Looking for a way to improve Naval Aviation prewar in the 1930's.

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Naval Aviation Fan, Aug 26, 2019.

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  1. McPherson McPherson; a guy who needs a shave.

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    "

    Reiterated... as RR says: from above;

    Have you ever sailed the North Atlantic in winter?
    Even Beartrap landings are scary when the flight deck rolls 40 degrees!
    Float planes do not last very long when landed in rough seas.
    They also have about twice the empty weight as a land plane carrying the same cargo.

    Murphy; that is correct!
     
  2. jsb Well-Known Member

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    Missed your quote,

    Why would it not work when OTL MACs (and similar aircraft) operated in the same water in later WWII?

    Its also only a mail run so can afford to cancel due to weather and not run for parts of the year or stop flying for a day to let a front past. Really its a cover to build the MACs and train the crews for the coming war so who cares about actual service?

    I was not suggesting Float planes and early airmail mail would be light/small and high value cargo?

    I don't think liners work due to the need for a large deck interfering to much with passengers and being to expensive to build by themselves, therefore the use of a merchant with a deck on top ideally a oil/grain ship to reduce the unloading complications?

    And no I have not sailed that far offshore in the North Atlantic in winter or landed with a Beartrap, but is that not for helicopters and much later?
     
  3. James Ricker Own your mistakes

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    The budget was actually pretty tight in the 1930s having FDR get the different branches of the armed services to cooperate to prevent duplication of effort to save money would not be out of the question.
    The two biggest winners would be Naval Aviation and artillery.
     
  4. TonyA Curmudgeon like, but nastier

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    The main argument in a nutshell...same sort of thing as, "Why sure, it's under 10,000 tons...", wink, wink...
     
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  5. jsb Well-Known Member

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    Yes but this would technically be totally legal, no part of any of the treaties said anything about unarmed civilian ships apart from,
    I think that a civilian aircraft carrier manned by civilians from the post office would be totally outside any rules?

    If US asks you can quote them on building airbases and Malinta Tunnel on the Philippines?
     
  6. Cryhavoc101 Well-Known Member

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    This is too the OP

    How about a situation or POD where say 'Rutland of Jutland' during that battle is able to damage or cripple a BC with an air dropped torpedo and this slows the HSF BCs allowing for the 5th BS (the 4 Queen Elizabeth class Fast BBs) to close the range and shred them with 15" shells during the Run to the south before the rest of the HSF turns up resulting in the Run to the north part of said battle changing the overall battle significantly.

    Over night the practicality of the Aircraft as a principle antishipping weapon rather than a mere fleet scout is realized by all powers and near the end of the war a flight of land based Italian Aircraft sink an Austrian Battleship with air dropped torpedoes in the Adriatic and force another to beach itself.
     
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  7. riggerrob Well-Known Member

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    Yes. You are correct. Beartrap was not invented until the 1960s and it is only used with helicopters.
    I mentioned Beartrap primarily to brag about my sea duty on the flight decks of HMCS Athabaskan and HMCS Iroquois.
     
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  8. riggerrob Well-Known Member

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    WI you built flight decks on top of catamarans or proas?
    During 80 percent of construction, hulls would just look like narrow destroyer hulls.
    Catamarans only roll a fraction as much as mono-hulls. If you make hulls especially deep and narrow, they will react slower to waves, again reducing flight deck pitching and rolling.
     
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  9. Peg Leg Pom Well-Known Member

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    HMS Campania receives the orders to sail with the rest of the Grand Fleet. A strike from her manages to put a couple of torpedoes into the badly damaged Battlecruiser Seydlitz causing enough damage to sink her. A butterfly of this is probably that the RN retains the purely naval parts of the Royal Naval Air Service.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019 at 1:00 PM
  10. McPherson McPherson; a guy who needs a shave.

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    You know what could improve naval aviation a great deal for the British?

