November 27, 2012

Name This Mystery Plane XXI

Well, the F1 season is over, which means I'll have more time to do other things here on The Pond... but until then, here's a new Mystery Ship Plane!

Since I suspect this is gonna be easy, there's no prize this time.  In this case, being first is its own reward, eh?  I've been fond of this one ever since I first found out about it some 20+ years ago.  Now, I can't stop you from cheating, but you're just losing any joy and thrill you might have gotten from winning clean.  So just don't do it, 'k?  K.  Have fun, and GUESS THAT MYSTERY SHIP PLANE!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 08:59 PM | Comments (17) | Add Comment
Post contains 112 words, total size 1 kb.

1 Oooh that's a Ryan FR Fireball, isn't it?  Mixed power, prop in the nose and a jet in the tail.  Technology sure was in a state of flux in those days.

Posted by: flatdarkmars at November 27, 2012 11:54 PM (I55Es)

2 You know, I almost said XL5 Fireball... but that's a rather different beast entirely.

Posted by: flatdarkmars at November 28, 2012 12:03 AM (I55Es)

3 It's a Ryan Fireball, indeed... the first plane to land on a carrier using jet power only.  

Posted by: Wonderduck at November 28, 2012 07:36 AM (LbiZL)

4 Where's the intake for the jet engine?  On the other side?

Posted by: Ed Hering at November 28, 2012 11:17 AM (7I+sl)

5 Ed, there are ducts in the wing roots.  They're small and covered by shadow in the picture above, but you can see them in this picture.

Posted by: flatdarkmars at November 28, 2012 11:52 AM (I55Es)

6 That picture is strange. It took me a couple of times to notice that the prop isn't turning.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at November 28, 2012 05:55 PM (uNl21)

7 That's why I chose it, Steven.  If you don't know what you're looking at, you just think "high-speed camera," or something like that... when the truth is something much cooler.

Posted by: Wonderduck at November 28, 2012 07:17 PM (LbiZL)

8

 Oddly enough, the first time I read about the FR Fireball was in Fine Scale Modeling magazine.  I was quite impressed by the aircraft, probably more than the US Navy was.

As Wonderduck noted, it was the first aircraft to land on a carrier using using only jet power.  It turns out that was an unintentional necessity, since the piston engine had flared out.  The legendary Eric Brown, RN and FAA, made the first intentional landing using solely jet power in a Sea Vampire not long afterward.

C.T.

Posted by: cxt217 at November 28, 2012 07:23 PM (FAoVy)

9 Armament was only four .50s... I'm sure they had weight issues, but that is just unsatisfactory regardless.

Posted by: flatdarkmars at November 28, 2012 08:11 PM (I55Es)

10 I imagine it wasn't intended to see combat in that configuration.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at November 28, 2012 08:48 PM (uNl21)

11 The Fireball was designed to be a kamikaze interceptor.  It would cruise on piston power, then kick in the jet engine and use both piston and jet to get to where it was needed in a hurry.  For its job, the 4 x .50cal would do the trick well enough.  Not every plane can be a P-47, after all.

Posted by: Wonderduck at November 28, 2012 08:59 PM (LbiZL)

12

Just four .50 HMGs would not have been enough to take on German aircraft, which would not have been a problem for the likely mission of the Fireball, but would have been a problem for its wider employment.

The truly sad thing is that it took the US years after WW2 to move away from the love of the .50 caliber HMG in favor of cannons on their fighters, which had consequences in the aerial fighting in Korea.

C.T.

Posted by: cxt217 at November 28, 2012 11:29 PM (FAoVy)

13 CT, the Fireball was a Navy plane.  Its chances of encountering German planes was somewhere between nil and none, particularly since its first flight wasn't until June of 1944.

As far as "wider employment" goes, it was also designed as a stop-gap until planes of all-jet propulsion were considered powerful enough (and successful enough) to go to sea.  It wound up taking a lot less time for that to happen than expected, which is why it was gone from service in 1947.

Well, that and an annoying propensity for its nose gear to collapse on landing.

Posted by: Wonderduck at November 28, 2012 11:56 PM (LbiZL)

14 Any aircraft used by the US Navy would, at some point, had been considered by the British for procurement via Lend-Lease.  But the Brits would not have wanted a fighter with only 4 HMGs, which was requirement that came from years of fighting German aircraft.  And given how armored frontline combat aircraft were by 1945, I doubt anyone else would have asked for the Fireball either. 

Posted by: cxt217 at November 29, 2012 12:17 PM (Crvik)

15 And given how armored frontline combat aircraft were by 1945, I doubt anyone else would have asked for the Fireball either.

The US Navy did.  Or did you mean other than them?

Posted by: Wonderduck at November 29, 2012 07:41 PM (LbiZL)

16

 Or did you mean other than them?

Yes.

The Fireball might had an interesting time dueling with Georges, had the war gone on much longer...

Posted by: cxt217 at December 01, 2012 08:33 PM (XjoNF)

17 To be fair, most US planes had an interesting time dueling with Georges.  The Fireball would hardly have been unique in that situation.

Posted by: Wonderduck at December 01, 2012 08:56 PM (LbiZL)

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