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Re: [coldwarcomms] WWII Aircraft Facts

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  • james kester
    Most of those airman lost were merely kids 17-24 years old.  Many had barely ever seen an airplane, much less been in one. ________________________________
    Message 1 of 13 , May 29, 2012
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      Most of those airman lost were merely kids 17-24 years old. 
      Many had barely ever seen an airplane, much less been in one.


      ________________________________
      From: blitz716 <blitz716@...>
      To: coldwarcomms@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Sunday, May 27, 2012 11:16 PM
      Subject: [coldwarcomms] WWII Aircraft Facts


       
      Appropriate for memorial day,(but slightly OT so please indulge me) I
      don't know how the pix are handled on this list, hope they come thru.
      Some good representative shots of the WW2 warbirds. Still its an
      interesting read.

      *Amazing WW-II Aircraft Facts*
      >
      >
      > (Be sure to read below pictures for more amazing info.)* *
      >
      >
      > *Below is an excellent summary of the effort required in WWII. It
      > focuses on the American side of things, but the British, Germans and
      > Japanese expended comparable energy and experienced similar costs.
      > Just one example for the Luftwaffe; about 1/3 of the Bf109s built were
      > lost in non-combat crashes. After Midway, the Japanese experience
      > level declined markedly, with the loss of so many higher-time naval
      > pilots. This piece is worth saving in hard copy.*
      >
      >
      > *Most Americans who were not adults during WWII have no understanding
      > of the magnitude of it.
      > This listing of some of the aircraft facts gives a bit of insight to it.
      > 276,000 aircraft manufactured in the US . *
      > *43,000 planes lost overseas, including 23,000 in combat. *
      > *_14,000 lost in the continental U.S._** *
      >
      > *The US civilian population maintained a dedicated effort for four
      > years, many working long hours seven days per week and often also
      > volunteering for other work. *
      > *WWII was the largest human effort in history.*
      > *Statistics from Flight Journal magazine.*
      >
      > *THE PRICE OF VICTORY (cost of an aircraft in WWII dollars)*
      > B-17 $204,370. P-40 $44,892.
      > B-24 $215,516. P-47 $85,578.
      > B-25 $142,194. P-51 $51,572.
      > B-26 $192,426. C-47 $88,574.
      > B-29 $605,360. PT-17 $15,052.
      > P-38 $97,147. AT-6 $22,952.
      >
      > *PLANES A DAY WORLDWIDE*
      > From Germany's invasion of Poland Sept. 1, 1939 and ending with Japan
      > 's surrender Sept. 2, 1945 --- 2,433 days
      > *From 1942 onward, America averaged 170 planes lost _a day._*
      >
      > How many is a 1,000 planes? B-17 production (12,731) wingtip to
      > wingtip would extend 250 miles. 1,000 B-17s carried
      > 2.5 million gallons of high octane fuel and required 10,000 airmen to
      > fly and fight them.
      >
      > *THE NUMBERS GAME*
      > 9.7 billion gallons of gasoline consumed, 1942-1945.
      > 107.8 million hours flown, 1943-1945.
      > 459.7 billion rounds of aircraft ammo fired overseas, 1942-1945.
      > 7.9 million bombs dropped overseas, 1943-1945.
      > 2.3 million combat sorties, 1941-1945 (one sortie = one takeoff).
      > 299,230 aircraft accepted, 1940-1945.
      > 808,471 aircraft engines accepted, 1940-1945.
      > 799,972 propellers accepted, 1940-1945.
      >
      > *WWII MOST-PRODUCED COMBAT AIRCRAFT*
      > Ilyushin IL-2 Sturmovik
      > 36,183Description: Description: part1.00030804.01050702
      >
      >
      > Yakolev Yak-1,-3,-7, -9
      > 31,000+Description: Description: part2.00040200.04020704
      >
      >
      > Messerschmitt Bf-109
      > 30,480Description: Description: part3.03080807.00010904
      >
      > Focke-Wulf Fw-190
      > 29,001Description: Description: part4.06050109.03060105
      >
      > Supermarine Spitfire/Seafire 20,351Description:
      > Description: part5.07090200.02040407
      >
      > Convair B-24/PB4Y Liberator/Privateer 18,482Description:
      > Description: part6.03020902.09090702
      >
      > Republic P-47 Thunderbolt 15,686Description:
      > Description: part7.08090708.08090403
      >
      > North American P-51 Mustang 15,875Description:
      > Description: part8.04070506.02010605
      >
      > Junkers Ju-88
      > 15,000Description: Description: part9.03040807.07060801
      >
      > Hawker Hurricane
      > 14,533Description: Description: part10.09000907.08090205
      >
      > Curtiss P-40 Warhawk
      > 13,738Description: Description: part11.04050906.07010900
      >
      > Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress 12,731Description:
      > Description: part12.05020606.05040909
      >
      > Vought F4U Corsair
      > 12,571Description: Description: part13.08010709.02070309
      >
      > Grumman F6F Hellcat
      > 12,275Description: Description: part14.01010107.00040500
