Military Review

P-36 Curtiss. Part I. Unrecognized in his own country

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P-36 Curtiss. Part I. Unrecognized in his own country



The Curtiss R-36 was a new generation of monoplane fighter aircraft that entered service with the US Army Air Corps. It was quite comparable with the Spitfire Supermarine, Hurricane and Messerschmitt Bf.109 fighters, which first flew in the middle of the 30-s, at intervals of several months. And although the P-36 is almost nothing left of the Curtiss biplanes, he retained the nickname "Hawk", characteristic of the company's aircraft.

The prototype of the P-36 fighter was the “Model 75” project, which was developed by order of the army to participate in the competition for a new fighter, the start of which was planned for May 1935. Although Curtiss lost the first place in the competition, it really turned out to be the winner, winning the contract for 227 aircraft for the army air corps and putting the 753 fighter for export. In addition, at least 25 aircraft were built under license in other countries.

The 75 model really had little to do with previous Curtiss aircraft. The chief designer of the project was Donovan Berlin, who switched to Curtiss from Northrop and brought many new ideas from the last job. Experienced aircraft received civil registration X-17Y. It was an all-metal monoplane with fabric covering only on the steering surfaces. The cabin was closed with a backward-moving lantern, turning into a tall gargrot. The main landing gear and tail wheel were removed. The main pillars were retracted back into the wing with a twist of the 90 °. This cleaning mechanism was originally developed by Boeing, which retained its copyright on it, receiving a license payment from each aircraft equipped with such a landing gear kinematics. The wing was made of two consoles connected on the line of symmetry of the aircraft. The consoles were sealed caissons to provide a forced landing on the water. The flaps were split with a hydraulic control system. Initially, the weapons met the American standards of the time - 12,7-mm and 7,62-mm synchronous machine guns (one by one). Neither the pilot’s armor or the tanks were designed.



The assembly of the prototype machine began in November 1934. Initially, the aircraft was equipped with a Wright XR-1670-5 air-cooled engine with a power of 900 hp, which turned out to be unsuccessful. The first flight of the "75 model" took place in May 1935. During the subsequent tests, the test aircraft showed a speed of up to 3050 km / h at an altitude of 450 m, a ceiling of 9150 m and a range of 860 km.

27 May 1935, the Curtiss offered a "75 model" for the competition, organized by the Army Air Corps Supply Division. However, the “75 model” turned out to be the only flight competitor at the time of the planned test start date. The main competitor, a double fighter Seversky SEV-2HR, was "heavily damaged" during the distillation at Wright-field, and not staying on time. The SEV-2XP was returned to the company, where it was converted into a single-seat fighter with retractable landing gear. As a result, the competition was suspended until the readiness of SEV-1ХР. Finally, the 15 August fighter Seversky appeared on Wright Field under a new designation. Another competitor, the Northrop 2A, immediately after the first take-off of July 30 fell into the ocean.

Curtiss tried to protest, since the delay in the start of the competition clearly played into the hands of Seversky, and persuaded the army to postpone the final decision on choosing the winner until April 1936. During the first tests, the "Model 75" with the XR-1670-5 engine proved to be unsatisfactory. So Don Berlin took advantage of the delay in the tender to install the 1535hp Pratt & Whitney R-700 engine. Since this 9-cylinder in-line engine no longer had any development prospects, it was also quickly replaced by the Wright HR-1820-39 (G5) Cyclone, with a takeoff power of 950 hp. With this engine, the prototype aircraft received the designation Model 75B (the designation Model 75A was reserved for the export version of the Hawk). The final version of the "Model 75B" was distinguished by a reinforced canopy and glazed "ears" in the gargrotto behind the cockpit, which slightly improved the view back.



The new Cyclone engine turned out to be almost as unsuccessful as its predecessor R-1670, and also did not deliver the declared power. During the tests at Wright Field had to change four engines. In addition, there were problems with the compatibility of the new engine and airframe. On the "75В model" it was possible to reach speeds of only 456 km / h instead of 470 km / h guaranteed by the company. And although the Seversky firm also did not keep its promises, the fighter presented by it was more expensive than the Curtiss option, the “75В model” lost the competition, and the order for the 77 aircraft was received by the Seversky P-35.

