Chinese air force (ROCAF)

Discussion in 'Aircraft Pictures' started by gekho, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    The Republic of China Air Force (ROCAF) was formed by the Kuomintang after the establishment of the Aviation Ministry in 1920. As tensions mounted between China and Imperial Japan in the 1930s, a number of smaller Chinese warlord airforce men and equipment became integrated into the ROCAF in a centralized effort to counter Imperial Japanese military ambitions. During the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945), the ROCAF participated in attacks on Japanese warships on the eastern front and along the Yangtze river including interdiction and close-air support for the Battle of Shanghai in 1937. Initially, the Chinese frontline fighter aircraft were mainly Curtiss Hawk IIs and IIIs and Boeing P-26Cs. These engaged Japanese fighters in many major air battles beginning on14 August 1937, when Imperial Japanese Navy warplanes raided Chienchiao airbase; "814" has thus become known as "Air Force Day". Chinese Boeing P-26/281 fighters engaged Japanese Mitsubishi A5M fighters in the world's first dogfight between all-metal monoplane fighters. A unique mission in April 1938 saw two Chinese Martin B-10 bombers fly a mission over Japan, but dropping only anti-war leaflets over the Japanese cities of Nagasaki and Saga. It was a war of attrition for the Chinese pilots, as many of their most experienced ace fighter pilots, such as Lieutenant Liu Tsui-Kang and Colonel Kao Chih-Hang, were lost. Six months into the war, which is considered the beginning of World War II in Asia, the Chinese Air Force inventory of frontline American Hawk IIs and IIIss and P-26Cs were superseded by faster and better armed Polikarpov I-15s and I-16s as support from the Soviet Union grew and American support faded.

    Through attrition and loss of their most experienced fighter pilots in the first half of the Second Sino-Japanese War, the Republic of China Air Force ultimately suffered irreversible losses in combat against the Japanese, and by the beginning of 1942 the ROCAF was practically annihilated by Japanese aircraft, particularly with the introduction of the Mitsubishi A6M Zero. The ROCAF was eventually supplemented with the establishment of the American Volunteer Group (known as the "Flying Tigers") with heavily armed and armored Curtiss P-40 Warhawks, and subsequently rebuilt each year following Imperial Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor with new aid and vigor from the United States.

    The Sino-Japanese War started on 7 July 1937. At that time, Chinese sources estimated the Japanese could field approximately 600 aircraft (from a total of 1,530) against China’s 230 combat aircraft. During the first phase up to 1939, aerial bombing of enemy bomber formations was tried with indifferent results, and leaflet-dropping raids carried out over Japanese cities. The Japanese bombing raids were also fiercely contested, sometimes with significant Japanese losses. After suffering heavy losses in the Battle of Wuhan in October 1938, most air force units were withdrawn for reorganisation and training. The ROC Air Force was reconstituted into seven Groups, one separate Squadron and four Volunteer Groups. In 1940, the Russian Volunteer Group was stood down. By the end of 1941, the air force had 364 operational aircraft. Up to 100 of these were P-40Bs operated by the American Volunteer Group.[1] U.S. replacement aircraft began to arrive in March 1942. They included A-29s, P-40s, P-43s,[2] and P-66s, and in 1945 B-25s, B-17s, and P-51Bs and -Ds. In 1944, the USAAF U.S. 15th Air Force commenced joint operations in the China theatre.[citation needed] By this time the Chinese Air Force was mostly equipped with current operational aircraft types and was superior in all respects to the opposing Japanese air forces which remained.

