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Subject: Best All-Around Fighter of World War II
sentinel28a    10/13/2009 3:38:03 PM
Let's try a non-controversial topic, shall we? (Heh heh.) I'll submit the P-51 for consideration. BW and FS, if you come on here and say that the Rafale was the best fighter of WWII, I am going to fly over to France and personally beat you senseless with Obama's ego. (However, feel free to talk about the D.520.)
 
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oldbutnotwise       2/15/2013 3:13:02 AM
1. The Norden bomb sight was not useless above 20,000'. In fact it was used with out modification at altitudes over twice that height from the B-36. 
no Lemay showed that the Norden was useless above 20000feet even when used by B36 in perfect bombing conditions in post war navada
See this link for typical bombing accuracy; link... without checking his facts and logic, wrote:
 
I have checked that article and it mentions NOTHING about accuracy of the norden, do you actual read the link you publish? of is it tat you fail to understand what they are saying? it is purely about the super heavies (tallboys and above) bombs that were known to be a damn sight more accurate than conventional bombs, so in short another BS post by shoort what a supprise (lemay tests were b36 with CONVENTIONAL BOMBS dropped purely by norden viisual sights and proved that such bombing was ONLY suitable for area attacks and so effected US doctrine since)
 
Given the absolute fact that the USAAF flew more sories, 762,462, dropped more bombs, 1,396,816 tons,
this give an average of less than 4000lbs so basically the B17 was worse than a A4 skyraider
Yes it does, but it also includes light and medium bombers.
so wait aminute you include light and medium figures????? adn the compair them agaisnt Lancaster figures as if thats comparable? or are you compairing it agaisnt BC figures in which case the fact that the USSAF was much much bigger might be a factor might it not? god you decoming more and more dishonest
 
 
and how does bombing the Ruhr compair with bombing french airfields ? or berlin? go back and compair MISSIONS and you would see that you are not compairing like with like, but you have consistantly faILED IN THIS SO i HOLD NO HOPE OF IT HAPPENING THIS TIME
The differances were caused by the fact that many targets were not available to the RAF because bombing at night was not suitable to attacks by a few planes, or because their was no land marks to deliniate airfields at night, etc...
 
No because BC doctrin was not targeting airfield and strangly neither was usaaf, why bombing an airfeild in france that served 4 fieseler storch and a could of ex french fighters required a 60+ b17 raid is questionalble, oh how many times did the USAAF bomb the ruhr in 43? you may have heard of it you know the place that had most of the german heavy industry!

Your logic makes good sence on it's face but fails utterly if you factor in the RAF's claim post war that "Less than half the bombs hit the target! IE, landed inside the city limits. So if you look at the number of RAF-BC casualties-Vs- the bomb tonnage that actually hit anything it changes the results dramatically!
DOES IT? because it does not seem that way from the reports if you look at comparable missions, in fact in like for like missions the B17 shows rather badly
There were very few "comparable missions" because it was simply not possible to bomb most targets by night! rearly? from what I have read most major US targets were also RAF targets Berlin, Hamburg, Dresden, yes the RAF didnt send 500 bombers to bomb airbases but major targets those that inflicted the heavy losses on the RAF were often the target of US day raids and if you look at the loss rates on those you will find that the US loss rates were far higher than the RAF, yes if you look at milk run missions against heavy defended targets then you will get a skewed figure but any sensible research would show that you were not compairing like with like and therefore any conclusions you make would be worthless (ie most of your posts) 
 
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oldbutnotwise       2/15/2013 3:34:50 AM
Given that overall losses of both planes and crew were so much less with the later marks of both the Lancaster and the B-17, and that B-17 losses per sortie were about half of those of RAF Bomber Command heavies, I would say the above does not make much sence.
 
no it wouldnt as you fail to think past the headline numbers, in short poor analysis, you need to understand the numbers the raw number do not taell the tail, untill you understand that  you will never understand anything here
 
Furthermore, losses per ton of bombs dropped on target seems to show, at least according to the two previous posts, that night time bombing was a looser. No thats just you making thing up again the facts do not support this See the quote from Wiki below,
agains failing to understand what the numbers represent
 
 to include links to the source material I was reading up on the B17 afters shooters complete bull and found this further info the B17 engines were actually very unreliable especially the turbo units Then how do you account for the fact that the USAAF flew more missions in less time than the RAF BC?
More aircraft? huge supply of spares? but no thier can be only oe reason even if that reason goes against known facts
 
the defensive armerments were poor and badly designed, taking =them in turn Then how do you account for the fact that the USAAF flew more missions while taking fewer casualties?
 
