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For the WWII Aviation buffs

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by porky, Apr 11, 2012.

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  1. porky

    porky TS Member

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    The numbers are hard to comprehend…..Amazing WWII Aircraft Facts (these facts were compiled by someone else and sent to me)

    Below is an excellent summary of the effort required in WWII. It focuses on the American side of things, but the British, Germans and Japanese expended comparable energy and experienced similar costs. Just one example for the Luftwaffe; about 1/3 of the Bf109s built were lost in non-combat crashes. After Midway, the Japanese experience level declined markedly, with the loss of so many higher-time naval pilots. This piece is worth saving in hard copy.

    Most Americans who were not adults during WWII have no understanding of the magnitude of it.
    This listing of some of the aircraft facts gives a bit of insight to it.
    276,000 aircraft manufactured in the US .
    43,000 planes lost overseas, including 23,000 in combat.
    14,000 lost in the continental U.S.

    The US civilian population maintained a dedicated effort for four years, many working long hours seven days per week and often also volunteering for other work.

    WWII was the largest human effort in history.
    Statistics from Flight Journal magazine.

    THE PRICE OF VICTORY (cost of an aircraft in WWII dollars)
    B-17 $204,370. P-40 $44,892.
    B-24 $215,516. P-47 $85,578.
    B-25 $142,194. P-51 $51,572.
    B-26 $192,426. C-47 $88,574.
    B-29 $605,360. PT-17 $15,052.
    P-38 $97,147. AT-6 $22,952.

    PLANES A DAY WORLDWIDE
    From Germany's invasion of Poland Sept. 1, 1939 and ending with Japan 's surrender Sept. 2, 1945 --- 2,433 days
    From 1942 onward, America averaged 170 planes lost a day.

    How many is a 1,000 planes? B-17 production (12,731) wingtip to wingtip would extend 250 miles. 1,000 B-17s carried
    2.5 million gallons of high octane fuel and required 10,000 airmen to fly and fight them.

    THE NUMBERS GAME
    9.7 billion gallons of gasoline consumed, 1942-1945.
    107.8 million hours flown, 1943-1945.
    459.7 billion rounds of aircraft ammo fired overseas, 1942-1945.
    7.9 million bombs dropped overseas, 1943-1945.
    2.3 million combat sorties, 1941-1945 (one sortie = one takeoff).
    299,230 aircraft accepted, 1940-1945.
    808,471 aircraft engines accepted, 1940-1945.
    799,972 propellers accepted, 1940-1945.

    WWII MOST-PRODUCED COMBAT AIRCRAFT
    Ilyushin IL-2 Sturmovik 36,183

    Yakolev Yak-1,-3,-7, -9 -Russian 31,000+

    Messerschmitt Bf-109-German 30,480

    Focke-Wulf Fw-190-German 29,001

    Supermarine Spitfire/Seafire-British 20,351

    Convair B-24/PB4Y Liberator/Privateer -US 18,482

    Republic P-47 Thunderbolt -US 15,686

    North American P-51 Mustang -US 15,875

    Junkers Ju-88 -German 15,000

    Hawker Hurricane -British 14,533

    Curtiss P-40 Warhawk -US 13,738

    Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress -US 12,731

    Vought F4U Corsair -US 12,571

    Grumman F6F Hellcat -US 12,275

    Petlyakov Pe-2 Russian 11,400

    Lockheed P-38 Lightning 10,037

    Mitsubishi A6M Zero- Jap 10,449

    North American B-25 Mitchell -US 9,984

    Lavochkin LaGG-5-Russian 9,920

    Note: The LaGG-5 was produced with both water-cooled and air-cooled Engines.

    Grumman TBM Avenger-US 9,837

    Bell P-39 Airacobra -US 9,584

    Nakajima Ki-43 Oscar - Jap 5,919

    DeHavilland Mosquito -British 7,780

    Avro Lancaster -British 7,377

    Heinkel He-111-German 6,508

    Handley-Page Halifax -British 6,176

    Messerschmitt Bf-110 -German 6,150

    Lavochkin LaGG-7 -Russian 5,753

    Boeing B-29 Superfortress -US 3,970

    Short Stirling - British 2,383


    Sources: Rene Francillon, Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific war; Cajus Bekker, The Luftwaffe Diaries; Ray Wagner, American Combat Planes; Wikipedia.


