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View Full Version : OT: Ever wonder why? (usage of planes by air forces)



Eraser_tr
02-06-2005, 07:39 PM
Has anyone else ever wondered why the US navy and Army used completely different planes during world war 2?

Britain navalized their spitfires and hurricanes for carrier operations, but why not typhoons and tempests (or mossies for that matter)?. They had the Sea Fury after the war, but why didn't the FAA try out the tiffie 1b or mkiv tempest?. Did the US navy ever try adding a tailhook to a P-40, 47, 38 or 51? I know they tested out a P-39 for a carrier. I just thought with the reputation the 47 and 51 had as great aircraft, the navy would have some interest in using them for carrier ops.

Likewise, how come the wildcat, hellcat and corsair weren't of interest to the USAAF?

Eraser_tr
02-06-2005, 07:39 PM
Has anyone else ever wondered why the US navy and Army used completely different planes during world war 2?

Britain navalized their spitfires and hurricanes for carrier operations, but why not typhoons and tempests (or mossies for that matter)?. They had the Sea Fury after the war, but why didn't the FAA try out the tiffie 1b or mkiv tempest?. Did the US navy ever try adding a tailhook to a P-40, 47, 38 or 51? I know they tested out a P-39 for a carrier. I just thought with the reputation the 47 and 51 had as great aircraft, the navy would have some interest in using them for carrier ops.

Likewise, how come the wildcat, hellcat and corsair weren't of interest to the USAAF?

LW_lcarp
02-06-2005, 07:59 PM
Naval Aircraft had radial engines.

As far as the rest it took years to get the Corsair carrier aproved because of landing gear issues.

So it must of been easier to just design a new and different plane then go thru the hassles of trying to get the USAAF palnes carrier approved

Bikewer
02-06-2005, 08:00 PM
Just off the top of my head, I'd say that the Brit production capacity wasn't up to supplying aircraft for them and us both.

Naval requirments for carrier aircraft are pretty stringent; not only must the airframe be very durable, but the plane must have great longevity for long missions.
Army aircraft can generally fly from close-to-the-front bases.

Zyzbot
02-06-2005, 08:02 PM
just a few quick thoughts:

USN and US Army didn't get along well with each other at times! (Understatement)

USN preferred the radial air cooled engines for safety reasons.

P-47 and P-51 probably didn't have the low speed handling that a carrier aircraft needs.

Carrier aircraft take a pounding with daily carrier landings. The British Seafire conversions from the Spitfire suffered a bit in this regard.

Aztek_Eagle
02-06-2005, 08:13 PM
diferent enviroments, needs diferent planes, even today this is a question to discuss in the military aviation, now they finaly are creating a same plane for all tree air arms in the usa, the plane gona be able to, to conventional use from base, able to take off land on carriers, and vertical take off... cant remember the name of the plane..... looks similar to the f22

LEXX_Luthor
02-06-2005, 08:19 PM
PF made me look at the flying range of early WW2 USA single engine fighters, and I am stunned. Wow! With the obvious exception of lightweight Japanese fighters, everybody else had short range fighters by comparison.

gerhardius
02-06-2005, 08:33 PM
Supposedly Admiral Nimitz suggested looking into a carrier version of the P-40F and having Marine squadrons equipped with P-40Fs instaed of F4Fs, can't recall where I read that though.

horseback
02-06-2005, 08:53 PM
1) As pointed out earlier, the US Army Air Corps and Navy were competing fiercely for those Depression-era air defense tax dollars. Even as late as the 1970s, each service was trying to jam it's standard bearer fighter down the other's throat (F-15 vs F-14), with the ultimate loser being the F-14, which was deprived during most of its operational career of the superior engine (F100 series which ultimately powered the B/D Tomcats as well as the F-15 and F-16).

The reality is that while neither service is capable of fully appreciating the other's primary mission, to this very day, every other administration/Secretary of Defense has thought that the same aircraft can be created to fit both missions.

