P-80 ques 1945 - wingtip tanks

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Sir Francis

May 27, 2007
Hi guys,
I read somewhere that the tip tanks were added to extend range -of course, however does anyone know when they started using them? ie did they ever fly as standard without the tanks?
Im buidling a P-80 model and was thinking of leaving it clean without tanks. I read an article where a F-80 pilot ejected his tanks when engaged by a Mig, and he said the tanks actually hit the Mig! So I suppose a recently landed F-80 without tanks in a war zone would be feasible?

Like all fighters of the day, the P-80 had tip tanks installed for additional range. In combat they were frequently jettisoned to provide more maneuverability. The J-33 drinks a lot of fuel so the tanks were used frequently, and when not in combat were usually left on the aircraft. I could tell you I've flown in T-33s and when you start pulling Gs with the tanks on the wings really begin to flap.

I do know many early P-80 squadrons operated them without the tanks. It seems they became more popular in the B and C models.

Hope this helps!
Hi thanks, good stuff.

Do you know where there's a pic on the net of those early P-80s especially those in 1945? Also was there much external difference between P80A, B Cs?
You have the squadron series books which has F-80 and T-33 in profile. Externally there isn't much difference between the A, B and C. Check out this site and the links...
Another reason to ditch the tip tanks when going into combat was because normally the pilots used that fuel first and with no fuel all you had in the tanks was vapors. If pierced by a bullet it could explode. Now that could screw up your planes flight characteristics a wee bit.
Drop tanks are still used - air to air refueling took a lot of the necessity out of it, but many fighters will carry ferry tanks if they are deployed somewhere.
Well i know that they still use drop tanks, but the wing tip tanks

I beleive that the last plane that we had that used the wing tip ones, was our CF-116 (F5 Freedom Fighter)
When tip tanks are full, they add inertia to the roll axis. It takes more stick to get the roll maneuver started and it takes a LOT of stick to stop the roll in comparison with an identical plane without tip tanks.

So ... Fighters are better off with tanks closer to the fuselage centerline. For transports it makes little difference.

Another "downside" to tip tanks is the efects when in a spin. Once they start spinning, they don't stop.

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