Tuesday, May 19, 2020

The Hawks

Curtiss P-6E Hawk at the National Museum of the United States Air Force
(Read Me)

I like the idea of an aircraft manufacturer using a set of similar names to denote the various aircraft they supply to their customers. The Grumman Cats spring to mind almost immediately. Whilst wandering hither and yon throughout the vast reaches of the Web of World-Wideness (which is what "www" stands for, right?), I happened upon something I had never seen before. That is, this bird:

(Source)

That my friends, is a Curtiss YP-37, of which only 13 were ever made (there was one other airframe like it but with a different engine, that was the XP-37). That bird was in the second half of a video in this post, which frankly I ignored but shouldn't have. Fortunately an alert reader brought it to my attention. (Old Sarge must have been nodding off at the helm that day...)

Now that post was about some of the products of Bell Aircraft (later Bell Helicopter Textron) and really featured the Bell Airacuda, which was the main topic of the last video in that post. Seeing that bird in the photo above, which was a development of the Curtiss P-36 Hawk, led me to notice that a lot of Curtiss aircraft had the word "Hawk" included in the name. Though a bunch of their early aircraft were all called "Hawk." Just "Hawk." Later birds had variations on that theme.

Just for completeness sake, there was also the XP-42, which kind of looked like the YP-37 (though the cockpit isn't as far aft), but was actually an offshoot of the P-36. While it seems to have an inline engine, it actually had a radial engine. No, the design didn't pan out, which is probably why you've never heard of it.

Curtiss XP-42
(Source)

Where am I going with this? Oh yes, the whole "Hawk" thing...

One of the Sarge's favorite warbirds is the P-40 Warhawk/Tomahawk/Kittyhawk. We called all of the versions of the aircraft Warhawk, the Brits called two models the Tomahawk (the P-40B and P-40C versions), and all of the versions P-40D and later they called the Kittyhawk. Warhawk I get, a hawk which goes to war, the British names, while cool, aren't really named after the bird. Hawk that is.

Curtiss P-40E Warhawk of the National Museum of the USAF

No doubt our British cousins would have called the bird in the picture a "Kittyhawk."

Anyhoo, the whole hawk name thing...

The opening photo is a Curtiss P-6E Hawk, here are some of the other early all named Hawk fighters (well, almost all...) produced by Curtiss -


Curtiss P-1B Hawk
Curtiss P-2 Hawk
(Now with turbo-supercharger¹!)
Curtiss P-3 Hawk (no engine cowling)
Curtiss P-5 Superhawk
(Okay, it's not just "Hawk." My bad.)

They all have a certain resemblance don't they?

The P-40 saw extensive service in WWII, as did another Curtiss aircraft, the P-36 Hawk.

Curtiss P-36C Hawk
(Source)

Seems like everyone except the United States used that bird in WWII:
The Curtiss P-36 Hawk, also known as the Curtiss Hawk Model 75, is an American-designed and built fighter aircraft of the 1930s and 40s. A contemporary of both the Hawker Hurricane and Messerschmitt Bf 109, it was one of the first of a new generation of combat aircraft—a sleek monoplane design making extensive use of metal in its construction and powered by a powerful radial engine.
the predecessor of the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, the P-36 saw little combat with the United States Army Air Forces during World War II. It was nevertheless the fighter used most extensively and successfully by the French Armee de l'air during the Battle of France. The P-36 was also ordered by the governments of the Netherlands and Norway, but did not arrive in time to see action before both were occupied by Nazi Germany. The type was also manufactured under license in China, for the Republic of China Air Force, as well as in British India, for the Royal Air Force (RAF) and Royal Indian Air Force (RIAF).
Axis and co-belligerent air forces also made significant use of captured P-36s. Following the fall of France and Norway in 1940, several dozen P-36s were seized by Germany and transferred to Finland; these aircraft saw extensive action with the Ilmavoimat (Finnish Air Force) against the Soviet Air Forces. The P-36 was also used by Vichy French air forces in several minor conflicts; in one of these, the Franco-Thai War of 1940–41, P-36s were used by both sides.
From mid-1940, some P-36s en route for France and the Netherlands were diverted to Allied air forces in other parts of the world. The Hawks ordered by the Netherlands were diverted to the Dutch East Indies and later saw action against Japanese forces. French orders were taken up by British Commonwealth air forces, and saw combat with both the South African Air Force (SAAF) against Italian forces in East Africa, and with the RAF over Burma. Within the Commonwealth, the type was usually referred to as the Curtiss Mohawk. (Source)
Of course the Commonwealth called it the Mohawk. Stayed with the "hawk" theme, but again, not a bird.

