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Senin, 25 Januari 2010

SUPERMARINE SPITEFUL / SEAFANG, TOO LATE TO JOIN THE WAR



The Supermarine Spiteful was a British Rolls-Royce Griffon-engined fighter aircraft designed by Supermarine to Air Ministry specification F.1/43 during the Second World War as a successor to the Spitfire.
The Supermarine Seafang was a British Rolls-Royce Griffon-engined fighter aircraft designed by Supermarine to Air Ministry specification N.5/45. It was a further development of Supermarine's famous Spitfire and Spiteful aircraft, becoming "a Spitfire too far.

Production and service use

The Spiteful was ordered into production as the Spiteful XIV (having no preceding marks of its own, the numerals were carried over from the original Spitfire XIV conversion), and 150 of the aircraft were ordered. With the advent of jet propulsion, however, the future of high-performance fighters was clearly with the jet fighter, and so the order was later cancelled with only a handful of Spitefuls built. At the time however, there was some uncertainty over whether jet aircraft would be able to operate from the Royal Navy's aircraft carriers so it was decided to develop a naval version of the Spiteful, to specification N.5/45,[4] subsequently named Seafang.

The Seafang featured folding wingtips, a "sting"-type arrester hook and a Griffon 89 or 90 engine, fed from an extended carburettor air intake driving a new Rotol six-bladed contra-rotating propeller. The first one produced was a converted Spiteful XV (RB520) but with the successful operation of the de Havilland Sea Vampire from the carrier HMS Ocean in 1945, the need for the Seafang disappeared.

With the end of the Second World War, Supermarine entered into discussions with Société Nationale de Constructions Aéronautiques du Nord (SNCAN) about licence production of the Spiteful in France, but again the introduction of jet fighters overshadowed the piston-engined fighter and the talks came to nothing.

Variants

  • Spiteful F Mk 14 - 19 built
Engine: Griffon 85 - 2,375 hp (1,771 kW)
Weight: 9,950 lb (4,513 kg)
Max Speed: 476 mph (766 km/h)
  • Spiteful F Mk 15 - 1 built - converted to Seafang prototype
Engine: Griffon 89 - 2,350 hp (1,752 kW)
Weight: 10,200 lb (4,627 kg)
Max Speed: 483 mph (777 km/h)
  • Spiteful F Mk 16 - 2 built - simple, three-speed Griffon conversions from Mark XIV's
Engine: Griffon 101 - 2,420 hp (1,805 kW)
Weight: 9,950 lb (4,513 kg)
Max Speed: 494 mph (795 km/h)
  • Seafang F.Mk 31 - 8 built
Engine: Griffon 61
  • Seafang F.Mk 32 - 10 built
Engine: Griffon 89 - 2,350 hp (1,752 kW)

(wIKIPEDIA)

Selasa, 19 Januari 2010

GEN. LEMAY, A TOUGHFULL US. BOMBER COMMANDER




Curtis Emerson LeMay (November 15, 1906 – October 1, 1990) was a General in the United States Air Force and the vice presidential running mate of American Independent Party candidate George Wallace in 1968.

He is credited with designing and implementing an effective, but also controversial, systematic strategic bombing campaign in the Pacific theater of World War II. During the war, he was known for planning and executing a massive bombing campaign against cities in Japan. After the war, he headed the Berlin airlift, then reorganized the Strategic Air Command (SAC) into an effective instrument of nuclear war.

Biography

Early life and career

Curtis Emerson LeMay was born in Columbus, Ohio on November 15, 1906. His father, Erving LeMay was, at times, an ironworker and general handyman, but he never held a job longer than a few months. His mother, Arizona Carpenter LeMay, did her best to hold her family together. With very limited income, his family moved around the country as his father looked for work, going as far as Montana and California. Eventually they returned to his native city of Columbus. LeMay attended Columbus public schools and studied civil engineering at the Ohio State University. Working his way through college, he graduated with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering. While at Ohio State he was a member of the National Society of Pershing Rifles and the Professional Engineering Fraternity Theta Tau. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Air Corps Reserve in October 1929. He received a regular commission in the United States Army Air Corps in January 1930. He married Helen E. Maitland (died 1994) on June 9, 1934 with whom he had one child—Patricia Jane LeMay Lodge, known as Janie.

