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Questions tagged [aviation]

Questions related to the history of mechanical flight and the aircraft industry.

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What were the postwar non-military uses of the Rolls-Royce built Merlin Engines in Britain?

The Rolls-Royce Merlin Engine powered some of the most famous airplanes of World War II, including the Spitfire, the Hurricane, the Mosquito, the Mustang, and the Lancaster. By the end of its ...
samnoon's user avatar
  • 185
1 vote
2 answers
674 views

Is it true that the A10 gun was made less accurate on purpose?

I heard that the engineers that worked on the A-10 modified the gun to increase its spread. Supposedly because it was very hard for the pilot to keep the gun perfectly on target, and with higher ...
Rafnus's user avatar
  • 131
3 votes
3 answers
382 views

How possible was it for Japan to convert her naval aircraft to land uses?

Some years ago, I created a World War II computer game in which I obtained interesting results by having Japan use her naval aviation (the planes that fought at Coral Sea, Midway, and elsewhere in the ...
Tom Au's user avatar
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5 votes
0 answers
168 views

Who was the PAF aviator nicknamed as "8-Pass Charlie" by IAF in Indo-Pakistan 1965 War?

Indian Airforce veterans who were posted at Adampur IAF airbase make special note of the aviator nicknamed '8-pass Charlie'. He was supposedly given the epithet by the Indians who were apparently ...
Flying Spaghetti's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
556 views

Why were P-39/P-400 sent to Henderson Field?

According to wikipedia, P-400 (export version of P-39) were part of the Cactus Air Force early in the battle of Guadalcanal, as soon as August 1942. This airplane was heavily armed but, according to ...
totalMongot's user avatar
  • 6,748
7 votes
2 answers
479 views

How common was it for USAAF aircrews to swap airplanes?

My (rather novice) understanding of U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) practices during WWII (and afterwards in the U.S. Air Force) is that aircrews were assigned specific airplanes, and that if an aircrew's ...
Fing Lixon's user avatar
20 votes
2 answers
6k views

Was a bomb or shell ever dropped directly down the funnel of a warship?

I was surprised to learn in this awesome video about the USS New Jersey that the funnel on an Iowa-class battleship is not a straight line, there's a bit of a zig-zag in it. The idea was that, unlike ...
Ryan_L's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
252 views

Did German aircraft operate off Lebanon in 1941?

During the Syro-Lebanon War in 1941, French forces fought British forces both on the ground, in the air and at sea. French airplanes attacked the British fleet multiple times. But according to Roald ...
totalMongot's user avatar
  • 6,748
-2 votes
1 answer
237 views

Did they use flying drones around 1925 for warfare?

In the Soviet sci-fi film "Napoleon-gas" (1925) they use radio-controlled flying drones for air warfare. Here is the timed link to this place in the film. I wonder if this is a pure sci-fi ...
Anixx's user avatar
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8 votes
2 answers
376 views

Did any of the Flying Tigers lead a US Navy squadron?

I came across a couple of passages on the Flying Tigers, mercenary armies and famous volunteers I saw how one pilot became an ace in Europe and another became a General in the 10th Air Force after ...
Seamus's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
159 views

Did Stukas support Schmalz Panzer corps and what about air interdiction?

During the campaign of Sicily, mid-summer 1943, British forces of the 8th army fought along the East coast of Sicily against Axis forces. Mid-July, the 5th British division encountered an opposing ...
totalMongot's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
472 views

How many RAF and USAAF/USAF airfields were built in the UK between the mid-1930s and 1960?

Whenever I fly over southern or eastern England I see a lot of runways, many of them disused. The majority were built during WW2 for the RAF and USAAF, others date back to the early cold war years. ...
Dave Gremlin's user avatar
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5 votes
0 answers
160 views

Where did the SOE agents sit in the 161 squadron Short Stirlings?

If this question is better suited for a more aviation-oriented forum, please let me know. During World War II SOE agents were dropped into occupied Europe by No. 161 squadron of the RAF. This ...
Mastrem's user avatar
  • 333
9 votes
1 answer
265 views

How serious was the initiative to create "One World Airline"?

I came across this in the provenance of a map of airmail routes in 1940: Lloyd Welch Pogue (October 21, 1899 – May 10, 2003) American aviation lawyer and chairman of the Civil Aeronautics Board. ...
pokep's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
3k views

Why did the USA sell so many airplanes prior to WW2?

I am wondering why there are so much airplanes made in USA in the world's air forces prior to WW2, since I don't think the US Air Force had the better reputation. You can count the: Glenn Martin ...
totalMongot's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
613 views

Has anti-aircraft artillery ever repelled an air attack?

Anti-aircraft artillery (AAA) has been developed as early as during World War I. However, according to my research, it seems that it has never been very efficient. In fact, it has never repelled an ...
totalMongot's user avatar
  • 6,748
12 votes
1 answer
2k views

What route did the Hindenburg take when traveling from Germany to the U.S.?

Today's passenger jets travel the shortest (northern) route, which takes them over Iceland, Greenland, and Newfoundland. However, that's where the Hindenburg would have encountered the Westerlies, ...
Ricky's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
2k views

Were bricks instead of bombs occasionally thrown out of war planes in WWI?

I remember reading in a school textbook or perhaps hearing my history teacher tell the story of how bricks instead of bombs were occasionally thrown out of war planes in WWI, perhaps because of ...
Richard Hardy's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
431 views

How would a WW1 pilot signal a request to surrender in-flight?

The white flag is the classic sign of requesting surrender, ceasefire or parlay in military contexts, yet it is unfortunately rather unwieldy to take with one on a fighter patrol, or use during one. ...
kviiri's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
602 views

When did pilots experience blackouts and redouts for the first time?

I'm working on a semi-historical novel right now. There's an interesting dogfight inside, between two 1914-era planes. While writing it I wondered if at the time, planes were fast enough for pilots ...
Kaël's user avatar
  • 163
1 vote
2 answers
459 views

Can anyone identify this uniform, approximate year, and aircraft?

It's U.S. from the interwar years, but I don't know much more than that.
Steve Dallas's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
237 views

1959 Supersonic Transport Aircraft Committee (STAC) report (on Concorde)

I am looking for the 1959 STAC report. This 1977 Atlantic article stated that the report was, at that time, still being withheld by the UK government, probably out of embarrassment. I think this UK ...
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