By on September 19, 2013
2012 Mustang Mayhem, courtesy of Ford

2012 Mustang Mayhem, courtesy of Ford

 

TTAC’s own EIC pro tem was published in July pitting a V-6 Mustang Mayhem package against a Toyota FR-S and a used Porsche Boxster. I found myself discussing this with a car friendly, but non-gearhead boss. He asked if I knew the origin of the name. “Of course,” I replied, “It was named in a contest on Facebook.”

Well, as it turns out, there might be more to that story.

PJ O’Rourke wrote that Americans are “…the big boys, Jack, the original, giant, economy-sized, new and improved butt kickers of all time.” Sure, we have our issues, but when we get out of our own way, what we accomplish is amazing.

In 1945, the 8th Army Air Corps had a problem. The German Luftwaffe would not die and would come up and fight. So on April 16th, they took the fight to them. 900 fighters, including the mighty P-51 Mustang left the cold rock in the north Atlantic along with 1,200 bombers. The fighters strafed and destroyed over 750 aircraft in an event that became known as Mustang Mayhem. Among them was the 4th Fighter Group. The 4th would finish the war with over 1,000 aircraft destroyed.

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Today, the 4th FG flies the F-15E “Strike Eagle” from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina. An F-15 modified for a ground attack role, each F-15E carries more destructive capability than an entire squadron of B-17s in WWII.

Last year, the 4th Fighter Group remembered what Americans can do, and set about to show the world. The 4th set the ambitious goal of taxing every F-15E in their inventory, with a goal of putting 70 into the air and hitting over 1,000 simulated targets.

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As a nod to their heritage they called it Mustang Mayhem.

If North Carolina had chosen April 16th 2012 to secede from the union, they would have had one of the most powerful Air Forces in the world in terms of delivering raw devastation. Because that day, ninety-eight of the meanest machines to ever spin a turbine taxied onto the runway at Seymour Johnson.

 

Not Mustangs, but definitely mayhem

Not Mustangs, but definitely mayhem

Maybe someone on Facebook had some historical knowledge and the name caught on. I think it sounds pretty cool, others aren’t sure. It’s completely possible this is all a coincidence. Regardless, if you own one of these Mustangs, enjoy it. Because when we get out of own way, we can do amazing things.

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46 Comments on “Mustang Mayhem, The Rest of The Story...”


  • avatar
    eggsalad

    “If North Carolina had chosen April 16th 2012 to succeed from the union,”

    Secede, perhaps?

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Thank you for this informative piece .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    gmichaelj

    Thanks Christian, I didn’t know about this story (I love WWII stories). I’m sure the Ford people researched this and it probably factored into their decision.

  • avatar
    Detroit-Iron

    That is a neat story. It is amazing how small the payload of even a good-sized 4 engine plane like the Fortress or Liberator was.

    As far I know the F-15 has never been defeated in air-to-air combat.

    • 0 avatar
      stingray65

      Actually the payload of a B-24 or B-17 wasn’t bad, certainly better than anything the Germans or Japanese had. But because each plane carried 10-11 men and 13-15 50 caliber machine guns and ammo, there wasn’t much payload capacity left for bombs. This is illustrated by the P-38 fighter that could carry nearly the same bomb load as a B-17, in large part because its two more powerful Allison engines only carried the pilot and 5 guns. I’ve often wondered if it wouldn’t have been smarter to simply build a lot more P-38s and use them in place of the B-17 and B-24 squadrons. Certainly combat losses would have been smaller in both money, machines, and men, and bombing accuracy would not have been much less, and perhaps better with low level bombing runs.

      • 0 avatar
        aristurtle

        At the time the USAAF had this wishful-thinking thing going on with bomber self defense. They kept thinking that if they only put enough machine gun turrets on a bomber, it would be able to defend itself against interceptors without needing a fighter escort. They didn’t finally give up this idea until the mid-1960s.

        • 0 avatar

          Bear in mind that air power globally was shaped by Giulio Douhet and the belief that “the bomber will always get through”

          While the P-38 and Mosquito could carry impressive loads, they also didn’t have the range without the external tanks and certianly didn’t have the accuracy from high altitudes that the big boys had.

          The advent of air defense from more than artillery aimed at the sky has made that a thing of the past. Without a great deal of help, the bomber will not get through. Douhet never foresaw RADAR, much less SAMs and integrated air defense networks.

          But at the time, blacking the sky with the drone of heavy bombers, especially in Japan was more than destruction, it was psychological warfare.

