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Old 02-08-2018, 10:38 AM
  #15401  
Ernie P.
 
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Originally Posted by FlyerInOKC View Post
What all this activity and still no guesses? I guess it's time for another clue or two.

What Warbid do I describe?

1. This airplane was the last of it's type to be developed by it's country of origin.

2. This airplane scored the last victory by a plane of of it's type against the same type of airplane.

3. The airplane was used by multiple countries near 20 in total!

4. This airplane was the first of it's type built with an enclosed cockpit by the country of origin.

5. A total of less than 800 were built.
Okay; I have to admit, that last clue trashed my answer. Hmm..... Thanks; Ernie P.
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Old 02-08-2018, 11:20 AM
  #15402  
SimonCraig1
 
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Gloster Gladiator?
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Old 02-08-2018, 12:32 PM
  #15403  
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Originally Posted by SimonCraig1 View Post
Gloster Gladiator?
DING! DING! DING! We have a winner! Give the boy a burnt cookie!

The Gladiator is one of those less remember aircraft of WWII. In spite of his old style design it made a pretty good accounting of itself. For something so willfully obsolete it serve quite well.

You are up Simon!

The Gloster Gladiator (or Gloster SS.37) is a British-built biplane fighter. It was used by the Royal Air Force (RAF) and the Fleet Air Arm (FAA) (as the Sea Gladiator variant) and was exported to a number of other air forces during the late 1930s. It was the RAF's last biplane fighter aircraft and was rendered obsolete by newer monoplane designs even as it was being introduced. Though often pitted against more formidable foes during the early days of the Second World War, it acquitted itself reasonably well in combat.

The Gladiator saw action in almost all theatres during the Second World War, with a large number of air forces, some of them on the Axis side. The RAF used it in France, Norway, Greece, the defence of Malta, the Middle East, and the brief Anglo-Iraqi War (during which the Royal Iraqi Air Force was similarly equipped). Other countries deploying the Gladiator included China against Japan, beginning in 1938; Finland (along with Swedish volunteers) against the Soviet Union in the Winter War and the Continuation War; Sweden as a neutral non-combatant (although Swedish volunteers fought for Finland against USSR as stated above); and Norway, Belgium, and Greece resisting Axis invasion of their respective lands.

The South African pilot Marmaduke "Pat" Pattle was the top Gladiator ace with 15 victories with the type.[1][2]

Contents

1 Design and development
1.1 Origins
1.2 Prototype
1.3 Production
2 Operational history
2.1 Introduction to service
2.2 China
2.3 The Finnish Winter War and Continuation War
2.4 The Phoney War
2.5 The Norwegian Campaign
2.5.1 Norwegian action
2.5.2 British action
2.6 Belgium
2.7 Battle of Britain
2.8 Mediterranean and Middle East theatres
2.8.1 Malta
2.8.2 North Africa
2.8.3 Eastern Africa
2.8.4 Greece
2.8.5 Anglo-Iraqi War
2.8.6 Syria
2.9 Operations elsewhere
2.10 Final engagements
3 Variants
4 Operators
5 Surviving aircraft
5.1 Norway
5.2 Malta
6 Quotations
6.1 Gladiator aces
7 Specifications (Gloster Gladiator Mk I)
8 See also
9 References
9.1 Citations
9.2 Bibliography
10 External links

Design and development
Origins
Gloster Gladiator I at Shuttleworth Airshow, 2010

During the 1920s, Britain's air defences had been based around interceptor aircraft capable of flying only for short ranges and at speeds of 150-200 MPH; however, by 1930, figures within the Air Ministry were keen to supersede these aircraft. In particular, there had been some dissatisfaction with the level of reliability experienced with the 'one pilot, two machine guns' design formula previously used, the guns often prone to jams and being unreliable.[3] The Air Ministry's technical planning committee formulated Specification F.7/30, which sought a new aircraft capable of a maximum speed of at least 250 mph (400 km/h), an armament of no fewer than four machine guns, and such handling that that same fighter could be used by both day and night squadrons.[3] Gloster, being already engaged with development of the Gloster Gauntlet, did not initially respond to the specification, which would later prove to be beneficial.[4]

The specification had also encouraged the use of the new Rolls-Royce Goshawk evaporatively cooled inline engine; many of the submissions produced by various aviation companies in response accordingly featured the Goshawk engine.[5] However, the Goshawk engine proved to be unreliable (mainly due to its over-complex and underdeveloped cooling system) and unsuited to use on fighter aircraft, this outcome correspondingly stalled development of the aircraft intended to use it.[5] A further stumbling point for many of the submitted designs was the placement of the machine gun breeches in arm's reach of the pilot. At the same time, the development of monoplane fighters such as the Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire cast doubt over the future viability of the requirement altogether.[5]

Gloster recognised that, instead of developing an all-new design from scratch, the existing Gauntlet fighter could be used as a basis for a contender to meet Specification F.7/30 instead. Development of what would become the Gladiator began as a private venture, internally designated as the SS.37, at Gloster by a design team headed by H.P. Folland. Folland soon identified various changes to increase the aircraft's suitability to conform with the demands of the specification. Making use of wing design techniques developed by Hawker Aircraft, the new fighter adopted single-bay wings in place of the two-bay wings of the Gauntlet, two pairs of interplane struts were also dispensed with as a drag-reduction measure.[5] The Bristol Mercury M.E.30 radial engine, capable of generating 700 hp (520 kW) of thrust, was selected to power the SS.37, which provided a performance boost of the preceding Gauntlet.[5] Another design choice was the fitting of a cantilever main undercarriage which incorporated Dowty internally-sprung wheel struts.[6][7]
Prototype
The first prototype Gladiator, with Gauntlet fuselage, G-37, later K5200. April 1935

In spring 1934, Gloster embarked on the construction of a single SS.37 prototype.[5] On 12 September 1934, the SS.37 prototype conducted its maiden flight, piloted by Gloster chief test pilot Gerry Sayer.[5] Initially powered by a 530 hp (400 kW) Mercury IV engine, the prototype was quickly reequipped with a more powerful 645 hp (481kW) Mercury VIS engine. During flight tests, the prototype attained a top speed of 242 mph (389 km/h; 210 kn) while carrying the required four .303 in (7.7 mm) machine guns (two synchronised Vickers guns in the fuselage and two Lewis guns under the lower wing).[5] According to aviation author Francis K. Mason, the Air Ministry adopted a sceptical attitude towards the aircraft achieving such performance from a radial engine design, and thus funded a protracted series of evaluation trials.[5]

On 3 April 1935, the prototype was transferred to the Royal Air Force (RAF), receiving the designation K5200, and commenced operational evaluations of the type.[5] Around the same time, Gloster proceeded to plan a further improved version, featuring an 840 hp (630 kW) Mercury IX engine, a two-blade wooden fixed-pitch propeller, improved wheel disks and a fully enclosed cockpit.[8][5] K5200 was later used to trial modifications for production aircraft, such as the addition of a sliding hood for the pilot.[5]

In June 1935, production plans for the aircraft were proposed; two weeks later a production specification, Specification F.14/35, had been rapidly drawn up; this had been partially prompted by events in continental Europe, such as the invasion of Abyssinia by Fascist Italy and the rise of the Adolf Hitler to power in Germany, in response to which the British government mandated an urgent expansion of the RAF to counter the emerging threats.[5] This culminated in an initial order for 23 aircraft. On 1 July 1935, the aircraft formally received the name Gladiator.[9][5]
Production

Manufacturing of the Gladiator was started at Gloster's Hucclecote facility. Production of the initial batch was performed simultaneously, leading to many aircraft being completed around the same time. On 16 February 1937, K6129, the first production Gladiator, was formally accepted by the RAF; on 4 March 1937, K6151, the last aircraft of the initial batch, was delivered.[5] In September 1935, a follow-up order of 180 aircraft was also received from the Air Ministry;[10] this order had the proviso that all aircraft had to be delivered prior to the end of 1937.[5]

