50s aircraft that originated during World War II

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SaparotRob

Unter Gemeine Geschwader Murmeltier XIII
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Mar 12, 2020
Long Island, NY
Like I said before, I just want a peek inside that thing. I would love to see how close it is to a modern jet engine I'd see in an aviation museum.

I really want to visit again but I have competing (less fun, more money) demands. I plan on broaching a complicated plan with my wife so I can get there. I want to wipe the finger print I left on the Zero's cowling from 1986. I had to know if it was real or a hologram.
 

Macandy

Senior Airman
397
300
Aug 6, 2017
If the Shooting Star had engaged the Me262 during the war, it would have been the YP-80 or the P-80A, which were not close to the postwar P/F-80C in speed or performance.
The prototypes were able to just reach 502mph and the YP-80 (with standard combat outfitting) was able to attain a max. of 492mph versus the Me262's max. of 560mph.
The early P-80's time to 20,000 feet was 5.5 minutes, the Me262's time was 5.13 minutes.


On paper…

However, the P-80 had an engine that kept on burning and didn't crap out if the pilot didn't baby the throttle.
And of course, it would have outnumbered the Me262 by a very handy margin and it was a damn sight easier to fly and pilots - the USAAF was not short of thousands of highly trained pilots. The Me262 went to the 'experten', every USAAF fighter pilot and his dog was going to get a P-80. The USAAF had ordered 5,000.
 

drgondog

Captain
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4,481
Jun 28, 2006
Scurry, Texas
On paper…

However, the P-80 had an engine that kept on burning and didn't crap out if the pilot didn't baby the throttle.
And of course, it would have outnumbered the Me262 by a very handy margin and it was a damn sight easier to fly and pilots - the USAAF was not short of thousands of highly trained pilots. The Me262 went to the 'experten', every USAAF fighter pilot and his dog was going to get a P-80. The USAAF had ordered 5,000.
True conceptually, that there would have been a lot of P-80s to to around. That said, their role was limited by lack of range.
 

FLYBOYJ

"THE GREAT GAZOO"
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Apr 9, 2005
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On paper…

However, the P-80 had an engine that kept on burning and didn't crap out if the pilot didn't baby the throttle.
And of course, it would have outnumbered the Me262 by a very handy margin and it was a damn sight easier to fly and pilots - the USAAF was not short of thousands of highly trained pilots. The Me262 went to the 'experten', every USAAF fighter pilot and his dog was going to get a P-80. The USAAF had ordered 5,000.
Once again you pull things out of the sky! The early P-80s, although a better build quality, had many issues that were not taken care of until the P-80C was introduced. Early production aircraft killed Lockheed test pilot Milo Burcham and later the top US WW2 ace Richard Bong. These crashes were not the only notable crashes of early P-80s. Tony LeVier was almost killed when an early P-80 he was flying threw a turbine over Lancaster, California. Here's a list of early P-80 crashes.

 

SaparotRob

Unter Gemeine Geschwader Murmeltier XIII
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Mar 12, 2020
Long Island, NY
Once again you pull things out of the sky! The early P-80s, although a better build quality, had many issues that were not taken care of until the P-80C was introduced. Early production aircraft killed Lockheed test pilot Milo Burcham and later the top US WW2 ace Richard Bong. These crashes were not the only notable crashes of early P-80s. Tony LeVier was almost killed when an early P-80 he was flying threw a turbine over Lancaster, California. Here's a list of early P-80 crashes.

That was an eye-opener. I had no idea how dangerous the early P-80s were. I knew Major Bong was lost with the plane he was testing. The early jets claimed many of their pilots but the Shooting Star always had this image of a good solid airplane to me. I guess it was the sacrifice of these pilots that helped make the P-80/F-80 the great plane it became.
 

Macandy

Senior Airman
397
300
Aug 6, 2017
Once again you pull things out of the sky! The early P-80s, although a better build quality, had many issues that were not taken care of until the P-80C was introduced. Early production aircraft killed Lockheed test pilot Milo Burcham and later the top US WW2 ace Richard Bong. These crashes were not the only notable crashes of early P-80s. Tony LeVier was almost killed when an early P-80 he was flying threw a turbine over Lancaster, California. Here's a list of early P-80 crashes.


Through the wrong end of the telescope - it was war, no one got overly bent about defects that killed people as long as production was met and losses were 'acceptable'. Once it entered service, the P-80's 'faults' would have been rapidly rectified in each succeeding block. A very real strength of US manufacturing, you never stopped the line to fix a problem, you built the fix into the next block.


And your list, production model P-80's - 3 lost up to VJ Day, one pilot error, one operating error, one n/a. Its hardly a death trap of a plane.

Two YP-80's were deployed to Italy and operated from rough fields from late Jan 45 to VE Day - they seems to perform perfectly well.