target selection and huge fighter escort
 
 See the quote below and follow the links to the source documants! tail, twin manual .5 in a very limited traverse unit with a pretty useless ring and bead sight Then how do you account for the Germans abandoning all tail chase attacks early in the war?
because that played right into the turrets strong point it was for most practical purposes a fixed read mount, it was a bodge as the tail of the B17 had never been designed to take a turret.  the most critical defensive postion and the B17 was designed with out it         
mid gunners, etc
To many defects to list!
true but i have listed a few there were many more, like the sperry crewing though its power cables every time it turned, but this is a basic list of issues - oh wait do you disagree? well just posting " To many defects to list!" would tend to show that you cannot suport a counte argument
 
 
the Read project would have fixed these issues but was canned, I was also suprised on how sensitive the B17 was to change in CoG
Where on earth did you get this idea? I mean I raised it as a very real problem with the Lanc's long bomb bay and now you bring it up out of the blue? Why? What are your sources?
wow, I bring up a documented issue and you retort with fiction nice, I have a source and can even show it
B17 The story...by Roger Anthony Freeman 
 and David R. Osborne , a concise history even down to details of evey B17 made, (when when and fate) and asking for sources what a hypocrite we ae still awaiting on sources for nearly every claim you have ever made, like this claim about the Lanc bomb bay, you have neve provided a source for that, your claim that the norden was effect no source 9in fact the link you posted doesnt even mention the norden!)
In total 364,514 operational sorties were flown, 1,030,500 tons of bombs were dropped and 8,325 aircraft lost in action. From American Combat aircraft by Wagner on page 133 the USAAF flew 762,462 sorties and dropped 1,396,816 tons of bombs for only 9,937 aircraft lost in European combat! How can you make lite of these figures?
I dont what I do is loook at the FACTS behind the figures and not just assume that the to are directly comparable, that is superficial and lead to bad analysis


 
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oldbutnotwise       2/15/2013 8:08:06 AM
The key to survival is to make the escape routes as short as possible. This based on what I see requires a radical rethink of how that bird was laid out.
a. The canopy is the logical bailout route for the pilot (ejector seat straight UP.)
what ejector seats? nice to have but not likely
b. As radio man and flight engineer are sitting in a death box right behind the pilot and on top of the no-escape route bomb-bay, their only quick way out is to fare that canopy back in the redesign  and shove them in with the pilot under a longer glass house (two more ejector seats straight UP.)
straight up was the designated exit route thought the canopy hatch
c. The bomb-aimer is in the nose below the forward nose turret. Since that turret is a scheduled deletion for a glass house pointed nose faring to reduce drag, he gets a seat (more room for him and the bombsight with no turret, the more comfortable position also makes his job far easier) and a cleared bailout route: so out he goes straight DOWN. (Ejector seat of course.)
not only ejector seats but downward units too, sure you dont want zero zero units as well?
d1. The poor rear gunner is stuck all alone in his little turret with a bulkhead (and a damned toilet!*1) between him and the side entry exit door at the back of the plane.  The whole tail design demands a rethink. How about we put him in a seat with a gunner's sight and slave that tail turret's guns to his sight? Who says the fire director and aimer (him) has to be coincident with the guns? Rip the toilet out and give him an escape path DOWN where it is. He has to make do without an ejector seat as we have weight to worry about. Still has that bulkhead to crawl through. Nothing we can do about that with this solution.
Actually the designated escape route for the rear gunner was to urn his turret to the stops open the turret door and drop out backwards, a simple effect escape route ruined by the need to climb back into the plane to get a parachute first
d2. Or we can stick the rear gunner behind the flight engineer and fare that guy into the spinal glass house canopy with the pilot and radio-operator (co-pilot, since I would put [rudimentary] flight controls in the number two position-REDUNDANCY always in case the primary position and pilot fails) . Stick the dorsal guns there at the rear of the glass house canopy as well. And of course he gets an ejector seat. The rear guns are slaved to that gunner position so that the rear guns track what the rear gunner sees. He didn't see anything most of the time anyway, so who cares if it works? Crew morale is an HFE factor
or replace the whole lot with 3 crew and invent the Canberra bomber (a B57 to US types)
About crew moral and those popguns. If the Browning .303s were anything like the US model ANM-2's then those damned things gave off a muzzle flash you could see a mile away in the dark. You don't want to do that with a nacht jager wild boar looking for you in the dark over Bremen. A simple thing like a flash-hider never occurred to anyone?
the sop was not to fire unless fired at (and then not always) the corkscrew was the prefered defense (not sure if the halifax or stirling was capable of it reports say that B17 and B24 wernt despite usually being bomb free and being used as elint/jammer aircraft)
Congratulations, you just designed the B-47!                 
yes and would have needed to wait to the 50s for it lol
The RAF high command does not come off too well, I'm afraid.
They were making it as they went along, it was only a few years earlier that allowing aircrew parachutes became acceptable, its amzing what 20:10 hindsight can produce, the bottom line in Night bombers is which of the available options would you prefer to crew, one with a low chance of getting out or one in which thier was a much higher chance of NEEDING to
 