The first version, the Gladiator Mk I, was delivered from July 1936, becoming operational in January 1937. The Mk II soon followed, the main differences being a slightly more powerful Mercury VIIIAS engine with Hobson mixture control boxes and a partly automatic boost control carburettor, driving a Fairey fixed-pitch three-blade metal propeller, instead of the two-blade wooden one of the Mark I. All MK II Gladiators also carried Browning 0.303-inch machine guns (licence-manufactured by the BSA company in Birmingham) in place of the Vickers-Lewis combination of the MK I. A modified Mk II, the Sea Gladiator, was developed for the Fleet Air Arm (FAA), with an arrestor hook, catapult attachment points, a strengthened airframe and an underbelly fairing for a dinghy lifeboat, all for operations aboard aircraft carriers.[11][12] Of the 98 aircraft built as, or converted to, Sea Gladiators, 54 were still in service by the outbreak of the Second World War.[11]

The Gladiator was to be the last British biplane fighter to be manufactured, and the first to feature an enclosed cockpit. It possessed a top speed of about 257 mph (414 km/h; 223 kn) yet, even as the Gladiator was introduced, it was already being eclipsed by new-generation monoplane fighters, such as the RAF Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire, and the Luftwaffe Messerschmitt Bf 109. A total of 747 aircraft were built (483 RAF, 98 RN); 216 were exported to 13 countries, some of these were from the total allotted to the RAF.[13][14] Gladiators were sold to Belgium, China, Egypt, Finland, Free France, Greece, Iraq, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Portugal, South Africa and Sweden.
Operational history
Introduction to service
NoAAS Gloster Gladiator 423 in 1938–1940

In February 1937, No. 72 Squadron based at Tangmere became the first squadron to be equipped with the Gladiator; No. 72 would go on to operate the type until April 1939, longer than any other home-based frontline unit.[15] Between March and April 1937, No. 3 Squadron at Kenley would also receive Gladiators from the remainder of the first production batch, replacing their obsolete Bristol Bulldogs.[15] Initial service with the type proved the Vickers guns to be problematic; the Gladiator was quickly armed with .303 in (7.7 mm) Browning machine guns, which were substantially more popular, leading to the other guns often only being resorted to if deemed necessary. On 27 March 1937, No. 54 Squadron at Hornchurch became the first unit to receive Browning-armed Gladiators.[15]

By September 1937, all eight Gladiator squadrons had achieved operational status and had formed the spearhead of London's air defences.[16] Difficulties with introducing the type had been experienced. Although the Gladiator was typically well liked by pilots, the accident rate encountered during operational training for the type were so numerous that a small replacement batch of 28 Gladiator Mk IIs was hurriedly produced.[15] Most accidents were caused by pilots being caught out by the fighter’s increased wing loading and many aviators had little experience in landing aircraft with such a wide flap area.[15] The aircraft had a tendency to stall more abruptly, frequently dropping a wing while doing so. The Gladiator proved even easier to enter a flat spin with and great skill was needed to recover.[17][15]

During 1938, the RAF had begun to receive its first deliveries of the Hurricane and Spitfire monoplanes; an emphasis was soon placed on quickly reequipping half of the Gladiator squadrons with either of these monoplane types.[18] By the outbreak of the Second World War, the Gladiator had largely been replaced by the Hurricane and Spitfire in frontline RAF service. The introduction of these aircraft had been eased by the presence of the Gladiator, squadrons that had operated Gladiators prior to converting to the monoplane types experienced a noticeably improved accident record than those who converted from older types such as the Gauntlet. Experiences such as operating the Gladiator's landing flaps and familiarisation with its sliding hood have been attributed as having favourably impacted pilot conversion.[15]

Although it had been displaced for the most part from home defence of the British isles, a need to defend Britain's trade routes throughout the overseas territories of the British Empire had been recognised, thus the RAF redeployed many of its Gladiators to the Middle East to defend the theatre and the crucial Suez Canal.[18] The Gladiator would see considerable action during early stages of the war, including participating in the action in the French and Norwegian campaigns, in addition to various peripheral campaigns.[18]
China
Arthur Chin (陳瑞鈿) was a Chinese ace during WWII

In October 1937, the Chinese Central Government ordered 36 Gladiator Is, which were delivered in two crated batches to Guangzhou via Hong Kong. The Chinese Gladiators used the American M1919 Browning machine gun to fire the American .30-06 Springfield which was the main ammunition of the Chinese Nationalist Air Force. By February 1938, these aircraft had been assembled into two squadrons and the Chinese pilots familiarised themselves with them.[19] The Gloster Gladiator had its combat début on 24 February 1938.[20] That day, in the Nanking area, Chinese-American Capt John Wong Sun-Shui (nicknamed 'Buffalo') shot down an A5M Claude navy fighter, a Gladiator's first victim. Wong is believed to have shot down a second A5M, for the wrecks of two Japanese fighters were found.[20] During that clash, Chinese Gladiators lost two of their number.[21]

Chinese Gladiators scored several more victories over Japanese aircraft from 1938 to 1940 during the Second Sino-Japanese War. In China Gladiators were used extensively before the start of 1940 by the 28th, 29th and 32nd squadrons of the 3rd Group. Chinese aviators considered the Gladiator an excellent fighter in its class but pilots soon found it increasingly difficult to hold their own against the modern A5M and because of a lack of spare parts due to an arms embargo, the surviving Gladiators were mostly relegated to training.[22] When newer Japanese aircraft such as the Mitsubishi A6M entered the theatre, the Gladiators' days were numbered. American-born Chinese pilot John "Buffalo" Wong, the first Gladiator flying ace and first American fighter ace of the Second World War, was eventually shot down in combat with A6M Zeros on 14 March 1941 and died two days later from his injuries.[23] He and Arthur Chin were among a group of 15 Chinese Americans, who formed the original group of American volunteer combat aviators in China.[24]
The Finnish Winter War and Continuation War

During the Winter War, the Finnish Air Force (FAF) obtained 30 Mk II fighters from the UK. Ten of the aircraft were donated while the other 20 were bought by the FAF; all were delivered between 18 January and 16 February 1940, the first entering service on 2 February 1940.[25][26] The Finnish Gladiators served until 1945 but they were outclassed by modern Soviet fighters during the Continuation War and the aircraft was mostly used for reconnaissance from 1941. The Finnish Air Force obtained 45 aerial victories by 22 pilots with the aircraft during the Winter War and one victory during the Continuation War. Twelve Gladiators were lost in combat during the Winter War and three during the Continuation War.[25] Two pilots became aces with this aircraft: Oiva Tuominen (6.5 victories with Gladiators) and Paavo Berg (five victories).
Preserved Finnish Gladiator, 1976

Besides the FAF Gladiators, the Swedish Voluntary Air Force, responsible for the air defence of northernmost Finland during the later part of the Winter War, was also equipped with Gladiator fighters, known as J8s (Mk Is) and J8As (Mk IIs). The Flying Regiment F 19 arrived in Finnish Lapland on 10 January 1940 and remained there until the end of hostilities. It fielded 12 Gladiator Mk II fighters, two of which were lost during the fighting and five Hawker Hart dive bombers, plus a Raab-Katzenstein RK-26 liaison aircraft and a Junkers F.13 transport aircraft.[27] The aircraft belonged to and were crewed by the Swedish Air Force but flew with Finnish nationality markings. The Swedish Gladiators scored eight aerial victories and destroyed four aircraft on the ground. One concern was expressed when F 19's executive officer Captain Björn Bjuggren wrote in his memoirs, that the tracer rounds of the Gladiator's machine guns would not ignite the gasoline when penetrating the fuel tanks of Soviet bombers.
The Phoney War

