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Over the last few years we have seen incredible feats of aircraft restoration and reconstruction; a few pieces from a Russian swamp here, a section of fuselage used as a hen house there, and aircraft which had been thought of as 'extinct' as a type are turning up as museum-quality exhibits - some are even being rebuilt to take the air, once again. As I write this, the Fleet Air Arm Museum is using advanced metal 'softening' and reforming techniques to take pieces of crushed Fairey Barracuda and begin the long process of producing what will be the ONLY example in the world of this significant British carrier-borne torpedo/dive bomber. There are, however, some WW2 aircraft which no-one in their right mind would rush to resurrect. Amongst those types would be the Brewster SB2A Buccaneer ('Bermuda' in UK service), described by the Pima Air Museum as "perhaps the least successful Allied aircraft of World War II". I can assure you that another aircraft on that list would be the Avro Manchester.

Roy Chadwick, the Chief Designer of Avro Aircraft, put together a proposal for a new twin-engined medium bomber for the Royal Air Force in early 1936, during the period of pre-war expansion of the RAF; this was to be known as the Avro Type 679 Manchester. The first aircraft of this type, built to Air Ministry Specification P.13/36, reached Bomber Command in November, 1940. The Air Ministry had insisted that the brand-new Rolls-Royce Vulture engine be used. It has been said that this 24-cylinder was just two R/R Peregrine V-12 engines mated together on a new crankcase and turning an enlarged crankshaft. This is not so; whilst the cylinders and other components were common, these were spaced further apart to accommodate the longer crankshaft, with its bigger main bearings. This gave an 'X' shaped cylinder arrangement, which was supposed to produce around 1,760 hp. The forecast power rating was so promising that, just like with the A.B.C Dragonfly engine at the end of WW1, quite a number of other aircraft were designed to take the Vulture (including the Hawker Tornado fighter, 'brother' to the Typhoon). Unfortunately, the Vulture was a disaster. Engine failure (usually followed by fire) became so common that Rolls-Royce had to derate it to approximately 1,450 hp - which meant lower operational ceiling for the Manchester, lower performance, and even worse crashes when the inevitable engine fires still happened. Only 202 Manchesters were built, but it is estimated that around 40% were lost on operations and another approximately 20% in training accidents. Something had to be done.

Avro were already working on the Manchester III, which used essentially the same fuselage, and an enlarged wing center-section to carry two more engines, along with the Manchester's outer wings. By great good fortune, the chosen replacement engines were the magnificent Rolls-Royce Merlins, giving the new aircraft a top speed of 282 mph. Thus was the Lancaster born. Designed to be the instrument of RAF Bomber Command that would lead the aerial campaign against the Third Reich, the Lancaster, with its crew of 7 could carry up to 14,000 lbs of bombs (everything from a 12,000 lb 'blast bomb' - three 4,000 lb 'cookies' joined together - to over 1,000 4lb incendiaries) and later, in special versions, became one of only two WW2 aircraft capable of carrying the awesome 22,000 lb 'Grand Slam' earthquake bomb, or a spinning mine, (the 'Upkeep' weapon, designed by Barnes Wallis) used to attack German dams. For defensive purposes, there were three power turrets, front, mid-upper and rear, and they normally carried two, two and four .303" Brownings respectively, in the majority of aircraft, although some Lancasters also carried a single .5" Browning in a ventral mount, or two of these guns in the rear turret.

Here we see one of the most famous individual bomber aircraft of WW2 - the Lancaster 'S for Sugar', as now displayed in the Bomber Hall at the RAF Museum. The history of this aircraft doesn't just reflect that of the Allies bombing campaign of the second half of the war, but illustrates some of the most significant actions of the European conflict as a whole. It has been written about many times, but it is worth taking another look. I suppose you could say that R5868 started out lucky - it had been ordered as a Manchester, but was converted into a Lancaster B.1 on the production line at Metropolitan-Vickers in Manchester. Delivered to No 83 Squadron (Motto: 'Strike to Defend') at RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire, it was taken on charge by 'B' Flight of that unit, and since the Squadron code letters were 'OL', it became 'OL-Q' or 'Q for Queenie'. R5868 was flown by Squadron Leader Ray Hilton and his crew on its maiden operation on the night of of 8/9th July, 1942 to the German city of Wilhelmshaven, carrying an unusual all incendiary load - 1,260 x 4lb incendiaries. However, on this very first operation, a quirk showed up which would never be eradicated - the aircraft flew with the starboard wing a little bit low. Nothing the ground crew or the engineering section could do seemed to be able to clear up this fault - ever!

