Targets, of course, are something that it's okay to shoot at. Shooting at something that is not a target is not okay and great effort should be taken to avoid doing. So, to put this into fighter pilot english, targets are airplanes flown by the "bad guys". (Yes, I'm not only a fighter pilot, liking things in black and white, I'm also an IT guy, liking things in 0's and 1's. In my little corner of the universe, airplanes are flown by "good guys" or "bad guys". YMMV.)
In any case....
Today's subject will be "Targets", which interestingly, there were several examples of in the Air Force Museum.
For instance, in WWI, this would be a good example of a target. If you were looking out the front of your aircraft and saw this whilst in a diving left turn, and with your machine guns already firing, this would indeed be a target.
|Thomas-Morse S4C Scout|
|Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero|
In other parts of the Pacific Theater, the Japanese flew these targets.
|N1K2 Shiden Kai|
On the other side of the world, the Italians flew some targets themselves.
|MC.200 Saetta |
Even aircraft in a museum need maintenance
Lest your fighter pilot self be lulled into a sense of complacency, this fighter was flown by the Italians throughout the war. Another tidbit of "I didn't know" trivia, the aircraft was used by the Italians against the Soviets and achieved a kill ratio of 88-15.
On the German side, there were three targets I hadn't seen before (I've already seen an ME-109). First, was this one.
A cool looking aircraft, I hadn't paid much attention to how far back the pilot sat. Much like the F-4U Corsair, the pilot actually sat at the trailing edge of the wing. A dangerous aircraft when flown by a capable pilot, it caused much damage to the Allies attacking bomber forces. However, as the experienced Luftwaffe pilots were attrited (i.e. shot down and killed), they became less effective. This phenomenon was the basis of the USAF Doctrine emphasizing gaining and maintaining Air Supremacy.
|Know far too many of these|
But arriving here, in a training fight, sure is fun!!!