Thursday, 19 December 2013

Guess who got a revell kit as early xmas present ?

No politics 
No Buisness
No Question Time
 So one for the boys.

1. which aircraft prototype was the first off the drawing board
A- Me109
B - Spitfire
C - Hurricane

Prototype May 1935 is the ME109. The Hurricane was in November. Both very,very advanced designs for the age, even though the Hurricane clearly demonstrates its bi-plane age construction

2. Which was the largest fighter?

A- Me109
B - Spitfire
C - Hurricane

The Hurricane. And by a big margin. Its a whopper. In the model kit the Hurricane actually looks the wrong scale. Amazing how large WW2 aircraft were. I went to Yeovilton the other day. The Piston engine F4u Corsair is almost the same length and width as the 1960's F4 Phantom jet.

3. Which had the best rate of turn
A- Me109
B - Spitfire
C - Hurricane

Surprisingly, and overlooked in many documentaries, its the Hurricane. The much thicker wing allowed a fast turn. But the overall speed still left it at a disadvantage over the ME109.
Rate of turn – hurricane 800m – spitfire 880m

4. Which took the longest to build?{ Man hours/airframe }
A- Me109
B - Spitfire
C - Hurricane

The Spitfire was almost cancelled because it took so long to build. It was supposed to be in service in 1938 yet there were none available by the time of the phoney war in 1939. A revolutionary design, its construction was far in excess of the skills the average airframe workshop possessed. The thin, elliptical wing, which had a kind of watch spring construction, was very difficult to manufacture. The Spitfire took two-and-a-half times as long to make as a Hurricane. The Hurricane using the more available bi-plane design technology.

5. And which was the fastest to assemble {in man hours}
A- Me109
B - Spitfire
C - Hurricane

Willy Messerschmidt  designed the 109 with production in mind. It was cheap and easy to build. partly as it lacked many refinements. There was a shortage of instruments that should have been standard on the dashboard. And the cockpit was so small that each design modification increased the headroom a little. Not a plane for tall fliers. And the hinged canopy. hood could not be opened in flight like the hurricane or spitfire.

13,000 man-hours needed to make a Spitfire Mk V airframe against the industrious 4,000 for an Me 109G

6. Which fighter was initially ordered as an interim until something better came along?
 A- Me109
B - Spitfire
C - Hurricane
  The Spitfire was actually seen as an interim fighter until the Hawker Typhoon, Westland Whirlwind, and the Bristol Beaufighter and other aircraft could be introduced into service. The Air ministry was not wholly convinced by the spitfire, mostly on cost. It was expensive.

7. Which was built in the most numbers/ all variants?
A- Me109
B - Spitfire
C - Hurricane

As seen from the time to build it was the Messerschmidt by a considerable margin. It soldiered on from the Spain battles to Berlin end game. Even though it was outclassed by 1944 allied and even soviet fighters.
Me109 -35,000
Spitfire – 20,334 up to 1947

8. Which set the world speed record in 1937 
A- Me`109
B - Spitfire
C - Hurricane
The Me109 was the speedy blighter. Though the Luftwaffe used a heavily modified racing engine that could never be used in actual service. But always a good speed fighter the 109. The Spitfire eventually overtook it in speed with the Super Merlin engines.

9. Which had the longest range in miles
 A- Me`109
B - Spitfire
C - Hurricane

The big bodied Hurricane was the best for range.The 109 had a dismal range. The main reason why there was never much hope of achieving air superiority over England
Me109 -440m
Hurricane -600 mi
10. Which had the best serviceability record ?
 A- Me`109
B - Spitfire
C - Hurricane

The Hurricane. it was easy to field repair. Damaged Spitfires mostly had to go back to the special Supermarine workshops.
The 109 had a terrible service record, not all the fault of the plane. poor logisitics in foreign theatres and a lack of naval superiority, meant spares were hard to find. The 109 was designed so that the fuselage stood on its undercarriage when the wings were off. But gave it its narrow landing gear and  much greater number of accidents on take off and landing.


Demetrius said...

I have an ugly feeling that all the answers were A. While having great respect for the Spitfire, a wonderful plane, for some reason I liked the Hurricane. Perhaps because our local squadron had them.

Malcolm Tucker said...

I'll give it a go.


Nick Drew said...

"give me a squadron of Spitfires"

(Galland, attrib)

patently said...

In relation to question 2, size isn't everything you know, Bill.