 
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Belisarius1234       2/15/2013 2:12:17 PM

The key to survival is to make the escape routes as short as possible. This based on what I see requires a radical rethink of how that bird was laid out.

a. The canopy is the logical bailout route for the pilot (ejector seat straight UP.)
OBNW writes:

What ejector seats? nice to have but not likely

The Heinkel one with the mortar charge under it? What he can do, Avro can do.

b. As radio man and flight engineer are sitting in a death box right behind the pilot and on top of the no-escape route bomb-bay, their only quick way out is to fare that canopy back in the redesign  and shove them in with the pilot under a longer glass house (two more ejector seats straight UP.)


OBNW writes:
Straight up was the designated exit route thought the canopy hatch


c. The bomb-aimer is in the nose below the forward nose turret. Since that turret is a scheduled deletion for a glass house pointed nose faring to reduce drag, he gets a seat (more room for him and the bombsight with no turret, the more comfortable position also makes his job far easier) and a cleared bailout route: so out he goes straight DOWN. (Ejector seat of course.)


Not only ejector seats but downward units too, sure you don't want zero zero units as well?

Too complicated. A drive spring and drop rails is sufficient.



d1. The poor rear gunner is stuck all alone in his little turret with a bulkhead (and a damned toilet!*1) between him and the side entry exit door at the back of the plane.  The whole tail design demands a rethink. How about we put him in a seat with a gunner's sight and slave that tail turret's guns to his sight? Who says the fire director and aimer (him) has to be coincident with the guns? Rip the toilet out and give him an escape path DOWN where it is. He has to make do without an ejector seat as we have weight to worry about. Still has that bulkhead to crawl through. Nothing we can do about that with this solution.

OBNW writes.

Actually the designated escape route for the rear gunner was to turn his turret to the stops open the turret door and drop out backwards, a simple effect escape route ruined by the need to climb back into the plane to get a parachute first

1. Suppose the turret jams? I don't want him trapped in it.

2. Why can't his escape chute also double as his seat cushion? It's kind of stupid to not make a fundamental double duty design item, don't you think? If he's going to use a Heinkel seat (British version) don't you think he should sit on it? He's gonna need a seat cushion when that mortar goes off under him.


d2. Or we can stick the rear gunner behind the flight engineer and fare that guy into the spinal glass house canopy with the pilot and radio-operator (co-pilot, since I would put [rudimentary] flight controls in the number two position-REDUNDANCY always in case the primary position and pilot fails) . Stick the dorsal guns there at the rear of the glass house canopy as well. And of course he gets an ejector seat. The rear guns are slaved to that gunner position so that the rear guns track what the rear gunner sees. He didn't see anything most of the time anyway, so who cares if it works? Crew morale is an HFE factor

OBNW writes:

or replace the whole lot with 3 crew and invent the Canberra bomber (a B57 to US types)

1. We don't have jet engines. We have an ICE (Merlin) engined air force.

2. 1943 They don't have time to waltz around. The Lancaster is the bomber that carries the air war on its back. It fortunately is not as bad a design as the B-17 for what we want, so we can work with it.

3. The Canberra is properly a jet powered aluminum skinned Mosquito.

[next post]
 
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Belisarius1234       2/15/2013 2:12:45 PM

About crew moral and those popguns. If the Browning .303s were anything like the US model ANM-2's then those damned things gave off a muzzle flash you could see a mile away in the dark. You don't want to do that with a nacht jager wild boar looking for you in the dark over Bremen. A simple thing like a flash-hider never occurred to anyone?




OBNW writes:

The sop was not to fire unless fired at (and then not always). The corkscrew was the preferred defense (not sure if the Halifax or Stirling was capable of it. Reports say that B17 and B24 weren't despite usually being bomb free and being used as elint/jammer aircraft)

That sounds like what the USN called jinking, where you use random elevator and rudder inputs to pitch and yaw on your flight path to throw off a track solution. That's an aircraft AAA defense, useless against fighters. Under no circumstances would I fire unless I had a track solution. German fighters often rattled the lion by shooting their nose guns when they thought they were close and still could not see the bomber. Gunner panics and voila, Muzzle flashes and thirty seconds later Schrage Musik!