    Source: List of aircraft used in China before 1937 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Development of Chinese Nationalist air force (1937
     
  2. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    From 1937 to the beginning of 1941, the Soviet Union served as the primary supplier to the ROCAF, and from October 1937 to January 1941, a total of 848 aircraft in 13 batches were ordered by the Chinese government and were supplied on credit, worth roughly 200 million dollars. In addition, there were 37 aircraft transferred to Chinese when Soviet force withdrew from China after the signing of Soviet–Japanese Neutrality Pact. These aircraft included 563 fighters, including 252 I-152, 75 I-153, 132 I-16 Type 10, 75 I-16 Type 17 and rest being I-15 bis, which was not part of the purchase in the 13 batches. Also included were 322 bombers, including 179 SB-2M-100A, 100 SB-2M-103 24 DB-3, 6 TB-3 and 13 SB that were not part of the purchase in the 13 batches). Also included in the 13-batch purchase were 5 UT-1 trainers. However, of the 250-300 combat aircraft supplied annually, only a few dozen would survive through the end of the year. While the USSR provided most of the military aircraft to Chiang Kai-shek in the late 1930s, many early Chinese aircraft were supplied by the American Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company. In 1937 the Hawk II and Hawk III biplanes comprised the backbone of Chinese fighter aviation. These were soon followed by the Hawk 75 monoplane. The demonstration model Hawk 75N, with non-retractable landing gear was purchased in 1938 and became the personal aircraft of the American advisor to the Aviation Committee, Claire Chennault who oversaw training and lobbied for the procurement of American aircraft.

    The entry of the USA into the war with Japan at the end of 1941 led to the receipt of Lend-Lease equipment from the United States, including aircraft. American Lend-Lease aviation equipment had already begun to arrive in China as early as the middle of 1941, though that includes the first shipments before January 1942 which arrived under the guise of purchases. Including previously purchased American aircraft, US soon replaced USSR as the largest supplier for the Chinese Nationalist air force during the war (Including the Second Sino-Japanese War that actually broke out in 1931 when Japan invaded Manchuria). The US aircraft supplied to China in its struggle against the Japanese invaders included: A-12, A-17, A-19, A-29, B-10, B-17, B-24, B-25, B-29, C-19, C-43, C-45, C-46, C-47, C-100 (Gamma 2E light bomber version), Curtiss F11C Goshawk, P-12, P-26, P-36, P-38, P-40, P-43, P-47, P-51, P-61, P-66, and PB4Y. Retraining on American aircraft occurred for the most part in India. (Karachi and other cities), where Chinese pilots were sent both as groups and as entire units. As early as the end of 1941 Chinese pilots, mainly recently graduated from flight schools, began to be sent to the USA for longer training and mastery of American aircraft.

    The first American P-43A fighters were received by the 4th Air Group (21st - 24th Squadrons) in March 1942. They retrained in Kunming, but for the new aircraft the pilots sequentially flew in small groups to India. On 24 April the deputy commander of the 24th Squadron, Wu Zhenhua, crashed on the flight to Kunming. On 12 May, Chen Lokun, the flight commander of the 24th Squadron was killed during a training flight, crashing into a tree during landing. In July for unclear reasons the P-43 of the 4th Air Group commander, Zheng Shaoyu, caught fire in the air and the pilot was killed. On 3 August 1942 during a training flight the deputy group commander Chen Sheng crashed. A similar series of crashes accompanied the mastery by the Chinese of almost every new machine. (It is notable that in Chinese sources the family names are given only of the perished commanders of various ranks, while the losses amongst the line pilots are hardly even noted.) Concluding their conversion to the P-43A in early August 1942, the group returned to Chengdu.

    In February 1943, preparing for transition to the new American air equipment, the Chinese transferred to India the primary training groups from their flight schools. Only training for reconnaissance and photography continued to be carried out in China. In March 1945 the cadets completing primary training in India were sent to America to train further. By that time the number of cadets dispatched had reached 1224, of whom 384 managed to return to China and participate in combat. In all, from 1942 to 1945 420 training aircraft were sent from the USA to China through India, including 20 AT-6, 8 AT-7, 15 AT-17, 150 PT-17, 127 PT-19, 70 PT-22, and 30 BT-13, and also 10 Beechcraft D-17 medical aircraft.

