Air and Space Photos from Alternate Worlds.

I always considered fighters in Star Trek as something that keeps getting tried on occasion but then usually discarded for the same reason, in that the return of investment isn't there. In the case of Star Trek, I doubt you could put enough oomph into a one-man craft to seriously threaten a good-sized Starship.

You know, a bog-standard Photon Torpedo would have a maximum yield of about 64 Megatons. Quantum Torpedoes and high-yield Photons are even higher...

Even without including non-expendable or exotic weapons, that's quite a bit more than the punch-to-weight ratio of the torpedo bombers than sank Yamato. 'Probably less personnel-wasting to send out a 2-man fighter than an 80-year old exploratory vessel to get a couple of torpedo volleys off before getting cut in half. You could even send fighters out in multiple angles of attack. A...multi-vector assault, if you will.

Of course, ribbing aside, and in all seriousness, making completely rational use of established technology in Star Trek is A) difficult to execute on a (live-action) TV budget and timetable, even if you give Ron Moore extra time to figure out what to write, and B) would likely interfere with the tone and general type of stories the creators want to tell (which happen to be Sgt. Sisko's Amazing War Stories). 😁
I always considered fighters in Star Trek as something that keeps getting tried on occasion but then usually discarded for the same reason, in that the return of investment isn't there. In the case of Star Trek, I doubt you could put enough oomph into a one-man craft to seriously threaten a good-sized Starship.

In-universe, I could see these things having a niche application as a system patrol craft, customs enforcement and that sort of thing. When the Dominion war broke out, the Federation was insanely desperate and pulled in everything that had a phaser equipped.

From an entirely subjective, personal standpoint, I like Star Trek better without fighters being a thing. It fits better with the format, it fits better with the episodic and large-cast nature of the story-telling in the various shows. Therefore, when I play in the verse, there are not going to be any.

I agree with all of the above, and at the same time, I am not surprised fighters would exist in the Trekverse. They would be niche warships/aircraft, specialised for very particular military duties. For most battles, bigger ships are much better and more useful. You'd have lightly armed mostly utilitarian shuttles (the majority of small craft), hybrid solutions between a shuttle and a fighter, and least common of all, dedicated fightercraft.

If plenty of non-Federation factions and powers do have various fightercraft, it would be a bit shortsighted if the Federation never had any at all. Instead, I think it's sensible to say the UFP always has some fighters prepared just in case, but for most common exploratory, military and diplomatic duties, large well-armed ships and more lightly armed or unarmed small craft are the everyday mainstay. Particularly in times of peace, where there isn't much need for greater variety in military spacecraft.

Here's the lads from Trekyards talking about canon and non-canon fiction examples of fighters from Trek. Mostly Federation stuff.

A look at the Cardassian Hideki type of large fighter.

The Lore Reloaded fellow has more to say about this too. As all three of them state clearly, the setting is better off without prominent and common use of fightercraft, as it seems to fit the logic and tone of the setting better.

Personally, the thing I like about fighers in Trek, whether they are Federation or non-Federation, is that they are at least proportioned reasonably. Most of the fighters, even the smaller ones, are actually pretty big. The Federation's Peregrine (or whatever it's called) is about as big or almost as big as the runabout, and that's a big and hardy multi-purpose shuttle in and of itself. The alien fighters, such as the Hideki discussed above, are similarly big, or even a bit bigger. The Maquis raiders, mostly converted spaceplane freighters and transport ships, are in that ball park too. About the only fairly small fightercraft we see on a regular basis are the Bajoran fighters and raiders, as those really are just up-gunned shuttles or aircraft/scoutship hybrids for planets and local space. I'd say the likes of Voyager's Delta Flyer fit neatly into the hybrid solution category - yes, it's just a medium-sized shuttle, but if you need to use it as an emergency fighter, you can. Neither an entirely defenceless shuttle, nor a dedicated fighter.

