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


Churchill
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How about a Galaxy-class starship?

 

One of them was destroyed by a computer virus.  Two others were destroyed by much smaller and less powerful adversaries.  And those Starfleet idiots were willing to put their families on them!!!  :fraidnot:  

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12 minutes ago, Enzo Matrix said:

How about a Galaxy-class starship?

 

One of them was destroyed by a computer virus.  Two others were destroyed by much smaller and less powerful adversaries.  And those Starfleet idiots were willing to put their families on them!!!  :fraidnot:  

While I appreciate the advisability of keeping Mr Matrix happy and on-side, I'm going to draw the line at purely fictional craft. Anyway, the problem with the Galaxy class wasn't the ship, it was the bunch of milquetoasts crewing it. 

 

"Captain, the Romulan vessel is targetting the warp core!" 

"Ooh, I know - Drop our shields and power down the weapons to show them we mean no harm, Mr Worf. And then invite them round for a nice cup of Earl Grey." 

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I think you've got the right idea for some of these problem aircraft in tying the eligibility down to certain models. I was reading about a perfect candidate the other day but of course now I've completely forgotten what it was!! :wall:

 

Count me in, I think this is a great idea and something quite different from usual.

 

You may need to start a list to help keep track of interested parties, just add it to the bottom of your first post, it'll make life so much easier of Enzo......he needs all the help he can get! :tease:

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1 minute ago, trickyrich said:

 

You may need to start a list to help keep track of interested parties, just add it to the bottom of your first post, it'll make life so much easier of Enzo......he needs all the help he can get! :tease:

I've been meaning to do that, I think there are enough names now for a list. 

 

If the GB goes through, then some interesting modelling will be on show. The Bob Semple tank is to be scratch built, the BV40 is a vac form, the Natter has a fearsome photoetch structure, the Centaur hulk will need to be modified from a kit... 

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10 hours ago, Churchill said:

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

 

Mostly early Soviet aircraft; I-15, I-16, Hurricanes, Spitfires, Yak 1,3, Il-2's and Lagg's . For the most part pilot skill level was a factor, the Finns were pretty well trained, while their opposition was not. The highest scoring Buffalo pilot in history, Hans Wind wrote the Finnish Air Force combat doctrine that was used for the next 40 years.

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17 hours ago, Churchill said:

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.

 

 

 

 

A bit OT, but seems to me that there's a lot of misunderstanding about the F-104...

For a starter, the Starfighter WAS NOT DESIGNED AS AN INTERCEPTOR !!!!!!

Yes, I have to write in capital letters as seems that this is a myth that keeps being told and retold but is very far from the truth. Kelly Johonson designed the F-104 as a day fighter, taking into account the combat experiences of the many pilots he personally interviewed as part of a long tour of FEAF bases during the Korean War. From these he came to the idea of a light and simple fighter capable of dominating the enemy through superior performance, reason why he decided to have a very fast aircraft with impressive acceleration and capable of reaching very high altitudes. In Johnson's view the F-104 would have been the replacement for the F-86F and it was for this reason that he chose as armament a gun with very high rate of fire and a simple and very manouverable missile as the Sidewinder, at a time when USAF interceptors were designed around the Falcon.

The F-104 was a private venture from Lockheed and Johnson had to use all his reputation to sell the aircraft to the Air Force, the problem however was that the USAF had no role for the Starfighter as in their view the F-86 was not really going to be replaced with a comparable fighter. At that point in the '50s the USAF saw the use of "tactical" fighters, whose missions were mainly ground attack and nuclear strike, and interceptors, that were supposed to be integrated with the SAGE system.

The F-104 didn't really fit in any mission for the USAF but the sheer performance was so impressive that they ordered a number of F-104As, that were initially used as interceptors... but could not be integrated within SAGE, so leading to a short career because this was a key requirement for the USAF. The real USAF interceptors were the F-101B, F-102 and F-106, machines that operated along principles very different from the ones Johnson saw for the Starfighter.

