payload, changing depending on whether passengers or freight was being carried. A few are still in service today, as they are a grand old plane, first built in 1937.
Although the greatness of aircraft like the Grumman Hellcat and Vought Corsair, the Grumman F4f Wildcat was a fine aircraft. First built in 1939, this rugged mid-wing 318-mph six machine-gun aircraft held a critical point in the U.S. Navy until better aircraft were supplied. For instance, Lieutenant Butch O’Hare destroyed five Japanese bombers in six minutes. Later, despite being shot down in the Pacific, the Chicago-O’Hare airport was named for him.
The Grumman TBF Avenger was an effective dive-bomber, being second only to the Douglas SBD Dauntless. On the fighter side, the Grumman F6f Hellcat, which won the war in the Pacific, the F7f Tigercat, and the F8f all proved to be at least worthy aircraft.
Search and Rescue: The SA-16 Albatross of ‘47 and the S-2 of ’52 both were excellent, the SA-16 being S&R and the S-2 being submarine-killer. But the E-2 of ’60 surpassed both, in the way of searching for enemy aircraft.
Back to fighters: the F9f, F11f, and F-14 all proved to be sufficient for their time. The F-14 Tomcat had more than 30 years of service, but has now been replaced by the Boeing/McDonnell Douglas F-18 Hornet.
Lastly: the Grumman A-6 Intruder and EA-6 Prowler are the best attack-radar jamming aircraft ever. The current Prowler is greatly needed, as skies are again becoming hostile (get ready for World War III!
Hope you enjoyed this post.
Have a great day!
Hello, aircraft fans!
In this edition of the Plane Crash, you’ll find out about the Lockheed P-38 Lightning, which was one of the greatest aircraft of WWII. Get ready, because as of Super Bowl week, I’m going to be writing a football blog post. So everybody root for San Francisco, and rejoice that the Patriots won’t make it to Super Bowl XLVII. Jack Harbaugh must be pretty darn excited.
On January 20th, 1939, one of the greatest aircraft of all time, had its first test flight. The programme had begun in 1937, due to a USAAC requirement. This aircraft could go an amazing 360 M.P.H. at 20,000 feet, and 290 M.P.H. at sea level. It had a crew number of one, a maximum speed of 414 M.P.H., a range of 2,260 miles, a service ceiling of 44,000 feet, and a weight of 21,600 pounds (loaded). It had an outstanding armament of one 20mm cannon, four 12.7mm machine guns; along with a bomb and rocket load of 4,000 pounds. Despite its superiority, it has always tended to be overshadowed by Republic’s P-47 Thunderbolt and the P-51 Mustang of North American. That is mainly because both other aircraft did best in both theatres of the war, but the P-38 was mainly used in the Pacific Theatre. But there were still those pilots like Robin Olds.
The Lightning was adequately named, for it immediately set speed records. A loopy pilot Lieutenant (later Brigadier General) Benjamin S. Kelsey had logged just 7 hours in the XP-38 when he decided to try to break Howard Hughes’s transcontinental flight time record of seven hours, twenty-eight minutes, and thirty seconds. Kelsey took-off on February 11th, 1939, and the aircraft blazed across the country. But on his descent to Mitchell Army Air Field on Long Island, New York, disaster struck. After seven hours and two minutes of flight, carburetor icing took away both engine’s power, and the aerocraft crashed on a golf course. Kelsey came out splendidly, but the aircraft was damaged beyond repair. Despite the tragedy, it brought the government’s and the public’s attention to their new 414-M.P.H. fighter.
There were only a few downsides with the P-38, them being maneuverability, engine number, and the two 1063kW (1425hp) Allison V-1710-91 12-cylinder Vee-type unreliable engines. Even though the two engines were crucial to speed, descent had to be started much earlier than in most other aircraft. The Allison engines were hard to operate in cold weather, but the P-38 was still used often flying from Normandy or other Allied bases, including Andover in Hampshire, down to the Deutschland region of Europe.
Lockheed surprisingly made the only U.S. fighter that was in production before and after the war. Major Richard I. Bong, the highest-scoring pilot in U.S.A.F. history, shot down a total of 40 aircraft; while Tommy McGuire shot down 38 before being shot down over the Philippines in 1945. Also, the amazing feat of killing Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto was flown by P-38s. They flew from Guadalcanal to destroy Yamamoto’s aircraft over Kahili Atoll. Making the 1,100 round-trip was no easy feat. It was truly a WWII classic.
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Hello, aircraft fans!
This report is on the Attack on Pearl Harbor, due to the recent holiday, Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. Hope you enjoy reading it!
