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Call_me_Kanno
04-07-2004, 05:15 PM
The C.O. of the CFS2 IJN squadron I was in has an extensive amount of knowledge about WWII in the south pacific and has granted me permission to post this here. It is a very interesting and informative read on what the japanese pilots used for carrier landings.

The carrier operations manual mention can be found here: http://www.vf15-flyingaces.com/vf15_fighting_aces_intro.htm


"Yes, the Japanese style of carrier landings was different because they did not use an LSO.
Remember that the 'racetrack' style adopted by the Americans was done solely so the pilots could keep a good view of the LSO on approach. The Japanese did not need to do this as they actually had a form of ILS in the form of deck lights, called "chakkan shidoto", or "landing guidance light" on both sides of their carriers. The IJN did keep a large 'hawk circle' (to borrow the U.S. Navy term), or holding pattern, over the carrier, but as each flight of IJN planes would go on final they extended away from the carrier on their DOWNWIND leg, in the opposite direction of the carrier's path, and establish landing separation by each pilot turning onto his crosswind for final at designated intervals. In other words, you can take that graphic of the final pattern from VF-15's Carrier Operations Manual and flip the green oval 180 degrees for a depiction of how the IJN did it.
As the first plane turned upwind for final, he lined up with the red and green landing lights, which told the pilot if he was left, right, too high or too low. The red lights were mounted a bit more than 10 meters aft of the green lights, and the red lights were adjustable up or down to allow for different glide slopes .... 5.5 degrees was used for fighters and 5.0 degrees for bombers. The pilot established his path so that the red lights were slightly below but at least partially superimposed on the green lights ... if the pilot saw only red lights, he was just a bit low. If he saw green lights below the red lights, the pilot was dangerously low. And of course if he saw the green lights above the red lights, the pilot was too high. Approach speed was entirely up to the pilot, but because the IJN procedure was more stable and less aggressive than the U.S. Navy style, establishing the required airspeed and holding it steady in the descent was less problematic than it was for U.S. Navy pilots. Another difference was that there was a flag officer on the bridge deck of IJN carriers who waved a red flag if there was a problem on deck, signaling the pilot to abort final and re-establish his downwind pattern before initiating another crosswind turn onto final approach.
Because the 'cones' of light from the landing lights were quite narrow, the Japanese pilot would lose sight of the visual aids and reference points just before 'cut' point, very similar to U.S. pilots. If his last view of these aids showed him properly lined up, he was good to cut and land, just as U.S. pilots would 'trust' the LSO's cut signal. After catching the arrestor cables, the crash barrier was lowered just as for U.S. carriers, and the plane was pushed to the bow by deck crew to be lowered to the hangar deck for 'cycling', just like U.S. SOP.
Another difference from USN procedure was that the IJN used no catapult launches for takeoffs, so it took the IJN longer to get their planes in the air and formed up.
IJN deck crews were well-trained and efficient at the start of the war, but by Midway the USN deck crews were every bit their equal and a short time after that could turn around an entire complement of ship's aircraft faster and better than any Navy in the world. The IJN never recovered from the loss of skilled and experienced personnel at Midway and saw the effectiveness of their carrier operations slowly deteriorate for the balance of the war."
S~!
VF15_Muto

http://img5.photobucket.com/albums/v22/Kanno/Sig.jpg

Call_me_Kanno
04-07-2004, 05:15 PM
The C.O. of the CFS2 IJN squadron I was in has an extensive amount of knowledge about WWII in the south pacific and has granted me permission to post this here. It is a very interesting and informative read on what the japanese pilots used for carrier landings.

The carrier operations manual mention can be found here: http://www.vf15-flyingaces.com/vf15_fighting_aces_intro.htm


"Yes, the Japanese style of carrier landings was different because they did not use an LSO.
Remember that the 'racetrack' style adopted by the Americans was done solely so the pilots could keep a good view of the LSO on approach. The Japanese did not need to do this as they actually had a form of ILS in the form of deck lights, called "chakkan shidoto", or "landing guidance light" on both sides of their carriers. The IJN did keep a large 'hawk circle' (to borrow the U.S. Navy term), or holding pattern, over the carrier, but as each flight of IJN planes would go on final they extended away from the carrier on their DOWNWIND leg, in the opposite direction of the carrier's path, and establish landing separation by each pilot turning onto his crosswind for final at designated intervals. In other words, you can take that graphic of the final pattern from VF-15's Carrier Operations Manual and flip the green oval 180 degrees for a depiction of how the IJN did it.
As the first plane turned upwind for final, he lined up with the red and green landing lights, which told the pilot if he was left, right, too high or too low. The red lights were mounted a bit more than 10 meters aft of the green lights, and the red lights were adjustable up or down to allow for different glide slopes .... 5.5 degrees was used for fighters and 5.0 degrees for bombers. The pilot established his path so that the red lights were slightly below but at least partially superimposed on the green lights ... if the pilot saw only red lights, he was just a bit low. If he saw green lights below the red lights, the pilot was dangerously low. And of course if he saw the green lights above the red lights, the pilot was too high. Approach speed was entirely up to the pilot, but because the IJN procedure was more stable and less aggressive than the U.S. Navy style, establishing the required airspeed and holding it steady in the descent was less problematic than it was for U.S. Navy pilots. Another difference was that there was a flag officer on the bridge deck of IJN carriers who waved a red flag if there was a problem on deck, signaling the pilot to abort final and re-establish his downwind pattern before initiating another crosswind turn onto final approach.
Because the 'cones' of light from the landing lights were quite narrow, the Japanese pilot would lose sight of the visual aids and reference points just before 'cut' point, very similar to U.S. pilots. If his last view of these aids showed him properly lined up, he was good to cut and land, just as U.S. pilots would 'trust' the LSO's cut signal. After catching the arrestor cables, the crash barrier was lowered just as for U.S. carriers, and the plane was pushed to the bow by deck crew to be lowered to the hangar deck for 'cycling', just like U.S. SOP.
Another difference from USN procedure was that the IJN used no catapult launches for takeoffs, so it took the IJN longer to get their planes in the air and formed up.
IJN deck crews were well-trained and efficient at the start of the war, but by Midway the USN deck crews were every bit their equal and a short time after that could turn around an entire complement of ship's aircraft faster and better than any Navy in the world. The IJN never recovered from the loss of skilled and experienced personnel at Midway and saw the effectiveness of their carrier operations slowly deteriorate for the balance of the war."
S~!
VF15_Muto

http://img5.photobucket.com/albums/v22/Kanno/Sig.jpg