The RAF was quite happy to use the Typhoon right up to VE Day, even though it had a murderous reputation for breaking and killing pilots.
But in the crucible of war, the accident and loss rates were more than offset by its utility - the day peace broke out, they were grounded.
If you wanted dangerous and 'exciting' flying - war weary bombers and fighters sent to the OCU's were the thing - very high accident rates

The P-80 was good enough, operated well enough, and would have rapidly swept the remnants of the Luftwaffe from the skies if the war had dragged on past Summer 45.
 

Shortround6

Major General
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Jun 29, 2009
Central Florida Highlands
That was an eye-opener. I had no idea how dangerous the early P-80s were. I knew Major Bong was lost with the plane he was testing. The early jets claimed many of their pilots but the Shooting Star always had this image of a good solid airplane to me. I guess it was the sacrifice of these pilots that helped make the P-80/F-80 the great plane it became.
The early jets were all pretty bad, it was just a question of how bad.

However by a lot of hard work and a lot of sacrifice the British and American jets became an awful lot more reliable just in time for the Korean war.
1946-48 pretty much sucked. Things didn't make a huge jump but from around 1948/49 through the early 50s engine life was going up rapidly every year.
 

FLYBOYJ

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Through the wrong end of the telescope - it was war, no one got overly bent about defects that killed people as long as production was met and losses were 'acceptable'. Once it entered service, the P-80's 'faults' would have been rapidly rectified in each succeeding block. A very real strength of US manufacturing, you never stopped the line to fix a problem, you built the fix into the next block.
NOT TRUE! If there is a major issue killing people, you absolutely stop production! When Bong was killed there was a stand down to address the fuel pump issue and a review of production flight test operations.
And your list, production model P-80's - 3 lost up to VJ Day, one pilot error, one operating error, one n/a. Its hardly a death trap of a plane.
And there were hardly any delivered at that time! Look at the numbers once they started entering service!
Two YP-80's were deployed to Italy and operated from rough fields from late Jan 45 to VE Day - they seems to perform perfectly well.
I do believe one did crash
The RAF was quite happy to use the Typhoon right up to VE Day, even though it had a murderous reputation for breaking and killing pilots.
But in the crucible of war, the accident and loss rates were more than offset by its utility - the day peace broke out, they were grounded.
If you wanted dangerous and 'exciting' flying - war weary bombers and fighters sent to the OCU's were the thing - very high accident rates
Apples and oranges - 2 different aircraft, 2 different air forces!!!
The P-80 was good enough, operated well enough, and would have rapidly swept the remnants of the Luftwaffe from the skies if the war had dragged on past Summer 45.
I agree to a point in this very hypothetical scenario, but the evidence is quite clear, the early P-80s had issues, some of those issues involved pilot training but the aircraft wasn't as clear cut as you make it
 

GrauGeist

Generalfeldmarschall zur Luftschiff Abteilung
The Me262 went to the 'experten', every USAAF fighter pilot and his dog was going to get a P-80.
The Me262 was flown by more than just "Experten".

Quite a few pilots were enlisted rank (Unteroffizier, Oberfeldwebel, Feldwebel, etc.) the lowest being a Gefreiter: Joseph Helm, JG7 with 5 victories, KIA 10 April 45.
His equivalent in the USAAF was an Airman.
 

Macandy

Senior Airman
397
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Aug 6, 2017
NOT TRUE! If there is a major issue killing people, you absolutely stop production! When Bong was killed there was a stand down to address the fuel pump issue and a review of production flight test operations.

And there were hardly any delivered at that time! Look at the numbers once they started entering service!

I do believe one did crash

Apples and oranges - 2 different aircraft, 2 different air forces!!!

I agree to a point in this very hypothetical scenario, but the evidence is quite clear, the early P-80s had issues, some of those issues involved pilot training but the aircraft wasn't as clear cut as you make it


The P-80 was developed fast - very fast, it had issues, but no worse than many other of the new jets. You want a jet with issues, the Meteor - its rather grim nickname was the 'meatbox' it killed so many pilots and It never got better.

The Me-262 was not going to get better, its was only going to get worse as its engine issues were utterly intractable.

The P-80 rapidly, as in months rapidly, matured into a better fighter that was developed into an excellent twin seat trainer that served for decades after WWII. The short stand down top investigate the crashes, yes, that's the advantage the war nearly being over, you can do that - Messerschmitt couldn't do a stand down to sort its shocking engine problems, it just kept churning out ever worse fighters in penny packets.

Its easy with post war hindsight to say, 'the P-80 had issues' - yes, but with the end of the war in the ETO and the Pacific War in its last gasp, development went from breakneck war emergency to a much more leisurely pace. If the war had gone on, the pace of P-80 development with have remained at 100%.
The USAAF had a goal to have 1,000 P-80's in service by the end of 1945 - the Luftwaffe could only dream of putting that many jets into the front line.