It was said by many men such as General Billy Mitchell that early some Sunday morning, the Japanese would attack Pearl Harbor. On December 7th, 1941, disaster struck. American commanders were Husband Kimmel and Walter Short, and the Japanese had Chuichi Nagumo and Isoroku Yamamoto. In the American mobile unit, there were 8 battleships, 8 cruisers, 30 destroyers, 4 submarines, 1 USCG (United States Coast Guard) Cutter, 49 other ships, and 390 aircraft. But the Japanese had 6 aircraft carriers, 2 battleships, 2 heavy cruisers, 1 light cruiser, 9 destroyers, 8 tankers, 23 fleet submarines, 5 midget submarines, and 414 aircraft. The American losses were 4 battleships sunk, 3 battleships damaged, 1 battleship grounded, 2 other ships sunk, 3 cruisers damaged, 3 destroyers damaged, 3 other ships damaged, 188 aircraft destroyed, 159 aircraft damaged, 2,402 killed, and 1,282 wounded. Japan still had major losses: 4 midget submarines sunk, 1 midget submarine grounded, 29 aircraft destroyed, 64 killed, and 1 captured. Of course, that was a 4,065 to 99 casualty ratio. The Japanese used 353 aircraft. Unfortunately for the Japanese, all 5 midget submarines were destroyed.
A Gallup Poll before the attack found that 52% of Americans expected war, 27% did not expect war, and 21% had no opinion. The downside of attacking Pearl Harbor was that none of the American aircraft carriers were in the bay. Due to Japanese expansion into French Indochina, the USA stopped oil exports to Japan in July of 1941. Then, the Japanese planned to take over Dutch East Indies, which was very oil-rich. Japan was forced to either withdraw from China and lose face or take over the European controlled countries of Southeast Asia. On November 26th, 1941, the Japanese Striking Force of the aircraft carriers Akagi, Kaga, Sōryū, Hiryū, Shōkaku, and Zuikaku left northern Japan towards a position northwest of Hawaii. They hoped to use aircraft to attack Pearl Harbor easily, as they had 408 aircraft.
The first of the two waves was to take out all primary targets, with the second finishing them off. At 3:42 AM Hawaiian Time, the American minesweeper Condor spotted a midget submarine periscope west of Pearl Harbor entrance buoy and radioed this to the destroyer Ward. It may have entered the harbor; however, Ward sank a midget submarine at 6:37 AM in the first American shots in the Pacific Theatre. A midget submarine north of Ford Island missed the seaplane tender Curtiss with her first torpedo and then missed the destroyer Monaghan with her other before being sunk by the Monaghan at 8:43 AM. Another midget submarine grounded two times, with one member swimming ashore to become the first prisoner of war from Japan. The boat was captured on December 8th. The USS West Virginia may have been hit by a midget submarine’s torpedo.
Slow, vulnerable torpedo bombers led the first wave, exploiting the first moments of surprise to attack the most important ships present (the battleships), while dive bombers attacked U.S. air bases across Oahu, starting with Hickam Field, the largest, and Wheeler Field, the main U.S. Army Air Force fighter base. The 171 planes in the second wave attacked the Air Corps’ Bellows Field near Kaneohe on the windward side of the island, and Ford Island. The only aerial opposition came from a handful of P-36 Hawks, P-40 Warhawks and some SBD Dauntless dive bombers from the carrier USS Enterprise. Most of the ships had crews that were asleep, so they showed little resistance. The entire attack lasted a stunningly short ninety minutes. Of the 402 American aircraft in Hawaii, 188 were destroyed, and 159 damaged, with 155 of them on the ground. Almost none were actually ready to take off to defend the base. Eight Army Air Corps (Air Force) pilots managed to get airborne during the battle and six were credited with downing at least one Japanese aircraft during the attack, 1st Lt. Lewis M. Sanders, 2nd Lt. Philip M. Rasmussen, 2nd Lt. Kenneth M. Taylor, 2nd Lt. George S. Welch, 2nd Lt. Harry W. Brown, and 2nd Lt. Gordon H. Sterling Jr. Sterling was shot down and killed by friendly fire returning from the fight. Of 33 PBY Catalinas in Hawaii, 24 were destroyed, and six others damaged beyond repair. The three on patrol returned undamaged. Friendly Fire brought down some U.S. planes on top of that, including five from an inbound flight from Enterprise. Japanese attacks on barracks killed additional personnel.
Fifty-five Japanese airmen and nine submariners were killed in the action, and one was captured. Of Japan’s 414 available planes, 29 were lost during the battle, with nine in the first attack wave, and 20 in the second. Another 74 were damaged by antiaircraft fire from the ground. Despite many of the Japanese crewmen’s wishes, a third wave was not carried out.
Here is a list of some of the main aircraft. The Nakajima B5N2 “Kate” torpedo bomber was actually the 2nd most important Japanese aircraft of the fight, only surpassed by the “Betty” bomber.
The Aichi D3A “Val” dive bomber was also important, but many were destroyed later in Kamikaze missions.
But on the American side, the main aircraft were the Curtiss P-36, Curtiss P-40, and the Douglas SBD Dauntless. The Dauntless was one of 4 aircraft that turned the war in the Pacific around, with the Lockheed P-38 Lightning, Curtiss P-40, and the Grumman F6f Hellcat. Here are some photos of the American ships after the attack.
The USS Arizona Memorial on the island of Oahu honors lives lost during the attack. Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day , December 7th,is perhaps the largest holiday in the Hawaiian Islands. Hawaii is still the largest military disaster on a land to become American.
Have a great day!
Isaiah S. Casey