    1. Doctrine: A great deal of time and effort was wasted on the wrong referent enemy, (Japan) and on a fundamental misunderstanding of Empire defense.
    a. If the referent enemy is Germany, and the naval threat is the U-boat, then it makes sense to apply that logic to naval auxiliary allocation and to requests for information as to possible aviation systems to combat that threat. IOW, if the USN has a need for MAC tankers, then it follows that the RN has even more need for MAC tankers and the aircraft that can operate from same.
    b. ASW in this context does not require high performance; it requires the ability to take off, search the ocean, attack targets of opportunity and trap back aboard a landing deck by an aircraft. IOW if the FAA is going to secure the western approaches and the mid Atlantic; then the plane has best be able to do two things... operate from a MAC and be able to shoot down enemy LRMP aircraft. What the British have is the Gladiator and the Swordfish. What they need is this:

    [​IMG]

    Nothing says dead meat like that bird.

    Data from McDonnell Douglas aircraft since 1920 : Volume I

    General characteristics
    Crew: 2
    Length: 33 ft 1.25 in (10.0902 m)
    Wingspan: 41 ft 6.375 in (12.65873 m)
    Height: 13 ft 7 in (4.14 m)
    Wing area: 325 sq ft (30.2 m2)
    Airfoil: root: NACA 2415; tip: NACA 2407[58]
    Empty weight: 6,404 lb (2,905 kg)
    Gross weight: 9,359 lb (4,245 kg)
    Max takeoff weight: 10,700 lb (4,853 kg)
    Fuel capacity: 260 US gal (220 imp gal; 980 l) in non-metallic self-sealing fuel tanks
    Powerplant: × Wright R-1820-60 Cyclone 9-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine, 1,200 hp (890 kW)
    Propellers: 3-bladed Hamilton-Standard constant-speed propeller

    Performance
    Maximum speed: 255 mph (410 km/h, 222 kn) at 14,000 ft (4,300 m)
    Cruise speed: 185 mph (298 km/h, 161 kn)
    Range: 1,115 mi (1,794 km, 969 nmi)
    Ferry range: 1,565 mi (2,519 km, 1,360 nmi)
    Service ceiling: 25,530 ft (7,780 m)
    Rate of climb: 1,700 ft/min (8.6 m/s)
    Wing loading: 28.8 lb/sq ft (141 kg/m2)
    Power/mass: 0.128 hp/lb (0.210 kW/kg)

    Armament
    Guns: 2 × 0.50 in (12.7 mm) forward-firing synchronized Browning M2 machine guns in engine cowling
    ......….2 × 0.30 in (7.62 mm) flexible-mounted Browning machine gun in rear
    Bombs: 2,250 lb (1,020 kg) of bombs

    Most importantly, it is a rough weather bird that does not need a catapult. Just 100 meters to take off and 50 meters to trap.
     
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  11. Jellico Well-Known Member

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    Your problem is France. Nothing there helps the FAA.
     
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  12. McPherson McPherson; a guy who needs a shave.

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    Dauntless in France means Allied Stuka. Those Meuse bridges drop.
     
  13. Peg Leg Pom Well-Known Member

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    Design the Skua with a Hercules engine.

    Not against the defences the Germans had in place. Nothing could have survived the mission, though it should be remembered that the 5 Battles actually succeeded in knocking one bridge out.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019 at 10:16 AM
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  14. Jellico Well-Known Member

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    Well. That is a unique take on the fall of France. :winkytongue:

    But really dive bombers don't work unless you have pretty permissive skies. Get rid of the Messerschmidts and DH9s could do the job.

    You have me thinking about improving naval aviation pre-war and the FAA. Maybe something along the lines of improved automated radio based navigation? Kill that second seat? Maybe I am thinking about this wrong? Maybe coastal command is where the Brits should be focusing? Make life tough around their fleet bases until the cavalry arrives?
     
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  15. McPherson McPherson; a guy who needs a shave.

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    Might work out quite well.

    If the Dauntlesses got through at Eastern Solomons the Germans are actually nothing. I mean that.
     
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  16. McPherson McPherson; a guy who needs a shave.

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    That is called a strike package. Fighter cover. How did the Wildcat do? PDG. That could be why the Farmans failed. No fighter cover or not enough, because the AdA pilots were mighty well trained and very good at their jobs if given half a chance. Anyway, the Dauntless has fair dogfight capability and is a very tough bird. Flak that downed the junk the RAF and AdA used would be shrugged off.

    a. The RN had that system. USN equivalent was the Y system. It works, but is a "sink me" system if the enemy is RDF qualified. IJN was. Germans? Spotty.

    b. Second seat is important for over-ocean navigation AND SCOUTING. RN was right about that one.

    c. Make life tough in "The GAP". If you lost the air fight over the ports, then you've lost the BoB.
     