Despite the fact that the “75 model” was never officially acquired by the army, in some sources this aircraft is called the XP-36, which more closely follows the logic of the development of events than the real stories. Experienced aircraft "model 75" after equipping the Wright engine SCR-1670-G5 with the power 900 hp later received the brand designation "model 750". After the conversion, the aircraft was delivered to the army under the designation XP-37.

On June 16, 1936, Curtiss received an order from the Supply Department for three "Model 75B" prototypes under the official designation Y1P-36. The main reason for the renewed interest in Hawk was the inability of Seversky's firm to keep up with the delivery schedule. The brand name was Model 75E. At the request of the army, the planes were equipped with Pratt & Whitney R-1830-13 Twin Wasp aircraft engines - the same type as the P-35. "Twin Wasp" produced 3600 hp at an altitude of 900 m. at 2550 rpm, and takeoff power was raised from 950 to 1050 hp. The propeller was a Hamilton Standard, a three-blade, constant-speed automatic machine. The armament corresponded to the standards of that time - one 7,62-mm and one 12,7-mm synchronous machine gun. They differed from the first prototype Y1P-36 only in the engine and enlarged glazed "ears" in the gargrot.



The first Y1P-36 joined the army in March 1937 of the year and was tested at Wright Field in June of the same year. Test pilots met the aircraft very well, especially noted the good maneuverability of the aircraft. Control of the aircraft was easy and efficient in the entire speed range, the aircraft was stable and well controlled on the ground. The pilots did not like the curved visor of the cockpit canopy, which introduces distortion, poor cockpit ventilation, as well as the location of the controls for cleaning the chassis and flaps. Thus, the R-1830 engine version was positively received by the army, and on July 7 the 1937 was followed by an order for the X-NUMX Р-210А - the largest order for military aircraft in the USA since the First World War. For the first time, Curtiss initiative development received a well-deserved assessment.

The production aircraft differed from the Y1P-36 by additional louvers on the engine hood and "frog eyes" - fairings over the machine gun ports. The final version of the R-36A received the Pratt & Whitney R-1830-13 engine with a capacity of 1050 hp. and the Curtiss-Electric automatic propeller.

Even before readiness, one of the P-36A was converted into an experienced XP-40 ("model 75Р"), and another copy into an experienced XP-42 ("model 75S"). The first of these was the prototype for a production aircraft.

Another of the P-36s was circled in the fall of the 1938 of the year with the R-1830-25 engine, which had take-off power in the 1100 hp. The designation of the aircraft changed to P-36В. The maximum speed reached 500 km / h. Later, the aircraft was again converted into a standard P-36A.



The P-XNUMHA from its modern fighters ("Spitfire" or "Hurricane") was distinguished by relatively weak weaponry. As a result, one of the machines was experimentally equipped with an additional pair of rifle-caliber wing machine guns. The installation was considered successful and the last 36 aircraft on request were refined accordingly. At the same time, they received a new designation P-30С. The new modification also differed in the R-36-1830 engine (take-off power of the 17 hp). All these modifications of the production machines were approved by 1200 January 16 of the year. Externally, the serial P-1939C differed from the P-36A in cartridge boxes of wing machine guns, slightly protruding under the wing. Despite their additional air resistance, thanks to the installation of the new engine, the speed even increased.

The P-36 with serial number 38-174 in January 1939 was withdrawn from the combat squadron to equip with four 7,62-mm wing-powered machine guns with tape feed. Simultaneously, two large-caliber synchronous machine guns were installed on the aircraft. After revision, it received the designation XP-36D.

Another P-36A number 38-147 was equipped with new wing consoles with installation of four 7,62-m machine guns with tape feed (as on the "Spitfire" and "Hurricane") in each. The synchronous 12,7-mm machine gun was left but turned off. The aircraft received the code number XP-36E.

