Joined: 4:04 PM - Jan 14, 2013

12:58 AM - Feb 13, 2018 #131

carailwhale wrote:
Andy01 wrote: Actually the MK 12 had 440lb warheads, probably from 1939 and certainly against Bismarck, as my subsequent research discovered (look in the naval weapons forum).

Ummm... 500lb bombs in combination with lots of torpedo hits. There was 24 torpedo bomber sorties against Bismarck and they scored 3 hits, for a 12.5% hit rate but as the target slows the hit rate would increase.

 Most of the strike sorties against Tirpitz were thwarted by smoke.

Victorious was outfitted with Albacores. 

The Germans discovered that the US made 1600lb AP bombs were partially filled with sand, however one did penetrate to her machinery spaces but it failed to explode.

Your constant attacks on the FAA are rather tiresome and not condusive to informed and cordial discussion, especially when you (apparently) deliberately distort or overlook key details.
The rest of us feel that way about the way you attack the USN and it's equipment.  Pot meet kettle.
Its not just the USN they run down its just about everything else too.  
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Joined: 11:26 PM - Dec 02, 2017

6:58 AM - Feb 13, 2018 #132

Andy01 wrote:
carailwhale wrote:
Andy01 wrote: 
The rest of us feel that way about the way you attack the USN and it's equipment.  Pot meet kettle.
Pointing out the defects in aircraft like the TBD and the torpedoes that they went to war in is hardly an attack on the USN. As I have argued time and again, understanding the true nature of USN (indeed all Navy's) equipment is not an attack on the USN or USA, it's just history. The fact that the USN had to overcome severe deficiencies in equipment in the first years of the Pacific war, is a tribute to the bravery and perseverance of USN personnel and should enhance their reputation, rather than be seen as an attack on the USN or USA.
It is an attack when you spend all your time defending the poor equipment and bad results of the British.  You try over and over again to portray the Fulmar as a good carrier fighter when it wasn't.  And the same thing about the Swordfish and Albacore.  Both were totally obsolete and would have been death traps against even mildly competent opposition.  The TBD wasn't a great aircraft, but it was a revolutionary one, it was the first retractable gear monoplane to operate off any carrier in the world, it was the first to have an enclosed cockpit and the first to have hydraulically folding wings.  It also had a reliable engine right out of the box, something the Albacore lacked.  No one gets it right the first time.  Yes it was slow and short ranged, that's because it was overbuilt.  What's your excuse for the performance of the Albacore?  The TBD first flew in 1935, it had a maximum speed of 206 mph and a maximum range of 405 miles carrying a torpedo.  The Albacore first flew in 1938, it had a maximum speed of 161 mph and a maximum range of 700 miles.  It flew three years later than the TBD, it should have been markedly better.  If you go to the Swordfish which was flown just a year before the TBD, you have an aircraft that could only do 143 mph and despite being designed as a recon aircraft only had a range of 522 miles carrying a torpedo. When you compare apples to apples, the TBD doesn't look so bad.  Of course I wouldn't want to go to war in any of the three aircraft.  All of them were flying coffins against opposition.  Of course they only built 129 TBDs before replacing it with the TBF which was the best carrier-borne torpedo bomber of the war.  The FAA built about 2400 Swordfish, continuing production until August of 1944.  The FAA built 800 Albacores and was still using them as front line aircraft in 1943.
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Joined: 5:03 AM - Aug 04, 2008

8:46 AM - Feb 13, 2018 #133

Both the Swordfish and Albacore could carry internal and external Auxiliary tanks (as has previously been discussed). With maximum fuel (480usg) the Albacore had a range of ~1200nm.  Both were torpedo dive-bombers (as has been previously discussed). Maximum speed of the Albacore was ~160mph with 4 x 450lb underwings DCs (as discussed it was was somewhat faster with a torpedo - why after these discussions do you repeat the incorrect info?) 

TBD maximum speed was far less than the official stats, as discussed but also stated by Tillman in TBD Devastator units of the USN:

The VT-3 officer also realised that
the TBD's greatest failing - poor
speed- would work in favour of the
defenders, A low level approach
would permit no more than 130
knots airspeed, whereas a shallow
descent from altitude could manage
180 knots or perhaps better, thus
reducing exposure time to enemy
fighters and anti-aircraft guns.
Unfortunately, slowing the TBD down was the problem with a diving attack profile.
Tillman also discusses the Mk 13 torpedo:

In a 1940 fleet gunnery exercise the Mk 13 gave no sign of
encouragement four of the ten 'fish' sank 'and were never seen again', 
while five more ran erratically. The ten per cent success rate anticipated the wartime figures...
At the same time BuOrd (according to Tillman) was claiming 80% reliability for the Mk13. 

The Swordfish was cheap, it had good endurance, good STOL characteristics, could carry radar and a heavy weapons load, so it was used as a frontline ASW aircraft after being retired as a strike aircraft.  The RN was saddled with a number of slow carriers with short flight decks and the FAA needed good STOL performance, hence the Swordfish and Albacore. 

I don't understand why stating that the TBD was a terrible aircraft and terrible weapons system is taken as a slight against the USN? Why defend the TBD when it's crews knew full well the multitude of issues that afflicted it and the Mk13 torpedo?  Both the Swordfish and Albacore were far more versatile than the TBD  and simply more effective weapons systems; They were day-night, near all weather, strike bombers equipped (by mid 1941) with surface search radar. 

Again, the 8 gun, folding wing,  Fulmar was the premier naval fighter of it's day when first introduced, and was far superior to the 2 gun, fixed wing F3Fs and A5Ms that were predominate on USN and IJN carriers in Sept 1940. Why is this so hard to accept?
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Joined: 11:26 PM - Dec 02, 2017

8:15 PM - Feb 13, 2018 #134

Andy01 wrote: Both the Swordfish and Albacore could carry internal and external Auxiliary tanks (as has previously been discussed). With maximum fuel (480usg) the Albacore had a range of ~1200nm.  Both were torpedo dive-bombers (as has been previously discussed). Maximum speed of the Albacore was ~160mph with 4 x 450lb underwings DCs (as discussed it was was somewhat faster with a torpedo - why after these discussions do you repeat the incorrect info?) 

TBD maximum speed was far less than the official stats, as discussed but also stated by Tillman in TBD Devastator units of the USN:

The VT-3 officer also realised that
the TBD's greatest failing - poor
speed- would work in favour of the
defenders, A low level approach
would permit no more than 130
knots airspeed, whereas a shallow
descent from altitude could manage
180 knots or perhaps better, thus
reducing exposure time to enemy
fighters and anti-aircraft guns.
Unfortunately, slowing the TBD down was the problem with a diving attack profile.
Tillman also discusses the Mk 13 torpedo:

In a 1940 fleet gunnery exercise the Mk 13 gave no sign of
encouragement four of the ten 'fish' sank 'and were never seen again', 
while five more ran erratically. The ten per cent success rate anticipated the wartime figures...
At the same time BuOrd (according to Tillman) was claiming 80% reliability for the Mk13. 

The Swordfish was cheap, it had good endurance, good STOL characteristics, could carry radar and a heavy weapons load, so it was used as a frontline ASW aircraft after being retired as a strike aircraft.  The RN was saddled with a number of slow carriers with short flight decks and the FAA needed good STOL performance, hence the Swordfish and Albacore. 