Congratulations, you just designed the B-47!                 
OBNW wrote.

Yes and would have needed to wait to the 50s for it lol

1945 actually. It FLEW in 1947! Hence the '47's famous double meaning.

The RAF high command does not come off too well, I'm afraid.

OBNW wrote:
They were making it as they went along, it was only a few years earlier that allowing aircrew parachutes became acceptable, its amazing what 20:10 hindsight can produce, the bottom line in Night bombers is which of the available options would you prefer to crew, one with a low chance of getting out or one in which there was a much higher chance of NEEDING too?

Given that the RAF  spent at least 100,000 pounds on the plane and another 100,000 pounds on the crew? They should want a plane where the experienced crew has a better chance than tyros to fly back through the use of clever tactics. And if the bomber is too shot up to land, then they want the crew the option to safely bail out over friendly territory. I KNOW intuitively  that more than 9800 English Lancaster, Halifax, and Stirling aircrew made it to ground via parachute after bailout. Yet the German Luftwaffe only records ~9800 POWs taken and well over 50,000 dead.

How many English aircrew were killed by German civilians after they hit German sod? Remember 1 in 3 American aircrew  was estimated as KILLED after hitting German soil via parachute. That is is some >11,500# men of the 26,000 DEAD.

# a third again of 24,000 prisoners is 12,000 men.

B.
 
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JFKY    Belsarius   2/15/2013 2:57:24 PM

All I can say is that the "cork Screw' was the preferred RAF Bomber counter-measure...it was NOT simply a Flak counter...
Cork screwing...a rapidly descending turn, pulling you off the "radar screen" of the Night Fighter "sensor" the Eye Ball Mk1....
 
Firing on the night fighter, UNLESS he was actually closing and firing was NOT considered a wise idea....the gunners were baskically 'sentries" reporting on the presence and location of night fighters.

 
 
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oldbutnotwise       2/15/2013 3:01:40 PM
What ejector seats? nice to have but not likely The Heinkel one with the mortar charge under it? What he can do, Avro can do.
  but not the RAF 20:20 hindsight again
d1. The poor rear gunner OBNW writes.
Actually the designated escape route for the rear gunner was to turn his turret to the stops open the turret door and drop out backwards, a simple effect escape route ruined by the need to climb back into the plane to get a parachute first
1. Suppose the turret jams? I don't want him trapped in it.
But if hes trapped in it he cant get to the internal escape hatch
 
2. Why can't his escape chute also double as his seat cushion? It's kind of stupid to not make a fundamental double duty design item, don't you think? If he's going to use a Heinkel seat (British version) don't you think he should sit on it? He's gonna need a seat cushion when that mortar goes off under him.
 
  have you seen a rear turret? I nearly sat in one in our local air museam but couldnt actual fit, the seat is a thin leather item over a lot of mecanical and hydrolic parts
 
or replace the whole lot with 3 crew and invent the Canberra bomber (a B57 to US types) 1. We don't have jet engines. We have an ICE (Merlin) engined air force.
 
it was a joke 2.
 
1943 They don't have time to waltz around. The Lancaster is the bomber that carries the air war on its back. It fortunately is not as bad a design as the B-17 for what we want, so we can work with it.
 
problem is also that there is a lot of call on the same experts, and a lot of civilians with contradicting ideas and objectives, for every one that correctly identified a problem there were 5 with differing thories, problem is you only hear of the ones that got it right and dont forget that the halifax was suffering heavy losses and needed concentrating on inproving (or actual production ceasing and turned to something better)
 
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oldbutnotwise       2/15/2013 3:28:30 PM
The corkscrew was the preferred defense (not sure if the Halifax or Stirling was capable of it. Reports say that B17 and B24 weren't despite usually being bomb free and being used as elint/jammer aircraft) That sounds like what the USN called jinking,
where you use random elevator and rudder inputs to pitch and yaw on your flight path to throw off a track solution. That's an aircraft AAA defense, useless against fighters.
 
think jinking on steroids
 
the dive could be in excess of 5000feet
 
 Under no circumstances would I fire unless I had a track solution. German fighters often rattled the lion by shooting their nose guns when they thought they were close and still could not see the bomber. Gunner panics and voila, Muzzle flashes and thirty seconds later Schrage Musik!
trigger happy gunners didnt last long in BC, either the failed to return or were quickly replaced and shipped to coastal command where they could do less damage
 
. The RAF high command does not come off too well, I'm afraid. OBNW wrote: They were making it as they went along, it was only a few years earlier that allowing aircrew parachutes became acceptable, its amazing what 20:10 hindsight can produce, the bottom line in Night bombers is which of the available options would you prefer to crew, one with a low chance of getting out or one in which there was a much higher chance of NEEDING too?
 