The designation XP-36P was assigned to the P-36А, equipped with two 23-mm guns of the system of the Danish company Madsen, in the underwing fairing. In this case, synchronous machine guns were left. The installation of additional weapons led to an increase in take-off weight to 3110 kg, and the speed dropped to 424 km / h. Therefore, the guns were removed, the aircraft was remade back to P-36, and finally it was written off in the fall of 1944.



The designation “model 75A” was worn by an aircraft that remained at the firm as a demonstration and had civil registration NX22028. On it, the company conducted a number of different experiments. At first, the aircraft was equipped with a mechanically driven supercharger placed under the engine and wore the designation “model 75J. Later, the aircraft was equipped with an R-1830-SC2-G engine with a turbocharger. The turbocharger was placed below the nose of the fuselage, immediately behind the engine hood. ". Empty weight was 75 kg, take-off-2303 kg. During the tests at the beginning of 2798, the speed 1939 km / h was achieved. However, the low reliability and complexity of the turbocharger forced the army air corps to abandon its mustache Installing the P-528, ordering a Seversky (Republic of) XP-36 turbo-compressor equipped instead, representing the development of the P-41. as a demo.

The first serial P-36A was delivered to Wright Field in mid-April 1938. The first to receive them was the 20-I Fighter Group, which had previously been armed with a Boeing Р-26. However, once in the front, the Curtiss fighters demonstrated a whole “bunch” of innumerable flaws and failures. In the area of ​​landing gear swelling of the wing skin, which caused the need to mount reinforcing plates. Delivered problems exhaust manifold, and the fuselage was not strong enough. Despite the ongoing improvements, the P-36A stayed on the ground for a longer time after the next flight ban. There was a time when there were only six P-20Аs in the flying state in the 36-I fighter group, and those flying only with a multitude of restrictions in speed, flight and overload.



The 1 th fighter group in Sel-fridge-Field, Michigan, also planned to rearm R-1938A in 36. However, this group was forced to wait for the results of the hard work on fine-tuning the fighter in Buffalo. In the end, in 1938, P-36А received only 94-I squadron, which used them together with Seversky P-35.

In 1939, three more squadrons of the 36 fighter group were reequipped on the P-8. By the beginning of the 1941, the P-36 was obviously outdated and had already been replaced in the combat units of the army Air Force (as the army air corps had come to be called), and the remaining vehicles were handed over to the training units. By the time the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, the P-36 was used in the 35 training group in Muffett Field, California, and in the 36 training group in Langley Field, Virginia. P-36 was used there as a transitional training aircraft for new types of fighters. The remaining P-36 were sent overseas. So, they received the 16-I and 32-I fighter groups in the area of ​​the Panama Canal. Moreover, these groups continued to use the already archaic Boeing P-26. In February, the 1941 of the year, the 20 of the dismantled P-36, were sent to Alaska, where they entered into service with the 23-th squadron at Elmendorf-field. Simultaneously, the 31 P-36 was sent to Hawaii aboard the aircraft carrier Enterprise.

During the raid on Pearl Harbor, his anti-aircraft defense was provided by 14 Р-26А, 39 Р-36А and 99 Р-40. Most of these vehicles were destroyed or damaged on the ground during the first minutes of the raid. But four P-36s from the 46 squadron were able to rise into the air before the raid of the second wave of Japanese aircraft and attack the nine Nakajima B5М1 bombers. Two Japanese aircraft were shot down - these were the first victories of the US Army Air Forces during the war in the Pacific.



After Pearl Harbor fighter is no longer used by the US Air Force. P-36 were quickly removed from the weapons of combat units and handed over to training units. Ten P-36 were transferred to Brazil in March 1942.

Shortly before the Nazis occupied Norway, the Norwegian government planned to order the 36 Hawk-75-8, the export version of the P-36. As a result, after the readiness of these machines, they were acquired by the US government. In February, six 1941 aircraft were transferred to the armed forces of Free Norway in Canada, where they were used to train fighter pilots in the so-called “Little Norway” near Toronto. The remaining A-8 were adopted by the US Army under the designation P-36C. The aircraft were equipped with Wright R-1820-G205 "Cyclone" engines with take-off power 1200 hp, which in the arsenal of the US Army were called R-1820-95. Since the aircraft was of dubious combat value, and also due to the fact that the rest of the P-36 were equipped with other engines, they were transferred to Lend-Lease Peru in 1943 g. One of them is now stored in the museum of the Peruvian Air Force.

