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Most adaptable pane of WWII


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#1 GregP

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Posted 11 November 2003 - 02:39 AM

For the aircraft with the best ability to be adapted into new roles, I'd nominate the Junkers Ju-88 even above the Mosquito.

The Ju-52 comes close, but the Ju-88 did EVERYTHING expected of it as well as a few unexpected things.

As I recall (and I'm NOT infront of references right now), the Ju-88 served as a day bomber, night bomber, day heavy fighter, night fighter, night interceptor when equipped with radar, reconaissance plane, squadron hack, unguided bomb when used in the Mistel combination, maritime patrol, antishipping aircraft, mail plane, and courrier. Probably had a few other uses, too.

Wish some of the "remanufacturers" would build a few new Ju-88's, ay least for the airshow circuit.

Opinions?

#2 simon

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Posted 11 November 2003 - 06:08 AM

So far as I'm aware it didn't actually serve as a day fighter as such, just nightfighters were impressed into the role as day Zerstorer became scarce. Night-fighter and night interceptor, well pretty much indistinguishable I'd say although I stand ready to be contradicted. Not aware particularly that it was used as a squadron hack, mailplane or courier, but I could be wrong. Atlantic patrol, don't think so, again could well be wrong but I thought that the relatively limited range kind of resticted them to being called in when the Fw-200s had found something worthwhile.

So you have day & Night bomber, anti ship, nightfighter, reccon, and you could easily add anti-tank as one version (Ju88P I think) mounted a 75mm PaK 40.

I'd personally say that I think the Mosquito has greater claim, as it did recce, day and night-bombing, anti-ship, night-fighter and fighter bomber, and for the most part did so better than the Ju88.

My top four in order would be:

Mosquito
Ju88
Petlyakov Pe2
Douglas A20, Boston or Havoc.

#3 Corsarius

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Posted 11 November 2003 - 12:28 PM

While not in the same league as the Ju88, I'd give an honourable mention to the Bf110.

Day fighter
Long-range destroyer fighter
Light bomber
Ground attack
patrol
reconnaisance
bomber interception
night-bomber interception with radar guidance (onboard and otherwise)

For some really odd reason I really like the look of the bf110 nightfighter. Something predatory and insect-like about it.

#4 GregP

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Posted 11 November 2003 - 01:50 PM

The Mosquito is my all-time favorite twin engined WWI aircraft, but I like the Bf 110 too, probably because I, too, think it "looks right" for the intended role.

Then again, so did the Dornier Do-17 in the "slim fuselage" varant.

The Soviet Pe-2 and Tu-2 were awesome to see. The Tu-2 has cannon firing right outside the opilot's cockpit position! Must have been terrifying to shoot the guns at night!

Wish there were more Mosquitos around for us to see flying, but 60-year old plywood probably doesn't have the same strength as when it was made, huh?

Great planes. I wish the McDonnell XP-67 had gotten some better engines and I also wish the Beech A-38 Grizzly had been able to use the P&W R-3350's. They were both very capable planes, one hampered by experimental engines and the other by LACK of engines needed for the B-29 program.

Nice posts, guys.

I'd throw in the Ki-46 Dinah for good measure. Fast and good at its intended role, but not used in as many roles as the other picks.

#5 Corsarius

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Posted 11 November 2003 - 04:27 PM

In "Flightpath", and Australian magazine, they are following the reconstruction of a newbuild mosquito from the molds up. I'm not sure if it will be to flying standard or static display, but ahh, wouldn't it be nice?

#6 simon

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Posted 11 November 2003 - 08:37 PM

I've always liked the Bf110, since I first really started getting interested in aviation.

Well there are a couple of others that deserve at least a passing mention: Beaufighter, another one of my all time favourites, ground attack, anti-shipping, patrol, torpedo bomber, nightfighter and intruder.

The humble Blenheim, whilst ostensibly obsolete by the war's outbreak soldiered on almost to the end. Light bomber, night bomber, and most unlikely, nightfighter.

Messerscmitt Me410, similar to the Bf110 although a better performer, just didn't cut it looks wise.

#7 Corsarius

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Posted 11 November 2003 - 09:53 PM

Just to be facetious, I note that the topic of this thread is "most adaptable pane of WWII". As I'm not a glazier, I'm not entirely sure, but wouldn't it have been the windscreens from a kubelwagen?

OK, It's late and I'm being silly.
Sorry everyone.

#8 GregP

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Posted 13 November 2003 - 03:07 PM

Not to worry Corsairius ... I liked the comment.

Who knows, that's where they might have gotten them ... or maybe from an American Motors Gremlin, possibly the ugliest car that ver took to the roads excepting, of course, the Yugo, the Messerschmitt 3-wheeler, and possibly the Morris Minor ... though the Morris was, in fact, homely, not ugly.

There IS a difference, right?

Sort of like the question, "What's the difference between a good old big one and a big old good one?" huh?

#9 simon

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Posted 13 November 2003 - 03:27 PM

The Trabant was uglier than the Yugo, I used to live in Germany and when the wall came down various places in the west were flooded with these oil smoke spewing monsters...

As for a British car, the Robin Reliant, a three wheeled car is easily one of the worst, although even that has a fan base!

Still greatly OT, but fun...

#10 Victor

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Posted 14 November 2003 - 04:08 AM

Dive-bomber should be added to the Ju-88 list.




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