PDA

View Full Version : Do Droptanks Explode?



Punkfriday
10-28-2005, 12:20 PM
do droptanks explode:
when dropped?

when shot?

do they impact if you hit anything (ground/air)?

LEBillfish
10-28-2005, 12:59 PM
no

SlickStick
10-28-2005, 03:14 PM
My gut agrees with LEBillfish, as I've dropped many external tanks and they don't even make a mark on the ground, let alone an explosion, but I'm not sure if, on ALL planes, that if they get shot, they don't explode.

You would think that since internal tanks can be exploded, that externals would, too, when shot. However, I'm just speculating, LEB may know for sure that they are not coded in the game to explode when shot.

I do know that some planes will explode on take-off if you lean to one side or the other with drop tanks on and they come near or touch the ground.

The worst being a Mk. VIII Spitfire, whose drop tank is in the middle of the plane and quite sleek, yet if you dip a wing on take-off too low, the plane just explodes like the bombload touched the ground. (Mk. VIII cannot even carry bombs in-game).

heywooood
10-28-2005, 03:19 PM
in the game? it does not appear that the droptanks will explode either on the drop or when hit with gunfire...but in R/L - pilots who forgot to drop them before engaging enemy planes were in for a barbeque....if they got hit there.

At least one pilot account tells of tanks that refused to drop, the pilot RTB'd. But I think I recall reading a few others where the pilots pressed the attack anyway.

Kuna15
10-28-2005, 03:39 PM
I have shoot drop tank on friendly airplanes on purpose in 3.04 (iirc it was on 3.04 patch -- I don't think that has changed since, but I didn't checked out). Their DM is not modelled so bullets flys thru them harmlessly, without dealing any damage.

Zeus-cat
10-28-2005, 03:43 PM
AS already stated, they do not explode. I imagine they disappear after 20 or 30 meters, just like the empty shell casing from your MGs.

Zeus-cat

sithgod
10-28-2005, 04:06 PM
There is gun camera footage of a Fw-190 getting hit and it looks like it had a drop tank that burst into flames as it was shot away. I don't think they would explode.

SlickStick
10-28-2005, 06:20 PM
Ah, ok good to know that they don't explode.

They do go all the way to the ground, even making a splash when hitting the water, but nothing happens when they hit the ground.

FritzGryphon
10-28-2005, 10:18 PM
There was one patch where the P-40 droptanks would explode on impact, like a bomb. It was even more powerful than a regular bomb! Even time delay worked for it, and against ships, too.

I'm guessing it was a test for the delay bug fix, which came out in a later patch.

p1ngu666
10-28-2005, 11:12 PM
they will skip across water aswell http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

Bearcat99
10-28-2005, 11:52 PM
Actually that would be a good feature to have. A damage model for the drop tanks.... It would certainly add to the immersion factor.. I hope we get it in BoB.

Waldo.Pepper
10-29-2005, 01:23 AM
Originally posted by Bearcat99:
Actually that would be a good feature to have. A damage model for the drop tanks.... It would certainly add to the immersion factor.. I hope we get it in BoB.

Drop tanks aren't historical for BOB time frame, so don't hold your breath there Bearcat.

ALso when hit, historically they do not explode with force. They are so lightly constructed that they split open and the fuel burns away in seconds.

Maraz_5SA
10-29-2005, 01:47 AM
Originally posted by heywooood:
but in R/L - pilots who forgot to drop them before engaging enemy planes were in for a barbeque....if they got hit there.


Test made by US Navy towards the end of the war showed that external fuel tanks did not explode when hit, and that they caused no harm to the plane.

So the only reason for dropping them in combat was for better performance.

Maraz

Waldo.Pepper
10-29-2005, 01:56 AM
From Alfred Price World War Two Fighter Combat.

Page 57.

On the subject or fighter vulnerability, an interesting point to consider is the degree by which this was increased by the carriage of fuel in non-selfsealing drop tanks. Firing trials carried out in the U.S.A. late in the war showed that even in extreme cases, where the drop tanks were hit and blew open, the fuel fell clear downwards and no trailing fire resulted; exploding drop tanks showed no tendency to fragment, rather they split into large pieces which moved outwards at low velocity and caused little secondary damage. Since fire cannot exist without a plentiful supply of oxygen, the flames from a burning tank could not possibly creep up fuel lines and reach other tanks inside the aircraft. The trial showed that in most cases the only effect of the drop tank being hit while in place was that it absorbed a blow which the aircraft would otherwise have had to take. From all of this a general conclusion was reached: it was unnecessary for a lighter pilot to jettison his tanks unless he really needed the extra performance which resulted; even if he was surprised by an enemy and hit in the drop tank, almost invariably the latter could be released before it caused damage. It was an important finding, particularly for those responsible for planning operations from aircraft carriers where storage space for expendable items was always at a premium.