        • 0 avatar
          Kenmore

          “They didn’t finally give up this idea until the mid-1960s”

          So, B-52s were bristling with nose, chin, dorsal, belly, waist and tail guns? For use against MiGs?

          I think the Army Air Force was pretty well disabused of Douhet’s notion after the Schweinfurt raids, if not sooner.

          • 0 avatar
            aristurtle

            Yes, even the B-52 had either quad-.50 or an M61 Vulcan turret on the tail (depending on revision); they were the last bomber so equipped.

            edit: on variants earlier than the B-52G, the tail gunner didn’t even get an ejection seat.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I seem to recall an obscure fact stating the B52 was equipped with additional gunners at least in its initial implementation.

            Wikipedia claims the following:

            During the Vietnam War, B-52D tail gunners were credited with shooting down two MiG-21 “Fishbeds”. On 18 December 1972, tail gunner Staff Sergeant Samuel O. Turner’s B-52 had just completed a bomb run for Operation Linebacker II and was turning away when a North Vietnamese Air Force MiG-21 approached.[176] The MiG and the B-52 locked onto one another. When the fighter drew within range, Turner fired his quad (four guns on one mounting) .50 caliber machine guns.[177] The MiG exploded aft of the bomber,[176] a victory confirmed by Master Sergeant Lewis E. Le Blance, the tail gunner in a nearby Stratofortress. Turner received a Silver Star for his actions.[178] His B-52, tail number 55-0676, is preserved on display with air-to-air kill markings at Fairchild AFB in Spokane, Washington.[176]

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_B-52_Stratofortress

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I can’t speak for the Japanese navy/air force aviation, but with the exception of the Wunderwaffe, the design and development of fielded German aircraft was all firmly rooted in the 1930s. The heaviest purpose designed bomber used by the Luftwaffe in combat was I believe the twin engined He-111.

        • 0 avatar

          I think you are correct. The Germans put a lot of effort into aircraft that were never fully developed, such as the Heinkel 177 four-engined bomber, and the jets were too little too late. The BF-109 remained the front-line fighter and was outclassed by the P-47 and P-51, and in Russia by the P-39 even. The Japanese were in a similar situation, using Zeros up to the end with a few higher-performance aircraft mixed in. A big problem was engine technology and if you can’t get more power you need to save weight elsewhere. Zeros were highly manouverable and against planes like P-40s or Buffaloes very effective. However, as the war progressed the Zero was no match for heavily-armoured and -armed Hellcats and Corsairs.

          • 0 avatar
            BMWnut

            Another thing holding the Germans and Japanese back in the horsepower race was the fact that they didn’t have 100 octane fuel. To make it worse, by the end they hardly had any fuel.

          • 0 avatar
            tjh8402

            @Sprocketboy and 28-cars-later – the Germans never pursued heavy bombers because they didn’t fit in the strategy for the Luftwaffe. The Germans developed the Luftwaffe to support their blitzkrieg strategy, therefore the air force was to support Army operations on the ground. There was no place in such a strategy for a large heavy bomber or a long range escort fighter, hence the Germans emphasis on light and medium bombers, some of which (the Ju 88) were quite fast, and the lack of range from their fighters.

            The FW-190 was a top notch airplane, and the later variants of the Me-109 (such as the K model) could give a P-51 a run for its money performance wise. A key problem the Germans suffered was a lack of new skilled pilots. Unlike the Americans who sent their aces home to train new pilots, the Luftwaffe kept their best pilots on the front lines until they were wounded or killed, depriving new recruits of the opportunity to learn from their expertise.

            I think the Japanese also suffered from this lack of experience being passed down because of the lack of value they placed on protecting their pilots. I’d be curious to see a comparison of the number of Japanese aces KIA vs American. I have to imagine that the American philosophy of designing an airplane with the pilots survival as the first priority helped us out in this regard.

            Also, let’s remember that we never truly developed an airplane that could match a Zero at it’s best. A Hellcat, Corsair, Lighting, Thunderbolt, or Mustang could still be out turned by a Zero in a slow speed dogfight. American pilots had to take advantage of their bigger engines and keep their speeds up.

            Let’s remember that the P-51 was something of a happy accident. As originally designed, the A-36/P-51A was not the stuff of legends, with not a substantial performance advantage over the P-40. It was not until the Mustang was given an engine that could exploit the potential of its slick airframe that the legend was born.