I don't understand why stating that the TBD was a terrible aircraft and terrible weapons system is taken as a slight against the USN? Why defend the TBD when it's crews knew full well the multitude of issues that afflicted it and the Mk13 torpedo?  Both the Swordfish and Albacore were far more versatile than the TBD  and simply more effective weapons systems; They were day-night, near all weather, strike bombers equipped (by mid 1941) with surface search radar. 

Again, the 8 gun, folding wing,  Fulmar was the premier naval fighter of it's day when first introduced, and was far superior to the 2 gun, fixed wing F3Fs and A5Ms that were predominate on USN and IJN carriers in Sept 1940. Why is this so hard to accept?
I'll list my sources for the Albacore's top speed:  Militaryfactory.com, Historyofwar.com, ww2db.com, airvectors.com, Aircraft of WWII, Encyclopedia of Military Aircraft, Aircraft of WWII.  The all agree on the 160 mph top speed for the Albacore.  I can't find a single source that the Albacore was faster carrying a torpedo.  What is your source?  As for the TBD's speed, to quote from your own excerpt: "The VT-3 officer also realised that

the TBD's greatest failing - poor
speed- would work in favour of the
defenders, A low level approach
would permit no more than 130
knots airspeed, whereas a shallow
descent from altitude could manage
180 knots or perhaps better, "
That's knots, not mph. You need to be careful when comparing aircraft speeds.  I will convert that for you; 130 knots equals 150 mph and 180 knots equals 207 mph.  So a slow approach for a TBD was only ten mph less than the maximum speed of a Albacore and a diving approach was 30 mph faster than the Albacore's maximum speed.  The maximum ANY British aircraft could drop a torpedo was 288 kph or 178 mph.  Neither the Swordfish or Albacore could fly that fast and the maximum altitude that either a Mark XII or USN mark XIII could be dropped from was 30 meters or 110 feet.  Your Albacore dive bombing/torpedo bombing attack wouldn't work.  The maximum speed a Albacore could achieve in a dive was 250 mph, with it's very draggy airframe, almost as soon as it levelled out it would slow to 161 mph. The USN Mark XIII could be dropped at 210 kph or 130 mph.  That's only 31 mph slower than a Albacore could manage.  So tactically it's not much different especially since the Albacore was a much larger target than a TBD.  You keep saying that the TBD was a terrible weapons system, well it was, but the Swordfish/Albacore weren't much better and both were used long after the TBD was replaced by the TBF.  As for the TBF not being able to operate from small, slow carriers, it operated from CVEs just like the Swordfish and the Albacore and carried  the same 2,000 pounds of bombs or depth charges.  The weapons load was a wash, but the TBF could fly 1,000 miles on internal fuel at a maximum of 275 mph versus the Albacore's 800 miles at 161 mph.  The TBF was more than a hundred mph faster and could operate off any deck the Albacore could.

As for the Albacore and Swordfish being more versatile than a TBD, they needed to be because FAA doctrine called for multi-role aircraft that were jacks-of-all-trades and masters of none.  The USN used specialist aircraft that were designed to do one thing well.  Torpedo bombers to let water into ships, dive bombers to let in air and set fires and fighters to defend the ships and strike planes.  Not a torpedo bomber that could sort of dive bomb, or a dive bomber that could sort of act as a fighter.
As for the Fulmar being superior to a F3F-3 or a A5M.  The Fulmar had a top speed of 272 miles per hour (armoredcarriers.com says of the Fulmar: "The first Fulmars were treated as prototypes and put through comprehensive testing. The fleet fighter – straight off the production line - was found to have a maximum level speed of about 265mph at 7500ft. In operational conditions, top speed proved to be 247mph at 9000ft.

While expected to have a low rate of climb, the fighter’s unexpectedly heavy 10,000lbs dragged its performance down to a disappointing 1200 feet per minute. The labouring Fulmar would take 15 minutes to reach 15,000ft."
The BIPLANE F3F-3 could do 262 mph and climbed at 2800 feet per minute; that's three mph slower in level flight and more than double the rate of climb.  It did have an inferior armament, but as I've shown you time and time again, the eight .303s weren't very effective against modern aircraft.  The A5M would do 273 mph and climbed at 2790 feet per minute, that's eight mph faster and again more than double the climb rate.  Again the Fulmar had a superior armament.  The Zero went into service in September 1940, and the Fulmar went into service in July 1940.  So the Zero was the contemporary of the Fulmar, not the Claude. The Zero could do 346 mph and climb at 3100 feet per minute.  That's 99 mph faster in level flight and just short of THREE TIMES as fast climbing.  I'd say the armament of the two was a wash since the Zero's cannons only carried sixty rounds.  Saying that the Fulmar was the premier carrier fighter of it's day is a plain lie.  The only advantage it had over the American BIPLANE was more machine guns and the Zero bested it in every category except possibly armament which in my opinion may have been a wash. In 1940, armament was the least important  component of a carrier fighter.  Without advanced RADAR for fighter interception, rate of climb was the most important component.  Fighters needed to be able to intercept raids on very short notice.  Even with RADAR warning the Fulmar wasn't capable of interceptions unless it was already at altitude.
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Joined: 5:03 AM - Aug 04, 2008

10:20 PM - Feb 13, 2018 #135

If 8 x mgs aren't effective against modern aircraft than what does that say about 2  x mgs? The purpose of the fighter, after all, was to shoot down enemy aircraft. If we strip a FF1 of 6 guns and 4500 rnds of ammo, it's folding wings, armour, and SS tanks (as per the A5M and F3F-3)  we are also going to improve it's performance as well but it won't be worth a darn in terms actually shooting down aircraft or being able to be stowed in larger numbers. The first 65 Zero's were not carrier capable (no folding wings) and it wasn't till late 40/early 1941 that they entered carrier service (at much the same time as the HSH1B).  All active service aircraft after being banged about, and with wear on their engines will be slower than during testing (especially as the tests might not use overboost or have test data corrected for pressure, temp or wind) and this is pretty much universally true. The USN testing of service Zero's never matched their claimed speeds, for example, and for that matter never did the F4F series even with aircraft that were factory new... 

This is from Wikipedia:
 
Boscombe Down testing of the Albacore and Taurus II engine, in February 1940, showed a maximum speed of 160 mph (258 km/h), at an altitude of 4,800 ft (1,463 m), at 11,570 lb (5,259 kg), which was achieved with four under-wing depth charges, while maximum speed without the depth charges was 172 mph (277 km/h).[6] An Albacore fitted with the Taurus II engine and carrying a torpedo weighed 11,100 lb (5,045 kg).[7] 

This was data from The Secret Years which gives data from actual aircraft testing, lists the serial number of the aircraft and lists the specific load and weights during the tests. 

As I've explained previously the TBD was limited to shallow dives and it had no way to quickly shed excess speed, so a high speed diving approach meant a long straight run at low altitude to shed the accumulated speed.

Here's how FB2s trained for torpedo attacks, and Swordfish (and Albacore) training was very similar (see War in a Stringbag by Lamb):
From Hadley, Barracuda Pilot:

...Once actually flying it shrugged off its
initial lethargy and behaved in a manner more befitting the Navy's
number one hunter/killer. Its predecessor on the production line had
been the Fairy Fulmar, which although slow was a highly manoeuvrable
fighter, and the 'Barra' displayed the same agility.