Art-J
10-29-2005, 03:28 AM
Some of them do explode on the ground! The ones attachable to Corsair, with a writing "Napalm" on them http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif.

Dimensionaut_
11-01-2005, 07:33 AM
Dutch cities and towns kept records of damage by bombs and droptanks. On several accounts droptanks fell through roofs and caused fire.

neil_1821
11-01-2005, 09:07 AM
Real life droptanks do explode, i have watched many a film (actual footage) before any one says hollywood, a few shots will cause the drop tank to leak and a few more cause it to explode, although not always causing the plane to go up in flames too but there was always that possibility, I also believe that they explode on the ground. If i remeber correctly p47 and p51 pilots before engaging the enemy would have to drop their tanks so they would find a house, bridge train etc to drop them on. Anyone else know of this?

Zyzbot
11-01-2005, 09:10 AM
If you have to drop tanks because enemy fighters are engaging you..you just drop them...you don't care where they land. Besides...how are you going to drop them on a house or a bridge if you drop them from the high altitudes where escort fighters usually flew?

neil_1821
11-01-2005, 09:56 AM
should of explained more, i meant towards the end of the war when pilots went out looking for thing to shoot at, and if they came accross fighters they would get them down to thier height and during that time find a target, nothing of special importance. I mean towards the end of the war i would of thought german pilots were trying to shoot anything out of the sky.

IL2-chuter
11-01-2005, 12:18 PM
Chuck Yeager and Bud Anderson tried to get their drop tanks to explode once. They dropped then from low altitude and strafed them several times without success.

Which leads me to the effects of exploding airplanes . . . the ones you shoot down. Why do they explode with the concussive effect of a 2000 pounder? A gasoline tank doesn't even meet the definition of high explosive, it's a low explosive . . . it deflagrates. And the "shrapnel" from an exploding plane is low density and high surface area and would have little range. I could see maybe losing a wing flying through the debris of your victim but to have your plane shredded from the concussive effect alone is . . . http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-indifferent.gif . . . a game effect. That's why purpose built bombs resemble bombs and not airplanes. That's right . . . I brought up chemical Darwinism. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

WOLFMondo
11-01-2005, 01:22 PM
Originally posted by Maraz_5SA:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by heywooood:
but in R/L - pilots who forgot to drop them before engaging enemy planes were in for a barbeque....if they got hit there.


Test made by US Navy towards the end of the war showed that external fuel tanks did not explode when hit, and that they caused no harm to the plane.

So the only reason for dropping them in combat was for better performance.

Maraz </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Not what I've heard. Tempest pilots were ordered to keep there drop tanks on because the factory making them couldn't keep up with the rate they where used at! I can't remember the C/O's name but he refused to carry out this order because of the losses caused when drop tanks were hit by flak. They didn't explode but they covered the wing and tail in flaming high octane fuel.

I've got an image somewhere of a Tempest or Typhoon (its hard to say which it is) with one wing completely engulfed in flames where the drop tank has been hit but either a 20mm or 37mm flak shell.

allmenroder
11-01-2005, 01:39 PM
Anything containing fuel that is pressurized will explode.

So if the tanks were pressurized, they certainly would explode when fired upon.

As to dropping, I doubt it. You need heat and shock for something to explode. A bullet provides both, the ground seldom does.

Dimensionaut_
11-02-2005, 02:07 AM
Just relise that droptanks are fuel tanks, just like with cars: Often they do not explode since they are designed to be safe.
But if the right mix of oxygen (air) and fuelgas is in the tank (or around it from a leak) it CAN explode. Exploding ammunition (20 mm shells for example) might cause the ignition of the fuel or an explosion. machinegun bullets do not explode, so they are very unlikely to cause ignition.

major_setback
11-02-2005, 02:13 AM
Even empty fuel tanks/drop-tanks would be full of petrol vapour. Wasn't this a hazzard on carrier landings? I'm sure I've seen a picture recently (of a flaming aircraft) where the caption stated that the drop-tank caught fire after a heavy landing.
Maybe not 'explode' though.

I'll try and find that photo.

IL2-chuter
11-03-2005, 03:22 AM
Gasoline is a very lousy explosive (as explosives go, anyway), all though it will definately wreck its container.

There was a shot of a Hellcat with its left gear off the deck and sitting on its belly tank which ruptured and the exhaust set the leaking fuel on fire. A deckhandler used the tank as a step up to the wing to help the pilot out . . . I believe that guy got the Medal of Honor.

There are several examples of gun camera footage showing drop tanks being hit and bursting into flames and then going out (fuel all gone) just about as quick . . . the plane continuing on unfazed by it (though generally affected by other issues).