LeMay became a pursuit pilot, and while stationed in Hawaii became one of the first members of the Air Corps to receive specialized training in aerial navigation. In August 1937, as navigator on a B-17, he located the battleship Utah in exercises off California, after which the aircraft bombed it with water bombs, despite being given the wrong coordinates by Navy personnel. In May 1938 he navigated B-17s over 610 miles (980 km) over the Atlantic Ocean to intercept the Italian liner Rex to illustrate the ability of airpower to defend the American coasts. War brought rapid promotion and increased responsibility.

When his crews were not flying missions they were being subjected to his relentless training as he believed that training was the key to saving their lives. LeMay was widely and fondly known among his troops as "Old Iron Pants" throughout his career.

World War II

LeMay became known for his Massive incendiary attacks against Japanese cities during the war using hundreds of planes flying at low altitudes.

At the entry of the U.S. to World War II, LeMay was a major in the United States Army Air Forces and commander of the newly created 305th Bomb Group. He took that B-17 Flying Fortress unit to England in October 1942 as part of the Eighth Air Force and led it in combat until May 1943, notably helping to develop the combat box formation. He led the 4th Bombardment Wing and was its first commander when it was reorganized into the 3rd Air Division in September 1943. He often demonstrated his courage by personally leading dangerous missions, including the Regensburg section of the Schweinfurt-Regensburg mission of August 17, 1943. In that mission he led 146 B-17s beyond the range of escorting fighters to Regensburg, Germany, and after bombing, continued on to bases in North Africa, losing 24 bombers in the process.

The heavy losses in veteran crews on this and subsequent deep penetration missions in the autumn of 1943 led the Eighth Air Force to limit missions to targets within escort range. With the deployment in the European theater of the P-51 Mustang in January 1944, the 8th Air Force gained an escort fighter with range to match the bombers.

In August 1944, LeMay transferred to the China-Burma-India theater and directed first the XX Bomber Command in China and then the XXI Bomber Command in the Pacific. LeMay was later placed in charge of all strategic air operations against the Japanese home islands.

LeMay soon concluded that the techniques and tactics developed for use in Europe against the Luftwaffe were unsuitable against Japan. His bombers flying from China were dropping their bombs near their targets only 5% of the time. Operational losses of aircraft and crews were unacceptably high owing to Japanese daylight air defenses and continuing mechanical problems with the B-29. In January 1945 LeMay was transferred from China to relieve Brig. Gen. Haywood S. Hansell as commander of the XXI Bomber Command in the Marianas.

He became convinced that high-altitude, precision bombing would be ineffective, given the usual cloudy weather over Japan. Because Japanese air defenses made daytime bombing below jet stream altitudes too perilous, LeMay finally switched to low-altitude, nighttime incendiary attacks on Japanese targets, a tactic senior commanders had been advocating for some time. Japanese cities were largely constructed of combustible materials such as wood and paper. Precision high-altitude daylight bombing was ordered to proceed only when weather permitted or when specific critical targets were not vulnerable to area bombing.

LeMay commanded subsequent B-29 Superfortress combat operations against Japan, including the massive incendiary attacks on 64 Japanese cities. This included the the firebombing of Tokyo on 9–March 10, 1945, the most destructive bombing raid of the war. For this first attack, LeMay ordered the defensive guns removed from 325 B-29s, loaded each plane with Model E-46 incendiary clusters, magnesium bombs, white phosphorus bombs, and napalm and ordered the bombers to fly in streams at 5,000–9,000 feet over Tokyo.

The first pathfinder planes arrived over Tokyo just after midnight on March 10. Following British bombing practice, they marked the target area with a flaming 'X.' In a three-hour period, the main bombing force dropped 1,665 tons of incendiary bombs, killing some 100,000 civilians, destroying 250,000 buildings and incinerating 16 square miles (41 km2) of the city. Aircrews at the tail end of the bomber stream reported that the stench of burned human flesh permeated the aircraft over the target.