In the beginning, many years ago, the torpedo had been invented
to fire from ships or submarines. Then, inevitably as soon as aircraft
had been invented and as soon as they were able to lift a bit more
than just the crew someone had had the bright idea: .


'Why don't we drop torpedoes from aeroplanes?'


'Well why not?


And they did, and they found that if it was dropped from too high
it just went down and stuck in the sea bottom. And if it was dropped
too low or too fast it bounced out of the water like a flat stone
skimmed across a pond and the torpedo's engine, without the
resistance of the water to work against, raced itself to destruction.
They persevered until they got it right and the old aeroplanes used to
bumble along just above the waves and lob the fish in about a mile or
so from their targets. This was fine until the war started then it was
noticed that even a mile away the hooligans on the other side started
to shoot at them so that many of them never actually got close enough
to drop the fish. To counter this unsportsmanilike activity a new type
of torpedo attack was developed, and this was what we now began to
learn.
Now chaps this is how we play it; we fly to the target in a loose
vic formation at 10,000 feet. I will manoeuvre to bring us a mile
or two ahead of the ship. Then I will signal line astern by
pointing aft with my thumbs. Number two you will drop back to
about 300 yards behind me and number three you go about 600
yards astern. When I judge that we have reached the right place
I will dive. Watch me closely and as soon as you see me go, slam
on the dive brakes and come verticalliy down, balls out, keeping
station on me so that we come down together. Putting on the
brakes makes it very tail heavy so you must trim forward. You
will also need a fair bit of left rudder trim. Diving like this with
the brakes on it won't exceed 260 knots and you can come
straight down from as high as you like. At about 1000 feet start
to level out and finish your dive at 200 feet. As soon as you are
level take the brakes off and remember, trim back or you will
nose into the sea. Watch the rudder trim too, you don't want to
skid or the fish goes in squiff and breaks up. By now you will be
doing about 200 knots and should be about a mile from the
target. If I get it right we should be running in simultaneously at
angles of 30°, 60° and 90° on the bow. Get it level, check the
speed and height then drop the fish. After that fly like a demon
and get the hell out of it, weaving as you go. In this way we give
them three targets to make up their minds about instead of one,
or six if another flight comes in from the other side as well, and
the faster we are moving the more difficult we are to hit.
"When do we put on the torpedo settings?"
Ah - I was just coming to that. As soon as you have identified
the ship set on its maximum known speed - it will most likely be
going flat out if it hasn't been surprised. If it has you have to
judge from the look of the wake and bow wave. On the way
down set on the angle you will be running in on. It may not be
exactly 30° , 60° or 90°. Then at the last minute if you see a kick in
the wake as the rudder goes over the ship has altered course, set
the avoiding action lever either towards or away then aim for the
centre of the ship. Right have you got all that -- good - well lets
go and have a bash at it. Of course we shan't carry fish to start
with.
 ...We took off, formed up then climbed slowly to 10,000 feet.
Steaming up and down the Forth was a little paddle steamer the PS
Glenavon. O'Shea took us to a point a little ahead of it then waved us
back to start the attack. We took up our extended line astern
positions and waited. The Glenavon we knew did about 9 knots which
I set on the torpedo control. Being in the middle I should be running
in at 60° or thereabouts on her starboard bow when we got down so I
set that too - I could adjust it later if I needed to. Then O'Shea put
his nose down.
'Right, this is it, nose over - dive brakes on and dive - trim, trim
- that's better.' I hurtled straight down. From 10,000 feet to sea
level is just under two miles. At four miles a minute this was going to
take about 20 to 25 seconds. As we screeched down I watched the
Glenavon. She was holding her course and speed. I gave the angle a
nudge to 70°.
I must start to pull out at 1,000 feet - the altimeter lags in a dive
so by the time I get to 1500 feet, on the clock, it should be about
right - we've misjudged the angle more than I thought, I shall
be running in at 90° not 70° -- nudge the lever again -- boy look
at that altimeter unwinding - right 1500 feet back on the stick -
the 'G' squashes you down - level at 200 feet - dive brakes off
- trim back or you'll be in the drink -- rudder, rudder quick,
she's skidding, trim the rudder - wings level - what's the
range? - probably about 1500 yards - did she avoid? - I don't
think she did -- range OK -- height OK - speed OK -- wings
level right press the tit -- now get out - avoiding action, boy
this is fun - O'Shea's waggling his wings - reform. So that's
what it's all about -- I could get to like this.


Mounted in the wing was a camera. When the torpedo release
button was pressed the camera took a photo of the target. When we
returned to the aerodrome the photograph was checked to see
whether we had hit or missed. The camera held enough film for five
pictures but as we only needed one we had to press the button twice
before the attack and twice afterwards to get the target on the middle
shot in case the ends of the film got fogged or damaged. It was one
more thing to remember.


We practised these attacks diligently two or three times a day,
sometimes with dummy torpedoes, in addition to low flying over the
sea to get used to doing it until our instructors thought we should try
with a 'Runner'. The runner was a torpedo with a practice head. It
was set to run underneath the target and at the end of its run it came
to the surface and gave off smoke so that it could be picked up. At
£2000 a time the Navy liked to get its torpedoes back. With a runner
you could see where it went although we still took photos. We also
went low flying over the sea at night. Skimming along the moon's
reflection at 50 feet. On starlit nights we relied on the radio altimeter
which was so sensitive that it oscillated gently up and down over the
wave crests. One day we would be doing this in earnest.


Our targets varied. Sometimes we had old paddlesteamers like the
Glenavon or the Whippingham, which had come all the way from the
Isle of Wight for our pleasure or a cruiser or destroyer. One day HMS
Nelson steamed out of the Forth on some battleship business. It was
a chance too good to miss. Lt/Cdr Thorpe briefed us:


Today we shall attack Nelson. We have nine serviceable
'Barras'. I shall lead. Hadley you will be my number two,...


....To help us in our work the Navy had invented the Torpedo Attack Teacher or TAT. They had installed a Link Trainer in a round building which had the walls painted in a seascape. Some of it was w h a calm sea, a blue sky and a horizon and some rough and foggy. It was illuminated to simulate various times of day. Fitted under the Link and connected to it by a computer was a projector which threw on to the seascape the white silhouette of a ship. As you flew towards the  ship it got bigger at a rate linked to the speed of approach. The  shape of  the silhouette varied according to the bearing of the aircraft from it. Changes of speed of the ship and avoiding action could also be simulated. The movements of the silhouette gave a very realistic illusion as the pilot flying his Link, without the hood of course, made the  attack. He approached—dived—made his torpedo settings, he had to identify the ship first of course before he could set the speed, then at the last minute decide if it was turning towards him or away. When he had everything right he pressed the button. The computer did its sums, everything  stopped and a light appeared below the ship where the torpedo had hit or in the sea ahead or astern if he had missed. We cheerfully sank the Bismark the Tirpitz and a number of Japanese aircraft carriers several time a week. This was much more popular than IF on the ordinary Link. It had all the thrills of a giant funfair toy. Another, possibly insignificant, fact was that whereas  the ordinary Link had always been operated by a slightly bored Flight Sergeant, the Navy had the genius to put an attractive Wren officer,  third Officer Collie Morford in charge of the TAT... (page 81-86)
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Joined: 11:26 PM - Dec 02, 2017