At the beginning of the Second World War, during what was known as the "Phoney War", Britain deployed the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) into France to fight alongside the French army. As part of this force, RAF units operating various aircraft were dispatched to contribute, including two Gladiator squadrons.[18] Initial air operations on either side were limited by the winter weather; however, immediately following Germany's commencement of the Manstein Plan and its invasion of the Low Countries on 10 May 1940, the BEF's Gladiators participated in the Dyle Plan, an unsuccessful counterattack on German forces.[18]

From 10 May 1940 to 17 May, the Gladiators were in continuous demand on the front line, quickly losing numerous aircraft and their crews in the rapid action.[28] On 18 May 1940, a Luftwaffe bombing raid destroyed many of the BEF's Gladiators and Hurricanes on the ground at Vitry-en-Artois, shortly after which the BEF's withdrawal to Dunkirk for evacuation to mainland Britain begun.[29]

Gladiators typically flew patrol flights that led to occasional clashes with Luftwaffe reconnaissance aircraft. On 17 October 1940, British Gladiators scored their first success when No 607 Squadron "B" Flight shot down a Dornier Do 18 flying boat ('8L+DK' of 2.KuFlGr 606), on the North Sea.[30] On 10 April 1941, 804 NAS took off from Hatston, in Orkney, to intercept a group of approaching German aircraft. Lt Cdr J. C. Cockburn was credited with one destroyed and Blue Section with a "damaged".[31]
The Norwegian Campaign
The sole Norwegian air-to-air Gloster Gladiator loss – Sergeant Pilot Schye's Gladiator 427 on 9 April 1940

The Norwegian Campaign saw both Norwegian and British Gladiators battling the Luftwaffe, with the Norwegian Jagevingen fighting in the defence of Oslo on the first day of Operation Weserübung, the German invasion. Later British Gladiators fought to provide fighter cover for the allied reinforcements sent to the assistance of the Norwegian government.
Norwegian action

The Gladiator pilots of the Norwegian Jagevingen (fighter flight)[32] were based at Fornebu Airport. On 9 April, the first day of the invasion of Norway, the seven serviceable aircraft[33][34] managed to shoot down five German aircraft: two Messerschmitt Bf 110 fighters, two He 111 bombers and one Fallschirmjäger-laden Ju 52 transport. One Gladiator was shot down during the air battle by the future experte Helmut Lent, while two were strafed and destroyed while refuelling and rearming at Fornebu airport. The remaining four operational fighters were ordered to land wherever they could away from the base. The Gladiators landed on frozen lakes around Oslo and were abandoned by their pilots, then wrecked by souvenir-hunting civilians.[35]
The fuselage .303 inch machine guns
The .303 inch machine guns under each lower wing
Gloster Gladiator N5628. Damaged by German air attack while based on the frozen lake Lesjaskogsvatnet on 28 April 1940 and abandoned the same day. It eventually sank in May and was recovered in 1968 by a diving team from RAF Cranwell.

No Norwegian Army Air Service aircraft were able to evacuate westwards before the 10 June surrender of the mainland Norwegian forces. Only the aircraft of the Royal Norwegian Navy Air Service (one M.F.11 and four He 115s) had the range to fly all the way from their last bases in northern Norway to the UK. Two Army Air Service Fokker C.V.Ds and one Tiger Moth also managed to escape eastwards to Finland before the surrender. Further three naval M.F.11s and one He 115 flew to Finland, landing on Lake Salmijärvi in Petsamo.[25] All the former Norwegian aircraft were later flown by the Finns against the Soviet Union.
British action

Gladiators were used also by 263 Squadron during the remaining two months of the Norwegian Campaign. Prior to the German invasion of Norway, Britain had prepared this squadron for the conflict via low temperature environmental training.[29] 263 Squadron arrived on the carrier HMS Glorious on 24 April, and first operated from an improvised landing strip built by Norwegian volunteers on the frozen lake Lesjaskogsvatnet in Oppland in central southern Norway. On 25 April, a pair of Gladiators destroyed a Heinkel He 115 aircraft; Luftwaffe bombers carried out numerous retaliatory attacks upon the runway that day, wounding several pilots on the ground.[36] By the end of the day, ten Gladiators had been destroyed for the loss of three German aircraft.[37] After less than a week, all the squadron's aircraft were unserviceable and the personnel was evacuated back to Britain.[37]

Having re-equipped in Britain, 263 Squadron resumed its Gladiator operations in Norway when it returned to the north of Norway on 21 May, flying from Bardufoss airfield near Narvik.[37] At the Narvik front, 263 Squadron was reinforced by Hurricanes of 46 Squadron, which flew into an airstrip at Skånland a few days later.[37] Numerous German aircraft were downed by Gladiators during this deployment.[37] Due to unsuitable ground at Skånland, 46 Squadron also moved to Bardufoss and was operating from this base by 27 May. The squadrons had been ordered to defend the fleet anchorage at Skånland and the Norwegian naval base at Harstad on the island of Hinnøya, as well as the Narvik area after it was recaptured. In addition to air defence duties, in the last days of May ground attack missions were also flown by the Gladiators, targeting railway stations, enemy vehicles, and coastal vessels.[37]

On 2 June, one Gladiator pilot, Louis Jacobsen, was credited with the destruction of three Heinkel He 111s, along with the probable destruction of a Junkers Ju 88 and an addition He 111 aircraft, during a single sortie.[37] Overall, British action in the theatre was short but intense before the squadrons, due to the British government's response to the invasion of France, were instructed on 2 June to prepare for evacuation.

By then, 263 Squadron had flown 249 sorties and claimed 26 enemy aircraft destroyed. 263 Squadron's ten surviving Gladiators landed on HMS Glorious on 7 June.[37] Glorious sailed for home but was intercepted by the German battleships Gneisenau and Scharnhorst. Despite the valiant defence put up by her two escorting destroyers, HMS Acasta and HMS Ardent, she was sunk along with the aircraft from four squadrons. 263 Squadron lost its CO, S/Ldr John W. Donaldson, and F/Lt Alvin T. Williams along with eight other pilots.[38][39][40]
Belgium

Belgian Gladiators suffered heavy losses to the Germans in 1940, with all 15 operational aircraft lost,[41][42] while only managing to damage two German aircraft.[43] During the preceding Phoney War, on 24 April 1940 Belgian Gladiators on neutrality patrol shot down a German Heinkel He 111 bomber which subsequently crashed in the Netherlands. The bomber, V4+DA of Kampfgeschwader 1, had been damaged by French fighters at Maubeuge, France, and chased across the Belgian border.[44]
Battle of Britain

The Gloster Gladiator was in operational service with 247 Squadron, stationed at RAF Roborough, Devon during the Battle of Britain. Although no combat sorties took place at the height of the aerial battles, 247 Squadron Gladiators intercepted a Heinkel He 111 in late October 1940, without result. 239 Squadron, using Gladiators for army cooperation and 804 Naval Air Squadron, outfitted with Sea Gladiators, were also operational during the Battle of Britain.[45]
Mediterranean and Middle East theatres

In the Mediterranean Theatre during 1940–41, Gladiators saw combat with four Allied air forces: the RAF, Royal Australian Air Force, South African Air Force and Ellinikí Vasilikí Aeroporía (Royal Greek Air Force) squadrons. These achieved some success against the Italian Regia Aeronautica, which was mainly equipped with Fiat CR.32 and Fiat CR.42 biplanes, and against Luftwaffe bombers. The South African ace Marmaduke "Pat" Pattle (who served with the RAF), claimed 15 kills in Gladiators during the North African and Greek Campaigns, making him the highest-scoring RAF biplane ace of the war.

The 1941 Anglo-Iraqi War was unique in that the RAF and Royal Iraqi Air Force, used the Gladiator as their main fighter.[46] Gladiators also saw action against the Vichy French in Syria.[47]
Malta
Faith (serial number N5520), a Gloster Sea Gladiator Mk I, on the ground at an airfield in Malta, in about September 1940. The aircraft has been refitted with a Bristol Mercury XV engine and three-blade Hamilton Standard variable-pitch propeller salvaged from a Bristol Blenheim.