2) The FAA was originally required to take RAF aircraft for it's needs, and immediately after they were freed of this requirement(in the late 30s), they blundered badly by insisting that all their aircraft needed a second crewman to navigate (or something), resulting in unsuccessful aircraft like the Skua and Fulmar. By the time their error had become obvious, the best available carrier fighters were American. The wartime Seafires were never as rugged as the carrier navy needed, and the Typhoon had too many operational problems from land bases.

3) The top late model USAAF wartime fighters were a bit on the heavy side to begin with, due to their range and altitude performance requirements. While P-40s and P-47s did make a few carrier takeoffs, and the D-model Mustang was evaluated for carrier use, the necessary structural reinforcement would probably have resulted in crippling weight increases. The P-38 was never considered because it took up too much space to fit on a carrier elevator, even with folded wings.

4) The F4U was combat operational before the P-47, and both it and the Hellcat were combat successes before the Merlin Mustangs had earned their place in the fighter pantheon. Their per unit costs were pretty low compared to the AAF fighters, and they were already carrier ready, with their successors (in the -4 Corsair and the F8F Bearcat) already in the pipeline.

5) The Wildcat was not comparable (below 20,000 ft) to it's AAF contemporaries, the P-38, 39 & 40. The Corsair and Hellcat lacked the high altitude performance needed in Europe for bomber escort, and Marshall and Arnold would have thrown massive hissy fits at the mere possiblity of Naval aviators operating these aircraft in the ETO or MTO for fulltime operations.

cheers

horseback

ImpStarDuece
02-06-2005, 08:55 PM
One of the real reasons the FAA didnt have a high peformance carrier borne plane is that the Navy effectively neutered its funding pre-war. The FAA did have its own areo developement outfit it just didn't keep pace effectively and the Spit and Hurri were brought in to substitute. Fairey, Blackburn pretty much developed only for the FAA.

Similarly, there was a dedicated air force already in place. An organisation the style of the RAF simply didn't exist in the US, despite the efforts of individuals such as Billy Mitchell. Both the NAvy and the Army saw the need for air power but in different ways with different requirements. Both had traditionally favoured different manufacturers, fought each other bitterly about air power and its overlap for each service (and its role in defence/offence). Without a dedicated Air Force both services saw fit to develope different aircraft for diferent requirements.

3.JG51_BigBear
02-06-2005, 08:56 PM
A land based fighter will always have greater performance than a carrier based fighter because it does not have to be engineered to operate off a carrier. Carrier aircraft have two big disadvantages to land based fighters. First they're heavier and require greater fuel loads. They're heavier because everything about them has to be overengineered to handle the stress of landings. They need to carry greater gas loads because of the tactics involved in carrier combat (long range flights and patrols, sometimes you need to mount extensive searches for the enemy because his exact position isn't always known). They're designs also emphasize low speed handling for carrier takeoffs and landings.

Land based fighters on the other hand enjoy much more room to takeoff and land so they can come in much hotter. They can also be much lighter because the stress on the airframe during ladnings is nothing compared to that put on carrier A/C. I think that land based fithers and carrier based fighters were designed for such different roles that carry overs wouldn't have been that successful.

cwojackson
02-06-2005, 09:07 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by 3.JG51_BigBear:
A land based fighter will always have greater performance than a carrier based fighter because it does not have to be engineered to operate off a carrier. Carrier aircraft have two big disadvantages to land based fighters. First they're heavier and require greater fuel loads. They're heavier because everything about them has to be overengineered to handle the stress of landings. They need to carry greater gas loads because of the tactics involved in carrier combat (long range flights and patrols, sometimes you need to mount extensive searches for the enemy because his exact position isn't always known). They're designs also emphasize low speed handling for carrier takeoffs and landings.

Land based fighters on the other hand enjoy much more room to takeoff and land so they can come in much hotter. They can also be much lighter because the stress on the airframe during ladnings is nothing compared to that put on carrier A/C. I think that land based fithers and carrier based fighters were designed for such different roles that carry overs wouldn't have been that successful. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Another factor involving the weight was something as simple as the landing gear. The gear on land based planes were usually lighter because they didn't have to routinely absorb the high impact of carrier landings.