Curtiss also built aircraft for the Navy, all with a hawk-based name, except for two aircraft, both named "Helldiver."

Curtiss F7c-1 Seahawk
Designed as a carrier fighter, never saw service on a carrier. Assigned to the Marines.
(Source)
Curtiss F9C-2 Sparrowhawk

So what's with the hook on the Sparrowhawk? Glad you asked...

Landing a Sparrowhawk on its "carrier."

Note the name on the aircraft in the photo above, USS Macon. The USS Macon was a dirigible which was designed to carry four Sparrowhawks internally and one "on the hook," seen above (but in reality could only carry two internally). That hook could be retracted into the dirigible so the pilot could get in and out. The idea was that the aircraft would extend the reconnaissance range of those big airships. But the Sparrowhawk's limited downward visibility made it "not so good" at that job. The aircraft in the photo preceding the latter photo was destroyed in the same accident which destroyed the USS Macon. (Which also destroyed the future of the airship in the Navy.)

Curtiss F11C Goshawk
Yet another 1930s era Navy biplane.

The Goshawk actually saw action in WWII, but not with the United States -
The only U.S. Navy units to operate the F11C-2 were the Navy's famous "High Hat Squadron", VF-1B, aboard the carrier Saratoga, and VB-6 briefly assigned to Enterprise. In March 1934, when the aircraft were redesignated BFC-2, the "High Hat Squadron" was renumbered VB-2B, and then VB-3B, and retained its BFC-2s until February 1938. VB-6 never actually embarked on Enterprise with the BFC bombers.
The F11C-2 Goshawk was produced in two export versions as the Hawk I and Hawk II fighters. Essentially a modified XF11C-2, the Hawk II was fitted with a Wright R-1820F-3 Cyclone rated at 710 hp at 5,499 ft and 356 liters of fuel while the Hawk I had 189 liters of internal fuel. Both versions carried the same armament as the production F11C-2. Only the Hawk II was exported in quantity with Turkey, the first customer taking delivery of 19 on August 30, 1932. Colombia placed an order at the end of October 1932, receiving an initial batch of four twin float-equipped Hawk IIs, the first of a total of 26 float fighters delivered by the end of July 1934. The Colombian Air Force used Hawk II and F11C-2 based in floats in the Colombia-Peru War in 1932-1933. Nine Hawk IIs were supplied to Bolivia, of which three had interchangeable wheel/float undercarriages; four were delivered to Chile, four to Cuba, two to Germany, one to Norway and 12 to Thailand as Hawk IIIs. The Chinese Nationalist Air Force received 52 F11Cs as Hawk IIs and fought against the Japanese during the Second Sino-Japanese War. It was the main battlefield of the F11C in World War 2.
Thai Hawk IIIs saw action during World War II, including against the Royal Air Force. On 8 April 1944, a Thai Hawk III was shot down by a No. 211 Squadron RAF Bristol Beaufighter over Lamphun, the pilot of the downed aircraft escaping by parachute. (Source)
Now what about those Helldivers I mentioned before. This is the less well known Helldiver, the SBC-3 -

The VS-3 CO's SBC-3, assigned to USS Saratoga (CV 3), circa 1939.

This aircraft was the last biplane bought by the Navy for its carrier squadrons. It was obsolete when first introduced into service in 1938. It remained in service until 1943. While they were around, the Navy kept them out of combat. They were eventually replaced by the Douglas SBD Dauntless. The remaining aircraft were used for training. Both the Navy and the Marine Corps used the aircraft.

The more famous Helldiver, the Son-of-a-Bitch 2nd Class, er, I mean the Curtiss SB2C Helldiver -

Of course Udvar-Hazy has one.
A Curtiss SB2C Helldiver in tricolor scheme and tail markings for Bombing Squadron 80 (VB-80), which operated off the aircraft carrier USS Hancock (CV-19), in February 1945. This aircraft is the SB2C-5, BuNo 83589. It is flying with the Commemorative Air Force, based in Graham, TX.

That last photo depicts only the only flying Helldiver in the world. She suffered some damage during landing a while back, but the CAF spent $200,000 getting her back in the air. Money well spent.

