1. #1
    Has anyone else ever wondered why the US navy and Army used completely different planes during world war 2?

    Britain navalized their spitfires and hurricanes for carrier operations, but why not typhoons and tempests (or mossies for that matter)?. They had the Sea Fury after the war, but why didn't the FAA try out the tiffie 1b or mkiv tempest?. Did the US navy ever try adding a tailhook to a P-40, 47, 38 or 51? I know they tested out a P-39 for a carrier. I just thought with the reputation the 47 and 51 had as great aircraft, the navy would have some interest in using them for carrier ops.

    Likewise, how come the wildcat, hellcat and corsair weren't of interest to the USAAF?
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  2. #2
    Has anyone else ever wondered why the US navy and Army used completely different planes during world war 2?

    Britain navalized their spitfires and hurricanes for carrier operations, but why not typhoons and tempests (or mossies for that matter)?. They had the Sea Fury after the war, but why didn't the FAA try out the tiffie 1b or mkiv tempest?. Did the US navy ever try adding a tailhook to a P-40, 47, 38 or 51? I know they tested out a P-39 for a carrier. I just thought with the reputation the 47 and 51 had as great aircraft, the navy would have some interest in using them for carrier ops.

    Likewise, how come the wildcat, hellcat and corsair weren't of interest to the USAAF?
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  3. #3
    Naval Aircraft had radial engines.

    As far as the rest it took years to get the Corsair carrier aproved because of landing gear issues.

    So it must of been easier to just design a new and different plane then go thru the hassles of trying to get the USAAF palnes carrier approved
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  4. #4
    Just off the top of my head, I'd say that the Brit production capacity wasn't up to supplying aircraft for them and us both.

    Naval requirments for carrier aircraft are pretty stringent; not only must the airframe be very durable, but the plane must have great longevity for long missions.
    Army aircraft can generally fly from close-to-the-front bases.
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  5. #5
    Zyzbot's Avatar Senior Member
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    just a few quick thoughts:

    USN and US Army didn't get along well with each other at times! (Understatement)

    USN preferred the radial air cooled engines for safety reasons.

    P-47 and P-51 probably didn't have the low speed handling that a carrier aircraft needs.

    Carrier aircraft take a pounding with daily carrier landings. The British Seafire conversions from the Spitfire suffered a bit in this regard.
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  6. #6
    Aztek_Eagle's Avatar Banned
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    diferent enviroments, needs diferent planes, even today this is a question to discuss in the military aviation, now they finaly are creating a same plane for all tree air arms in the usa, the plane gona be able to, to conventional use from base, able to take off land on carriers, and vertical take off... cant remember the name of the plane..... looks similar to the f22
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  7. #7
    LEXX_Luthor's Avatar Senior Member
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    PF made me look at the flying range of early WW2 USA single engine fighters, and I am stunned. Wow! With the obvious exception of lightweight Japanese fighters, everybody else had short range fighters by comparison.
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  8. #8
    Supposedly Admiral Nimitz suggested looking into a carrier version of the P-40F and having Marine squadrons equipped with P-40Fs instaed of F4Fs, can't recall where I read that though.
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  9. #9
    horseback's Avatar Senior Member
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    1) As pointed out earlier, the US Army Air Corps and Navy were competing fiercely for those Depression-era air defense tax dollars. Even as late as the 1970s, each service was trying to jam it's standard bearer fighter down the other's throat (F-15 vs F-14), with the ultimate loser being the F-14, which was deprived during most of its operational career of the superior engine (F100 series which ultimately powered the B/D Tomcats as well as the F-15 and F-16).

    The reality is that while neither service is capable of fully appreciating the other's primary mission, to this very day, every other administration/Secretary of Defense has thought that the same aircraft can be created to fit both missions.

    2) The FAA was originally required to take RAF aircraft for it's needs, and immediately after they were freed of this requirement(in the late 30s), they blundered badly by insisting that all their aircraft needed a second crewman to navigate (or something), resulting in unsuccessful aircraft like the Skua and Fulmar. By the time their error had become obvious, the best available carrier fighters were American. The wartime Seafires were never as rugged as the carrier navy needed, and the Typhoon had too many operational problems from land bases.

    3) The top late model USAAF wartime fighters were a bit on the heavy side to begin with, due to their range and altitude performance requirements. While P-40s and P-47s did make a few carrier takeoffs, and the D-model Mustang was evaluated for carrier use, the necessary structural reinforcement would probably have resulted in crippling weight increases. The P-38 was never considered because it took up too much space to fit on a carrier elevator, even with folded wings.

    4) The F4U was combat operational before the P-47, and both it and the Hellcat were combat successes before the Merlin Mustangs had earned their place in the fighter pantheon. Their per unit costs were pretty low compared to the AAF fighters, and they were already carrier ready, with their successors (in the -4 Corsair and the F8F Bearcat) already in the pipeline.

    5) The Wildcat was not comparable (below 20,000 ft) to it's AAF contemporaries, the P-38, 39 & 40. The Corsair and Hellcat lacked the high altitude performance needed in Europe for bomber escort, and Marshall and Arnold would have thrown massive hissy fits at the mere possiblity of Naval aviators operating these aircraft in the ETO or MTO for fulltime operations.

    cheers

    horseback
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  10. #10
    One of the real reasons the FAA didnt have a high peformance carrier borne plane is that the Navy effectively neutered its funding pre-war. The FAA did have its own areo developement outfit it just didn't keep pace effectively and the Spit and Hurri were brought in to substitute. Fairey, Blackburn pretty much developed only for the FAA.

    Similarly, there was a dedicated air force already in place. An organisation the style of the RAF simply didn't exist in the US, despite the efforts of individuals such as Billy Mitchell. Both the NAvy and the Army saw the need for air power but in different ways with different requirements. Both had traditionally favoured different manufacturers, fought each other bitterly about air power and its overlap for each service (and its role in defence/offence). Without a dedicated Air Force both services saw fit to develope different aircraft for diferent requirements.
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