          • 0 avatar
            tjh8402

            @sproketboy and 28 cars later I should add that the problem the Zero had was not it’s lack of top speed, but the degradation in it’s maneuverability at speed. No Zero pilot would ever want to dogfight anywhere close to the plane’s top speed, as it became difficult to handle at any speeds above 250 mph (a reason that an early favorite tactic of P-40 pilots was hit and run).

            Note that the American plane that shot down the most opponents and created the most aces, the F6F Hellcat, was also the slowest among the second generation ww2 fighters (Hellcat, Corsair, Thunderbolt, Lightning, Mustang).

            The aforementioned aviation museum that hosts “mustangs & mustangs” also owns a Zero, Wildcat, Hellcat, and Corsair (among others), and it’s fascinating to see how much more massive and substantial the American planes, especially the Hellcat and Corsair are, than the Zero.

      • 0 avatar
        jpolicke

        I’ve often thought the same thing. The B-24 could carry 5000 lbs of bombs 800 miles, while the Mosquito could carry 4000 for 750. With a top speed 125mph higher than the Liberator. Never made sense to me.

        • 0 avatar
          azmtbkr81

          If I’m not mistaken the B-24 could carry nearly double that for short range missions. It also had a much larger bomb bay allowing for a higher quantity of smaller bombs to be carried which was useful for bombing large areas like a city.

      • 0 avatar
        jim brewer

        Supposedly a true story.

        When the B-29s came back from an air raid in Japan, Curtiss LeMay would be driven by a sergeant up to the line of landed planes. He would address the commander of the squadron of returned bombers and ask about the level of fighter resistance by the Japanese. If the squadron commander made the mistake of answering “light” LeMay would turn to his driver and say: “Sergeant, remove a machine gun from each of these planes and add another bomb.”

      • 0 avatar
        ect

        The B-17 and B-24 were designed as long-range maritime patrol bombers which meant they sacrificed payload for range. Normal bomb payload was about 4,000 lbs, very low for a heavy bomber.

        The RAF heavies, Lancaster and Halifax, each normally carried 14,000 lbs of bombs, with a crew of 7. They didn’t have the range or defensive firepower of the USD bombers, but both RAF and USAAF experience in Europe showed that heavy bombers could not defend themselves against fighters, so they either had to be used at night or with continuous fighter escort.

        Interstingly, the DeHavilland Mosquito also carried a 4,000 lb bomb load, but with a crew of only 2 and both cruising and top speeds more than 100 mph faster than the B-17 and B-24. And could deliver their load with greater accuracy.

  • avatar
    afflo

    Cool story! And nice to see Mayhem (deliberate mutilation of to prevent another’s self-defense) used correctly!

  • avatar
    bill mcgee

    Interesting story .Always keep in mind tho the notorious exaggeration of enemy losses the USAAF was prone to during WWll . Many historians claimed that actual German combat losses were , on average , at best only one / fifth of the losses claimed on a typical raid . One problem was that with so many guns and gunners on a B-17 firing simultaneously it was difficult to determine who had actually hit anything . Estimated losses of planes destroyed on the ground by strafing were exaggerated by every air force during WWll due to all combatant nations lining up dummy planes on airfields and the inability to determine how many planes were patched up later and flew again . As for the bombers success in hitting their targets , a friend’s father who was a B-17 navigator who was shot down over Regensberg , told me that even tho the USAAF knew that only about 5 % of the bombs dropped came within a five mile radius of their target that the military deliberately kept that hidden , thinking it would be bad for civilian morale . Supposedly the German and British estimates of enemy planes destroyed was way more accurate . Allegedly the Russian estimates were even more exaggerated than ours , again to try to pump up morale .I remember reading some German book about the Eastern front that said that the number of German tanks the Russians estimated were destroyed in one battle exceeded the number of Axis tanks on the entire Eastern front .

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I really find that 5% figure interesting and I’ve never heard it before and yes Soviet figures during the war for the most part are not to be believed.

    • 0 avatar
      ect

      All countries exaggerwated the numbers of aircraft they claimed to have shot down, which starts with over-positive pilot reports.

      RAF Bomber Comand started out to conduct strategic precision bombing of indutrial targets. In late 1941, ta study of results achieved that year showed that a bomb dropped from 15,000 feet would land somewhere within a 5 square mile area – meaning precision bombing was waste of aircraft and crews.

      The repsonse was a shift to bombing urban areas, which couldn’t be missed, at night – on the theory that if the enemy population was “dehoused” and couldn’t get to work, war production could be crippled. The philosophy was summarized as “if the RAF can’t hit what it bombs, then it must bomb what it can hit”.

