USAAC: Pre-war aircrafts

Discussion in 'Between the wars 1918-1939' started by gekho, May 2, 2012.

  1. gekho

    gekho Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    2,816
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Lawyer
    Location:
    Spain
    he Air Service had a brief but turbulent history. Created during World War I by executive order, it gained permanent legislative authority in 1920 as a combatant arm of the line of the United States Army. There followed a six-year struggle between adherents of airpower and the supporters of the traditional military services about the value of an independent Air Force, intensified by struggles for funds caused by skimpy budgets, as much an impetus for independence as any other factor. The Lassiter Board, a group of General Staff officers, recommended in 1923 that the Air Service be augmented by an offensive force of bombardment and pursuit units under the command of Army general headquarters in time of war, and many of its recommendations became Army regulations. The War Department desired to implement the Lassiter Board's recommendations, but the administration of President Calvin Coolidge chose instead to economize by radically cutting military budgets, particularly the Army's. The Lampert Committee of the House of Representatives in December 1925 proposed a unified air force independent of the Army and Navy, plus a department of defense to coordinate the three armed services. However another board, headed by Dwight Morrow, was appointed in September 1925 by Coolidge ostensibly to study the "best means of developing and applying aircraft in national defense" but in actuality to minimize the political impact of the pending court-martial of Billy Mitchell (and to preempt the findings of the Lampert Committee). It declared that no threat of air attack was likely to exist to the United States, rejected the idea of a department of defense and a separate department of air, and recommended only minor reforms that included renaming the Air Service to allow it more prestige.

    In early 1926 the Military Affairs Committee of the Congress rejected all bills set forth before it on both sides of the issue. They fashioned a compromise in which the findings of the Morrow Board were enacted as law, while providing the air arm a "five-year plan" for expansion and development. Maj. Gen. Mason Patrick, the Chief of Air Service, had proposed that it be made a semi-independent service within the War Department along the lines of the Marine Corps within the Navy Department, but this was rejected; only the cosmetic name change was accepted. The legislation changed the name of the Air Service to the Air Corps, "thereby strengthening the conception of military aviation as an offensive, striking arm rather than an auxiliary service."

    The Air Corps Act (44 Stat. 780) became law on 2 July 1926. In accordance with the Morrow Board's recommendations, the act created an additional Assistant Secretary of War to "help foster military aeronautics", and established an air section in each division of the General Staff for a period of three years. Two additional brigadier generals would serve as assistant chiefs of the Air Corps. Previous provisions of the National Defense Act of 1920 that all flying units be commanded only by rated personnel and that flight pay be awarded were continued. The Air Corps also retained the "Prop and Wings" as its branch insignia through its disestablishment in 1947. Patrick became Chief of the Air Corps and Brig. Gen. James E. Fechet continued as his first assistant chief. On 17 July 1926, two lieutenant colonels were promoted to brigadier general for four-year terms as assistant chiefs of Air Corps: Frank P. Lahm, to command the new Air Corps Training Center, and William E. Gillmore, in command of the Materiel Division. The position of the air arm within the Department of War remained essentially the same as before, that is, the flying units were under the operational control of the various ground forces corps area commands and not the Air Corps, which remained responsible only for procurement of aircraft, maintenance of bases, supply, and training. Because of a lack of legally specified duties and responsibilities, the new position of Assistant Secretary of War for Air, held by F. Trubee Davison from July 1926 to March 1933, proved of little help in promoting autonomy for the air arm.

    The Air Corps Act gave authorization to carry out a five-year expansion program. However, the lack of funding caused the beginning of the five-year expansion program to be delayed until 1 July 1927. Gen. Patrick proposed an increase to 63 tactical squadrons (from an existing 32) to maintain the program of the Lassiter Board already in effect, but Chief of Staff Gen. John Hines rejected the recommendation in favor of a plan drawn up by ground force Brig. Gen. Hugh Drum that proposed 52 squadrons. The act authorized expansion to 1,800 airplanes, 1,650 officers, and 15,000 enlisted men, to be reached in regular increments over a five-year period. None of the goals were reached by the end of five years, and neither of the modest increases in airplanes or officers was reached until 1938, because adequate funds were never appropriated in the budget, and the coming of the Great Depression forced reductions in pay and modernization across the board in the Army. Organizationally the Air Corps doubled from seven to fifteen groups, but all were seriously understrength in aircraft and pilots. As units of the Air Corps increased in number, so did higher command echelons. The 2nd Wing, activated in 1922 as part of the Air Service, remained the only wing organization in the new Air Corps until 1929, when it was redesignated the 2nd Bombardment Wing in anticipation of the activation of the 1st Bombardment Wing to provide a bombardment wing on each coast. The 1st Bomb Wing was activated in 1931, followed by the 3rd Attack Wing in 1932 to protect the Mexican border, at which time the 1st became the 1st Pursuit Wing. The three wings became the foundation of General Headquarters Air Force upon its activation in 1935.
     