Although the P-36 was not actually used in the battles by the Americans themselves, he had to fight quite a bit as part of the air forces of other countries. Moreover, it was one of the few American planes that had a chance to fight on the other side. But about it in the following part of article.





Sources:
Kotelnikov V. "Model 75". About fighter P-36 "Hawk 75" company "Kurtis" and its modifications // Wings of the Motherland. 2002. No.2. C.24-28.
Kotlobovsky A. "Hawks" of Donovan Berlin. Aviation and time. 2000. No3. S. 35-38.
Firsov A. US Fighters // Aviation Collection. No.13. C. 39-44.
Bykov M. "Hawk" in the sky of World War II // Aviamaster. 2000. No.3. C.28-34.
Haruk A. Fighters of the Second World War. M .: Yauza Press, 2012. C. 231-233.
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  1. Echo
    Echo 26 November 2015 06: 50 New
    +9
    On the issue of corrupt officials and crooked idiots in the United States. This is Curtiss, guys. This office regularly supplied various aircraft to the US Army and Navy, and ALL of them were drain. From the beginning to the end of its career, the P-36 remained a victim aircraft, which was unable to fight even with its contemporaries. As for even a little later aircraft, this flying brick, together with his younger moron brother P-40 and his F2A colleague Buffalo, could not do anything against the Japanese Zeros. And if you also talk about another creation of Curtiss - "cattle" Helldiver (but this one, however, is not a fighter), then it will generally turn out funny. After all these enchanting leaks, the guys from Curtiss were friendly recommended not to build more airplanes, but to concentrate on the production of blades. The blades of these guys turned out better than airplanes.

    I believe that in the following parts of this article we will be told how all sorts of Finns on their P-36 Soviet aggressors strangled-strangled, strangled-strangled, strangled-strangled ... or will this nonsense still be?
    1. timyr
      timyr 26 November 2015 08: 15 New
      +1
      We will be told how the valiant Finnish aces shot down more aircraft than in all the Red Army aviation in the north. Someone counted the accounts of Finnish aces, it turned out that we had so many aircraft were not in this direction.
      1. Mooh
        Mooh 26 November 2015 18: 35 New
        0
        The author is a technical engineer, so there will be no politics. Do not wait tongue
    2. Alexey RA
      Alexey RA 26 November 2015 11: 40 New
      +5
      Quote: Echo
      With regards to even slightly later aircraft, against the Japanese Zero, this flying brick, together with his younger brother-moron R-40 and his colleague in the F2A chamber Buffalo could not do anything at all.

      You must be able to fly. smile For some reason, the forces of the "Cactus" on the same P-40 shot down the "Zero" and beat off Japanese raids. Boom Zoom or Tech Pattern. And no dogfights.

      As for the Buffalo, then all the rays of goodness should be sent towards the fleet. They demanded to strengthen the protection and increase the radius - get the "iron" A-3.
      It is noteworthy that the pilots flying the A-2 and A-1 (the same Gregory "Peppy" Boeington - "Black Sheep" leader) called the "Buffalo" a highly maneuverable fighter. And reseeding on A-3 - they spat and swore at the "flying target". smile
  2. parusnik
    parusnik 26 November 2015 07: 39 New
    0
    Although the P-36 was not actually used in the battles by the Americans themselves, he had to fight quite a bit as part of the air forces of other countries. Moreover, it was one of the few American planes that had a chance to fight on the other side. But about it in the following part of article.... Thank you .. very interesting .. We are waiting for the second part ..
  3. inkass_98
    inkass_98 26 November 2015 08: 00 New
    0
    I agree with my colleague Echo, Curtiss did not release anything traveling. There was nothing to underestimate; the planes were frankly unsuccessful and frail. The same P-40 is a separate song. Of one crap (P-36) they tried to make another with the same success.
  4. qwert
    qwert 26 November 2015 09: 34 New
    0
    Quote: Echo
    And if you also tell about another creation of Curtiss - "cattle" Helldiver (but this, however, is not a fighter)