12:28 AM - Feb 14, 2018 #136

Andy01 wrote: If 8 x mgs aren't effective against modern aircraft than what does that say about 2  x mgs? The purpose of the fighter, after all, was to shoot down enemy aircraft. If we strip a FF1 of 6 guns and 4500 rnds of ammo, it's folding wings, armour, and SS tanks (as per the A5M and F3F-3)  we are also going to improve it's performance as well but it won't be worth a darn in terms actually shooting down aircraft or being able to be stowed in larger numbers. The first 65 Zero's were not carrier capable (no folding wings) and it wasn't till late 40/early 1941 that they entered carrier service (at much the same time as the HSH1B).  All active service aircraft after being banged about, and with wear on their engines will be slower than during testing (especially as the tests might not use overboost or have test data corrected for pressure, temp or wind) and this is pretty much universally true. The USN testing of service Zero's never matched their claimed speeds, for example, and for that matter never did the F4F series even with aircraft that were factory new... 

This is from Wikipedia:
 
Boscombe Down testing of the Albacore and Taurus II engine, in February 1940, showed a maximum speed of 160 mph (258 km/h), at an altitude of 4,800 ft (1,463 m), at 11,570 lb (5,259 kg), which was achieved with four under-wing depth charges, while maximum speed without the depth charges was 172 mph (277 km/h).[6] An Albacore fitted with the Taurus II engine and carrying a torpedo weighed 11,100 lb (5,045 kg).[7] 

This was data from The Secret Years which gives data from actual aircraft testing, lists the serial number of the aircraft and lists the specific load and weights during the tests. 

As I've explained previously the TBD was limited to shallow dives and it had no way to quickly shed excess speed, so a high speed diving approach meant a long straight run at low altitude to shed the accumulated speed.

Here's how FB2s trained for torpedo attacks, and Swordfish (and Albacore) training was very similar (see War in a Stringbag by Lamb):
From Hadley, Barracuda Pilot:

...Once actually flying it shrugged off its
initial lethargy and behaved in a manner more befitting the Navy's
number one hunter/killer. Its predecessor on the production line had
been the Fairy Fulmar, which although slow was a highly manoeuvrable
fighter, and the 'Barra' displayed the same agility.


In the beginning, many years ago, the torpedo had been invented
to fire from ships or submarines. Then, inevitably as soon as aircraft
had been invented and as soon as they were able to lift a bit more
than just the crew someone had had the bright idea: .


'Why don't we drop torpedoes from aeroplanes?'


'Well why not?


And they did, and they found that if it was dropped from too high
it just went down and stuck in the sea bottom. And if it was dropped
too low or too fast it bounced out of the water like a flat stone
skimmed across a pond and the torpedo's engine, without the
resistance of the water to work against, raced itself to destruction.
They persevered until they got it right and the old aeroplanes used to
bumble along just above the waves and lob the fish in about a mile or
so from their targets. This was fine until the war started then it was
noticed that even a mile away the hooligans on the other side started
to shoot at them so that many of them never actually got close enough
to drop the fish. To counter this unsportsmanilike activity a new type
of torpedo attack was developed, and this was what we now began to
learn.
Now chaps this is how we play it; we fly to the target in a loose
vic formation at 10,000 feet. I will manoeuvre to bring us a mile
or two ahead of the ship. Then I will signal line astern by
pointing aft with my thumbs. Number two you will drop back to
about 300 yards behind me and number three you go about 600
yards astern. When I judge that we have reached the right place
I will dive. Watch me closely and as soon as you see me go, slam
on the dive brakes and come verticalliy down, balls out, keeping
station on me so that we come down together. Putting on the
brakes makes it very tail heavy so you must trim forward. You
will also need a fair bit of left rudder trim. Diving like this with
the brakes on it won't exceed 260 knots and you can come
straight down from as high as you like. At about 1000 feet start
to level out and finish your dive at 200 feet. As soon as you are
level take the brakes off and remember, trim back or you will
nose into the sea. Watch the rudder trim too, you don't want to
skid or the fish goes in squiff and breaks up. By now you will be
doing about 200 knots and should be about a mile from the
target. If I get it right we should be running in simultaneously at
angles of 30°, 60° and 90° on the bow. Get it level, check the
speed and height then drop the fish. After that fly like a demon
and get the hell out of it, weaving as you go. In this way we give
them three targets to make up their minds about instead of one,
or six if another flight comes in from the other side as well, and
the faster we are moving the more difficult we are to hit.
"When do we put on the torpedo settings?"
Ah - I was just coming to that. As soon as you have identified
the ship set on its maximum known speed - it will most likely be
going flat out if it hasn't been surprised. If it has you have to
judge from the look of the wake and bow wave. On the way
down set on the angle you will be running in on. It may not be
exactly 30° , 60° or 90°. Then at the last minute if you see a kick in
the wake as the rudder goes over the ship has altered course, set
the avoiding action lever either towards or away then aim for the
centre of the ship. Right have you got all that -- good - well lets
go and have a bash at it. Of course we shan't carry fish to start
with.
 ...We took off, formed up then climbed slowly to 10,000 feet.
Steaming up and down the Forth was a little paddle steamer the PS
Glenavon. O'Shea took us to a point a little ahead of it then waved us
back to start the attack. We took up our extended line astern
positions and waited. The Glenavon we knew did about 9 knots which
I set on the torpedo control. Being in the middle I should be running
in at 60° or thereabouts on her starboard bow when we got down so I
set that too - I could adjust it later if I needed to. Then O'Shea put
his nose down.
'Right, this is it, nose over - dive brakes on and dive - trim, trim
- that's better.' I hurtled straight down. From 10,000 feet to sea
level is just under two miles. At four miles a minute this was going to
take about 20 to 25 seconds. As we screeched down I watched the
Glenavon. She was holding her course and speed. I gave the angle a
nudge to 70°.
I must start to pull out at 1,000 feet - the altimeter lags in a dive
so by the time I get to 1500 feet, on the clock, it should be about
right - we've misjudged the angle more than I thought, I shall
be running in at 90° not 70° -- nudge the lever again -- boy look
at that altimeter unwinding - right 1500 feet back on the stick -
the 'G' squashes you down - level at 200 feet - dive brakes off
- trim back or you'll be in the drink -- rudder, rudder quick,
she's skidding, trim the rudder - wings level - what's the
range? - probably about 1500 yards - did she avoid? - I don't
think she did -- range OK -- height OK - speed OK -- wings
level right press the tit -- now get out - avoiding action, boy
this is fun - O'Shea's waggling his wings - reform. So that's
what it's all about -- I could get to like this.


Mounted in the wing was a camera. When the torpedo release
button was pressed the camera took a photo of the target. When we
returned to the aerodrome the photograph was checked to see
whether we had hit or missed. The camera held enough film for five
pictures but as we only needed one we had to press the button twice
before the attack and twice afterwards to get the target on the middle
shot in case the ends of the film got fogged or damaged. It was one
more thing to remember.