    While the modified Hawk 75M with retractable landing gear was created specially for China, it was not widely used in the war against the Japanese, in spite of the fact that 30 aircraft, and 82 kits for assembly were delivered in the summer and autumn of 1938. It was planned to assemble the Hawk in a factory operated by the Central Aircraft Manufacturing Company, which had been evacuated from Hankou to Loiwing. The latter location, not far from the Burmese border on the eastern bank of the Ruiluqiang River in Yunnan Province, at that time seemed protected from Japanese attacks, but technical difficulties plagued the actual assembly of the Hawk 75 in that location. Although the Japanese had not bombed the factory, only eight machines were assembled by October 1940. The fate of the remaining kits is unknown. Following the failure of Hawk 75 production, the CAMCO factory planned to organize assembly of the export version of the Curtiss-Wright CW-21 Demon, light fighter. Three aircraft and 32 sets of components were ordered from the USA. The factory at Loiwing worked until April 1942, when on account of Japanese attacks it had to be evacuated to Kunming, while its American personnel set up shop in India. From 1943 to 1946 the aircraft factory, which was dispersed in the ravines neighboring Kunming, assembled an experimental series of nine fighter monoplanes, probably from components of the Hawk 75M and 75A-5, and CW-21. To a degree they were similar to the American prototypes and their further fate is unknown. In western sources the first example figures under the strange designation XP-0.
     
  3. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    By 1921, the situation of the Chinese aircraft production sector had markedly improved: in less than a decade, it had gone from a couple of small workshops to a rapidly growing industry with Western-standard factories. However, Feng realized that China was still lagging behind Western countries in terms of research and development, and decided to address the problem by seeking a foreign manufacturer that would agree to a licensing agreement allowing its models to be assembled in China. Feng left for Europe and approached several companies in France, Britain and Germany, but the most advantageous terms were offered by a young company, Nederlandse Vliegtuigenfabriek (Dutch Aircraft Factory), founded a mere two years earlier by Anthony Fokker. The latter considered that such an agreement would give him a head start in the penetration of the potentially promising Chinese market. Feng, it turned out, was acting in his own interest as well as that of China's, since he would shortly start his own company and used his influence to obtain the production rights after leaving the CAF. In September 1922, the first of many Fokker-designed airplanes was assembled at the Luoyun factory, a D-X fighter, which was designated by the transliterated version of Fokker's name, Fouke (however, while this initial model received the same designation number as the Dutch-made originals, the convention would lapse in the following years, leading to a fair amount of confusion among aircraft buffs).

    Source: Alternate History Discussion Board - View Single Post - Superpower Empire: China 1912 (Version 3.0)..
     

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  4. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    #4 gekho, Mar 18, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2013
    The Bristol Bombay was built to Air Ministry Specification C.26/31 which called for a monoplane aircraft capable of carrying bombs or 24 troops. Bristol's last monoplane design, the 1927 Bagshot, had suffered from lack of torsional rigidity in the wings leading to aileron reversal. This led to an extensive research program at Bristol which resulted in a wing design with a stressed metal skin rivetted to an internal framework consisting of multiple spars and the ribs. This was the basis of the Bombay's wing, which had seven spars, with high-tensile steel flanges and alclad webs.

    The prototype Type 130 first flew on 23 June 1935 and an order for 80 was placed as the Bombay. As Bristol's Filton factory was busy building the more urgent Blenheim, the production aircraft were built by Short Harland of Belfast. However, the complex nature of the Bombay's wing delayed production at Belfast, with the first Bombay not being delivered until 1939, and the last 30 being cancelled. The Hele-Shaw controllable pitch propellers used on the Bombay were the first product of a Bristol-Rolls-Royce joint venture called Rotol, which would later go on to great success supplying propellers for fighter aircraft.

