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John Prescott
19th Nov 2006, 21:05
On National geographic channel....

Now!!

Watch it!:D

barit1
19th Nov 2006, 22:17
F4F vs. A6M1 ? I saw this on PBS last week - Some remarkable archeological finds, and plausable reconstruction of the events in the air. :8

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!
19th Nov 2006, 22:19
Shouldn't it be on the Pet channel? :confused:

con-pilot
19th Nov 2006, 22:40
Yes, I watched it a couple of weeks ago, excellent show.

brickhistory
20th Nov 2006, 01:44
The Mrs., who thinks aircraft are only means of getting from point A to point B, where the drinks are served with umbrellas, tried to share some 'quality' time with me when I watched this show a week or so ago.

She, however, lost any respect for the show (and more so me, probably!) when the two guys were 'dogfighting' with the model A6M and the F4F in the hangar.....

Capt.KAOS
20th Nov 2006, 13:10
The Zero was a evolutionary dead end. Originally designed for the China theater and excellent at the start of the war, helped by being slightly underestimated, in the beginning.

It was eventually neutralised by better allied designs, especially the Corsair.

Japanese military said after the war: "we could build lots of existing planes.....or.....design new planes, but we didnt have the resources to do both".

Blacksheep
21st Nov 2006, 02:47
The A6M could out-turn anything except perhaps the Hurricane right to the end. Its major weakness was its lack of armour and not being heavily enough armed in the later years. An F4F Corsair only needed a couple of hits to knock one down, whereas a Zero might empty its magazines into a Corsair without much effect on anything vital.

Not that I'd want to be sitting in the Corsair at the time, mind...

con-pilot
21st Nov 2006, 03:17
Don't forget the unsung hero, the F-6 Hellcat. It was designed to beat the Zero.

StbdD
21st Nov 2006, 04:40
No reason to be shy about it Con.

The Hellcat was specifically designed, almost overnight, to defeat the zero.

An interesting average record is that in 19 of 20 encounters between hellcats and zeroes, the zeroes didn't make it home. While that's a USN/USMC figure it seems fair to inspire our allies with it as well.

Im sure the gents of
800
804
808
885
888
896
1839
1840
and 1844
Squadrons would agree.

Bravo Zulu the FAA

SLFguy
21st Nov 2006, 09:09
When we first moved to Honiara there were 70 folk of European decent, (if you know what I'm saying in a PC stylie). Now that's when you know you are in an ethnic minority!!

Polikarpov
21st Nov 2006, 09:29
When we first moved to Honiara there were 70 folk of European decent

When was that? If between about 1975 and 1978 then you probably knew my family :)

SLFguy
21st Nov 2006, 11:46
When was that? If between about 1975 and 1978 then you probably knew my family :)


Older than that I'm afraid...:uhoh:

Was 1961 and I was last there in 1978

Capt.KAOS
21st Nov 2006, 16:08
In Sept. 1942, Lieut. Commander Eddie Sanders, tested the famous “Koga Zero” recovered from Akutan Island in the Aleutians. He made the following comparisons:

"COMPARISON WITH F4F-4: The Zero is superior to the F4F-4 in speed and climb at all altitudes above 1000 feet, and is superior in service ceiling and range. Close to sea level, with the F4F-4 in neutral blower, the two planes are equal in level speed. In dive the two planes are equal with the exception that the Zero's engine cuts out in pushover. There is no comparison between the turning circles of the two airplanes due to the relative wing loadings and resultant low stalling speed of the Zero. In view of the foregoing, the F4F-4 type in combat with the Zero is basically dependent on mutual support, internal protection, and pull-outs or turns at high speeds where the minimum radius is limited by structural or physiological effects of acceleration (assuming that the allowable acceleration on the F4F is greater that that for the Zero). However advantage should be taken wherever possible, of the superiority of the F4F in pushovers and rolls at high speed, or any combination of the two.

"COMPARISON WITH THE F4U-1: The Zero is far inferior to the F4U-1 in level and diving speeds at all altitudes. It is inferior in climb at sea level. And inferior above 20000 feet. Between 5000 and 19000 feet the situation varies. With slightly more that normal fighter load, which may be distributed to give equal range and gun power, the Zero is slightly superior in average maximum rate of climb. This superiority becomes negligible at altitudes where carburetor air temperatures in the F4U are down to normal; close to the blower shift point it is more marked. However, the Zero cannot stay with the F4U in high speed climbs. The superiority of the F4U at 30000 feet is very marked and will persist at considerably higher loads. Attention is called to the fact that in the foregoing condition of loading all fuel in the F4U-1 is protected. In combat with the Zero, the F4U should take full advantage of its speed, and its ability to pushover and roll at high speed if surprised. Due to its much higher wing loading, the F4U should avoid any attempt to turn with the Zero unless at high speed, and may expect the latter to outclimb him at moderate altitudes and low airspeeds. In this case the F4U should continue to climb at high airspeeds and on headings which will open the distance and prevent the Zero from reaching a favorable position for diving attack. After reaching 19000-20000 feet the F4U will have superior performance in climb and may choose its own position of attack."

Speed was the decisive factor.