On 14/15th July, 'Queenie' went 'gardening'; this was the code name for laying mines in coastal waters, close to German occupied territory. By many in RAF Bomber Command this was regarded as an 'easy sortie' to break in new crews, or sometimes lay mines in the reported path of a German coastal convoy. As far as 99% of the RAF were concerned that was what was happening. In fact, the real reason for dropping a couple of mines in a precise map square of enemy waters had almost NOTHING to do with the effect of the mines, and almost everything to do with the vital task of code-breaking. Bletchley Hall (Station X) was the center of the Allied efforts to break the German code messages enciphered by the 'Enigma' machine, a vital link between U-boats and their High Command. Britain was losing the Battle of the Atlantic, and if more food, fuel and weapons didn't reach the U.K. from the U.S.A and other countries, she would lose the war. There were several versions of the 'Enigma' machine in use by the German forces, including a simplified version used by dockyards and small warships, using only three internal code rotors, rather than the current four of the version used by the U-Boat fleet (which Bletchley Park had nicknamed 'Shark'). This simpler code was used to notify dockyards, harbors and small coastal craft of mining operations by the RAF. Since exactly the SAME message was also sent to U-Boats using the four-rotor machine, solving the easier 'Dockyard' cypher would give valuable 'cribs' enabling a 'break-in' to the current settings of the vital code used by the U-Boats. So, accurate 'gardening' was immensely important work - and the RAF never knew why!

Duisberg was soon bombed by 'Queenie', with 1 x 4,000lb 'cookie', 6 x 500lb, and 2 x 250lb bombs. This was one of 16 targets in the Ruhr Valley, the industrial heart of Germany, visited by 'R5868', (it was called, ironically, by the RAF, 'Happy Valley', due to its fierce flak batteries and masses of nightfighters). Air Chief Marshal Arthur 'Bomber' Harris, the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, RAF Bomber Command, held strong views about the war - the main one being that he was the man to win it, by a process of 'area bombing' at night. Harris had worked out that if a Lancaster crew successfully completed two bombing missions and were shot down on their third after having successfully bombed their target, they would have repaid the cost of their training and the cost of the Lancaster! The trouble was, Harris kept doing this, when the use of hundreds upon hundreds of Mosquito bombers would have been far more efficient.

In August, 1942, 83 Squadron was transferred to the nascent Pathfinder Force, and began a new role - leading and marking targets accurately, with Target Indicators (huge pyrotechnics) and 'sky markers'. The mission numbers kept piling up, and the various crews who flew in her, began to believe you hardly needed a navigator, as the 'old girl' could find her way back from any city in Europe. R5868 took part in one of the gigantic raids on Hamburg (24/25th July, 1943) which initiated the first 'firestorm' in a city, and was afterwards transferred to No. 467 Squadron at RAF Bottesford in Leicestershire. There she acquired the code letters, 'PO-S' - and kept piling up the missions. No. 467 was a Royal Australian Air Force unit, but had many British and Commonwealth personnel on strength. Fortunately, 'S for Sugar' was being overhauled in late March, 1944 and therefore missed the disastrous raid on Nuremberg (30th March, 1944) when the RAF lost 94 aircraft, and lost more aircrew in one night than in the whole of the Battle of Britain. Raids against transportation centers, and against coastal targets in France preceded the Allied invasion, and, due to the reduction in Luftwaffe strength, daylight raids on V-1 sites followed. When VE Day came, 'S for Sugar' was one of the hundreds of Lancasters used to repatriate Allied PoWs from Europe ('Operation Exodus') - 24 at a time. She had survived fighter attacks, and once a frightening mid-air collision with another Lancaster over a German target. Against all the odds, she had completed 137 missions, a total surpassed by only 'ED888' of No.103 Squadron, with 140 (unfortunately, this aircraft was scrapped).

It was decided to preserve 'S for Sugar', and for a number of years she stood as a 'gate guardian' at RAF Scampton, one of the RAF Stations the 'Lanc' had been assigned to. Fortunately, when the RAF Museum was constructed at Hendon, she found a place of honor in the Bomber Hall. Here you can see 'S for Sugar', a magnificent survivor and a tribute to the 47,268 Bomber Command aircrew who lost their lives in World War Two, a higher pro rata loss rate than any other Allied command.

The Avro Lancaster - one of the most significant aircraft of World War Two.

Originally posted to shortfinals on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 09:52 AM PST.