The C variant came shortly after as a tactical fighter, a role that Johnson had envisaged from the very start of the development, and was a way for the USAF to use what afterall the best performing aircraft of the day. The G was a redesigned variant made stronger for use at low level while retaining the original AA capabilities of the original Starfighter concept, so it's not true that it was "dressed up as some kind of general purpose aircraft", the G simply followed the natural progression of the type in the way that the designer had intended. European and other users had no problem in using the G as an interceptor as they didn't care about SAGE compatibility since they didn't use this system.

I know that these lines will be pretty much useless as the old myths will come out again and again. I just hope that since many of us are also aircraft enthusiasts at least one or two will take note and investigate the matter further to understand why this aircraft was made in this way.

 

More on topic, there is one true reason why as a pilot I would have not wanted to go to war in an F-104 in the '60s and '70s: the mission profile! Hear the warning siren, strap into the aircraft and take off. Then proceed to a target in Easter Europe, drop a nuke and fly away as fast as possible. The fuel loaded was insufficient to return to the base so the idea was to fly west as much as possible and then eject. Once on the ground, the task was to try and return to the base, hoping to find something left of it and with the strong possibility of finding just a radioactive wasteland caused by the use of all kind of tactical nuclear weapons.

Of course this has nothing to do with the aircraft, as the same would have happened piloting an F-105, F-111, Jaguar and even the V bombers, all types that in case of an all-out war were tasked with one-way only missions. We think of the Japanese and German suicide-attack types as crazy but really many missions during the Cold War were not much different...

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16 hours ago, trickyrich said:

if I hadn't already built it then my P-43 Lancer would have been in for sure, that was a pile of :poop:. It was declared unfit for combat when we got them!

Fancy a challenge?

 

2019-03-08_01-13-34

 

Edited by Churchill
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as much as I'd almost like to build another, they're are rare as hen's teeth and frighteningly expensive!!!

 

money better spent on resin...opps I mean porn! :whistle:

 

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38 minutes ago, Silenoz said:

as a pilot you would have been most lucky to get airborne in the first place, 

On the contrary, you could count yourself fortunate if for whatever reason it failed to take off. 

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13 hours ago, Brad said:

The highest scoring Buffalo pilot in history, Hans Wind wrote the Finnish Air Force combat doctrine that was used for the next 40 years.

According to my brainy mate it was this guy who came up with the 'finger four' formation used so successfully by the Luftwaffe.

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Nope nope, Wind was a pilot of younger age. His superior, first as CO of fighter squadron LeLv 24, and later of regiment LeR 3, was Eka Magnusson. He had been introduced to finger-four and German experiences in the Spanish Civil War some time before the Winter War, so our fighter arm was ready to use it and apply it in pre-war training. I must remind you, that our tiny air force mostly had to operate in two plane pairs more often than four plane swarms, but I'm proud of their tactical knowledge, in pairs and swarms alike. Hasse Wind was assigned to LeLv 24 as a fresh young officer in the summer of -41, and though he made good use of those tactics and was later in the war a part-time lecturer in AF academy, he was not the one to invent, adapt and apply it to Finnish Air Force fighter tactics in the big picture. Eka Magnusson and his superior, Richard Lorenz, are the ones who deserve the honours.

Thank you for your interest in our AF! V-P

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19 hours ago, Silenoz said:

nobody proposed the Japanese ki-115 yet? A suicide plane that flew as a brick, and as a pilot you would have been most lucky to get airborne in the first place, reach the target secondly and then try to detonate that plane on the target...

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nakajima_Ki-115

 

I've got the Eduard 1/48 kit in the stash.

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Could I suggest the Mirage IV. My understanding is that in the 1950s various nations were faced with the problem of delivering a trans-continental nuke somewhere deep in the USSR, and getting the plane and crew back. Hence, large bombers like the V-series and the B-52.  France had its nuclear deterrent, but no aircraft remotely capable of such range.  Their answer was to make the 'big Mirage', accepting that it would not get back but even knowing the crew would not return, it fulfilled the deterrence requirement.

 

I am also thinking of the MkII tanks used at Arras and Bullecourt, 1917.  These were boiler plate training tanks, sent into battle.  At Bullecourt, all the tanks involved were destroyed in short order, mostly by machine-gun fire, half the crewmen being killed, mostly spectacularly burned to death.