And of course every aircraft company has to have at least one weird or odd looking design in its portfolio -

Curtiss-Wright XF-87 Blackhawk

Intended as a replacement for the P-61 Black Widow (which was rather odd looking in some ways itself) -
The Curtiss-Wright XF-87 Blackhawk (previously designated the XP-87) was a prototype American all-weather jet fighter interceptor and the company's last aircraft project. Designed as a replacement for the World War II–era propeller-driven P-61 Black Widow night/interceptor aircraft, the XF-87 lost in government procurement competition to the Northrop F-89 Scorpion. The loss of the contract was fatal to the company; the Curtiss-Wright Corporation closed down its aviation division, selling its assets to North American Aviation. (Source)
The Scorpion was an ugly aircraft, if there is such a thing. I guess you could say that the scorpion's sting killed Curtiss-Wright.

USAF Northrop F-89D-45-NO Scorpion interceptors of the 59th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, Goose Bay AB, Labrador (Canada), in the 1950s. 52-1959 in foreground, now in storage at Edwards AFB, California

An odd looking bird that, certainly no Hawk, that's for sure.


Sources:
  • Curtiss P-1 Hawk Link
  • Curtiss P-6 Hawk Link
  • Curtiss F7C Seahawk Link
  • Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk Link
  • Curtiss F11C Goshawk Link
  • Curtiss P-36 Hawk Link
  • Curtiss P-37 Link
  • Curtiss XP-42 Link
  • Curtiss P-40 Warhawk Link
  • Curtiss SBC Helldiver Link
  • Curtiss SB2C Helldiver Link
  • Curtiss-Wright XF-87 Blackhawk Link
  • Curtiss-Wright Link
  • Allison V-1710 Link
  • The P-37 (Joe Baugher) Link



¹ For years I paid no attention to what a supercharger was, but upon reading this: 
A supercharger is an air compressor that increases the pressure or density of air supplied to an internal combustion engine. This gives each intake cycle of the engine more oxygen, letting it burn more fuel and do more work, thus increasing power. Power for the supercharger can be provided mechanically by means of a belt, gear, shaft, or chain connected to the engine's crankshaft. Common usage restricts the term supercharger to mechanically driven units; when power is instead provided by a turbine powered by exhaust gas, a supercharger is known as a turbocharger or just a turbo - or in the past a turbo-supercharger. (Source)
it all became clear as a bell. Boosted engine performance at altitude!

54 comments:

  1. Boy, Sparrowhawk duty on a dirigible, part pilot and part acrobat.......no thank you. Scorpion(the plane) is aptly named, just as ugly as it's namesake. Interesting to read more of Curtiss planes other than the P-40 line, that Blackhawk is....uh......meh. The SB2C reminds me of Harold L. Buell's book, Dauntless Helldivers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like the look of the SB2C, she's rugged looking, brutal in a way, a real warbird.

      Delete
    2. lol Sarge! Those have always been my sentiments exactly. Was one of my fave Revell models--sat on shelf just over my seat at my bed-room desk along w. several others. (Had built-in dark green formica-topped desk w. two shelves above running length of wall w. 2- shelves of storage storage bins underneath w. my seating bench @one end.) HA! but vast maj of my models were perched over-head near ceiling just clearing light fixture in V-formation athwart 2 sets of parallel wires strung from oppo sides of room and meeting/merging on other side over-head my bed to complete V-formation. Loved to lay in bed and look up to see MY OWN personal air armada in flight! (PS: Only way I could figure out to display 'em all..)

      Delete
    3. Once upon I had a huge furball hanging from my bedroom ceiling with everything from Fokker Dr.Is, D.VIIs, Nieuports, Spads, Me-109s, Spitfires, Mustangs, Focke Wulfs. and the odd F-86 or two mixing it up overhead. Good times.

      Delete
  2. Speaking of Helldivers, there's a 1931 movie starring Wallace Beery and Clark Gable with the title "Hell Divers."
    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0022987/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_58
    Lots of Navy biplanes in the film and a fair amount of footage of the fleet.

    I didn't know how many aircraft had Hawk in their names.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know of this film! Pretty sure I've only seen clips of it. I might need to track that down just for the "Lots of Navy biplanes in the film and a fair amount of footage of the fleet."

      The Hawk thing surprised me as well.

      Delete
  3. That P-2 should have the nickname Shaggy.

