Chances of survival.......fighters.

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Lucky13, Apr 11, 2007.

  1. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    In which fighter would you say you had the best chance of survival in if hit, crasch landing etc. during WWII?
     
  2. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    For a crash landing, the P-47 was a good bet. One is it's sheer size, but the design of the ducting for the turbosupercharger ran at the bottom of the fuselage, which created a good crumple zone to protect the pilot's legs. It had a good survivability index as well. Look at Robert Johnson's plane after his mix up with Egon Mayer.

    Robert S. Johnson
     
  3. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    My beloved Corsair was also tough as nails. Seems like the gull wings would give you a bit of clearance/protection on a belly landing. Plus there are many many stories of shot up Corsairs flying hundreds of miles back to their base.

    I wouldn't want to belly land in the P-51. That big ol belly scoop seems like it would just dig into the ground and flip you over. I could be wrong though.
     
  4. Jank

    Jank Member

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    From the Pilot Training Manual of the P-47N, pages 89-90:

    Make a forced landing with wheels up, unless you are positive that you can make a runway with gear down.

    The plane has a built-in skid for belly landings. You are safer with your wheels up and nine times out of ten the damage is less.

    When making a forced landing, keep your speed up even though the terrain is rough or wooded. An N, which is built like a bulldozer, will plough right through. If your safety belt and shoulder harness are secure you'll be all right.
     
  5. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    My vote goes for the P-47 for obvious reasons.

    As for the P-47s pilots manual stating that you will be allright. They obviously had not heard of Murpheys law. :lol:
     
  6. mkloby

    mkloby Active Member

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    Haha. The big thing is to make sure your wings are level opposed to the ground so as to not induce a cartwheel. It's over usually if you do.
     
  7. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Great point. You'll most likely survive a crash landing in a Piper Cub if you avoid going over or cartwheeling. Even going over is not neccessarily fatal.

    All things being equal, the post from Jank was most reassuring. Rather belly a P47 in than any of the inlines.
     
  8. Aggie08

    Aggie08 Active Member

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    Wow evan, what a testament to the Jug's brute strength. I wonder how many rounds he ended up taking. If I were flying the -190, I definitely would have lost sleep over it!
     
  9. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Definitely the P-47, especially when you read the information in Eric's and Jank's posts.
     
  10. brickhistory

    brickhistory Member

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    From various readings, the Hawker Typhoon also had a good reputation for the pilot walking away from a belly landing. The Napier Sabre engine just bulldozed its way through everything in front.

    Not so much for a ditching, however. The protruding radiator just turned into an instant submarine.
     
  11. Aggie08

    Aggie08 Active Member

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    Were any aircraft particularly safe to go belly-down in water? Maybe the Hellcat or Corsair because of their tough construction?
     
  12. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    From the "Great Book of World War II Airplanes" Ensign Ed Hofstra of VF64 in a Corsair loaded with 8-100 lb bombs, one napalm bomb and a 150 gallon belly tank was in a steep dive attacking communist soldiers in Korea on a coast road. Unable to pull out in time his a/c struck the ground in a level attitude wiping all the external load off of the airplane. The engine stopped as the propellor blades were all bent. The airplane did not disintegrate on impact but bounced off the ground and sailed another 460 m out to sea where Hofstra executed a deadstick landing where the pilot using his liferaft was rescued by a Sunderland. In another thread I posted the account of Ensign Dan Bryla in Korea in pulling out of a steep dive and in compressibility broke his left hip and strained his back and shoulder muscles pulling on the pole. The next day Bryla was in sickbay and his Corsair was flying missions. Enough said.
     
  13. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    I was also thinking of the P-47 but to keep the discussion going, I would like an aircraft to have a low wing loading so it wouldn't tumble down as soon as the engine died. That makes me think of the Zero or a biplane. But as they are not very strong or well armoured, I'm kinda leading towards the Hellcat.

    And here's another thought, what about twin-engined fighters?

    But to give it a personal touch, I'm going to vote for the Me 163. Was well armoured and could stay airborne as a glider when the engine failed or was shot down. I admit that it was vulnerable due to short flight endurance. But the question was "which give the best of survival AFTER being forced to crash land?"

    Kris
     
  14. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    The Me 163, rocket-propelled, interceptor the most survivable fighter if "hit, crash landing etc." ... Kris, that's the best joke I've ever heard on this board in all the years... :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: I am sorry for laughing, but the Komet would explode if the ground crew farted near it.
     
  15. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    BRRRRRAHAHAHAHAHA.

    That's true. The fuel those things used was a volatile as grandpa after a full thankgiving dinner!!!!!!
     
  16. Aggie08

    Aggie08 Active Member

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    The shape of it would not help either, it would roll quickly to one side as it didn't have a flat underbelly like most conventional designs. If that thing screws up, hope that you're high enough to bail.
     
  17. mad_max

    mad_max Member

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    Kris,

    Any Radial Engined airframe has the glide slope of a rock. Some more
    so than others, but still that's the way it is. It sounds like you want an aircraft
    that has a good glide slope. Light wingloading more often than not means nothing to
    the glide slope. Bi-planes have too much drag.

    I think we are talking surviving a ditch mostly on land. Glide slope doesn't effect
    this unless you have no clear areas to ditch in, then yes being able to glide far
    enough to find a clear area would be a plus, but doesn't say you will survive.

    As for ditching I have 5 choices. P-47, FW-190, F4U, F6F, and F4F. All strong built
    aircraft.

    FWIW
     
  18. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Mad Max, I disagree with your post - a radial engine aircraft has nothing to do with an aircraft's "glide slope" as you put it - it's actually called best glide and most aircraft have them in their flight manuals. (A glide slope is an instrument used to land during IFR conditions). Aircraft configuration ("bi-planes") again have nothing to do with this.

    All this is based on the aspect ratio of the subject aircraft with the engine out - how far an aircraft will glide with no power for a given altitude. And true, wingloading has a big factor in determining this.
     
  19. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    I have to say that I was expecting and hoping for such reactions. This is the only way to get rid of these horrible stories concerning the Me 163. Just too bad that so many people accept and thus spread these lies.

    It was one of the safest aircraft to fly, suffering low combat or non-combat losses. No pilots were incinerated, no planes exploding on the ground, ...

    Take a look here and learn: Komet Me163 - Chief test pilot Rudy Opitz tells it like it was - Flight Journal.com Page 1
    You can also look up the number of losses and their causes at The Luftwaffe, 1933-45

    Kris
     
  20. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    I show JG 400 with only 9 confirmed kills while loosing 14 Komets. I think Erich might have more information regarding 163 operations.

    I could tell you this - I had a neighbor when I lived in Montreal (1984) who claimed to have flown the Me 163. He showed me his burnt arms and legs from a hard landing. His words "Had the tanks been full, I wouldn't be here."
     
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