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US planes different to euro ones - WW2

Dave the Gnome 09 Jun 15 - 07:58 AM
Teribus 09 Jun 15 - 08:29 AM
Teribus 09 Jun 15 - 08:35 AM
Dave the Gnome 09 Jun 15 - 08:58 AM
Richard Bridge 09 Jun 15 - 09:48 AM
Dave the Gnome 09 Jun 15 - 10:17 AM
Keith A of Hertford 09 Jun 15 - 10:28 AM
Dave the Gnome 09 Jun 15 - 10:44 AM
Don Firth 09 Jun 15 - 05:42 PM
Don Firth 09 Jun 15 - 06:11 PM
Tangledwood 09 Jun 15 - 07:34 PM
GUEST 09 Jun 15 - 08:49 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 09 Jun 15 - 09:53 PM
Don Firth 09 Jun 15 - 11:38 PM
Don Firth 09 Jun 15 - 11:45 PM
Teribus 10 Jun 15 - 12:25 AM
Dave the Gnome 10 Jun 15 - 02:36 AM
Teribus 10 Jun 15 - 04:24 AM
Dave the Gnome 10 Jun 15 - 05:41 AM
GUEST 10 Jun 15 - 05:44 AM
GUEST 10 Jun 15 - 05:48 AM
Dave the Gnome 10 Jun 15 - 06:09 AM
Teribus 10 Jun 15 - 07:28 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 10 Jun 15 - 07:50 AM
Keith A of Hertford 10 Jun 15 - 08:09 AM
Teribus 10 Jun 15 - 08:52 AM
Dave the Gnome 10 Jun 15 - 09:36 AM
Keith A of Hertford 10 Jun 15 - 09:40 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 10 Jun 15 - 11:39 AM
Dave the Gnome 10 Jun 15 - 05:32 PM
Dave the Gnome 23 Jun 15 - 06:31 AM
MartinRyan 23 Jun 15 - 06:40 AM
Tangledwood 23 Jun 15 - 07:54 PM
Dave the Gnome 03 Jul 15 - 07:25 AM
Uncle_DaveO 03 Jul 15 - 10:07 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 03 Jul 15 - 10:33 AM
GUEST,Roger Knowles 03 Jul 15 - 08:42 PM
bubblyrat 04 Jul 15 - 07:15 AM
bubblyrat 04 Jul 15 - 07:42 AM
gnu 04 Jul 15 - 03:52 PM
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Subject: US planes different to euro ones - WW2
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 09 Jun 15 - 07:58 AM

Puzzled me since I was a lad. Taking probably the most famous why are the European fighter planes such as the Spitfire and ME109 pointed at the front while the US ones such as the Wildcat flat? I know there are exceptions but, as the general observation of an Airfix modeller until the age of about 14, there were a good few 'flat fronts' in the US and none I remember in Europe.

Probably my memory at fault but, if it is right, why would that be?

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: US planes different to euro ones - WW2
From: Teribus
Date: 09 Jun 15 - 08:29 AM

Dictated by what engines were available and furthest down the track - heavy dependence in the US on radial engines, far less so in Europe.

One excellent "flat front" - Focke-Wulf Fw 190


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Subject: RE: US planes different to euro ones - WW2
From: Teribus
Date: 09 Jun 15 - 08:35 AM

Soviets also were heavily dependent on radial engines.


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Subject: RE: US planes different to euro ones - WW2
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 09 Jun 15 - 08:58 AM

Ahhhh - That makes sense. thanks Teribus.


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Subject: RE: US planes different to euro ones - WW2
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 09 Jun 15 - 09:48 AM

Late in the war the Japanese repurposed some fighter airframes designed for inline engines by using radial engines - and produced a very capable fighter the name of which momentarily eludes me. IIRC its rates of climb were very good, top speed not so wunnerful because of the greater frontal area.


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Subject: RE: US planes different to euro ones - WW2
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 09 Jun 15 - 10:17 AM

Well, this is my new thing for today :-)

More reading on Wiki for anyone else interested. I also found that the radial engine is not the same as a rotary and why but you can find that out for yourselves!


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Subject: RE: US planes different to euro ones - WW2
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 09 Jun 15 - 10:28 AM

Wankel!


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Subject: RE: US planes different to euro ones - WW2
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 09 Jun 15 - 10:44 AM

I'll see your Wankel and raise you 50 Words That Sound Rude But Actually Aren't.

