Favorites and their achilles heels!

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Arossihman, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. Arossihman

    Arossihman Member

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    Since we always discuss our favorite warbirds strongpoint why dont we flip it over and discuss what we think or know our favorite warbirds weak points are. Lets start with the fighters and you guys can go whatever direction you wish from there! I'll start with mine,the P-47. I believe its weak points were,range,weight,and,climb rate in the early models.
    Tony8)
     
  2. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Production cost.

    The P-47 was horribly expensive for a WWII era fighter aircraft. So was the P-38. I doubt anyone except the USA would have considered producing such expensive aircraft.
     
  3. Arossihman

    Arossihman Member

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    Well played sir!
     
  4. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    My favorite is the Corsair. Unfortunately for the purpose of this discussion, the Corsair had no weaknesses! Ha. I guess I would have to say range. It also could do a 4 G inverted negative dive! hahaha.
     
  5. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    P-39

    I'll speak up for my favorite beauty - Bell's P-39 Airacobra. The Russians loved this plane matched as top cover for Il Sturmaviks. It was the 'right' platform for the Eastern Front air war. But to be useful for the Americans and the British the P-39 needed better endurance and higher performance. Those issues were never addressible in the P-39's unique air frame. :)

    MM
     
  6. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Spitfire: Its limited range and limited fighter bomber capabilities. Feels like I am blaspheming when I do this
     
  7. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    The Corsair was nicknamed the "Ensign Eliminator" for a reason...that's enough of a "weakness" in my book! lmao
     
  8. Catch22

    Catch22 Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't say the Corsair's range was an issue. They removed the wing tanks in the -1D and later because they didn't need the range. That said, GG has it right. It was tricky on the ground, but from what I've read it's not any more difficult than a Mustang. I think it got a bad rep from the early issues that were repaired with the oleos and it stuck.
     
  9. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Not the aircraft per se but the U.S. Army Air Corps didn't have enough sense to adopt the F4U. Apparently it had enemies in high places (and I don't mean Japanese aircraft). :)
     
  10. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Do you mean weak points in regarding the original specification or intent of the aircraft or weak point/s as used once in large scale production 3-6 years after design work and being assigned missions they were never originally intended for?
     
  11. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Right, Catch...they installed a stall slat to keep the left wing from dipping at close-to-stall speeds.

    The horrible forward vis on approach made it dangerous to land coupled with the tendancy to literally spin the aircraft on it's back at low speeds if you throttled up to fast.
     
  12. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    The Corsair was a challenging aircraft to land particularly on a flight deck but other than that it had a design flaw which made it slightly less suvivable, especially to ground fire. The two oil coolers in the leading edge of the wing roots were not protected until the AU. Of course those oil coolers were not as vulnerable as the cooling system of a liquid cooled engined fighter.
     
  13. Catch22

    Catch22 Well-Known Member

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    It's amazing how such a small addition can make that big of a difference!

    The Fleet Air Arm came into the deck in a turn in order to be able to see better. I find it hard to make too many comments about landing and ground handling as I'm not a pilot, and of course haven't flown a Corsair, but it definitely had its vices, which thankfully(?) were all seemingly on the ground. All I know is most pilots did end up loving the aircraft, and some of the early Navy squadrons that were equipped with it missed it badly when they were forced back into Hellcats. Then again, you have Bill Atkinson, a Canadian pilot in the FAA who flew Hellcats and didn't like the Corsair as he found it too complicated.

    That brings up an interesting point, I'm not aware of any major vices with the Hellcat.

    EDIT: Ah yes, forgot about that renrich. Those were more of an issue in Korea, were they not? (As a side note I bought "Corsair" by Tillman that you suggested, not finished yet but so far it's very good)
     
  14. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    #14 renrich, Jan 29, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2012
    The major vice of the Hellcat was that when it first was deployed many felt the performance margin over the Zeke was not great enough. That was alleviated somewhat by the F6F5 but by that time the Corsair was beginning to replace all Hellcats. Linnekin, in "80 Knots to Mach Two" said that the Hellcat had atrocious right rudder forces and not nearly enough right rudder trim to compensate. All of it's control forces were substantial. It sounds as if the Hellcat was designed to be flown by a low time pilot who was not going to try a lot of fancy maneuvers and wanted a safe airplane. Which was what it was.

    A minor point but the spoiler on the right wing of the Corsair was to make the right wing stall at the same time the left wing stalled. That left wing stalling first was apparently the case in a number of piston engined fighters. Eric Brown described the FW190 as having the same characteristic.
     
  15. Arossihman

    Arossihman Member

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    #15 Arossihman, Jan 29, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2012
    shortround6.....
    I would say original specs....later aircraft were modified to fix shortcomings like range and climb rate. If i were to use the p-47n for example they had good range. So lets stick to originals for now and maybe later we can morph it into something else.
    Tony
     
  16. Arossihman

    Arossihman Member

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    I know what ya mean!
     
  17. futuredogfight

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    #17 futuredogfight, Jan 29, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2012
    The p-36 lacked the choice to leave the battle at will
     
  18. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Was the original P-47 designed to be an escort fighter? If not then what is the Problem? Did it have equal or greater range than the P-40? The Initial design for the P-47B was offered to the Army in June of 1940 and the contract for the prototype placed in Sept 1940, during the BoB. What was the original range or endurance requirement? The fact that the ASAAC wanted escort fighters 3 years later doesn't mean that the P-47 failed to meet it's original goals.
     
  19. Siegfried

    Siegfried Banned

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    Me 109. For the same power it was faster than and could outclimb just about any fighter. However for various reasons the Germans fell behined in power between late 42 and early 44.
     
  20. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    #20 Shortround6, Jan 29, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2012
    It was designed to be a short ranged interceptor. Carrying extra fuel and having fighter bomber capabilities would hurt it's interceptor abilities. Please remember that the British, for what they considered good and proper reasons ( but then they drink warm beer) decided that their fighters should use fixed pitch propellers and single speed supercharged engines in the late 1930s while the bombers got the two pitch or constant speed propellers and the two speed super charged engines.

    The difference in take off performance of the propellers alone is staggering. take off run dropped from 420 yds with the fixed pitch to 320 yds with the 2 pitch to 225 yds with the Rotol propeller. Take off to clear a 50 ft obstacle went from 790 yds to 490yds to 370 yds. The Rotol equipped plane could be at 50ft before the fixed pitch plane got it's wheels of the ground. It took 6 minutes less to get to 30,000ft too. If the fighters had been given constant speed propellers earlier then maybe more weight could have been used for secondary roles without compromising performance too much.

    edit> having the best all round fighter in the world doesn't do much good if it can't take-off from most of your existing air fields.
     
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