    The second half of the 1930s saw aviation progressing by leaps and bounds, and both China and Japan struggled to keep up, each trying to gain an edge on the other. For the CAF, the war came as a realization that despite the conclusions drawn in the previous two decades, air power alone was unable to turn the tide of war. The idea of bringing an enemy to surrender by crushing its industries under a rain of bombs, originally developed by Giulio Douhet and enthusiastically adopted both by the Chinese high command and Western strategists, failed to meet the test of reality. Up to then China took the easy road of importing its bombers from Western manufacturers, but with the orders increasingly exceeding the latter’s peacetime production capabilities, more and more license agreements for domestic production were signed for that type of aircraft as well—significantly adding to the demands placed on Chinese manufacturers. License-produced bombers would include the Bristol Bombay from July 1936, the Handley-Page HP-54 Harrow from March 1937, the Vickers Wellington from June 1938, and the Farman C-222 from October 1939; in some cases the airplanes thus produced would be deployed even earlier than in their respective home countries.
     

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  5. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    The second half of the 1930s saw aviation progressing by leaps and bounds, and both China and Japan struggled to keep up, each trying to gain an edge on the other. Japan had the advantage in terms of domestic R&D, and China made up for it by courting Western manufacturers for licensing rights to their latest designs more aggressively than ever. The two countries' air forces were locked in a death struggle for aerial supremacy in East Asia's skies, and each new model deployed by one side was countered within months by the other.

    For the CAF, the war came as a realization that despite the conclusions drawn in the previous two decades, air power alone was unable to turn the tide of war. The idea of bringing an enemy to surrender by crushing its industries under a rain of bombs, originally developed by Giulio Douhet and enthusiastically adopted both by the Chinese high command and Western strategists, failed to meet the test of reality. In accordance with the latest French and British military theories, China had equipped itself with a fleet of strategic bombers, initially Vicker Vimys, then Boulton/Paul P-75 Sidestrands, and when the war began those had been further upgraded to Overstrands; and just as the Japanese offensive was smashing through Chinese lines in the summer of 1934, more aircraft were being ordered from French company Potez, the first P-543 being delivered in January 1935. Squadron after squadron was, for the following year, sent to destroy factories in Korea, and also in Manchuria, where most of the industrial infrastructure had fallen intact in Japanese hands, there having been no time to blow them up. But by mid-1935 the conclusion was inescapable: a few dozen tons of bombs at a time, with most of them missing their targets altogether, amounted to little more than pin pricks to the Japanese war machine; even when the targeted factory or railway station was actually hit, often it would be back in operation in a matter of days. And before long anti-aircraft guns were protecting them, requiring bombing runs to be done at higher altitudes, further decreasing accuracy.

    Source: http://www.chinahistoryforum.com/in...istory-of-aviation-in-a-china-that-never-was/
     

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  6. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Another excellent thread, thanks for donig this one!
     
  7. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    In July 1937, the Second Sino-Japanese War broke out. The Soviet Union signed the Sino-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact on 21 August 1937, and as part of this agreement, supplied large amounts of military equipment to the Chinese Nationalists, as well as deploying complete air force units, nominally manned by Soviet volunteers. An initial delivery of 62 SBs was made in September–October 1937, with combat operations by Soviet forces starting in December with attacks on Japanese ships on the Yangtze River. On 23 February 1938, to celebrate Soviet Army Day, Soviet SBs carried out a long range attack on Japanese airfields on Taiwan, claiming 40 Japanese aircraft destroyed on the ground.

    A further 60 SBs were delivered to China in early 1938, these being heavily used to attack Japanese forces during the Battle of Wuhan. Losses were heavy, forcing the Chinese SB units to be temporarily withdrawn from combat. The Soviet units operating the SB over China re-equipped with the Ilyushin DB-3 in 1939, allowing their SBs to be transferred to Chinese units, but the Chinese made limited use of these reinforcements.

    The Soviet Union supplied a further 100 SBs in 1941, just before it signed the Soviet–Japanese Neutrality Pact. The SB was gradually phased out of front-line operations against the Japanese with the delivery of more modern American bombers from 1942, being partly replaced by Lockheed Hudsons and B-25 Mitchells. Limited numbers of SBs continued in non-combat use, including operations against opium plantations, before being used against the Communists when the Chinese Civil War flared up in 1945, being finally withdrawn in 1946.
     
