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Best American Fighter?

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  • neilly
    Rank 5 Registered User
    • Jan 2000
    • 800

    #21
    RE: Best American Fighter?

    [updated:LAST EDITED ON 07-12-01 AT 11:16 AM (GMT)]Christer,
    I like a good discussion, not only to learn more about aviation etc., but it's always interesting to see what directions they sometimes go.
    I agree about the Lanc. but it was a means of escape at night(if they were lucky) & breaking contact with the enemy night fighter. It certainly wouldn't work in day light. There's a very interesting video set called 'Warriors of the Night' which actually shows the 'Corkscrew', the night fighter, for the simulation is an A-26. It shows night fighter operations & detections from both sides.
    I didn't realise my details were hidden, not being that computer literate & not having much time on my hands, I'm not even sure how to put them up. Same as putting pictures up on the site, it would be nice if someone would tell me how.
    As for the technical stuff, I for one, am always interested, so don't hesitate. I always like to put in actual details (if I can) when making a relevant point. I find that a single sentence remark is usually fairly meaningless.

    Best wishes,
    Neilly

    ps. Are you the same Christer that does the Tempest web site?

    Comment

    • Christer
      Rank 5 Registered User
      • Jan 2000
      • 292

      #22
      RE: Best American Fighter?

      Neilly,
      when I decided to use my first name as user name I didnt think it was that common. Obviously I was wrong since there are, at least, two other gents by the same name. Both of them are proficient authors and contributors to web sites.
      I, however, am not one of them, Im just another besserwisser!

      My best to You as well,
      Christer

      Comment

      • Rob Mears
        Rank 5 Registered User
        • Jan 2000
        • 150

        #23
        RE: Best American Fighter?

        First off, I'm biased

        I'd have to choose the F4U-4 Corsair. The P-38 is tooo complex with multiple engines and the ecentric fuselage design. The P-51 is beautiful, but the inline engine makes it easy prey to any kind of offensive fire.

        Nope, the Corsair would have to be my all around pick for general, worldwide warfare for a few reasons.

        1. Payload - The Corsair lugs the heavy ordinance with the best of them. It's one hell of a dedicated fighter/bomber.

        2. Carrier Capability - The Corsair fights from land AND sea. A fighter that can truly be deployed anywhere. None of the contenders even place in this category.

        3. Performance - Speed, zoom, turning capability, climb, etc. The Corsair harbors no weaknesses in all these respects.

        4. Endurance - Well over 1000 miles.


        I'd love to do some private testing to confirm exact performance figures. Anyone interesting in financing such a venture?

        Rob

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        • neilly
          Rank 5 Registered User
          • Jan 2000
          • 800

          #24
          RE: Best American Fighter?

          Just been reading up on the Corsair, a couple of interesting facts. During flight tests the US Navy rejected the Corsair, because it had poor landing characteristics, it had poor vision & a nasty bouncing problem on touch down. However, the Royal Navy were despartate for a modern front line fighter so accepted the Corsair. Because the Royal Navy aircraft carriers were smaller the Corsair had to have the wings shorten, the main oleos were redesigned, curing the bad landing performance. The Fleet Air Arm were operating the Corsair (with great success) 8 months before the US Navy started carrier operations with the F-4. The rest, as they say, is history!
          Now I've done a bit of research, on this aeroplane, I've changed my mind. It certainly was a superb fighter.

          Neilly

          Comment

          • Rob Mears
            Rank 5 Registered User
            • Jan 2000
            • 150

            #25
            RE: Best American Fighter?

            I believe the RNFAA definately played a bigger part in the acceptance of the F4U than many are aware of.

            Once the main oleos were redesigned to 'deflate' rather than rebound on landing, the Corsair became alot more controlable on landing (note any photo of a Corsair at rest and you'll see it's oleo's are almost if not completely compressed). The tailwheel strut was also raised 12", the canopy was "blown", and the pilot's seat raised, all of which substantially aided forward visibility over that 'locomotive' nose.

            Most dont know that the Fleet Air Arm was responsible for the creation of the 'curved approach' technique whereas the pilot could keep the deck of the carrier in full view out of the left hand side of the cockpit until the moment just before touchdown. All of these factors were essential to the success of the F4U as a dedicated carrier-borne fighter.

            Comment

            • Christer
              Rank 5 Registered User
              • Jan 2000
              • 292

              #26
              RE: Best American Fighter?

              Rob,
              interesting info on the "deflating" oleos.
              I read somewhere that preflight inspection included checking the oleo extension by means of a template. I think it was a dash five.
              I assume that the oleos expand again on take off when relieved of the weight.
              Can You confirm this and also that the use of a template was to secure enough oleo travel for a normal take off.

              Regards,
              Christer

              Comment

              • Rob Mears
                Rank 5 Registered User
                • Jan 2000
                • 150

                #27
                RE: Best American Fighter?

                Yes, once relieved of the plane's weight the oleos returned to normal position. I believe they were valved in a way that, once the plane alighted, would cause them not to exhibit any rebound characteristics.

                In general, if you look at a Corsairs oleos they will show about an inch or so of oleo where similar aircraft show much more. I suppose that small amount is enough to allow for normal ground operating conditions without too rough of a ride. My guess would be that the template was used because the margin for error with the oleos was so strict.

                At Oshkosh this year I had a man point to the Corsairs oleos and question me about this very subject. The aircraft in question actually had no oleo showing on its port side! I convinced him that this was normal, although I pretty sure the plane we were looking at could have used a little TLC.

                Comment

                • Christer
                  Rank 5 Registered User
                  • Jan 2000
                  • 292

                  #28
                  RE: Best American Fighter?

                  Thanks Rob,
                  the bit about the template was read in an early issue of Warbirds Worldwide. I think that the article was about Blain Fowlers F4U-5, Alberta Blue. (Maybe Im wrong since its from memory!?)

                  Christer

                  Comment

                  • phred
                    Junior Member
                    • Jan 2000
                    • 20

                    #29
                    RE: Best American Fighter?

                    Fred

                    Scooter,
                    (See also phred's comment)
                    I would pick the P-38 anytime, but then, I like this airplane very much for its design (although Anthony Fokker had it first) and I admire kelly Jhonson as a designer. On the other hand, it could everything you wanted from a militairy plane: long range, high speed, high climb speed, bomb, fight, etc. First over Berlin, it's only flaw really was the high cost of maintenance. However, it did extremely well in N Africa and the Pacific. It also proved to be a strong force against the Luftwaffe when they still had cocksure experienced pilots in an overwhelming number. The Jug and the Mustang did not really appear in force untill well in 1944, so the Lightning had proven its worth by then.

                    Happy landings!
                    Fred

                    Comment

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