In the case of entirely local powers, such as the Bajorans, or regional powers, such as the Cardassians, fightercraft do actually make a lot of economic sense. Particularly for the Bajorans and later for the Maquis, since they had little in the way of larger dedicated ships. When you look at the Bajoran fleet inventory after the occupation ended and they liberated their system from the Cardies, they didn't exactly have that much to work with, so reliance on whatever surviving or converted fighters they had - seemingly the most plentiful military spacecraft left - doesn't suddenly seem so weird. For a few years after the end of the occupation and without Federation help, rebuilding a basic fleet no doubt took time and they also had to deal with reestablishing a civilian merchant marine (astrine ?) during the early rebuilding period. (They have a well-running one in the later seasons of DS9, so civilian and military fleet rebuilding was definitely going on, as much as their situation allowed them at that time.) Finally, there's the fact that a not insubstantial part of the post-occupation Bajoran fleet seem to be freighter ships armed to act as impromptu warships. (Amusingly, a very medieval, as well as WWI and WWII era concept.) From what I remember, some of those converted freighter models looked like Cardassian ships on purpose ! Indicating that these were salvaged and captured Cardassian ships, modified with Bajoran tech and given Bajoran colours, and then sent into service.

I think it's no surprise fighters are seen most often in DS9, as their appearances there make the most astropolitical and military sense. Then you have the occassional cases in Voyager and Enterprise when the main cast runs into some aliens of the week who sometimes have their own types of fighters, often for defensive or even piratical duties. Overall, though, fighters aren't that overexposed in Trek, and that's a good thing in my book ! One of the things I find a little annoying in the Star Wars universe is that the fighters are so small and there's almost an overabundance of specific types. They're cute fighters, but even less realistic than Trek's soft-but-hard-enough fightercraft tech.

I'd say a strange but unique halfway point between fighters and other large ships would be multi-purpose smaller warships designed like large spaceplanes. The Klingon Birds of Prey are an obvious example, but one of the few larger and purpose-built post-occupation Bajoran warships, the winged "assault ship", also shares this design philosophy. You can use it as a planetary transport and very large gunship in an atmosphere, and as a fairly speedy and nimble (though weaker) warship while out in space. A Galaxy class ship could blast them out of the void with relative ease, they'd have to get creative to defeat one, but they are big enough to go toe-to-toe with many medium-sized Federation and other alien ships. I think if the Bajorans in particular had to fight a few Cardassian cruisers (Galor class, etc.) and neither side had fighter support for the big ships, they'd probably use those winged assault ships and a few of the converted, armed freighters they have in their fleet after the occupation. Bajor was only slowly rebuilding their fleet after the occupation and if they lost those BOP-like assault spaceplanes of their's , they'd be down to armed freighters and their various fightercraft and shuttles. (That's one thing I arguably like about Bajor and its ships. They really feel like they have a cobbled-together inventory of whatever still works, and they're at the doorstep of pondering whether to join a major power, the Federation. Me coming from a small country that didn't join NATO that long ago and still has a lot of work left to modernize its inventory, I've always had sympathy for the Bajorans in this area. They're just working with what they've got.) Here's the scene from season 7 where Kira's aboard one of the assault ships, part of a smaller fleet that tries to force the Romulans to stand down.
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Luftwaffe 1946, Volume 2, Issue No.12

HRT-ENN Frisky B

HRT-ENN Frisky B
Red 23, 235 Interceptor Regiment
Vladivostock, USSR
9 May, 1950

Like other German designed jets that entered production in the Socialist Union following the technological windfall of 1945, the HRT was considered an interim type pending the development of superior indeginous aircraft. The idea was to use these types to speed the learning curve on jet production, operation and design. Based on the German Horten IX, the Soviets built only 164 HRTs following further development by a team lead by the Italian born Communist, Roberto Bartini. Equipping two regiments, they were based in defence of Moscow and Vladivostock from 1948 until late 1951.

Red 23 was the first Frisky in combat, when Combat Pilot Gregor Borovik shot down a SAC RB-29A on the 9th of May, 1950 in Soviet airspace near Vladivostock.


F-10 Fancy

When the United Nations decided to roll back communism by invading what it saw as the failed state of Korea, it was asking for more than it bargained. As China and the Socialist Union were having one of their frequent ideological stouches, the UN Security Council thought that it could get away with storming up the Korean peninsula on a "humanitarian mission" whilst the two red giants were locked in a stalemate about who should move first.

They were wrong.

Firstly, the Koreans fought back with WMDs. Secondly, the Chinese and the SU made up and moved together. Thirdly, the Chinese invoked clauses in its mutual defence treaties with other south east Asian nations to destabilize the UN's flanks.

