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Grey_Mouser67
01-27-2006, 05:34 PM
More interesting reading for those interested...I'll post the first one here to detail one pilots recollection of a multiple kill sortie...the Plane was a P-51C (4 guns) and the theater was China, 311th FG 530th FS; Pilot Lt. Les Arasmith approaches the Hankow complex at 20,000 ft...some exerpts...

"It was a daunting sight; airplanes were everywhere! As we waded into the melee, our throttles were at full combat power and the radio channels were suddenly cluttered with sightings and warnings."

"I called out a mottled green and gray Oscar that was in a slight dive heading 180 degrees from my course and about 1,500 feet below and to my right. I was element lead, so it was SOP that I go after him. The Oscar was alone, and the pilot was probably as confused as the rest of us.
As I closed to 300 feet, he didn't move a muscle. My .50-caliber rounds chewed him up from his rudder all the way to the engine. He hit the ground, slid for a hundred feet and blew up with a blinding flash!"

"For a few seconds my mind must have stopped working, but the sudden appearance of tracer fire rounds flashing just above my cockpit woke me up fast. The adrenaline kicked in, and I became focused on what had to be done. Two attacking, dark-green Tojos appeared off my right wing after having overrun me. They made the crucial error of breaking away-rather than into me. I banked neatly to the right, which put me right on the wingman's tail. Closing to 1,200 feet, I fired a long burst that blew the Togo's right wing off."

"Two more Tojos appeared out of nowhere, and Lt. Hicks turned into them, and I protected his tail. The enemy fighters were too close together to be effective, and it was evident that they hadn't seen us. As Hicks closed to firing range, one of the Tojo pilots spotted him, but it was too late. The Armor-piercing incendiary rounds struck the left wing and fuselage, which caused the wing to crumble. The Tojo whipped over and over across the sky, trailing a long plume of flame. I had been so intent on Hick's kill that I wasn't paying attention to what was behind me. Suddenly, those telltale balls of fire floated by my left wing and I was in trouble again.
This time the attackers were Franks; intellegence had described the Frank as "Oscar's younger brother" and "a world-class fighting machine"! The pilots in the 311th Group had been extensively briefed on this fighter just days before the mission. It was capable of 400mph at 21,000 ft and packed two 20mm cannon along with two 12.7mm machine guns. With an aggressive pilot behind the stick, this aircraft could cause serioous problems for the P-51 pilots.
I kept both of the Franks in sight as they executed beautiful chandelles upward and to the left to position for another attack. My only chance was to climb to meet them head on as they came down. I shoved the throttle into war-emergency boost, and pulled 67 inches of mercury at 3,000 rpm. Here they came, bearing down on us and opening fire at extreme range! I could see the muzzle flashes from their guns, but the rounds fell below us.
As both of them rocketed by, they definietlye had the speed advantage, but we had the altitude. I honked around in a tight, diving left turn and instantly noticed that the two Frank's hadn't used their speed to regain the altitude advantage; instead, they were in a right hand diving turn. I dived almst vertically to intercept them, and as I came into firing range, they split up. The leader split S'd, and his wingman started a climb to the right. I followed the leader in a rolling dive, firing the entire time. As I pulled out of the dive, the Frank hit the ground in a fiery explosion."

Interesting read...I wondered after reading the article how .50 cal weapons kill opponents. I read a lot of folks here, people that have never flown in WWII in combat, say that .50's very rarely cause structural failure...this is one combat experience, but here, out of four kills, two aircraft suffer structural failure when being attacked by a Mustang with only 4 HMG's. Does anyone have any real facts and sources on the "mode of failure" in enemy aircraft that were shot down by .50 cal brownings during WWII? Also note the brief the pilot recieved..."Franks flying 400mph at 21,000 ft". The Frank in this game can fly 427mph at that altitude based on a bit of testing I've done.

Grey_Mouser67
01-27-2006, 05:34 PM
More interesting reading for those interested...I'll post the first one here to detail one pilots recollection of a multiple kill sortie...the Plane was a P-51C (4 guns) and the theater was China, 311th FG 530th FS; Pilot Lt. Les Arasmith approaches the Hankow complex at 20,000 ft...some exerpts...

"It was a daunting sight; airplanes were everywhere! As we waded into the melee, our throttles were at full combat power and the radio channels were suddenly cluttered with sightings and warnings."

"I called out a mottled green and gray Oscar that was in a slight dive heading 180 degrees from my course and about 1,500 feet below and to my right. I was element lead, so it was SOP that I go after him. The Oscar was alone, and the pilot was probably as confused as the rest of us.
As I closed to 300 feet, he didn't move a muscle. My .50-caliber rounds chewed him up from his rudder all the way to the engine. He hit the ground, slid for a hundred feet and blew up with a blinding flash!"

