Luftwaffe and Allied Air Forces Discussion Forum  

Go Back   Luftwaffe and Allied Air Forces Discussion Forum > Discussion > Allied and Soviet Air Forces

Allied and Soviet Air Forces Please use this forum to discuss the Air Forces of the Western Allies and the Soviet Union.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 18th September 2007, 22:27
DavidIsby DavidIsby is offline
Alter Hase
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Washington DC
Posts: 1,290
DavidIsby will become famous soon enoughDavidIsby will become famous soon enough
Carrier Trials for P-51s and B-25s, 1943/44

I recall reading of the US Navy carrying out trials, in 1943-44, of P-51s (complete with tailhooks) and B-25s operating from aircraft carriers.

Can anyone identify some source material on these activities and what they Navy was looking to achieve?

Thanks,
David Isby
__________________
author of THE DECISIVE DUEL: SPITFIRE VS 109, published by Little Brown. Visit its website at: http://Spitfirevs109.com
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 19th September 2007, 00:45
Jim Oxley's Avatar
Jim Oxley Jim Oxley is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Culcairn, NSW, Australia
Posts: 587
Jim Oxley is on a distinguished road
Re: Carrier Trials for P-51s and B-25s, 1943/44

"On 15th November 1944 the USN commenced trials to access the suitability of the Mustang for carrier operations. On that day Lt. R. M. Elder, USN, made the first of a series of unassisted takeoffs and arrested landings aboard the USS Shangri-La. The P-51D (44-14017) was fitted with an arrestor hook under the rear fuselage.

Although the trials was classed as successful - as in the P-51 being stable in the landing circuit and able to withstand the impact of the carrier deck - the Mustang was not adopted for use as a naval fighter. The test aircraft was subsequently fitted with a P-51H style tall fin and rudder and converted to a two-seater as an EFT051D."

The above extract is from the book "Mustang", by Stewart Wilson. No reason is offered as to why the Navy did not pursue the development of the Mustang. There's probably a whole galaxy of of reasons. But two that come to my mind are firstly, the Navy's perchant for standardisation of both aircraft type and maintenance (one of the reasons the Navy put off utilising the F4U on board carriers until late in the war), and sceondly the P-51 probably offered no advantage/benefit over the upcoming F8F Bearcat as a shipboard fighter.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 19th September 2007, 01:01
Kutscha Kutscha is offline
Alter Hase
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,102
Kutscha
Re: Carrier Trials for P-51s and B-25s, 1943/44

Wasn't the USN looking for a longer ranged a/c but with the capture of islands closer to Japan, the requirement disappeared.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 19th September 2007, 02:16
John Beaman John Beaman is offline
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Greensboro, North Carolina, USA
Posts: 2,155
John Beaman is an unknown quantity at this point
Re: Carrier Trials for P-51s and B-25s, 1943/44

I think it also had a great deal to do with the Navy's penchant/belief that liquid cooled engines were not suitable for carrier operations. Note that there were no liquid cooled engines on carriers from the early 1930s until the AJ Savage in the late 1940s. And that was due to their desire for an aircraft that could carry nucl. weapons--competition with the USAF.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 19th September 2007, 08:09
Juha's Avatar
Juha Juha is offline
Alter Hase
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Finland
Posts: 1,445
Juha is on a distinguished road
Re: Carrier Trials for P-51s and B-25s, 1943/44

And USN probably didn’t like the massive airscoop under fuselage, which probably didn’t make ditching any safer.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 19th September 2007, 18:24
shooshoobaby shooshoobaby is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 605
shooshoobaby is on a distinguished road
Re: Carrier Trials for P-51s and B-25s, 1943/44

Narrative , Photos :
P - 51 # 44 - 14017
Navy Serial # 57987
Carrier Shangra - La CV - 38
Book: Mustang by Robert Gruenhagen Pages 129 - 130
Mike
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 19th September 2007, 18:46
drgondog's Avatar
drgondog drgondog is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 909
drgondog is on a distinguished road
Re: Carrier Trials for P-51s and B-25s, 1943/44

As near as I can recall the only USAAF or USAF fighter that the US Navy ever bought was the F86E modification designated as FJ Fury series - simply because the Navy could not compete with the MiG in Korea and the F7 and F8 were downstream in development cycle.

I think the Carrier trials at Great Lakes were all about politics and at the end of the day, re-tooling logistics to accomodate the P-51 did not make a lot of sense to acquaire what was essentially a long range escort fighter that they didn't really need.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 19th September 2007, 23:05
Franek Grabowski Franek Grabowski is offline
Alter Hase
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Warsaw, Poland
Posts: 2,352
Franek Grabowski is on a distinguished road
Re: Carrier Trials for P-51s and B-25s, 1943/44

Well, I can imagine several reasons. Conversion to inline liquid cooled engined aircraft would require modifications to aircraft carriers (storage for liquids), training of both ground(?) and air crew, getting experience, teething problems, etc. Another issue would be operational limitations like poor ditching characteristics and fragility of cooling system, lethal over sea. Finally, Grumman would not be happy to say the least.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 20th September 2007, 10:53
Graham Boak Graham Boak is offline
Alter Hase
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Lancashire, UK
Posts: 1,680
Graham Boak is on a distinguished road
Re: Carrier Trials for P-51s and B-25s, 1943/44

The question was not why the USN “rejected” the P-51, but the point of the trials in the first place. I suspect the key is the B-25. The USN was looking to extend the payload/range of its aircraft, and this would mean larger twin-engined types. These tests were part of the studies going into the Midway class carriers, and eventually led to the Savage (the nuclear dimension is almost irrelevant here).

Perhaps the P-51 was considered as a long-range escort for a big twin. It may just be that the USN was evaluating the USAAF’s best fighter, a sensible enough course in itself. After all, the RN had taken the Spitfire to sea.

It is sometimes forgotten that the F6F was the slowest production fighter with a 2000hp engine. This demonstrates that top speed and its associated benefits were not the only drivers to success. However, the USN must have been considering having to meet higher-performance fighters than the IJN had offered to date, and the P-51 offered one (fairly) immediate option.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 20th September 2007, 18:09
Mark E Horan Mark E Horan is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Windsor Locks, CT, USA
Posts: 40
Mark E Horan is on a distinguished road
Re: Carrier Trials for P-51s and B-25s, 1943/44

Gang;

I'm not sure that that quote about the USN trials of the P-51 is entirely correct. Bob Elder, an SBD pilot at Midway BTW, was a heck of a pilot and I doubt not that he brought his P-51 down okay. However, somewhere at home I have photos of a P-51 that made an arrested carrier landing during "trials" and the only thing stopped by the arrestor gear was the tail...the forward 3/4's of the plane, less the tail section, ended up in the barrier.

Mark E. Horan
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 03:55.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©2004 - 2018, 12oclockhigh.net