Also republished by World War Two Aircraft, Aviation & Pilots, Kossack Air Force, and History for Kossacks.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The Lancaster (13+ / 0-)

    One of the most famous raids in which the Lancaster (not this one) was used was "Operation Chastise" in May 1943.

    Modified Lancasters carried the "bouncing bomb" designed by Barnes Wallace. These had to be released at a specific height (about the same as the plane's wingspan), a specific distance from the target and at a specific speed. The back-rotation caused the bomb to skip across the lakes behind the major dams serving Germany's Ruhr Valley industrial complex - like a stone skimmed on a pond. The bombs hit the dam and sank before exploding. The water focused the blast against the dam wall.

    Although there was civilian loss of life and disruption to arms production, the main result of the "Dambusters" raid was to divert resources to their rebuilding and repair from the defences on the French coast, thus leaving Normandy without its stretch "Atlantic wall".

    We will work, we will play, we will laugh, we will live. We will not waste one moment, nor sacrifice one bit of our freedom, because of fear.

    by Lib Dem FoP on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 10:14:12 AM PST

  •  This may sound weird, because you know, S, (9+ / 0-)

    that I know absolutely nothing about planes (I read your stuff because of YOU), but that said.....

    .....that looks the way I think a bomber should look! Tough, deadly, and just a bit scary.

    "May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house." - George Carlin

    by Most Awesome Nana on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 10:19:26 AM PST

  •  Interesting how the cockpit layout is handled. (5+ / 0-)

    The Lancaster and some other British aircraft seem to favor a cockpit placement that puts it even with the top of the fuselage with a 'greenhouse' over it, as opposed to the B-17, the B-24, and the B-25 which had the roof of the cockpit even with the top of the fuselage.

    And the B-29 basically turned the whole front of the aircraft into a greenhouse. (Probably, I'm guessing, because it was easier to pressurize the fuselage that way.)

    The B-47 had a canopy right on top of the fuselage, as did the prototype B-52 - but the Air Force went with a cabin enclosed within the fuselage with the production model.

    I wonder if there's been any debate about the relative advantages and disadvantages of those design choices. Greater visibility would be one factor, but I can also see it would make it harder to put controls and instruments above the pilots.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 10:53:43 AM PST

  •  Waiting for the Dam Buster dairy from you (4+ / 0-)

    for ages, Y E S ! ! !

    .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

    by Roger Fox on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 11:17:02 AM PST

  •  I have had the privilege of seeing... (5+ / 0-)

    the Canadian Lanc do a demonstration flight during an airshow at Abbotsford in British Columbia some years back. A most impressive sight and sound indeed, as those four Merlins gave their best. Now that I think of it, am I right in remembering it as a Canadian Lancaster versus a visitor from across the pond?

    Hearing the wind up for takeoff was awesome, and easily outclassed any of the jet aircraft there that day.

    And yeah, I know tarantulas don't really act like that at all, so no snarking, this is the internet damnit!

    by itzadryheat on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 11:56:59 AM PST

    •  So, what you saw was... (4+ / 0-)

      the Lancaster Mk X, (Canadian-built by Victory Aircraft) 'FM213' of the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum.

      A very fine aircraft, indeed.

      In one of MANY previous existences, I was Deputy Air Show Co-ordinator, RAF Finningley, working out of the Battle of Britain Air Show Office.

      We provided some of the aircrew for the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight's Lancaster, 'PA474', and it was a pleasure to hold my particular job!

      'Per Ardua Ad Astra'

      by shortfinals on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 12:50:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I had the privilege (3+ / 0-)

      of crawling through that plane up in Hamilton. I got to watch to see it fly as well.

      It was amazing to hear those four Merlins crank up.

      If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

      by Major Kong on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 06:47:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Another great diary, SF. The whole story of Wallis (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shortfinals, Otteray Scribe, JeffW, prfb

    and his work, and the Dambusters... what fascinating history. Terrific photo too; thanks so much for this.

  •  Another very informative (6+ / 0-)

    diary, SF.

    Keep 'em coming.

    When atlatls are outlawed, only outlaws will have atlatls.

    by wheeldog on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 12:25:17 PM PST

  •  A great modeling project. (5+ / 0-)

    17 foot wingspan, powered by four 38cc Zenoah engines.  Filmed at the model aerodrome on the Island of Sheerness in Kent.