  2. gekho

    gekho Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    2,816
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Lawyer
    Location:
    Spain
    In 1927 the Air Corps adopted a new color scheme for painting its aircraft, heretofore painted olive drab. The wings and tails of aircraft were painted chrome yellow, with the words "U.S. ARMY" displayed in large black lettering on the undersurface of the lower wings. Tail rudders were painted with a vertical dark blue band at the rudder hinge and 13 alternating red-and-white horizontal stripes trailing. In the early 1930s the painting of fuselages olive drab was changed to blue, and this motif continued until late 1937, when all new aircraft (now all-metal) were left unpainted except for national markings. Most pursuit fighters before 1935 were of the Curtiss P-1 Hawk (1926–1930) and Boeing P-12 (1929–1935) families, and before the 1934 introduction of the all-metal monoplane, most front-line bombers were canvas-and-wood variants of the radial engined Keystone LB-6 (60 LB-5A, LB-6 and LB-7 bombers) and B-3A (127 B-3A, B-4A, B-5, and B-6A bombers) designs.[n 5] Between 1927 and 1934, the Curtiss O-1 was the most numerous of the 19 different types and series of observation craft and its A-3 variant the most numerous of the attack planes that fulfilled the observation/close support role designated by the General Staff as the primary mission of the Air Corps.

    Transport aircraft of the first ten years of the Air Corps were of largely trimotor design, such as the Atlantic-Fokker C-2 and the Ford C-3, and were procured in such small numbers (66 total) that they were doled out one airplane to a base. As their numbers and utility declined, they were replaced by a series of 50 twin-engine and single-engine small transports, and used for staff duties. Pilot training was conducted between 1927 and 1937 in the Consolidated PT-3 trainer, followed by the Stearman PT-13 and variants after 1937. By 1933 the Air Corps expanded to a tactical strength of 50 squadrons: 21 pursuit, 13 observation, 12 bombardment, and 4 attack. All were understrength in aircraft and men, particularly officers, which resulted in most being commanded by junior officers instead of by majors as authorized. The last open-cockpit fighter used by the USAAC, the P-26, came into service in 1933 and bridged the gap between the biplane and more modern fighters.

    The Air Corps was called upon in early 1934 to deliver the mail in the wake of the Air Mail scandal, involving the postmaster general and heads of the airlines. Despite an embarrassing performance that resulted in a number of crashes and 12 fatalities, the investigating boards that followed recommended organizational and modernization changes that again set the Air Corps on the path to autonomy and eventual separation from the Army. A force of 2,320 aircraft was recommended by one board, and authorized by Congress in June 1936, but appropriations to build up the force were denied by the administration until 1939, when the probability of war became apparent. Instead, the Air Corps inventory actually declined to 855 total aircraft in 1936, a year after the creation of GHQ Air Force, which by itself was recommended to have a strength of 980.

    Source: United States Army Air Corps - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  3. gekho

    gekho Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    2,816
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Lawyer
    Location:
    Spain
    #3 gekho, May 2, 2012
    Last edited: May 2, 2012
    The XA-8 won a competition against the General Aviation/Fokker XA-7, after which 13 service test aircraft were ordered (five as YA-8s and eight as Y1A-8s). After the completion of testing, 11 of these aircraft were redesignated A-8. The A-8 was the first Curtiss machine of all-metal low-wing monoplane configuration with advanced features such as automatic leading edge slats and trailing-edge flaps. Four forward-firing .30 in (7.62 mm) machine guns were mounted in the wheel fairings, and an additional weapon of the same calibre was fitted in the observer's cockpit for rear defense. The standard bomb load was four 100 lb (45 kg) bombs. One YA-8 was fitted with a radial engine and designated YA-10, while another was used for testing of the Curtiss V-1570 Conqueror engine as the Y1A-8A. This aircraft was redesignated A-8 upon the completion of testing. 46 aircraft were ordered as A-8Bs, however the order was changed to the Model 60 A-12s before production began. The A-8 created a sensation in US aviation circles when it went into service with the 3rd Attack Group at Fort Crockett, Texas in April 1932. All other standard aircraft were of biplane configuration, and the first monoplane fighter (the Boeing P-26A) did not become operational until eight months later.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. gekho