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48 minutes ago, Peter Lloyd said:

Could I suggest the Mirage IV. My understanding is that in the 1950s various nations were faced with the problem of delivering a trans-continental nuke somewhere deep in the USSR, and getting the plane and crew back. Hence, large bombers like the V-series and the B-52.  France had its nuclear deterrent, but no aircraft remotely capable of such range.  Their answer was to make the 'big Mirage', accepting that it would not get back but even knowing the crew would not return, it fulfilled the deterrence requirement.

 

I am also thinking of the MkII tanks used at Arras and Bullecourt, 1917.  These were boiler plate training tanks, sent into battle.  At Bullecourt, all the tanks involved were destroyed in short order, mostly by machine-gun fire, half the crewmen being killed, mostly spectacularly burned to death.

Hello there Mr Lloyd, thank you for joining us. In post #83 above, Mr @Giorgio N informs us that the one-way mission profile was common to many cold war bombers. Were I on such a mission I'd personally be less concerned about knowing I was going to eject/parachute out of the aircraft on the return leg than about the radioactive post-civilisation that I'd be parachuting into.

 

The tanks, though - I remember reading a history of the first tanks which related that story. The tanks were really just proof-of-concept models never intended to go into combat, just to demonstrate the idea. They had 3mm armour which wouldn't even stop small arms fire. All this was explained to the general, but he poked one of the tanks with a chisel and said "seems sound enough to me. Send them to France." 🙄

 

I shall add you to the SYWWTGTWI list, if I may. 

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17 hours ago, vppelt68 said:

Nope nope, Wind was a pilot of younger age.

You have no idea how happy I am to read that. Everything you mention he's done it, seen it, knows more about it, taught it or invented it. Nice to be able to pop an over-inflated ego once in a while. 

He is brainy though, when SpaceX launched their unmanned test capsule a few years back he explained how the trajectory worked and where it would land on the back of two opened beer mats. He was almost exactly right on both points 😲 He admitted that he's rounded up a bit but the guy was working out square roots in his head!! We all felt inadequate then talked soccer. We're hoping to get him interested in that so we can win huge on a accumulator bet :D

 

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On ‎3‎/‎6‎/‎2019 at 8:20 PM, Churchill said:

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

 

I believe that the Whitley outclassed by opposition fighters due to its slow speed, docile handling characteristics and a ceiling of just 15,000ft with a full bomb load.

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49 minutes ago, Jabba said:

 

I believe that the Whitley outclassed by opposition fighters due to its slow speed, docile handling characteristics and a ceiling of just 15,000ft with a full bomb load.

I'm not sure about this one. Wikipedia says it was obsolete by the start of the war, but other sources are more positive about it. Bomber Command museum of Canada for example, says; "The Armstong-Whitworth Whitley was a sturdy airplane with few vices, generally liked by those crews who flew them on operations. It could take a lot of punishment and was said to be a pleasure to fly, although a little on the slow side." We know how very high the casualties in Bomber Command were, and I wouldn't have been keen to fly in any of their aircraft, but the Whitley doesn't sound like a terrible aircraft. There were a number of variants though, and it might be that some of them were in service after they they should have been withdrawn. 

 

Anyone out there knowledgeable about bombers and willing to give an opinion? 

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I recently read a book called Backroom Boys. A couple of ex Whitley fliers expressed their hatred of the Aircraft.

Very slow, it flew in a nose down attitude for some reason. Apparently the low operational ceiling put it within range of a lot of flak.

A lot of them, IIRC were sent out on the early big raids while the crews were still in training, which may account for losses.

The Mk1 Halifax was also mostly disliked, the blame generally being put upon the fins/rudders. The Mk2 however was preferred over the Lancaster by it's crews.

And I don't think that anyone has even mentioned the Blackburn Botha. Moving to a later design, I believe the Bristol Brigand wasn't that popular either.

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2 hours ago, Pete in Lincs said:

I recently read a book called Backroom Boys. A couple of ex Whitley fliers expressed their hatred of the Aircraft.

Very slow, it flew in a nose down attitude for some reason. Apparently the low operational ceiling put it within range of a lot of flak.

A lot of them, IIRC were sent out on the early big raids while the crews were still in training, which may account for losses.

