lauantai 14. huhtikuuta 2018

TBY Sea Wolf

The Consolidated TBY Sea Wolf was a United States Navy torpedo bomber of World War II. A competitor and contemporary to the Grumman TBF Avenger, the Sea Wolf was subject to substantial delays and never saw combat; only 180 of the type were built before cancellation after VJ Day.

The original design was not by Consolidated Aircraft , but rather by Vought , who designed the then XTBU-1 Sea Wolf to a 1939 US Navy requirement. The first prototype flew two weeks after Pearl Harbor . Its performance was deemed superior to the Avenger and the Navy placed an order for 1,000 examples.
Several unfortunate incidents intervened; the prototype was damaged in a rough arrested landing trial, and when repaired a month later was again damaged in a collision with a training aircraft. Once repaired again, the prototype was accepted by the Navy. However, by this time Vought was heavily overcommitted to other contracts, especially for the F4U Corsair fighter, and had no production capacity. 

It was arranged that Consolidated-Vultee would produce the aircraft (as the TBY), but this had to wait until the new production facility in Allentown, Pennsylvania was complete, which took until late 1943.
The production TBYs were radar -equipped, with a radome under the right-hand wing. The first aircraft flew on 20 August 1944. By this time though, the Avenger equipped every torpedo squadron in the Navy, and there was no need for the Sea Wolf; in addition, numerous small problems delayed entry into service.  

Orders were cancelled after production started, and the 180 built were used for training
Prototype flew two weeks after Pearl Harbor. Its performance was deemed superior to the Avenger and the Navy placed an order for 1,000 examples. 

Several unfortunate incidents intervened; the prototype was damaged in a rough arrested landing trial, and when repaired a month later was again damaged in a collision with a training aircraft. Once repaired again, the prototype was accepted by the Navy. However, by this time Vought was heavily overcommitted to other contracts, especially for the F4U Corsair fighter, and had no production capacity. It was arranged that Consolidated-Vultee would produce the aircraft (as the TBY), but this had to wait until the new production facility in Allentown, Pennsylvania was complete, which took until late 1943.

Operational history 
The production TBYs were radar -equipped, with a radome under the right-hand wing. The first aircraft flew on 20 August 1944. By this time though, the Avenger equipped every torpedo squadron in the Navy, and there was no need for the Sea Wolf; 
in addition, numerous small problems delayed entry into service. 
Orders were cancelled after production started, and the 180 built were used for training.
General characteristics
Crew: three
Length: 11.95 m
Wingspan: 17.35 m
Height: 4.72 m
Wing area: 40.88 m²
Empty weight: 5,142 kg
Max. takeoff weight: 8,386 kg
Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney R-2800 -6 / 2,000 hp 1,491 kW
Maximum speed: 492 km/h
Range: 2,414 km
Service ceiling: 8,290 m
Armament: 1 × 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine gun in cowling
2 × 12,7 mm machine gun in the wings
1 × 12.7 mm machine gun in dorsal turret
1 × 7.62 mm Browning machine gun in ventral mount
Up to 900 kg of bombs or one torpedo
Variants 
XTBU-1 Sea Wolf
Prototype three-seat torpedo bomber powered by a R-2800-22 engine, one built.
TBY-1 Sea Wolf
Production variant of the XTBU-1, not built.
TBY-2 Sea Wolf
TBY-1 with additonal radar pod mounted under starboard-wing, 180 built, a further 920 were cancelled.
TBY-3 Sea Wolf

Improved variant, order for 600 cancelled, not built.

sunnuntai 8. huhtikuuta 2018

Blackburn skua

The Blackburn B-24 Skua was a carrier-based low-wing, two-seater, single- radial engine aircraft operated by the British Fleet Air Arm which combined the functions of a dive bomber and fighter . It was designed in the mid-1930s and saw service in the early part of the Second World War. It took its name from the sea bird.

Built to Air Ministry specification O.27/34 , it was a low-wing monoplane of all-metal (duralumin) construction, with a retractable undercarriage and enclosed cockpit . It was the Fleet Air Arm 's first service monoplane and was a radical departure for a force that was primarily equipped with open-cockpit biplanes such as the Fairey Swordfish.
                File:Blackburn Skua.jpg
Performance for the fighter role was compromised by the aircraft's bulk and lack of power, resulting in a relatively low speed; the contemporary marks of Messerschmitt Bf 109 reached 470 km/h at sea level over the Skua's 362 km/h. 
The armament of four fixed, forward-firing 7.7 mm Browning machine guns in the wings and a single flexible, rearward-firing 7.7 mm Vickers K machine gun was effective for the time. 

