War weary airplanes, who decided and on what criteria

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Snautzer01, Oct 3, 2016.

  1. Snautzer01

    Snautzer01 Well-Known Member

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    War weary airplanes, who decided and on what criteria? The formation ships seems to fly pretty well and save so why war weary?
     
  2. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    The formation ships had no bomb , reduced fuel load, probably no guns, and less crew, so of course they flew ok , they weren't being put under the same strain as the bombers going on the mission.

    Once the formations were formed, they returned to base.
     
  3. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Aircraft life is based on hours and in some cases landings (cycles) The manufacturer usually comes up with an aircraft shelf life.
     
  4. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    fighters were around 300-350 hours iirc. someone figured due the stress of normal battle conditions...Gs pulled, etc.. had fatigued the airframe too much by then to take a chance on it failing. probably engineers figured this out...
     
  5. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    43-6722 was the first 355th FG that crossed over 700 hours (from late February, 1944) and was written off as WW in Late October 1944. It was the first 355th FG ship that went WW at Steeple Morden. It was the sister ship to Spare Parts at Warton BAD2.
     
  6. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    And WW ships filled in for ops when needed. 43-6722 was damaged during a taxi to the active with another P-51B and salvaged in February, 1945
     
  7. pbehn

    pbehn Well-Known Member

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    The B 17 is an interesting choice, according to wiki (yes I know) 12,731 produced between 1936 and 1945 but it was finally retired from service in 1965, from memory the USA never had more than 4,500 in service at any one time so up until 1945 they were almost disposable but could and still is kept flying. The B17 was improved as far as defensive armament and engine output throughout the war I presume the updated planes rendered the planes they replaced as "war weary" there would be a completely different criteria applied to a Hurricane or Spitfire on Malta while it was under siege, if you have nothing else and it can fly then it only becomes "war weary" when a replacement arrives.
     
  8. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Plenty of stories about the AVG and "Cactus Airforce" using anything and everything that could fly...aircraft that had been patched and cobbled together and would be considered well past war-weary in other places.
     
  9. Snautzer01

    Snautzer01 Well-Known Member

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    Yes i know but i see for B-17 and B-24 airframes with totally different hours and total missions dedicated as war weary, and that is not counting in the training hours. Even early B-17 flying along much later mark and models.
    So somebody had to say this ship cant go to combat for such and such reasons, and probably fill in forms. What forms? who decided?
     
  10. pbehn

    pbehn Well-Known Member

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    I think a lot of small hits from flak could make a plane weary very quickly.
     
  11. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Mission requirements, battle damage repair, the way the aircraft flies, etc. are also considerations. Each squadron has a maintenance officer who makes a lot of determinations based on again, mission requirements, pilot and maintenance input. And again they will consider aircraft hours, landings and what the aircraft been put through.

    Many authors use the term "war weary," and many are really clueless with regards to aircraft maintenance and repair.

    What do you mean by forms? Paperwork or formations?
     
  12. pbehn

    pbehn Well-Known Member

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    I presume aircraft are like most things in engineering. A structure can be repaired if it is damaged following procedures but those procedures apply to a structure not previously repaired and a separation is required between repaired areas,a point is reached where it is easier and safer to replace the whole thing. Aircraft made on an assembly line are not so easy to work on, I would imagine getting a burned out/shot up fuselage back to A1 condition would be a nightmare for the electrics and hydraulics.
     
  13. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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    I have the book "Assembly Ships" and so far, up to page 26, no mention of what criteria was put forth to become one. One thing I found interesting, from the 448th SubDepot Diary,".....2. Change engines and props.....". Another thing was, "....the Group Commanders found this assembly process had little advantage over group leaders firing flares, and they disliked the idea of using precious fuel over the British Isles."
     
  14. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    #14 bobbysocks, Oct 4, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2016
    so was it 700 hour for WW? or did they keep that one longer because it was early on and they needed the planes? when you are flying 5 to 7 hours a mission 300 hours would come up pretty quick.
     
  15. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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    B-17F s/n 42-29947, "Wabash Cannonball" was declared WW after 58 missions.
     
  16. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    bombers flew longer missions...hourwise. I would imagine the same mission for fighter would be a 2 or 3 hours longer for a bomber.
     
  17. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    thinking about this...they must have abandoned this idea or at a certain number of hours do major overhauls because the B52s have been flying for a LONG time. maybe flyboyj has the answer for that one
     
  18. pbehn

    pbehn Well-Known Member

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    The principle is the same just the numbers change, many 747s get upto 100,000 hrs.
    The service life of the Vulcan was reduced drastically when it switched to low level use due to increased stresses.
     
  19. Snautzer01

    Snautzer01 Well-Known Member

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    It would not be army if there were not rules and lots of forms i think. And i think it is strange we cant find the "rules"
     
  20. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    possibly technology added to extending that life. when I worked for the airlines scheduling maintenance on ac I knew there were a battery of inspections that progressively went deeper into inspection of components or replacement of items. after so many hours ( cant remember ) they did eddy current testing to look for cracks in the skin....and after so long they stripped the interior, galley and a bunch of other items and weighed the aircraft to see how much corrosion had taken place.
     
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