      >
      > Petlyakov Pe-2
      > 11,400Description: Description: part15.09040000.00030400
      >
      > Lockheed P-38 Lightning
      > 10,037Description: Description: part16.03090908.08000404
      >
      > Mitsubishi A6M Zero
      > 10,449Description: Description: part17.06080801.09040609
      >
      > North American B-25 Mitchell 9,984Description:
      > Description: part18.05070501.07040404
      >
      > Lavochkin LaGG-5
      > 9,920Description: Description: part19.03020706.01060102
      >
      > /Note: The LaGG-5 was produced with both water-cooled (top) and
      > air-cooled (bottom) engines./Description: Description:
      > part20.05050700.02070906
      >
      > Grumman TBM Avenger 9,837Description:
      > Description: part21.07080607.01020403
      >
      > Bell P-39 Airacobra
      > 9,584Description: Description: part22.00070706.03040706
      >
      > Nakajima Ki-43 Oscar
      > 5,919Description: Description: part23.09080903.07070802
      >
      > DeHavilland Mosquito
      > 7,780Description: Description: part24.06050903.03060406
      >
      > Avro Lancaster
      > 7,377Description: Description: part25.08010808.03050701
      >
      > Heinkel He-111
      > 6,508Description: Description: part26.06030500.09030806
      >
      > Handley-Page Halifax
      > 6,176Description: Description: part27.05050404.01040709
      >
      > Messerschmitt Bf-110
      > 6,150Description: Description: part28.06090108.04060503
      >
      > Lavochkin LaGG-7
      > 5,753Description: Description: part29.02030302.03090706
      >
      > Boeing B-29 Superfortress 3,970Description:
      > Description: part30.03070809.03090108
      >
      > Short Stirling
      > 2,383Description: Description: part31.00040705.01000105
      >
      >
      > *Sources: Rene Francillon, Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific war;
      > Cajus Bekker, The Luftwaffe Diaries; Ray Wagner, American Combat
      > Planes; Wikipedia.*
      >
      >
      > According to the AAF Statistical Digest, in less than four years
      > (December 1941- August 1945), the US Army Air Forces lost 14,903
      > pilots, aircrew and assorted personnel plus 13,873 airplanes ---
      > */_inside the continental United States_/*/./ They were the result of
      > 52,651 aircraft accidents (6,039 involving fatalities) in 45 months.
      >
      > Think about those numbers. They average 1,170 aircraft accidents per
      > month---- nearly 40 a day. (Less than one accident in four resulted
      > in totaled aircraft, however.)
      > It gets worse.....
      >
      > Almost 1,000 Army planes disappeared en route from the US to foreign
      > climes. But an eye-watering 43,581 aircraft were lost overseas
      > including 22,948 on combat missions (18,418 against the Western Axis)
      > and 20,633 attributed to non-combat causes overseas.
      >
      > In a single 376 plane raid in August 1943, 60 B-17s were shot down.
      > That was a 16 percent loss rate and meant 600 empty bunks in England
      > . In 1942-43 it was statistically impossible for bomber crews to
      > complete a 25-mission tour in Europe .
      >
      > Pacific theatre losses were far less (4,530 in combat) owing to
      > smaller forces committed. The worst B-29 mission, against Tokyo on
      > May 25, 1945, cost 26 Superfortresses, 5.6 percent of the 464
      > dispatched from the Marianas.
      >
      > */_On average, 6,600 American servicemen died per month during WWII,
      > about 220 a day_/**/./* By the end of the war, over 40,000 airmen were
      > killed in combat theatres and another 18,000 wounded. Some 12,000
      > missing men were declared dead, including a number "liberated" by the
      > Soviets but never returned. More than 41,000 were captured, half of
      > the 5,400 held by the Japanese died in captivity, compared with
      > one-tenth in German hands. Total combat casualties were pegged at
      > 121,867.
      >
      > US manpower made up the deficit. The AAF's peak strength was reached
      > in 1944 with 2,372,000 personnel, nearly twice the previous year's figure.
      >
      > The losses were huge---but so were production totals. From 1941
      > through 1945, American industry delivered more than 276,000 military
      > aircraft. That number was enough not only for US Army, Navy and Marine
      > Corps, but for allies as diverse as Britain , Australia , China and
      > Russia . In fact, from 1943 onward, America produced more planes than
      > Britain and Russia combined. And more than Germany and Japan together
      > 1941-45.
      >
      > However, our enemies took massive losses. Through much of 1944, the
      > Luftwaffe sustained uncontrolled hemorrhaging, reaching 25 percent of
      > aircrews and 40 planes a month. And in late 1944 into 1945, nearly
      > half the pilots in Japanese squadrons had flown fewer than 200 hours.
      > The disparity of two years before had been completely reversed.
      >
      > *Experience Level:*
      > Uncle Sam sent many of his sons to war with absolute minimums of