  17. b0ned0me Well-Known Member

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    Regarding the “civilian” aircraft-on-ships, this did indeed take place with the He12/Ju46 on the NDL liners but I think that even by the early thirties it would be obvious to most people that this was operationally vulnerable, technically complex, expensive, and not financially viable without big government mail subsidies and/or loss-making for corporate prestige. The admirable nonsense of the Shorts-Mayo even more so. So going this route IMO requires diverting pretty gigantic amounts of government money into mail subsidies, and very specific subsidies. Bear in mind the Empire Airmail subsidy that underwrote the formation of Imperial Airways was only worth £1M over a whole decade to cover the whole British empire. Not sure what the total airmail subsidy from the USPS came to, that sure would be interesting info.

    Without a plausible civilian use, building a fleet of civilian aircraft carriers would be pretty obviously prepping for war and would only work if all treaty signatories were happy to nod through torpedo bombers as not being “warlike armaments” or just didn’t care about cheating. Which is possible given how the brits ignored the comedy displacements etc quoted by the axis.
     
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  18. jsb Well-Known Member

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    I think this is very hindsight driven the main problem with pre war RN is they swapped reference enemy from Italy to Japan to Germany to I&G and then I&G&J.....

    I dot think you need to care about LRMP unless you know about FoF and even then you want Sea Hurricanes as you need to catch 240 mph FW 200 Condors 260 mph Ju 86, He 111 or even faster JU88s
    Its a good compromise if you cant have more than one but,
    1- its to late, First flight 1 May 1940
    2- It has a large (expensive) engine (and prop) compared to the Swordfish
    3- its still to slow v LW fast bombers/LRMP
    4- what's its stall speed v Swordfish for really bad weather ops?
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019 at 11:11 AM
  19. McPherson McPherson; a guy who needs a shave.

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    I just plowed through a lot of the garbage thinking that passed for British strategic thought from 1935 to 1939. GAGH, I thought the Americans were clueless; it turns out that in the RN's case they developed a Singapore fixation by 1935 and did not really think through the Atlantic SLOCs and Mediterranean problem they had to solve first before they could deal with the South China Sea and Malacca Straits issue. If you do not fix those 2 naval problems first, then the Indian Ocean becomes a non-starter and the Empire is done for. That is basic naval geography that is all interlocked.

    [​IMG]

    Sea lines of Communications. Red is UK, Blue is US, Black is where the Axis have reach and ability to thwart the SLOCs. Circles are where you need sea-air power to thwart the Axis beyond shore based air reach.

    You are not fighting the air war over Europe right if you cannot intercept with land based air out of the UK.

    Cruise for a LW LRMP is 160 knots at 5,000 meters. A Dauntless can chase them off. Mission kill is all you need. Add the Wildcat and the LRMP is dead meat.

    Dauntless stall speed is ~ 55-60 knots USN normative.
     
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  20. marathag Well-Known Member with a target on his back

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    John Northrop and Donald Douglas had been try to sell a military version of their Gamma thru the mid '30s. To a variety of nations, unarmed, to get around the Neutrality Laws.

    One, the Gamma 2C of 1933 was tested by the USAAC as the YA-13. Still looked a lot like the Classic Gammas with spats, but a two seater with four foward 30s, and a 30 in the rear, with being able to fire thru a ventral hatch if needed.1000 pound bombload. 207mph top speed, almost 3000 pound payload total, 1100 mile range.

    Army said the Wright Cyclone was under powered at 750hp during tests in 1934(but still well outperforming the Curtiss A-12 Shrike), so was updated with a P&W Twin Wasp of 950hp, and called it the XA-16, for the next round of Army tests.
    That was a lot of HP for 1935, and now the Army called it overpowered. Some days you just can't win.

    Army did accept the similar, but lower powered A-17, and then decided that Attack aircraft should really all have two engines, and used the A-17s as Hacks and Target Tugs.
    [​IMG]

    By this time Northrop and Douglas has split into seperate companies, with Douglas offering updated divebomber based on the A-17 with the larger engine, and that's how you get to a SBD.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019 at 11:36 AM
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