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War Vol.5 No.59 From www. jgokey.com

War Vol.5 No.59 From www. jgokey.com

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Published by Jim G

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Published by: Jim G on Nov 29, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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10/19/2013

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Infer-\
rcff
Fighfers
Fewof the
obsewets
of the many
drantatic
afu
displays of
theearly
1930s
could
have
foreseen that
within
a
few
short
yearc
the
evolution
of
the
fightet
afucraft would
have
changedthe
agile
biplanes,
so
little
different
from
their World
War
I
predecessots,
into
thepotentmachinesof
World
War
II.
Measuredby
any
stirndard(aircraft performance,complexity, lethality,
cost
or appearance)
the.1930s
were
a
time for
rapid
change in fighters.
So
too
were
the
the
1940s,
but
that was
mainlybecause
of
the
introduc-
tion
of
jet
propr;lsion,
A-ll
the other advances
that
separate
thescouts
of
WorldWar
I
from the
supersonic fighters
of
the
1950s
were introduced inthe
decade
that
precededWorld War
II's
outbreak
in
1939.
During
the
1920s
almost
nothinghappened to fighterdesign
apartlrom
a
rapid
lmprovement
in the
power
and
reliability
of
engines,
By
themid-1920s
these
were
abie togive
500
hp
(373
k\nf
wlthvery
littlellkelihood
of
fallure, resulting
in
biplane fighters
that
could reach
almost
200
mph
(322
knvh).A few
were
monoplanes,but these
seldom showed
any
advantage
in
performance
and
were invariably inferior
rn
manoeuv-
rability,
and usually
inferior
in
climb
and
ceiling.
Not much
happened inarmament, apartfrom lncreasing acceptance
of
the
shell-firing
cannon
firing
through the
hub
of the
propeller
of
a
geared
engine
(which
hadoften
been
used
by
Georges Guynemer
in
1917)
Another change was
that
a
few
services,
such
as
the
US
Navy
,
hung bombs
under fighters andtrained
the
pllots
in
dive
attacks, ancestors
of
today's
'dual-rolefighters'.
Throughout
the
I930s
arguments
raged.
Most
fighterpiiots
were
adamant
that
a
fighter
should
be a
compact
biplane
with
an
opencockplt,able
to
out-turn
and
out-climb
the
enemy
and
eventually
to
shoot
hrm
down,With accurate
shooting
the rifle-calibre
machine-gn:n
was
The,ultimate
biplane
fighter:
the
Gloster
Gladiator
featured
a
cowled engine
andenclosed
cockpit.
The
Gladiator
served
with
the
Royal
Air
Force
during
the
I
ate
I
9
30
s
u
ntil
replaced
by
the
new
breed of monoplane
fi
gh
ter,the
Spitfire
andHurricane.
deadly
and
it
was
light.
What was the
pointin addingextra
guns,crheavier
gn:ns,
if
theirweight
madethe
fighter
incapable
of
bringirng
i=
guns
to
bear? There
is
some
weight
in
this
argument.
At
the
A_liies
darkesthour
ih
World
War
Ii,
ln the
desperateand hopelessf,ght
icr
Singapore,the heavyI2.7-mm
(0.5-in)
gmns
inBrewster
Buffalo
flghters
were replaced
by
puny
7.7-mm
(0.303-in)
weapons,
with
half-emp:,magazines,
simply in
order
to
try
todogfiqht
successfullyagainst
te
superior
MitsubishiA6M.
Sulfice
to
saythat not one
of the
traditionalflghtersdesigned
i:l
manoeuvrabllity
in
the
early
i930s was
able
to
make any impression
c:-
the
bestof
the new
stressed-skin monoplanesthat
flrstflew
in
1935-c
Thebest
of
these
were the
Messerschmitt
Bf
109
andSupermarire
Spitflre,
whichquitequicklyendedthe reignof the types
describei
here.
Wifying
the changes
in
fighter
design
in
the Ig30s
was
theBoeing
P-26 .
Thisaircraftstill had
the
archaic
bracedwing
and
heavily-faired,non-rctractableundercarriagebut
was
one
of
the
first
tobreak
with
the
biplane tradilion.
u
#
.:r't,
,,sr''
,
*i/
-&,
'*[i
':#

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