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 Post subject: Seaplane Fighters
PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 11:08 am 
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Long read but this turned up on a Google search for something else. Pictures are interesting for the tl;dr <-- self included

http://www.reocities.com/usnavyindanger ... ghters.htm

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 Post subject: Re: Seaplane Fighters
PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 5:29 pm 
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This guy is kinda crazy. As I understand his thesis, its that the US navy discarded successful elements after WW2, in favor of a carrier centric force. For some reason, he thinks that seaplanes launched from catapaults are superior to carrier based planes. I admit, they have advantages. They can land on water when low on fuel, damaged, or searching for downed pilots. The author grants them a whole host of advantages though, most of which seem pretty far fetched. I couldn't read the entire page (terrible writer means impatient harris). I've selected a quote of his to work through. Remember, he's claiming that seaplanes are superior to carrier based planes.

Quote:
Seaplanes performed the following critical missions:

* FIND THE ENEMY FLEET (RECON)

Less takeoff weight limitations meant seaplanes could carry more fuel, but the aerodynamic nightmare of the floats meant they had worse performance. Wikipedia tells us that the Curtis SC Seahawk (first flight-feb 1944) this author venerates so much had a maximum range of 625 miles. The standard mid-late war carrier fighter/scout was the Grumman F6F Hellcat (first flight-june 1942) had a maximum range of 1330 miles. Its combat radius (distance which it could travel and return) was greater than the Seahawk's maximum range (distance which it could travel and crash into the sea). This is even with a larger and more inefficient engine in the Hellcat.

To be fair though, the Hellcat wasn't often used as a scout. That role often went to dive bombers and torpedo bombers, outfitted with extra fuel instead of ordinance. Lets look at another typical reconnaissance carrier plane. The SBD Dauntless (first flight-may 1940) had a maximum range of 1115 miles. This is an old plane, already obsolete the day it was introduced. It still manages to outrange the SC Seahawk, designed near the end of the war. Even thought the Dauntless has a lower top speed (255 vs 313mph), its cruise speed outpaces the Seahawk's by a fair margin (185 vs 125mph).

Basically: carrier planes had better range and were thus more effective scouts in this role.

Quote:
* SPOT FOR NAVAL GUNFIRE SO IT HITS THE ENEMY FLEET AND SHORE TARGETS (NVGFS)


To be fair, any plane with a window can do this well. In this case, it might be good to have a long loiter time. In other words, range wins here again.

What carrier planes can do though, is drop bombs alongside the battleship bombardment. The carriers had a whole stable of planes able to drop bombs. Post war, the F4U Corsair was used heavily in Korea as an attack plane. Arguably the most succesful attack plane until the A-10 Warthog was the A-1 Skyraider, originally a carrier plane. In contrast, the SC Seahawk had a bomb bay in the float, but it leaked, so it wasn't used. It could sling 750lbs of bombs under the wings, but the Hellcat (also without a bomb bay) could carry 4000lbs. Point-carrier planes.

Quote:
* PATROLS FOR ENEMY SUBMARINES (ASW)


I don't know if the capability to land is useful here. I know the PBY Catalina (large seaplane) did well in this regard. Range is still an issue though for smaller sea planes.

Quote:
* SEARCHES AND RESCUES MEN IN WATER/LAND (CSAR)


Ok, this is the only mission in which a seaplane is clearly superior.

Quote:
* WARNS OF AIR ATTACKS AND SHOOTS DOWN ENEMY PLANES (AAW)


Shoots down enemy planes? Bwah ha ha ha. I havn't brought up the stats for the F4U corsair so far because I wanted to save it for this.

F4U-4 Corsair (entered service-1944)
  • Top speed: 446 mph
  • Ceiling 41,500ft
  • Armament 6x .50 cal M2 brownings (400 rounds each)

SC Seahawk (entered service-1944)
  • Top speed: 313 mph
  • Ceiling 37,400
  • Armament 2x .50 cal M2 brownings (200 rounds each)

There is no measurable statistic in which the SC Seahawk is more capable of warning of air attacks and shooting down planes.

Long story short, this guy is a fanatic, trying to get his opinion to shape facts which just arn't there.

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 Post subject: Re: Seaplane Fighters
PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 5:35 pm 
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Most definitely a nutter. I think Kamilah was pointing at the pictures more than the text, though.

On a side note, this made me want to play CoD: WaW again.

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 Post subject: Re: Seaplane Fighters
PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 2:34 pm 
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Herley wrote:
Most definitely a nutter. I think Kamilah was pointing at the pictures more than the text, though.


Yeah, was the pictures that grabbed me, and yeah, he looked like a nutter.

Good breakdown of the nuttery, though, Harris. :thumbs:

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 Post subject: Re: Seaplane Fighters
PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 10:41 pm 

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This is a bit more skyratie I think (just add 20+ radials). Quite like the watch too!

http://www.google.co.uk/images?hl=en&q= ... 24&bih=475

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 Post subject: Re: Seaplane Fighters
PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:37 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:16 pm
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Wow - thing looks like it was built to use ground effect, meaning it would normally fly about 10 to 15 ft off the deck.

I love the way it looks like they simply slapped on everything including the kitchen sink.


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