  8. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    The Curtiss C-46 Commando is a transport aircraft originally derived from a commercial high-altitude airliner design. It was instead used as a military transport during World War II by the United States Army Air Forces as well as the U.S. Navy/Marine Corps under the designation R5C. Known to the men who flew them as "The Whale," the "Curtiss Calamity," [2] the "plumber's nightmare", and among ATC crews, the "flying coffin,"[3] the C-46 served a similar role as its counterpart, the Douglas C-47 Skytrain, but was not as extensively produced. At the time of its production, the C-46 was the largest twin-engine aircraft in the world, and the largest and heaviest twin-engine aircraft to see service in World War II.

    Most famous for its operations in the China-Burma-India theater (CBI) and the Far East, the Commando was a workhorse in flying over "The Hump" (as the Himalaya Mountains were nicknamed by Allied airmen), transporting desperately needed supplies to troops in China from bases in India and Burma.[13] A variety of transports had been employed in the campaign, but only the C-46 was able to handle the wide range of adverse conditions encountered by the USAAF. Unpredictably violent weather, heavy cargo loads, high mountain terrain, and poorly-equipped and frequently flooded airfields proved a considerable challenge to the transport aircraft then in service, along with a host of engineering and maintenance nightmares due to a shortage of trained air and ground personnel.
     

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  9. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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  10. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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  11. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    Terrific to see these pictures; I had no idea that the Bristol Bombay appeared in RoCAF markings.

    An interesting thing about the CAT C-46s, in 1951 the New Zealand Railways workers went on strike, which meant there was no ferry service between the North and South Islands - the Railways owned the only ferry service capable of carrying rail freight and so the Railways airline Straits Air Freight Express (Safe Air) 'hired' four CAT C-46s to fly the freight between the islands. The aircraft were XT-840, XT-844, XT-846 and XT-864 and were piloted by Americans. They weren't impressed as they got paid by the flying hour and since the trip was only half an hour's duration with an hour turnaround on the ground, they didn't get as much as when they were operating out of Formosa! Three of the C-46s were flown and one used as a break-down spare; the three C-46s made 1,300 crossings of Cook Strait and carried 7,800 tons load.
     
  12. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Keep it coming...:D
     
  13. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    #13 gekho, Mar 21, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2013
    The American Volunteer Group was largely the creation of Claire L. Chennault, a retired U.S. Army Air Corps officer who had worked in China since August 1937, first as military aviation advisor to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek in the early months of the Sino-Japanese War, then as director of a Chinese Air Force flight school centered in Kunming. Meanwhile, the Soviet Union supplied fighter and bomber squadrons to China, but these units were mostly withdrawn by the summer of 1940. Chiang then asked for American combat aircraft and pilots, sending Chennault to Washington as advisor to China's ambassador and Chiang's brother-in-law, T. V. Soong.

    Since the U.S. was not at war, the "Special Air Unit" could not be organized overtly, but the request was approved by President Franklin D. Roosevelt himself. The resulting clandestine operation was organized in large part by Lauchlin Currie, a young economist in the White House, and by Roosevelt intimate Thomas G. Corcoran. (Currie's assistant was John King Fairbank, who later became America's preeminent Asian scholar.) Financing was handled by China Defense Supplies – primarily Tommy Corcoran's creation – with money loaned by the U.S. government. Purchases were then made by the Chinese under the "Cash and Carry" provision of the Neutrality Act of 1939.[1] Previously in the 1930s, a number of American pilots including Annapolis graduate Frank Tinker had flown combat during the Spanish Civil War, engaging Nazis and fascist Italians. Members were organized into the Yankee Squadron. Chennault spent the winter of 1940–1941 in Washington, supervising the purchase of 100 Curtiss P-40 fighters (diverted from a Royal Air Force order; the Royal Air Force at that time deemed the P-40 obsolete) and the recruiting of 100 pilots and some 200 ground crew and administrative personnel that would constitute the 1st AVG. He also laid the groundwork for a follow-on bomber group and a second fighter group, though these would be aborted after the Pearl Harbor attack.