    Rudeness is a weak imitation of strength. - Eric Hoffer

    by Otteray Scribe on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 01:00:16 PM PST

  •  Here we to 'Just Jane' diary! (4+ / 0-)
  •  Damn.. Theres just "something" about the Lancaster (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jay C, RiveroftheWest, shortfinals

    And the link to Barnes Wallis is special too. Most folks see "Dam Busters" and link Barnes Wallis to the "Upkeep" bouncing bomb but they dont know about his other designs - the TallBoy and Grand Slam, and how the SAME squadron that mastered low-level precision with the bouncing bomb became the first true high-altitude precision bombers with the other two.

  •  On one hand, Lancaster was highly successful... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shortfinals, RiveroftheWest, markdd

    as a design, because it carried a much heavier bomb load than the equivalent U.S. B-17 or B-24 bombers to a similar range.

    On the other hand, its operational employment was (almost) completely futile in terms of the outcome of the war. The British spent a colossal amount of blood and treasure, which they could ill afford, building and employing their huge fleet of 'area bombers' at night. They suffered horrendous losses in the process, while deliberately killing hundreds of thousands of German civilians. Yet the effect on the German war effort was negligible.

    Of course, the U.S. daylight bombing campaign also suffered horrendous losses while inflicting damage on German industrial targets not even remotely commensurate with the cost. But after fighter escorts were provided, the U.S. bombing campaign managed to grind the Luftwaffe into dust just in time for D-Day, by far its greatest contribution to winning the war.

    The allied strategic bombing campaign against Germany was a colossal waste of resources. The same effort devoted to tactical fighters and direct support of ground troops would have been vastly more effective. But the air commanders in both the U.S. and Britain were blindly devoted to 1920s theories about the 'decisive' effect of strategic bombing, and refused to let anything as mundane as reality interfere with their pet theories.

    •  I think you are 'preaching to the choir', on ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      this one, RD!

      I have long suggested (and statistics show) that the use of the RAF's 4-engined heavies to attack German targets was not as effective as other available means of attack. You can make an excellent case for the use of Mosquito bombers for attacking at night and making precision attacks, also.

      The RAF's Light Night Striking Force had a miniscule loss rate compared to the Lancaster, Halifax and particularly the Stirling. Not only that, but it could carry a 4,000lb bomb to Berlin and back with a small, mostly wooden aircraft, carrying only a pilot and navigator.

      By all means keep a smaller four-engined force for specialist tasks, and for long-range maritime patrol (as the RAF used most of their B-17s for).

      'Per Ardua Ad Astra'

      by shortfinals on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 06:33:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I've come to believe (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest, Ralphdog, shortfinals

      That there had to be easier ways of breaking the back of the Luftwaffe than trading 10-man/4-engine bombers one-for-one for single-seat/single-engine fighters.

      It's not like the Luftwaffe would have sat quietly on their hands while we attacked their airfields en masse. If your main objective is to destroy enemy fighters there are better ways to go about it.

      Harris and Arnold were saying as late as 1944 that the D-Day invasion was an unnecessary diversion of resources, because the bombing campaign was going to bring the Germans to their knees "any day now".

      If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

      by Major Kong on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 06:55:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly right. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shortfinals, RiveroftheWest

        The Germans very nearly crushed the RAF during the opening stages of 'Battle of Britain' because they targeted the fighter airfields, and were successfully wearing down the British defenses. When the Luftwaffe switched to attacking British cities, the RAF got breathing room and the German losses rapidly escalated.

        A concerted effort to go after Luftwaffe bases and fighter strength (along with oil refineries) would have been a lot more efficient. And when (against the fierce opposition of Arnold and other Army Air Corps leaders) U.S. strategic bombers were used 'tactically' to blast a path through German defenses in Normandy, the results were decisive. (Hundreds of inadvertent 'friendly fire' casualties, though.)

    •  I recall a factoid from somewhere (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shortfinals, RiveroftheWest

      that 'allied' strategic bombing effort (don't know if was RAF and USAAF) or just USAAF) had a circular error probability of 5 miles.  That means that the bomb had a 50% of falling more than 5 miles away from the intended target.

      “that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.” Thomas Jefferson

      by markdd on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 09:59:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That was the RAF on night missions... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        markdd, RiveroftheWest

        up to about 1942, after that H2S, then marking using Oboe, and THEN the ultimate.....low-level dive bombing AT NIGHT by Mosquitoes of No. 627 Sqn meant that you could mark all four corners of a football pitch (they bombed from under 200 ft, under a 'carpet' of flares laid by Lancasters)

        Then the Main Force came up and obliterated whatever was inside the 'box' of Target Indicators. Utterly devastating.

