A 1937 Plane that Can Stay Airborne for 2.5 days? (Full Version)

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Footslogger -> A 1937 Plane that Can Stay Airborne for 2.5 days? (4/17/2013 3:04:22 AM)

It's hard to believe that in 1937, the Soviets had a plane that could strike the US.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGTn4CCU1S0

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wdolson -> RE: A 1937 Plane that Can Stay Airborne for 2.5 days? (4/17/2013 3:37:58 AM)

The cross polar flight was supposed to fly down to California, but they landed at Pearson Field in Vancouver, WA instead, which is only about 15 miles from where I sit. There is a street in Vancouver named after the pilot from that flight.

Pearson field used to have an air museum (recently closed due to the loss of their lease). I bought a mug in the gift shop with that plane on it.

Russia is a very large place, more stretched out than the US. Before WW II they had a lot of interest in very long range aircraft because they did have a lot of territory to cover. However, they didn't really have the infrastructure to mass produce large aircraft in the sort of quantities the US could. There was also the nature of the wars the two countries had to fight. The USSR's potential enemies were not far away and any war they got into would primarily be a land war with air taking a support role primarily.

The US on the other hand was a long ways from any potential enemies and the bulk of the land forces were not going to be able to engage the enemy at once. Strategic air power took a much larger role in American thinking. The B-17 was originally designed for long range coastal defense. The B-24 was developed as a second generation of that concept.

The Soviets were very good at science. They had many aerodynamically superior designs. Where they fell down was in manufacturing. Russia's industrial revolution was only about 20 years old when the war started. The US had much more industrial experience at that point.

BTW, I have the forum set to send me the first post in each thread and this time the two posts from you came in with different spellings of the title line.

Bill




Footslogger -> RE: A 1937 Plane that Can Stay Airborne for 2.5 days? (4/17/2013 4:04:21 AM)

That is correct Bill.  When I hit the GO button this time, I didn't wait till the screen came up.  But at the same time I didn't know if my post got through.  So I tried again and thats how the second post was created.  BTW have you ever been the Flight Museum here in Seattle?




Quixote -> RE: A 1937 Plane that Can Stay Airborne for 2.5 days? (4/17/2013 4:28:07 AM)

quote:

BTW, I have the forum set to send me the first post in each thread and this time the two posts from you came in with different spellings of the title line.

Bill


OK Bill - That is funny! Too subtle, probably, but funny.[:)]




wdolson -> RE: A 1937 Plane that Can Stay Airborne for 2.5 days? (4/17/2013 4:29:48 AM)

I lived in Kent for 14 years and worked for Boeing for 7. My last Boeing location was across the street from the Flight Test Center and a couple of blocks from the Museum of Flight. The lab I worked in overlooked the runway. When planes were flying in for an event I didn't get much work done. It was also cool looking at all the airline liveries coming and going from Boeing Field. I saw some colors you can't see anywhere else in North America.

I thought the Museum of Flight had some interesting aircraft, but it's kind of sterile compared to some other museums I've been to. I've been to various events there. I rode in the Collins' Foundation B-24 one time. It was expensive, but it was a lot of fun. I also went to the 50th anniversary of the B-29's first flight. I commented to the friend I went with that it's odd, but I think of the B-29 as a "new" airplane. I got a look like I had just stepped off the alien mothership (what some friends of mine call the "mothership look").

Last time I went to the MoF before leaving Seattle there was a Spitfire Mk V on a truck trailer across the street from the museum. I never did find out what that was about. This was before they had the Champlain collection up there, though I saw that collection in Arizona a year or so before it was sold to the MoF.

The best museums I've been to are still the Planes of Fame and the Yanks air museums in Chino, CA. Both have huge collections and are more "live" museums. The display buildings are hangers and both have a lot of flyable aircraft (though the Yanks museum rarely flies their aircraft).

I grew up in Los Angeles and going to Chino beat Disneyland hands down. You weren't supposed to climb on the aircraft, but they had a junk yard around back which wasn't monitored. I used to climb around in some of the wrecked planes there. Fond memories of childhood.