In fighter aircraft, it really is what you do with it that matters more...

DJK said...

Without looking, I'll guess:
3A (probably some dispute there)
9C (but A with drop tank)

Anonymous said...


Graeme said...

I suspect that it is A throughout. However, the clincher would have been which of the 3 had the highest "kill" rate.

DJK said...

Depends on the mark, of course --- especially for the Spit.

Which was the safest to fly to war in? Probably the Hurricane.

Mark Wadsworth said...

I suspect A throughout as well.

Anonymous said...

Totally based on memory of aircraft histories:

If I have them all or most right that will be really sad.

Anonymous said...

109 was quick to build I thought, fuel injection (Spit could't get fuel to engine during some manouvres (dive?) IIRC). Spit was more coach-built?

Spit turned better. Deffo most Me109s built - some 37,000 including post-war Spanish and Czech production as against 20,000 Spits if my Hippo Books "Aircraft of WW2" book is right.

Anonymous said...

(that last comment was from memory btw, am at work)

Bill Quango MP said...

Will put the answers up later. Some good guesses on here. Some know their nerd stuff.

And although it was tempting to make all questions one aircraft I know c@W readers are suspicious enough to expect a QI trick.
So, no single letter is the correct answer for all.

ND .. Do you know the actual Galland quote?
And do you remember the unofficial field modification that he made to his own Bf109?

hovis said...

Revell? Did Airfix go out of business years ago? Havent looket this tuff in ages..
So answers fuelled from half remember facts from reading comics when I was smalland pure guesswork:

1. A- Me109
2. C - Hurricane
3. B - Spitfire
4. B - Spitfire
5. A- Me1096.
6. C - Hurricane
7. B - Spitfire8.
8. B - Spitfire
9. A - Me109
10. C - Hurricane

Nick Drew said...

nope !

what i like about the Hurricane is that it is so obviously a sturdy old 1930's ship, you almost expect it to be a biplane

rwendland said...

I'll have a stab at this from memory. Answers quite similar to hovis - didn't copy, honest!

1. A - Me109
2. C - Hurricane
3. B - Spitfire
4. B - Spitfire
5. C - Hurricane
6. C - Hurricane
7. A - Me109
8. B - Spitfire
9. A - Me109
10. C - Hurricane

Bill Quango MP said...

Demetrius. Hurricane is a great plane. Designed just slightly too early to make it through WW2. But it served well everywhere it went. And compared to other early 1930's designs it was very good aeroplane.

Malcolm Tucker: 6/10 very good.

Patentley. well quite. Largest and heaviest WW2 single engine fighter? USA Thunderbolt. 8 tons and is a monster of a plane. But also a great one.

DJK 7/10 dragging this up from childhood? or still a Janes reader?

Bill Quango MP said...

Graeme: I expect the 109 for kill rate. Some German pilots had 300+ kills. Allied struggled to get 40.

DJk which was safest? No idea. I expect Hurricane too, but it was very heavy. With a dead engine must have flown like a brick.And that big scoop under the fuselage would have made belly landing risky. And the fuel tank directly in front of the pilot caused many serious burns and deaths. A problem that was never fully resolved.

Anon- 6/10 good stuff.

Anon - your book is correct on build figures. But on turns its the Hurricane.

Hovis - lots of airfix kits around so i guess they are still going. And online model kits are available for everything and in far better moulds than we had in the 60/70/80s.
Quite incredible what is available . A lot from Russia . Zveda i think its called.
5/10 not bad from memory .

ND - Galland had an ashtray fitted so he could smoke his cigars.
A story wwas told that may be true that a senior air mashall told him that smoking was not permitted as it was so very dangerous. To which Galland replied "They are already trying to kill me.So how much more dangerous can it be?"
Rabidly anti-smoking Hitler not impressed.

Also reminds me of that last battle of Britain pilot interview a few years ago on the radio.
The young interviewer asked him if he missed anything about the war and he said
"Yes. I used to have a soft boiled egg. But in here {the home} they say its too and safety they say. ... You know I was once shot in the foot and set on fire and jumped 10,000 feet from a burning hurricane into the freezing English Channel, all before breakfast. So know...A soft egg doesn't look too dangerous to me.."

Bill Quango MP said...

rwendland 5/10 - still good memory.

Follow up question - Which British WW2 aircraft had the poorest survivability rate?

Nick Drew said...