    And here on the site is an article about Helldiver, in my opinion it was called something about Skotina.
  5. The comment was deleted.
  6. Alexey RA
    Alexey RA 26 November 2015 11: 31 New
    0
    But four R-36s from the 46th squadron managed to take off before the attack of the second wave of Japanese aircraft and attack the nine Nakajima B5M1 bombers. Two Japanese aircraft were shot down - these were the first victories of the US Army Air Force during the Pacific War.

    Pomnitz, in the 44th issue of "War in the Air" wrote that on account of the P-36 - almost all "Zeros" shot down by Yankees during the attack on Pearl Harbor:
    At 8:50, five pilots from the 46th fighter division of the 16th fighter group on Hawk R-36 fighters rose from Wheeler Base. On take-off, cars came under fire from their own anti-aircraft artillery. Still managing to rise, the five headed toward Pearl Harbor. But a dense fire barrier was put over the base, so the fighters turned to Bellows airfield. In the area of ​​Cape Diamond Head, the Americans noticed a group of 9 Zero fighters. Not paying attention to the numerical superiority of the enemy, American fighters attacked the 1st link of the 3rd squadron with the Soryu. 1st Lieutenant Lewis M. Sanders attacked the captain's group commander Fusatu Iida and knocked him down. Iida tried to reach the aircraft carriers, but the punctured fuel tanks and bullet in his shoulder did not allow him to fulfill his plan. His Zero crashed to the ground in the vicinity of Bellows' officer barracks. Another American, 1st Lieutenant Philip M. Rasmussen, shot down Enso Atsumi's Zero. This plane crashed into the bay of Kailua. 2nd Lieutenant Gordon Sterling also attacked a Japanese fighter. Maneuvering in the air, he tried to catch the enemy in sight. He succeeded and Ensin Isi's plane was also shot down. Meanwhile, another Japanese - Ensin Jiro Tanaka - sat on Sterling's tail and knocked him down. The American pilot died. 1st Lieutenant John M. Tucker fought another M6A2. But Tucker refused machine guns, which the Japanese pilot took advantage of. Tucker went to a steep peak and returned to base without any problems. The fifth of the Americans, 1st Lieutenant Malcolm A. Moore, attacked the M6A2 with Hiru, but the Japanese hid in the clouds.
  7. Echo
    Echo 26 November 2015 12: 14 New
    +3
    Quote: Alexey RA
    You must be able to fly. For some reason, the forces of the "Cactus" on the same P-40 shot down the "Zero" and beat off Japanese raids. Boom Zoom or Tech Pattern. And no dogfights.

    Yes, I know all these American tales about boom and the Thach pattern. By the way, the Thach pattern was successfully used during the First World War, and was a basic element of combat maneuvering. Just don’t tell the Americans about it - they’re battering their heads against the ceiling because of such news ... it’s a shame to learn that the radio, the light bulb and the airplane were not invented by them, oga. It is better to act more cruelly: to remind that for some reason in 1942 the losses of the Americans, the British and the Dutch (the latter, by the way, were especially enchanting in matters of merger, flying just on these P-36 and Buffalo) against the Zero were almost 20 to 1. Against this background, the ironic statements of the overseas sly-faced druzhbanans from the series "how you, sivolaphs, the Fritzes were knocked down in 1941 in batches" look at least inappropriate. And the funny thing is, when you poke their muzzles into the statistics of 1941-42 in the Pacific Ocean, showing how the Japanese had what they wanted. At the very least, it is very pleasant to hear in response a hysterical squeal that "the Japanese are all lying", accompanied by screams like the Finns on the P-36 were shooting I-16 in packs.

