Did the Barracuda have anything on the Avenger?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Greyman, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. Greyman

    Greyman Active Member

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    Other than dive bombing...

    I know little of either aircraft.
     
  2. Rick65

    Rick65 Member

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    Beauty - especially when landing
     
  3. Catch22

    Catch22 Well-Known Member

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    Not really, no. The British torpedoes were too long to fit inside an Avenger's bay, so I guess that's one point, but the Avenger actually replaced the Barracuda in FAA service. By the end of the war basically all of the front line squadrons had traded their Barracudas for Avengers.
     
  4. RCAFson

    RCAFson Well-Known Member

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    That's completely untrue. The Barracuda continued in service as a "frontline" aircraft from it's service introduction until the end of war, flying missions off the the Norwegian coast into 1945 and by war's end, the lastest CVLs to arrive from the UK to the Pacific carried the Barracuda.

    One thing that many people don't realize is that the BPF was not allowed, under it's operational agreement with the USN, to attack major naval targets in Japanese waters, so having a highly capable naval strike aircraft was not a priority for the BPF.In early 1944, the RN had actually removed the Avengers from its carriers due to their poor torpedoes.
     
  5. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    #5 FLYBOYJ, Jul 23, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2012
    I don't see the Barracuda as a bad aircraft; it seemed to have served well. Had a few crashes while in service and a few design issues (poor high altitude performance and cockpit pressure gauges that operated on full system pressure rather than with a reducer and calibrated gauge, and not the only aircraft to have this BTW). It served the entire war was replaced by the Avenger long after WW2.

    IMO its biggest flaw was its engine - inline engine aboard ship on a strike aircraft.
     
  6. Trilisser

    Trilisser Member

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    What is inherently wrong with an inline engine on a carrier strike aircraft?
     
  7. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    1. Glycol - a hazardous item you don't want on a carrier if you could avoid it.
    2. More susceptible to ground fire
    3. More maintenance intensive because of another system within the aircraft
     
  8. RCAFson

    RCAFson Well-Known Member

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    Liquid cooled engines have some advantages:

    The Merlin 32 dry weight was about 1400lb, and it produced 1640hp.

    The R2600-8 dry weight was 2045 lb and it produced 1750hp.

    The FAA used liquid cooled engines from 1940 and they seemed to have good reliability and serviceability.
     
  9. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    #9 FLYBOYJ, Jul 23, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2012
    Until a .22 round punctures a coolant line or you start getting fitting leaks dues to temp changes and vibrations. No doubt liquid engines could make power, but in the end a round engine with one less fluid running through it makes better sense.
     
  10. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    The R-2600-8 didn't have around 300lbs worth of radiator and coolant.

    The Merlin 32 weighed 1430lbs dry and was good for 1640hp at 2,000ft. The R-2600-8 was about 1980lbs, the 2045lb weight is for a BB series engine which the -8 was not. The -8 was good for 1700hp take-off and 1700hp Military at 4100ft, and 1450hp at 14,100ft. The Merlin 32 may be down to around 1250hp at 14,000ft.

    Actual weight difference is around 250-300lbs and at anything above 2000ft the R-2600 shows an increasing amount of power ( which it needs to counter the higher drag of the engine, drag of the Barracuda airframe is debatable, it may frighten the air out of the way :)
     
  11. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    I disagree with that as Aug 15th 1945 the HMS Indefatigable launched her Seafires and Avengers over Odaki Bay for a bombing mission. ( Whirlwind - The Air War Against Japan 1942 - 1945 by Barrett Tillman, page 244.)
     
  12. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    It didn't, more the reason why a radial on a WW2 naval aircraft made more sense.
     
  13. RCAFson

    RCAFson Well-Known Member

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    Yes, when the possibility of attacking major naval targets largely disappeared, the Avenger was again used by the BPF, but the point is that the FAA considered the Barracuda to be a better strike aircraft against naval targets, not only because the Barracuda could carry an RN torpedo, but also because of it's dive bombing capabilities.
     
  14. RCAFson

    RCAFson Well-Known Member

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    #14 RCAFson, Jul 23, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2012
    Of course both engines would have a higher installed weight. The Merlin 32 also had a lower specific fuel consumption, which was typical of liquid cooled engines.

    According to the SAC data, R2600-8 max output on a TBF-1c was 1700hp up to 3000ft, declining to 1500 to 5800 ft, declining to 1450hp from 7800-12000ft.

    I don't have a power curve for a Merlin 32 on a Barracuda, but on the Seafire LIIC, max engine output (18 lb/3000rpm) could be held to 2700ft in a climb at 188 mph and 5100ft, level, at 340 mph:
    Seafire L Mk. IIC Trials
    So I would expect the Barracuda level FTH be somewhere in the middle of those two altitudes on the Seafire.
     
  15. RCAFson

    RCAFson Well-Known Member

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    #15 RCAFson, Jul 24, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2012
    some basic stats:

    Barracuda II / TBF-1C*** (both with full internal fuel and a Torpedo)
    weight: 13900 / 16412lb
    Fuel: 225 / 275IG
    max HP: 1640 / 1700
    Wing area: 414 /490 sq ft
    Wing span: 49' 2" / 54' 2 "
    wing loading: 33.6 / 33.4 lb sq ft
    power loading: 8.48 / 9.65 Lb/hp
    Service ceiling: 18200** / 21400ft
    Time to 10,000ft: 12.57* / 13 min (both at rated climb power)
    Vmax: 225 at 1750** / 257 mph at 12000ft

    *** = USN SAC
    ** = aircraft profile 240. FTH should be higher.
    * = wikipedia (source: Barracuda pilots notes - these numbers seem correct according to my copy) A page from a manual can be seen here:
    http://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-8...M0/TCH3tKy8y8M/s1152/Barracuda_fuel_range.jpg , according to my calculations and these figures, the Barracuda burns 21IG to climb to 10,000ft and fuel consumption at rated power climb = 105IG/hr and this equals 12 minutes, not 12.57. However, the Feb 1945 Pilot's notes for the Barracuda II and III shows slightly higher consumption and 12.57 min appears to be accurate.
     
  16. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Do you have a source for this as what I am reading states the Avenger replaced the Barracude due to it's low performance on all Fleet Carriers starting in 1944 and the Barracuda's really did not reapper on carriers in the PTO until 1945 but on the CVLs.
     
  17. RCAFson

    RCAFson Well-Known Member

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    The last CV based Barracuda strikes in the IO were Oct 17/19 1944, from Indomitable based Barracudas. CV, CVE and shore based Barracudas continued to strike at Norwegian targets until wars end (Aircraft profile 240 although after Sept 1944 there were no more RN CVs in European waters). However after this date the BPF was operating under a mandate that forced them into striking land based targets only, and here the Avenger had an edge in range and payload, especially near the equator, as Aircraft profile 240 put it: "The use of the Barracuda against land targets was inappropriate." The Avenger was also equipped with a Norden bomb sight for accurate medium level horizontal bombing.

    Halsey:

    .Endgame: The Final Strikes on Japan, 10th Jly to 15th August, 1945


    Since strikes on naval targets were not going to happen, there was no driving need for the Barracuda:
     
  18. Oreo

    Oreo Member

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    How sad (to me, anyway), that politics should have factored into such a decision. This admission, to me, rather than making the USN look good, makes its leadership look lame.
     
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