51 things I have learnt today :-)


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Subject: RE: US planes different to euro ones - WW2
From: Don Firth
Date: 09 Jun 15 - 05:42 PM

The Japanese Mitsubishi "Zero" was a real terror of the skies in World War II. Powerful and lightly built, they were more maneuverable than most American fighter planes earlier in the war. But being lightly built was one of their weaknesses. Get one in your gun sights and give it a few bursts and it would start to fly apart. Also, the gas tank was close to the cockpit, and if the plane caught fire (a couple of bursts of machine gun fire from behind), the pilot was in big trouble!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: US planes different to euro ones - WW2
From: Don Firth
Date: 09 Jun 15 - 06:11 PM

Also, a rotary engine and a Wankel engine were two different things. The Wankel didn't have pistons like either a rotary or in-line engine, it used a "rotor" (confusion for the innocents!), a sort of oblate equilateral triangular shaped thing in lieu of a piston.

I think the main idea was to reduce the number of moving parts. It was developed by Otto Wankel back in the fifties and introduced in the Mazda with a lot of hype back in the early seventies. I had a friend who bought one. Apparently it wasn't too successful because it sank like a rock within a couple of years.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: US planes different to euro ones - WW2
From: Tangledwood
Date: 09 Jun 15 - 07:34 PM

One of the reasons that Europe went for the in-line engine designs was, I think, a legacy of the work done for the Schneider Trophy races. By 1939 these V12 engines were getting highly refined. Small frontal area was significant in reducing drag. The downside was that because of limited airflow around the cylinders they had to be liquid cooled, adding to the overall weight.
Not so relevant to the V12 versus radial decision, but British fighters, even into the jet age, had a different philosophy. Because of European geography an interceptor needed to be able to climb to combat height as quickly as possible with range being a lessor consideration. US fighters were more concerned with distance - compare the range of the P51 with that of the Spitfire for example.


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Subject: RE: US planes different to euro ones - WW2
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Jun 15 - 08:49 PM

According to this wiki article Mazda are still developing the Wankel engine but haven't used one in a car since 2012.

I'd guess that their high power to weight ratio and relatively small size will keep manufactures in (in various areas - eg. apparently they have even been used in planes) interested in them for a while yet.


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Subject: RE: US planes different to euro ones - WW2
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 09 Jun 15 - 09:53 PM

My absolute favourite airfix kit when I was a kid in the 1960s
was the Short Sunderland...

inmho a much better looking plane than the Catalina.

Seeing one close up was an unfulfilled childhood dream.

It's probably a good 10 years since I last googled if any still exist intact in air museums ???

My dad did his national service in the RAF a couple of years after WW2 ended;
so a big part of my early childhood was his old military aircraft recognition manuals,
silhouettes of all the 1940s fighters and bombers...


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Subject: RE: US planes different to euro ones - WW2
From: Don Firth
Date: 09 Jun 15 - 11:38 PM

I worked at the Boeing Airplane Company in the Seattle area for five years, circa 1967 to '72. The last two years I was at the Everett, Wash. plant doing engineering drawings (Production Illustrations) for THIS monster....


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Subject: RE: US planes different to euro ones - WW2
From: Don Firth
Date: 09 Jun 15 - 11:45 PM

Rats!   It didn't work!

Try THIS.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: US planes different to euro ones - WW2
From: Teribus
Date: 10 Jun 15 - 12:25 AM

GUEST,punkfolkrocker - 09 Jun 15 - 09:53 PM

"Short Sunderland...

inmho a much better looking plane than the Catalina.

Seeing one close up was an unfulfilled childhood dream.

It's probably a good 10 years since I last googled if any still exist intact in air museums ???"


ML824 is on display at the RAF Museum Hendon

ML796 is on display at Imperial War Museum Duxford in Cambridgeshire.

There is also a Sandringham Flying Boat that you can walk through at the Solent Sky Museum in Southampton ("Birthplace" and "Home" of the Spitfire).

Tangledwood:
I believe "our" preference for in-line engines pre-dated that and goes back to "our" experiences in the First World War - Sopwith's radial engine types primarily the Sopwith Camel were difficult aircraft to fly, whereas the S.E.5's and the Bristol Fighter both designed and built for in-line engines were extremely forgiving aircraft to fly, fast, powerful, well armed extremely stable gun platforms that could be built faster and cheaper than any German aircraft it might come up against.

The making of the legendary North American P-51 came about when it was fitted with the Rolls Royce Merlin engine. Up until that point in terms of performance it was very mediocre.