      The USAAF initially refused to learn from the RAF experience and insisted that they could be successful with daytime precision bombing. At the cost of thousands of lives and airplanes, they learned the hard way what the RAF had already learned.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Christian – I think it’s worth noting the reason the Luftwaffe generally speaking was unable to fly was both fuel in short supply but more prevalent, was the fact they had gambled their remaining trained/experienced pilots away in Operation Bodenplatte on Jan 1 of that year.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Bodenplatte

  • avatar
    Loser

    Shady J, that was my favorite stateside base even with the lousy engines we had to work on.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    Thanks for the story, and the last pic. It sucked at the time, but sometimes I miss hearing a jet land on the roof.

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    awesome story. There’s a warbird museum near me called Fantasy of Flight that puts on an event every year called “Mustangs & Mustangs”. It’s a fly in for P-51s and a car show for anything Ford powered (and I mean anything…one year a guy showed up with a Mercedes 190E Cosworth). Always good to see the connection between these two American icons celebrated. Also nice to see the shout out to the F-15. That is the plane that actually got me into aviation (it was the first toy airplane I remember receiving as a child). I still think it’s just about the most badass fighter in the world…as another poster mentioned, the only one undefeated in aerial combat. Have always enjoyed seeing it perform at air shows. I dunno that I’ll ever get a chance to see that again, but I hope so.

    • 0 avatar
      Featherston

      I’m envisioning an offshoot “190′s & 190′s” event with Baby Benzes and Focke-Wulfs.

      • 0 avatar
        tjh8402

        @ Featherston – Haha. the Mustangs & Mustangs event gets some support from Ford, or at least their dealers. Somehow, I don’t see Mercedes being too keen on being reconnected to anything Nazi related. Unfortunately, I doubt there’s enough airworthy FW-190s to support such a celebration of political incorrectness.

    • 0 avatar
      CRConrad

      Ah, the good old 190 E 23-16 of 1983… Developed over fifteen years before Vickers sold Cosworth to Ford in 1998. Later enlarged to 2.5 liters, still ten years before the sale. What did it have to do with the Mustang, again?

  • avatar
    Flybrian

    Please stop posting these articles during work hours. I keep finding myself with eight tabs open going on a mad Google/Wiki/YouTube quest for anything vaguely related to this subject. Damnit!

  • avatar
    Scribe39

    Hey, Flybrian, join the crowd. The big difference is, I’m retired and can do this all the time. Hee Hee Hee….

  • avatar
    RHD

    Great story.
    My first (and admittedly smart-assed) reaction was that the Mustang is a relatively safe car, and the Mayhem nickname would be more appropriately affixed to the vehicle most likely to cause a loss of body parts in the event of a collision… the VW Microbus, of course, would be the most deserving of this designation.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    What a cool and unexpected story.

    I’d been avoiding it ’cause I thought it was just about racing. That’ll teach me to not click past the break.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    The P-51 was a fine aircraft. It’s design was initially at the request of the British.

    I apparently was designed in 90 days, quite an achievement. The engines are based on Rolls Royce Merlin.

    Australia straight after WWII designed a fighter using the P-51 as a basis, but soon dropped the program because jets were at the forefront of technology. The Australian aircraft became the quickest piston powered aircraft of it’s time, a pity jets came along, but technology is always improving.

    A Swiss company still manufactures an aircraft using the design philosophies of the Messerschmitt bf109E, the Mustangs chief rival of the time, it’s called a Pilatus PC-9. We have them in our airforce as a trainer. They run a PT-6 turbo shaft engine, a good engine from our Canadian friends. The PC-9 has been compared to the Mustang in flying qualities.

    The Israeli’s have modification ‘kits’ that will convert a PC-9 into a combat aircraft, but the Swiss being ‘peaceful’ (even though they have F/A-18s) will void the ‘warranty and provide no support is the Israeli mod is carried out.

    The evolution of aircraft is as interesting as motor vehicles.

    http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-PC-9-Report.html

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CAC_CA-15

    • 0 avatar
      tjh8402

      @ Big Al from OZ: How is the PC-9 based on the Me-109? The wings are different, the vertical and horizontal stabilizers are different, the gear arrangement is different, the elevators are different, the rudder is different…I see the link to the PC-3 but not to the Messershmitt.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    @tjh8402
    Through lineage from the PC-3. Evolution. All engineering evolves, even from the simplest Holley carby. Go back and read how the PC-3 design is influenced by the 109. Have a look at how the PC-7 uses many of the attributes from the PC-3. Where does the PC-9 come from?