And one other factor was/is also politics. The Army and Navy, perpetually in competition, had their own favorite designers.

LEXX_Luthor
02-06-2005, 09:51 PM
BigBear:: <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I think that land based fithers and carrier based fighters were designed for such different roles that carry overs wouldn't have been that successful. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Interesting idea.

mmm, dunno. The MARINES had a hot land based plane...Corsair. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif But of course Corsair was considered rather hot for carrier ops but it eventually made it. Anyway, all NAVY planes were operated from land. Indeed, possibly the majority of combat missions of either one or both sides' NAVY planes were conducted from land bases, at least up to 1944. Not sure at all about this http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif but you read much of NAVY planes operating from land bases.

3.JG51_BigBear
02-06-2005, 09:54 PM
I think I miss typed. I meant that army A/C would have been unsuited for modification for carrier ops.

Many aircraft were used by the Navy based on islands but I believe that they would have been better off flying planes designed for land ops rather than carier planes.

LEXX_Luthor
02-06-2005, 09:57 PM
ya I guess your right, but Corsair comes close to being "good enough" as land based plane, and perhaps it shows in how long it took to become accepted for carriers.

Beaufort-RAF
02-07-2005, 01:33 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
Britain navalized their spitfires and hurricanes for carrier operations, but why not typhoons and tempests (or mossies for that matter)?. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

A 'Sea Mosquito' was developed but it didn't make it's first flight until just after the war finished.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> The FAA was originally required to take RAF aircraft for it's needs, and immediately after they were freed of this requirement(in the late 30s), they blundered badly by insisting that all their aircraft needed a second crewman to navigate (or something), resulting in unsuccessful aircraft like the Skua and Fulmar. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Of course the Fulmar was totally outclassed by single seaters but despite that it actually had a very important operational record in the Mediterranean. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/10.gif

IL2-chuter
02-07-2005, 06:10 AM
I believe Grumman dropped the Hellcat (static drop test, higher than required) from ten feet and it passed (and the gear falls off the plane if lowered at too high a speed in the game). Try doin' that with a Mustang. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

As for gettin' Corsair on carriers . . . the marines had to fly something . . . Hellcats? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif The Hellcat spares program was already shipboard . . . Corsair's wasn't (and, Corsairs were operated off carriers by land based marines long before it was assigned to carriers). Marines just couldn't be expected to fly Warhawks . . . http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

Ijnpilot
02-07-2005, 09:45 PM
It's interesting to ponder that the Zero was lightly constructed, yet tough enough to endure carrier landings.

3.JG51_BigBear
02-07-2005, 09:52 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Ijnpilot:
It's interesting to ponder that the Zero was lightly constructed, yet tough enough to endure carrier landings. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Its not that hard to imagine. Without any armour or self-sealing tanks and a very large wing area it probably landed very gently.

WOLFMondo
02-08-2005, 01:04 AM
The Tempest did see use on carriers. In the shape of the Seafury which was essentially a Tempest II with the inner wing removed and a raised cockpit and a few other changes, it was a Tempest 'lite'. Im not sure the Tiffy would have worked to well, it was a very dangerous plane at low speeds and the FAA had the Corsair anyway which arguable could do the same work as the Typhoon and as well as the Typhoon.

DDad
02-08-2005, 10:24 AM
As I recal- the original problem with the Corsair for carrier ops was due to its poor forward visibilty- in a normal approach the pilot cannot see the Landing officer until the very last second
It took the British to develop a curving approach which kept the LSO in sight at all times

DRB_Hookech0
02-08-2005, 11:52 AM
For those that are wondering....FAA I believe Britspeak for Fleet Air Arm. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Now on to the Corsair. IIRC VF-17 did all thier carrier quals in the F4u-1 and after the initial shakedown cruise with Air Wing 17 on CV-17 Bunker Hill, they receieved the 1st batch of F4U-1a's. Also they were to be deployed on CV-17 with 'Hawgs in the spring of 43 and were pulled off ship in San Diego after the Navy figured out that having to supply 1 or 2 F4U squadrons on cairriers at the end of a long and suspect supply chain would be a huge undertaking. VF-17 was given the option of transitioning to Hellcats or staying with the 'Hawgs and going land based. Well History tells us they made the right move, staying with the 'Hawgs.