    And then to finish off: R-36, a shame on American aircraft construction. Yes.
    1. Alexey RA
      Alexey RA 26 November 2015 13: 38 New
      0
      Quote: Echo
      It’s better to do it more cruelly: to remind that the losses for some reason in 1942 among Americans, British and Dutch (the latter, by the way, were especially enchanting in matters of merger, flying just on these R-36s and Buffalo) were almost against Zero 20 to 1.

      Duc ... you must be able to fly.
      ... "Buffalo" surpassed "Hayabus" in maximum speed, flight range, armament and security. It seems to be nice. BUT this advantage was bought by lower rate of climb and maneuverability.
      Naturally, a good pilot could “force” the positive qualities of the machine to work for itself (one New Zealander - Jeffrey Fisken - could even become an ass in Malaya, having shot down 6 Japanese cars), but a poor pilot quickly became the target of the Japanese.

      But with good pilots was straining. For according to all pre-war plans, the main theater was Europe. For Japan, it remained Colonial army - and this is the diagnosis. And this disease is not quickly treated. SW Eugene Pinak once gave a brief overview of the British forces in Southeast Asia at the beginning of the war - it is strange that they even managed to defend for at least some time.
      The Air Force suffered from similar problems. Firstly, they simply didn’t have enough aircraft (there were only 158 aircraft available instead of 336, which were considered the minimum necessary), and those that were not the first grade — Buffalo fighters, for example, got into Malaya only after how it was decided that they were unsuitable for fighting in Europe, and the Wilbists were everywhere replaced by Beauforts a year and a half ago — everywhere except Malaya, the same with Blenheim 1 — in other places they’ve been half a year already were withdrawn from the first line. Pilots were not much better - New Zealanders, for example, arrived in combat units directly from flight schools and had to "finish up" them on the spot. Australians, according to one pilot: "flew reluctantly and basically studied all kinds of combinations of gin and tonic." But even such pilots were not enough.

      ... let's move on to the official report on the actions of the Air Force in Malaya and the Netherlands. East India. So, p. 74, speaks of the pilots of 21 Australian fighter squadrons "the pilots of this squadron were not initially selected for the fighters, and some were actually not quite suitable for this role." In the same paragraph on the pilots of the Australian Squadron 453 “some pilots were not quite suitable for the fighter squadron, and at the beginning of the war the commander was in Australia, picking up [him] a replacement”

      And then to replace it peacetime pilots began in small batches to drive green replenishment, which even along the way sometimes managed to lose more than half of the cars - for technical reasons or because of disgusting navigational training.

      By the way, why only "Zero" - after all, they were only in the basic aviation of the IJN and on rarely looking at the theater of operations? And where did the IJA cars - Ki-27 with their rifle caliber machine guns and Ki-43 (as much as 2 * 12,7) go? wink
      1. Echo
        Echo 26 November 2015 14: 16 New
        +1
        Well, there’s a special conversation with Japanese army aviation. In the Pacific Ocean, initially, the Allies had to deal with the Imperial Navy’s aviation, and the army was only engaged in patrolling the rear areas, so it was on the sidelines. The Ki-27 and Ki-43 were indeed light aircraft with a short range (although the PTB was quite successfully suspended on the Ki-43), and were not suitable for long flights over the sea, especially since army pilots did not learn to fly without landmarks. In New Guinea, the army only appeared actively in early 1943 when it became clear that the Navy alone would not be able to maintain this direction. There it is quite difficult to evaluate the effectiveness of the army aviation, it is only known that everything ended with an epic failure. For some horseradish, the Japanese drove fighters with German rank-and-file fighters (Ki-61) to volcanic islands, where they self-sawed faster than they were shot down. In fact, Japanese Ha.40 was brought into proper form by an elementary set of measures, but why the Japanese never realized them remains a mystery.

        Separately, 12.7 mm machine guns, which were on the Ki-43 later fighters of the Japanese army aviation. Machine guns are very unusual - in Japan they went under the letter "Ho" (from "Taiho"), and were considered CANNONS! Moreover, the Japanese had reason to believe THIS cannons, since ... attention ... to these machine guns relied on high-explosive fragmentation bullets. So the Ki-43 was SUDDENLY considered by the Japanese as a two-gun fighter. Which delivers incredible.
        1. Alexey RA
          Alexey RA 26 November 2015 17: 48 New
          0
          Quote: Echo
          Well, there’s a special conversation with Japanese army aviation. In the Pacific Ocean, initially, the Allies had to deal with the Imperial Navy’s aviation, and the army was only engaged in patrolling the rear areas, so it was on the sidelines.

