Skip to comments.The girl of 13 who helped win the Battle of Britain: How a maths prodigy cracked the secret to turning our planes into ultimate killing machines, as new book reveals stunning images from the conflict
Posted on 07/10/2020 2:52:40 AM PDT by C19fan
The work was done by lamplight, over a small kitchen table in North London. Night after night throughout the early months of 1934, Captain Fred Hill and his 13-year-old daughter Hazel burned the midnight oil, plotting graphs and labouring over complex algorithms. It was tiring, unrewarding work but they both sensed how vital it would prove to be.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
Thanks for posting this.
Thanks for posting this.
Popular Mechanics had an interesting article on fighter aircraft armament in 1942. They tried to reduce firepower to horsepower, by rating horsepower of the various armaments, an admittedly inadequate metric.
The Germans and Japanese favored heavier caliber guns with lower rates of fire, good for lobbing shells at bomber formations from a distance, and carrying a high explosive charge in order to do damage when they hit. 30-caliber seems like a pea shooter by comparison. The Americans tended to use Browning 50-cal for fighters, with six or eight on the wings. The P-38 had all its guns in the center nacelle, firing straight ahead, and two 20 mm cannon, which gave it awesome firepower.
There was ample room in the Spitfire wing for 4 guns in each. It was one of the advantages of the elliptical wing... a happy coincidence that an aerodynamic feature lent itself to the ability to carry extra guns.
This article is a bit overdone. The work was done in 1934. The Spitfire was still on the drawing board. The Hurricane also wasn’t introduced until 1937.
The USAF (Then Army Air Corps) had a lot of pre-conceived notions about fighter design. On such notion was that pursuit planes (fighters) weren’t to have mechanically supercharged engines. Another was armament. It was felt that cannon weren’t required and so the USAF went pretty much the entire war without a decent aerial cannon.
The exceptions were the P-38 & P-39 programs which were both conceived as interceptors. The P-38 did get saddled with turbo-superchargers because that was all the USAF had funded, but the P-39 tinkered with a mechanical supercharger that was later deleted. But on account of their roles as bomber killers they both got cannons in the nose. It really wasn’t until Packard began building the Merlin V-12 under license that the USAAF got a competitive fighter engine with a 2-stage intercooled supercharger. Prior to that only the American radial engine designs really were competitive from a horsepower standpoint.
The P-38 had 4 .50 caliber Browning mgs and 1 20mm cannon all in the nose of the center nacelle.
Having 4 mgs might seem as a disadvantage as most US WW-II fighters had 6 .50 calibers. However by having the guns clustered around the 20mm canon the firepower of the .50s was concentrated and the pilots did not have to worry about having to be at the optimum range where the wing guns met at.
German bombers were only two engines, lacking the range and load carrying capacity of Allied bombers. Germany's famous panzers had relatively narrow tracks which were unable to cope with Russian mud and snow. And the Wehrmacht relied on horse drawn wagons for most of their logistics. 80% of German infantry traveled on foot because the Wehrmacht lacked mechanized transport.
Looking forward to the BBC documentary...thanks for the story.
Compare with today’s 13 Year Olds with billions of times more computing power in their cell phone.
Well. at least ours are pretty good at killing zombies and finding porn.
Very interesting indeed.
A life well lived.
Late versions of the F4F, the FM-1/FM-2, had only 4 mgs, but carried more ammo.
And the plane was used on escort carriers doing ASW.
The P 38 had four .50’s and one 20mm.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.