    gekho Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    2,816
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Lawyer
    Location:
    Spain
    The Curtiss YA-10 Shrike was the first YA-8 fitted with a Pratt Whitney R-1690-9 (R-1690D) Hornet radial engine. The conversion was done in September 1932, and it was found that the aircraft's performance was not degraded by the change of engine, and low-level maneuverability was improved due to lower mass moment of inertia with the short radial engine. The USAAC preferred radials to inline engines for the ground attack role, due to the vulnerability of the latter's cooling system to anti-aircraft fire. The US Navy preferred radials for carrier-borne operations. Upon completion of testing the Army changed an order for 46 A-8B aircraft to the production version of the YA-10, the A-12 Shrike. Following completion of testing, the YA-10 was assigned to the 3rd Attack Group for operational service, then in 1934 it was assigned to the Command and General Staff School. The YA-10 was scrapped in early 1939.The XS2C-1 was the Navy's first two-seat warplane. Since it was not equipped for carrier operations, it remained a prototype.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. gekho

    gekho Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    2,816
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Lawyer
    Location:
    Spain
    The Morane-Saulnier M.S.234 was the designation given to three civil versions of the M.S.230 parasol wing trainer. Two were built from new as M.S.234s and were powered by a 250hp Hispano-Suiza 9Qa engine. One of these aircraft was bought for the US Ambassador to Paris. The third M.S.234 began live as a M.S.130. It was then turned into a racing aircraft, with a Hispano-Suiza 9Qb engine with NACA cowling and was usinged in the 1931 Coupe Michelin air race. In 1933 this aircraft was given a 9Qa engine and was redesignated as the M.S.234 No.2. The aircraft was used by Michel Detroyat for aerobatics displays in the United States and France from then until 1938.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. gekho

    gekho Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    2,816
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Lawyer
    Location:
    Spain
    The popular Curtiss JN-4 Jenny is a two-seat trainer that was used during World War I on both sides of the Atlantic in large numbers and became one of the best known airplanes ever to be built..The nickname "Jenny" derived from the designation and applies collectively to all variants, although it most often conjures up a picture of the JN-4 models, of which more than 6,440 were built. The "Jenny" originated in England, where B.D. Thomas of the Sopwith Company drew up a design known as the Type J to a Curtiss specification. This was later blended in America, with the Curtiss's own Type N, the resultant prototype being known as the JN. First production model was the JN-2, the small number produced including 10 for the U.S. Army. Just over 100 examples followed of the improved JH-3, most of these were for the R.N.A.S., which received 97.
    The JN-4 series appeared in 1916 and its most significant difference from earlier "Jennies" was the replacement of the former "Derperdussin" method (of separate controls for the rudder and elevators) by a single stick control. These changes were made at the request of the British Authorities. The Jenny JN-4D was a slow aircraft, equipped with a 90-horsepower Curtiss OX-5 engine, while the JN-4H version had a 150-horsepower Wright-Hispano engine. Depending on the source for the statistics, the maximum speed of the Jenny was 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h), the service ceiling was 11,000 ft. (3,353 m), and it had a range of 268 miles (431 km).

    Source: Curtis JN-4 "Jenny"
     

    Attached Files:

  7. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Messages:
    24,093
    Likes Received:
    657
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Korporate Kontrolleur
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Another awesome thread, well done!
     
  8. herman1rg

    herman1rg Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2008
    Messages:
    1,157
    Likes Received:
    72
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Seems it wasn't just the French that built ugly aircraft!
     
  9. gumbyk

    gumbyk Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,627
    Likes Received:
    209
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    Aviation QMS/SMS consultant
    Location:
    Blenheim
    Whats wrong with the A-8? I thought it was a fairly good-looking plane, for the era.
     
