The Aviation Enthusiasts Thread

They do! Been there! My favourite military aviation museum is the one at Hill Airforce base in Ogden Utah. They have every military airplane used in history on display there, including a SR-71 blackbird and a B52. Truly impressive!

The Hustler was a hell of an aircraft, one of the shortest concept to production modern bombers in history.

It also was doomed from the start to a very short service life but it filled a critical role that had to be filled quickly while work continued on The B-52 and planes like the F-111.

I have an odd favorite, the P-40. It was already essentially obsolete before coming into service but inspite of that fact they performed exceptionally well in every theater of the war.

It always troubled me that they didn’t simply put a better engine in it like the supercharged Merlin as an upgrade. If they had it would have been one of the best performing fighters of the war.

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They had the highest casualty rate of all units for the duration of the war.

On some missions they took in excess of 20% casualties.

WOW! I forgot about the B-58.Saw one at the museum located in Dayton, Ohio. Great bird to admire!

I always loved the “Flying Tigers AVG” Boyingtom started out in those beauts! You are right they were underpowered, but they could take a beating!

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If they’d just supercharged the engine it would have greatly improved the climb rate to put it on par with better performing fighters and would have given them another 50mph or more for maximum cruising speed.

They proved to be way under gunned initially but when they replaced the wing mounted 30’s with .50’s it gave them a total of 2 fifties in the nose and four in the wings which produced punishing firepower.

Oddly it was the under performance of the P40 which resulted in Boyington developing the hit and run, dive attack tactics which proved to be critical throughout the war even with more modern aircraft allowing them to absolutely dominate the Zero’s which were very light and agile.

The zero being so light and agile had no armor so they were essentially flying flaming coffins when struck.

The P40 went on to become known as one of the toughest multi role fighters of the war and an almost unbeatable ground support aircraft for direct support of ground troops.

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Love this one though!

Another cool plane is the Mitchell B-25

This was pretty interesting to watch!

Messerschmitt Me 262 “Schwalbe” - First Flight Over Berlin after 61 Years at the ILA Berlin Airshow 2006. Flown by EADS Chief Test Pilot Wolfgang Schirdewahn.

Can you imagine had the Germans succeeded at mass production of these planes? But their supply chains were already in tatters by the time these planes were finally introduced. I guess what I really meant was mass production a few years earlier, essentially the Germans were too late with these planes.

You do realize the B17 was probably the most overrated bomber of the war don’t you?

Compare it’s range and bombload to the B-24 and B-25. These two actually carried the brunt of the fight and the B-24 was produced in much greater numbers and proved more survivable.

Billing the B17 as the “Flying Fortress” and claiming it could carry out the long range bombing missions needed to defeat Germany Without Fighter escorts led to countless thousands of needless deaths among the pilots and crew.

The decision to keep throwing them into the fight without escorts knowing they’d be shot to pieces was one of the most controversial decisions of the war.

If they had gotten that plane into full production six months or a year earlier it would have very likely changed the outcome of the war considerably.

At a minimum it would have drawn the war out much longer and with much greater casualties.

It’s noteworthy that the first 262’s to be shot down were brought down by the Red Tails in their P-51’s.

A big hat’s off to the Tuskegee Airmen.

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Yes I do, but it is still one of my favorites. I had two uncles who flew in the war that were stationed in Molesworth with the Hell Angels 303rd

Poor bastards!

The Mitchell was probably by far the best medium bomber of the war and carried a hell of a load particularly in Africa and The Pacific.

We had a couple of B17 pilots in my tiny little town of 900 when I was growing up. Brave men for sure.

One of my Uncles was shot down over Germany, and he evaded capture with a broken collar bone, to which took him a year to get out of Germany by way of Finland before coming back home.

That would have been a hell of a story. Not many managed escape without capture.

He did along with two others who were the only survivors of a crew of 10

Damn. Did they ever put the story in print? That would be a real piece of family history to hang onto if nothing else.

No the story is not in print, however I have the rights to it and I am working on something for a later release, just not sure when, as some more research is needed. Funny when my Uncle first told me this story we were discussing the topic of “reincarnation” and why he believed in such a concept. He told me of a time on that same journey how he and his buddies were in-between advancing armies of Russians and Germans in a vast field. One of his friends was named “Bailey” the other was Harrison" and that it was Bailey as he described him to which he started babbling incoherently a foreign language of some sort and showed him and Harrison the way out. My uncle said he believed that he was in that field in a previous life, which always to this day sort of stuck with me as being both odd and very interesting at the same time.

Get down all the details you can and see if you can locate any living survivors to get as much firsthand info you can.

If they are all gone contact the families and see if any of them have any notes or a story.

You can’t imagine what that would mean to future generations.

We started writing down the family history stories about thirty years ago, some of them are pretty wild. We’ve also done a lot of research to confirm as many details as we could from as many first person interviews as possible as well as news accounts etc.

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