F-10 Fancy , Bien Hoa, Vietnam, 23 June, 2007, unit unidentified

On this date, two of Vietnam's new F-10s (including 1006) flew out over the Spratly Islands and shot down a P-3C of the Philippines Navy. It was the start of the Spratlys War, a campaign of small actions and mutual destabilization that lasted for over three years and also involved China, Taiwan, Malaysia and many remote UN member states. It wasn't until the Korean peninsula was firmly back in the hands of red forces in late 2010 that the fighting in and around the Spratlys subsided.
Now for my entry into this thread....

Here is three aircraft liveries which I had taken inspiration from the anime series called The Magnificent Kotobuki. I had also posted these aircraft in my created thread here:
Merc BF-109G.png

A Bf-109 G-10 that was operated by a Mercenary Organization, note the Red Triangle and White Circle emblem atop the painted over Luftwaffe Roundels and also the painted up Swastika on the tail.

Kampf Korps Fw190D.png

And another ex-Luftwaffe aircraft, this time a Fw-190 D-9 with this wing tips, nose, and tail painted black and it's insignia being a black and white checkerboard one, much like the OTL Polish roundel. In addition, on the tail atop the painted over hakenkreuz, there is the pilot's personal emblem, which I based off the OTL emblem of the Fallschirm-Panzer Division "Hermann Goering."

Kampf Korps BF-109K.png

And a Bf-109 K-4 belonging to the same faction as the above D-9, but this time, there is an absence of painted over Luftwaffe Insignia, which this plane could very well have been constructed by this plane's faction. (Which this faction I have assigned the name of the Kampf Korps.)

Alabama’s Hop

Stacking of SL82A begins at LC-37B in early November 1981, with the mission’s S-IB+ stage being raised to the vertical.

5 years after the recovery of the first S-IB+ stage during SL76B, Chrysler had incorporated lessons learned from successful water landings and recoveries of 15 boosters supporting manned and unmanned flights. Reuse of a full S-IB+ stage was still several years away, but all of the H-1 engines on SL82A had flown before, as had three of the outer tanks (two RP1, one LOX) and the central LOX tank.

The first stage of SL82A would operate as planned, but by the time it was descending beneath its parachutes 500 miles downrange, off the coast of the Carolinas, Alabama, the flight’s Command and Service Module, would be boosting away from an ailing S-IVB stage.

With a faulty electrical connection in the vehicle’s Instrument Unit resulting in a gradual reduction of thrust, astronauts and Mission Control would try and will the vehicle into orbit before admitting defeat, 30 seconds after telemetry first indicated a problem.

Named after the home state of Mission Commander Henry Hartsfield, the CSM separated from the S-IVB to the east of Virginia, with a short Service Propulsion System burn targeting it’s splashdown away from the cold water of the North Atlantic and into a contingency recovery area in the Celtic Sea.

Minutes later, the failed S-IVB tore itself apart, splashing down over the North Atlantic. In 1983, on Jack Grimm’s third unsuccessful expedition to find the Titanic, a remotely operated vehicle identified the powerhead of a J2S engine – strongly suspected to belong to SL82A.

The mission was the first ever in flight abort of an American crewed flight, and the shortest since the Mercury suborbital missions. All three crew would fly again, as would components of the S-IB+. Alabama was stored at Cape Canaveral for several years, but is now at Battleship Memorial Park.

Read more about...

Saturn I+

The SL82A launch

First launch and recovery of a S-IB+ stage

Cape Canaveral Launch Complex 37
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The Nakajima Ki-121, which is a development of the famous Ki-43 Hayabusa fighter. Developed after the Pacific War for the Japanese Army Air Service as an advanced trainer aircraft. The type would enter service with the IJAAS in 1946 and would be used for this role with them until 1978 when they were replaced by newer designs. Japan's client states and allies such as Manchukuo and Peru would use them for longer well into the 1990s with some of them using them for counter-insurgency use. In the present day, these planes are popular with warbird flyers and enthusiasts, owing to it's ease of flight.

Judith Resnik, Mission Commander of Skylab 86B is photographed entering the space station’s science station. A veteran of two flights, Resnik was the first American woman to command a space mission, and the first commander to have not joined the Astronaut Corps as a pilot.

