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The 'Stuff You Wouldn't Want To Go To War In' GB


Churchill
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1 hour ago, Churchill said:

Some good points there, Mr @Giorgio N. A quick search suggests that around fifteen pilots died in crashes involving the Lightning although I don't know how that compares when numbers in service is taken into account. To me, the condemnation of the F104 by Hartmann and others, as well as the successful action brought by widows of F104 pilots against the manufacturer, qualifies it for inclusion. 'Lawn Dart' was a nickname for the F104 before the F16.

 

All vehicles, even the best, eventually become obsolete and the reality is that many of them won't be withdrawn from service until that point is passed. But for the avoidance of doubt, category 1 applies to those vehicles that were already obsolete when they first entered service - Gloucester Gladiator, anyone? 

 

I looked for a thread where I posted a few statistics on both the Lightning and the Starfighter but unfortunately I can't find it. I'll post a link when I do.

Safety of an aircraft type can only be verified when the losses are compared to the number of flying hours. Saying that half or 10% of all the aircraft produced of a certain type were lost without knowing over what time span and what kind of use is not very useful, hence why I compared in my previous post the accidents and losses per flying hour.

When it comes to fatal accidents, the kind of flying also makes a huge difference: losing an engine at 15,000 ft gives plenty of time to try corrective actions and in case eject, the same accident at 300 ft almost certainly leads to the loss of the crew. The same can be said for pilot errors, it's possible to recover from an error at high level but the same error at very low level will lead to the loss of the aircraft. The high number of fatal accidents compared to the total of types like the F-104 reflects this.

 

The real problem of the Starfighter was that the accident rate made it to the media in Germany and the reputation of the aircraft was damaged for ever. Around 30% of all German F-104s were lost in accidents over a period of 27 years, with an average of 10 losses per year (losses however were higher over the first few years and later decreased).

For comparison, the same Luftwaffe lost 36% of their F-84F fleet over a period of 12 years... a much worse accident rate that however is very rarely mentioned.

A similar comparison can be done in other NATO air forces: the accident rate of the F-104 in Dutch service was of 12 per 1000,000 hours, pretty high by modern standard but a sure improvement over the 36 of the Meteor F.4 or the 50 of the F-84

Canada lost a large number of F-104 over 25 years but the accident rate of the previous Canadair Sabre was twice that of the Starfighter... Canadian Starfighters also saw a lot of use, and most when retired had between 2 and 3 times as many flying hours that those of other users.

In Denmark the F-104 accident rate was said to be much lower compared to that of the previous types, with the worst offender being the Meteor

Then there's Spain, that lost a grand total of.. zero Starfighters over 10 years.

So was the Starfighter a dangerous aircraft ? Really not more than its contemporaries. It sure was a difficult aircraft to fly and this meant that pilots initially had problems, once the training syllabus improved the accident rate dropped. The kind of missions flown in Europe also exposed this type to pilot errors much more than other types that were flown at higher levels. The same low level missions meant that accidents were more often fatal compared to other types.

There's also a very important aspect to consider: when the Luftwaffe selected the 104 they were in a moment of great expansion that required a lot of new personnel. This resulted in a reduction of the training levels at a moment when an aircraft that was difficult to fly and required careful maintenance was entering service, not really the best combination.

Regarding Hartmann condemnation, today we have the benefit of hindsight and we can say that his view that the Starfighter was dangerous was not totally correct... it was sure more difficult to fly than other types but the figures show that these other types in the same missions would have been equally dangerous.

 

In general we forget that military flying is a dangerous job even in peacetime. The accident rate of todays' fighters is very low, with some types having accident rates of 3 or 4 per 100000 flying hours, Things were however different in the past... for types like the "hundred series" rates were between 14 to 20 or more. IIRC the Hunter was around 15 and early jets like the Meteor had rates over 30. Naval aircraft suffer higher accident rates due the dangers of carrier operations, the F-14 had an accident rate over 9, the USN Phantoms around 20 and so on. Speaking of naval types, 40% of all Sea Vixen built were lost over a 12 years service career. More than half of these accidentw were fatal. In comparison the Starfighter was a very safe aircraft...

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This is a superb and fun, if not rather worrisome idea, when one considers the real life devices represented, for a group build.