    Of the pilots, 60 came from the Navy and Marine Corps and 40 from the Army Air Corps. (One army pilot was refused a passport because he had earlier flown as a mercenary in Spain, so only 99 actually sailed for Asia. Ten more army flight instructors were hired as check pilots for Chinese cadets, and several of these would ultimately join the AVG’s combat squadrons.) The volunteers were discharged from the armed services, to be employed for "training and instruction" by a private military contractor, the Central Aircraft Manufacturing Company (CAMCO), which paid them $600 a month for pilot officer, $675 a month for flight leader, $750 for squadron leader (no pilot was recruited at this level), and about $250 for a skilled ground crewman, far more than they had been earning. ($675 translates to $10,666 in 2013 dollars, and at the time sufficed to buy a new Ford automobile.) The pilots were also orally promised a bounty of $500 for each enemy aircraft shot down.

    Although sometimes considered a mercenary unit, the AVG was closely associated with the U.S. military. Most histories of the Flying Tigers say that on 15 April 1941, President Roosevelt signed a "secret executive order" authorizing servicemen on active duty to resign in order to join the AVG. However, Flying Tigers historian Daniel Ford could find no evidence that such an order ever existed, and he argued that "a wink and a nod" was more the president's style. In any event, the AVG was organized and in part directed out of the White House, and by the spring of 1942 had effectively been brought into the U.S. Army chain of command. During the summer and fall 1941, some 300 men carrying civilian passports boarded ships destined for Burma. They were initially based at a British airfield in Toungoo for training while their aircraft were assembled and test flown by CAMCO personnel at Mingaladon Airport outside Rangoon. Chennault set up a schoolhouse that was made necessary because many pilots had "lied about their flying experience, claiming pursuit experience when they had flown only bombers and sometimes much less powerful airplanes." They called Chennault "the Old Man" due to his much older age and leathery exterior obtained from years flying open cockpit pursuit aircraft in the Army Air Corps. Most believed that he had flown as a fighter pilot in China, although stories that he was a combat ace are probably apocryphal. The AVG was created by an executive order of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek. He did not speak English, however, and Chennault never learned to speak Chinese. As a result, all communications between the two men were routed through May-ling Soong, or "Madame Chiang" as she was known to Americans, and she was designated the group's "honorary commander."

    Chennault preached a radically different approach to air combat based on his study of Japanese tactics and equipment, his observation of the tactics used by Soviet pilots in China, and his judgment of the strengths and weaknesses of his own aircraft and pilots. The actual average strength of the AVG was never more than 62 combat-ready pilots and fighters. Chennault faced serious obstacles since many AVG pilots were inexperienced and a few quit at the first opportunity. However, he made a virtue out of these disadvantages, shifting unsuitable pilots to staff jobs and always ensuring that he had a squadron or two in reserve. (The AVG had no ranks, so no division between officers and enlisted soldiers existed.) Chennault and the Flying Tigers benefited from the country's warning network, called "the best air-raid warning system in existence":

    "Starting from areas in Free China, in hundreds of small villages, in lonely outposts, in hills and caves, stretching from near Canton through all Free China to the capital in Chungking and to Lanchow, far northwest, are a maze of alarm stations equipped with radios and telephones that give instant warning of the approach of Japanese planes."

    When Japanese planes attacked, Chennault's doctrine called for pilots to take on enemy aircraft in teams from an altitude advantage, since their aircraft were not as maneuverable or as numerous as the Japanese fighters they would encounter. He prohibited his pilots from entering into a turning fight with the nimble Japanese fighters, telling them to execute a diving or slashing attack and to dive away to set up for another attack. This "dive-and-zoom" technique was contrary to what the men had learned in U.S. service as well as what the Royal Air Force (RAF) pilots in Burma had been taught; it had been used successfully, however, by Russian units serving with the Chinese Air Force.
     