Bolton-Paul Defiant ?

DJK said...

7/10. Oh dear... Somehow, winning the nerdy contests isn't something to be proud of. However...

Poorest survivability rate? Halifax? Or if you mean fighters, probably Bolton & Paul Defiant.

Sebastian Weetabix said...

No, no. Fairey Battle. Bloody wretched death trap. Lots of medals for the poor buggers who had to fly that. In the RAF lots of medals, combined with pious claptrap about "theirs was the place of honour", is always a sure sign of a bad aircraft employed incompetently by inbred twit senior officers. The Blenheim day fighter probably ran it close for all round uselessness.

The Boulton-Paul Defiant was actually a good night fighter in the early days of the war. As for day fighting... it had one big success when the Luftwaffe swooped from behind thinking they'd caught Hurricanes unawares, but once they figured out there was no forward armament... ooh dear.

When I first joined the RAF I had an ancient warrant officer who'd actually serviced Defiants as a young eek. His considered opinion? "Best WW1 fighter ever built, and a pleasure to work on!"

Sebastian Weetabix said...

Apple is bloody useless. Only predictive text could turn 'erk' into 'eek'

Or perhaps it is being clever???

Bill Quango MP said...

defiant it must be. Gunner could not get out. Sealed into the turret.
"The gunner's hatch was in the rear of the turret, which had to be rotated to a side to enable entry and exit. There was not enough room in the turret for the gunner to wear a seat-type or back pack parachute so gunners were provided with a special all-in-one garment nicknamed the "rhino suit". "

And the Battle. What a waste. Those aircrew had some of the longest service and most experience. Nearly all lost in France doing ineffectual bombing.

But I was actually thinking of an RAF bomber with a very poor aircrew bailout record.

Sebastian Weetabix said...

Hmm... The Lancaster only had about a 5-10% success rate for baling out due to the hatch being too small and the main spar getting in the way. The Halifax was a bit better at about 25% if I remember correctly. On the other hand the Lanc was less likely to be shot down in the first place. One old veteran I got to know told me that if they heard at a briefing that Stirlings were coming along on a raid there were loud cheers from the Lancaster crews on the grounds that "it's like having a bodyguard flying several thousand feet underneath you, absorbing all the flak - poor sods"

But the one I wouldn't want to be in was the Vulcan (yes, not WW2, I know). Only the 2 pilots up front had ejection seats. The 3 poor bastards sitting behind them just died.

Anonymous said...

I knew a winco on the V force. Re bailing out (of V bombers) which of course you couldn't in the main - he said that if you thought about that you wouldn't get in them in the first place.

my score on the fighter quiz was obviously very low.

Anonymous said...

I would just add on the V force how Winco thought with hindsight they were heavily prepared psychologically for their task without realising it.

Electro-Kevin said...

A neighbour of mine was a navigator on Mosquitos. His pilot was Canadian. Their role was night fighting over London.

There was armour plating for the pilot but not for the navigator (weight issues.) He liked being billeted close to home and just LOVED the Mosquito.

"One had to be young to be keen to do such things."

(Hope drinky poos was a hoot for you all yesterday.)

Bill Quango MP said...

Yes - Lancaster was what I was thinking of.

I do not know why the hatches were so small and badly placed. The air ministry was aware that there was a disproportionately small number of Lancaster aircrew in prison camps.
And a Lancaster pilot was a rarity, as the pilot had great difficulty getting out.
Len Deighton's 'Bomber' an old book now, but a historical fiction that is superb, has the stats in the book.

And also the morale graph of crews as plotted by the doctors on the bases.
First 5 missions, great morale, even though those crews had a 5x greater chance of not coming back. Then a dip as the realisation of a tour length and friends started to disappear. then a decline and a sharp decline at 10-11 with lots of aircrew refusingto fly or cracking up. Then an upturn for missions 14 - 15, which some thought must relate surviving the 13th,
And then a steady dip in morale that never recovered.

Electro-Kevin said...

The Eagle pub in Cambridge has to be worth a visit.

Bomber crews (RAF and USAF) burned messages into the ceiling with their lighters which are still there to this day.

Sebastian Weetabix said...

@BQ - Freeman Dyson, a young boffin in Bomber Command's Operational Research Section at the time, recommended that the hatches on the Lancaster be enlarged for that very reason. This could have been done with minimum trouble and no detrimental effects on aircraft performance. Naturally they said 'no'. I wouldn't be surprised if it was the same arsehole who refused parachutes in WW1. Rolls-Royce civil service... envy of the world... hah.