      > training. Some fighter pilots entered combat in 1942 with less than
      > one hour in their assigned aircraft.
      > The 357th Fighter Group (often known as The Yoxford Boys) went to
      > England in late 1943 having trained on P-39s. The group never saw a
      > Mustang until shortly before its first combat mission.
      > A high-time P-51 pilot had 30 hours in type. Many had fewer than five
      > hours. *Some had one hour.*
      > With arrival of new aircraft, many combat units transitioned in
      > combat. The attitude was, *"They all have a stick and a throttle. Go
      > fly `em."* When the famed 4th Fighter Group converted from P-47s to
      > P-51s in February 1944, there was no time to stand down for an orderly
      > transition. The Group commander, Col. Donald Blakeslee, said, *"You
      > can learn to fly `51s on the way to the target*.
      >
      > A future P-47 ace said, *"I was sent to England to die."* He was not
      > alone. Some fighter pilots tucked their wheels in the well on their
      > first combat mission with one previous flight in the aircraft.
      > Meanwhile, many bomber crews were still learning their trade: of Jimmy
      > Doolittle's 15 pilots on the April 1942 Tokyo raid, only five had won
      > their wings before 1941. All but one of the 16 copilots were less
      > than a year out of flight school.
      >
      > In WWII flying safety took a back seat to combat. The AAF's worst
      > accident rate was recorded by the A-36 Invader version of the P-51: a
      > staggering 274 accidents per 100,000 flying hours. Next worst were
      > the P-39 at 245, the P-40 at 188, and the P-38 at 139. All were
      > Allison powered.
      >
      > Bomber wrecks were fewer but more expensive. The B-17 and B-24
      > averaged 30 and 35 accidents per 100,000 flight hours,
      > respectively-- a horrific figure considering that from 1980 to 2000
      > the Air Force's major mishap rate was less than 2.
      >
      > The B-29 was even worse at 40; the world's most sophisticated, most
      > capable and most expensive bomber was too urgently needed to stand
      > down for mere safety reasons. The AAF set a reasonably high standard
      > for B-29 pilots, but the desired figures were seldom attained.
      >
      > The original cadre of the 58th Bomb Wing was to have 400 hours of
      > multi-engine time, but there were not enough experienced pilots to
      > meet the criterion. Only ten percent had overseas experience.
      > Conversely, when a $2.1 billion B-2 crashed in 2008, the Air Force
      > initiated a two-month "safety pause" rather than declare a "stand
      > down", let alone grounding.
      >
      > The B-29 was no better for maintenance. Though the R3350 was known as
      > a complicated, troublesome power-plant, no more than half the
      > mechanics had previous experience with the Duplex Cyclone. But they
      > made it work.
      >
      > *Navigators*:
      > Perhaps the greatest unsung success story of AAF training was
      > Navigators. The Army graduated some 50,000 during the War. And many
      > had never flown out of sight of land before leaving "Uncle Sugar" for
      > a war zone. Yet the huge majority found their way across oceans and
      > continents without getting lost or running out of fuel --- a stirring
      > tribute to the AAF's educational establishments.
      >
      > *Cadet To Colonel:*
      > It was possible for a flying cadet at the time of Pearl Harbor to
      > finish the war with eagles on his shoulders. That was the record of
      > John D. Landers, a 21-year-old Texan, who was commissioned a second
      > lieutenant on December 12, 1941. He joined his combat squadron with
      > 209 hours total flight time, including 20 in P-40s. He finished the
      > war as a full colonel, commanding an 8th Air Force Group --- at age 24.
      >
      > As the training pipeline filled up, however those low figures became
      > exceptions.
      > By early 1944, the average AAF fighter pilot entering combat had
      > logged at least 450 hours, usually including 250 hours in training.
      > At the same time, many captains and first lieutenants claimed over 600
      > hours.
      >
      > *FACT:*
      > At its height in mid-1944, the Army Air Forces had 2.6 million people
      > and nearly 80,000 aircraft of all types.
      > Today the US Air Force employs 327,000 active personnel (plus 170,000
      > civilians) with 5,500+ manned and perhaps 200 unmanned aircraft.
      > The 2009 figures represent about 12 percent of the manpower and 7
      > percent of the airplanes of the WWII peak.
      >
      > *IN SUMMATION:*
      > Whether there will ever be another war like that experienced in
      > 1940-45 is doubtful, as fighters and bombers have given way to
      > helicopters and remotely-controlled drones over Afghanistan and Iraq
      > .. But within living memory, men left the earth */in 1,000-plane
      > formations/* and fought major battles five miles high, leaving a
      > legacy that remains timeless
      >
      >

      .



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