The New York Times reported at the time, "Maj. Gen. Curtis E. LeMay, commander of the B-29s of the entire Marianas area, declared that if the war is shortened by a single day, the attack will have served its purpose."

Precise figures are not available, but the firebombing bombing campaign against Japan, directed by LeMay between March 1945 and the Japanese surrender in August 1945, may have killed more than 500,000 Japanese civilians and left 5 million homeless.[4] Official estimates from the United States Strategic Bombing Survey put the figures at 220,000 people killed.[2] Some 40% of the built-up areas of 66 cities were destroyed, including much of Japan's war industry.[2]

The remaining Allied prisoners of war in Japan who had survived imprisonment to that time were frequently subjected to additional reprisals and torture after an air raid. The massive bombing also hit a number of prisons, and directly killed a number of allied war prisioners. LeMay was quite aware of the Japanese opinion of him—he once remarked that had the U.S. lost the war, he fully expected to be tried for war crimes, especially in view of Japanese executions of uniformed American flight crews during the 1942 Doolittle raid. He argued that it was his duty to carry out the attacks in order to end the war as quickly as possible, sparing further loss of life.

Presidents Roosevelt and Truman justified these tactics by referring to an estimate that seven million American troops would be killed if Japan had to be invaded. Additionally, the Japanese had intentionally decentralized 90 percent of their war-related production into small subcontractor workshops in civilian districts, making remaining Japanese war industry largely immune to conventional precision bombing with high-explosives.[5]

As the fire bombing campaign took effect, Japanese war planners were forced to expend significant resources to relocate vital war industries to remote caves and mountain bunkers, reducing production of war material. A young officer who served under LeMay, Lieutenant Colonel Robert McNamara, was in charge of evaluating the effectiveness of American bombing missions. Later McNamara, as secretary of defense under Kennedy and Johnson, would often clash with LeMay.

LeMay also oversaw Operation Starvation, aerial mining operations against Japanese waterways and ports that disrupted Japanese shipping and food distribution. Although his superiors were unsupportive of this naval objective, LeMay gave it a high commitment level by assigning the entire 313th Bombardment Wing (four groups, about 160 planes) to the task. Aerial mining supplemented a tight Allied submarine blockade of the home islands, drastically reducing Japan's ability to supply its overseas forces to the point that postwar analysis concluded that it could have defeated Japan on its own had it begun earlier.

(WIKIPEDIA)


Rabu, 13 Januari 2010

AZON Bomb (Allies Guided Bomb)


The Azon Bomb consisted of the tail fin unit (pictured above) being bolted to a 1,000-pound GP bomb. Four were usually carried, and the altitude was determined by weather conditions in the target area. Normally, about 15,000 feet was required to apply adequate controls for the missile. Crews were subjected to many alerts only to have a last-minute scrub because of weather. Only seven of the sorties were considered successful, however, Azon is the father of “smart bombs” in use by military forces today around the world. Therefore, a label of success must be applied to the total project, if not in terms of quantity, then most certainly one of quality. To a man, the crews are proud of their all-out efforts for even a limited achievement.

The ten Azon aircraft and crews were en route to the CBI Theater when they were diverted to the ETO for bridge and dock missions as D-Day pre-invasion operations. They went to Rackheath, home of the 467th BG, first, remained one day, then on to Horsham. Training in local flight conditions and procedures began and continued for most of May, 1944.

The Azon (Azimuth only) unit consisted of remote controlled fins attached to a 1,000-pound General Purpose bomb, and bombardiers altered the bomb’s trajectory in flight with radio signals which moved the fins. Also, a collar was added to its midsection for additional control. Elevators were attached to the collar similar to preset trim tabs on the control surfaces of aircraft. The elevators created a stabilizing effect on the falling bomb, allowing more ease in altering the missile’s azimuth. Gyros prevented a weaving effect of the bomb as various corrections were made. Compressed air kept the gyros spinning during the time of the fall. The radio system was powered by a dry cell battery whose life was about three minutes – more than enough to exceed time for a thousand pound bomb to strike a target.