For the dive-bombing role, a 110 kg or 230 kg bomb was carried on a special swinging "trapeze" crutch under the fuselage (somewhat like that of the Junkers Ju 87), which enabled the bomb to clear the propeller arc on release. Four 20 kg bombs or eight 10 kg Cooper bombs could also be carried in racks under each wing. It had large Zap-type air brakes / flaps , which helped in dive bombing and landing on aircraft carriers at sea.

Two prototypes were ordered from Blackburn in 1935 and the first, serial number K5178 , first flew on 9 February 1937. Both prototypes were powered by the Bristol Mercury XII radial engine but following trials when a production order for 190 aircraft was placed, they were to have Bristol Perseus XII engines.

                File:HMS Ark Royal planes.jpg
                Kuvahaun tulos haulle blackburn skua
The first unit to receive the Skua was 800 Naval Air Squadron in late 1938 at Worth Down. By November the squadron had embarked on HMS Ark Royal and was followed in 1939 by 801 and 803 squadrons. With the start of the Second World War, Skuas were soon in action and on 14 September three took off from Ark Royal to go to the aid of the SS Fanad Head which had been attacked by a U-boat. When they arrived, the Fanad Head was being shelled by U-30 and all three dived to attack the submarine, which quickly dived to safety. Two of the Skuas were damaged by the blasts and had to ditch. U-30 returned to Germany with the crews of the two ditched Skuas, who became the first naval airmen to be prisoners of war in the conflict.

Skuas were originally credited with the first confirmed kill by British aircraft during the Second World War, a Dornier Do 18 flying boat was shot down over the North Sea on 26 September 1939 by three Skuas of 803 Naval Air Squadron, flying from Ark Royal. (An earlier victory by a Fairey Battle on 20 September 1939 over Aachen, was later confirmed by French sources). On 10 April 1940, 16 Skuas of 800 and 803 NAS led by Lieutenant Commander William Lucy, flying from RNAS Hatston in the Orkney Islands, sank the German cruiser Königsberg in Bergen harbour during Operation Weserübung, the German invasion of Norway. 
               Kuvahaun tulos haulle blackburn skua
               Kuvahaun tulos haulle blackburn skua
Königsberg was the first major warship ever sunk in war by air attack and the first major warship ever to be sunk by dive bombing. Lucy later also became a fighter ace flying the Skua. These two mostly-Skua squadrons suffered heavy losses during an attempt to bomb the German battleship Scharnhorst at Trondheim on 13 June 1940; of 15 aircraft in the raid, eight were shot down and the crews killed or taken prisoner. Among the latter were both squadron commanders, Captain RT Partridge (RM) and Lieutenant Commander John Casson (RN). 

Although it fared reasonably well against Axis bombers over Norway and in the Mediterranean, the Skua suffered heavy losses when confronted with modern fighters, particularly the Bf 109 and they were withdrawn from front line service in 1941. Most Skuas were replaced by another two-seater, the Fairey Fulmar , which doubled the Skua's forward armament and had a speed advantage of  80 km/h. 
A number of aircraft were converted to target tugs , following withdrawal from front line service. Others were completed as target tugs from the factory and used by the RAF and Fleet Air Arm in this role (Fleet Requirements). They were also used as advanced trainers for the Fleet Air Arm. The last Skua in service was struck off charge in March 1945. 
                File:Blackburn Skua landing on HMS Ark Royal.jpg