"For a few seconds my mind must have stopped working, but the sudden appearance of tracer fire rounds flashing just above my cockpit woke me up fast. The adrenaline kicked in, and I became focused on what had to be done. Two attacking, dark-green Tojos appeared off my right wing after having overrun me. They made the crucial error of breaking away-rather than into me. I banked neatly to the right, which put me right on the wingman's tail. Closing to 1,200 feet, I fired a long burst that blew the Togo's right wing off."

"Two more Tojos appeared out of nowhere, and Lt. Hicks turned into them, and I protected his tail. The enemy fighters were too close together to be effective, and it was evident that they hadn't seen us. As Hicks closed to firing range, one of the Tojo pilots spotted him, but it was too late. The Armor-piercing incendiary rounds struck the left wing and fuselage, which caused the wing to crumble. The Tojo whipped over and over across the sky, trailing a long plume of flame. I had been so intent on Hick's kill that I wasn't paying attention to what was behind me. Suddenly, those telltale balls of fire floated by my left wing and I was in trouble again.
This time the attackers were Franks; intellegence had described the Frank as "Oscar's younger brother" and "a world-class fighting machine"! The pilots in the 311th Group had been extensively briefed on this fighter just days before the mission. It was capable of 400mph at 21,000 ft and packed two 20mm cannon along with two 12.7mm machine guns. With an aggressive pilot behind the stick, this aircraft could cause serioous problems for the P-51 pilots.
I kept both of the Franks in sight as they executed beautiful chandelles upward and to the left to position for another attack. My only chance was to climb to meet them head on as they came down. I shoved the throttle into war-emergency boost, and pulled 67 inches of mercury at 3,000 rpm. Here they came, bearing down on us and opening fire at extreme range! I could see the muzzle flashes from their guns, but the rounds fell below us.
As both of them rocketed by, they definietlye had the speed advantage, but we had the altitude. I honked around in a tight, diving left turn and instantly noticed that the two Frank's hadn't used their speed to regain the altitude advantage; instead, they were in a right hand diving turn. I dived almst vertically to intercept them, and as I came into firing range, they split up. The leader split S'd, and his wingman started a climb to the right. I followed the leader in a rolling dive, firing the entire time. As I pulled out of the dive, the Frank hit the ground in a fiery explosion."

Interesting read...I wondered after reading the article how .50 cal weapons kill opponents. I read a lot of folks here, people that have never flown in WWII in combat, say that .50's very rarely cause structural failure...this is one combat experience, but here, out of four kills, two aircraft suffer structural failure when being attacked by a Mustang with only 4 HMG's. Does anyone have any real facts and sources on the "mode of failure" in enemy aircraft that were shot down by .50 cal brownings during WWII? Also note the brief the pilot recieved..."Franks flying 400mph at 21,000 ft". The Frank in this game can fly 427mph at that altitude based on a bit of testing I've done.

horseback
01-27-2006, 07:31 PM
.50s damage metal a number of ways: the armor piercing rounds bore through the heavy metal frame members like armor piercing rounds on tanks-that is, they bore through, producing great heat, damaging the tempering of the metal and spraying droplets of molten metal in various directions, with a less than salutary effect on fuel, oil, hydraulic, or oxygen tanks, not to mention the pilot, if he is in their path(s).

Also not to be ignored is the kinetic energy that ball and 'normal' rounds do to the stressed metal skinning of most aircraft, which have a tendency to shred and tear, creating a great deal of drag and stress on the structural members. Remember as well that stressed skin construction assumes the support that the stressed skin provides to the structure; torn and bent metal provides little in the way of structural support, and flapping in the breeze, becomes less so in a high speed ex-aircraft.

Now, about the briefings Lt. Arasmith had received. Military intelligence had no access to any actual Franks at that time, so any information they had was either from spies, Japanese radio intercepts (remember, we were reading their 'mail' throughout the war), or from estimates based on the known design and engine parameters and/or what had been gleened from radar plots.

cheers

horseback

Enforcer572005
01-27-2006, 09:36 PM
50s would chew up any fighter type plane they hit rather well....refer to endless gun camera film. of course they werent 20 or 30 mm cannon, but they worked very well at moderate ranges.

The 50's didnt show some strain until korea, when cannon armed migs had more firepower and tooke enormous damage from 50 cal fire.....alot of soviet piloted migs claimed as destroyed actually made it back home, full of holes and smoking badly, but they could withstand alot of damage.

this was probably more due to the speeds involved and the shorter exposure time to a burst of fire before the target moved outta the way. Korea stimulated the developement of the m-61 vulcan gatling type cannon....nearly 100 rds per second, first installed on the f104 i think.

i believe the incidiary rds caused most of the targets to ignite in prop planes more often...fuel and oxygen tanks...boom.

Grey_Mouser67
01-27-2006, 09:43 PM
I know that most combat occurred above 25,000 ft. in Korea and that combined with Jetfuel being kerosene...those API's just didn't work as good as they did in WWII.

The US may not have had any Franks captured, but it doesn't mean they didn't have intellegence from combat reports and/or espionage.