 

I hope that I can be considered with the Blohm and Voss BV 40?

 

I have two of these in 1/72, both vac form kits. One is lightly started but not yet basted, certainly not cooked to within 25% of a tasty finish  👨‍🍳 🍳.

 

The tiny BV 40 was a glider, built in Germany in World War Two.

 

It was so tiny that the pilot had to lay down on his tum, with his head faced forward looking through a tiny window. 

Each side of him, at the stubby wing roots, was a 30mm cannon with very limited ammunition.

 

One would imagine that a positive attitude would be required of the pilot. Or perhaps mild to strong insanity, maybe aided with an in flight flask of Schnapps and a long straw :drunk:.

 

To quote Wikipedia;

 

“By eliminating the engine and lying the pilot in a prone position (i.e. on his front), the cross-sectional area of the fuselage was much reduced, making the BV 40 harder for bomber gunners to hit.”

 

Well, that sounds ok then 👌. Very reassuring.

 

Any volunteers? 

 

:whistle:

 

The intention was to be towed up, set free, glide into a formation of bombers; all armed to the hilt, pop away with the cannons, glide away and land safely.

 

With no undercarriage.

 

Yes. No undercarriage. No engine. Probably no ammo left. Probably quite in need of the loo.

 

Brengun make far nicer injection moulded kits than my old vac-form ones now, but I have been wanting to build these tiny models for years. In real life, just five were flown, all were prototypes.

 

Am I in?

 

2-E61620-E-5-EC2-45-FC-88-D3-52-A1-EA6-E

 

Best regards

TonyT

 

 

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Regarding the NATO use of '104:

 

The F-104 was designed as a point-defense interceptor (maximising takeoff to combat height characteristics) carrying only air-to-air missiles and a gatling cannon (F-104C).

Lockheed then sold it to NATO air forces as a fighter-bomber through dint of massive bribery - most notorious being the Netherlands' Prince-consort Bernhard.

Once you take an (extreme) point-defense interceptor and start hanging all sorts of nastiness from its wings and try low-flying seat-of-the-pants acrobatics you have a recipe for disaster.

As Giorgio puts it better training and a better appraisal of what the F-104G could and could not do led to a much better rate of loss / flight hours.

 

Cheers, Moggy

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23 minutes ago, TonyTiger66 said:

This is a superb and fun, if not rather worrisome idea, when one considers the real life devices represented, for a group build.

 

I hope that I can be considered with the Blohm and Voss BV 40?

 

I have two of these in 1/72, both vac form kits. One is lightly started but not yet basted, certainly not cooked to within 25% of a tasty finish  👨‍🍳 🍳.

 

The tiny BV 40 was a glider, built in Germany in World War Two.

 

It was so tiny that the pilot had to lay down on his tum, with his head faced forward looking through a tiny window. 

Each side of him, at the stubby wing roots, was a 30mm cannon with very limited ammunition.

 

One would imagine that a positive attitude would be required of the pilot. Or perhaps mild to strong insanity, maybe aided with an in flight flask of Schnapps and a long straw :drunk:.

 

To quote Wikipedia;

 

“By eliminating the engine and lying the pilot in a prone position (i.e. on his front), the cross-sectional area of the fuselage was much reduced, making the BV 40 harder for bomber gunners to hit.”

 

Well, that sounds ok then 👌. Very reassuring.

 

Any volunteers? 

 

:whistle:

 

The intention was to be towed up, set free, glide into a formation of bombers; all armed to the hilt, pop away with the cannons, glide away and land safely.

 

With no undercarriage.

 

Yes. No undercarriage. No engine. Probably no ammo left. Probably quite in need of the loo.

 

Brengun make far nicer injection moulded kits than my old vac-form ones now, but I have been wanting to build these tiny models for years. In real life, just five were flown, all were prototypes.

 

Am I in?

 

2-E61620-E-5-EC2-45-FC-88-D3-52-A1-EA6-E

 

Best regards

TonyT

 

 

I believe you've made your case. And I'd love to see those vac-form kits under construction. 

 

Welcome to SYWWTGTWI. 

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28 minutes ago, Moggy said:

Regarding the NATO use of '104:

 

The F-104 was designed as a point-defense interceptor (maximising takeoff to combat height characteristics) carrying only air-to-air missiles and a gatling cannon (F-104C).