A stock of 18 Sea Gladiators from 802 Naval Air Squadron had been delivered by HMS Glorious, in early 1940. Three were later shipped out to take part in the Norwegian Campaign and another three were sent to Egypt. By April, Malta was in need of fighter protection and it was decided to form a flight of Gladiators at RAF Hal Far, to be composed of RAF and FAA personnel. Several Sea Gladiators were assembled and test-flown.[48] In the siege of Malta in 1940, for ten days the fighter force defending Malta was the Hal Far Fighter Flight, giving rise to a myth that three aircraft, named Faith, Hope and Charity, formed the entire fighter cover of the island. The aircraft names came into use after the battle.[49][50][51][52] More than three aircraft were operational, though not always at the same time; others were used for spare parts.[53] No 1435 Flight, which later assumed control of Malta's air defence, took on the names Faith, Hope and Charity for its aircraft upon its reformation as the air defence unit in the Falkland Islands in 1988.

The Italian air force units deployed against Malta should have easily defeated the Gladiators but its manoeuvrability and good tactics won several engagements, often starting with a dive on Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 Sparviero bombers before the Fiat CR.42 and Macchi MC.200 escort fighters could react. On 11 June 1940, a Gladiator damaged a Macchi and on 23 June, a Gladiator flown by George Burges, managed to shoot down an MC.200.[54] Another successful pilot over Malta was "Timber" Woods who managed to shoot down two S.79s and two CR.42s, also claiming a Macchi hit on 11 June and another S.79 damaged.[55] The Gladiators forced Italian fighters to escort bombers and reconnaissance aircraft. Although the Regia Aeronautica had started with a numerical advantage and air superiority, during the summer of 1940, the situation was reversed with Hurricanes being delivered as fast as possible and gradually taking over the island's air defence.[56]

By June, two of the Gladiators had crashed and two more were assembled.[57] Charity was shot down on 31 July 1940.[58][59] Its pilot, Flying Officer Peter Hartley, scrambled at 09.45 with fellow pilots F. F. Taylor and Flight Lieutenant "Timber" Woods, to intercept an SM.79, escorted by nine CR.42s from 23° Gruppo. During a dogfight a CR.42 flown by Serg. Manlio Tarantino shot down Hartley’s Gladiator (N5519), badly burning him.[60] Woods shot down Antonio Chiodi, commander of the 75a Squadriglia five miles east of Grand Harbour (he was subsequently awarded a posthumous Medaglia d’Oro al Valor Militare, Italy’s highest military award). In May 2009, the remains of Charity and others were the subject of an underwater search by NATO minesweepers.[61] Hope (N5531) was destroyed on the ground by enemy bombing in May 1941.[61] The fuselage of Faith is on display at the National War Museum, Fort St Elmo, Valletta today. The fate of at least five more Gladiators that saw action over Malta is not as well documented.
North Africa
Seven Gladiators of No. 3 Squadron RAAF making a low pass in loose formation over the Squadron's mobile operations room at their landing ground near Sollum, Egypt, circa 1941

In North Africa, Gladiators had to face Italian Fiat CR.42 Falcos, the performance of which was slightly superior to that of the Gladiator at higher altitudes.[62]

The first aerial combat between the biplanes took place on 14 June over Amseat. Tenente Franco Lucchini, of 90a Squadriglia, 10° Gruppo, 4° Stormo, flying a CR.42 from Tobruk, shot down a Gladiator; it was the first claim made against the RAF in the desert war.[63] On the afternoon of 24 July, CR.42s and Gladiators clashed over Bardia. A formation of 11 CR.42s from 10° Gruppo, backed by six more from the 13° Gruppo attacked a British formation of nine Blenheims that was attacking Bardia, and was in turn reportedly attacked by 15 Gladiators. The five Gladiators of 33 Squadron claimed four CR.42s destroyed.[64]

On 4 August 1940, Fiat biplanes from 160a Squadriglia of Capitano Duilio Fanali intercepted four Gladiators commanded by Marmaduke "Pat" Pattle (eventually to become one of the top-scoring Allied aces with approximately 50 claims) that were attacking Breda Ba.65s while they were strafing British armoured vehicles. The battle became confused, even if initially this was assumed that only the old CR.32s were involved, actually there was also a lot of CR.42s involved and it is likely that the then inexperienced Pattle was shot down by another future ace, Franco Lucchini. On this occasion, the Fiats managed to surprise the Gladiators, shooting down three of them.[65] Wykeham Barnes (who survived, losing his Gladiator in the battle) claimed a Breda 65, while Pattle claimed a Ba 65 and a CR.42.[66]

On 8 August 1940, during another dogfight, 14 Gladiators of 80 Squadron took 16 Fiat CR.42s from 9° and 10° Gruppi of 4° Stormo (a Regia Aeronautica elite unit) by surprise over Gabr Saleh, well inside Italian territory. British pilots claimed 13 to 16 confirmed victories and one to seven probables, while losing two Gladiators.[67] That battle highlighted the strong points of the Gladiator over the CR.42, especially the radio equipment, which had permitted a coordinated attack, being also crucial for obtaining the initial surprise, and the Gladiator's superior low-altitude overall performance, including speed and a markedly superior horizontal manoeuvrability over its Italian opponent. The British celebrated the victory, while the Italians had to admit a hard defeat.[68]

Overall, the few Gladiators and CR.42s clashed with a substantial parity: considering all theaters, the kill ratio was 1.2-to-1 in favour of the former, a ratio similar to that of the BF.109 and the Spitfire in the Battle of Britain, a duel considered evenly balanced by most historians.[69] However, the Gladiator (optimised for dogfighting) met with only little success against the relatively fast Italian bombers, shooting down only a handful of them and suffering almost as many losses in the process, which could be one of the reasons for its quick retirement from first-line duty; the CR.42 on the other hand was successful against early British bombers, shooting down a hundred of them with minimal losses.[70]
Eastern Africa

In Eastern Africa, it was determined that Italian forces based on Ethiopia posed a threat to the British Aden Protectorate, thus it was decided that an offensive would be necessary, under which the Gladiator would face off against the Italian biplane fighters: Fiat CR.32s and CR.42s. On 6 November 1940, in the first hour of the British offensive against Ethiopia, the Fiat CR.42 fighters of the 412a Squadriglia led by Capt. Antonio Raffi shot down five Gloster Gladiators of 1 SAAF Sqn; among the Italian pilots was the ace Mario Visintini. Tactically, the SAAF aircraft erred by engaging the CR.42's in a piecemeal fashion and not en masse, and were anyway heavily outnumbered.[71]

Early on in the action, Gladiators of No. 94 Squadron performed various offensive actions against the Italian forces; typical targets included airfields, supply depots, and aircraft. They were also assigned the mission of defending Aden airspace at day and night, as well as to protect Allied shipping operating in the vicinity.[72] It was in the latter role that a single 94 Squadron Gladiator, piloted by Gordon Haywood, was responsible for the surrender and capture of the Italian Archimede-class submarine Galilei Galileo.[72]

On 6 June 1941, the Regia Aeronautica had only two serviceable aircraft remaining: a CR.32 and a CR.42, therefore air superiority was finally achieved by Gladiators and the Hurricanes. The Gladiator's last air combat with an Italian fighter was on 24 October 1941, with the CR.42 of Tenente Malavolti (or, according to historian Håkan Gustavsson, sottotenente Malavolta). The Italian pilot took off to strafe British airfields at Dabat and Adi Arcai. According to the Italian historian Nico Sgarlato, the CR.42 was intercepted by three Gladiators and managed to shoot down two of them, but was then itself shot down and the pilot killed.[73] Other authors state that Malavolti managed only to fire on the two Gladiators before being shot down.[74]

According to Gustavsson, SAAF pilot (no. 47484V) Lieutenant Lancelot Charles Henry "Paddy" Hope, at Dabat airfield, scrambled to intercept the CR.42 (MM7117). Diving on it, he opened fire at 300 yards. Although the CR.42 pilot took violent evasive action, Hope pursued, closing to 20 yards and firing as it tried to dive away. There was a brief flicker of flame and the last Italian aircraft to be shot down over East Africa spun into the ground and burst into flames near Ambazzo. The next day the wreckage was found, the dead pilot still in the cockpit. Hope dropped a message on Italian positions at Ambazzo: "Tribute to the pilot of the Fiat. He was a brave man. South African Air Force." But operational record books of the Commonwealth units in the area state that they did not suffer any losses on this date. The dedication of the posthumous Medaglia d’oro al valor militare states that Malavolti shot down a Gladiator and forced another to crash land, but was himself shot down by a third Gladiator.[75] This was the last air-to-air victory in the East African campaign.[76]
Greece

Tension had been building between Greece and Italy since 7 April 1939, when Italian troops occupied Albania. On 28 October 1940, Italy issued an ultimatum to Greece, which was promptly rejected; a few hours later, Italian troops launched an invasion of Greece, initiating the Greco-Italian War.

