Glass Jaws

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by comiso90, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    Which otherwise brilliant aircraft had a glaring vulnerability in specific areas?

    The Corsair and Stormovik were fantastic but a couple small caliber rounds in the oil coolers were an easy way to take down these otherwise formidable beasts...

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  2. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Zero. Oscar.
     
  3. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    Not which plane were themselves vulnerable but which part of the plane was a particular vulnerability?
    for example the Corsair and IL-2 are not considered easy planes to take down except for the oil cooler..

    The Zero and Oscar were were just easy planes to take down. Period. As a weapons system, the whole zero/oscar platform was vulnerable, not just one or two components.

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  4. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    Any hit in the coolant system plumbing on a 51 (or P-40) would bring it down if the coolant supply was lost. That pretty well applies to all in-line engines.

    Ditto to oil coolers for either in-lines or radials - just some were protected better than others.
     
  5. BombTaxi

    BombTaxi Active Member

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    To steal mercilessly from another thread... :lol:

    The Davis wing of the Liberator seems to have been a major weak point of the design, prone to catastrophic failure if damaged.

    On a different tack, the Hurricanes and Spitfires of the BoB had a fuel tank directly ahead of the cockpit - and contemporary 109s had one under the pilots seat. A hit in one of these was very often terminal for the pilot, and if not left him with horrendous burns and a very long, if not permanent, spell out of combat - a critical factor for the RAF especially, at that time...
     
  6. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    Wouls a luft pilot be more likely to target a wing on a B-24 that a B-17?

    Of course he will take what ever shot is presented for the angle of attack but would they actively target a B-24 wing over a B-17 wing?
     
  7. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    No
    if only because B-17s and B-24s never flew in the same formation. I believe they tried but it was proved too difficult, so the notion of 'actively targetting' one wing over the other wouldn't arise, it would be either a B-17 wing OR a B-24 wing.
     
  8. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    The advantage of having serious firepower like 4 x 2cm cannon or a prop mounted 3cm cannon. Hitting the enemy aircraft anywhere is likely to cause massive damage.
     
  9. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    In the case of the IL-2, the oil cooler was specifically targeted by (experienced) luft pilots.

    .
     
  10. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    I don't think the architecture for single-engined, single-seat fighters of the period left much room for variation on the theme of fuel storage, they pretty much all sat too close to their fuel for comfort.

    The Me163B Komet
    extremely volatile fuel substances, the pilot had to ensure that his tanks were completely empty before attempting to land - on a skid. A pretty poor endurance of something in the region of 8 minutes before gliding back into the airfield.
    I've never seen any reports of Allied pilots following them down and nailing them during this extremely vulnerable stage of the sortie but it must have been pretty nerve-racking for the Luftwaffe pilot, who would have been even more of a sitting duck than an Me262 in the landing pattern - at least he had fuel!
     
  11. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    An inexperienced pilot with 4 x 2cm cannons will shoot off one of the unarmored wings. It goes down in flames either way. 8)
     
  12. BombTaxi

    BombTaxi Active Member

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    I think, generally speaking, all but the most experienced pilots attacking a US combat box are going to fire at whatever fills their sights. My point was that a B-24 seems to have been less likely to survive a cannon shell to the wing as a B-17, due to the design of the airfoil. I'm not sure how widespread targeting of specific components was, but I guess it wasn't all that common.

    Continuing with the original theme of the thread, German bomber such as the He111, Ju88 and Dornier 17/215/217 suffered a handicap in the layout of crew accommodation, which clustered the entire crew together in the nose. One near-miss from flak or good burst from a fighter could potentially incapacitate several, if not all of the crew, immediately rendering the bomber finished. Again, I don't believe this was deliberately exploited by RAF fighters in the BoB, but pilots certainly knew that attacking from ahead exposed them to less defensive fire, increasing the risk for bomber crews. As a secondary disadvantage, the clustering of the crew also restricted the placement of defensive armament, and coupled with the German aversion to the use of turrets (except in the Do217), limited the arcs of fire that could be effectively covered, and also reduced available fire power, as guns on the bombers mentioned were usually in single flexible mounts anyway.
     
  13. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    That is painfully obvious. :|

    not the point of the thread.... lots of weapons were bomber killers.. I dont know why this is relevant?
     
  14. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    good point
     
  15. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    I would say the Defiant's overlooked lack of forward guns was an Achilles Heel.
     
  16. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    True but the Defiant was designed to fly under bomber formations and eviscerate them. It wasn't meant to be a fighter. It's the "fault" of those that developed the doctrine, not the designers.
    .
     
  17. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    and the fault of those who utilized it in a way it wasn't designed for.
     
  18. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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  19. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    As fearsome as the Me262 was, it had a number of potentially fatal flaws.

    Aside from the vulnerablity during takeoff/landing, it's engines were tempermental and prone to catastrophic failure at the drop of a hat.

    And the fuel tanks were only lined with leather, one being placed ahead of the cockpit, the other being directly behind.
     
  20. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    I would say that take off/landing bit of the 262 was a major flaw as the Allies exploited it and it led to use resources needed elsewhere - such as extra flak guns and CAP aircraft.
     
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