Most successfully repurposed aircraft of World War Two.

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by pattle, Oct 10, 2013.

  1. pattle

    pattle Member

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    I was just thinking about aircraft that were not entirely successful or had been replaced in their original roles but bounced back to be successful when repurposed. This could include aircraft such as the Mustang or Avro Lancaster where the original designs were given a new lease of life with different engines and other modifications, but I was thinking more of aircraft like the Sterling, Typhoon, SM79 or Me110 which were for lack of a better phrase recycled and used successfully in a different role to that originally intended.
     
  2. MacArther

    MacArther Active Member

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    Maybe the Yak-7. Started out as an advanced trainer, but was apparently used quite well as a front line fighter.
     
  3. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Best example I can think of.

    Me-110 was used for long range recon and bomber escort during 1939. A year later most Me-110 units morphed into night fighter units and stayed that way to the end of the war.
     
  4. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    I think Mosquito. Started life as an unarmed recon machine, then as a bomber, then as a NF then as a FB. Its adaptations are numerous. In peacetime it was used for survey work, as target dones and tow aircraft. It changed from Light Bomber to Medium Bomber, carrier aircraft, it just goes on and on.

    All for an airframe that the air ministry thought was a waste of resources
     
  5. bob44

    bob44 Member

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    How bout the P47. Started as a fighter, became a successful ground attack aircraft.
     
  6. Greyman

    Greyman Active Member

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    Fairey Swordfish.

    Interwar torpedo bomber that somehow became a successful WWII torpedo bomber. :)
     
  7. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    I would argue that since it was designed as a bomber its first adaptation was as a PR aircraft.
     
  8. pattle

    pattle Member

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    I think the Mosquito is perhaps unique as it didn't actually need to be repurposed as it remained the best in it's field, the Mosquito was simply found to be so good that it had many more uses than was expected.
     
  9. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    Maybe a little outside the bounds, but I doubt anyone could have imagined WW II era C-47's being used as attack aircraft in Viet Nam, a la AC-47!
     
  10. MacArther

    MacArther Active Member

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    True!
     
  11. pattle

    pattle Member

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    I think this idea was dabbled with in Burma during WW2, not sure though?
     
  12. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    The Fairey Battle made a very good target tug :)
    Well over 300 built!
    Steve
     
  13. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    Same-same for the Defiant and Henley.
     
  14. Aozora

    Aozora Well-Known Member

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    #14 Aozora, Oct 11, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2013
    The Typhoon (mentioned in starting post) became a very good ground attack aircraft after failing as a replacement for the Hurricane Spitfire.

    The B-25 became a low level, gun totin' attack ship.
     
  15. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Are you suggesting original version of Mosquito lacked a bomb bay?
     
  16. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    No, he is not.

    PR Mossies still had a "bomb bay".

    [​IMG]
     
  17. pattle

    pattle Member

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    Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction.
     
  18. MacArther

    MacArther Active Member

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    How about the Lyslander? It went from close-support work and Army Cooperation jobs to ferrying SOE and OSS agents into and out of occupied territory!
     
  19. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    How about the Ju88?

    Started life as a fast bomber and ended up doing everything you could imagine. Instead of making a list of all that it did do, during the war, perhaps making a list of what it did NOT do would be much easier.

    Bombing, dive-bombing, torpedo bombing, flying bomb (mistel), mine-laying, photo-recon, heavy fighter, night fighter, ground attack, glider tug and was even a test-bed for jet engines. :thumbleft:
     
  20. l'Omnivore Sobriquet

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    Focke-Wulf Fw-200 Condor was built as an airliner, then turned into a very good LR maritime patroller and bomber. For some time...
     
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