We practised these attacks diligently two or three times a day,
sometimes with dummy torpedoes, in addition to low flying over the
sea to get used to doing it until our instructors thought we should try
with a 'Runner'. The runner was a torpedo with a practice head. It
was set to run underneath the target and at the end of its run it came
to the surface and gave off smoke so that it could be picked up. At
£2000 a time the Navy liked to get its torpedoes back. With a runner
you could see where it went although we still took photos. We also
went low flying over the sea at night. Skimming along the moon's
reflection at 50 feet. On starlit nights we relied on the radio altimeter
which was so sensitive that it oscillated gently up and down over the
wave crests. One day we would be doing this in earnest.


Our targets varied. Sometimes we had old paddlesteamers like the
Glenavon or the Whippingham, which had come all the way from the
Isle of Wight for our pleasure or a cruiser or destroyer. One day HMS
Nelson steamed out of the Forth on some battleship business. It was
a chance too good to miss. Lt/Cdr Thorpe briefed us:


Today we shall attack Nelson. We have nine serviceable
'Barras'. I shall lead. Hadley you will be my number two,...


....To help us in our work the Navy had invented the Torpedo Attack Teacher or TAT. They had installed a Link Trainer in a round building which had the walls painted in a seascape. Some of it was w h a calm sea, a blue sky and a horizon and some rough and foggy. It was illuminated to simulate various times of day. Fitted under the Link and connected to it by a computer was a projector which threw on to the seascape the white silhouette of a ship. As you flew towards the  ship it got bigger at a rate linked to the speed of approach. The  shape of  the silhouette varied according to the bearing of the aircraft from it. Changes of speed of the ship and avoiding action could also be simulated. The movements of the silhouette gave a very realistic illusion as the pilot flying his Link, without the hood of course, made the  attack. He approached—dived—made his torpedo settings, he had to identify the ship first of course before he could set the speed, then at the last minute decide if it was turning towards him or away. When he had everything right he pressed the button. The computer did its sums, everything  stopped and a light appeared below the ship where the torpedo had hit or in the sea ahead or astern if he had missed. We cheerfully sank the Bismark the Tirpitz and a number of Japanese aircraft carriers several time a week. This was much more popular than IF on the ordinary Link. It had all the thrills of a giant funfair toy. Another, possibly insignificant, fact was that whereas  the ordinary Link had always been operated by a slightly bored Flight Sergeant, the Navy had the genius to put an attractive Wren officer,  third Officer Collie Morford in charge of the TAT... (page 81-86)
So a Albacore in a clean configuration gained TWELVE MILES PER HOUR.  If you read that carefully, the tested aircraft wasn't carrying a torpedo.  So 172 mph was the Albacore's maximum speed period.  It was two years newer than a TBD and still slower.  Shedding speed is easy to do, a couple of fishtrails will drop twenty or thirty mph in a very few seconds.  According to what I posted, a TBD could do a diving attack  at 207 mph, then level out and slow down.  You're Albacore could only do 250 in a vertical dive and I doubt very much that it's torpedo shackles could stand that pull out.  If you read it, the attack was done by a Barracuda and it spent 800 feet pulling out of it's dive, a Albacore would lose all it's gained speed in the 800 feet and be a slow, straight in target just like the TBD.  You might notice in YOUR quote that the Barracuda wasn't able to maneuver until AFTER it dropped it's fish.  Your Albacore is a zero deflection shot just like a TBD.

As for comparing the Zero with the Fulmar, Japanese carriers operated non-folding aircraft throughout the war, neither the Val or Judy had folding wings and the Zero didn't either as the FAA and USN understood the term.  Some Zeros had folding wingtips. "Beginning with the 65th aircraft, manually upward-folding wingtips (about 20 inches long) were incorporated. This modification resulted in a change of designation to Navy Type 0 Carrier Fighter Model 21. "  In June of 1941 the A6M3 went into production: "The type was placed in production as the Navy Type 0 Carrier Fighter Model 32. Beginning with the fourth aircraft, the ammunition supply for the wing-mounted 20-mm cannon was increased from 60 rpg to 100 rpg. Soon thereafter, in order to simplify production and maintenance, the folding wingtips and the tab balances were removed" A6M2s, A6M3s and A6M5s all operated from carriers and only the A6M2s had folding wingtips.  The initial 65 aircraft were assigned to China because Japan had a war going on there.  It funny that you are comparing the Zero to the Sea Hurricane, no Sea Hurricane ever had folding wings.  As for two machine guns not being effective at shooting down aircraft, a lot of British and Commonwealth aircraft were shot down by Nates and Oscars armed with two 7.7mm guns.  Pretty much all RAF and FAA losses in the Pacific and CBI were to Nates and Oscars.  The Zeros were mostly facing US forces with the exception of the Australian raids and some fighting over New Guinea.  Even over New Guinea, it was mostly Oscars and some Tonys.  The IJNAF was mostly restricted to defending Rabaul.
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Joined: 5:03 AM - Aug 04, 2008

7:46 AM - Feb 14, 2018 #137

carailwhale wrote:
Andy01 wrote: If 8 x mgs aren't effective against modern aircraft than what does that say about 2  x mgs? The purpose of the fighter, after all, was to shoot down enemy aircraft. If we strip a FF1 of 6 guns and 4500 rnds of ammo, it's folding wings, armour, and SS tanks (as per the A5M and F3F-3)  we are also going to improve it's performance as well but it won't be worth a darn in terms actually shooting down aircraft or being able to be stowed in larger numbers. The first 65 Zero's were not carrier capable (no folding wings) and it wasn't till late 40/early 1941 that they entered carrier service (at much the same time as the HSH1B).  All active service aircraft after being banged about, and with wear on their engines will be slower than during testing (especially as the tests might not use overboost or have test data corrected for pressure, temp or wind) and this is pretty much universally true. The USN testing of service Zero's never matched their claimed speeds, for example, and for that matter never did the F4F series even with aircraft that were factory new... 

This is from Wikipedia:
 
Boscombe Down testing of the Albacore and Taurus II engine, in February 1940, showed a maximum speed of 160 mph (258 km/h), at an altitude of 4,800 ft (1,463 m), at 11,570 lb (5,259 kg), which was achieved with four under-wing depth charges, while maximum speed without the depth charges was 172 mph (277 km/h).[6] An Albacore fitted with the Taurus II engine and carrying a torpedo weighed 11,100 lb (5,045 kg).[7] 

This was data from The Secret Years which gives data from actual aircraft testing, lists the serial number of the aircraft and lists the specific load and weights during the tests. 

As I've explained previously the TBD was limited to shallow dives and it had no way to quickly shed excess speed, so a high speed diving approach meant a long straight run at low altitude to shed the accumulated speed.

Here's how FB2s trained for torpedo attacks, and Swordfish (and Albacore) training was very similar (see War in a Stringbag by Lamb):
From Hadley, Barracuda Pilot:

...Once actually flying it shrugged off its
initial lethargy and behaved in a manner more befitting the Navy's
number one hunter/killer. Its predecessor on the production line had
been the Fairy Fulmar, which although slow was a highly manoeuvrable
fighter, and the 'Barra' displayed the same agility.


In the beginning, many years ago, the torpedo had been invented
to fire from ships or submarines. Then, inevitably as soon as aircraft
had been invented and as soon as they were able to lift a bit more
than just the crew someone had had the bright idea: .