    According to the AAF Statistical Digest, in less than four years (December 1941- August 1945), the US Army Air Forces lost 14,903 pilots, aircrew and assorted personnel plus 13,873 airplanes --- inside the continental United States. They were the result of 52,651 aircraft accidents (6,039 involving fatalities) in 45 months.

    Think about those numbers. They average 1,170 aircraft accidents per month---- nearly 40 a day. (Less than one accident in four resulted in totaled aircraft, however.)
    It gets worse.....
    Almost 1,000 Army planes disappeared en route from the US to foreign climes. But an eye-watering 43,581 aircraft were lost overseas including 22,948 on combat missions (18,418 against the Western Axis) and 20,633 attributed to non-combat causes overseas.

    In a single 376 plane raid in August 1943, 60 B-17s were shot down. That was a 16 percent loss rate and meant 600 empty bunks in England . In 1942-43 it was statistically impossible for bomber crews to complete a 25-mission tour in Europe .
    Pacific theatre losses were far less (4,530 in combat) owing to smaller forces committed. The worst B-29 mission, against Tokyo on May 25, 1945, cost 26 Superfortresses, 5.6 percent of the 464 dispatched from the Marianas .
    On average, 6,600 American servicemen died per month during WWII, about 220 a day. By the end of the war, over 40,000 airmen were killed in combat theatres and another 18,000 wounded. Some 12,000 missing men were declared dead, including a number "liberated" by the Soviets but never returned. More than 41,000 were captured, half of the 5,400 held by the Japanese died in captivity, compared with one-tenth in German hands. Total combat casualties were pegged at 121,867.

    US manpower made up the deficit. The AAF's peak strength was reached in 1944 with 2,372,000 personnel, nearly twice the previous year's figure.
    The losses were huge---but so were production totals. From 1941 through 1945, American industry delivered more than 276,000 military aircraft. That number was enough not only for US Army, Navy and Marine Corps, but for allies as diverse as Britain , Australia , China and Russia .. In fact, from 1943 onward, America produced more planes than Britain and Russia combined. And more than Germany and Japan together 1941-45.
    However, our enemies took massive losses. Through much of 1944, the Luftwaffe sustained uncontrolled hemorrhaging, reaching 25 percent of aircrews and 40 planes a month. And in late 1944 into 1945, nearly half the pilots in Japanese squadrons had flown fewer than 200 hours. The disparity of two years before had been completely reversed.
     
  2. mrskeet410

    mrskeet410 TS Member

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    P-47 over 50% more expensive that the P-51. Why? It essentially used the same engine as F6F and F4U. P-38 was expensive basically because it had two engines. Engines were the most expensive part of the planes.
     
  3. Rick Barker

    Rick Barker Well-Known Member

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    Interesting info.

    Consider also the still early age of the airplane when the US entered the war, just around 38 years, and now almost 108. Planes during that time are now considered crude, tougher to fly.

    Our pilots did not have all the nav aids or computers they have today, and it is looking more and more we will use almost no pilots in planes in future wars.
     
  4. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Comparing the P-47 engine to the F6F and F4U, and the whole plane, to the P-51, is comparing apples to oranges.

    The P-47 engine is turbocharged. The F6F and F4U are naturally aspirated, and the P-51 was supercharged. The turbocharger costs significantly more than a supercharger.

    Also, the P-38 was mentioned. Keep in mind that those two Allison V-12s are turbocharged, adding that much more to the cost.

    -------------

    Trapshooters visiting Oregon who like aviation might want to visit the Evergreen Air Museum, home of the Spruce Goose, at McMinnville, about 45 minutes SW of Portland, and the Tillamook Air Museum at Tillamook, on the Oregon coast, about two hours from Porland. The Tillamook Museum is in one of the few WWII blimp hangers still standing. The county museum in downtown Tillamook has a section dedicated to the USN blimps.
     