Bartolomeo_ita
11-03-2005, 04:16 AM
i saw some pics of dt on the ground, without explosion or wtf. i guess whit a hit of 20mm the dt CAN explode, but isn't a rule.

major_setback
11-03-2005, 05:53 AM
Hitting a full drop-tank with cannon fire should look quite pretty though!

Crash_Moses
11-03-2005, 10:36 AM
Originally posted by IL2-chuter:
Gasoline is a very lousy explosive (as explosives go, anyway), all though it will definately wreck its container.

There was a shot of a Hellcat with its left gear off the deck and sitting on its belly tank which ruptured and the exhaust set the leaking fuel on fire. A deckhandler used the tank as a step up to the wing to help the pilot out . . . I believe that guy got the Medal of Honor.

There are several examples of gun camera footage showing drop tanks being hit and bursting into flames and then going out (fuel all gone) just about as quick . . . the plane continuing on unfazed by it (though general affected by other issues).

Which reminds me of the oft repeated story of the fella that forgot to release his drop tank before landing on the carrier. When his tailhook caught the wire he stopped pretty quick but his drop tank kept going...right through the blades of his prop. It didn't explode. The fuel vaporized in the relative wind of the carrier and the prop wash spreading flames everywhere. Poor fella barely made it out.

Skoshi Tiger
11-03-2005, 11:31 PM
Originally posted by IL2-chuter:
Gasoline is a very lousy explosive (as explosives go, anyway), all though it will definitely wreck its container.

Note Quite....

I've seen a demonstration performed by the Fire brigade (in Perth, Western Australia) where they were showing the explosive power of petrol.

Basically they placed a cup full of petrol in the boot (trunk) of an old car on a hot day and ignited it with an electrical detonator.

It literally ripped the back half of the car apart. We were told that each cup had the explosive power of a stick of dynamite.

In order for a fuel like petrol to explode (properly) it needs to be completely vaporised and be in the correct fuel air mixture. (Just like it is inside an engine 1/13 mix?)

Now if a internal fuel tank was ruptured in the interior of an aircrafts fuselarge and it was ignited (by a tracer, spark, flame) it would blow the **** out of any aircraft.

Hey even four dust explodes if it€s in the right mix.

I was staying in a backpackers in Kensington, London in 1991 (God that was a long time ago). We were all having dinner when the something outsided exploded. It rattled the windows and shook dust down out of the ceiling.

We all ran out to see what had happened. The IRA was still a happening thing at that stage.

Down the road the front of a building had collapsed into the street covering cars with rubble. The leadlight glass in the windows for 70 yards either side had been pushed in from the concussion and two people had been killed inside (Not seen by us thank god).

Later on we found out that the owners had planned an insurance job. The two people had gone in with a few jerry cans and had splashed it around. Then one of them had lit a match....

Petrol does and will explode given the right conditions.

IL2-chuter
11-04-2005, 05:05 AM
Gasoline explosions propogate along a thermal reaction front (it deflagrates), as fast as the flame can travel. By definition a low explosive. This property is designed into the fuel because they DON'T want it to explode . . . bad for motors. Vapor, when ignited, will rip apart any container it's in that isn't designed to handle it. If it's not in a container there will be a much reduced explosive effect (interesting term here because the same situation in a cylinder is referred to as burning, NOT exploding - detonation is spontaneous combustion due to an excessive uniform temperature increase caused by compression). A high explosive propogates along a shock wave reaction front, i.e. the speed of sound (much faster than the speed of sound in air). A gasoline vapor explosion in an aircraft fuel tank will dramatically destroy the host aircraft, yes, but I seriously doubt that same explosion will shred another aircraft 200 yards away (due to the limited size of it's tank(s)) as in the game. It's not a 2000 bomb and the concussive effect is much less due to its rather low velocity. This can be mitigated (in ground based situations) by containing the vapor in a very large volume (bigger than an airplne fuel tank, for instance) and you can get some rather gnarly damage. In other words . . . if you think gasoline is nasty, try a substance designed to be a HIGH explosive.

As far as that cup of gas goes, it needs more than 75 cubic feet of air for combustion, not nearly as small and efficient as that stick of dynamite. So a Corsair with an empty tank blowing up would be like, say (generously), 3 sticks of dynamite (not even near a 100 lb. bomb). Remember, the vapor has to be mixed stoichiometrically. A full tank wouldn't hardly have a chance to explode. (The aircraft interior structures in question were almost always positively vented to prevent the buildup of vapors, the Corsair having a flush fuselage scoop which the FAA (Fleet Air Arm) put a big box scoop on.)

A friend of mine (Bruce E., Hi, Bruce http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif) has a Corsair project, that's why I'm picking on it.