'Why don't we drop torpedoes from aeroplanes?'


'Well why not?


And they did, and they found that if it was dropped from too high
it just went down and stuck in the sea bottom. And if it was dropped
too low or too fast it bounced out of the water like a flat stone
skimmed across a pond and the torpedo's engine, without the
resistance of the water to work against, raced itself to destruction.
They persevered until they got it right and the old aeroplanes used to
bumble along just above the waves and lob the fish in about a mile or
so from their targets. This was fine until the war started then it was
noticed that even a mile away the hooligans on the other side started
to shoot at them so that many of them never actually got close enough
to drop the fish. To counter this unsportsmanilike activity a new type
of torpedo attack was developed, and this was what we now began to
learn.
Now chaps this is how we play it; we fly to the target in a loose
vic formation at 10,000 feet. I will manoeuvre to bring us a mile
or two ahead of the ship. Then I will signal line astern by
pointing aft with my thumbs. Number two you will drop back to
about 300 yards behind me and number three you go about 600
yards astern. When I judge that we have reached the right place
I will dive. Watch me closely and as soon as you see me go, slam
on the dive brakes and come verticalliy down, balls out, keeping
station on me so that we come down together. Putting on the
brakes makes it very tail heavy so you must trim forward. You
will also need a fair bit of left rudder trim. Diving like this with
the brakes on it won't exceed 260 knots and you can come
straight down from as high as you like. At about 1000 feet start
to level out and finish your dive at 200 feet. As soon as you are
level take the brakes off and remember, trim back or you will
nose into the sea. Watch the rudder trim too, you don't want to
skid or the fish goes in squiff and breaks up. By now you will be
doing about 200 knots and should be about a mile from the
target. If I get it right we should be running in simultaneously at
angles of 30°, 60° and 90° on the bow. Get it level, check the
speed and height then drop the fish. After that fly like a demon
and get the hell out of it, weaving as you go. In this way we give
them three targets to make up their minds about instead of one,
or six if another flight comes in from the other side as well, and
the faster we are moving the more difficult we are to hit.
"When do we put on the torpedo settings?"
Ah - I was just coming to that. As soon as you have identified
the ship set on its maximum known speed - it will most likely be
going flat out if it hasn't been surprised. If it has you have to
judge from the look of the wake and bow wave. On the way
down set on the angle you will be running in on. It may not be
exactly 30° , 60° or 90°. Then at the last minute if you see a kick in
the wake as the rudder goes over the ship has altered course, set
the avoiding action lever either towards or away then aim for the
centre of the ship. Right have you got all that -- good - well lets
go and have a bash at it. Of course we shan't carry fish to start
with.
 ...We took off, formed up then climbed slowly to 10,000 feet.
Steaming up and down the Forth was a little paddle steamer the PS
Glenavon. O'Shea took us to a point a little ahead of it then waved us
back to start the attack. We took up our extended line astern
positions and waited. The Glenavon we knew did about 9 knots which
I set on the torpedo control. Being in the middle I should be running
in at 60° or thereabouts on her starboard bow when we got down so I
set that too - I could adjust it later if I needed to. Then O'Shea put
his nose down.
'Right, this is it, nose over - dive brakes on and dive - trim, trim
- that's better.' I hurtled straight down. From 10,000 feet to sea
level is just under two miles. At four miles a minute this was going to
take about 20 to 25 seconds. As we screeched down I watched the
Glenavon. She was holding her course and speed. I gave the angle a
nudge to 70°.
I must start to pull out at 1,000 feet - the altimeter lags in a dive
so by the time I get to 1500 feet, on the clock, it should be about
right - we've misjudged the angle more than I thought, I shall
be running in at 90° not 70° -- nudge the lever again -- boy look
at that altimeter unwinding - right 1500 feet back on the stick -
the 'G' squashes you down - level at 200 feet - dive brakes off
- trim back or you'll be in the drink -- rudder, rudder quick,
she's skidding, trim the rudder - wings level - what's the
range? - probably about 1500 yards - did she avoid? - I don't
think she did -- range OK -- height OK - speed OK -- wings
level right press the tit -- now get out - avoiding action, boy
this is fun - O'Shea's waggling his wings - reform. So that's
what it's all about -- I could get to like this.


Mounted in the wing was a camera. When the torpedo release
button was pressed the camera took a photo of the target. When we
returned to the aerodrome the photograph was checked to see
whether we had hit or missed. The camera held enough film for five
pictures but as we only needed one we had to press the button twice
before the attack and twice afterwards to get the target on the middle
shot in case the ends of the film got fogged or damaged. It was one
more thing to remember.


We practised these attacks diligently two or three times a day,
sometimes with dummy torpedoes, in addition to low flying over the
sea to get used to doing it until our instructors thought we should try
with a 'Runner'. The runner was a torpedo with a practice head. It
was set to run underneath the target and at the end of its run it came
to the surface and gave off smoke so that it could be picked up. At
£2000 a time the Navy liked to get its torpedoes back. With a runner
you could see where it went although we still took photos. We also
went low flying over the sea at night. Skimming along the moon's
reflection at 50 feet. On starlit nights we relied on the radio altimeter
which was so sensitive that it oscillated gently up and down over the
wave crests. One day we would be doing this in earnest.


Our targets varied. Sometimes we had old paddlesteamers like the
Glenavon or the Whippingham, which had come all the way from the
Isle of Wight for our pleasure or a cruiser or destroyer. One day HMS
Nelson steamed out of the Forth on some battleship business. It was
a chance too good to miss. Lt/Cdr Thorpe briefed us:


Today we shall attack Nelson. We have nine serviceable
'Barras'. I shall lead. Hadley you will be my number two,...


....To help us in our work the Navy had invented the Torpedo Attack Teacher or TAT. They had installed a Link Trainer in a round building which had the walls painted in a seascape. Some of it was w h a calm sea, a blue sky and a horizon and some rough and foggy. It was illuminated to simulate various times of day. Fitted under the Link and connected to it by a computer was a projector which threw on to the seascape the white silhouette of a ship. As you flew towards the  ship it got bigger at a rate linked to the speed of approach. The  shape of  the silhouette varied according to the bearing of the aircraft from it. Changes of speed of the ship and avoiding action could also be simulated. The movements of the silhouette gave a very realistic illusion as the pilot flying his Link, without the hood of course, made the  attack. He approached—dived—made his torpedo settings, he had to identify the ship first of course before he could set the speed, then at the last minute decide if it was turning towards him or away. When he had everything right he pressed the button. The computer did its sums, everything  stopped and a light appeared below the ship where the torpedo had hit or in the sea ahead or astern if he had missed. We cheerfully sank the Bismark the Tirpitz and a number of Japanese aircraft carriers several time a week. This was much more popular than IF on the ordinary Link. It had all the thrills of a giant funfair toy. Another, possibly insignificant, fact was that whereas  the ordinary Link had always been operated by a slightly bored Flight Sergeant, the Navy had the genius to put an attractive Wren officer,  third Officer Collie Morford in charge of the TAT... (page 81-86)
So a Albacore in a clean configuration gained TWELVE MILES PER HOUR.  If you read that carefully, the tested aircraft wasn't carrying a torpedo.  So 172 mph was the Albacore's maximum speed period.  It was two years newer than a TBD and still slower.  Shedding speed is easy to do, a couple of fishtrails will drop twenty or thirty mph in a very few seconds.  According to what I posted, a TBD could do a diving attack  at 207 mph, then level out and slow down.  You're Albacore could only do 250 in a vertical dive and I doubt very much that it's torpedo shackles could stand that pull out.  If you read it, the attack was done by a Barracuda and it spent 800 feet pulling out of it's dive, a Albacore would lose all it's gained speed in the 800 feet and be a slow, straight in target just like the TBD.  You might notice in YOUR quote that the Barracuda wasn't able to maneuver until AFTER it dropped it's fish.  Your Albacore is a zero deflection shot just like a TBD.