  10. gekho

    gekho Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    2,816
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Lawyer
    Location:
    Spain
    On 7 March 1925, Curtiss was awarded a contract for 15 production examples of the XPW-8B as the P-1, this being the first fighter to which the company assigned the name Hawk. Externally similar to the XPW-8B, the P-1 was of mixed construction with wooden wings and steel-tube fuselage with fabric skinning, and was powered by a 435hp Curtiss V-1150-1 12-cylinder water-cooled engine. The final five aircraft were completed as P-2s, three of these later being converted to P-1A standards. Follow-on contracts were placed on 9 September 1925 for 25 P-1As (which had a 7.62cm longer fuselage); on 17 August 1926 for 25 P-1Bs (with V-1150-3 engine, larger wheels and modified radiator), and on 3 October 1928 for 33 P-1Cs (with wheel brakes). All these sub-types carried an armament of two 7.62mm guns. In the meantime, the USAAC had ordered advanced trainers utilising the same airframe, these comprising 35 AT-4s (180hp Wright V-720), five AT-5s and 31 AT-5As (220hp Wright R-790), and, in 1929, these were re-engined with the V-1150-3, all 35 AT-4s becoming P-1Ds and four AT-5s and 24 AT-5As becoming P-1Es and P-1Fs respectively. These conversions were essentially similar to the P-1B apart from having only one gun. Four P-1s were supplied to Bolivia, one P-1A went to Japan, and eight P-1As and eight P-1Bs were supplied to Chile.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. gekho

    gekho Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    2,816
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Lawyer
    Location:
    Spain
    The first Curtiss biplane to bear the name Falcon was the Liberty-powered Curtiss L-113 (Model 37) which appeared in 1924. It was unsuccessful when evaluated as the XO-1 in competition with the Douglas XO-2 but was accepted for production the following year when re-engined with a 380kW Packard 1A-1500. It was a conventional unequal-span biplane with a wing of wooden construction that incorporated considerable sweep-back on the outer panels of the upper wing. The fuselage showed innovation, being built up from aluminium tubing with steel tie-rod bracing, and the tail unit included a balanced rudder; the sturdy fixed divided landing gear was of tailskid type.

    The new biplane went into production as the O-1 (Model 37A) for observation duties with the US Army. The initial order was for 10 aircraft re-engined with a Curtiss D-12. One of these was completed later as the O-1A with a Liberty engine, and the first O-1 was converted to O-1 Special configuration as a VIP transport. Forty-five examples of the O-1B (Model 37B) were ordered in 1927, this first major production version incorporating such refinements as wheel brakes and an underbelly auxiliary fuel tank which could be jettisoned in flight. They were followed by four O-1C aircraft, part of the O-1B order, converted to serve as VIP transports by enlargement of the rear cockpit and the addition of a baggage compartment. (The designation O-1D was not used).

    In 1929 the US Army ordered 41 of the O-1E (Model 37I) with V-1150E engines developed from the original Curtiss D-12. A number of other improvements included the introduction of oleo-pneumatic shock-absorbers and horn balanced elevators. One O-1E was modified subsequently as a VIP transport becoming redesignated O-1F (Model 37J). The XO-1G (Model 38) replacing the twin Lewis guns on a Scarff mounting that equipped the earlier models by a single gun on a post mounting. Other modifications introduced redesigned horizontal tail surfaces and a steerable tailwheel. The XO-1G was originally an O-1E which had been modified previously to contend as a new US Army basic trainer under the designation XBT-4 (Model 46). Successful tests led to construction of 30 series examples of the O-1G, bringing total O-1 production for the US Army to 127. The O-1 Falcon and its variants saw a decade of service with the observation squadrons of the US Army Air Corps and ended their days with reserve National Guard units. The basic design was adapted also as the A-3 attack biplane which saw considerable use. There were also export versions and a number of commercial Falcons. The basic design proved tough and workmanlike, but its dedication to a variety of less glamorous military and civil roles prevented it from achieving the renown of the contemporary Hawk fighter family.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. gekho

    gekho Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    2,816
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Lawyer
    Location:
    Spain
    Developed by the Boeing Aircraft Co. at its own expense, the P-12 was became one of the most successful American fighters produced between the World Wars. Flown by both the Army and the Navy (as the F4B), the P-12 series consisted of an initial version and five additional models, B through F. The early versions used fabric-covered fuselages of bolted aluminum tubing, but the P-12E and F fuselages employed an all-metal, semimonocoque (stressed skin) construction. However, the P-12 did not complete the evolution into an all-metal aircraft because all variants had wooden wings with fabric covering. The U.S. Army Air Corps received its first P-12 in February 1929 and the last P-12F in May 1932. The last of the biplane fighters flown by the Army, some P-12s remained in service until 1941. Boeing produced 366 P-12s for the Army, with more P-12Es built (110) than any other series.