    When you said "what's that hook?" I looked near the tail wheel and said, "It's a tail HOOK". Then I saw the hook in the next picture and went back. Sometimes, we see what we expect to see and nothing else.

    The P-38 turbos were on the top of the boom. That round looking coolness. 2 of the engines on the B-17 had them extended a bit, I think to make room for the "alighting" gear. Might as well get some Hail Britannia in here....

    Weird story time: R. G. LeTourneau wound up with a trove of Allison engines after the war. As I remember, they were supercharged. I always thought that meant the mechanical type, but now I'm not sure. Either way, he had those removed, and the engines were lugged up into the Andes to TournaVista. They used them for years to power generators. They lasted a long time.

    Wiki snippit: In 1953, LeTourneau began a development project in the country of Liberia, West Africa, with the diverse goals of colonization, land development, agricultural development, livestock introduction, evangelism and philanthropic activities.[15] In 1954, a colonization project with similar objectives to those in Liberia was established in the country of Peru, South America.[16] The project in Peru was called "Tournavista".

    Side note: When I graduated from LeT U, I specifically asked them to give me a LeTourneau College diploma since I'd spent the majority of my time there while it was a college. No dice. I thought LTC had a better ring to it that LeTU.

    Halcyon days....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Odd how a fellow from Vermont wound up all over the world and also founded a university in Texas. (College if you prefer...)

      Now I know what those turbochargers actually did, for years I just assumed I knew what they did. The things we learn when we're paying attention.

      And no, I didn't notice the TAIL hook on the Sparrowhawk. Mentally I was out of it yesterday, I hope that today I manage to be more awake than yesterday. Like noticing tail hooks and the like...

      Delete
  4. Thanks for bringing us ip to speed on the Hawk family and superchargers.
    I had some clue about them because they’re also known as “blowers”

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've heard them called blowers as well, so many things I just assumed I knew what it meant and in reality, I had no clue at all. So I guess if I'm still learning, I'm still breathing!

      A good thing I think.

      Delete
  5. Could be worse, you could be a sales rep for the outfit that made Hurricanes, forced to travel the world, hawking Hawker Hawks....

    ....

    Also “hawk” is a stupid word, barely seems like English if you look at it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are you kidding a bear? "Hawk" is so Anglo-Saxon it virtually screams "ENGLISH!" Contrary to what some say, English is a Germanic language, sure, we've borrowed words from Latin and French, but at heart English and German share a common heritage.

      Old English: hafoc, heafoc
      Dutch: havik
      German: Habicht

      Roaming the planet, hawking Hawker Hawks, good one.

      Delete
    2. All three of those are West Germanic languages. English took a fair amount of heritage (not least stripping off a lot of the case endings of words and creating things like prepositions to take their place in grammatical meaning) directly from North Germanic languages (i.e., Old Norse), and indirectly via Norman French (Normans being Norse men, men of the north), who adopted the local dialect of late vulgar Latin whilst adding a bit of their own native tongue). Watching Dutch and Scandinavian movies (subtitles, not dubbed, because dubbed just sucks rocks), my wife and I are often caught out by how often sentences (especially those shouted out under stress) come through loud and clear even in modern English. The simpler and more common the phrase (and the higher the stress level), the more likely to be commonly understood. German, too, but not so much as Dutch, and not even quite so much as Scandihoovian. Or at least to our ears. It does make me wonder what East Germanic (Gothic) sounded like. Apparently, there were dialects of Gothic still spoken in the Crimea into the 16th or 17th Centuries. Of course, in some southern Italian areas, dialects of Greek were still spoken into the modern era.

      Delete
    3. “Hawk” is the noise you make when you have something stuck in your throat.

      Delete
    4. a bear - What's more English than that? One word used for multiple things, plus a weird-ass spelling, that's practically the definition of English! (knight - Knecht, night - Nacht, might - Macht, etc., etc...)

      Delete
    5. Of course, in Norman-French, Miles (from Latin) is the title used for Knight, until Normano-French was Anglicized after the Conquest, like about 100 years or more after the Conquest. So... you could tell who was Normano-French-Anglic and who was Anglo-Saxon (those darned Germans again) by who was a miles and who was a knight, besides the outrageously hansom Norman looks and the insistence upon not using Anglo-Saxon as a working tongue and such.

      Delete
    6. Of course, you could also tell a Norman from a Saxon by their flamboyant behavior and outrageous accents. But you couldn't tell 'em much.