The Blackburn Roc was a very similar aircraft developed as a turret fighter, with all its armament in a dorsal turret. The Roc was expected to fly with the Skua. Rocs were attached to Skua squadrons to protect the fleet anchorage at Scapa Flow in early 1940 and briefly from HMS Glorious and Ark Royal during the Norwegian Campaign. Skuas and Rocs flew fighter sweeps and bombing sorties over the English Channel during Operation Dynamo and Operation Ariel, the evacuations of Allied forces from Dunkirk and other French ports. 
--------------------------------
General characteristics
Crew: two
Length: 10.85 m
Wingspan: 14.08 m
Height: 3.81 m
Wing area: 29.6 m2
Empty weight: 2,498 kg
Loaded weight: 3,740 kg
Powerplant: 1 × Bristol Perseus XII radial engine, 890 hp (664 kW)
Maximum speed: 362 km/h at 1,980 m
Cruise speed: 300 km/h
Range: 700 km
Service ceiling: 6,160 m
Rate of climb: 8.0 m/s
Armament: 4 × 7.7 mm mg + 1 × 7.7 mm Lewis in rear cockpit

Bombs: 230 kg semi-armour under fuselage, or 8x14 kg practice bombs under wings
----------------------------------
Surviving Aircraft 
Into The White Official Poster.jpegNo intact Skuas survive. In April 2007 the only known nearly complete Blackburn Skua was discovered in Orkdalsfjorden in Norway at 242 metres depth. Due to an engine failure, the Skua, flown by John Casson, leader of 803 Squadron, had to make an emergency water landing in the fjord. Both crew members survived and spent the next five years as prisoners of war. Despite efforts to raise the aircraft to the surface as gently as possible, the tail broke off. The engine had become detached in the ditching. The fuselage, cockpit and wings were salvaged. The Skua will be restored at Norway's aviation museum in Bodø.


In 1974, L2940 was recovered from Breidalsvatnet lake, near Grotli in Skjåk municipality in Norway. Captain RT Partridge (RM) shot down a Heinkel He 111 and then made an emergency landing on the ice-covered lake on 27 April 1940. Survivors from both aeroplanes independently made their way to a mountain lodge, where they encountered each another. 
This incident serves as the basis for the film Into the White. 

torstai 5. huhtikuuta 2018

Operatio Thunderbolt (Movie)

Thunderbolt is a 1947 film directed by William Wyler and John Sturges which documented the American aerial operations of Operation Strangle in World War II , when flyers of the Twelfth Air Force based on Corsica successfully impeded Axis supply lines to the Gustav Line and Anzio beachhead. The film was originally shot in 16mm color by members of the Army Air Forces . The 12th Combat Camera Unit recorded the combat footage using cameras mounted on some of the P-47s and a B-25 medium bomber equipped as a camera ship to accompany the fighters.

Thunderbolt poster.jpgNarrated by Lloyd Bridges and Eugene Kern, Thunderbolt! purports to follow a P-47 Thunderbolt squadron of the group through an interdiction mission from the time they wake up to their return to base afterwards with one aircraft missing. 

The directors edited their footage to recreate a mission against an unidentified target in northern Italy that resembles that of a May 1, 1944, mission against a railroad tunnel at Rignano sull'Arno , Italy , in which Lt. Col. Gilbert O. Wymond Jr. was awarded the Silver Star for destroying an ammunition dump concealed in a house near Siena and incurred severe damage to his P-47, Hun Hunter XIV. Wymond appears prominently with his P-47 throughout the documentary.


Directors Wyler and Sturges, serving as officers in the AAF, were attached to the 12th CCU during the period it filmed the activities of the 57th Fighter Group . Wyler used his association as a "passport" to visit many areas of liberated Europe after completion of the initial shooting. 

Operation Strangle WW-II

Although shown to the press late in 1945, Thunderbolt! was not generally released until 1947 by Monogram Pictures , and was re-released in 1950 during the Korean War . Half of the 1947 profits from the film's release went to the Army Air Force Relief Society and the United States Treasury. The introduction to the film by James Stewart was filmed in late January 1947. Stewart had commanded a bomber wing as a colonel during the war.                                             
Thunderbolt opens with an introduction by James Stewart, who remarks that 1944 has become "ancient history", but reads a message from postwar Army Air Forces commander Gen. Carl Spaatz that, even though the units in the picture happen to be American, the mission depicted could easily have been an RAF mission, and indeed belongs to all people who desire freedom.

Some of the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt aircraft were modified with cameras: a pair mounted in the cockpit behind the pilot to film both ahead and behind the aircraft, under the wing, in the wheel well of the landing gear, on the instrument panel to film the pilot, or in the guns, synchronized to film when the guns fired. 