Bill




JeffK -> RE: A 1937 Plane that Can Stay Airborne for 2.5 days? (4/17/2013 7:03:24 AM)

The Vickers Wellesley of the same era

The RAF received its first Wellesleys in April 1937, serving with No.76 Squadron at Finningley, and eventually equipped six RAF Bomber Command squadrons in the UK.[2] Five aircraft with provisions for three crew members were modified for long-range work with the RAF Long-Range Development Flight. Additional modifications included the fitting of Pegasus XXII engines and extra fuel tanks.[2] On 5 November 1938, three of them under command of S/L R. Kellett flew non-stop for two days from Ismailia, Egypt to Darwin, Australia (7,162 mi/11,525 km) setting a world distance record. All three aircraft succeeded in breaking the existing record, but No. 2 aircraft landed in West Timor, 500 mi (800 km) short of the final objective. The Wellesley's record remained unbroken until November 1945.[4] To this day, though, this flight remains the longest by a single engined aircraft.

The ANT-25
Both Chkalov's and Gromov's crews were now destined to fly north from Moscow to San Francisco. Over 1820 June 1937 the same crew of Valery Chkalov, co-pilot Georgy Baydukov and navigator A. Belyakov made a non-stop flight from Moscow to Portland, United States, in bad weather. At the 60 hour point they passed Seattle, after two more hours they passed Portland lighthouse on the Columbia River and headed deeper into US territory. Over the city of Eugene they found they were short of fuel and turned back for the military airbase at Vancouver,[2] landing at Pearson Airfield.[3][4] (by the other sources Barak Airfield[5]). The 9,130 kilometres (5,670 mi) trip took 63 hours and 25 minutes. In 1975, an obelisk was erected on the airfield to commemorate this event.

Another widely publicized feat was the Moscow San Jacinto non-stop flight in a backup aircraft just three weeks after Chkalov's. This jourmey, via the North Pole, covered 11,500 kilometres (7,100 mi) and ended in a dairy pasture outside of San Jacinto, California after they had encountered fog conditions in San Diego and as far inland as March Air Force base in Riverside. The landing site is marked by California State Historical Landmark Number 989. The crew, still composed of Gromov, Yumashev, and Danilin, flew for 62 hours and 17 minutes between 12 and 14 July 1937. After landing, the aircraft still had sufficient fuel for approximately 1,500 kilometres (930 mi), enough to reach Panama. This would have involved crossing the Mexican border without the permission of FAI sporting officials.

Gromov became an unofficial Soviet Pilot No. 1, Chkalov remained the favourite pilot of the Soviet people. Joy at the achievements were tempered by Levanevsky crashing on the same route in a brand-new 4-engined DB-A.

The record set by the Soviets was broken by two British Vickers Wellesley bombers which flew from Egypt to Australia in November 1938; a distance of 11,523.9 kilometres (7,160.6 mi).[6] The USSR did not continue the race, aviation design bureau works stalled due to repression. Tupolev was jailed, Gromov was also on the brink of arrest. Chkalov mysteriously crashed while testing a new fighter on 15 December 1938.[7]


As for a potential bomber, with every nook and cranny filled with fuel they wouldnt be carrying much of a load!




geofflambert -> RE: A 1937 Plane that Can Stay Airborne for 2.5 days? (4/17/2013 12:51:39 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: JeffK

The Vickers Wellesley of the same era
To this day, though, this flight remains the longest by a single engined aircraft.


I'm missing something here, just can't figure out what. What about the Rutan Voyager?

Did it have fore and aft engines?




geofflambert -> RE: A 1937 Plane that Can Stay Airborne for 2.5 days? (4/17/2013 1:00:08 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: wdolson
The Soviets were very good at science. They had many aerodynamically superior designs. Where they fell down was in manufacturing. Russia's industrial revolution was only about 20 years old when the war started. The US had much more industrial experience at that point.

Bill



The Soviets weren't so hot on metallurgy, though. A B-29 that was in trouble landed in Siberia and the Soviets took it apart and backwards engineered it. Their copies were very good but they weren't quite the same, especially the engines.




btbw -> RE: A 1937 Plane that Can Stay Airborne for 2.5 days? (4/17/2013 4:43:20 PM)

quote:

The record set by the Soviets was broken by two British Vickers Wellesley bombers which flew from Egypt to Australia in November 1938; a distance of 11,523.9 kilometres (7,160.6 mi).

Flying over Artic cannot be compared with much more better weather/climatic for British a/c.
Soviets tried a few times reach USA but most of flights was failure and even disaster. Ice on plane add alot weight and can stop engine.




wdolson -> RE: A 1937 Plane that Can Stay Airborne for 2.5 days? (4/17/2013 10:54:32 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: geofflambert
The Soviets weren't so hot on metallurgy, though. A B-29 that was in trouble landed in Siberia and the Soviets took it apart and backwards engineered it. Their copies were very good but they weren't quite the same, especially the engines.