    It’s really odd that the PC-9 ended up looking more like a P-51 than a 109. How much of the 109 was used in the design of the P-51?

    Focke-Wulfe I think made some beautiful aircraft as well. Some of this would have been used in the P-51.

    I would find it very difficult to think that the P-51 is a complete original, especially since it was designed in 90 days or so I’ve read.

    Just like the old Datsun 1600 engine from the sixties can be linked to some aspect of the Godzilla engine.

    If you want I’ll describe the linkage in that one too.

    Nothing is as it appears. Most things evolve and is cyclic.

    • 0 avatar
      tjh8402

      @ Big Al from Oz – I googled it and although I found references to the BF-109 being an inspiration for the P-3, I couldn’t find any specifics on exactly how it influenced it, or what parts and engineering carried over. I’d love to read up on it if you have links.

      The P-51 does look similar to the Me-109, but then again, so did the Spitfire, Hurricane, the Ki-61 Tony, and to a lesser degree, the P-40. Only so many different ways you can design and set up a razorback low wing single engine monoplane fighter with a liquid cooled engine.

      That being said, the P-51 design actually predates American involvement in WW2, with the first flight in Oct 1940, so I don’t see the BF109, much less the FW190 being much of an influence. Also if you read up on the history of the Mustang, it basically is an original. It was the first plane to intentionally designed to have a laminar flow wing (the idea came from NACA, NASA’s predecessor). The allies were initially worried about the Germans getting their hands on a Mustang and duplicating the wing design. Also, the location of the radiator is distinctly different than other liquid cooled engines. The only plane that is generally discussed as an inspiration for the Mustang is the still born Curtis XP-46 (they share the same unique radiator location), although the relationship between the two is much debated.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @tjh8402
        The 109 was actually designed well before the P-51.

        The German’s ‘trialed’ the 109 it in the Spanish Civil War.

        The German’s actually benefited the Spanish Civil War, the experiences gained they used later on in WWII.

        The P-40 does have some similarities, but I don’t think the British, Supermarine style aircraft had much influence other than giving their RR engine technology to Allison.

        Actually Ford gave Rolls Royce the technology to mass produce their V12 engines. Rolls Royce went to Ford for assistance.

        There is a great book I read by the former head of Rolls Royce. I can’t remember his name. But he started out at the bottom, they employed him as an engineer even though he was a mathematican.

        The story starts out with his involvement with the Merlin and goes on until his retirement in the 80s(?). Inspirational great read, I read it years ago.

        • 0 avatar
          tjh8402

          @ Big Al from Oz – the Spitfire, Hurricane, and P-40 were all pre-war designs, and again, all shared a similar basic profile with the Mustang, as did the BF-109, being low wing, liquid cooled powered, razorback monoplanes. I fail to see how the 109 would have been more of an influence on the Mustang than the Spitfire.

          First, the US had far more information about their allied design than the axis one. Also, the Spitfire and the BF 109 have several traits in common that are not shared with the Mustang – landing gear design, radiator location, and design goals (both were short range fighters). The Mustang is rather unique for its squared of surfaces (Grumman’s Navy planes being the other to feature it). The Spitfire and Mustang shared a similar, all in the wings, gun arrangement of machine guns (also different from the 109). Aside from the general layout of the plane that is shared with the other aforementioned fighters, I can’t think of any BF109 specific traits that were carried over to the Mustang.

          Look up the NA-73x, which was the prototype Mustang. No real mentions of the BF-109. The design inspiration that comes up the most is the XP-46 from Curtiss, but in general, the Mustang is considered a revolutionary step in fighter design.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @tjh8402
            I’m being narky here, but I have never stated that the P-51 was based on the 109.

            I will reword what I had intended my comment to read, “the PC-9 can trace it’s evolution” to the 109, heritage and some design.

            If you look at the PC-9 it looks very similar to a P-51. So how much influence did the 109 contribute to the P-51.

            One thing I will state is from an engineering perspective the Spitfire/Hurricane are very dissimilar to the P-51. They are very different aircraft.

            The Spitfire/Hurricane designs use alot of timber in the airframes.

            The P-51 was of much more modern construction as the 109.

            Gun and radiator placement is a very superficial aspect of engineering and design. There are only a couple of places in which those components can be fitted on an airframe to achieve their form, fit and function (work).

            My comment relating to the design of the P-51 is that the aircraft was designed within 90 days and supposedly flown.