        'Per Ardua Ad Astra'

        by shortfinals on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 10:09:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yep. Accuracy of both U.S. and British... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shortfinals, markdd, RiveroftheWest

        bombing campaigns were pretty abysmal. The British even with navigational aids had difficulty hitting anything smaller than a large city, with the notable exception of a handful of highly skilled elite crews.

        The U.S. air campaign was notionally based on extremely accurate 'precision bombing' using the super-secret Norden bombsight. But the combination of cloudy prevailing weather, the distractions of flak & fighters, and what might be charitably called 'variable aircrew skills' yielded dismal real-world results. A handful of missions were very successful in destroying factories, but most were minimally effective, and the Germans responded by dispersing factories or moving them underground, so German industrial production continued to increase right to the end of 1944.

        A concerted effort to attack Germany's fragile, gigantic and impossible-to-disperse oil refineries might have shortened the war by at least a year. It's one of the most inexplicable Allied failures of the entire war, because it is so obvious.

        •  IIRC there was something about Tedder (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RiveroftheWest, shortfinals

          and 'panacea' targets.  He was in no mood to attack refineries.  Probably the mess at Ploiesti 'proved his point.

          I've seen some of the lathes and mills that would have been typical for the factories of WWII Germany.  You are not going to put those machines out of commission by dropping a bomb near it.  They're huge, weigh tons, you might knock it over, but it's going to have to be a direct hit to damage it.  Incendiary bombs would have been much more effective.  There's grease and oil everywhere, aluminum and magnesium chips that didn't get cleaned up.  All of that would make for a fierce fire that could change the hardness of shafts and bearings and throw the machines out of alignment in ways that could take weeks to recover.

          “that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.” Thomas Jefferson

          by markdd on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 10:53:15 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The problem wasn't so much Tedder as Harris.. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ralphdog, RiveroftheWest

            ...who was wedded to area bombing. Portal had the chance to sack Harris - and did not. The Ministry of Economic Warfare had data which would have indicated the effect of eliminating German oil refineries and the means of transporting oil and other liquid fuels. It is a shame that a target plan involving these sites was not put into action MUCH earlier.

            'Per Ardua Ad Astra'

            by shortfinals on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 01:47:15 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Frequently what happened (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RiveroftheWest, markdd, shortfinals

            Is that the bombs would knock down the building but the heavy machinery would be largely untouched.

            The Germans would put a new roof on and have the factory running again in a very short time.

            Plus there was so much slack capacity in the German economy that they'd just make up the lost production somewhere else.

            If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

            by Major Kong on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 09:13:02 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's why I'm saying incendiary (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RiveroftheWest, shortfinals

              weapons.  The way to destroy metal is by adding heat and pressure.  The over-pressure from the blast is too short to do any good, but a good grease or oil fire is going to start doing some damage to the equipment.  And any Al or Mg chips will ignite and add local host spots causing more damage.  Grease fires are much harder to put out, can't use water, so now you have to invest in alternate fire fighting technology.

              “that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.” Thomas Jefferson

              by markdd on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 03:04:59 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Which is exactly what happened at Schweinfurt n/t (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              'Per Ardua Ad Astra'

              by shortfinals on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 03:46:59 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  The loss rates were horrific (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest, shortfinals

    Even with Mosquito night-fighter support, Bomber Command took 5% losses on a good night.

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 06:57:48 PM PST

    •  Loss rate with Mosquito bombers? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bomber Command Mosquitos flew over 28,000 operations, dropping 35,000 tons (31,751 tonnes) of bombs, and losing just 193 aircraft in the process
      That equates to a loss rate of 0.7%....

      Which is why it was rank stupidity to carry on with the four-engined heavies as the Main Force.

      'Per Ardua Ad Astra'

      by shortfinals on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 10:12:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Reading a book about RAF night fighters (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shortfinals, RiveroftheWest

        An American pilot who flew both P-38s and Mossies considered the Mosquito to be superior.

        If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

        by Major Kong on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 07:53:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, whilst waiting for the P-61 Black Widow... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          the 416th Night Fighter Squadron flew the Mosquito out of  bases in Italy. There are items on display from this period in the World War II Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force; they were donated by Lt. Col. (Ret.) Roy Atwell

          'Per Ardua Ad Astra'

          by shortfinals on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 08:16:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I've heard that Brewster Aircraft Corp (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest, shortfinals

    was the only defense contractor ever to got broke on a cost plus contract...

    “that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.” Thomas Jefferson

    by markdd on Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 10:00:29 PM PST

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