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I bet you didn't know these 'facts'

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posted on Dec, 9 2006 @ 05:01 PM
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I have recently added to my treasure trove by acquiring bound volumes of 'Flight' (not yet 'International') dating from August 1938 through to October 1941, for the princely sum of £4 the lot!

I haven't had time to read them thoroughly yet, only skimmed through them, but already I have picked up some absolute gems of wisdom, or should I say propagandist claptrap


For example, I bet you lot never knew that in the Summer of 1940 we were preparing to meet such feared warplanes as the Messerschmitt Jaguar, Heinkel He 113 and Focke Wulf Fw 198 in combat?

These planes were nothing more than German propaganda, the Jaguar was the Bf 162, a pre war prototype, the He 113 interceptor was really the He 100, again only a prototype, and the Fw198, a sort of prop driven DH Vampire/Flitzer, didn't exist at all!

This, however didn't stop reports of these aircraft *and pictures* appearing almost every week, including how they were being defeated by the RAF.

There is nonsense such as "the air war is going steadily in the allies favour" in the same issue as photographs of the Dunkirk evacuation.

In features on American types being supplied to the RAF I have 'learned' that the B-17 "is obsolete by the standards of any country and can be brought down by a single hit".

How about this one? "The Bell Airacobra is a sorry example of mis-placed ingenuity and not nearly so useful as the same company's Airacuda mult seat pusher fighter"


Or maybe you prefer; "when updated with British weapons and motors there is hope that one or two American types can be brought up to a useful standard".

This stuff is pure gold and I am loving every bit of it, I have lots of issues to work through but if I find any more real gems I will be sure to let you know.

Also interesting are the planes that I know were around at the time but of which there is no mention at all, planes like the Stirling, Halifax, Manchester, Beaufighter, Mosquito and Whirlwind must have the blackest of black projects at the time. Likewise there appears to be plenty of deliberate mis-information, such as the (American sourced) report that enough Hawker Tornadoes had been produced already to equip 20 squadrons, this model never went past the prototype stage.

If anyone has any questions about how particular events or planes were reported at the time (as opposed to what really happened) I'll look them up for you.




posted on Dec, 10 2006 @ 01:55 AM
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Originally posted by waynos
Or maybe you prefer; "when updated with British weapons and motors there is hope that one or two American types can be brought up to a useful standard".


As comical as it sounds, this is not propaganda. It's known that the prototype P-51 wasn't performing up to spec, and British engine expertise was given so that it could acheive its potential.



posted on Dec, 10 2006 @ 07:25 AM
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Umm... yes it is.
The P-51 had trouble at high altitude due to it's Allison engine. However when the airframe of the P-51 (speed, maneuverability, range) was merged with the Merlin engine it became a superb fighter. You cant very well have a fighter without an airframe, it's called mutual support.



posted on Dec, 10 2006 @ 08:21 AM
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Interestingly enough, when that particular comment was made the P-51 didn't exist, it was actually referring to other types like the B-17, B-24, P-40 et al. That it should later become true of the P-51 is just an ironic coincidence, in any case I wouldn't call re-engining the P-51 bringing it 'up to British standards'. Enough British aircraft were using the P&W Wasp radial at the time so what was our excuse?


Another interesting piece concerned the Douglas DB-7 which I have just been looking at. Entering RAF service as the Douglas Boston I, it is remarked that this light bomber is thoroughly well engineered and stands comparison with existing light bombers of British design.

Given that it was designed by Ed Heineman, later of A-4 Skyhawk fame, and also given that the 'comparable' types in question are the Bristol Blenheim and Fairey Battle (the Mosquito having not yet flown) I think this too ranks as pretty insulting.

I've also seen a fanciful report of a squadron of Blenheims beating off an attack by Bf 109's as they pressed on their own attack to the target. The Blenheim, like the Battle, was fairly easy prey and if any 109's allowed themselves to be beaten off then they can't have been trying very hard!



posted on Dec, 10 2006 @ 12:47 PM
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Spectacular as always waynos.


Good info.



posted on Dec, 10 2006 @ 07:33 PM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
Umm... yes it is.
The P-51 had trouble at high altitude due to it's Allison engine. However when the airframe of the P-51 (speed, maneuverability, range) was merged with the Merlin engine it became a superb fighter. You cant very well have a fighter without an airframe, it's called mutual support.


That's what I said..


The airframe of the P-51 actually resembles earlier British designs, if you notice the shape of the nose, the air intake, placement of wings and so on. It seems it was basically designed around British inline engines.

Correct me if I'm wrong



posted on Dec, 11 2006 @ 05:50 AM
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But then it was designed to meet a British requirement, so it would naturally follow British design practice of the period I suppose. At that time most of the US industry still clung to the belief that a short tubby fuselage was the most aerodynamic solution, ie Buffalo, Wildcat, Helldiver, etc. North American however were an exception and came up with the Mustang after initially being asked to produce the P-40. The Allison engine was used as it was the best US inline engine available and there was fear of a shortage of Merlins due to the number of different aircraft types requiring the engine. The arrangement with Packard avoided this problem but although it saved the Mustang from being an also ran, it was too late to turn the Whirlwind into the fighter it always should have been.



posted on Dec, 11 2006 @ 12:51 PM
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It's funny how things change. The US was seen as the little brother that was just learning to walk... I bet if the editors could see the future how the US is going to build Britain's aicraft (the F-35)...

Anyway Waynos I congratulate you for your investment



posted on Dec, 11 2006 @ 01:06 PM
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Thanks Carch, I am pretty chuffed. Its the perspective of the day that fascinates me. It may look above as if I am mocking the attitudes of the time, but I'm not really. It makes me wonder how the aviation scene of today will be judged 50 or more years down the line?

Incidentally, while flicking I have found a brilliant article dating from Jan 1941 which discusses the use of nuclear fission in a powerful weapon for the furure. Nothing to mock there, an excellent piece of far sightedness, as is a similar comment that when the war does evenutally end the British aircraft industry needs to be prepared to build civil types that can compete with American output or face being swamped. Reading such spot on predictions like that gives me goose-bumps. Another far sighted article calls for Britain to build a very fast bomber that can can fly so fast that no defensive gun turrets are needed and the weight saved will reap further benefits in terms of speed and payload that would make 'all of Bomber Command out of date at a stroke'. If only the writer knew that the DH Mosquito was only a few months in the future!



posted on Dec, 13 2006 @ 10:56 PM
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Awesome. Do you have a scanner? If so I'd love to see the illustrations of german aircraft, particularly ones which didn't really exist.

Is there any talk of the Russian or Japanese aircraft?



posted on Dec, 16 2006 @ 06:58 AM
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Originally posted by planeman
Awesome. Do you have a scanner? If so I'd love to see the illustrations of german aircraft, particularly ones which didn't really exist.

Is there any talk of the Russian or Japanese aircraft?


I have now begun reading through them in turn, just a few pages at a time, so although it might take a long while I will add images, and even maybe articles if interesting enough, to this thread as I come across them


There is stuff about those two countries, which I haven't got to yet, but also the Polish Air Force and French air force which I read last night, I'll scan those and post them up as soon as I get the opportunity



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