  5. Rick Barker

    Rick Barker Well-Known Member

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    Different engines as well P51 had Packard made Rolls Royce Merlins which offered more streamlined Mustang built for speed and distance which allowed longer escort distance for bombers, strictly a fighter.

    P47 had larger radial WASP which powered the 28,000 lb bomber/fighter and made it more verstile, but not as fast as Mustang and did not have the range.

    Different purposes, different performaces, but all necessary to beat out the Axis powers. Their planes were limited to just a handful of designs, where as we had many.

    Perhaps the strangest in my mind was the Bell Aircobra P39, with it's engine mounted behind the pilot, who straddled a drive shaft for the prop. Automobile type swing door for entry, cannon in the nose and while it was not popular in the US arsenal, the Russians loved it and it proved to be a hell of a tank buster.
     
  6. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    The P-39 was originally supposed to be turbocharged as it was designed to be a bomber interceptor. The USAAC decided to go with a single stage super charger instead, limiting performace to lower altitudes.

    The purpose of the engine behind the cockpit was to allow the installation of a 37mm cannon firing through the propellor hub. The P-39 was the first aircraft built around a weapon, instead of being built around an engine.

    The P-39 was an excellent ground attack fighter. The Soviets made good use of the P-39 against German tanks. The 37mm, while useless against the front and side armor of spaced armor Panzer IV's, and the heavier armored Panther and Tigers, was still useful for penetrating the engine decks and turret roofs, which were made from much thinner armor. It should be noted, though, that Soviet pilots also used the P-39 very successfully against Stukas, twin engine bombers and even earlier models of the Messerschmidt Bf-109. This was because most air combat on the Eastern Front was at lower altitudes, since most of the bombing was tactical, not strategic.

    As for the Mustang, the Rolls Royce Merlin (made for it by Packard) allowed minor streamlining improvements, but its main advantage was at high altitude, where the supercharged Rolls Royce operated best. The earlier Allison engined Mustangs were inferior at higher altitudes, What is not generally known or has been forgotten is that the Allison engined Mustang performed better at low altitude. There was also a low altitude attack version known as the A-36 Apache that was no slouch for low altitude performance. In fact, the P-51A was actually a version of the A-36, without the air brakes and without the twin .50's in the nose.
     
  7. ljutic231

    ljutic231 TS Member

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    Lyle Shelton , Took the Bearcat to new heights as a air Race plane at Reno, Air Races , as he dominated the unlimited cat. for a number of years
     
  8. Tdog

    Tdog TS Member

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    Quite a few years ago at Oshkosh there was a heritage flight of the F6F Hellcat, the F8 Bearcat, the F7 Tigercat and the F14 Tomcat. Quite a sight! Oshkosh is the best place in the world to see flying WWII Warbirds.
     
  9. FIB

    FIB Member

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    I really enjoy WW2 aviation. I especially like the german planes and pilots. The German Experten (ACE) tolls are incredible. Erich Hartmann shot down 352 planes, Wow!
     
  10. Rick Barker

    Rick Barker Well-Known Member

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    barfin

    You have shown additional evidence as the Navy having a base here in Denver which is 5280 feet MSL,

    I still have not come across the fleet yet, but there must be a carrier around here somewhere.

    I guess the State of Montana is not out reason wanting their own aircraft carrier as mentioned a couple weeks ago, or was it a destroyer??


    On a sad note about 2 weeks ago, former Reno racer, member of the Navy Legacy team and WWII warbird collector, Howard Pardue, lost his life when his Bearcat crashed, near his home inTexas. He was 77.
     
  11. Rick Barker

    Rick Barker Well-Known Member

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    Buckley is within a stones throw of my club and Buckley also has a trap range open to the public and has some ATA shoots there.

    We also had Lowery that was right in between Denver and Aurora, but closed years ago under Clinton and is now residential housing.

    Currently Buckley has F16's operating there, but in about 5 years, they say they will be getting some F22's.

    The Naval Reserve sits at the edge of Buckley, but has a brand new building that is separate from Buckley, with it's own entrance. There is a massive ships anchor in front, but the carrier that it belonged to is nowhere in sight. Maybe Wyoming stole it. You know they once tried to steal Buffalo Bills body which is buried on Lookout Mountain near Denver and take it to Cody WY?
     