She would leave NASA in 1995, becoming President of the University of Maryland.

Find out more here.
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Today's special: Comrade Harp's Mustangs


Federal A-36B Mustang

Federal A-36B Mustang
1st Expeditionary Squadron, Venezuelan Air Force
San Angelo, Italy
June, 1945

To meet an RCAF requirement for a single-seat, single-engine fighter-bomber, the government owned Federal Aircraft Ltd transitioned form making Avro Anson trainers to a series of modified P-51 Mustangs in late 1943. All production examples were powered by the Packard Merlin 266 (there also being prototypes with Rolls Royce and Packard Griffon engines) and all were armed with four 20mm Hispano cannon. 956 were produced in several versions, including the Mustang XXX and identical A-36B (based on the P-51B) and Mustang XXXI (based on the P-51D). The A-36B were built to U.S. government Lend-Lease contracts and used by Brazil and Venezeuala in Italy.

The Venezuelan Air Force had been building its size and combat power throughout the 1930s with finance from country's oil export revenues. In 1941, it featured two squadrons of Boeing P-34Cs, one with Gloster Gladiators and a Fiat BR.20 bomber unit. Joining the Allies in January, 1942, the Venezuelan government set about building on this and forming expeditionary forces to combat the Axis powers. During 1942-43, P-40Ks were received and many personnel were sent to America and Canada for training. The A-36B was delivered from January, 1944, and the 1st Expeditionary Squadron entered combat in Italy from May, 1944.

One of the features of the Canadian Mustangs is that all were equipped with zero-length rocket launchers. Bypassing the heavy rails of the British 3 inch RP-3 and the bulky triple Bazooka tubes of the USAAF's M10 3.5 inch rocket pack, the Canadian's chose the U.S. Navy's 5 inch FFAR as their standard rocket, later upgrading to the 5 inch HVAR when it became available. The 5 inch FFAR featured a 5 inch anti-aircraft HE warhead, with an alternative 5 inch anti-armour hollow charge warhead becoming available from April, 1944 .

The 1st Expeditionary Squadron mostly conducted interdiction missions, flying strikes against pre-planned targets and conducting armed reconnaissance missions to engage targets of opportunity. They struck at tanks and other road vehicles, trains and ships and hit bridges, fuel and ammunition stores between 3 May, 1944, and the Separate Peace of 21 August.


Iwo Jima VLR P-51H Mustang

North American P-51H-25NA Mustang
"Jungle Queen" personal mount of Major John Hopkins
462 Fighter squadron, 506 Fighter Group
Airfield No. 2, Iwo Jima, (occupied) Japan
16 February, 1946

The P-51H Mustang began taking over from the P-51D at Iwo Jima with the 462nd Fighter Squadron in January, 1946. The -25 model of the H had been specifically designed for the VLR (Very Long Range) role, with extra internal fuel, VLR avionics and the ability to carry 165 (US) gallon drop tanks from a sub-type-specific underwing pylon (without recourse to the wooden sway braces used on the P-51D - although their size and location meant that the central MG shell ejection chute on each wing had to be routed via the inside of the pylon itself). The type proved to be a worthy successor to the P-51D and by the end of the war against Japan in May, 1946, all of the USAAF's VLR fighter units at Iwo Jima were flying either the P-51H or P-47N.

As the 462 FS didn't have a Mustang with a serial code ending in 462, the squadron's commander chose was his personal mount a plane whose serial ended with the Fighter Group's number of 506. Within the VLR community at Iwo Jima, each aircraft featured a large three-digit code on the fuselage: for the 426nd, this side code began with 500. By convention, the squadron commander should have used the side number 500, but instead Maj Hopkins was permitted to fly with 506. The Group Commander, Lt. Colonel James Patrick, apparently relented to Hopkin's use of this plane as he had chosen as his personal mount a plane whose last four digits matched his birth date and flew this plane with the side number 002 (a reference to his Group's use of Iwo Jima's Airfield No.2). Hopkins would later say that he told Lt. Col. patrick that "6 was is lucky number." The "Jungle Queen" name and nose art applied to to 506 was a continuation of a tradition from when Maj. Hopkins had flown P-40s in the Solomons.

