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  1. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by unbekannt View Post
    I think F-100s had revolver type 20mm cannons from the begining.

    P-38s had a 20mm along with the four .50s. P-39/63s had a cannon in the nose, 30 or 37mm, I think.
    Since I worked on F100's they had the same cannon that the germans had in the "Big war"

    Now the F86's had fifty calibre guns.

  2. #92
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    Did you hear the story about the first use of that 75mm in the B25's, seems every time they fired it they were subjected to accurate Flak.
    Turns out the airforce types thought in order to arm the fuze, you had to screw it all the way down. This resulted in ZERO time delay and the rounds were going off just in front of the muzzle!

  3. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Sukey View Post
    Since I worked on F100's they had the same cannon that the germans had in the "Big war"

    Now the F86's had fifty calibre guns.
    Until the H series. Then Sabres carried 20MM

  4. #94
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    Jaffrey, New Hampshire 03452
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    Sounds good! Im always up for a good new (old) book on planes and the like. My bathroom is full of them. You can learn a lot in the bathroom.
    Dcazz7606
    Quote Originally Posted by eglib View Post
    "Nanette" by Edwards Park (yes, that's his name) recalls his experience as a P39 pilot in New Guinea during WW2. He principally flew a P39-D, but the squadron also had P39-N and a few P400 models. It's a 1977 book, and might be hard to find. Try also "Flying American Combat Aircraft of WWII" edited by Robin Higham, a 2004 publication that collects experiences of a number of different pilots on a wide variety of aircraft.

    Bruce

  5. #95
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    A small aside to the Cobra disscussion. After the war the navy was given the job of researching swept wing behavior. They bought two P-63C's and modified them with swept wings. The center of gravity was off so they put a P-39 four blade prop because it was lighter. "Tex johnston was one of the test pilots. These planes were called the L-39-1 and 2. The tests that were run led to the standardization of leading edge slats on swept wing fighters for low speed stability. It's a sleek looking plane but a bit out of place with the prop out front.
    Quote Originally Posted by Clyde View Post
    There never has been a LOT out of Russia on the perforamnce of LL combat equipment. But the little i've seen seems to indicate that the P-63 performd to suit and was well-liked by the users in the ground attack mode, better than the P-39 (which was liked) because it had more punch, and the airplane generally had higher performance.

  6. #96
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    Then there was the "Grizzley" a twin engine job with a belt fed 75 in the nose. Came out too late for WW2, and that finished it.
    I sure wouldn't want to go into a spin in a P39 since it wasn't round and round but rather nose over tail due to the placement of the engine

  7. #97
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    Not a good thing. I guess Bell made the right decisions to go rotary!

  8. #98
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    I looked up the Beechcraft XA-38 Grizzly and it was a well reguarded "almost" to replace the Douglas Havoc. It was very fast for the time at 376mph with the 75 in the nose with 6- 50's, two under the nose and four in two remote control turrets. It could also land and take off in less space than a single engined fighter so it could have operated from advanced strips. It' biggest problem was the engines. It was designed around two Wright radials, the same model as the B-29. The 29 took precedent so the XA-38 never saw production as the war ended and the need disappeared. Shame, It was a great looking plane and would have been an effective addition to the arsenal.
    Quote Originally Posted by John Sukey View Post
    Then there was the "Grizzley" a twin engine job with a belt fed 75 in the nose. Came out too late for WW2, and that finished it.
    I sure wouldn't want to go into a spin in a P39 since it wasn't round and round but rather nose over tail due to the placement of the engine

  9. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Castle50 View Post
    Ol Duke and JJk are both correct, that's why I said it wasn't suited for Air To Air...unless there was a golden BB shot. Which I'm not aware ever happened.
    Now the B-25J variant also had fixed 50s in the nose. There were different variants of the J, but many modifications for whatever the theater presented.

    Kill Ratios have alot to due with time frames. Allied personnel served tours they didn't fly 8 years non stop. Also most Axis Fighters fell victim to Bomber gunners not fighters.
    High kill ratios almost always had to due with tactics not weapon type. Big guns helped alot but climbing behind a Il-2 with a pee shooter in the tail isn't going to give you much grief.
    My dad flew on B-25's with the 75MM, and they were used for anti-shipping. He said that it felt like the bomber stopped flying for a second. They were pretty hard on the airframe too.

    Their night fighters (PV-1's) were equipped with .50's, and against the typical Japanese aircraft, they were deadly.

    He was not as impressed with the single .30 in the belly of the TBM. He went for a couple of "rides" (he was bored and a Marine = extra missions) and said it was not very effective against the Zeros who came up to spoil the the fun.
    He attacked everything in life with a mix of extraordinary genius and naive incompetence, and it was often difficult to tell which was which.
    Douglas Adams

  10. #100
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    I heard the B-25 and the T-38 trainer were so loud that they were causing excessive deafness. Norht American developed the head set to help the crews and ground crews. Same thing we use for shooting. Another North American innovation was Bondo. The P-51 laminar flow wing had to be so smooth N/A used their Bondo to smooth the leading edge. All Mustang wings were painted silver at the factory back to th control surfaces.

  11. #101
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    Dec 2008
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    A viewpoint - Many WW2 era fighters were handicapped by decisions made before the war. The US Army Air Corps had favored radial engines before the war, leaving the Allison as the only in-line water-cooled alternative when we need lots of high-performance aircraft right now. Radial engines had to be shared with tanks until a specific tank engine is developed. chain-driven superchargers were dropped because the Air Corps favored turbochargers. Turbochargers require tungten, a strategic material of limited availability. Oops. So the P-38 gets turbochargers. Two! The P-39 gets none. Both the P-38 and P-39 were developed as bomber - defense interceptors, perhaps accounting for the original 37mm cannon armament. They were looked upon as high-tech, limited-use machines used in rear areas with lots of support. Pressed into other uses, the P-38 found a niche as a long-range fighter in the Pacific. Not so good in Europe, as the cockpit heater didn't work well. It is interesting to note, too that the US generally had both a radial-engined and water-cooled engined fighter in service at the same time. Just in case one doesn't work out... For a fighter that was frowned on by the Air Corps, the P-39 managed to stay in production, and development and production of the successor P-63 aircraft continued. The Russians certainly liked them! And I suspect, if the P-51 or other fighters didn't work out - we have backup! Guns? Yes, there are better guns, but we need aircraft in the air and shooting today.

    Bruce

  12. #102
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    It's amazing in retrospect how those decisions really made a difference. The P-38 F was tested on August 8, 1942 for the use of two 300 gallon gas tanks and it was found to have a ferry range of 3200 miles!!! This would have given the 38 a combat range of aprox. 1200 miles by the end of 42 or early 43 when production of tanks could get into the pipeline. .It was reported that taking off with this load required only a little more caution and no excessive difficulty getting airborne. Unfortunately, Gen. Monk Hunter was old school and couldn't stand the P-38. He was glad to send them off to N. Africa and replace them with P-47's that didn't have any(!) provisions for drop tanks. Think of how many bombers and crews would have been saved if there was "full time" escort that early on. If VIII fighter comand had put the P-38 into the same crash improvement that the P-47's got with their Air Tech. Section programs run by Col. Ben Kelsey and Cass Hough the P-38 would have a totally different history in Europe.

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