          The Yankees in the Philippines and the Dutch on their islands clashed with the IJN Air Force. But the "flying tigers" and the British in Malaya continued to collide with the IJA Air Force. Army men bombed Rangoon.
          Quote: Echo
          For some horseradish, the Japanese drove fighters with German rank-and-file fighters (Ki-61) to volcanic islands, where they self-sawed faster than they were shot down. In fact, Japanese Ha.40 was brought into proper form by an elementary set of measures, but why the Japanese never realized them remains a mystery.

          EMNIP, the Japanese, in addition to the parallel design of machines of similar purpose for the army and navy, had another problem: a weak connection between production and end users - the army and navy. That is, the developers might not be aware of the problems of the army’s technical staff, and the technical staff might not know about factory measures to solve them.

          Plus, since 1943, there has been a decline in the quality of both pilots and technicians. Old shots were either knocked out in battle (turning into infantry when the Allies approached the airfield), or remained on isolated airfields and islands. Well, do not forget about supply problems ...

          And a lot depends on the qualifications of the technicians. For example, in 1945, we had constant complaints about the VK-107’s small resource. In addition to one of the regiments, the technicians there carefully studied the instructions and recommendations of the plant, realized that the new motor was far from VK-105PF2, and learned how to maintain the motor so that its life was equal to the declared factory. smile
          1. Echo
            Echo 26 November 2015 22: 11 New
            0
            The role of "Flying Tigers" is greatly exaggerated, one might even say overblown. They, of course, fought, and actively, but, as befits mercenaries, they thought above all about how to stay alive and get the money. It is the lack of serious resistance in the areas of responsibility of the Japanese army aviation that explains the fact that until the end of 1942, army fighters were exclusively machine-gun. Even with four machine guns, the Ki-43 and Ki-44 easily coped with the flying trash that the British and Dutch had, because the P-36, Buffalo and other Hurricanes merged very well. The cannons began to fit convulsively only when they had to move into areas of really serious mixes. So they tried to stick guns even on the Ki-43, though nothing sensible came of it. They also tried to stick something in Ki-44. German and native Japanese 61 mm cannons were stuck in Ki-20, but the plane was so heavy that the propeller was not stupid.

            As for the weak connection between the manufacturer and the troops, then everything is somewhat more complicated. Army aviation in New Guinea operated in a very large isolation from the supply bases and repair facilities, and there could be no question of using the naval capacities right in Rabaul, for the authorities were stuck. It was there that the Ki-61 became famous as an aircraft with an extremely unreliable engine. I know for sure (from my Japanese colleagues, lol) that already at the beginning of 1943, the question of equipping the Ki-61 supercharger air intake with a dust filter was very seriously raised, as it was done on the tropical modifications of the German 109s. Moreover, in a number of cases such filters were collected and attached to the aircraft by the aerodrome mechanics themselves (for the Japanese land will not become scarce by handy entertainers), but it was nothing more than "individual tuning", which, however, solved a whole bunch of problems at once. They knew about this problem in KB Kawasaki, but they did not do nichrome. It is believed that they stupidly wanted to SELL as many planes as possible. The sooner the already sold plane dies, the sooner the military will come running to buy a new one. And since the brother-acrobat of Prime Minister Tojo was sitting on the board of directors, the little scheme was rolling with a bang. This is what explains everything, because cutting and rolling back with a Japanese flavor is that kind of pussy. But this is just one of the versions.

            But the most interesting thing was that those Hyenas, which were based in Japan, flew quite regularly. The reason is again the engine. No volcanic dust and tropical humidity, but the climate "native" for the German Ashnik. And everything worked fine, contrary to the stories about the fact that "the Japanese could not copy."
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