The four kills on this iteration of Jungle Queen are an accumulation of Maj. Hopkin's kills from 1943 through to the February, 1946. During his 15 VLR missions (a standard tour of duty for VLR pilots, which did not include aborted VLR missions or combat sorties of shorter duration, such as patrols around Iwo Jima or strafing runs against targets in the Bonin Island group), the Major scored four aerial victories. On 16 February, 1946, he shot down a Ki-84 near Tokyo, prompting the addition of a fourth kill marking on 506 and the taking of a series of celebratory photographs (from which this model is based). Further kill markings were added in March, when VLR missions supporting the Y-Day invasion of Honshu met with increased Japanese air activity. On Y-Day, 1 March, Major Hopkins shot down a Ki-43 and Ki-100 and two days later added a turbojet-powered Yokosuka Model 43B Otsu "Ohka" kamikaze plane.

Each VLR fighter squadron on Iwo Jima had unit-specific and high-visibility paint work. Within the 506 FG, the 462nd's planes were adorned with black and yellow (and used 500 series numbers), the 457th used dark blue (withe 600 series side numbers) and orange and the 478th green with white (with 700 series numbers). These served to assist with formation flying, visual identification by B-29 navigation lead ship crews and also added to the esprit de core of personnel.

The Y letter on the tail and wings was a reference to Airfield No.2 on Iwo Jima.

Mali Hyena Mustang

North American/Cavalier F-51D Mustang
Hyena Squadron, Mali Air Force
Bamako/Senou, Mali, 1964

Little is known about Mali's Mustangs. 24 were received between 1961 and 1964, all of which were re-manufactured by Cavalier to zero-hour the airframes and engines. They were mostly used for internal counter-insurgency duties, including strikes, convoy protection, armed reconnaissance and close air support. However, it was as an adversary trainer for the many UN air and land forces in Mali that the type is best remembered.

Hyena Squadron was the Mustang's primary operator. Mali's first combat squadron, Hyena was crewed with mostly foreign pilots during the 60s, including seconded pilots from UN air forces and mercenaries. However, it was in the hands of the indigenous Captain Cheick Sy, flying his personal mount, 53, that the Mali Mustangs made a name for themselves. Between 1963 and 1967, Captain Sy made several gun camera kills against UN fast jet aces during dissimilar air combat training.

Mali finally retired their Mustangs in 1972 in favour of the Embraer EMB-326 Xavante.

PLAAF Dassault Rafale C.

Chinese interest in the Dassault Rafale dates back to the 1980s when a group of Chinese emissaries attended the first demonstrations of the Rafale A, convinced by the previous successes of the French aeronautical construction group such as the Mirage III or the Mirage F1, China was the first country to acquire Rafales M (Naval) and B in the early 2000s.


A recreation of the Big Gemini project

Love this! My only comment would be related to Launch Escape. With the extended crew cabin my understanding is that a Big Gemini would have had a tower rather than rely on ejection seats, which themselves couldn’t have thrown the crew beyond the fireball of a RP1/LOX explosion.
View attachment 227853
The single most inspiring illistration I have ever seen.:cool: From pg 95 of Isaac Asimov's: great Space Mysteries by Honey Bear Books
Not exactly AH (it does say future in the caption). I feel it should be more like: "When Universes Collide- sentinet Dolphins from an alternate Earth happen across a human Voyager probe lost in space and time." Hope you enjoy it as much as I have.:D

View attachment 227853
Are those sharks... with FRICKIN' LASER BEAMS on their heads?!! :D
Does anyone have a bigger version of the picture?

Wetapunga said:

An A7M4 Reppu fighter of the 1st Kokutai from the aircraft carrier Katsuragi which was based out of the Yokosuka Naval District, circa 1951-1957.

