Operation Eldorado Canyon
U.S Navy Aircraft History
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3w ago
 In case you’re wondering why I reviewing a book with a USAF F-111 profile on the cover in a Naval Aviation blog:   1. I’ve spent almost three decades, with limited success, trying to establish that its USN counterpart, the F-111B was not a failure so anything about the program is of interest to me. I am pleased in that regard that while the author’s summary of the Navy variant’s failure to enter service is brief, it is respectful. 2. The content includes a description of the participation of carrier-based US Navy aircraft, which played a significant role in Operation Eldorado Cany ..read more
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Carrier Landings - Canopy open or closed?
U.S Navy Aircraft History
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3w ago
  Navy pilots landed the early jets on carriers as they always had, with the canopy open. It facilitated rapid egress from the cockpit if they had to ditch. If the engine quit, below about 1,000 feet, ejection was not an option to ditching. The early ejection seats were primarily bailout assists, necessary at the higher speeds that the jets were capable of compared to piston-engine powered fighters. However, on axial deck carriers a last-ditch barricade was added for jet landings because the Davis barrier—that was intended to stop them if they failed to be arrested by the customary mean ..read more
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TBD Devastator in Action by Dana Bell
U.S Navy Aircraft History
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3w ago
  An excellent monograph by an actual historian who does his research in archives (not on line or using books by authors who rely on Wikipedia), high-resolution scans on high-quality paper, knowledgeable and informative captions, previously unpublished close-up full-page photos, color illustrations of paint schemes and markings, what's not to like? A couple of nits: On page 13, the venturi has nothing to do with airspeed; it was there to provide suction of air through the gyros for the blind-flying instruments initially fitted. On page 135, the pilot must not have leaned his engine to ru ..read more
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Chance Vought F7U-3 Cutlass
U.S Navy Aircraft History
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3w ago
  https://www.crecy.co.uk/vought-f7u-3-cutlass ..read more
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JATO vs. RATO
U.S Navy Aircraft History
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3w ago
  Every once in a while, someone wonders why rocket-assisted takeoff is called JATO (Jet Assisted Takeoff) instead. According to Captain Robert C. Truax, who was literally the Navy's rocket scientist (also see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Truax), it was as follows: "My job at the Bureau of Aeronautics (beginning in 1946) was to set up a permanent jet propulsion deck and to draw up a program for the Bureau to pursue in the field of rocket development. Since at the time 'rocket' was a science-fiction term associated only with crackpots, the term 'jet propulsion' was always used. My ..read more
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Comparing U.S. Navy Swept-Wing Fighter Service Careers
U.S Navy Aircraft History
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3w ago
 Every once in a while on the internet, with respect to U.S. Navy swept-wing fighters before the introduction of the F8U Crusader and the F4H Phantom II, I read something like "X did not have a very long service career" or plaudits for one that was more of an also-ran, if not an outright disappointment. When I wrote U.S Naval Air Superiority once upon a time, I created an illustration of deployments by year by type for the Navy's first swept-wing fighters and the F2H-3/4 Banshee. A deployment was defined as an extended one, i.e. at least six months. One to two-month shakedown cruises we ..read more
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A Brief History of USN Helicopter Minesweeping
U.S Navy Aircraft History
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3w ago
 I had intended to post this here but inadvertently created it in my modeling blog. See http://tailspintopics.blogspot.com/2022/12/a-brief-history-of-usn-helicopter.html  One comment there so far from Richard "RJ" Tucker: Wow! Does this article take me back. I was on the USS Nashville (LPD-13) in 1981 when we deployed on a mine countermeasures deployment with four RH-53Ds from HM-14, two mine-sweeping boats in the well, and an EOD det. We were with the USS Leader and USS Illusive MSOs (Mine Sweeper Ocean). Lots of NATO mine counter measures exercises in the North Atlantic and Med ..read more
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Barricade and Barriers Example
U.S Navy Aircraft History
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3w ago
Every once in a while, someone posts a picture of a barricade engagement on an angle-deck carrier and refers to it as the barrier. Sometimes I comment that it is properly known as the barricade, not barrier, and the poster or someone else is offended at being incorrectly corrected. For all I know, the big net, I'll call it, is now officially known as the barrier; certainly many refer to it as that. However, once upon a time, before angled decks, it was important to differentiate the barricade from the barriers, which are no longer needed on angled-deck carriers. This is an illustration of the ..read more
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North American PBJ-1H Carrier Suitability Evaluation
U.S Navy Aircraft History
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3w ago
 In November 1944, the recently commissioned Shangri-La was used to conduct carrier evaluations of three aircraft, a Grumman F7F-1 Tigercat, North American a P-51 Mustang, and a North American PBJ-1H Mitchell. Click here for one report on the trials of the F7F and PBJ: http://steeljawscribe.com/2007/10/05/flightdeck-friday-more-oddities. Click here for my post on the Navy's involvement with the P-51: https://tailspintopics.blogspot.com/2011/06/seahorse.html The otherwise stock PBJ-1H was modified to have a tail hook, catapult provisions, and main landing gear struts that could be swivel ..read more
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Naval Fighters Number 113: Douglas F4D-1/F-6A Skyray by Nicholas M. Williams
U.S Navy Aircraft History
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3w ago
  This is a long needed update of Naval Fighters 13 by the same author published in 1984. "Greatly expanded" doesn't do it justice. Forget page count or number of illustrations: this soft-cover monograph printed on high-quality paper weighs a little over two pounds! If you didn't know already, it clearly demonstrates that Nick is the most knowledgeable F4D subject-matter expert. He covers the lengthy and somewhat troubled development of the F4D in detail, both words and pictures. For example, much of the the account of its nearly disastrous first flight was new to me as were the difficul ..read more
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