Britain dispatched help to the embattled Greeks in the form of 80 Squadron, elements of which arrived at Trikkala by 19 November. That same day, the Gladiator debut came in the form of a surprise, intercepting a section of five Italian CR.42s on Coritza, only one of which returned to base. On 27 November, seven Gladiators attacked three Falcos, shooting down the lead aircraft, piloted by Com. Masfaldi, commanding the 364a Squadriglia. On 28 November, the commander of 365a Squadriglia, Com. Graffer, was shot down during a combat where seven aircraft were downed, four of them British.[77] On 3 December, the Gladiators were reinforced with elements from 112 Squadron. The following day, a clash between 20 Gladiators and ten CR.42s resulted in a loss of five, two of them Italians.[77] After a break of two weeks, 80 Sqn returned to operations on 19 December 1940. On 21 December, 20 Gladiators intercepted a force of 15 CR.42 Falcos, shooting down two with two losses.[78] Over the next few days, several groups of Italian Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 and Savoia-Marchetti SM.81 bombers were also intercepted and victories claimed.

One of the more notable Gladiator engagements of the whole war occurred on the Albanian border with Greece on 28 February 1941. A mixed force of 28 Gladiators and Hurricanes encountered roughly 50 Italian aircraft, resulting in the downing or severe damaging of at least 27 enemy aircraft.[2] A single Gladiator, piloted by ace pilot Marmaduke "Pat" Pattle, downed five aircraft during that that single skirmish.[2]

The complete 112 Squadron moved to Eleusis by the end of January 1941, and by the end of the following month, had received 80 Sqn’s Gladiators, after the latter unit had converted to Hawker Hurricanes. On 5 April, German forces invaded Greece and quickly established air superiority. As the Allied troops retreated, Gladiators covered them, before flying to Crete during the last week of April. There No 112 Sqn recorded a few claims over twin-engined aircraft before being evacuated to Egypt during the Battle of Crete.[79]
Anglo-Iraqi War
Main article: Anglo-Iraqi War
Arab Legionnaires guard Gloster Gladiators of No. 94 Squadron RAF at the landing ground at H4 pumping station in Transjordan

The Royal Iraqi Air Force (RoIAF) had been trained and equipped by the British prior to independence in 1932.[80] One result of this was the dominance of British-built aircraft in the RoIAF inventory. In 1941, the sole RoIAF single-purpose fighter squadron, No. 4 Squadron consisted of seven operational Gloster Gladiators at Rashid Air Base.[81]

On 2 May 1941, in response to a blockade established by increasing numbers of Iraqi forces on RAF Habbaniya and demands from the revolutionary Iraqi government, a preemptive RAF attack was launched to break the encirclement. During this action, Iraqi Gladiators took part in attacks on the British air base, repeatedly strafing it ineffectively.[82] Although much of the RoIAF was destroyed in the air or on the ground in the following days, the Iraqi Gladiators kept flying until the end of the war, carrying out strafing attacks on A Company of 1 Battalion The Essex Regiment on the outskirts of Baghdad on 30 May.[83]

Before the outbreak of hostilities in Iraq, the 4th Service Training School at RAF Habbaniya operated three old Gladiators as officers' runabouts. With the increased tension, the base was reinforced with another six Gladiators on 19 April, flying in from Egypt.[84] During the early part of the war, these nine Gladiators flew numerous sorties against air and ground targets, taking off from the base's polo field.[85] The RAF's Gladiator force in Iraq was further reinforced when, on 11 May, another five aircraft arrived, this time from 94 Squadron in Ismaïlia on the Suez Canal.[86][72] A last resupply of Gladiators came on 17 May in the form of four more 94 Squadron aircraft.[87]

During the fighting, the sole Gladiator-on-Gladiator kill occurred on 5 May, when Plt. Off. Watson of the fighter flight shot down an Iraqi Gladiator over Baqubah during a bomber escort mission. The Iraqi Gladiators' only claim during the war was a Vickers Wellington bomber shared with ground fire on 4 May.[88] RAF Gladiators proved effective against the Iraqi aircraft, which had been reinforced by Axis aircraft.[72] Immediately after launching his coup against King Faisal II in early April 1941, Prime Minister Rashid Ali al-Gaylani approached Germany and Italy for help in repelling any British countermeasures. In response, the Germans assembled a Luftwaffe task force under Iraqi colours called Fliegerführer Irak ("Flyer Command Iraq") which from 14 May operated out of Mosul.[89] Before this force collapsed due to lack of supplies, replacements, quality fuel and aggressive RAF attacks, two Gladiators fought a pair of Bf. 110s over Rashid Airfield at Baghdad on 17 May. Both German machines were swiftly shot down.[87]

The "Regia Aeronautica" had also dispatched a force of 12 Fiat CR.42s that arrived in Iraq on 23 May. Six days later, the Fiat CR.42s intercepted RAF Hawker Audax and clashed with escorting Gladiators in what was to prove the final air-to-air combat of the brief campaign. Italian pilots claimed two No. 94 Sqn Gladiators but one Fiat was shot down by a Gladiator flown by Wg Cdr Wightman, close to Khan Nuqta.[90] Following the end of hostilities in Iraq, No 94 Squadron handed its Gladiators over to SAAF and RAAF units.[91] The Iraqis continued to operate its remaining Gladiators, some remaining in use as late as 1949;[92] these were reportedly used to conduct ground-attack missions against the Kurds.[citation needed]
Syria

After the end of the Iraq fighting the British decided to invade Vichy French-controlled Syria to prevent the area from falling under direct German control. The French in Syria had supported the Iraqi rebellion materially and allowed Luftwaffe aircraft to use their airfields for operations over Iraq. The month-long Syria-Lebanon Campaign in June–July 1941 saw heavy fighting both in the air and on land, until the Vichy French authorities in Syria surrendered on 12 July 1941. In one encounter between the Royal Air Force and the Vichy French Air Force on 15 June 1941, six Gloster Gladiators were jumped by an equal number of Dewoitine D.520 monoplane fighter aircraft. In a confused battle, both sides lost one aircraft shot down and one severely damaged. French fighter ace Pierre Le Gloan shot down the Gladiator for his 15th confirmed kill. Le Gloan himself had to crash-land his damaged D.520 at his own air base.[93]

As late as mid-1941, the RAF Chief-of-Air Staff offered 21 Gloster Gladiators gathered from various meteorological and communications flights in the Middle East, as well as five from a Free French unit, to AOC Singapore in order to strengthen the colony's defences against the emerging Japanese threat. The offer was turned down and later reinforcements consisted of Hawker Hurricanes.[94]
Operations elsewhere