The A7M4 variant of the Reppu fighter was the final variant of the A7M series of fighters and was the last piston engine fighter to enter service with the Imperial Japanese Navy (which it would enter service in 1948) and would be produced from 1948 to 1955 with a total of 2,943 airframes manufactured. The aircraft would feature a Mitsubishi MK9E engine with a five bladed propeller which produced a top speed of 424 mph and was armed with four 20mm cannons in the wings and could carry 12 65mm rockets and 2,000 pounds of bombs. The plane was also one of the first aircraft produced by Japan to feature an ejection set system. The A7M4 variant would serve the Imperial Japanese Navy all the to the end of the 1960s when it was finally replaced by the T2M Taifu attack aircraft. The reason that the A7M4 remained in service for that long was the fact that though it was designed as a fighter, it was soon found out that it could excel well in the ground attack role.
Luftwaffe 1946, Issue No.1
Luftwaffe 1946, Issue No.2

Eastern Front Greeks: Bf 109 F-2/B

Hellenic State Aircraft Factory-assembled Messerschmitt Bf 109 F-2/B
Black 10, 102nd Mira Dioxeos (Fighter Squadron), Northern Expeditionary Group, Hellenic Air Force
Morozovskaya-Öst, Axis-occupied Socialist Union, November 1942

Hitler didn’t often play the role of peacemaker. Yet, that was precisely the role he played with regards to the threat of an Italian invasion of Greece. Although inclined to let Italy’s dictator, Mussolini, have his own way in the Balkans, German intelligence indicated that Greece would be able to withstand an Italian invasion. Hitler saw that this would lead to the unpalatable situation where German forces would have to finish the job for their Italian allies; and this at a time when Germany was preparing to invade the Moscow Pact nations. As an alternative, Hitler recognised that here was an opportunity to carrot and stick the conservative, anti-Communist Greek dictator Ioannis Metaxas into an ally. Through a combination of German diplomacy and intimidation, Mussolini’s threat of invasion could be used as a means to draw Greece away from a likely alliance with the British and into the Tripartite (Axis) Pact. From there, Greece could function as a defensive bulwark on the Axis’ southern-eastern flank and would likely contribute forces to the up-coming anti-Communist crusade of Operation Barbarossa. By playing the role of a geopolitical statesman (bully), Hitler persuaded the Metaxas regime to sign-on to the Tripartite Pact, which it did on 25 March 1941 (the same day as Bulgaria), thereby thwarting Mussolini’s invasion plans. Greece declared war on the Moscow Pact nations on 24 June 1941 (two days after Operation Barbarossa’s commencement) and the all-volunteer Greek I Army Corps entered battle on the Eastern Front on 23 August 1941, fighting in Ukraine.

The I Army Corps was supported in the air by the Northern Expeditionary Group (NEG) of the Hellenic Air Force, which included Ju 52/3mg3e transport planes, PZL.23G reconnaissance bombers, PZL.37H bombers (licence-built by the Hellenic State Aircraft Factory) and PZL.24 fighters. Meanwhile, the domestic Hellenic Air Force was rapidly re-equipping with modern German types and by the end of 1941 was receiving (second-hand) Bf 109Es, (new and used) He 111H-6 bombers and the Hellenic State Aircraft Factory was establishing a Bf 109 F-2 assembly line (which would later build F-4 and G-6 models of the Bf 109). More German planes would follow, including Fw 189As, Fw 190A-4s and A-8s and Hs 129B-2s.

Greek-assembled Bf 109 F-2 fighters and F-2/B fighter-bombers assigned to the Northern Expeditionary Group saw combat on the Eastern Front from March 1942. Although the NEG had pulled back to rest and re-equip during the winter of 1941-42, it remained on the frontline during the winter of 1942-43, seeing action during the Battle of Volgograd and the subsequent Axis retreat.

During the Battle of Volgograd, the Nothern Expeditionary Group’s three fighter squadrons were equipped with a combination of BF 109 F-2 and F-2/Bs, with increasing numbers of Greek-built F-4 and F-4/Bs on strength as attrition replacements. Painted with full or partial winter camouflages, they conducted air defence, close air support, interdiction bombing, fighter sweep and escort missions throughout the campaign. With their compatriots of the I Army Corps positioned to the north (along the Don River), the NEG pilots operating from their base at Morozovskaya-Öst often deployed to more northerly and eastern airstrips to reduce range and make more frequent and timely interventions over the front; however, it should be noted that the NEG also operated in direct support of German activities in and around Volgograd, including contributing to the bombing of the city and flying in support of the airlift effort. Operating in such conditions, during winter, it was common for the Greeks to remove the undercarriage covers from their Messerschmitts in order to reduce the hazards associated with the build-up of snow, ice and mud around the wheels.

