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View Full Version : C.J. Land's oral history...diving



XyZspineZyX
10-16-2003, 03:56 AM
Spoke this evening at length with Dad. He's here for the Florida-Arkansas game. We went to a nice Chinese buffet, than sat back and talked flying.

He was combat qualified in the P-40, P-47 and P-51. One of the very few left, probably. Anyway, I asked him some simple questions about diving the three planes.

First off, he said unequivocably, that the pilot's manuals were to be ignored in diving the three planes ( I asked because the manuals themselves have been used as diving ability evidence by some here). He didn't know anybody that paid any attention at all to the published dive limit figures in any US pilots manual. It was a given that in the P-47 you just put the nose down and went full throttle. Period. It would pull you out before you hit the ground. Combat flaps in the N model helped raise the nose. The stick wobbled some, as did the rudder, but Pilots Manual? Limits? The limits were physics and the laws of motion.

In the Mustang it was not as stable. You also ignored any pilots manual and flew the plane. The closer you got to max mach the squirrellier it got. Initial dive the Mustang was quicker. In very long extended dives the T-Bolt tended to gain it back. Pull outs in the P-51 were easier, due to less compression, but you had to be very careful to not overdo it. The T-Bolt, well, just wrestle it, the plane was tougher than you were. Less stability in the P-51, but better controllability at very high speeds.

Pop said the P-47 just zoomed fantastic after a high speed dive. He also said the P-51 zoomed quite a bit better. I quizzed him pretty hard on this, and he said the Mustang was just amazing, it kept going up. The D model T-Bolts outzoomed the -1 Corsairs, the Corsair -4's could outzoom the D model T-Bolts, the N model T-Bolts outzoomed the Corsairs, and the Mustangs laughed at everybody. Dad said that the one sure thing the P-51 just absolutely had on everyone was that zoom climb.

Dad told of his one flight in a P-39. It was at Warner Robbins AFB after the war, when he was serving with 5th AF Headquarters. The plane was a left over from a base closing in Florida, still on the books and very much flyable. The plane needed a test hop after repairs to the prop, and Dad gladly agreed to fly it.

After reviewing the relevant documents, he taxiied the thing. He said it was truly a wonder to taxi after all the tail draggers. P-39's always got to the runway first to take off, according to Dad. The cockpit was nice, kind of a P-40ish feel. The drive train running between his feet gave off an eerie whine. It still had the cannon in the nose.

Dad didn't like the sluggish way it got into the air, bouncing a few times before getting up. He said it flew very nicely, accelerated very well. He'd heard how poorly it turned, so he tried a few. The thing shuddered very badly as the speed dropped with a g load, and he didn't push it. The reputation for uncontrolled stalls/spins was pretty big in the AAF/USAF.

Dad said it landed fantastically, coming in true and smooth, easiest prop plane he'd ever landed. He kind of liked flying it, wasn't sure about fighting it. It was underpowered compared to the late model props he'd flown, but what did you expect? Oh yeah. It made a LOT of smoke on startup, prompting him to ask the crew chief if it was broken. He said it was normal, that it smoked more than other US types.

All the above comes from the memory of an 82 soon to be 83 year old man. Please, no flames. I paraphrase a bit, but do use him as an arbitrator to a certain extent of some of the dialogue here. This is posted for our enjoyment only, and not to try to settle or inflame an argument. Just one heroic old SOB's take on things many decades ago.

Dad flew fighters from the P-36 to the F-101B Voodoo, retiring in 1970. He is a veteran of three wars. He won the DFC in Korea, the Soldiers medal, and three Air Medals. I am very proud of him, needless to say.

XyZspineZyX
10-16-2003, 03:56 AM
Spoke this evening at length with Dad. He's here for the Florida-Arkansas game. We went to a nice Chinese buffet, than sat back and talked flying.

He was combat qualified in the P-40, P-47 and P-51. One of the very few left, probably. Anyway, I asked him some simple questions about diving the three planes.

First off, he said unequivocably, that the pilot's manuals were to be ignored in diving the three planes ( I asked because the manuals themselves have been used as diving ability evidence by some here). He didn't know anybody that paid any attention at all to the published dive limit figures in any US pilots manual. It was a given that in the P-47 you just put the nose down and went full throttle. Period. It would pull you out before you hit the ground. Combat flaps in the N model helped raise the nose. The stick wobbled some, as did the rudder, but Pilots Manual? Limits? The limits were physics and the laws of motion.

In the Mustang it was not as stable. You also ignored any pilots manual and flew the plane. The closer you got to max mach the squirrellier it got. Initial dive the Mustang was quicker. In very long extended dives the T-Bolt tended to gain it back. Pull outs in the P-51 were easier, due to less compression, but you had to be very careful to not overdo it. The T-Bolt, well, just wrestle it, the plane was tougher than you were. Less stability in the P-51, but better controllability at very high speeds.

Pop said the P-47 just zoomed fantastic after a high speed dive. He also said the P-51 zoomed quite a bit better. I quizzed him pretty hard on this, and he said the Mustang was just amazing, it kept going up. The D model T-Bolts outzoomed the -1 Corsairs, the Corsair -4's could outzoom the D model T-Bolts, the N model T-Bolts outzoomed the Corsairs, and the Mustangs laughed at everybody. Dad said that the one sure thing the P-51 just absolutely had on everyone was that zoom climb.

Dad told of his one flight in a P-39. It was at Warner Robbins AFB after the war, when he was serving with 5th AF Headquarters. The plane was a left over from a base closing in Florida, still on the books and very much flyable. The plane needed a test hop after repairs to the prop, and Dad gladly agreed to fly it.