The Irish Air Corps was supplied with four Gladiators on 9 March 1939. On 29 December 1940, two Irish Gladiators were scrambled from Baldonnel to intercept a German Ju 88 flying over Dublin on a photographic reconnaissance mission, but were unable to make contact.[95] Although unable to intercept any intruding aircraft, the Irish Gladiators shot down several British barrage balloons that had broken from their moorings.[96] For a short time in 1940, an order was given to Irish fighter pilots to use their aircraft to block the runways of airfields. They were then to use rifles and shoot at any invaders.[97] Irish Gladiators also overflew the site of the sinking of the liner SS Athenia in 1939 and offered the help of the Irish military. The flight was fired upon by Royal Navy ships in attendance, consequently, the Irish Gladiators withdrew.[citation needed]

The Luftwaffe used captured Latvian Gladiators as glider tugs with Ergänzungsgruppe (S) 1 from Langendiebach near Hanau during 1942–3.[98]

After becoming obsolete, RAF Gladiators carried out non-combat tasks such as meteorological work, being operated as such across various parts of Africa, the Middle East, and Europe as late as 1944.[99] By the end of the war, few intact aircraft remained and many of these were quickly scrapped. Two survivors were privately purchased by V.H. Bellamy, who completed a flightworthy Gladiator out of parts from L8032 and N5903, which became the sole example of the type in such a condition.[100]
Final engagements

The Finnish Air Force was the last to use the Gloster biplane in combat. It was under Finnish insignia that the Gladiator achieved its last air victory. During the Continuation War, against the Soviets, Glosters supported the advance of the Karelian Army around Lake Ladoga. On 15 February 1943, 1st Lt Håkan Strömberg of LLv 16, during a reconnaissance mission along the Murmansk railway, between the White Sea and the Lake Onega, spotted, on Karkijarvi, a Soviet Polikarpov R-5 taking off. Stromberg dived on it and shot it down into the forest near its airfield with two bursts.[101] This was one of the last confirmed biplane victories in the aviation history (probably the last one was on 2 September 1944 in Slovak National Uprisng - Master Sergeant František Cyprich, flying Avia B-534 biplane, downed a Junkers Ju-52 transport under Hungarian colors).
Variants

SS.37
Prototype.
Gladiator I
Version powered by a single 840 hp (627 kW) Bristol Mercury IX air-cooled radial piston engine. The aircraft was designated J 8 in Swedish Air Force service. Delivered 1937–38, 378 built.
Gladiator II
Version powered by a single Bristol Mercury VIIIA air-cooled radial piston engine. The aircraft was designated J 8A in Swedish Air Force service. Delivered 1938–39, 270 built.
Sea Gladiator Interim
Single-seat fighter biplane for the Royal Navy, 38 modified Gladiator II. Fitted with arrestor hooks. Serial numbers: N2265 – N2302.
Sea Gladiator
Single-seat fighter biplane for the Royal Navy, 60 built. Fitted with arrestor hooks and provision for dinghy stowage. Serial numbers: N5500 – N5549 and N5565 – N5574.

Gloster Gladiator Mk I of the 1st Squadron of the Irish Air Corps
Operators
Main article: List of Gloster Gladiator operators
Gladiator I in pre-Second World War Norwegian Army Air Service colours
Swedish Voluntary Air Force Gladiator fighter from the air squadron F 19, with Finnish Air Force markings

Australia
Belgium
China
Egypt
Free France
Finland
Germany (small numbers)[102]
Greece
Iraq
Ireland
Latvia
Lithuania
Norway
Portugal
Romania
South Africa
Soviet Union
Sweden
United Kingdom

Surviving aircraft
Gladiator L8032 (civil registration G-AMRK), owned by the Shuttleworth Trust, and Gladiator N5902 (G-GLAD) owned by The Fighter Collection, flying in formation (2013)

Gladiators have been preserved at the Shuttleworth Collection, Fighter Collection at Imperial War Museum Duxford, Jet Age Museum (in Gloucestershire, UK), the National War Museum, Malta[103] and the RAF Museum (in Hendon and Cosford, UK). One Swedish Gladiator Mk I is preserved in Winter War markings at the Swedish Air Force Museum in Malmen, just outside Linköping, Sweden.
Norway

The Norwegian Aviation Museum has in its collection Gladiator II, serial N5641, operated by No. 263 squadron and abandoned at Lake Lesjaskog during the squadron's retreat.[104] The aircraft had been purchased by a local farmer who preserved it into the 1960s when it was brought to the museum for restoration.[105]
Malta
The fuselage of N5520, Fort St. Elmo, Malta (2006)

The fuselage of the only surviving Gladiator from the Hal Far Fighter Flight (N5520), later called Faith, was presented to the people of Malta in 1943. The fuselage remains are displayed in the War Museum at Fort Saint Elmo, Valletta.[103] Research on the airframe has indicated that it incorporates parts of at least one other Gladiator.[106] Malta's Aviation Museum has been trying since at least 2005 to obtain possession of the Gladiator remains from the War Museum which, it claimed, was lacking sufficient security for valuable heritage exhibits. In its Air Battle of Malta Memorial Hangar at Ta' Qali, the Aviation Museum had demonstrated superior expertise in aircraft restoration and had managed to acquire "a set of wings and other parts for the Gladiator".[107] This request was reinforced in November 2008 by a newspaper article which stated "the aircraft is in a very bad state and now approaching the point of no repair".[103]
Quotations

Those old Gladiators aren't made of stressed steel like a Hurricane or a Spit. They have taut canvas wings, covered with magnificently inflammable dope, and underneath there are hundreds of small thin sticks, the kind you put under the logs for kindling, only these are drier and thinner. If a clever man said, 'I am going to build a big thing that will burn better and quicker than anything else in the world,' and if he applied himself diligently to his task, he would probably finish up by building something very like a Gladiator.
— Roald Dahl, "A Piece of Cake", from the short story collection The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar

Gladiator aces

The top scoring Gladiator aces flew it in North Africa and Greece, scoring most of their successes against Regia Aeronautica aircraft. The top ace was Flight Lieutenant Pat Pattle, from No. 80 Squadron, who got 15.5 confirmed air victories while flying the Gladiator (out of his 50+ kills), plus four probably destroyed and six damaged. Second was Pilot Officer William "Cherry" Vale, from No. 33 and 80 Squadrons, with ten individual kills, 1 shared kill, and 1.5 damaged. Flight Lieutenant Joe P. Fraser, from No. 112 Squadron, and Flight Sergeant Don S. Gregory, from Nos. 33 and 80 Squadrons, scored all of their kills (respectively, 9.5 and 8) flying the Gladiator. Sergeant C. E. "Cas" Casbolt, from No. 80 Squadron, shot down 7.5 enemy aircraft (plus one probably destroyed and 1.5 damaged).[108] Rhodesian pilot Caesar Hull scored five of his eight victories in a Gladiator during the Norwegian Campaign in 1940, including four in the same afternoon. He was the leading Allied pilot of the campaign.

Top Finnish Air Force ace with Gladiator was Captain Paavo Berg, who claimed 6 of his 11 victories with Gladiator. Warrant Officer Oiva Tuominen claimed 5 of his 44 victories with Gladiator. Several other FinnAF aces claimed also victories with Gladiator.
Specifications (Gloster Gladiator Mk I)
Orthographic projection of the Gladiator Mk.I
Cockpit of a Gladiator

Data from Gloster Aircraft since 1917,[109] The Gloster Gladiator[110]

General characteristics

Crew: 1
Length: 27 ft 5 in (8.36 m)
Wingspan: 32 ft 3 in (9.83 m)
Height: 11 ft 9 in (3.58 m)
Wing area: 323 ft2 (30.0 m2)
Empty weight: 3,217 lb (1,462 kg)
Loaded weight: 4,594 lb (2,088 kg)
Powerplant: 1 × Bristol Mercury IX radial engine, 830 hp (619 kW)

Performance

Maximum speed: 253 mph (220 knots, 407 km/h) at 14,500 ft (4,400 m)
Cruise speed: 210 mph[111]
Stall speed: 53 mph (46 knots, 85 km/h)
Endurance: 2 hours[111]
Service ceiling: 32,800 ft (10,000 m)
Rate of climb: 2,300 ft/min[111] (11.7 m/s)
Climb to 10,000 ft (3,050 m): 4.75 min

Armament

Guns:
Initially; Two synchronised .303 in Vickers machine guns in fuselage sides, two .303 in Lewis machine guns; one beneath each lower wing.
Later aircraft; Four .303 calibre M1919 Browning machine guns; two synchronised guns in fuselage sides and one beneath each lower wing.