  12. Fox32

    Fox32 Member

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    You all need to read "Flags of our Fathers" and follow up with "Flyboys". These are GREAT reads for the WW2 buffs. Also, a new book just out is "Unbroken". No wonder they called these guys The Greatest Generation!
     
  13. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Sadly we arrived too late in Cody to visit the museum and travelled on to Yellowstone.

    One of these days I hope to go back.

    At least I got to see the Browning Firearms Museum going the opposite direction earlier in the trip.
     
  14. pj 999

    pj 999 TS Member

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    The B-24s are coming to Urbana Ohio this weekend and then flying into Wright-Pat. My best friend is buying his wife a ride for the flight for her birthday. Her Dad was a pilot of them in WWII. Pretty cool!!
     
  15. Haskins Bill

    Haskins Bill TS Member

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    Look for a book named 'The Encyclopedia Of Aircraft Of WWll' found my copy at a flea market for $6.00 best money on a book I ever spent. Editor Paul Eden ISBN: 1-904687-07-5 also a sku number 9 781904 687078> . would be worth trying to find a copy just for the ton of info on just about every aircraft of the WWll era. Bill
     
  16. Firewater

    Firewater Member

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    Fib who did he shoot down? Mike
     
  17. FIB

    FIB Member

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    Firewater, he primarily shot down Russian pilots but I beleive he also shot down English and Americans too.
     
  18. Rick Barker

    Rick Barker Well-Known Member

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    From Wikipida:

    "He claimed 352 aerial victories (of which 345 were won against the Soviet Air Force, and 260 of which were fighters) in 1,404 combat missions. He engaged in aerial combat 825 times while serving with the Luftwaffe. During the course of his career, Hartmann was forced to crash-land his damaged fighter 14 times. This was due to damage received from parts of enemy aircraft he had just shot down or mechanical failure. Hartmann was never shot down or forced to land due to fire from enemy aircraft."
     
  19. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    The Lost Squadron Of Pickled Spitfires has been found.

    April 15, 2012

    Lost Squadron Of Pickled Spitfires Found

    By Russ Niles, Editor-in-Chief

    Aviation historians and warbird enthusiasts are drooling at the discovery of at least 12 and maybe as many 20 perfectly preserved brand-new Spitfire Mark 14s buried in Myanmar, which was formerly Burma. Thanks to the tenacity (and apparently considerable diplomatic skills) of British farmer David Cundall, the lost squadron of pristine fighters was found where they were buried by U.S. troops in 1945 when it became clear they wouldn't be needed in the final days of the Second World War. At least a dozen of the aircraft, one of the latest variants with their 2,035-horsepower Roll Royce Griffon engines replacing the 1,200-1,500-horsepower Merlins in earlier models, were buried without ever being removed from their original packing crates. It's possible another eight were also buried after the war ended. After spending 15 years and $200,000 of his own money, Cundall was rewarded with visual proof of the magnitude of his discovery. "We sent a borehole down and used a camera to look at the crates," he told the Telegraph. "They seemed to be in good condition."

    The aircraft were declared surplus when they arrived in Burma because the Japanese were in retreat by then and carrier-based Seafires were getting all the action. They were ordered buried in their original crates, waxed, swaddled in grease paper and their joints tarred against the elements. Cundall found some of the soldiers who buried the planes by placing ads in magazines and was able to narrow down the search before using ground-penetrating radar to confirm the burial site. The next obstacles to recovery are political. Myanmar's former military junta was under a variety of sanctions, among them an international convention that prevented the transfer of military goods to and from the country. Recent political reforms have led to the lifting of that ban effective April 23. Cundall will also need the permission of the new Myanmar government to unearth the treasure. He helped his own cause by making numerous trips to the country and earning the trust of government officials. British Prime Minister David Cameron is expected to seal the deal with Myanmar President Thein Sein during a visit.
     
  20. Rick Barker

    Rick Barker Well-Known Member

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    The worth of these is mind boggling.

    A used Spitfire now over 60-70 years old sell for a million Pounds, which there is supposed to only 50 or so left in existence.

    National treasures for sure for England.
     
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