Given that the RAF spent at least 100,000 pounds on the plane and another 100,000 pounds on the crew? They should want a plane where the experienced crew has a better chance than tyros to fly back through the use of clever tactics.
tactics or superior bomber?
 
 And if the bomber is too shot up to land, then they want the crew the option to safely bail out over friendly territory.
most crew would only bail as a last resort as night time parachuting was dangerous even over frendly home soil, the lanc could fly on two engines on one side out and still maintain altitude, and even fly long distances on 1 engine , something beyond the halifax and stirling which were unflyable with two engines out on one side ( there are reports of a lanc flying to german fully loaded with an engine that failed on take off),
 
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Skylark    Best of the worst   2/15/2013 3:55:57 PM
In comparing heavy bombers in WWII, and attempting to determine the best, it probably would be more accurate to decide which is the best of the worst.  Performance standards for British and American designs used in the European theater were very close.  The B-17 is easily the most damage resistant, but it could not carry the massive bomb-load of the Lancaster, so their relative survivability is a wash, since the Lanc can do the same job with half the planes or missions using the same number of planes, thus putting the Lancaster at risk for (roughly) half the time.  Both were better than the Liberator, as far as survivability is concerned, (And the Lanc had vulnerable LC engines) but all marks did their job just fine.  None of the bombers of the day could survive in daylight without bomber escort by long range fighters, so the relative armament of a bomber, beyond rating the tail-gun, is like discussing which prey animal (The Springbok or the Gnu, for example) had the best horns when confronting a lion. General Curtis Lemay realized that sending a B-29 over Japan only required a tail gunner, and the savings in weight that could be dedicated to fuel and bombs (and maybe some more ammo for the lone tail-gunner) more than made up for the ability to shoot in every direction, and losses did not go up as a result of his epiphany that the concept of the flying battleship was a myth.  (Why he revised the myth, post-war, with the B-36 is anybody's guess...) Heavy, strategic bombers were, as a rule, designed, built and deployed under a number of wrong assumptions as to their effectiveness as weapons.  They did their job as bomb trucks, but they won, not because they were great, but because (When you compare the relative industrial capacity of Axis and Allied powers.) there was an endless supply of them to throw at the enemy.  To understand the heavy bomber is to understand the game Space Invaders from the point of view of the Invader.  Your job is not to defeat the enemy, but to wear that enemy down until he defeats himself.  (Game Over) As far as heavy bombers in the European theater is concerned, I can't really pick a clear winner, but if I had to pick an overall "best of the worst" in the heavy bomber category, I would have to give it to the B-29, because it was the pinnacle of wrong-headed bomber design in WWII.  It had the best range, best speed and the best war load.  It was also well ahead of its time in that the B-29's basic fuselage design (In the form of the TU-4, Bull) could be, modified and adapted to handle swept wings, turboprops and even jets when it was reborn as the Tu-95 Bear and the Tu-16 Badger.  Its effectiveness as a modern weapon may be nil, but the heart of the B-29 still flies today. 
 
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Belisarius1234       2/15/2013 4:47:16 PM
One of the reasons the woolie mammoth and the saber tooth tiger (and a lot of ducks) no longer exist is because between the ears of every Human alive is a COMPUTER that can handle ballistics as in predict lead problem solution solver instinctively instantly. Missile guidance experts wish they had something as good.
 
Here is a HINT, the Germans shot DOWN 4000 RAF night flying bombers (44% of the intruders over time aggregate.) That means something.
 
SL is right about space invaders. That game teaches that a lot of little guys all coming at you at once, something will get through. That is why I think a low level dash bomber might have been a different way to do it cheaper.
  
Who knows? It might have cost the same, or maybe less. was worth a try. Even if you could have only whittled the losses by 25% that is 12,000 men and lot of machines. Couldn't do worse than what happened.
 
B
 





All I can say is that the "cork Screw' was the preferred RAF Bomber counter-measure...it was NOT simply a Flak counter...

Cork screwing...a rapidly descending turn, pulling you off the "radar screen" of the Night Fighter "sensor" the Eye Ball Mk1....
 

Firing on the night fighter, UNLESS he was actually closing and firing was NOT considered a wise idea....the gunners were baskically 'sentries" reporting on the presence and location of night fighters.
 
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