      😁

      Delete
    7. Beans, don't you mean ka-nig-ta? I watched Monty Python last night, and if you disagree, I shall taunt you at least a second time, Probably several times.

      Delete
    8. Did you bring a shrubbery?

      Delete
  6. Hey AFSarge;

    Very good blogpost, especiall some background on that ugly plane from the video;) Curtiss built some really good planes...and some dogs, you can see the family similarity from the SBC-3 and the Helldiver, like they almost used the same dies for the fuselage...almost... And as far as the P40, I always though the plane never really got the respect she was really due.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The P-40s role in the war is often overlooked. Two US aircraft got into the air on December 7th, both were p-40s. The AVG in China, flew P-40s. The British in North Africa used P-40s to great effect in wearing the Afrika Korps down. A good plane, not a great one, but a solid performer.

      Delete
    2. As a kid, the AVG and their P40s loomed pretty large in my imagination, and the whole shark-mouth thing is the definition of iconic. So I kind of always liked it.

      Delete
  7. For further aeronautical genealogical lineage, see Douglas Aircraft Company, with their "SKYxxxx" names for many of thier products. And, any of those were linked to Ed Heinemann, a guy with only a high school education.
    JB

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just took a peek at the list of aircraft from Douglas, I guess I never put 2 and 2 together, but there are some great aircraft from their stable. The Gooney Bird, the Spad, the Whale, "Heinemamn's Hotrod," and more! (Skytrain, Skyraider, Skywarrior, Skyhawk!)

      Wow! Ed Heinemann was a true genius.

      Thanks for pointing that out to me JB!

      Delete
  8. And that's just the Curtiss Hawks. Many others existed and exist.

    Like the BAE Systems Hawk, seemingly used by almost everyone.

    And the T-45 Goshawk, a US Navy carrier capable version of the regular Hawk, manufactured by McDonnell Douglass (now Boeing) and BAE.

    And the T-7 Red Hawk, the T-38 replacement (finally) for the USAF, made by.... Boeing and Saab. What a Saab story...

    And those are only two/three notable recent hawks.


    As to the whole Warhawk thingy, I am sure Curtiss' marketing department really loved the Brits renaming their aircraft. Oh well, at least they got paid.


    And the YP-37? There are some Soviet designs that look like that, too. The Yak-1 and Mig-1 comes to mind. Parallel evolution in fighter design produces similar aircraft, doesn't it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not to mention that designers in other countries - especially those in opposition to truth, justice, and the American way - have no qualms about stealing other people's designs.

      Delete
  9. You really need to visit the Air Force Museum at Wright Pat. It's almost Udvar-Hazy West.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Speaking of the Air Force Museum, my memory of our visit kept poking me and saying, "P-36 and Pearl Harbor."
      I finally looked it up at the museum's website and found my memory was right.
      "Dogfight Over Kaneohe
      Opposition to the Japanese attack was scattered and disorganized. Army personnel shot at Japanese aircraft with everything from antiaircraft guns to pistols. One of the few pilots who managed to engage enemy aircraft was 2nd Lt. Philip M. Rasmussen of the 46th Pursuit Squadron. He had just arisen when the attack began. Still wearing his pajamas, Rasmussen sped toward the flight line.

      At the flight line, all of the aircraft were destroyed or burning except for a few P-36 Hawks. Rasmussen jumped in one and taxied to a revetment at the edge of the airfield, where he joined three other pilots also preparing undamaged P-36 fighters. The pilots took off under fire, and were directed by radio toward Kaneohe Bay where they engaged 11 Japanese fighters in battle.

      After shooting down one Japanese aircraft, Rasmussen was attacked by two Japanese Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero fighters. Gunfire and 20mm cannon shells shattered the canopy, destroyed the radio and severed the P-36's hydraulic lines and rudder cable. Rasmussen sought refuge in nearby cloud cover and began flying back toward Wheeler Field. He landed the P-36 without brakes, rudder or tailwheel, and with more than 500 bullet holes.

      For his actions, Rasmussen received the Silver Star. He survived the war, shooting down a second Japanese aircraft in 1943. He retired from the Air Force in 1965."
      https://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/Visit/Museum-Exhibits/Fact-Sheets/Display/Article/195995/lt-phillip-rasmussen-and-his-p-36a/

      Delete
    2. Wow! I had no ideer! I always thought that we got a couple of P-40s into the air, but P-36s! I need to read up on that!

      Thanks John!

