Other air forces/services go with the equivalent of A-36 Apache?

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tomo pauk

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Apr 3, 2008
Probably the only dive bomber that was used as an escort fighter?
My actual question: how much of an improvement would've been the fighter-turned-divebomber aircraft? Something that has proper dive brakes, it is fast by default, and once the bombs are gone can ruin a day even to the enemy fighters, as well as other aircraft. Note that this is different to a fighter-bomber, that usually has no dive brakes to help lower the speed at very steep angles without many problems.
(we will put the F4U aside for a moment, it's U/C doubling as dive brake was IMO a great feature)
 
Probably the only dive bomber that was used as an escort fighter?
My actual question: how much of an improvement would've been the fighter-turned-divebomber aircraft? Something that has proper dive brakes, it is fast by default, and once the bombs are gone can ruin a day even to the enemy fighters, as well as other aircraft. Note that this is different to a fighter-bomber, that usually has no dive brakes to help lower the speed at very steep angles without many problems.
(we will put the F4U aside for a moment, it's U/C doubling as dive brake was IMO a great feature)
 
The Fw190F-8 was an effective dive-bomber.
Of course, it didn't dive at angles comparable to the Ju87 or SBD, but it did employ a rather steep angle in delivering it's ordnance.
 
A-36 was named "Mustang."

Don't trust Wikipedia or, for that matter, most of the websites out there.

Check the website of the USAF Museum.

Cheers.

Thanks for the feedback.

The Fw190F-8 was an effective dive-bomber.
Of course, it didn't dive at angles comparable to the Ju87 or SBD, but it did employ a rather steep angle in delivering it's ordnance.

P-47, Spitfire and P-40 were also dive-bombing sometimes.
We'd have the Fw 190 outfitted with dive brakes in order to compete here. Me, I'd suggest the dive brakes a-la SBD, or perhaps the ones as installed on the A-36. Probably on P-47, Spitfire and Hurricane the 'SBD fashion' dive brakes would've also worked. For the P-40 - probably go with reinforced U/C installation to double as a dive brake?
 
Thanks for the feedback.



P-47, Spitfire and P-40 were also dive-bombing sometimes.
We'd have the Fw 190 outfitted with dive brakes in order to compete here. Me, I'd suggest the dive brakes a-la SBD, or perhaps the ones as installed on the A-36. Probably on P-47, Spitfire and Hurricane the 'SBD fashion' dive brakes would've also worked. For the P-40 - probably go with reinforced U/C installation to double as a dive brake?
I suspect "fences", like the A-36 or Pe-2 had, would work.
 
Probably the only dive bomber that was used as an escort fighter?
My actual question: how much of an improvement would've been the fighter-turned-divebomber aircraft?
Was dive bombing a good idea? It worked well when people had air superiority and victims did not have effective anti-aircraft guns. Late in the war, you spent minimum time being visible to the enemy.
 
Was dive bombing a good idea? It worked well when people had air superiority and victims did not have effective anti-aircraft guns. Late in the war, you spent minimum time being visible to the enemy.

What would be your idea for an A-36 equivalent (ie. a really fast dive bomber) for other air-forces or air-services?
 
What would be your idea for an A-36 equivalent (ie. a really fast dive bomber) for other air-forces or air-services?
I would do high speed level bombing from low altitude, as was done in Europe, late in the war. I believe they dove a bit. It is not as accurate, but your aircraft will survive ferocious opposition. Your dive bombing will decline in accuracy when you deploy half trained replacement pilots.

The Typhoons and Thunderbolts could make a good account of themselves if they had to, especially if the Typhoons removed their rocket rails.
 
Was dive bombing a good idea? It worked well when people had air superiority and victims did not have effective anti-aircraft guns. Late in the war, you spent minimum time being visible to the enemy.
The A-36 in a dive-bombing role proved to very effective, they also had no problem with countering enemy fighters.

The 16th BS, based out of North Africa, wreacked havoc on Axis elements, both in ground attack and engaging enemy aircraft.
Lt. Russo, of that group, not only became an ace flying the A-36, but the first Mustang ace of the war and the only ace flying an Allison powered Mustang.
 
Was dive bombing a good idea? It worked well when people had air superiority and victims did not have effective anti-aircraft guns. Late in the war, you spent minimum time being visible to the enemy.

I read it, but can't locate the page now, somewhere in Hastings' book (Pedestal) - he quotes an Admiral/Captain saying he would lash down to a flight deck any individual who didn't believe in dive-bombing effectiveness - "and then find out for themselves".
 
It states that the "Apache" and "Invader" were nicknames.

Thw British name "Mustang" is included in it's given designation both in title:
"North American A-36A Mustang"

and description:
"the A-36A dive bomber was the first US Army Air Forces version of the Mustang, officially developed for Britain in 1940."

Only the NA-91 (designated P-51, no suffix) was referred to as "Apache" by the US Army, and even then, it was for a very short length of time.
"Mustang" was officially adopted to prevent confusion between the variants (both U.S. and British).
 
It states that the "Apache" and "Invader" were nicknames.

Thw British name "Mustang" is included in it's given designation both in title:
"North American A-36A Mustang"

and description:
"the A-36A dive bomber was the first US Army Air Forces version of the Mustang, officially developed for Britain in 1940."

Only the NA-91 (designated P-51, no suffix) was referred to as "Apache" by the US Army, and even then, it was for a very short length of time.
"Mustang" was officially adopted to prevent confusion between the variants (both U.S. and British).
Could you provide sources regarding the NA-91 being called the Apache? I couldn't find any
 
The A-36 in a dive-bombing role proved to very effective, they also had no problem with countering enemy fighters.
I have just remembered this little infographic from the Thunderbolt at War, by William N. Hess.

FLW.jpeg

The "Just one more pass" part is an indication that it was not safe to fly over things the Germans didn't want strafed. I recall reading about someone being chase by an Fw190 which he could not shake. He solved is problem by strafing a German airfield, and their ack ack solved his problem.
 
Could you provide sources regarding the NA-91 being called the Apache? I couldn't find any

It's mentioned in Robert Gruenhagen's book Mustang: The Story of the P-51 Mustang (p.60):

"At this time the Air Force accepted the Mustang and in an effort to establish its new identity, the name 'Apache' was assigned to the P-51. By the time the 'Apache' was received by flying units, the designation had been changed to F-6A indicating a photo recon ship and the name was accepted as Mustang to conform to the standards being established by British use of the airplane."

On p.62:

"The time was July 1943 and the A-36 groups were now hardened veterans. Lt. Col. John D. Stevenson, commander of the first unit equipped with the airplane, and pilot Lt. Robert B. Walsh started a petition to rename the A-36 with a more appropriate title, fitting for the specialized role to which it was assigned. The name 'Invader', however persistent with the two groups, was never officially adopted and combat reporters continued to refer to all actions of the units with Mustang type airplanes."
 
Was dive bombing a good idea? It worked well when people had air superiority and victims did not have effective anti-aircraft guns. Late in the war, you spent minimum time being visible to the enemy.

That was the case with previous dive bombers (e.g. Ju 87 or SBD), which, as two-man aircraft, were not particularly maneuverable or quick, making them vulnerable to opposing fighters after the bomb drop.

The A-36, in contrast, was much more able to defend itself after recovering from the dive. Thus the shift of the USAAF away from dive bombers (the A-24 and A-25) to fighter-bombers.
 

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