The story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table - Merlin disappeared and the legend went that if at some point in the future if ever Britain was threatened then Merlin would return to save his land - Merlins powered the Hurricanes, the Spitfires, the Mosquitos and the Lancasters - looks as though the legend came true.


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Subject: RE: US planes different to euro ones - WW2
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Jun 15 - 02:36 AM

I think the Wankel is a rotary engine, Don, but not a radial. That is what the article says anyway. If that is not true I will have to unlearn something I learned yesterday!

My favourite kit was a night fighter with a twin fuselage but for the life of me I cannot find what it was called. Maybe I am mixing two planes up?


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Subject: RE: US planes different to euro ones - WW2
From: Teribus
Date: 10 Jun 15 - 04:24 AM

Twin fuselage or twin/boom tail - US Aircraft called the Black Widow:

Northop P-61 Black Widow

Or the Twin Mustang:

North American F-82 Twin Mustang


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Subject: RE: US planes different to euro ones - WW2
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Jun 15 - 05:41 AM

Don't think it is either but thanks anyway. Something in the back of my mind tells me it did not have the central section like the Northop and, unlike the Mustang, had a cockpit on one side only. A flash just came to me - Maybe it was not twin fuselage in that sense but had an offset fuselage with cockpit on one side and a smaller one balancing it on the other? Or maybe I dreamt it!


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Subject: RE: US planes different to euro ones - WW2
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Jun 15 - 05:44 AM

Dtg, I'd guess that terms may vary from place to place but using the terms in Wikipedia:.

Both the rotary and radial engines are designs which use pistons. In the case of the rotary, the cylinders etc. rotates around a stationary crankshaft. With the radial, it is the camshaft that rotates.

The one that is being referred to as the Wankel, is a design which uses rotors instead of pistons.


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Subject: RE: US planes different to euro ones - WW2
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Jun 15 - 05:48 AM

"With the radial, it is the camshaft that rotates."

I meant the crankshaft above.


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Subject: RE: US planes different to euro ones - WW2
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Jun 15 - 06:09 AM

Guess so, Don (is it?) It was just that the article I read said the Wankel was a rotary in that it used a rotor rather than pistons. Thanks for making me look again though as I found the Gnome engine! Now, where can I get one of those? :-)


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Subject: RE: US planes different to euro ones - WW2
From: Teribus
Date: 10 Jun 15 - 07:28 AM

Blohm und Voss BV 141

Not a fighter but a "Tactical Recon" Aircraft asymmetric fuselage.


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Subject: RE: US planes different to euro ones - WW2
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 10 Jun 15 - 07:50 AM

Teribus - cheers for the info - the big 1960s kid inside me still has an enthusiasm for classic era flying boats...

If I was billionaire I'd definitely do a 'Howard Hughes'
and commision a rebuild fully air worthy Short Sunderland replica...

Just imagine how impressive it'd be to see one landing in the Bristol Channel,

that'd stuff one up those dick brained show off jet skiers...😜


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Subject: RE: US planes different to euro ones - WW2
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 10 Jun 15 - 08:09 AM

My mother was on a Sunderland sqn at Mountbatten Island off Plymouth in WW2.
Australians.
She was an RAF cook and would be invited to on board parties.
The Sunderland had a little galley for cooking.


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Subject: RE: US planes different to euro ones - WW2
From: Teribus
Date: 10 Jun 15 - 08:52 AM

A Policeman, whose daughter was a friend of my sister's, before the Second World War worked as a Steward for Imperial Airways flying the pre-war civilian version of what became the Sunderland from Southampton to Nice/Monte Carlo then on to Alexandria, down the Nile to Khartoum then down to Lake Victoria and on to land at Durban. He had some amazing photographs of herds of wildlife on migration taken from the aircraft flying at 1,500 ft. He said the Galley area had a big hatch (Later used for fitting depth charges to racks to drop on enemy submarines) that could be opened in flight and that you could lean out to watch what was going on below.

When the war came he joined the RAF serving throughout in Coastal Command as aircrew in Sunderland Flying Boats. After the war he joined the police force.


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Subject: RE: US planes different to euro ones - WW2
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Jun 15 - 09:36 AM

Wow - Wonder what current regulations would have to say about such a hatch :-) Would love to see something like that. Don't recall every trying to build a model Sunderland - Too big I think. Same with the Lancaster. Small room shared with my brother had display limitations!


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Subject: RE: US planes different to euro ones - WW2
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 10 Jun 15 - 09:40 AM

The Hercules has doors on either side that you can open in flight, as well as a ramp at the back.