      Delete
    3. The USAF Museum is really outstanding - lots of historic aircraft, not just examples of a type but the really historic ones that were flown by famous pilots. Budget at least a full day, two would be better

      Delete
    4. Yeah, one of my first reaction to the article was: wasn't the P-36 amongst "first to fight"?
      They were mostly obsolete by 1942, and whatever units still were using them were left in the CONUS for training purposes.

      Delete
    5. That museum is on my bucket list. And my wife and I only had time to go through the main building at the Naval Aviation Museum at Pensacola (at my speed, she could've done both in 30 minutes), which is also a must-see.

      Delete
    6. Tom - That's what my sources tell me. At least a day!

      Delete
    7. Paweł - Yup, I didn't know that. I am continually amazed at how much I learn from the readers!

      Delete
    8. Larry - I spent much of an afternoon at the museum in Pensacola, and wished I could have spent a lot more time there! (Youngest daughter received her wings of gold there in the Atrium, a moment I will remember forever!)

      Delete
    9. juvat/

      Does Wright-Pat still have their North American F-107A on static display on own gears outside museum entrance?

      Delete
    10. Never saw that one! Do they juvat?

      Delete
    11. Sorry, late to the fight. No, it's not outside, it's been brought inside, spiffied up and looking sharp. Neat looking aircraft, although I'd be a bit timid about ejecting with the intake above and behind the cockpit. Unfortunately, the only picture I can find is the tail,here. We visited in 2016 and my hard drive crashed shortly there after. Hoist by my own petard, I was, my mantra to all as an IT guy was "You don't need a backup, until you need a backup, and then you need it bad"!

      So, Sarge, we need a return visit to Dayton, muy rapido por favor.

      Delete
    12. Indeed we do, I need to remember that post of yours, all sorts of flying weirdness therein, which is awesome!

      Delete
  10. Fagen Fighters in Southern Minnesota is currently restoring an SB2C to flying condition. Last time I visited (a couple of years ago) it seemed like the project was going along decently. http://www.fagenfighterswwiimuseum.org/aircraft/aircraft.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome!

      Also, that looks like a very nice museum. Perhaps it's time for a trip to visit old friends from my USAF days out in the Land of 10,000 Lakes!

      Delete
    2. On nice summer weekends, they'll often be out exercising one or two of the aircraft. Also, that museum's just an hour and a half or so north of Sioux Falls, feel free to drop down for a visit. First round's on me.

      Delete
  11. The whole "Hanging from a hook and launching" always seemed just like a really bad idea to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wouldn't give me a warm fuzzy, that's for sure!

      Delete
    2. And yet they tried it with the B-36 and the McDonnell XF-85 Goblin. Which did not work out as well.

      And they tried tethering F-84s to the wingtips of the B-36, launch separately. Meet up, tether the fighters to the bomber, release fighters when needed or before landing.

      Which ended with the introduction of the B-52 and ditching the B-36.

      Delete
    3. Anything to extend the range I guess. And protect the bomber.

      Delete
  12. Can't agree with your put-down of the looks of the F-89 Scorpion. It's always been one of my favorites, and the overall shape (especially the vertical stabilizer/rudder) is where the name came from.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It does look dangerous.

      Dangerous is good in a warbird.

      Delete
  13. I had a chance to pay for a ride in the tailgunner's seat in an SB2C Helldiver. I'd have parted with the $800 (IIRC) if the flight included an actual dive-bombing run, but I know those old birds can't be stressed like that anymore. :( And the ride in the gunner's seat in the Mi-24E Hind was just too much money, though I did get to sit in it on the ground. The missile guidance unit seemed poorly positioned off to the right, even compared with early AH-1 Cobra TOW guidance units. The Soviets seemed to often keep their designers well-insulated from the actual users...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure that I wouldn't have parted with the $800 anyway. Of course, it depends on the duration of ride and what else was done on the flight. My kids dropped $400 for a 30-minute ride in an SNJ-6 which included aerobatics! (Barrel roll, Immelmann, Split-S, aileron roll, loop, etc., it was exhilarating! And well worth the price, even if I had to pay for it and not the kids!)

      As to Russian designers being isolated from the users, well, in socialist Paradise the State knows best so what need is there to talk to the users? You know how that goes. In modern times in this country the users don't always have any input into systems design either, DAMHIK.

      Delete

Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)
Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

NOTE: Comments on posts over 5 days old go into moderation, automatically.