In at least some Sea Gladiators, provision existed for a pair of Brownings to be fitted under the upper wings as well, bringing the total to six. Official service release trials were not completed before the Sea Gladiators were replaced by later types – but some upper wing Brownings may have been fitted in the field, in particular in Malta.[112]
See also
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Old 02-08-2018, 12:37 PM
  #15404  
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An excellent job, FlyerInOKC; and a very nice write-up. Thanks; Ernie P.
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Old 02-08-2018, 10:54 PM
  #15405  
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B-17. It was flown by the USAAF and Luftwaffe
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Old 02-09-2018, 06:16 AM
  #15406  
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Originally Posted by Hydro Junkie View Post
B-17. It was flown by the USAAF and Luftwaffe
The Luftwaffe wasn't choosy like the Wehrmacht all captured equipment was pressed into service. It's amazing how many French trunks were in Wehrmacht service.
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Old 02-09-2018, 10:06 AM
  #15407  
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Sorry for the delay, this should be short but hopefully interesting:

I'm looking for a modification and the method of testing it:
1. The aircraft involved was the Mk I Spitfire though the modification was carried through to later marks.
2. The modification was to reduce construction time.
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Old 02-09-2018, 04:50 PM
  #15408  
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Slight change to clue#1

I'm looking for a modification and the method of testing it:
1. The test aircraft involved was the prototype Spitfire K5054 the modification was implemented in the Mk1 and carried through to later marks.
2. The modification was to reduce construction time.
3. The testing was undertaken to ensure the modification did not significantly reduce performance.

Last edited by SimonCraig1; 02-09-2018 at 05:15 PM.
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Old 02-09-2018, 08:09 PM
  #15409  
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Is this where they were trying to determine if they could reduce the number of flush rivets on the plane and glued peas cut in half simulating round head rivets and discovered that they only needed to put flush rivets on the front part of the wing and fuse?
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Old 02-10-2018, 02:31 PM
  #15410  
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Originally Posted by elmshoot View Post
Is this where they were trying to determine if they could reduce the number of flush rivets on the plane and glued peas cut in half simulating round head rivets and discovered that they only needed to put flush rivets on the front part of the wing and fuse?
Sparky
You correct and up next Elmshoot! Here is a description of the testing by Jeffery Quill, Vickers Supermarine test pilot:

Flush riveting was used on the prototype Spitfire K5054 for the smoothest possible surfaces but at that time it was considered difficult, expensive and time consuming in production. So they went to a local grocery and bought several bags of dried split peas and glued them on every flush rivet head for an objective test of the benefit over round head rivets. The speed was reduced around 22 mph. They progressively scraped off the split peas to determine which flush rivets were beneficial and which ones were not and the results were applied to production airplanes.

I was unable to find out what was the final speed reduction if anyone knows I would like to hear it. The Mk 1 was faster than the initial prototype values so they did something right between the maiden flight and production.
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Old 02-10-2018, 03:51 PM
  #15411  
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Originally Posted by SimonCraig1 View Post
You correct and up next Elmshoot! Here is a description of the testing by Jeffery Quill, Vickers Supermarine test pilot:

Flush riveting was used on the prototype Spitfire K5054 for the smoothest possible surfaces but at that time it was considered difficult, expensive and time consuming in production. So they went to a local grocery and bought several bags of dried split peas and glued them on every flush rivet head for an objective test of the benefit over round head rivets. The speed was reduced around 22 mph. They progressively scraped off the split peas to determine which flush rivets were beneficial and which ones were not and the results were applied to production airplanes.

I was unable to find out what was the final speed reduction if anyone knows I would like to hear it. The Mk 1 was faster than the initial prototype values so they did something right between the maiden flight and production.
The first Spitfires had wooden props. There was an early change in the prop used, which added a bit of speed. Then, in early 1940 (not exactly sure about the date) they (and the Hurri's) went to a metal three bladed variable pitch (i.e., modern) propeller, and that made a lot of difference. Had they not changed to the variable pitch propeller, the Messerschmitts would have eaten them. It's actually quite a story. One lone British pilot with an idea, and everything changed. That was one time the British did it exactly right. Start to finish in the effort was just a few weeks. Thanks; Ernie P.
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Old 02-11-2018, 10:07 AM
  #15412  
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I will defer to a first time quizmaster. It's more fun when the shoe is one the other foot. you have until tomorrow night to post other wise ill do it.
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Old 02-13-2018, 06:23 AM
  #15413  
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OK so no lurkers stepped up and no snarky remarks about taking so long to post so here goes.

1. Looking for a pilot.
2. Died during the war he flew in.
3. Not from enemy action.
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Old 02-13-2018, 06:31 AM
  #15414  
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Major General Clarence L. Tinker

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Old 02-13-2018, 08:48 PM
  #15415  
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Nope not Tinker.....
1. Looking for a pilot.
2. Died during the war he flew in.
3. Not from enemy action.
4. the son of a General officer who also died during the same conflict his son died in.
5. His father was a pilot as well.
6. His parents were divorced shortly after our subjects birth and he was raised by his mother and was mostly estrainged from his father.
7. A bit of a wild child due to no firm parenting by his father that reputation followed him to his death.
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Old 02-14-2018, 07:31 AM
  #15416  
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No Nibbles?
1. Looking for a pilot.
2. Died during the war he flew in.
3. Not from enemy action.
4. the son of a General officer who also died during the same conflict his son died in.
5. His father was a pilot as well.
6. His parents were divorced shortly after our subjects birth and he was raised by his mother and was mostly estranged from his father.
7. A bit of a wild child due to no firm parenting by his father that reputation followed him to his death.
8. He had a Batman quite unusual for the time and a source of consternation from the superiors. He was "the best bartender and cook" a man could have.
9.
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Old 02-14-2018, 08:05 AM
  #15417  
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How about Hauptmann Hans-Joachim Marseille?
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Old 02-14-2018, 10:35 AM
  #15418  
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Pappy Boyington
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Old 02-14-2018, 11:15 AM
  #15419  
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Originally Posted by Hydro Junkie View Post
Pappy Boyington
Pappy's dad wasn't a general officer. I still wonder how many kills he would have racked up had he not been captured.

Has anyone besides me noticed Simon Oakland who played Gen. Moore in Baa Baa Black Sheep resembled the real Greg Boyington?

