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Tailspin Turtle

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  1. That reminds me of a Boeing 747 takeoff incident (the calculated reference speeds were incorrect for the flap setting—too high—so the rotation was late). The pilot or copilot was asked, didn't the runway look too short? The reply was, all runways look too short from a 747 cockpit...https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan_Am_Flight_845
  2. Inconsistent: scroll down here for an example:https://tailhooktopics.blogspot.com/2013/09/f2h-2-external-stores.html
  3. My guess was that it might be "Air Defense Command Gray"; it seems a bit lighter than engine gray. I also assumed that the pod was specifically designed to look forward to somehow record the pattern of the rockets that the airplane it was on had fired.
  4. I'm pretty sure that pod provides the capability to score unguided rocket accuracy. The picture is from a Navy fighter competition and all the F4Ds are carrying that pod (unguided rockets were its primary armament for an interception of a jet bomber). Note that the target tow devices of the time were very different and only one or two jets would need to be equipped with it. It may be a USAF pod since it is a slightly different gray color. I've not found any identification of it or seen it on other aircraft.
  5. F4U-4: https://tailspintopics.blogspot.com/2014/03/f4u-4-modelers-notes.html F4U-5, etc: https://tailspintopics.blogspot.com/2017/04/the-last-propeller-pulled-corsairs-f4u.html
  6. Dave - sorry about the antenna fairing confusion. I've updated one of my AJ Savage posts to include an illustration of the two fairings under the nose of the bombers: https://tailspintopics.blogspot.com/2011/07/aj-savage-notes.html
  7. More here: https://thanlont.blogspot.com/2013/06/navy-aircraft-designation-suffixes.html
  8. Thanks very much for that. Note that the Captain's report simply documented the date of the first PBJ landing and that the trials were completed a few days later. The second set of PBJ launches and landings was reportedly made the day after the first.
  9. More here on the PBJ-1H evaluation: http://steeljawscribe.com/2007/10/05/flightdeck-friday-more-oddities Note that I very much doubt it was modified with an SBD tailhook. It wouldn't have been nearly long enough and probably not strong enough. However, the configuration of the articulation of the attachment to the fuselage and the hook point may have been the same. My understanding is that one reason for the evaluation was a plan to support the invasion of Japan in 1945 with deck loads of Marine PBJ-1s launched off the coast for close air support. They would land back at the nearest island and then craned back aboard a carrier to do it again. Landing the PBJs back aboard the carrier would significantly shorten the turnaround time. Note that there was no need to evaluate a specific modification to strike a PBJ below if it was simply a tricycle-gear design-support project.
  10. Not all aircraft painted yellow are trainers. This F6F-3 has been modified with a raised tail wheel and the remote-control antenna arrangement, the exterior changes for converting it to a drone. The marking on the vertical fin is X-2, probably identifying it as the second conversion for test and evaluation. The marking on the cowling is a bee (specifically a drone) festooned with antennas.
  11. The conversions had instruments and controls for post-maintenance check flights and to ferry them to another location if required. Also see https://tailspintopics.blogspot.com/2009/11/f6f-drones.html The bigger, purpose-built drones line the TDN and TDR also had rudimentary cockpits for the same purpose. Also see http://evanflys.com/tdr-1
  12. P-51: https://tailspintopics.blogspot.com/2011/06/seahorse.html I thought I had done a post on the PBJ-1H but if I did, I can't find it at the moment.
  13. The right side of the AJ's nose wheel tire was painted white as a visual aid to check that the nose wheel was castered aft (it was free swiveling like a shopping cart's wheel) before launch and not forward, which could happen if the Savage was pushed back into place on the catapult. If it was backwards at the start of the stroke, it tended not to center and then jam upon entering the wheel well, preventing a complete retraction. Not a big deal from a safety-of-flight standpoint other than a small reduction in speed and range: it centered upon touchdown. Also see: https://thanlont.blogspot.com/2016/05/power-steering.html
  14. A naval aviator of my acquaintance sent me a note after he read my post about "crush" points (see link in the May 31, 2017 post above; I've also seen them called "pinch" points but that would clearly be an understatement): Rick Morgan reminded me of a reason, maybe the reason, for all that red: "When I was in TRACOM we were told that the red edges to door was so that you could quickly see if one wasn’t seated properly in flight, usually while checking a wingee with an unsafe ‘up’ indication. The red under the slats also helped determine that they were deploying properly as you slowed down; an A-3 with a stuck slat could be catastrophic; you really had to pay attention to them while slowing down... Likewise red speed brakes were great indication that they were moving (always exciting when lead forgot to warn you while descending a section in weather) Never thought over-all red was a good idea; it made hydraulic leaks harder to see."
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