As a point of interest, there's at least one time when a Spitfire without modifications was landed on a carrier. It occurred during the first of the two ferry missions that HMS Eagle & USS Wasp carried out in early 1942 to supply Spitfires to Malta. A pilot who took off from the Wasp accidently jettisoned his drop tank early in the flight...so he returned to the Wasp to try and get another, despite the pilots having being told not to attempt landing back on the carriers under any circumstances.
I thought the situation was a little different. I think the fuel tank switch had a failure rather than a drop tank issue. But the pilot did come around and land with no arrestor gear, which was amazing piloting. The Spitfire was probably the only fighter of the era that could do it. It had a very low landing speed for a first class fighter.
Not quite. During the evacuation of Norway, Hurricanes of No.46 Squadron (9 or 10 aircraft I believe) flew onto HMS Glorious. This was the first time that a modern monoplane fighter had been landed on an aircraft carrier without the benefit of tailhook assistance.
Sadly there were only 2 survivors from No.46 Squadron after HMS Glorious was sunk by the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau in, still unexplained, circumstances. It is believed the captain may have had a breakdown - but there are other ideas and theories, and whatever the reason it was a tragic event that cost the totally unnecessary loss of an important carrier, two destroyers over 1,500 sailors and skilled RAF and FAA pilots.
Grafin Zeppelin: Could a Spitfire (or contemporary fighters) without modifications just take off on a modern carrier if it turns against the wind ?
Just curious since this debate came up in another forum.
Yes, the same No.46 Squadron had earlier taken off from HMS Glorious for operations in Northern Norway. These were not Sea Hurricanes for the avoidance of doubt.
< Message edited by warspite1 -- 3/11/2017 5:45:34 AM >
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