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Old 09-12-2019, 08:32 AM
Ernie P.
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Afternoon clue. Thanks; Ernie P.

What warbird do I describe?

1. This warbird is not particularly well know.

2. Although it bears a very famous name.

3. And it was flown by a very famous ace.

4. Who scored several victories in this aircraft.

5. A couple of hundred were produced, which was a respectable number at the time.

6. This was essentially the final model of a series of three aircraft.

7. The first two of the series had their model numbers reversed; i.e., model 2 came before model 1.

8. And they were delivered to front line units about the same time.

9. The lengthened and strengthened fuselage had to be redesigned to accommodate a longer and heavier engine; and the wing of the second of the earlier models was used.

10. While the performance was improved, when compared to the earlier models, the famous ace still considered the plane to be a bit slow.

11. Added to its rather indifferent maneuverability, it wasn’t a star performer.

12. And when charges of shoddy construction were brought forward, the type quickly fell from favor.

13. Engine difficulties included everything from manufacturing difficulties, early wear issues, cooling and lack of performance at altitude.

14. The famous ace mentioned in (3) suggested the type be withdrawn from the main fronts and used only in quieter areas; and this was done.

15. Even though our subject aircraft failed to impress the aforementioned ace, its performance definitely impressed one enemy aviator; who pursued what he thought would be an easy kill.

16. He followed the ace, leaving his own flight. When the ace finally turned on him, he was shot down and spent the rest of the war as a POW. He wrote that the enemy plane climbed very well, and easily out maneuvered his own fighter.

17. Perhaps one reason our subject aircraft was disparaged had to do with the fact another aircraft was about to appear; one which would become iconic for its performance.

18. One of our subject aircraft was disassembled and carefully inspected by the owning air force. The inspection revealed shoddy workmanship in the fuselage and tail surfaces, although the wings were acceptable. After that, the aircraft was not allowed to fly against first line opposition; although production continued.

19. Later production aircraft replaced the wing warping system with horn-balanced ailerons.

20. Some aircraft were supplied to a foreign air force; and served until well after the war.
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