The storyline of Thunderbolt begins by showing desolate areas of Italy in March 1944, noting that this was the fulfillment of the promise of Fascism , an idea dedicated to the proposition that some men are meant to be the slaves of others. The film next brings the audience to Alto Air Base, Corsica, introducing us to members of the 65th Fighter Squadron and explains the objectives of Operation Strangle by way of an after-breakfast briefing that merges into an animated map of Italy showing the allies stuck at the Gustav line , and the mission to cut off the supply lines by destroying bridges and roads in northern Italy. 


The film then follows the pilots led by their young squadron commander through the tense moments before the flight, identifies them by name as they take off in pairs, and observes their journey to the mainland while flying in formation. The pilots are shown finding their target, a bridge, and successfully taking it out; then they go on independent strafing of targets of opportunity , seeking trains, lighthouses, anything that could be used by the enemy and destroying it.

When the pilots return, the film shows how they try to relax in the makeshift American community in Corsica. It also takes a melancholy look into how some of them are getting along emotionally, thinking of what else they could be doing with "the best years of their lives."

Thunderbolt ends with the Allies liberating Rome on June 4, 1944. The narrators note that it is the "evening" of the mission in Corsica, but not the end of the war. At the end of the film, the words "THE END" appear, to be joined by a red question mark behind it.
Following the success of his documentary, Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress, filmed in the first half of 1943, Wyler returned to Europe with a team consisting of Sturges and screenwriter Lester Koenig . He arrived in Rome shortly after its liberation in June 1944, followed by the rest of the team a few days later, focusing on Operation Strangle at the suggestion of General Henry H. Arnold. They attached themselves to the 12th CCU, where Wyler recruited former wildlife photographer Sgt. Karl H. Maslowski into his team as cinematographer. In July, they flew to Alto Landing Ground on northeast Corsica, the base of the 57th FG.  57th Group commander Col. Archie J. Knight acted as technical adviser for the production. 

Wyler often followed front line ground units in Italy during the project period, filming from the ground battle damage inflicted by the aircraft, but Sturges and the remainder of the team stayed with the 57th FG, filming its combat missions, until September 1944.  Wyler and most of the 12th CCU had just gone to Southern France in an attempt to film the fighter-bomber attacks from the ground when the unit was ordered to return to the United States by Headquarters AAF; it had been in combat nearly two years. Maslowski was transferred to the 9th CCU and Wyler used its cameramen to try to complete the assignment, but the weather proved too poor for color photography and only more footage of damage on the ground was obtained. 

Wyler and Sturges flew to London in October to edit the film and have it processed into 35mm by Technicolor at the Eastman Kodak labs. They found that only 1% of the footage from the cameras mounted in the P-47s was usable.  The further delay in editing meant Sturges and Koenig returned to Hollywood to continue editing raw footage and write the narration script.  Wyler remained in Europe touring captured areas and in March 1945 decided to make one last flight in the B-25 to film more "atmosphere shots." 

Returning to Grosseto Air Field in Tuscanyafter the flight, Wyler found he could not hear and had difficulty in maintaining his balance. He had suffered total deafness as a result of nerve damage in the noisy unpressurized aircraft, and was returned to the United States on April 10, 1945 for hospitalization. The 57th FG had moved here from the Italian mainland on March 28, 1944, specifically for Operation Strangle. Shortly after he was released from the Army.

Before Thunderbolt could be edited, when the war in Europe ended, the project was shelved and Wyler found little interest, even in the AAF, for completing the film. Nevertheless, he felt that the film should be seen by "the people that paid for it."
----------------------
At the end of the war, Wyler conducted an unsuccessful letter-writing campaign trying to find a distributor for Thunderbolt . Recovering part of the hearing in his left ear, Wyler completed the film and attempted to drum up support for its release by showing it to Hollywood trade publications in October 1945.  However, the continued lack of interest kept the film from being released theatrically until July 1947 when Monogram Pictures distributed it, donating a quarter of the profits to the Army Air Force Relief Society and returning another quarter to the US government. 

Thunderbolt was critically reviewed by Bosley Crowther in the October 27, 1947 edition of The New York Times . He noted: "The employment of tactical air power in support of ground troops is thrillingly demonstrated in 'Thunderbolt!' ... [the film] graphically describes the use of air power while giving a vivid portrayal of how fighter pilots lived, fought and died."