Lockheed then sold it to NATO air forces as a fighter-bomber through dint of massive bribery - most notorious being the Netherlands' Prince-consort Bernhard.

Once you take an (extreme) point-defense interceptor and start hanging all sorts of nastiness from its wings and try low-flying seat-of-the-pants acrobatics you have a recipe for disaster.

As Giorgio puts it better training and a better appraisal of what the F-104G could and could not do led to a much better rate of loss / flight hours.

 

Cheers, Moggy

With that in mind, I think it's worth noting that Mr @CliffB did specify a German Starfighter. 

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22 minutes ago, Churchill said:

With that in mind, I think it's worth noting that Mr @CliffB did specify a German Starfighter. 

It looks like I chose a good example to test the qualifying criteria for this GB!:tomato:

All good stuff!

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20 hours ago, GrimReaper09 said:

But I'm enjoying seeing which models hold up to the 4 principles you stated in the first post.  

 Identifying a subject, That would be the easy part, searching out kits of said subjects, a little more difficult, but I think all the more interesting for a gb , just a thought in catorgory 1 and crossing into 2, you would  have the fairy swordfish, undoubtedly a great aircraft, good enough to duff up the bismark, nonetheless  obsolete and out classed by the time war broke out, 

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4 hours ago, Churchill said:

Absolutely do go on - that is, if you're happy to share personal info about where and when you were in those Bradleys. 

 

I feel a certain extra latitude should be allowed for anyone suggesting a vehicle that they actually served in: after all, who am I to question someone's confidence about a vehicle which they either went to war in or which they would have been expected to go to war in? 

 

Assuming you could bring yourself to build one, did you have a kit in mind? 

Two tours in Iraq and 13 years in the US Army as a scout. 

 

I wouldn't mind building one but I don't do armor kits. I was just bringing it up because I thought it was relevant and amusing.

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33 minutes ago, whiskey said:

Two tours in Iraq and 13 years in the US Army as a scout. 

 

I wouldn't mind building one but I don't do armor kits. I was just bringing it up because I thought it was relevant and amusing.

It was relevant and amusing, and thank you for sharing your first-hand experience of the Bradley. Perhaps if the SYWWTGTWI GB passes the vote, you'll reconsider building one. But be warned, under the circumstances we'd expect a high standard of accuracy and authenticity from you, right down to the dodgy wiring in the turret! :wink:

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19 hours ago, Silenoz said:

not that alone, take a Polish TKS, a panzer 1, or even an early sherman (Tommycooker), a Betty bomber (one shot lighter) etc..

The M3 Lee was called a “Coffin for 7 brothers” by the Russian units that used them. 

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20 minutes ago, Churchill said:

Hmmmmm

You have got the master box bycicles in 35th scale, this could ,  maybe,  get  conjured up , the fellow in the bowler hat may stall things though 😝, can you imagine the recoil 🤣, it would probably send it  reeling  backwards

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2 hours ago, Roger Newsome said:

The bike or bowler hat.... or both?

The dapper suit, and what seem to be Oxford brogues, the bowler, I wouldn't want to go to war in any of that😋, the bike might keep you alive for a few minuets though 

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Having failed with the Tornado GR1 ( I can see why this is so), and for those who said that it would be better in the Tornado GB I already have something else planned for that, can I try with the Whitley bomber?

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20 minutes ago, Jabba said:

Having failed with the Tornado GR1 ( I can see why this is so), and for those who said that it would be better in the Tornado GB I already have something else planned for that, can I try with the Whitley bomber?

Of course. Please expand on your suggestion: into which category does the Whitley fit, and why? 

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On 3/5/2019 at 8:45 PM, whiskey said:

Two tours in Iraq and 13 years in the US Army as a scout. 

 

I wouldn't mind building one but I don't do armor kits. I was just bringing it up because I thought it was relevant and amusing.

It will all sound terribly familiar to many in the UK Forces past and present. The UK built chain guns were complete dogs until original spec parts were back fitted rather than the 'production engineered' cheapo replacements. Don't get me started on the SA80, Saxon APC, moulded sole boots, waterproofs, gas masks that stop you wearing your metal hat properly....

