The aircraft that outlived their use-by date

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by CobberKane, May 20, 2013.

  1. CobberKane

    CobberKane Banned

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    Recently the there was a bit of a discussion on the bias (or otherwise) of everyone's favourite test pilot, Eric Brown. In support of the pro-bias camp, Browns conclusion that the Swordfish was a better torpedo bomber than the Avenger in the Atlantic was cited. Sounds silly, but I did a bit of reading and found some opinions that the old string bag could take off in much worse weather than the Avenger, from much smaller carriers, and due to the British use of radar could attack in crappy weather or even at night, where its vulnerability to fighters was mitigated.
    All of which makes me think of other aircraft, superseded in performance, that continued to be built and make their mark due to cost effectiveness, unexpected capabilities or any other circumstances, when the expectation had been that they should have been yesterday's news. Swordfish, Wildcat, Hurricane - let's take a look at the aircraft that circumstance kept in the field long aft they might have been cancelled orders and scrap iron.
     
  2. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    P-40 could have been cancelled in favour of more P-51s.

    But that may have left the USAAF a few aircraft short.
     
  3. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    C-47 is still being used today
     
  4. DonL

    DonL Banned

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    Bf 110, Me 210, Me 410

    One of the big failure of the RLM. A massive waste of material, manpower and development time for near nothing, because there were better alternatives at the same timeline (Bf 110) and the Me 210 and Me 410 was only a waste for nothing.
     
  5. Denniss

    Denniss Active Member

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    If properly used, the Bf 110 wasn't a failure - shot down a lot of enemy a/c in BoB. The night fighter force would have had a problem without the 110 as LW was initially rather reluctant to divert Ju 88 bombers to this role.
    Me 210/410 wer enot that bad either but seriously delayed due to the development failures by Mtt. It was good as recon and fast light bomber but no match for single engine fighters if used as heavily armed bomber-destroyer.
     
  6. CobberKane

    CobberKane Banned

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    The 110 would seem to qualify as one of those a aircraft that kept on keeping on. It never lived up to the idea of a long range fighter that could clear the way against enemy interceptors, but the requirement for a bomber destroyer in the absence of escort fighters, then as a night fighter, kept it going. It did useful work right up to the end. The 210 and 410 strike me more as unsuccessful attempts to reassert the original concept, though.
     
  7. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    I don't believe the Bf 110 outlived its usefulness at all; it was one of the most versatile designs the Luftwaffe used in service - partly out of necessity, but it was certainly more capable than the original spec that produced it stipulated. The Swordfish was no doubt obsolescent, but not obsolete and again, it remained in service for a long time partly out of necessity, but also because it could do the job it did particularly well, despite the presense of more modern equipment.

    We still haven't been prersented with Brown's criteria on which his decision was based; something that might justify such a claim and prove less ridiculous than many here think.

    Perhaps better examples might be the Fairey Battle and Bristol Blenheim; I'm sure there are others.
     
  8. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I also don't think the 110 outlived its usefulness. It was a good nightfighter. It just never lived up to its Zerstoerer status. It was still successful as a nightfighter though.
     
  9. Procrastintor

    Procrastintor Member

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    The P-40 was built from the late 30's until the very end of the war, and was continually effective.
     
  10. altsym

    altsym Member

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    Yeah I agree about the BF 110 had a very good niche.. night fighting. The Schr├Ąge Musik was a pretty devastating attack method.
     
  11. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    That is just a bit hard to swallow. The US was telling it's student pilots in 1943 in a manual for the P-40 that the P-40 would no longer be issued to new squadrons and that they would fly different fighters than the P-40 when they joined combat squadrons. It may have continued to provide ground support in 1944/45 but was no longer considered a front rank aircraft and it's continued production into late 1944 can onlynbe considered an embarrassment.
     
  12. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    Anything flown by the Finnish Air Force.

    As for the Bf110 it probably shot down more aircraft than any other twin and must qualify as one of the best value aircraft of the war.
     
  13. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Me210 / Me410 was a waste only because RLM cancelled production after development was complete. Same holds true for 2,000hp Jumo 222 engine.

    Don't spend a lot of money for R&D unless the aircraft or engine is intended for mass production.


    Back to the topic at hand....
    Hs.123 was obsolete long before retirement during 1944. Low production rate for Ju-87 kept surviving Hs.123 aircraft in service until they were destroyed or fell apart from use.
     
  14. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    The RLM cancelled production of the Me210 because Messerschmitt sent them what was supposed to be a aircraft that was ALREADY developed and ready for operations, but it wasn't.
    After the debacle of the first batch of Me210's, were they likely to believe him again ? In Russia, Willy and some of his staff would up against a wall facing a firing squad.
     
  15. DonL

    DonL Banned

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    #15 DonL, May 21, 2013
    Last edited: May 21, 2013
    The funny thing is, that as the debacle was clear from many accidents and pilot reports, "Willy" was first denying to do any rework on the Bf 210, because he didn't believed he did something wrong.
    History of Bf 210:
    Beginning development 1937, first flight 1939, realy operational end of 1943 and only with DB 603, with nil to nothing impact. If this isn't a waste then someone should show me a waste.

    The performances of the Bf 110 were from the beginning only average (as Zerstoerer obsolete after BoB, as long range fighter obsolete as the introduction) and it was not a successful nightfighter, it was an average nightfighter, many german nightfighter pilots prefered at the beginning the Do 215/Do17 and later the Ju 88.
     
  16. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    But Bf 109G and Ju 88A-4 if we look only WWII

    Agree even if it didn't fullfill all those expections as long-range day-fighter.

    Juha
     
  17. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    Oops forgot about the 109s and 88s :oops:
     
  18. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    I'll toss my hat in the ring with the Stuka...

    Obsolete by the time the war really got rolling and had a margin of safety ONLY if the Luftwaffe held air superiority in it's operating area. It even got a second lease on life with the G-1 variant and managed to somehow remain operational nearly to the end of the war.
     
  19. jim

    jim Banned

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    Me 410 could be an superb attack aircraft

    Hs 123 was out of production since 1940. However, it had such an excellent record on the eastern front that von Richtiven asked, in late 1943, if would be possible to restart its production

    Bf 110 was not good enough as a day fighter and only average as a night fighter. It s production should have cease at late 1940 the latest. Fw 187C should be at his place as long range day fighter and Ju 88C as night fighter and night intruder
     
  20. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    Vickers Wellington. As much I like Wimpy it was kept in production too long. IIRC because the factories producing it were difficult to convert to produce stressed skin bombers.

    Juha
     
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