    Source: Factsheets : Boeing P-12E
    For more pics: Boeing P-12/F4b - Holcomb's Aerodrome
     

    Attached Files:

  13. gekho

    gekho Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    2,816
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Lawyer
    Location:
    Spain
    0perating from U.S. Navy airships during the early 1930s, diminutive Curtiss F9C-2 Sparrowhawks tested one of the more imaginative ideas in aviation history. Deployed with the USS Akron and Macon, they turned these airships into flying aircraft carriers. The airplanes, which could be released and recovered in flight, were to be used for attack, for defense of the airships, and to greatly increase search range for the Navy's giant, helium-filled dirigibles.

    Eight Sparrowhawks were produced for this purpose. The first arrived at Lakehurst Naval Air Station, New Jersey, in June 1932, and experimental trials with airship-based fighter support were brief. The Akron was lost in a storm on April 4, 1933; the Macon crashed off the California coast on February 12, 1935. Before these accidents, not a single Sparrowhawk was lost. However, with only three remaining, and no dirigible from which to operate, the aircraft were relegated to utility flying.
     

    Attached Files:

  14. gekho

    gekho Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    2,816
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Lawyer
    Location:
    Spain
    The Curtiss A-12 Shrike was a ground attack aircraft produced for the US Army Air Corps in 1934. The A-12 was a two-seat all-metal monoplane originally designed as the A-8. Forty six A-8s, powered by a liquid cooled inline engine, had been ordered, but at the same time one of the service test aircraft was given an air-cooled radial engine under the designation A-10. It soon became clear that the air-cooled radial engine was better suited to the ground attack role, as it was less vulnerable to ground fire than liquid cooled engines, and the order for A-8s was replaced by one for the same number of Wright Cyclone powered A-12s. The second major change made to the design of the A-12 saw the gap between the widely separated cockpits of the A-8 eliminated by moving the rear cockpit forward, while the forward cockpit went from being covered to open, a move that was popular amongst pilots of the period. All 46 A-12s were delivered during 1934, they remained in service until 1941.

    The A-12 had a short service life on the Continental United States. They arrived in time to take part in the USAAC’s brief involvement in carrying air-mail in February-June 1934, operating alongside a number of observation aircraft. The A-12 was faster than the observation aircraft, making it more suited for use in the long distances in the centre of the United States, but performed less well in the mountains of the Western Zone. At least one A-12 was lost in a crash during this period. The A-12 was used by the 3rd Attack Group during the December 1935 – the first to see every USAAC wing involved – but by February 1936 the first Northrop A-17s had arrived. These aircraft were faster than the A-12, could fly higher and had a longer range, and soon completely replaced the A-12 in the 3rd Attack Group. The spare aircraft were posted to the 26th Attack Squadron, Hawaii. In September 1939 they were still in use on Hawaii, and in the Panama Canal Department. The last operational American aircraft were based at Pearl Harbor in December 1941, but were never flown in combat. Another twenty A-12s were sold to China in 1936.
     

    Attached Files:

  15. gekho

    gekho Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    2,816
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Lawyer
    Location:
    Spain
    The origins of the P-35 trace back to the Seversky SEV-3 three-seat amphibian, designed by Alexander Kartveli, Seversky's chief designer and Seversky's first aircraft. The SEV-3 first flew in June 1933 and was developed into the Seversky BT-8 basic trainer, 30 of which were ordered by the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC) in 1935.
     

