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46

There's a profile cam in the turret track ring that operates a mechanism that interrupts the guns when the barrels are pointed at parts of the aircraft. Waist gunners were the only ones who had to worry about hitting their own plane. The bigger problem was gunners hitting adjacent aircraft. The "box" formation design attempted to provide as much of an ...


45

Jet fuel is mostly kerosene, with some aromatic hydrocarbons mixed in for stability, temperature range and the like. You could probably run military jets on pure kerosene if they were magically transported back to WWII, but you wouldn't have to as it would have been possible to make reasonable jet fuel. The Jet-A standard was made in the 50s, and there were ...


41

It's not a head-up display, it's a reflector gunsight. (Follow that link to learn how they work.) It just displays a fixed reticle to aim the cannon, not any flight instrumentation. Some (but not all) Spitfires had a gyroscopic system to compute target leading and move the position of the reticle appropriately, based on the speed of the aircraft; I suspect ...


22

It was a test bed that was looking into laminar flow on the wings. was converted in 1942 as a two-seater, with an elongated central nacelle extending aft of the wing trailing edge, intended as a research vehicle to find ways of reducing drag, and was the only P-38 to have have a full dual set of flight controls. Later it was modified with ...


21

Looks like a TB-3 or a variant thereof. According to Wikipedia, this four-engine all steel(!) heavy bomber first flew in 1930 and was the world's first cantilever aircraft in this class. The skis do not appear to have pertained exclusively to any specific variant, given that the first flight already used them. It was used up to and including the Second ...


19

As yury10578 and AEhere correctly pointed out it's ANT-6A "Aviaarctica", polar version of TB-3 heavy bomber. (The plane's name is written on its body) Its drawing in that exact livery: ANT-6A with ski-only landing gear:


18

The Ju-87 Stuka did undergo engine change during its life. The initial Ju-87A version used the Junkers Jumo 210 A engine, which produced 602 hp. This was almost immediately replaced with Jumo 210D, which produced around 661 hp. The first production version, the Junkers Ju-87 B-1 used a Junkers Jumo 211D generating 1,184 hp. Note this version had the ...


17

The engine was replaced when newer versions were introduced: The first production model (Ju-87 A) used a Jumo 210 with 690 HP takeoff power. This was raised in the B version to 1200 HP by switching to the improved Jumo 211. From 1941 the D version with the more powerful Jumo 211 J (1420 HP) was introduced. But that is all besides ...


13

Early models of Supermarine Spitfire (prior to the 175th production aircraft) had no hydraulic gear extension system, according to Wikipedia: At the same time the manual hand-pump for operating the undercarriage was replaced by a hydraulic system driven by a pump mounted in the engine bay Source The movie could show the normal extension of the ...


10

Hydrocarbon cuts that can be used for jet fuel were plentiful during WWII; it was gasoline, especially high octane avgas, that was in short supply. Greatly over-simplified: the first stage in a refinery is the pipe still which boils the oil, then condenses it into different fractions according to temperature ranges. Typically a large fraction is "gas-oil" ...


9

You are correct. US carriers did indeed have a homing beacon that enabled aircraft to find them. The carrier transmitting units were called YE or YG, and the receiving units in the planes were designated ZB, and called "Zeebies". The transmitters consisted of rotating "superfrequency" beacons that broadcast different morse letters in different directions ...


7

You're right that the yellow tactical markings were used in order to reduce the friendly fire incidents (similar to the Allied D-Day stripes). As noted by Alan W. Hall in Messerschmidt Bf 109 warpaint: Quick identification has always been a necessity in aerial conflict ... Channel front fighters of the Luftwaffe started carrying yellow cowl and rudder ...


7

The only figures I could find were the 60 bombers out of 300 lost by the USAAF in the Schweinfurt raid, most of those losses from German fighters. That convinced the generals that the onboard gunners weren't all that effective, and bombers couldn't defend themselves from a determined fighter attack. Major air attacks on Germany were postponed until the long ...


5

While both the fighter and the bomber fly straight, the bomber for the bombing run and the fighter to keep its guns on the bomber, the bomber is far easier to spot for the fighter pilot, than it is for the gunners in the bomber to spot the fighter. However, as the gunners of the bomber shoot back at the fighter, the fighter can't afford to take his time to ...


5

It's possible to get something in the vicinity of the C130 during WW2. The C130's predecessor, the Fairchild C123, was powered with two WW2 era P&W R2800 radial engines, each producing 2000 hp. Presumably, the design and number of engines could have been scaled up. Remember that a defining characteristic of the C130 isn't it's payload, it is the rough ...