Metallurgy is as much art as science. The US has excelled at metallurgy for over a century. A lot of it was driven by the civilian market. The US car industry was the first to come up with a steel strong enough to stretch across the span of a roof in a single sheet in the 1930s.

American planes were able to be bare metal because the US aviation industry invented Alcad before the war. Pure aluminum doesn't decay out in the environment because it forms a surface layer of aluminum oxide and then further oxidation stops. The alloys used for aircraft don't stop oxidizing. The solution most of the time was to paint the plane, but that adds weight. Alcad was the American solution which is to make the plane out of the exotic alloys that are strong, but light, but make the surface layer pure aluminum. Right through WW II the US was the only country doing that.

When supersonic heating made it impossible to continue using aluminum for the surface of aircraft, the US aviation industry figured out how to make planes out of titanium alloys. The Russian answer initially was to use stainless steel and compensate with larger engines. When US intelligence got a look at the MiG-25 that defected to Japan in the early 1970s they were shocked to find the electronics were all tube and the skin was made of stainless steel.

Engines are another area that is an art as well as a science. The Japanese were very good at airframe design, but many of their early war engines were licensed designs. I believe the Sakae that drove the Zero was based on a Gnome engine, though it is close enough in size that all but one of the flyable Zeros today use, I believe, a Pratt & Whitney engine. When the Japanese were faced with having to develop larger engines themselves, they had to tackle a very steep learning curve. The late war fighters were aerodynamically good aircraft, but they were plagued with engines that had a lot of teething problems.

The Japanese weren't unique with engine teething problems. The problems with the B-29's engines weren't completely worked out until after the war.

Bill




Cribtop -> RE: A 1937 Plane that Can Stay Airborne for 2.5 days? (4/17/2013 11:36:22 PM)

So true. Read the Wikis of most late war Japanese planes (esp fighters). They all go something like "this was a good airframe, and it would have been effective in combat except that problems with the engine delayed it a year, and even then it was hard to keep airborne."




Numdydar -> RE: A 1937 Plane that Can Stay Airborne for 2.5 days? (4/17/2013 11:53:57 PM)

Just play Japan in the game and you can see this in action when a lot of your better AC have service levels of 3 or higher lol.




msieving1 -> RE: A 1937 Plane that Can Stay Airborne for 2.5 days? (4/18/2013 1:55:25 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: geofflambert

quote:

ORIGINAL: JeffK

The Vickers Wellesley of the same era
To this day, though, this flight remains the longest by a single engined aircraft.


I'm missing something here, just can't figure out what. What about the Rutan Voyager?

Did it have fore and aft engines?


Yes. The Voyager had an air-cooled 130 hp Teledyne Continental O-240 forward and a water-cooled 110 hp Teledyne Continental IOL-200 aft. As I understand it, the front engine was only for takeoff and climbing.




tigercub -> RE: A 1937 Plane that Can Stay Airborne for 2.5 days? (4/18/2013 6:21:22 AM)

http://www.veteranstoday.com/2011/03/11/86523/
The Most Dangerous Photo-Recon Mission of World War II....I will add the story is most likely rubbish.

The Germans flu 2-3-4 a number of missions to china to give Japan blue prints for many different things last mission was in 44...
I don't have my book on this subject to give more detail sorry..I moved to Thailand.




crsutton -> RE: A 1937 Plane that Can Stay Airborne for 2.5 days? (4/18/2013 4:17:01 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: wdolson


quote:

ORIGINAL: geofflambert
The Soviets weren't so hot on metallurgy, though. A B-29 that was in trouble landed in Siberia and the Soviets took it apart and backwards engineered it. Their copies were very good but they weren't quite the same, especially the engines.


Metallurgy is as much art as science. The US has excelled at metallurgy for over a century. A lot of it was driven by the civilian market. The US car industry was the first to come up with a steel strong enough to stretch across the span of a roof in a single sheet in the 1930s.