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Subject: RE: US planes different to euro ones - WW2
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 10 Jun 15 - 11:39 AM

Dave the Gnome - you might check out http://www.vintage-airfix.com/ ...

I've got things I should be getting on with before the mrs get's home from work..
but now that I've started looking through this site.....😎


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Subject: RE: US planes different to euro ones - WW2
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Jun 15 - 05:32 PM

Mustn't look, mustn't look, mustn't lo... Oh. Go on then :-)


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Subject: RE: US planes different to euro ones - WW2
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 23 Jun 15 - 06:31 AM

And now for something completely different...

Kalinin K-7

Never seen anything like that before!


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Subject: RE: US planes different to euro ones - WW2
From: MartinRyan
Date: 23 Jun 15 - 06:40 AM

Good to see that so many small boys remain small boys to the end.... ;>)>

Regards


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Subject: RE: US planes different to euro ones - WW2
From: Tangledwood
Date: 23 Jun 15 - 07:54 PM

Sopwith's radial engine types primarily the Sopwith Camel were difficult aircraft to fly

Thanks Teribus. Those engines were rotary, not radial, meaning that the entire engine - crankcase, cylinders etc, rotated around a fixed crankshaft. This was a large mass creating large gyroscopic forces. As I understand it this is what made the aircraft so difficult to fly. In addition they were lubricated with castor oil which sprayed back giving the pilot a liberal dose.


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Subject: RE: US planes different to euro ones - WW2
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 03 Jul 15 - 07:25 AM

Since I started looking these things up my Facebook ads keep throwing them back at me! The latest is the Lun class ekranoplan. Amazing thing!

:D


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Subject: RE: US planes different to euro ones - WW2
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 03 Jul 15 - 10:07 AM

Kalinin K-7 the K-7 was one of the biggest aircraft built before the jet age.

Bigger than the Spruce Goose?

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: US planes different to euro ones - WW2
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 03 Jul 15 - 10:33 AM

if you enjoyed an early childhood of Eagle comic, Airfix kits, Stingray & Thunderbirds,
you'll never fail to get a buzz out of discovering these bizarre colossal flying machines...


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Subject: RE: US planes different to euro ones - WW2
From: GUEST,Roger Knowles
Date: 03 Jul 15 - 08:42 PM

My dear departed Dad flew an English aircraft for the first month of WW2,an Avro Anson, which was hopeless for the job it was given.
After that, US aircraft mainly, the B17 Fortress, the Lockheed Hudson and the Consolidated B-24 Liberator.
He told me, over drinks, that without US aircraft, in his opinion, he would have been unable to complete his role in Coastal Command.
Just an opinion from a man with 5800 flying hours, a Distinguished Flying Medal, the sinker of U-Boat 540, who started as an AC2 and ended as a Squadron Leader.


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Subject: RE: US planes different to euro ones - WW2
From: bubblyrat
Date: 04 Jul 15 - 07:15 AM

My Dear Departed Dad did his WOP/AG training in an Anson, and had nothing but praise and affection for the type,which was a "Jack Of All Trades " in WW 2; navigation trainer,gunnery trainer, anti-submarine patroller, mail and personnel carrier, etc etc ; one in which he flew even force-landed at Tiree following an engine failure (luckily just the one ) and the crew spent the next few days eating more eggs than they had during the rest of the war ! Later, he experienced radial engine failure in a B17 of 214 ( Bomber Support)Squadron from RAF Oulton, and was pleased that the type continued to fly happily on the other 3 !
He crashed (in an AVRO York ) at Dum Dum , India, in 1946 ,which ended his flying days (as a Flying Officer) and he retired from Strike Command in High Wycombe in 1984 as second-in-command of civilian Radio Officers.


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Subject: RE: US planes different to euro ones - WW2
From: bubblyrat
Date: 04 Jul 15 - 07:42 AM

PS ; I believe that the Lancaster bomber was one of the few, if not the ONLY, aircraft of WW2 to be powered by BOTH types of engine.At a time of shortage of the RR Merlin engines, needed for Spitfires,Hurricanes, etc, and until US-built Merlins arrived in sufficient numbers, many Lancasters were built with RADIAL engines ; Bristol "Hercules" sleeve-valve engines , I think ?? (I am writing this from memory !!)


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Subject: RE: US planes different to euro ones - WW2
From: gnu
Date: 04 Jul 15 - 03:52 PM

Great info. Great thread.


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