As a cynical Glaswegian this sort of thing brings out my inner Bolshevik. I sometimes think the dominant characteristics of the English ruling classes are arrogance and stupidity, but perhaps they are simply callous about the lower orders. After all, plenty more aircrew/PBI/merchant mariners to spare, what?

One of my uncles was a chief engineer in the merchant navy. Upon being sunk in 1941 his pay was stopped at the moment of sinking. I suppose you can argue he wasn't working from that point; after all, he was just bobbing about in a little boat for several days trying not to drown or freeze in the North Atlantic winter rather than doing anything vital. The very same gentlemen advised me to join the RAF on the grounds you get to stay in nice warm accommodation on land and unlike the army they send the officers off to get killed.

rwendland said...

My father-in-law was a navigator in Lancs. Survived three crash landings; then other RAF crew took against flying with him thinking he was jinxed. Fortunately Canadians took the opposite view, thinking he must have luck with him to get back to the UK 3 times and survive the landings - so he flew with Canadians the rest of the war, without ever having to use any more luck on a crash landing! Certainly sounded like psychology and morale were big things to them.

Graeme said...

I am curious about the combat record of the Beaufighter. It looked so good and the Airfix kit looked good. And yet, the aircraft seems to have vanished from history apart from some mentions in various Biggles books. Was it an operational disaster?

Bill Quango MP said...

Beaufighter, Blenheim, ki-45 Me110, P 38 lightning, all discovered that contrary to the prevailing doctrines of the day, a single engine fighter, even a poor one, could beat a twin engine one.

So they mostly went on to other things. Ground attack, torpedo bomber, nightfighter, trainer for heavy bomber etc..

As ever with WW2, what was outclassed in Europe often ended up doing better in the Far East.

rwendland said...

One of the advantages of the twin engined fighers was they could be fitted with the newly invented airbourne radar in the nose, and had space for the operator. So they were good as night-fighters and anti-ship operations (eg Med and far-east). The singles could not do that.

NB I should have made clear my father-in-law's crash-landings were after being badly shot up in Germany. He was one of the lucky ones that survived very many missions in Lancs. Though at some cost, as he had severe back problems in later life, probably brought on by the crashes; and an early death before before normal retirement age.

Bill Quango MP said...

Navigators / radio operators had a slightly better chance of survival in a bailout iirc. They exited via the usual aircrew entry/ exit door in the side of the fuselage.
Then I think it was bomb Aimers going out if the front hatch. Pilots had not much chance at all.

I used to work with a Lancaster rear gunner that all the other ex service guys insisted was a Jonah.
They never swapped war stories with him and avoided him as much as possible. This was some 30 years after the end of the war.
They never even told me what he had supposedly done. Only that he was jinxed and best avoided.
I know his wife and daughter had died of illness.

Bloke certainly had a miserable face.
Not that surprising.

Do you know why the Lancaster hatches were not improved Radders? I am not wishing to go with Sebs view. Aircrew were just too expensive to train to waste unnecessarily. And yet, the hatch/ door redesigns never took place? So....?

Would you expect it was the loss of production in modification?

Nick Drew said...

psychology and morale were big things to them

- well, and to most fighting men, I'd say: but aircrew manifest this in a 'distinctive' way

once, when a soldier, I was in the field with an RAF squadron when their CO crashed & was killed

all the pilots immediately produced bottles of spirits from their kit (utterly, utterly illegal) and, by way of a wake, promptly went berserk

the whole show was only kept on the road by the handful of brown-jobs present and a very fine US Marine Corps major (an exchange officer) who kept a clear head and called the shots for 24 hours until a semblance of order was restored

scary stuff, but, there, but for the Grace of God ...

Graeme said...

BQ re the Beaufighter, I seem to recall that Biggles used them in Borneo! and I guess that the Me109 would have been a risky aircraft to use on a carrier, with the very narrow wheelbase.

Julie Wilson said...

The good slicing points and portal easily accept wide range of connections to summarize new ideas with proper scale marketing to run right business.
asheborohomecare |

Richard Lake said...

This is really a nice and informative, containing all information and also has a great impact on the new technology. Thanks for sharing it |

nimi parker said...

Hello, I enjoy reading all of your post. I wanted to write a little comment to support you. |