Wednesday, 21 October 2009

I'm An Aviation Anorak

Peter Brooke's cartoons for The Times are excellent. However, I have a few nits to pick from this one purporting to show a Fokker DXXI fighter. The camouflage scheme is 1940 standard Luchtvaartbrigade (Dutch Army Aviation Brigade) rather like this excellently preserved example:

However, the swastika in a white circle on the fuselage indicates a Finnish Ilmavoimat aircraft in the Winter War/Continuation War but the swastika should be light blue and the camouflage scheme olive green uppersurfaces and light blue undersurfaces. The blue swastika symbol was a hat-tip to the Swedish Count Eric von Rosen who helped Finland in 1918 and 1939 as it was his personal emblem.

And why is the Dutch Fokker company funnier than the German Focke-Wulf concern? Here's the prototype Focke-Wulf FW190V1:

And how about this SPAD aircraft flown by the American volunteer Escadrille Lafayette in WWI?

Or this Siemens Schuckert flown by German Ace Fritz Beckhardt?

Given the BNP's attempt to link itself with the Spitfire,I reckon this famous clip from "The Battle of Britain" is very apt:


I Albion said...

It's no good i have to say it,Well i'll be fokked!!

Gallimaufry said...

Messerschmitt for Mr Albion? :)

Thud said...

A true English anorak...I tip my hat to you.

Gallimaufry said...

Thank you kindly Squire Thud.

James Higham said...

The clip - all very nice but the Messerschmidt 109 had superior firepower and as the war went on, the Germans improved while the Spitfire really came close to its limitations.

It would have required a quantum shift on our part if the war had dragged on.

Gallimaufry said...

James, I agree that the killing effectiveness of early Spitfires and Hurricanes in the Battle was limited by their lack of reliable cannon armament and the Merlin's carburetter problems et alii, but it is a truth almost universally held that due to its inherent design* the 109 peaked at the F model whereas the Spitfire's development peaked much later with the Mk IX. The Tempest and Mustang were definitely better after that, just as the FW 190 bettered the 109. Wasn't the quantum shift on our part the jet-engined Meteor, Vampire and Shooting Star that could have been produced in far greater quantities than the Me 262? Just as the Germans had the best tanks against which the Allies could build, fuel and crew many more good tanks.
*it had a relatively small airframe with an already higher wing loading which meant that weight growth adversely affected handling and limited the scope for performance handling. In addition, the cleverly production optimised monocoque rear fuselage could not be modified to permit a bubble-canopy affording improved dogfighting visibility. The temporarily adopted "Galland Hood" was an attempt to redress this deficiency.

James Higham said...

And the Me262?

Gallimaufry said...

The 262 was hampered by its short life engines caused by a shortage of high temperature alloys. They were countered by mounting standing patrols over their airfields to shoot them down on take off or landing when vulnerable - 190s and 109s were tasked to protect them. But the Allied numerical superiority in aircraft and trained pilots plus almost limitless fuel prevented the exploitation of any technological advantages the 262 had.