    Attached Files:

  16. gekho

    gekho Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    2,816
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Lawyer
    Location:
    Spain
    At the time of its entry into the war, the United States Army Air Service lacked any aircraft suitable for front line combat. They therefore procured various aircraft from the British and French, one being the DH.4. As the DH-4, it was manufactured mostly by Dayton-Wright and Fisher Body for service with the United States from 1918, the first American built DH-4 being delivered to France in May 1918, with combat operations commencing in August 1918. The powerplant was a Liberty L-12 of 400 hp (300 kW) and it was fitted with two .30 in (7.62 mm) Marlin machine guns in the nose and two .30 in (7.62 mm) Lewis guns in the rear and could carry 322 lb (146 kg) of bombs. it could also be equipped with various radios like the SCR-68 for artillery spotting missions. The heavier engine reduced performance a little compared with the Rolls-Royce powered version, but as the "Liberty Plane" it became the Americans' standard general purpose two-seater, and on the whole was fairly popular with its crews.

    Aircrew operating the DH-4 were awarded four of the six Medals of Honor awarded to American aviators, with First Lieutenant Harold Ernest Goettler and Second Lieutenant Erwin R. Bleckley receiving posthumous awards after being killed on 12 October 1918 attempting to drop supplies to the Lost Battalion of the 77th Division, cut off by German troops during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, while Second Lieutenant Ralph Talbot and Gunnery Sergeant Robert G. Robinson of the US Marines were awarded the Medal of Honor for beating off attacks from 12 German fighters during a bombing raid over Belgium on 8 October 1918. The type flew with 13 U.S. squadrons by the end of 1918.

    Following the end of the First World War, America had a large surplus of DH-4s, with the improved DH-4B becoming available, although none had been shipped to France. It was therefore decided that there was no point in returning aircraft across the Atlantic, so those remaining in France, together with other obsolete observation and trainer aircraft were burned in what became known as the "Billion Dollar Bonfire". With limited funds available to develop and purchase replacements, the remaining DH-4s formed a major part of American air strength for several years, using them for many roles, with as many as 60 variants produced. DH-4s were also widely used for experimental flying, being used as engine testbeds and fitted with new wings. They were used for the first trials of air-to-air refueling on 25 June 1923, and carried out an endurance flight of 37 hours, 15 minutes on 27–28 August, being refueled 16 times and setting 16 new world records for distance, speed and duration. The DH-4 remained in service with the United States Army until 1932.

    DH-4s were also used by the United States Navy and Marine Corps, both during the First World War and postwar. The Navy and Marines received 51 DH-4s during the First World War, followed by 172 DH-4B and DH-4B-1 aircraft postwar and 30 DH-4M-1s with welded steel-tube fuselages (redesignated O2B) in 1925. They remained in service with the Marines until 1929, being used against rebel factions in Nicaragua in 1927, carrying out the first dive-bombing attacks made by U.S. military forces. The U.S. Navy converted some DH-4M-1s into primitive air ambulances which could carry one stretcher causality in an enclosed area behind the pilot.
     

    Attached Files:

  17. gekho

    gekho Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    2,816
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Lawyer
    Location:
    Spain
    The P-26 Peashooter was Boeing's first and last production monoplane fighter. Some 111 P-26A, 2 P-26B and 23 P-26C were built for the USAAC. The type had monoplane wings, the outer panels of which were externally braced with front and rear wires. The centre-section spars were constructed of steel with ribs and skin covering of aluminium alloy. Split-type trailing-edge flaps were later added to P-26A and were manually operated from the open cockpit. The semi-monocoque fuselage was also of aluminium alloy construction. A fixed, heavily trousered landing gear was fitted and power was provided by a 447kW Pratt Whitney R-1340-27 or -33 radial engine. Armament comprised two forward-firing machine-guns of 7.62mm and/or 12.7mm calibre and two 55kg or five 15kg bombs could be carried.

    Although never used in action by the USAAC, ex-Army P-26 acquired by the Philippine Air Force fought the Japanese during World War II and the 11 Model 281 export fighters for China must also have seen action against Japanese forces. In addition Panama and Guatamala received ex-USAAC P-26 and Spain received an export model.
     

    Attached Files:

  18. gekho

    gekho Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    2,816
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Lawyer
    Location:
    Spain
    The BT-1 was a pre-war dive bomber used by the US Navy. It was a product of the first Northrop air craft company, formed by John Northrop in 1932 with support from Douglas Aircraft. The XBT-1 was designed in 1934 in response to a navy request for a dive bomber. It was a low wing monoplane, of all metal construction apart from fabric covered control surfaces. The prototype was powered by a 700hp Pratt Whitney R-1535-66 Twin Wasp Jr. engine, later replaced by a 825 hp R-1535-94. Powered by the latter engine the BT-1 was capable of carrying a 1000lb bomb, had a service ceiling of 22,500ft and a top speed of 212 mph.