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  14. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    AVG fighter aircraft came from a Curtiss assembly line producing Tomahawk IIB models for the Royal Air Force in North Africa. The Tomahawk IIB was similar to the U.S. Army's earlier P-40B model, and there is some evidence that Curtiss actually used leftover components from that model in building the fighters intended for China.[9] The fighters were purchased without "government-furnished equipment" such as reflector gunsights, radios and wing guns; the lack of these items caused continual difficulties for the AVG in Burma and China.

    The 100 P-40 aircraft were crated and sent to Burma on third country freighters during spring 1941. At Rangoon, they were unloaded, assembled and test flown by personnel of Central Aircraft Manufacturing Company (CAMCO) before being delivered to the AVG training unit at Toungoo. One crate was dropped into the water and a wing assembly was ruined by salt water immersion, so CAMCO was able to deliver only 99 Tomahawks before war broke out. (Many of those were destroyed in training accidents.) The 100th fuselage was trucked to a CAMCO plant in Loiwing, China, and later made whole with parts from damaged aircraft. Shortages in equipment with spare parts almost impossible to obtain in Burma along with the slow introduction of replacement fighter aircraft were continual impediments although the AVG did receive 50 replacement P-40E fighters from USAAF stocks toward the end of its combat tour.

    AVG fighter aircraft were painted with a large shark face on the front of the aircraft. This was done after pilots saw a photograph of a P-40 of No. 112 Squadron RAF in North Africa, which in turn had adopted the shark face from German pilots of the Luftwaffe's ZG 76 heavy fighter wing, flying Messerschmitt Bf 110 fighters in Crete. (The AVG nose-art is variously credited to Charles Bond and Erik Shilling.) About the same time, the AVG was dubbed "The Flying Tigers" by its Washington support group, called China Defense Supplies. The P-40's good qualities included pilot armor, self-sealing fuel tanks, sturdy construction, heavy armament, and a higher diving speed than most Japanese aircraft – qualities that could be used to advantage in accordance with Chennault's combat tactics. Chennault created an early warning network of spotters that would give his fighters time to take off and climb to a superior altitude where this tactic could be executed.

    Source: Flying Tigers - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    More info: The Flying Tiger Heritage Park, Guilin, China -- The Flying Tiger Historical Organization The Story of The Flying Tigers Flying Tiger Line Pilots Association
     

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  15. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Excellent, however pic #2 in post 13 is of an Aluetions Tiger based in Alaska.
     
  16. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Some very nice shots amongst those p-40's...
     
  17. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    Another 250 I-16 Type 10 were supplied to China. This model added a second set of 7.62 mm (0.30 in) ShKAS machine guns, armor behind the pilot, and had a slightly upgraded 560 kW (750 hp) M-25 engine. In 1939, of the 500 I-16s[12] deployed to the fighting at Nomonhan, approximately 112 were lost during the battles of Khalkhin Gol, of which 88 were destroyed in aerial combat, primarily against the all metal Ki-27 IJA fighter. During test trials in Russia of a captured Ki-27, the aircraft proved superior to the Soviet I-152 (I-15bis), I-153, and the I-16 in aerial combat, as well as having a faster take off and lower landing speed requiring shorter airstrips than the I-16, which needed 270 meters to stop and 380 meters for take off.

    Further attempts were made to upgrade the firepower of the aircraft using 20 mm (0.79 in) ShVAK cannons, making the I-16 one of the most heavily armed fighters of the period,[15] able to fire 28 pounds of ammunition in three seconds. Pilots loved the results, but the cannons were in short supply and only a small number of I-16 Type 12, 17, 27, and 28 were built. The cannons adversely affected performance with the 360° turn time increasing from 15 seconds in Type 5 to 18 seconds. Type 24 replaced the skid with a tailwheel and featured the much more powerful 670 kW (900 hp) Shvetsov M-63 engine. Type 29 replaced two of the ShKAS guns with a single 12.7 mm (.50 in) UBS. Types 18, 24, 27, 28, and 29 could be fitted to carry RS-82 unguided rockets.