The 102nd Mira Dioxeos of the Northern Expeditionary Group was primarily a fighter-bomber unit and during the Volgograd campaign flew both the F-2/B and F-4/B models of the Bf 109. Their standard offensive loadout at the time was a single SC 250 bomb, although the carriage of four SC 50 bombs was common when operating from short or damaged airstrips. Both types of bombs were used with and without the Stabo (spike) fuse extender.

Unit histories associate this aircraft, Black 10, with being flown by Flight Lieutenant Nikolaos "Nikos" Anastopoulos and Flying Officer Georgios "Giorgos" Karagounis at around this time, November 1942. Flt. Lt. Anastopoulos was shot down in Black 10 on 22 November 1942 during a bombing mission against the advancing Red Army’s Operation Uranus. He was badly injured and taken prisoner, dying of his wounds on the 25th.
USAF Dynasoar glider Thebe orbits the earth on mission DS-9, the first flight using the Dynasoar Experimental Laboratory (DEL), April 1968. Commanded by Bob White, with pilots Doug Boone and Larry Hanson, DS-9 would stay aloft for a record-breaking 7 days.

Image from my Kolyma's Shadow AH timeline, inspired by the arrival of Dr Roy F. Houchin II and Jack Hagerty's new book "Dyna-Soar".

Full res image here.


(Dirty) SAAF Corsair VIb​


Vought Corsair VIb
X/Elaine II, 5 Squadron, South African Air Force
Obama, Japan, 2 May, 1946

On 15 December, 1945, the Commonwealth Corsair Strike Wing stood up at Pusan. Equipped with the Vought Corsair VIb, the Wing was composed of 2 New Zealand squadrons (14 and 15 RNZAF), one Canadian squadron (401 RCAF) and one South African squadron (5 SAAF). Primarily assigned to surface attack missions, they conducted strikes against both land and maritime targets and moved to Tsushima Island (mid-way between Korea and Kyushu) in early April, 1946, from where they concentrated on attacks against Kyushu and Honshu. Following the X-Day invasion of Honshu, the Wing moved to Obama, on Honshu, in mid-March from where they focused on providing close air support and battlefield area interdiction.

The Corsair VI was a version of the F4U-4B customised for the Fleet Air Arm, with clipped wings and British-made 20mm Hispano cannons. Built as a variation of the Lend-Lease contracts that covered the Corsair VI, the VIb model reverted to full-span wings and had the tail hook omitted as it was a land-based version.

Elaine II was the personal mount of Lt. Gert Kruger. It is seen here close to the end of the war and displaying 60 mission marks. It is equipped with an external fuel tank (apparently from US stocks, as it is painted in Dark Sea Blue), a US 500lb general purpose bomb with fuse extender and wire (for anti-personnel effect), two US 160 lib general purpose bombs and four M47 napalm bombs. At the time the Wing was busy supporting British Commonwealth forces during the Battle of Kyoto.

Royal Canadian Navy Corsair V in IndoChina​


Vought F4U-4C Corsair V
870 Fighter Squadron
HMCS Magnificent, late January 1946

Before participating in combat operations directly against the Japanese home islands, Canada's first naval aviation campaign was in support of the British-lead campaign to occupy IndoChina below the 16th parallel. Missions were flown over Annan, Cochinchina, Cambodia and Laos, the cannon-armed Corsair V providing battlefield air interdiction and close air support.

French observers noted that British Army commanders were reluctant to incur casualties; despite using motorised infantry, they advanced cautiously only after the extensive application of air power against points of resistance. This came not only from defending Japanese troops, but also the nationalist Vietminh (plus the Pathet Lao in southern Laos).

The Canadian naval Corsairs were frequently seen with mixed loads of HVARs, napalm and 260lb or 500lb bombs in order to provide an immediate and appropriate response to enemy positions. In late January, these loads were used with accurate and devastating effect during the battle for Saigon. Many French observers who witnessed the battle questioned the heavy application of ordnance used on the city, describing it in terms of overkill.

Canadian histories of the IndoChina campaign note the the RCN aircraft carriers tested and proved many tactics, weapons and procedures over IndoChina that would be used with overwhelming effect during the invasion of Honshu in March, 1946.
Luftwaffe 1946, Volume 2, Issue No.11