    The US Navy placed an order for 54 BT-1s in 1936. The aircraft entered service during 1938, and served on the USS Yorktown and USS Enterprise. The aircraft was not a success in service. It had poor handling characteristics, especially at low speeds, a fatal flaw in a carrier based aircraft. It was also prone to dangerously unexpected roles. A number of aircraft were lost in crashes. Aware of the failings of the BT-1, Northrop soon began work on an improved XBT-2. The new aircraft was given a more powerful Wright XR-1820-32 Cyclone engine, providing 1,000 hp, combined with a redesigned control system. It first flew on 25 April 1938, but was not a significant improvement on the BT-1. Northrop flew his aircraft to NACA to use their full sized wind tunnel.

    Six months of tests followed, resulting in a significantly better aircraft. However, during this process Northrop resigned from his company, which by now was a fully owned subsidiary of Douglas. The new aircraft was thus given the designation XSBD-1 (eXperiment, Scout Bomber, Douglas). It would go on to be the most successful American dive bomber of the war. Northrop would also go on to greater success, founding Northrop Aircraft Inc. in August 1939.
     

    Attached Files:

  19. gekho

    gekho Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    2,816
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Lawyer
    Location:
    Spain
    The Army Air Corps ordered three tri-motor aircraft from Atlantic, a subsidiary of Fokker Aircraft, in 1926. The type was essentially an improved version of the Fokker F-VIIA, a civilian passenger plane. The engines were upgraded to 220-hp Wright J-5s. The first aircraft (S/N 26-202) was extensively modified for a long distance flight from Oakland, Calif., to Wheeler Field, Hawaii. The most significant changes were the addition of a larger wing of 71 feet and long range fuel tanks. This aircraft was named "Bird of Paradise" and retained the C-2 designation even after the modification program. The C-2s were assigned to various transport and liaison duties into the early 1930s. One aircraft was temporary converted as an airborne radio test lab. Various communications and navigation equipment was installed and tested during the program conducted at Wright Field, Ohio.
     

    Attached Files:

  20. gekho

    gekho Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    2,816
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Lawyer
    Location:
    Spain
    The SOC was ordered for production by the United States Navy in 1933 and first entered service in 1935. The first order was for 135 SOC-1 models, which was followed by 40 SOC-2 models for landing operations and 83 SOC-3s. A variant of the SOC-3 was built by the Naval Aircraft Factory and was known as the SON-1. The first ship the SOC was assigned to was the USS Marblehead in November 1935; by the end of the decade, the SOC had replaced its predecessor throughout the fleet. Production came to an end in 1938. By 1941, most battleships had transitioned to the Vought OS2U Kingfisher and cruisers were expected to replace their aging SOCs with the third generation SO3C Seamew. The SO3C, however, suffered from a weak engine and plans to adopt it as a replacement were scrapped. The SOC, despite being a craft from an earlier generation, went on to credibly execute its missions of gunfire observation and limited range scouting missions.

    Through the first six months of naval service, the SOC was known as the XO3C-1, The designation was changed to SOC when it was decided to merge its scouting and observation roles. The SOC was not called the Seagull until 1941, when the U.S. Navy began the wholesale adoption of popular names for aircraft in addition to their alpha-numeric designations. The name 'Seagull' had earlier been given to two civil Curtiss aircraft, a Curtiss Model 18 and a Model 25, both converted Curtiss MF flying boats. When operating as a seaplane, returning SOCs would land on the relatively smooth ocean surface created on the sheltered side of the vessel as it made a wide turn, after which the aircraft would be winched back onto the deck. When the SOC had been replaced by the OS2U Kingfisher, most remaining airframes were converted into trainers, and were used until 1945. But in a strange twist of history, with the failure of the Curtiss SO3C Seamew, many SOCs in second line service were returned to front line units starting in late 1943 and saw service aboard warships in the combat zone for the rest of World War II. This is one of the few instances in aviation history of an older aircraft type that was retired or sent to second line service, replacing the new aircraft type, that was supposed to replace it!
     

    Attached Files:

Loading...

Share This Page