Epic Midway Flight by P-40K & implications?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by oldcrowcv63, Aug 25, 2016.

  1. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    #1 oldcrowcv63, Aug 25, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2016
    Fund this link to an interesting event: a January 22, 1943 flight by a squadron of 22 P-40K-1s to midway Island from Barking Sands, on Kauai.

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwinweHo8tzOAhWFlh4KHQnvBL8QFggcMAA&url=http://hiavps.com/Stories/78th%20FS/MIDWAY%20ISLAND%20INTERLUDE.doc&usg=AFQjCNG2DkrFNDWf5G_x4a2RHkbXAEc7vw&sig2=s4VMl-GgqdflJM3Yq9VxJA&bvm=bv.130731782,d.dmo

    "In January 1943, the 78th Fighter Squadron made aviation history in the planning and execution of the longest over-water flight of single engine, land-based airplanes ever attempted. It had been known for some time that the 76th Squadron was to replace the 73rd Fighter Squadron, then based at Midway Island. Although the airplanes of the 73rd had been transported to Midway by aircraft carrier, it was decided that the 78th would fly their planes in a mass over-water flight from a staging base at Barking Sands, Kauai."

    "All P40's were stripped down to two (2) inboard guns with combat load
    to balance weight of belly tank carrying approximately one hundred seventy (170) gallons of fuel
    5. Pilots were equipped: with AN type seat-life raft, life jacket, ,jungle : pack, parachute type, 45, with tracer ammunition,; stainless steel mirror for flashing, bottle of malted milk tablets, canteen of water, and chocolate bars, candy, fruit juices, and a few sandwiches as desired by the pilot.
    "
     
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  2. RCAFson

    RCAFson Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, that was very interesting.
    In October 1942 Spitfire Vs flew from Gibraltar to Malta direct, using 170IG drop tanks. The distance, however was about 15nm less than Kauai to Midway, according to Google Earth.
     
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  3. Frank Stewart

    Frank Stewart New Member

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    It was also with the prevailing wind, IIRC! What a great bunch of arguments of the two plane's merits using just these two missions?
     
  4. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    That's still pretty d*mn impressive for a fighter with a reputation for short legs, whether deserved on not. It appears that the P-40K flight from Kauai to Midway was into a 25 knot headwind which is also impressive. I would guess the Spitfire would have a higher 'best economy' cruise speed than the P-40K.
     
  5. airminded88

    airminded88 Member

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    Amazing story and brave pilots indeed!
     
  6. RCAFson

    RCAFson Well-Known Member

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    #6 RCAFson, Aug 31, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2016
    IIRC Guadalcanal was also reinforced with fighters that were flown in from island bases to the south.

    It is also worth remembering that A6M Zeros were being flown from Rabaul to Guadalcanal and back (~1200nm) during combat missions in the Summer/Fall of 1942.
     
  7. BiffF15

    BiffF15 Well-Known Member

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    Wow, those were some long sorties! Any idea what the cruise speed was for the A6M?

    Cheers,
    Biff
     
  8. RCAFson

    RCAFson Well-Known Member

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    IIRC, long range cruise was about 120 knots.
     
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