As for comparing the Zero with the Fulmar, Japanese carriers operated non-folding aircraft throughout the war, neither the Val or Judy had folding wings and the Zero didn't either as the FAA and USN understood the term.  Some Zeros had folding wingtips. "Beginning with the 65th aircraft, manually upward-folding wingtips (about 20 inches long) were incorporated. This modification resulted in a change of designation to Navy Type 0 Carrier Fighter Model 21. "  In June of 1941 the A6M3 went into production: "The type was placed in production as the Navy Type 0 Carrier Fighter Model 32. Beginning with the fourth aircraft, the ammunition supply for the wing-mounted 20-mm cannon was increased from 60 rpg to 100 rpg. Soon thereafter, in order to simplify production and maintenance, the folding wingtips and the tab balances were removed" A6M2s, A6M3s and A6M5s all operated from carriers and only the A6M2s had folding wingtips.  The initial 65 aircraft were assigned to China because Japan had a war going on there.  It funny that you are comparing the Zero to the Sea Hurricane, no Sea Hurricane ever had folding wings.  As for two machine guns not being effective at shooting down aircraft, a lot of British and Commonwealth aircraft were shot down by Nates and Oscars armed with two 7.7mm guns.  Pretty much all RAF and FAA losses in the Pacific and CBI were to Nates and Oscars.  The Zeros were mostly facing US forces with the exception of the Australian raids and some fighting over New Guinea.  Even over New Guinea, it was mostly Oscars and some Tonys.  The IJNAF was mostly restricted to defending Rabaul.
Swordfish, Albacores and Barracuda's used the same torpedo attack profile as all were fully stressed for divebombing. This is detailed in Lamb (as previously stated )

IJN and folding Wings:

During early production life several
modifications were introduced, the first of these
being a reinforcement of the wing spar introduced on
the 22nd A6M2. As the deck elevators of
the Imperial Japanese Navy carrier's could not
accommodate aircraft exceeding. 11m (36ft 1.5in )
in span, the wings of the 65th and subsequent A6M2's
were modified. 50 cm (19 in.) of each tip
folding annually upward, the aircraft being redesignated 
Navy Type 0 Carrier Fighter Model 21. (Aircraft Profile 129)

D3A folding wings:
http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/we ... hiD3A.html
http://bountyjumper.blogspot.com/2012/0 ... bomber.htm


So now you praise the 2 x mg armament? Yet you claim that 8 x MGs is not effective?? Please make up your mind and report back.
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Joined: 11:26 PM - Dec 02, 2017

4:53 PM - Feb 14, 2018 #138

Andy01 wrote:
carailwhale wrote:
Andy01 wrote: If 8 x mgs aren't effective against modern aircraft than what does that say about 2  x mgs? The purpose of the fighter, after all, was to shoot down enemy aircraft. If we strip a FF1 of 6 guns and 4500 rnds of ammo, it's folding wings, armour, and SS tanks (as per the A5M and F3F-3)  we are also going to improve it's performance as well but it won't be worth a darn in terms actually shooting down aircraft or being able to be stowed in larger numbers. The first 65 Zero's were not carrier capable (no folding wings) and it wasn't till late 40/early 1941 that they entered carrier service (at much the same time as the HSH1B).  All active service aircraft after being banged about, and with wear on their engines will be slower than during testing (especially as the tests might not use overboost or have test data corrected for pressure, temp or wind) and this is pretty much universally true. The USN testing of service Zero's never matched their claimed speeds, for example, and for that matter never did the F4F series even with aircraft that were factory new... 

This is from Wikipedia:
 



This was data from The Secret Years which gives data from actual aircraft testing, lists the serial number of the aircraft and lists the specific load and weights during the tests. 

As I've explained previously the TBD was limited to shallow dives and it had no way to quickly shed excess speed, so a high speed diving approach meant a long straight run at low altitude to shed the accumulated speed.

Here's how FB2s trained for torpedo attacks, and Swordfish (and Albacore) training was very similar (see War in a Stringbag by Lamb):
From Hadley, Barracuda Pilot:


So a Albacore in a clean configuration gained TWELVE MILES PER HOUR.  If you read that carefully, the tested aircraft wasn't carrying a torpedo.  So 172 mph was the Albacore's maximum speed period.  It was two years newer than a TBD and still slower.  Shedding speed is easy to do, a couple of fishtrails will drop twenty or thirty mph in a very few seconds.  According to what I posted, a TBD could do a diving attack  at 207 mph, then level out and slow down.  You're Albacore could only do 250 in a vertical dive and I doubt very much that it's torpedo shackles could stand that pull out.  If you read it, the attack was done by a Barracuda and it spent 800 feet pulling out of it's dive, a Albacore would lose all it's gained speed in the 800 feet and be a slow, straight in target just like the TBD.  You might notice in YOUR quote that the Barracuda wasn't able to maneuver until AFTER it dropped it's fish.  Your Albacore is a zero deflection shot just like a TBD.

As for comparing the Zero with the Fulmar, Japanese carriers operated non-folding aircraft throughout the war, neither the Val or Judy had folding wings and the Zero didn't either as the FAA and USN understood the term.  Some Zeros had folding wingtips. "Beginning with the 65th aircraft, manually upward-folding wingtips (about 20 inches long) were incorporated. This modification resulted in a change of designation to Navy Type 0 Carrier Fighter Model 21. "  In June of 1941 the A6M3 went into production: "The type was placed in production as the Navy Type 0 Carrier Fighter Model 32. Beginning with the fourth aircraft, the ammunition supply for the wing-mounted 20-mm cannon was increased from 60 rpg to 100 rpg. Soon thereafter, in order to simplify production and maintenance, the folding wingtips and the tab balances were removed" A6M2s, A6M3s and A6M5s all operated from carriers and only the A6M2s had folding wingtips.  The initial 65 aircraft were assigned to China because Japan had a war going on there.  It funny that you are comparing the Zero to the Sea Hurricane, no Sea Hurricane ever had folding wings.  As for two machine guns not being effective at shooting down aircraft, a lot of British and Commonwealth aircraft were shot down by Nates and Oscars armed with two 7.7mm guns.  Pretty much all RAF and FAA losses in the Pacific and CBI were to Nates and Oscars.  The Zeros were mostly facing US forces with the exception of the Australian raids and some fighting over New Guinea.  Even over New Guinea, it was mostly Oscars and some Tonys.  The IJNAF was mostly restricted to defending Rabaul.
Swordfish, Albacores and Barracuda's used the same torpedo attack profile as all were fully stressed for divebombing. This is detailed in Lamb (as previously stated )