5

Replace the engine with... what, exactly? Bear in mind that at low-mid altitude (definitely below 10,000ft) the Ju 87D had a more powerful engine than any Bf 109 until the autumn of 1943. After mid-1944 every high-power engine generally had good high-altitude performance, with low-altitude performance being mediocre in the absence of MW 50 injection. Every ...


5

It's a leading edge slot used to improve low speed handling. Excerpt from Wikipedia: Partial-span slots are usually found only on the outboard portion of the wing where they ensure airflow over that portion of the wing will remain unstalled at higher angles of attack than the inboard portions of the wing. This ensures the wing root stalls ...


4

The ocean is featureless, floating smoke bombs were used to mark a spot on a body of water so pilots could get back to the same spot. Smoke plumes can be seen from a long distance, they also let you gauge wind direction and speed. Smoke bombs were often used when attacking submarines, if a pilot spotted a periscope or caught a sub on the surface before it ...


3

To "steer" means to change the aircraft's track (the direction of movement of the aircraft) to a certain degree in relation to the lines of meridian (north–south lines). The units are degrees from north in a clockwise direction. North is 0°, east is 90°, south is 180°, and west is 270°. Note that, due to wind forces, track is not the same as the heading (...


3

Several factors. The ones you mentioned, plus the different purpose of most of the Soviet aircraft and the longer flight career of German pilots on the Eastern Front. Beyond that was the fact that, early in the war, the Germans enjoyed near-complete air superiority (reinforced by their superiority in other factors). As you note, at the beginning, most of ...


3

Those chocks were made out of wood; I am guessing that they were unpainted or painted a bright color, for visibility. Today, they are made out of rubber or a synthetic. Rubber grips better than wood, but the wood chocks were most likely made out of wood, to preserve the rubber for the war effort.


3

The question is unbounded, the answer really depends on how much of the manufacturing supply chain the time traveler intends to upgrade. The time traveler is in a sense taking the technology back in time with him so anything could be built at any point in history if the knowledge base is broad enough. Is the design of a turbo prop engine not part of the C-...


2

Even though the C-130 isn't really new (first flight 1954), you can get pretty close actually considering no turboprops. But note that no turboprops means lower thrust, which will bring down the maximum takeoff weight (MTOW). The Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor (1937) is an excellent contender, with a range of 3,500 km (vs. 3,800), and a MTOW of 43 tonnes (vs. 70)....


2

The question of the effectiveness of bomber armament during the Second World War has to be assessed in the context of the bombing tactics used rather than in isolation. The tactics used by the USAAF units operating the B17 in Europe were based on the principle that bombers flying in formation could combine their firepower to effectively defend themselves ...


2

JG26 pilot Steinhilper records in his diary that yellow paint arrived at aerodromes on August 24th with orders to paint all cowlings immediately. This order was direct from Goering but unpopular with commanders. It was for identification purposes because Goering claimed that the skies would be full of Luftwaffe. Hope that helps.


2

Please find the answers below from "World war II fighter aerodynamics" by David Lednicer. And L/D, of course, depends on the CL you are flying at but you can easily calculate it from the unambiguous drag area given Edit: Calculated L/D vs speed curves below for 4000m altitude flight. A fixed span efficiency was taken to simplify the calculation. Please ...


2

Yes it's because of dispersion. With wing mounted guns you normally "harmonize" them to converge at a point, say 300 yards or 600 yards to have a sweet spot where most of the projectiles are passing through a small area to maximize the fire concentration. But at ranges closer and farther, the streams of projectiles are more dispersed and their effects are ...


1

That must be one of the civil variants of TB-3 as other guys already said. Went under designations ANT-6A and/or G-2, I'd have to dig out a book to tell more precisely. Interestingly, Wikipedia tells almost nothing about it -- and this plane (well, planes -- there were a small series) was quite a hero of Artic flights, if I recall my reading right. ADDED: ...


1

Yes. 'to steer' = 'to change course to', and the number is a compass heading. Source: reading lots of books on WW2. The term is still in use on ships, not so much in aviation any more.


1

Depends on the extent of the damage as well as what systems are affected. Lose the vertical fin, it's possible the aircraft could make it home but with limited yaw stability. Lose the vertical fin and the tailplane, the airplane would nose over and depart from controlled flight due to longitudinal instability.


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