Skoshi Tiger
11-04-2005, 06:44 AM
Oh! I thought you were using poetic licence when you were talking about the 2000lb bomb. I haven't seen other aircraft taken out by an exploding plane

Granted petrol could not be classed as a high explosive, but it can be very distructive. (see below)


"This property is designed into the fuel because they DON'T want it to explode . . . bad for motors. Vapor, when ignited, will rip apart any container it's in that isn't designed to handle it....

If it's not in a container there will be a much reduced explosive effect (interesting term here because the same situation in a cylinder is referred to as burning, NOT exploding - detonation is spontaneous combustion due to an excessive uniform temperature increase caused by compression). A high explosive propogates along a shock wave reaction front, i.e. the speed of sound (much faster than the speed of sound in air)."

Not Quite, The fuel/air mixture that burns in the cylnder is over rich to ensure that it burns and does not detonate. If you lean out the mixture at low altitude and high power settings then the mixture gets to the point that it will detonate (the same as the pinging in your car when you use low octane fuel). This detonation can and does destroy engines. That's why those Corsairs have water injection, to stop detonation at high power settings.

"If it's not in a container there will be a much reduced explosive effect"

True, but thats the same with any explosive. You can let off a squib on the palm of your hand and nothing happens, but clench your fist around it and you've got big problems.

I know its out of the realm of WWII flight sims but check out the following animation
http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/dumb/faeanim.gif

It shows what our friend in the US are doing with fuel air explosives. One of the benifits of being a Low Explosive is that the duration or impulse of the shockwave is much longer than a High Explosive, which is good for taking out soft targets.

*** **** these typos ******
http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

IL2-chuter
11-04-2005, 12:32 PM
When a piston compresses a fuel/air mixture in a cylinder it raises the temperature of that fuel/air mixture. Factors are: starting temperature of mixture and speed of compression. This mixture has a temperature at which it will spontaneously ignite (no flame front and can go off with the equivelency of a high explosive depending on the uniformity of the combustion chamber temperature). If the spontaneous combustion temperature is lower the octane rating is lower, if higher the octane rating higher. When this spontaneous combustion takes place there is very little flame front propogation because most all of the mixture is subject to the same high temperature due to the uniform compression within the cylinder. A rich mixture reduces the onset of detonation by reducing the original, or starting temperature of the mixture going into the cylinder (the same thing water does). The teperature increase in the cylinder is fixed at a specific amount based on RPM and compression ratio. This rich fuel cooling only works effectively in a supercharged engine where you have a temperature increase, due to the compression caused by the supercharger, before the charge enters the cylinder. A given fuel/air charge will self ignite at this given temperature regardless and the engine, to work properly, has to get to the point of spark plug induced ignition without reching this temp. This spontaneous combustion circumstance would be very difficult (if even possible) to duplicate outside of an engine cylinder. Even fuel/air bombs don't do this. Their specialties, by the way, are pressure differential (like against buildings) and oxygen deprivation. The pictures that you presented (COOL) show a relatively low pressure explosion over a very large volume caused by a thermal flame front not detonation, detonation being impossible under the circumstances. Still very devastating and, under the circumstances, a more desirable effect.

C4 exploded by itself or in a metal container produces the same concussive effect regardless (The container will absorb some of that energy). A low explosive can have its explosive effect increased by placing it in a confined space. Think black powder.

Back to my point. Even a fighter with its entire airframe filled with a stoichiometric mixture isn't going to completely destroy another aircraft 200 yards away, as it's done to me in the game.

Skoshi Tiger
11-04-2005, 04:54 PM
Originally posted by IL2-chuter:
Back to my point. Even a fighter with its entire airframe filled with a stoichiometric mixture isn't going to completely destroy another aircraft 200 yards away, as it's done to me in the game.

I don't think anyone has tried to argue differently. It would have been quite a shock when it happened. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

Of course if the plane had been packed with explosives for a Kamikaze raid? Do they model that in PF? It would be a good trick to have up your sleave for a online dogfight, Just in case http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif


Originally posted by IL2-chuter:
C4 exploded by itself or in a metal container produces the same concussive effect regardless (The container will absorb some of that energy). A low explosive can have its explosive effect increased by placing it in a confined space. Think black powder.


My only real world experience with High Explosive has been helping my brother blow post hole back on the farm [No Graemlin for Hick Farmer Dratt!!!] using gelignite. Even getting high explosive to do their "work" requires them to confine the blast and focus the energy in the required direction.

Unfortunately the popular media with their depiction of demolition teams strapping C4 to concrete pillars and geting them to explode is quite incorrect.

Even HE Bombs have a bit of penetration into the target before they explode(Except for daisy cutters http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif). I even seam to remember they had to delay the detonation of the 20mm cannon rounds so that they detonated inside their targets rather than on the skin of the plane?