Last edited by FlyerInOKC; 02-14-2018 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 02-14-2018, 11:48 AM
  #15420  
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Robert Conrad looks nothing like Boyington, which is a real shame. You're right though, Oakland does look a bit like him, never thought about it
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Old 02-14-2018, 12:23 PM
  #15421  
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I found it quite ironic. Oakland was a very talented and successful character actor too.
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Old 02-14-2018, 01:27 PM
  #15422  
elmshoot
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Back in the day when Bah-Bah black sheep was on, I remember my dad mentioning that he did look similar to the real pappy Boyington.
BTW Marseille is the pilot I was looking forHauptmann Hans Joachim Marseille inherited his love of aeroplanes from his father, General Siegfried Marseille, a First World War pilot of Hugenot ancestry who was to die commanding a Luftwaffe unit in Russia in 1943. Hans-Joachim was born on 13 December 1919 at Charlottenburg, Berlin, but whilst he was still very young his mother and father divorced. Thus, the firm hand of discipline which was a hallmark of his strict Prussian father, was missing in his formative years, and may account for the young Joachim's free-spirited pranks.On completion of his formal education, he joined the Luftwaffe on 11 July 1938 and began his flying training on 7 November under the guiding hand of First World War Austro-Hungarian ace Julius Arigi (32 kills) at Jagdfliegerschule Wein-Schwechat. Despite his antics and apparent lack of respect for his seniors, he successfully completed his course and was posted as an Oberfahnrich (officer cadet) to 3/1/LG 2 to gain combat experience. His first victory came on his third sortie when he shot down a Spitfire, and by the end of the Battle of Britain he had seven scores to his name. However, on the debit side he had been shot down four times, on one occasion being forced to bale out into the Channel, an incident that coloured his thinking about the use of parachutes and made him much prefer to attempt crash-landing whenever possible.During this period he had graduated from LG2 to Johannes Steinthoff's IV/JG52, but his record was such that eventually Steinhoff, who was to become a top ace with 176 kills and end the war flying Me 262s, decided that the young pilot was too much of a liability. In January 1941, he had him transferred to JG27 at Doberitz near Berlin. Marseille's cavalier attitude and love of parties generated a playboy image that made the handsome blond pilot very popular in some quarters, but very unpopular in others.On joining JG27, he was assigned to the third Staffel under the command of Hauptmann Gerhard Homuth, with whom Marseille very quickly clashed. Homuth stood no nonsense from the young cadet, and on one occasion, when he refused to assign a combat mission to Marseille, the future ace took off and strafed the ground close to Homuth's tent, an action for which he was lucky not to have been court-martialled.In April 1941, the unit was moved to North Africa and set up camp with its Bfl09Es at Gazala. During the move from Tripoli to the base on 22 April, Marseille's aircraft developed engine trouble and he was forced to land in the desert. He hitched a lift with an Italian supply truck and on arrival at a supply depot arrogantly demanded transport to his unit, telling the commanding officer that he was a Flight Commander and must get back immediately. The senior German officer knew very well that the young pilot facing him was in fact only an Oberfahnrich, but admired his cheek and rewarded his initiative with the loan of an Opel Admiral and driver.The following day, Marseille shot down a Hurricane over Tobruk and followed this five days later with a Blenheim, although once again his own aircraft was seriously damaged in the fights. Homuth continually lectured the young pilot about his airmanship, and eventually referred him to the Gruppen Kommanduer Eduard Neumann, who could see the pilot's potential and decided to act as his mentor. This move was fundamental in setting Marseille on the right track, and from then on he started to concentrate on developing his skills.He was a master of the deflection shot and worked hard on tactics, which he practised on his luckless companions as they returned from patrols. It all paid off, however, and during the next month his score had risen to 14 and at last his commission was confirmed. Marseille's reputation spread through the desert and later his sand-camouflaged Bf 109s which carried a yellow '14' (his call-sign) on the fuselage, were as familiar as von Richthofen's red Triplane had been. Another interesting insight to his character is that he chose a young African named Matthias as his batman, and soon the two became firm friends without losing respect for each other.Marseille's basic character did not change, and his quarters in the desert were still often the scenes of parties at which Matthias would set up and tend a makeshift bar in an extension to his master's living quarters. When JG27 moved to a new location at Derna in December 1941, Joachim's score had reached 40 and he was beginning to cultivate a taste for multiple victories. His 50th came on 24 February 1942, two days after he had been awarded his Ritterkreuz [Knight's Cross].Click image for larger version

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ID:	2254674In April he was promoted to Oberleutnant, and took over command of the third Staffel from Homuth, who in turn took over I Gruppe when Neumann became Geschwader Kommodore. Both men had played a major part in seeing the new ace adopt a more responsible attitude towards discipline, which had enabled him to accept his own command, and had undoubtedly saved his life by making him take a close look at his airmanship. Then, just as he began to enjoy his new command, a personal tragedy hit him. His young sister Inge, to whom Joachim was very close, died in mysterious circumstances in Vienna. This was a blow from which Marseille never recovered, and he sought solace in the tranquillity of his tent playing jazz music, and vengeance in the skies over the desert.On 17 June he scored six in one day, flying a new 'F' version of the Bf 109, a model he came to love, and with his score at 101 Neumann sent him home to rest. He was now a legendary figure in Germany and was feted wherever he went. The award of his Swords and Oak Leaves followed, and he also received from the hands of Mussolini the Italian Gold Medal for Bravery, recognition indeed, since Erwin Rommel only ever received the same award in silver.He returned to North Africa on 23 August 1942 and, flying a new Bf 109F, carried on from where he had left off. The achievement for which he is probably best remembered came on 1 September. Taking off at 07.30 to escort Ju87 Stukas, he spotted 10 Kittyhawks approaching just as the dive-bombers began their attack. In the space of two minutes he shot down two of the fighters; then, as the Ju87s withdrew, he accounted for another. On the way back to base, his flight was intercepted by Spitfires and during the next nine minutes, six of them had fallen to Marseille's guns. On landing at 09.14, his armourer found that he had used just 20 cannon shells and 60 rounds of machine-gun ammunition to down nine aircraft. That day he flew two more sorties and claimed another eight aircraft, including five P-40s in the space of six minutes. His total of 17 in one day was only beaten once, by Emil Lang on the Russian Front. [The respected post-war book [i]Fighters over the Desert analysed Marseille's claims on this day and found that he had mis-identified some of his victims, which were actually Hurricanes.]The following day it was announced that Marseille would be presented with his Diamonds personally by the Fuhrer in the autumn, but fate was to decree otherwise and neither he, nor his family, ever received them. His joy was tempered by sad news on 5 September when his best friend, 'Fifi' Stahlschmidt (59 kills), was killed. Marseille became increasingly withdrawn and morose, and although he added 26 more victories to his total by the end of the month, his overall condition caused some concern among his friends.On the morning of Wednesday 30 September he took off with Oblts Schlang and Poettgen to carry out a sweep in the Cairo area. Marseille was flying a new 'G' model Bf109. Upon returning from the uneventful patrol at about a height of 4,500 feet, a glycol line broke and set the oil cooler on fire. As his cockpit filled with smoke, he opened the small windscreen ventilator to clear it. This had little effect, and his companions pleaded with himover their radios to bale out. However, the trio of Bf 109s were still three minutes flying time away from the safety of the German lines, and Marseille had no desire to become a PoW. The cockpit continued to fill with acrid smoke, preventing him seeing or breathing properly; his wing man tried to guide him, but it became obvious that the 109 was doomed.As soon as the trio crossed the line, Marseille flicked his aircraft on to its back, jettisoned the canopy and tried to drop clear, but he had not realized that the aircraft was in a nose-down attitude and centrifugal force held him firmly in place. He eventually struggled free, but as he fell was knocked unconscious by a massive blow to the left side of his chest from the fin that carried the 158 kill markings. He never recovered to deploy his parachute and fell to his death four miles south of Sidi Abdul Rahman.At his funeral on 2 October in the cemetery at Derna, Neumann said, 'A restless heart is now resting, but we fly on. May the fighting spirit of Marseille inspire all men of JG27 '.His final score included 101 Curtiss Tomahawks and Kittyhawks, 30 Hurricanes, 16 Spitfires and 4 bombers ... Adolf Galland was moved to call him, 'the unrivalled virtuoso among fighter pilots of the Second World War'.The simple plaque erected over his grave by the pilots of JG27 was perhaps the most fitting epitaph of all:

'Here lies, undefeated, Hauptmann Hans Marseille'.
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Old 02-14-2018, 01:32 PM
  #15423  
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Shoot now I have to come up with a new puzzle unless we have a lurker who would like a shot. Any takers?
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Old 02-14-2018, 02:05 PM
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If no one else has one, I'll try to come up with something this evening
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Old 02-15-2018, 11:17 AM
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Okay looks like I get to do a quiz. That being the case, I'm going to go for an aircraft again. Here's your first clue:
1) There was only a few built prior to production being haulted
Good Luck
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