A lot of people sieze on Eric Browns assessment that the P-80 was outclassed by the Me262, well, I'll go with Chuck Yeager, a much better fighter pilot and test pilot who'd actually faced the Me262 in real combat and killed it and flew both types. He reckoned there wasn't much in it, the 262 was a bit faster, the P-80 was a bit more nimble and climbed faster. He stated it would have been down to the pilots, and the USAAF had vast numbers of very highly trained pilots to put in its fighters.
 

Macandy

Senior Airman
397
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Aug 6, 2017
The Me262 was flown by more than just "Experten".

Quite a few pilots were enlisted rank (Unteroffizier, Oberfeldwebel, Feldwebel, etc.) the lowest being a Gefreiter: Joseph Helm, JG7 with 5 victories, KIA 10 April 45.
His equivalent in the USAAF was an Airman.

The P-80's was and were going to be flown by thousands of just ordinary USAAF pilots.
The Me262 made is rather undeserved name being flown by the last gasps of the Luftwaffes best - and they did badly
 

FLYBOYJ

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The P-80 was developed fast - very fast, it had issues, but no worse than many other of the new jets. You want a jet with issues, the Meteor - its rather grim nickname was the 'meatbox' it killed so many pilots and It never got better.
True
The Me-262 was not going to get better, its was only going to get worse as its engine issues were utterly intractable.
Agree to a point unless Germany was able to turn things around which was very unlikey
The P-80 rapidly, as in months rapidly, matured into a better fighter that was developed into an excellent twin seat trainer that served for decades after WWII. The short stand down top investigate the crashes, yes, that's the advantage the war nearly being over, you can do that - Messerschmitt couldn't do a stand down to sort its shocking engine problems, it just kept churning out ever worse fighters in penny packets.
It did - starting with the P-80C, a few years away from the P-80As that "would have" been used in Europe
Its easy with post war hindsight to say, 'the P-80 had issues' - yes, but with the end of the war in the ETO and the Pacific War in its last gasp, development went from breakneck war emergency to a much more leisurely pace. If the war had gone on, the pace of P-80 development with have remained at 100%.
The USAAF had a goal to have 1,000 P-80's in service by the end of 1945 - the Luftwaffe could only dream of putting that many jets into the front line.
And it's a guess on when the required "fixes" would have been implemented had the war progressed
A lot of people sieze on Eric Browns assessment that the P-80 was outclassed by the Me262, well, I'll go with Chuck Yeager, a much better fighter pilot and test pilot who'd actually faced the Me262 in real combat and killed it and flew both types. He reckoned there wasn't much in it, the 262 was a bit faster, the P-80 was a bit more nimble and climbed faster. He stated it would have been down to the pilots, and the USAAF had vast numbers of very highly trained pilots to put in its fighters.
And I'll agree there
 

GrauGeist

Generalfeldmarschall zur Luftschiff Abteilung
An often overlooked fact between the Meteor and P-80A versus the Me262:

The Allied jets had the benefit of materials, stable workforce and factories remived from the front.
The Me262 was suffering from increasing pressure to be manufactured by a growing work force of inexperienced and starving prisoners. It's manufacturing was done in less than ideal locations, many of which were repeatedly bombed. Add to that, material shortages and interruptions and a dwindling pilot pool. So it's performance by war's end would not have been at 100% due to quality issues.

BTW, it's original engines suffered from the rapid throttle flame-out, but newer engines were being developed that addressed this problem and had just started production when the war ended.

There was also the fact that the Me262 was being flown in combat, both against bombers and fighters that provided it's pilots with experience that the Meteor and YP-80 pilots did not have. (There were several Me262 pilots who fought and downed Allied fighters on quite a few occasions), so with all due respect to Brown and Yeager, testing a captured type is one thing, but flying it in combat is something entirely different.
 

mikemike

Airman
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Jun 30, 2007
Don't forget that much of the rapid progress in aircraft development postwar was due to captured German wind tunnel data that were not available to the genius British and US designers before May 1945 - Germany had six supersonic wind tunnels and all of the Allied powers combined exactly none. The MiG 15 was apparently based on German last-minute designs.

As concerns the "intractable" engine issues of the Me262: the German jet engines were under constant development, they would have become better in time (refined compressors and combustors), even if their life would still have been better counted in minutes - a question of available materials, especially a lack of Nickel.

As to the comparison of "Winkle" Brown and Chuck Yaeger - Yaeger had a vastly greater ego, in my opinion he was a glory seeker and self-aggrandizer who never left out an opportunity to dump on other pilots; in his autobiography he is uncharacteristically coy about how many of his combat sorties over Germany consisted of machine-gunning civilians.
Brown was a modest guy who did his work without tooting his own horn, but who flew under wartime conditions a large number of widely differing planes, frequently from carriers. Would Chucky have been able to land a Mossie or a Vampire on a carrier in 1945, if given the chance?
 

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