            Much of the design work was either done or copied to achieve that goal. I would have to say much of the engineering was copied. I do know the British did have input as well.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @tjh8402
          Here is a cut and paste with the link to the article. It appears Fokker and Messerschmitt does have link, much bigger than I even thought.

          ……………………………………

          “Dutch” Kendelberger, the president of North American offered to build an entirely new advanced fighter using the same Allison V-1710-39 engine used on the P-40. It was said that “Dutch” got his inspiration for the P-51 after a 1938 tour of aircraft industries in Great Britain and Germany.1 North American’s only previous fighter experience was with the NA-50A, but Dutch collaborated with J.L. “Lee” Atwood2 to formulate an outline for the project. The British agreed on the new type, NA-73X, only on the stipulation that a prototype be on hand within 120 days. North American designers Raymond Rice and Edgar Schmued, the latter had worked for Fokker and Messerschmitt in 1925,3

          http://www.aviation-history.com/north-american/p51.html

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    @ Bil Al from Oz – I won’t have time to read the article you linked till later, but while you are correct that the Hurricane was wood and fabric, the Spitfire was an all metal stressed skin monocoque, the same as a 109, P-51, P-40, etc. I did find an article which identifies the 109 as the first airplane of that type of construction to enter active service, so in that regard, it was the forefunner for the design that would continue with all modern fighters in WW2, not just the Mustang. The Seversky P-35 was the first American fighter to use this construction system.

    The radiator design is actually an important distinguishing point. Many articles on the P-51 have noted the unique placement of the radiator, and the contribution that location and design made to both how slippery the airframe was, as well as the fact that it’s design actually provided the P-51 with a degree of jet thrust, which helped the airplanes performance. Several articles mention that North American noted the negative affect the underwing mounting of the radiator had on both the Spitfire and 109, so if there’ was any influence, it was learning from the mistakes of the past (the P-51′s wide track, inward retracting, fully enclosed landing gear vs the narrow track, outward closing, still exposed landing gear of the Spitfire and 109 is another example of that sort that is mentioned frequently). I would also say that gun placement is not a superficial design point. You must engineer the airplane withs specific gun placement in mind, as that will affect a variety of other design elements. Heavy cannons and all guns in the nose surely requires a different/strong structure for the nose of the airplane vs one that has no guns, or only machine guns in it. Similarly, the weight of 3-8 machine guns and their recoil is something that a wing must be designed to withstand. The wing must also make room then for ammunition storage, which affects fuel tank design as well.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    The positioning of the radiator under the belly of the P-51 was designed to give extra ‘thrust’ as you stated. You are correct about the Spitfire, but it still has a differing style of airframe. I think you’ll find the German and American airframes were actually more similar than the relationship to that of the British. Wellington designed a fantastic fuselage for a bomber.

    A radiator being a heat exchanger expanded the cooling airflow (gas) through convection and conduction. The gas expanded and increased in volume and exited through the exhaust duct at the rear of the heat exchanger assembly, thus providing additional thrust.

    Gun placement is very delicate, a gun can cause yawing, roll, etc if the gun is placed incorrectly.

    The US owes the Third Reich, much of the aerospace tech/concepts/engineering that was used after the war came from the Germans. The Germans explored variable geometry wing, sweep wings, area rule, etc. This doesn’t even include the rocketry.

    The British like to claim the first jet engine (which is true), but it was a centrifugal flow engine. The Germans were manufacturing axial flow engines, modern in design and still used today.

    I have actually worked on historical fighters/aircraft and I do work on McDonnell Douglas (Boeing now)fighter aircraft for a living.

    The oldest engine I’ve worked on is a Gypsy Major. I’ve worked on Meteor’s as well, as our Winjeel with the radial Pratt and Whitney.

    But my main line of work is fast jet.

    I do think the US has the best and most advanced aerospace technology globally. It’s a pity Detroit can’t operate as well. But the US aerospace industry plays on a more level playing field with other countries. More competitive.

    But, when it comes down to design, yourself and many would be quite surprised at how certain developments were created.

    Look at the modern day motor vehicle, the technology they use is adapted from the Apollo spacecraft. The downloading of codes for maintenance that is used in cars started out with the Apollo program and the first aircraft to adapt that technology was a McDonnell Douglas F/A 18 in the 70s, then prestige vehicles started adapting computers in the 80s.

    If you look at the global avaition industry I think you’ll see roughly how the automotive industry will end up. Very rationalised with much more government control and regulation. That’s a pity, progress will regress.


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