Additionally, a smoke generator marked the bomb’s flight path. It produced a streamer of red, white, or green (yellow was added later) to distinguish between individual bombs being controlled.

The bomb only had one fuse -- in its forward end. Settings for the fuse were instantaneous. Difficulty had been encountered early in the development stages using as little as one second delay, accounting for almost as many duds as explosive bombs. This created disadvantages in some types of targets where a delay fuse would have a more destructive force – as in the armor-like surface of bridge spans or concrete construction. But it did add a security factor, deemed necessary, in that the secret weapon would more likely be destroyed on contact rather than fall into enemy hands intact.

The Azon control system was designed to correct deflection errors, and testing indicated this could potentially be reduced to zero. But it would not improve range errors. Experience was said to have shown (in the latter stages of the program) that bombardiers were inclined to be a little careless in solving range problems. Alternately, some bombardiers claimed the ability to shorten an Azon bomb’s flight, but few, if any, boasted of extending one’s range.

Weight of the control unit was only 96 pounds. However, bulkiness of the fins and collar on an assembled bomb made it too large for transporting in the standard 1,000-pound bomb racks. Thus, the aircraft had to be equipped with 2,000-pound bomb racks, and this normally limited the number they were able to carry to four. On some occasions, however, five and even six were transported.

Each aircraft had three antennas mounted beneath its tail section for control purposes. One transmitted a signal on 475 cycles for left deflection, one on 3,000 cycles for right deflection, and the third at 30-40 cycles to activate the smoke generating system. All three frequencies were changed periodically to prevent jamming by enemy radio monitoring crews.

The transmitter was a standard Signal Corps type used in controlling model planes, ships, tanks, and drones. With a power output of 25-watts, the unit was capable of sending on 15 different frequencies. This equipment weighed 33 pounds, and modification to the B-24, for accommodating it, amounted to an additional 25 pounds.

(www.458bg.com)

SB2C HELDIVER aka BEAST

The Curtiss SB2C Helldiver was a carrier-based dive bomber aircraft produced for the United States Navy during World War II. It replaced the Douglas SBD Dauntless in US Navy service. Despite its size, the SB2C was much faster than the SBD it replaced. Crew nicknames for the aircraft included the Big-Tailed Beast (or just the derogatory Beast), Two-Cee and Son-of-a-Bitch 2nd Class (after its designation and partly because of its reputation for having difficult handling characteristics).

Although production problems persisted throughout its combat service, pilots soon changed their minds about the potency of the Helldiver

But since its "teething" came under the scrutiny of wartime, some of the initial deficiencies, were compared to it predecessor, the SBD. Among these criticisms were:
  • "weak structure"
  • "poor handling"
  • "inadequate stability"
  • "unacceptable stall characteristics"
  • "severe buffeting in dives"
  • "sluggish ailerons"

The later models corrected these items which improved its handling, strengthened the structure, larger tail and automatic slots remedied the stall characteristics. Despite its size, the SB2C was much faster than the SBD it replaced. It could keep up with the cruise speed of the fighters. It also had substantially increased range over its predecessor. Unlike the SBD, the SB2C also had the added advantage of having folding wings and twin 20mm cannons. Although production problems persisted throughout its initial combat service, pilots soon changed their minds about the potency of the Helldiver.

The Curtiss aircraft manufacturing company produced 29, 269 aircraft during the war. They also produced 142,840 aircraft engines and 146,468 electric propellers. Among the aircraft it produced were the P-40, the C-46 and 7140 SB2C Helldivers. After WWII, the company never sought any more significant military business, and eventually became a specialty supplier to the aircraft industry.

All that being said, the Helldiver was delivered in large numbers (7,140), equipped many US Navy squadrons, and inflicted a lot of damage on the enemy. It was responsible for more shipping kills than any other aircraft. After the war, it also served in the Greek and Italian Naval Air Forces and served with the French in Viet Nam 195O'S.