 

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I think you need to be quite careful with the eligibility for some of these suggestions. As Giorgio said you really can't tarnish an aircraft for some earlier incidents like with the F-104. The F-111 is in a similar situation, early in there life they were bad but they evolved into being superb long range strike/Recon aircraft.

 

Some of the early RAF bombers would fit this build for sure, the Fairey Battle or HP Hampden! My uncle was lost in one of these things on one of the first raids over Berlin, most of the squadron never returned from that raid, a lot just ran out of fuel on the way home!

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1 hour ago, trickyrich said:

I think you need to be quite careful with the eligibility for some of these suggestions. As Giorgio said you really can't tarnish an aircraft for some earlier incidents like with the F-104. The F-111 is in a similar situation, early in there life they were bad but they evolved into being superb long range strike/Recon aircraft.

 

That's why specifying a time or air force is important in some cases, like the Starfighter. If I was a German pilot back then, would I have wanted to fight a war in that thing knowing it's reputation and ill conceived purchase? No.

 

Another example that fits this is the Buffalo. Totally outclassed in the early days of the Pacific war by the Oscar and Zero. Poorly built, poorly maintained aircraft that would overheat in the tropics and spray oil all over the windscreen. Inadequate armament and the fact that pilots resorted to halving fuel and ammunition loads to try and match it with their opposition yet the aircraft was still called the flying coffin.. However the Finnish scored a 40:1 kill ration with their aircraft that were lightened and used in a colder climate.

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5 hours ago, trickyrich said:

I think you need to be quite careful with the eligibility for some of these suggestions. As Giorgio said you really can't tarnish an aircraft for some earlier incidents like with the F-104. The F-111 is in a similar situation, early in there life they were bad but they evolved into being superb long range strike/Recon aircraft.

 

Some of the early RAF bombers would fit this build for sure, the Fairey Battle or HP Hampden! My uncle was lost in one of these things on one of the first raids over Berlin, most of the squadron never returned from that raid, a lot just ran out of fuel on the way home!

Well, so far we have greenlighted the following:

 

  • A flying tank,
  • the Snatch Landrover
  • the  pilot-melting Komet
  • Unarmed spitfire over occupied Europe
  • a jeep with gyrocopter fittings
  • a tank made out of a bulldozer and some corrugated iron
  • a rocket powered interceptor built from plywood nailed together and designed to come apart in flight
  • something similar, only without the rockets
  • a Centaur hulk filled with men and towed into battle
  • a fighter plane whose purchasers asked for their money back

 

We've rejected:

 

  • Tornado armed with JP233 system
  • Meteors over Korea

What I ask for is that the proposer be able to provide a reasonable rationale as to why their proposal fits into one of the categories, and is something you wouldn't want to go to war in. So when early Allied armour was proposed, I asked the builder to identify which vehicle was the worst of that unimpressive bunch and say why it was the worst. The Whitley bomber has been proposed and I've asked for the rationale. The Bradley was approved after I asked for the rationale and the proposer explained that he had twice gone to war in it and listed the many reasons, serious and trivial, why he might have appreciated Uncle Sam providing him with something else to scout about Iraq in.

 

Now with regard to the F104, that has been the subject of the most intense and detailed debate in the thread, and the proposer acknowledged that he'd picked a subject that tested the eligibility criteria. And what's filtering through from the debate for me is that the 104 was fine as the point defence interceptor it was designed to be, the real problems started when the manufacturer tried to dress it up as some kind of general purpose fighter/ground attack craft. We can argue forever about whether the 104's reputation is deserved, but what's undeniable is that it has a terrible reputation: few aircraft achieved that much notoriety. 

 

And for that reason, the German F104 in its general purpose/ground attack configuration is going into room 101.     .....sorry, I mean it's approved for inclusion in this build.

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, Bonhoff said:

I'd be in with This

 

No further discussion should be necessary....

 

IanJ

Now it just so happens that this has been sitting in my ebay watch list for a month or two:

 

Insane choppa

 

So I must congratulate you on your taste and discretion Mr @Bonhoff, and welcome you to the SYWWTGTWI group build. 

 

Edited by Churchill
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5 hours ago, Brad said:

However the Finnish scored a 40:1 kill ratio with their aircraft that were lightened and used in a colder climate.

Which raises the obvious question: what on earth was getting shot down at that rate, and should it not be in this GB? 

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