IJN and folding Wings:

During early production life several
modifications were introduced, the first of these
being a reinforcement of the wing spar introduced on
the 22nd A6M2. As the deck elevators of
the Imperial Japanese Navy carrier's could not
accommodate aircraft exceeding. 11m (36ft 1.5in )
in span, the wings of the 65th and subsequent A6M2's
were modified. 50 cm (19 in.) of each tip
folding annually upward, the aircraft being redesignated 
Navy Type 0 Carrier Fighter Model 21. (Aircraft Profile 129)

D3A folding wings:
http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/we ... hiD3A.html
http://bountyjumper.blogspot.com/2012/0 ... bomber.htm


So now you praise the 2 x mg armament? Yet you claim that 8 x MGs is not effective?? Please make up your mind and report back.
Looks like I made my mistake for the decade.  You are correct about the Val having folding wingtips.  Sorry.  But I'm not praising twin gun armaments, I was just saying that they could be deadly and that two aircraft with nothing but two rifle caliber machine guns killed a lot of RAF aircraft.  Why argue about that, it's a fact.  The only armament I praise is six or eight fifties on a prop-driven fighter or a M61 Vulcan on a Jet.  Two, eight or even twelve rifle caliber guns were inadequate.  Look at Illustrious' CAP in Operation Excess for examples I'll quote from armoredcarriers.com: "HMS Illustrious’ Fulmars had dived from 14,000ft to chase the low-level Savoias. Red Section engaged as the SM79s fled the fleet, expending all their ammunition in the effort."  in other words, 2 Fulmars expended their entire ammo load on two SM 79s without killing them.  That's 16,000 rounds of .303 ammo on unescorted medium bombers.  This excerpt is from the observer of Fulmar "Q" ..."As we climbed to attack the Stukas were diving to bomb. When we reached height the air seemed full of aircraft. From the rear seat I saw one go down and another was damaged. It wasn’t long before we were out of ammunition and landed at Hal Far.”..."
an excerpt from another Fulmar: " Lt. Vincent-Jones would write, Meanwhile Barnes had no shortage of targets- he had, in fact, too many and contented himself with pumping bursts into Stuka after Stuka  as they came through his sights- and there was no question about not being able to see the whites of their eyes!  I found it difficult to see what was going on up front, but I saw one Stuka going down with smoke pouring out of it's engine.  Despite their slow speed the Stuka did not respond easily to .303 bullets...the nexrt thing I remember was Bill Barnes telling me that we were out of ammunition.  So eight thousand rounds of .303 for one possible kill.  The Germans reported only three kills and we know that two of them were to flak.  According to several sources during the whole battle, from the time the SM79s made their diversionary attack until Illustrious made harbor only somewhere between 5 and 7 axis aircraft were shot down to a combination of Fulmars, Hurricanes from Malta and flak from the fleet.  Only one of the five attacks was escorted by fighters, that was the Italians one that got the final hit, the rest were unescorted dive or medium bombers; aircraft that were considered easy kills by American, German or Japanese fighters.  The Fulmars and fighters from Malta claimed eight kills, but X Fliegerkorps records only show three losses, two to flak and one to fighters for the entire battle.   Why do you keep defending the eight .303 armament when even before the BOB the RAF had decided that it was ineffective?
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Joined: 5:03 AM - Aug 04, 2008

7:20 PM - Feb 14, 2018 #139

There's no doubt that the FF1 had trouble catching the SM79 and many engagements were at long range, however, the F3F-3 and A5M-4 were probably slower at low altitude and thus would have same issues but with 1/4 the firepower. 
The Luftwaffe lost 4 Stukas in the initial attack against Illustrious, 3 were shot down (probably 2 x AA) and 1 was shot into the sea by a Fulmar while the 4th crash landed. Given the small numbers of Fulmars intercepting this seems quite a reasonable result.

Here's an engagement between Fulmars and two escorted strike formations:

On 8 May 1941 Fulmars (probably a mix of FF1/2s) from Ark Royal and Formidable engaged both the Luftwaffe and Reggia Aeronautica and inflicted a severe defeat on both:


RA losses:


4 x SM79
2 x CR42 


Luftwaffe losses:
1 x Ju-88
4 x He-111
2 x Me-110 (crash landed due to battle damage)
1 x Me-110 damaged
(1 x Ju-87 confirmed by Fulmar gun camera but not noted in Luftwaffe records)
1 x Ju87 damaged


FAA:


2 x Fulmar (one from bomber defensive fire)
2 X Fulmar crash landed on CVs
1X Fulmar crashed due to weather (not combat related)
6 x Fulmars damaged


Data from Shores, Mediterranean Air War, 1940-1945: Volume One: North Africa, June 1940-January 1942, p182-185



The Fulmars were vectored, via radar, onto incoming RAI and Luftwaffe strikes and recon aircraft and engaged the Luftwaffe strike beyond visual range of the carriers and their convoys.
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Joined: 11:26 PM - Dec 02, 2017

7:55 PM - Feb 14, 2018 #140

Andy01 wrote: There's no doubt that the FF1 had trouble catching the SM79 and many engagements were at long range, however, the F3F-3 and A5M-4 were probably slower at low altitude and thus would have same issues but with 1/4 the firepower. 
The Luftwaffe lost 4 Stukas in the initial attack against Illustrious, 3 were shot down (probably 2 x AA) and 1 was shot into the sea by a Fulmar while the 4th crash landed. Given the small numbers of Fulmars intercepting this seems quite a reasonable result.

Here's an engagement between Fulmars and two escorted strike formations:

On 8 May 1941 Fulmars (probably a mix of FF1/2s) from Ark Royal and Formidable engaged both the Luftwaffe and Reggia Aeronautica and inflicted a severe defeat on both:


RA losses:


4 x SM79
2 x CR42 


Luftwaffe losses:
1 x Ju-88
4 x He-111
2 x Me-110 (crash landed due to battle damage)
1 x Me-110 damaged
(1 x Ju-87 confirmed by Fulmar gun camera but not noted in Luftwaffe records)
1 x Ju87 damaged


FAA:


2 x Fulmar (one from bomber defensive fire)
2 X Fulmar crash landed on CVs
1X Fulmar crashed due to weather (not combat related)
6 x Fulmars damaged


Data from Shores, Mediterranean Air War, 1940-1945: Volume One: North Africa, June 1940-January 1942, p182-185



The Fulmars were vectored, via radar, onto incoming RAI and Luftwaffe strikes and recon aircraft and engaged the Luftwaffe strike beyond visual range of the carriers and their convoys.
That was a good result, but it looks like ideal conditions with the Fulmars having time to get to altitude.  The Fulmar could do the job under the right conditions, but it wasn't a good interceptor.  The F3F-3 and the A5M had speeds that were almost identical to the Fulmar. But both were far faster climbing.  12 kills for 4 losses isn't a bad score in 1941.  One thing you have to remember in this instance is that Ark Royal looks to have been operating both 807 squadron and 808 squadron which would have given her slightly higher numbers of fighters than an American carriers (24 Fulmars  versus 18 F3fs).  In fact between the two British carriers they probably matched the fighter strength of two American carriers in 1941 (24 fighters on Ark Royal and 12 on Formidable)
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