Variants

Variant Notes/Key Modifications Dates # Curtiss
SB2C-
# Fair-
child SBF-
# C.C.F.
SBW-
TOTAL
XSB2C-1 R-2600-8 engine, 3-bladed prop, two cowling guns first flight 12/40 - - - -
SB2C-1 Larger fin & rudder, more fuel capacity, Four wing-mounted .50 cal. guns first flight 06/42 200 50 66 316
A25-A Army version, w/o carrier gear. Incl. 410 SB2C-1A to USMC - 900 - - 900
SB2C-1C Two 20mm cannon, first to fly in combat Rabaul 11/43 778 - - 778
XSB2C-2 float plane experiment - - - - -
SB2C-3 Dash-20 engine, 4-bladed prop, Incl. SB2C-3E. Max speed 293 MPH appeared early 1944 1,112 150 413 1,675
SB2C-4 Perforated dive flaps, extra wing fittings. Incl. SB2C-4E appeared mid 1944 2,045 100 270 2,415
SB2C-5 Slightly more fuel capacity delivered Feb. 1945 970 - 86 1,056
SB2C-6 Dash-28 engine, longer fuselage Cancelled, none built 0 - - 0
SB2C TOTAL 6,005 300 835 7,140


Specifications (SB2C Helldiver)

General characteristics

  • Crew: Two, pilot and radio operator/gunner
  • Length: 36 ft 9 in (11.2 m)
  • Wingspan: 49 ft 9 in (15.2 m)
  • Height: 14 ft 9 in (4.5 m)
  • Wing area: 422 ft² (39.2 m²)
  • Empty weight: 10,114 lb (4,588 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 13,674 lb (6,202 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 16,800 lb (7,600 kg)
  • Powerplant:Wright R-2600 Cyclone radial engine, 1,900 hp (1,400 kW)

Performance

Armament

  • 2 × 20 mm (.79 in) cannon in the wings
  • 2 × 0.30 in (7.62 mm) M1919 Browning machine guns in the rear cockpit
  • Internal bay: 2,000 lb (900 kg) of bombs or 1 × Mark 13-2 torpedo
  • Underwing hardpoints: 500 lb (225 kg) of bombs each
(WIKIPEDIA & www.acepilots.com)

Rabu, 06 Januari 2010

Hans-Joachim Marseille, Undefeated German Ace


Hans-Joachim Marseille (13 December 1919–30 September 1942; German: IPA: [hants joˈaχɪm mɑrˈseɪ]) was a Luftwaffe fighter pilot and flying ace during World War II. He is noted for his aerial battles during the North African Campaign and his bohemian lifestyle. Arguably one of the best fighter pilots of World War II, he was nicknamed the "Star of Africa". Marseille claimed all but seven of his "official" 158 victories against the British Commonwealth's Desert Air Force over North Africa, flying the Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighter for his entire combat career. No other pilot claimed as many Western Allied aircraft as Marseille.[1]

Marseille, of French Huguenot ancestry, joined the Luftwaffe in 1938. At the age of 20 he graduated from one of the Luftwaffe's fighter pilot school just in time to participate in the Battle of Britain, without notable success. A charming person, he had such a busy night life that sometimes he was too tired to be allowed to fly the next morning. As a result, he was transferred to another unit, which relocated to North Africa in April 1941.

Under the guidance of his new commander, who recognised the hidden potential in the young officer, Marseille started to improve his abilities as a fighter pilot. He reached the zenith of his fighter pilot career on 1 September 1942, when during the course of three combat sorties he claimed 17 enemy fighters shot down, earning him the Ritterkreuz mit Eichenlaub, Schwertern und Brillanten (Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords, and Diamonds). Only 29 days later, Marseille was killed in a flying accident, when an engine failure forced him to abandon his fighter. After he exited the smoke-filled cockpit, Marseille's chest struck the vertical stabiliser of his aircraft, either killing him instantly, or incapacitating him so that he was unable to open his parachute.

(der stern von afrika, Joachim Hansen,1957 film)

(wikipedia)

another have to read :

Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans-Joachim_Marseille
Maj. Robert Tate, USAF : http://www.warbirdsresourcegroup.org/LRG/hanstate.html
Alifrafikhan blogs : http://alifrafikkhan.blogspot.com/2009/01/hauptmann-hans-joachim-marseille-1919_29.html