Air-Geko
21st Nov 2006, 17:32
My impressions were that the A4 or A6 zero were always more about the attack than the survival. These aircraft were designed to be the aggressor -- the Ninja or shogun if you will. It was about quick surprise attack which made the enemy wonder where you came from, and left him reeling from the quick blows. For a society which valued group effort, the Zero was uniquely about the individual fight.

The Wildcat, Thunderbolt, Corsair, and Hellcat were designed to allow the pilot to return home at the end of the day, hopefully smarter and able to apply what he learned another day. Granted, the fifty calibers were a big help, but even more so were the self-sealing fuel tanks which kept his aircraft from becoming a fireball after being pounced upon.

Capt.KAOS
21st Nov 2006, 20:27
hopefully smarter and able to apply what he learned another day.Joe Foss tried to learn RAAF pilots about tactics to use fighting Zero´s in the Spitfire usually got the reply "Sure Joe, have another beer....we´ve been fighting Jerry two years in our Spits", not a good idea.


http://www.aviationartprints.com/images/alix36.jpg

An F4F Wildcat in close combat with A6M2 Zero over Henderson Field, Guadalcanal, 1942. Not sure the F4F want to be there; low level dog fight...

Wino
21st Nov 2006, 21:50
U guys missed an important point.

The zero had an incredible range not equalled till the Mustang. That range was an incredible "force multiplier" early in the war when the zekes could reach the allies from bases that were out of range of f4fs hellcats p40s etc.

early in the war there were not many airfield in the pacific. Infact the creation of just one airfield (guadalcanal) caused us to invade there to protect Australia, when we would have much perferred to contain the situation for a while. The range of the zero made it very effective in ways that the allied fighters of the day could never have been.

Zero strikes caused havoc and gave the Japanese credit for many more carriers than they really had...

Cheers
Wino

con-pilot
22nd Nov 2006, 00:14
U guys missed an important point.

Oh God Wino, you're not going teen internet on us are you? :eek:

Wino
22nd Nov 2006, 04:16
Nope, but I was a japanese history major in college...

The Zeros performance was NOT startling at anytime UNLESS you factored in its range... THEN it was truly breath taking. Think of the difference between the ME109 and the ME110. The ME110 is what a long range fighter flew like before the zero and the P51 mustang...

Cheers
Wino

Capt.KAOS
22nd Nov 2006, 08:41
Nope, but I was a japanese history major in college... Ah well, Winosan... the incredible range was actually also the weakness of the Zero. Almost all was sacrificed to get range and highly maneuverability. Very poor high speed performance, some loss of critical forward visibility, no armor protection, and inferior armament. Saving weight wherever possible. Wing is integral with the fuselage and fold only at tips, no leakproof tanks or armor.

Zeros caused havoc until allied pilots understood that speed was the key. "Shoot and scoot" as they said.

Wino
22nd Nov 2006, 14:47
Yep.

Right on all counts KAOS. But the zero was also to get in kill and get out, Later versions got some (only very little ) armour. But basically the japanese practices a form of airerial warfare the required incredible levels of traning vs boom and zoom US tactics. All well and good in a brief skirmish. NOT sustainable in a long war as pilot attrition would do you in eventually.

Also the zero's engine which was very fuel efficient was not expandable (similar problem to the brewester buffulo, where the airframe could have done more but was held back by a dead end engine) and could get more and more power with later marks. (Some power growth, but nothing compared to the r2800 in the hellcat/corsairs/thunderbolts...) The lack of self sealing gas tanks was endemic throughout all the japanese aircraft. The Betty of course was the flying lighter.

But saying the range was a weakness. Not necesarily. The Japanese really understood the concept of over the horizon engagements well before the American's did. The ability to strike at range's greater than your enemy can fly their aircraft means your fleet is invincable, if you can execute correctly. Of course what people don't realize is replacing the pilots and aircraft can take longer then replacing the ships anyway so I guess its all moot. (I wonder what costs more these days, a nimitz class carrier or the airwing?)

Everyone focuses on the zeros... There were some quite remarkable later generation fighters on the Japanese side. Also the Japanese Army flew there own aircraft, that were usually distinctly different then the navy aircraft of which we are all familiar.


Also the zero was at pearl harbor, but so was another fighter. Anyone remember what that was?

Cheers
Wino

Capt.KAOS
23rd Nov 2006, 10:39
Everyone focuses on the zeros... There were some quite remarkable later generation fighters on the Japanese side. Also the Japanese Army flew there own aircraft, that were usually distinctly different then the navy aircraft of which we are all familiar.


Also the zero was at pearl harbor, but so was another fighter. Anyone remember what that was?
The Army version of the Zero was the "Oscar". It could even turn better than the Zero, but didn't had the range and even less firepower, it couldn't carry the drop tanks and wasn't a carrier plane. The most distinctive visual difference is the tail, on the Oscar the rudder does not extend back past the elevators, on the Zero it does. It was called the most maneuverable retracting-gear monoplane fighter ever built. In a dogfight it was supreme.

Several allied pilots claimed to be shot down by Zeros actually were Oscars. Kind of pilots preferred to say they were shot down by Spits instead of Hurricanes. Spitfire-snobism...

Air-Geko
23rd Nov 2006, 19:21
And additionally the workhorse, "Kate." Again, a well placed shot near the fuselage/wing junction and it was like flipping a zippo...