American planes were able to be bare metal because the US aviation industry invented Alcad before the war. Pure aluminum doesn't decay out in the environment because it forms a surface layer of aluminum oxide and then further oxidation stops. The alloys used for aircraft don't stop oxidizing. The solution most of the time was to paint the plane, but that adds weight. Alcad was the American solution which is to make the plane out of the exotic alloys that are strong, but light, but make the surface layer pure aluminum. Right through WW II the US was the only country doing that.

When supersonic heating made it impossible to continue using aluminum for the surface of aircraft, the US aviation industry figured out how to make planes out of titanium alloys. The Russian answer initially was to use stainless steel and compensate with larger engines. When US intelligence got a look at the MiG-25 that defected to Japan in the early 1970s they were shocked to find the electronics were all tube and the skin was made of stainless steel.

Engines are another area that is an art as well as a science. The Japanese were very good at airframe design, but many of their early war engines were licensed designs. I believe the Sakae that drove the Zero was based on a Gnome engine, though it is close enough in size that all but one of the flyable Zeros today use, I believe, a Pratt & Whitney engine. When the Japanese were faced with having to develop larger engines themselves, they had to tackle a very steep learning curve. The late war fighters were aerodynamically good aircraft, but they were plagued with engines that had a lot of teething problems.

The Japanese weren't unique with engine teething problems. The problems with the B-29's engines weren't completely worked out until after the war.

Bill


Nice information Bill. You really know your stuff here. I never gave a second thought to air frame skin. I just assumed that most large powers were using the same technology.

I have to admit that I have always been impressed at the skill of Japanese aircraft designers. They really seemed to be so far ahead of that country's production capability. Do you know if there are some good English language books about Japanese aircraft design and designers? I would not mind knowing more about this.




wdolson -> RE: A 1937 Plane that Can Stay Airborne for 2.5 days? (4/18/2013 11:36:16 PM)

I don't know of any. Both the Russians and Japanese had airframe designers who were way ahead of their country's manufacturing ability. The MiG-3 was a nasty surprise for the Germans, but there were too few of them and they were not superior at low altitude where most of the fighting was on the Eastern front.

In land warfare the T-34 was ahead of the curve too. The early ones were plagued with mechanical problems though, so many were captured when they broke down on the battlefield.

Bill




Footslogger -> RE: A 1937 Plane that Can Stay Airborne for 2.5 days? (4/19/2013 10:40:30 PM)

My late Uncle was part of the 8th Airforce during WWII, and he had this story to say. He remembered that just before the war ended, a Me-262 was captured and sent to Boeing field in Seattle. "The engineers," he said "were crawling all over it." Did you hear about this when you worked there Bill?




Mac Linehan -> RE: A 1937 Plane that Can Stay Airborne for 2.5 days? (4/20/2013 6:26:38 AM)

Original:

"I have to admit that I have always been impressed at the skill of Japanese aircraft designers. They really seemed to be so far ahead of that country's production capability. Do you know if there are some good English language books about Japanese aircraft design and designers? I would not mind knowing more about this."

crsutton and Bill -

I have two books on the development of the Zero, by individuals who were part of the team. It is late here in Colorado, so I will find them tomorrow (Saturday) and get the information to you.

Also, Renee Francillon's "Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War" (part of a stack of books on the floor behind me!) has been recommended - by folks I respect - as an excellent reference.

Hope to be able to help, more tomorrow,

Mac





Mac Linehan -> RE: A 1937 Plane that Can Stay Airborne for 2.5 days? (4/20/2013 8:18:50 PM)

Gents -

"Eagles of Mitsubishi, The Story of the Zero Fighter" (Jiro Horikoshi, Project Chief Engineer), University of Washington Press, 1992.

and:

"Zero Fighter" (Akira Yoshimura, Prager Publishing), 1996.

Do hope that this helps, Gents.

Mac




Mobeer -> RE: A 1937 Plane that Can Stay Airborne for 2.5 days? (4/20/2013 9:27:44 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: msieving1
quote:

ORIGINAL: geofflambert
quote:

ORIGINAL: JeffK
The Vickers Wellesley of the same era
To this day, though, this flight remains the longest by a single engined aircraft.


I'm missing something here, just can't figure out what. What about the Rutan Voyager?

Did it have fore and aft engines?

Yes. The Voyager had an air-cooled 130 hp Teledyne Continental O-240 forward and a water-cooled 110 hp Teledyne Continental IOL-200 aft. As I understand it, the front engine was only for takeoff and climbing.


But the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer flew further on a single engine - maybe the original text meant flight time rather than distance.




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