The Mk1 Halifax was also mostly disliked, the blame generally being put upon the fins/rudders. The Mk2 however was preferred over the Lancaster by it's crews.

And I don't think that anyone has even mentioned the Blackburn Botha. Moving to a later design, I believe the Bristol Brigand wasn't that popular either.

Ok, I just got hold of a copy, and I've searched it for references to the Whitley. I think it's a little like the F104 in that there would be people with strong feelings on both sides, but a case can definitely be made for including Mr @Jabba's Whitley. I'll post some excerpts in the morning. 

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2 hours ago, Pete in Lincs said:

The Mk1 Halifax was also mostly disliked, the blame generally being put upon the fins/rudders. The Mk2 however was preferred over the Lancaster by it's crews.

 

"[Sir Frederick Handley-Page is a]lways weeping crocodile tears in my house and office, smarming his unconvincing assurances all over me and leaving me with a mounting certainty that nothing whatever ponderable is being done to make his deplorable product worthy for war or fit to meet those jeopardies which confront our gallant crews. Nothing will be done until H.-P. and his gang are kicked out, lock, stock and barrel. Trivialities are all they are attempting at present, with the deliberate intent of postponing the main issue until we are irretrievably committed…Unless we can get these two vital factors [the Halifax and Stirling] of the heavy bomber programme put right, and with miraculous despatch, we are sunk. We cannot do this by polite negotiation with these crooks and incompetents. In Russia it would long ago have been arranged with a gun, and to that extent I am a fervid Communist!"

 

-- Arthur Harris to Archibald Sinclair, 30 December 1942 [In the same letter, he referred to one of the Short brothers as an incompetent drunk.]

 

"All past experiences with the Handley Page concern have long ago convinced me that none of their promises will ever materialise and that all their swans are ducks – or sparrows. But whatever improvements to be expected from the new tail [of the Halifax] the lack of ceiling of the aircraft is a fatal bar to its long continued use in the front line."

 

-- Arthur Harris to Wilfrid Freeman, 8 September 1943

 

There's a great deal more on Harris's dislike of the Halifax and H-P in here: https://scholars.wlu.ca/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1432&context=cmh

 

 

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Please do add me, Mr Churchill, though I have no idea exactly what I'll build.

 

Harris had an amusingly colourful turn of phrase which, with other attributes, made him a hero to his men.  A favourite was in regard to heating of aircraft:

 

"I seriously suggest the time has arrived when disciplinary action should be taken against the individuals at Farnborough... There are plenty of countries where such failures would be expunged by the firing squad on the charge of sabotage".  We are all familiar with how poorly armed were Bomber Command's main aircraft, much less well-known are Arthur Harris's constant and strident efforts to have this and other equipment/build quality issues addressed.  The Halifax got better after a serious effort to improve simple things like exhaust shrouds, the poor design and fit of which was wiping 10-12 mph off the planes' speed!  It's well known the Hercules engined variant was better, but part of the improvement was the more serious quality control that also came in during 1944.

 

An additional tidbit on the F-104G, from Bill Gunston's Supersonic Fighters of the West:

 

"(Loss rates of up to 139 aircraft per 100,000 hours are) unacceptable in peacetime, though it may be encountered when a nation is in the final phases of losing a war.  The F-104G, Germany's double key to military strength and reborn industrial capability. became known as the Flying Coffin, the Widow Maker, and other unkind names. An American rival published a brochure picturing the families of all the dead F-104G pilots.  Sick jokes arose by the score- for example, the Luftwaffe's definition of an optimist was 'a Starfighter pilot who gives up smoking because he is afraid of dying of lung cancer'.  Pilots were found taking sedative drugs, and others were court-martialled for refusing to fly.  After his court martial one former F-104 jock sued the defence minister, Kai-Uwe von Hassel, for wrongful dismissal.  Von Hassel became personally identified with the Starfighter in a way that Strauss, who was the minister responsible for buying it, had avoided.  By 1967 von Hassel had become the object of bitter attack by millions of Germans; in 1970 he lost his own son in a Starfighter crash".

Edited by Peter Lloyd
Halifaxes did not lose '120'mph due to exhause shrouds! (typo)
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