After reviewing the relevant documents, he taxiied the thing. He said it was truly a wonder to taxi after all the tail draggers. P-39's always got to the runway first to take off, according to Dad. The cockpit was nice, kind of a P-40ish feel. The drive train running between his feet gave off an eerie whine. It still had the cannon in the nose.

Dad didn't like the sluggish way it got into the air, bouncing a few times before getting up. He said it flew very nicely, accelerated very well. He'd heard how poorly it turned, so he tried a few. The thing shuddered very badly as the speed dropped with a g load, and he didn't push it. The reputation for uncontrolled stalls/spins was pretty big in the AAF/USAF.

Dad said it landed fantastically, coming in true and smooth, easiest prop plane he'd ever landed. He kind of liked flying it, wasn't sure about fighting it. It was underpowered compared to the late model props he'd flown, but what did you expect? Oh yeah. It made a LOT of smoke on startup, prompting him to ask the crew chief if it was broken. He said it was normal, that it smoked more than other US types.

All the above comes from the memory of an 82 soon to be 83 year old man. Please, no flames. I paraphrase a bit, but do use him as an arbitrator to a certain extent of some of the dialogue here. This is posted for our enjoyment only, and not to try to settle or inflame an argument. Just one heroic old SOB's take on things many decades ago.

Dad flew fighters from the P-36 to the F-101B Voodoo, retiring in 1970. He is a veteran of three wars. He won the DFC in Korea, the Soldiers medal, and three Air Medals. I am very proud of him, needless to say.

ZG77_Nagual
10-16-2003, 03:59 AM
Nice - thanks!

http://pws.chartermi.net/~cmorey/pics/whiner.jpg

XyZspineZyX
10-16-2003, 04:27 AM
~S~ thank for sharing his recolections

U.S INFANTRY 1984-1991

XyZspineZyX
10-16-2003, 11:51 AM
Sweet thread! I love reading stuff like this. I am wondering, have you ever enticed him into trying out this sim? I would love to hear his comments about the experience.

As a side note; I can sense your admiration for your father, and as a dad myself, I am sure he cherishes this above anything else. I think both you and he are very lucky! ~S!~

http://webpages.charter.net/cuda70/Fehler.jpg

XyZspineZyX
10-16-2003, 03:48 PM
Slickun,

Thanks for the awesome post. How lucky we are to still have some of the REAL pilots around to tell us these things. There is a 352nd pilot that is a friend of my grandfather's (and mine, now) and I can sit and listen to him talk all day long. He was telling me about the time a few years back the he and his wife went back to visit Bodney. It was really cool. He affirmed some of the things your father said too- like forget the manual and numbers. He mostly flew the P-51 but I asked him about the P-47 and he said it handled extremely well. I will admit that surprised me but that came from a man (like your father) that knew first hand. I have asked him to come over and fly FB but I was really hoping the Mustang would be out before he does. Thanks again for the informative post and tell your father thanks for his contibution to our freedom. It is not and will not be forgotten! S~

---
<font color=white font size="3" face="arial"Lt."Serpent"
<font size="3"><font face="bd hanover">352nd Fighter Group</font> [VR]
<font face="bd hanover">487th Fighter Squadron</font>
<font><font color="#330099"><font size="5"><font face="brush script mt">"Second To None!"</font>

<font>[b]<font size="2" font color=black>[(HL)_352FG; (UBI) USAAF_352FG]: The<font><font color=#330099 face="brush script mt"font size="5">"First"</font><font color=black font size="2"> 352FG in IL-2FB</font>

Serpent out

XyZspineZyX
10-16-2003, 10:10 PM
Dad plays ping pong with the idea of whicvh plane actually outdove the other, the Mustang or the P-47. Drives me crazy. One visit it will be the Mustang, the next the P-47. One thing that stays the same is his descriptions of stability and acceleration. The P-47 was more stable, and the guys KNEW it would pull out no matter what they did. The Mustang was more wobbly, and they had to fly it carefully in all out dives, but even though wobbly it was controllable at higher speeds.

Dad is computer illiterate. Well, PC illiterate. He worked with primitive computers in the USAF.

Some other things that were brought out yesterday:

Jug pilots would practice turn fights for fun, but bouncing and zooming made you almost invulnerable in combat.

It is a well known Mustang trait that with any fuel in the fuselage tank a 3 G turn became a 5 G turn very quickly. It became automatic to remedy this with forward stick pressure in tight turns. Pop said you didn't even think about it.

Dad said the K-14 was great. He felt it was a real boon to the US fighter pilot.

I quizzed him pretty good about visibility in the P-51. He thought it was the best he ever sat in. When asked about seeing over the nose and using the K-14 in high G events, did one lose sight of the enemy plane, he felt it just wasn't a problem.

He thought the P-47N was not very good until it had burned off about 1/2 the fuel.

XyZspineZyX
10-17-2003, 10:25 AM
sweet!!! bump cant wait cant wait for the P-51(they bugger it up i quit)

XyZspineZyX
10-17-2003, 02:05 PM
Wow! Thanks for sharing that.

-- Dad is computer illiterate. Well, PC illiterate. He
-- worked with primitive computers in the USAF.

/i/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif Today's computer literate could never work the Voodoo cockpit--heard it was a ~very~ heavy workload. If you can, ask him about that F~101B interceptor, something nobody will ever sim as it drifts into history with the...Pe~2. /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

XyZspineZyX
10-17-2003, 02:25 PM
And what would you like to know about the 101's cockpit?

Pop was the Commanding Officer of the 87th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, based at Lockbourne (then Rickenbacker, now closed) AFB outside Columbus, Ohio, from 1964-1966. They flew the beast.
So, whaddya wanna know?