    A 1939 government study found the I-16 had exhausted its performance potential. Addition of armor, radio, battery, and flaps during the aircraft's evolution exacerbated the rear weight distribution to the point where the aircraft required considerable forward pressure on the stick to maintain level flight and at the same time developed a tendency to enter uncontrolled dives. Extension and retraction of the landing flaps caused a dramatic change in the aircraft attitude. Accurate gunfire was difficult.

    Source: Polikarpov I-16 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     

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  18. gekho

    gekho Active Member

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    In May 1938 24 Dewoitine D510c, the 'c' stood for China, fighters arrived in Hanoi. These were flown to Yunnan, China. French volunteers accompanied the aircraft, and these were formed into the 41st and 42nd Independent French Volunteer Squadrons. The aircraft were allocated the serials P-5901 to P-5924. As with all Chinese aircraft they also carried squadron codes, which consisted of a four-digit number, the first two denoted the squadron and the last two the actual aircraft number within the squadron. The D510c was a 250mph low wing monoplane armed with one 20mm Hispano cannon firing through the propeller hub and two 7.7mm machine guns. The Dewoitines took part in the defence of Wuhan, but apparently the fighters never took part in any combats with the Japanese.

    In October 1938 all the foreign volunteers were sent home. The Dewoitines were passed on to the air school at Kunming and used as advanced trainers. In June 1939 the 17th FS was transferred to Kunming and received 12 Dewoitine D510cs. During a morning raid by Japanese G3M bombers a mixed force of 13 Chinese fighters rose to intercept. Among them were two D510cs of the 17th FS. An hour later at 1157hrs a further force of eleven fighters, including three more D510cs, although two developed engine trouble, were made ready to intercept. No interception was made due to the bombers avoiding combat.

    Two large formations of G3M's were intercepted near Chengdu by 7 Dewoitine D510cs from the 17th FS and 7 I-15's from the 27th FS. Captain Shen Tse-Liu led the Dewoitines. The I-15's having a height advantage attacked the Japanese formation first and carried out several passes. It was then the turn of the D510cs. Experience had shown that in a dive the cannon armament had a tendency to jam. This was caused by the spring tension in the ammunition drum being insufficient to feed the gun. Capt Shen was able to carry out a successful head on attack on the G3M flown by Captain Okuda, CO of the 13th Ku. Shen achieved numerous hits on the right wing root. The wing root was set on fire and the aircraft nosed over into a dive, resulting in both wings snapping off. Shen and his fellow pilots then turned around for another pass. Coming in from the rear they met a hail of return fire from the rear gunners. The return fire hit two aircraft; P-5921, flown by Shen Tse-Liu, received hits in the engine causing him to force land where he was injured in the process. P-5924, flown by Lt Chen Kwei-min, suffered hits in the fuel tank, but was able to land safely.

    Chengdu was the target for a Japanese raid on 4 October. A mixed formation of Chinese fighters led by the Squadron Leader Chang Guanming, CO of the 32nd FS. Among these fighters were two Dewoitine D510cs of the 3rd Air Group. By avoiding combat with the escorting Zeros, only two Chinese fighters were lost. They could not prevent the bombers reaching their target however, and damage was heavy. On the ground 14 aircraft were lost, other aircraft including a D510 were damaged.

    Japanese fighters approached Guangan at 1045hrs, prompting the 3rd Air Force Command at Chongquig to evacuate the fighters in the area to Gonglai airfield for safety. Among the fighters were two D510's from the 3rd AG. Not long after take off the evacuating fighters were attacked by Japanese Zero?s. The Dewoitines appear to have escaped damage.

    Source: Dewoitine D-510 in Chinese airforce in Central and South West Asia Forum
     

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  19. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Good stuff!
     
  20. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    I always thought the D-510 was an advanced fighter. Great updates.
     
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