The problems with the Oleo's (shocks) were corrected in the 1a's and other than supply problems, the Hawgs would have stayed on CV-17.

Ijnpilot
02-08-2005, 02:51 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by 3.JG51_BigBear:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Ijnpilot:
It's interesting to ponder that the Zero was lightly constructed, yet tough enough to endure carrier landings. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Its not that hard to imagine. Without any armour or self-sealing tanks and a very large wing area it probably landed very gently. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I can see what you're saying, but even an empty Zero landing is still 1700 kilos moving at 120+ km/h with only a tail hook to catch it. That's a lot of force stopping very quickly.

HarryVoyager
02-08-2005, 10:49 PM
The trick is to lightly contruct it in the correct areas. Also, when you can get the carrier heading 30 knots into a 10 knot wind, that 70knot landing speed turns into a gentle 30 knot bump.

I am told that the current F/A-18 is capable of surviving a four story drop onto its landing gear, without incidental damage, but that may be mere folklore.

However, I do know that Lockheed did attempt to certify the F-16 for carrier duties, and discovered that about three landings after any carrier landing the air intake for the engine would collapse, due to fatigue sustained from the carrier landing.

They determined that the only way to prevent that was to actually physically move the air intake out of the force path of the forward landing strut. It was then decided that it would be easier, and cheaper to adapt the YF-17 to the Navy's mission, rather than trying to redesign the F-16 to be able to survive carrier landings.

That, incidentally, is why the JSF is designed with two cheek mounted intakes, rather than the single chin intake of the F-16.

Harry Voyager

jpatrick62
02-14-2005, 12:31 PM
Actually, the US Navy did test the P51 out as a carrier plane prior to the Okinawa campaign, simply for its range. the results, acording to Grumman test pilot Corky Meyers, were dissappointing. the P51's laminar wing was great fro high alt perfomrance, but induced a nasty stall and unwelcome carrier landing traits. In addition, the heavier weight required for adding a tail hook, extra body stiffening reqiured, and folding wings would have destroyed the 51's performance. Its also tru that earlier Navy tests proved the F4U superior in most respoects to the 51, so the point was mute. See P51 vs F4U (http://www.geocities.com/slakergmb/id3.htm)

In retrospect, it's amazing that any carrier based fighter could compete with land based fighters on perfomance, especially considering the extra weight they must add for body bracing, landing gear strength, folding wing mechanisms, etc. Imagine what the F4u would have been minus all these weight add-ons!

rcocean
02-15-2005, 12:46 PM
1) P-40 didn't have the range for naval warfare

2) p-38 with two engines was too big and complex for carriers.

3) P-47 came into use at the same time as the hellcat and corsair. It didn't have the range or the performance under 25, 000 feet to replace either the hellcat or the corsair.

4_ P-51 didnt come into use until 1944 by which time the corsair and hellcat were well established. Like the P-47 the mustang wasn't superior to the hellcat or the corsair under 20,000 ft and would have suffered if navalized.
It should be noted the F4u and Bearcat were both superior to the P-51 under 25, 000 ft.

5. British navalized the spitfire because they had to.

OY-THEIS
02-15-2005, 01:15 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Aztek_Eagle:
diferent enviroments, needs diferent planes, even today this is a question to discuss in the military aviation, now they finaly are creating a same plane for all tree air arms in the usa, the plane gona be able to, to conventional use from base, able to take off land on carriers, and vertical take off... cant remember the name of the plane..... looks similar to the f22 <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
its the F-35
http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ac/f-35.htm
here you go http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif