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jfmajor60

WWII CAS Question

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I was watching HBO's miniseries 'The Pacific' again and something caught my eye, episode 7 I think, it was F4U Corsairs flying close air support with gear down.  Was this a thing or did the film makers get it wrong?

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That was a real thing, the F4U used their main landing gear as dive brakes. There was a special position for the landing gear handle that would drop the main gear but leave the tail wheel in the up position.

 

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On at least one occasion they were dropping napalm on Japanese positions in the hills surrounding their air field. No point in raising the gear since they would landing within minutes of take off.

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1 hour ago, Slartibartfast said:

On at least one occasion they were dropping napalm on Japanese positions in the hills surrounding their air field. No point in raising the gear since they would landing within minutes of take off.

 

This was the reason.

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3 hours ago, GW8345 said:

That was a real thing, the F4U used their main landing gear as dive brakes. There was a special position for the landing gear handle that would drop the main gear but leave the tail wheel in the up position.

 

 

True, but not for the instances depicted in the HBO series. 

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7 hours ago, Scooby said:

 

True, but not for the instances depicted in the HBO series. 

 

 

Could have just been a generalized recreation of those flights?  Hollywood has been known to take liberties with some detail here and there. 

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Here is a link with some info.

 

http://homepage.tinet.ie/~frontacs/WBStored/F4UGearAsDivebrakes.html

 

I know it is not an real world aircraft site, but the comments at the bottom explain it.  Also, as Slartibartfast said, the picture shows them bombing at the end of the runway.

Edited by dekon70

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On the Canal they re-positioned the parked SBD tails to make use of their rear mounted MGs. Thats some desperate stuff.  not the OPs answer, but a CSB indeed

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11 hours ago, 11bee said:

 

 

Could have just been a generalized recreation of those flights?  Hollywood has been known to take liberties with some detail here and there. 

 

Definitely happened on Pelileu, I have a wartime documentary at home that has film of it.

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21 hours ago, Scooby said:

 

True, but not for the instances depicted in the HBO series. 

I was talking about doing CAS/dropping Ordnance with the gear down, not the series. For the record, I have not seen series.

 

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56 minutes ago, GW8345 said:

I was talking about doing CAS/dropping Ordnance with the gear down, not the series. For the record, I have not seen series.

 

 

The original post was asking about the HBO series.

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23 minutes ago, Scooby said:

 

The original post was asking about the HBO series.

I I took it as the OP was asking if the F4U did CAS with it's gear down, not asking for confirmation of the accuracy of the show.

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1 minute ago, GW8345 said:

I I took it as the OP was asking if the F4U did CAS with it's gear down, not asking for confirmation of the accuracy of the show.

 

I actually agreed with you that the gear was utilized for diving, I only clarified for the original question that what was shown was accurate. It was actual footage from the battle that was used in the series.

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Actually that is film from the battle fro Palau. The marine squadrons occupied the airfield built by the Japanese and captured early in the campaign by the Marines. The airfield was so close to the hills where the Japanese had established their final defense area that the pilots did not have time to raise the gear after takeoff. They just made their runs with gear down, then circled around to land to get ready for next mission.

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3 minutes ago, Ranger74 said:

Actually that is film from the battle fro Palau. The marine squadrons occupied the airfield built by the Japanese and captured early in the campaign by the Marines. The airfield was so close to the hills where the Japanese had established their final defense area that the pilots did not have time to raise the gear after takeoff. They just made their runs with gear down, then circled around to land to get ready for next mission.

 

That what I stated too, I also misspelled the battle (Peleliu). But I got it right this time. :)

 

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Yes that is the footage, and now I understand the history of the island and the battle.

 

Peleliu (or Beliliou ) is an island in the island nation of Palau. Which is where the battle was fought and named after (Peleliu)

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Please note that the first Corsair has it's main gear down but the tail wheel is in the up position. The second aircraft has it's gear completely up.

 

On the Corsair, you can not just raise the tail wheel, all three gear retract. The gear handle was in a U shaped channel, seated at the bottom, to the left and up lowered the gear, to the right and up dropped the main gear to act as speed brakes. When the handle was to the right, the tail wheel stayed retracted.

 

Now, if they didn't need to raise their gear, why did the first one raise his gear then deploy them in the speed brake mode? And the second raised his gear complete?

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10 hours ago, GW8345 said:

 

 

Now, if they didn't need to raise their gear, why did the first one raise his gear then deploy them in the speed brake mode? And the second raised his gear complete?

 

 

Clearly the brainwashing did not take full effect. This film demonstrated that the pilots were making individual decisions and frankly made the whole battle look like a disorganized mess.

 

This film should have been censored by the war dept. And never released to the public. As far as I'm concerned it belongs in a vault next to the arc of the covenant.

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On ‎11‎/‎22‎/‎2017 at 7:30 AM, 11bee said:

 

 

Could have just been a generalized recreation of those flights?  Hollywood has been known to take liberties with some detail here and there. 

You mean like Pearl harbor? (I'm going to Hell for that one.....)

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19 hours ago, GW8345 said:

On the Corsair, you can not just raise the tail wheel, all three gear retract. The gear handle was in a U shaped channel, seated at the bottom, to the left and up lowered the gear, to the right and up dropped the main gear to act as speed brakes. When the handle was to the right, the tail wheel stayed retracted.

 

First, I admit all my experience and cockpit familiarity is in modern jet aircraft, and I’m admittedly no expert, but they move the lever UP to lower the gear? That seems counter to convention....

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1 hour ago, habu2 said:

 

First, I admit all my experience and cockpit familiarity is in modern jet aircraft, and I’m admittedly no expert, but they move the lever UP to lower the gear? That seems counter to convention....

According to Warbird Tech #4, Vought F4U Corsair, page 53.

 

"A selector handle in the cockpit within reach of the pilot's left hand is both landing gear actuator and dive brake operator. Seated at the  bottom of a square U-shaped channel, the  handle can be pushed to the left and up to lower the gear, or to the right and up to actuate the main gear dive brakes.

.........

When the dive brake option is selected, the tailwheel remains retracted."

 

In this thread you can see the landing gear handle, the gear up position is down, and the gear down is up. The dive brake channel is blanket off, probably an modification after the war to prevent the pilot from using that position by mistake.

 

http://forum.largescaleplanes.com/index.php?showtopic=16493

 

A picture can also be found in the SAM Publication's MDF 18, The Vought F4U Corsair, A Comprehensive Guide by Rafe Morrissey & Joe Hegedus, page 23 & 31.

Edited by GW8345

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On 2017-11-25 at 10:29 PM, GW8345 said:

Please note that the first Corsair has it's main gear down but the tail wheel is in the up position. The second aircraft has it's gear completely up.

 

On the Corsair, you can not just raise the tail wheel, all three gear retract. The gear handle was in a U shaped channel, seated at the bottom, to the left and up lowered the gear, to the right and up dropped the main gear to act as speed brakes. When the handle was to the right, the tail wheel stayed retracted.

 

Now, if they didn't need to raise their gear, why did the first one raise his gear then deploy them in the speed brake mode? And the second raised his gear complete?

 

I don’t think the tail wheel is up, the resolution of those images isn’t the greatest. I have some coverage on DVD that clearly shows the gear is down. It is well documented the Corsairs/Hellcats just lifted off the airfield and dropped their ordnance. I see no reason to use the dive brakes in straight and level flight.

 

The one Corsair with his gear up probably had more time to loiter so he retracted his gear.

 

The island was so small that it took less than 15 seconds to arrive on target after takeoff, not even enough time for the Corsairs to retract their landing gear. At one point there was a bombing run on a Japanese strongpoint only 1,000 yards from MAB, close enough for bomb fragments to pepper the airfield.

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On 11/26/2017 at 10:59 AM, TaiidanTomcat said:

 

 

Clearly the brainwashing did not take full effect. This film demonstrated that the pilots were making individual decisions and frankly made the whole battle look like a disorganized mess.

 

This film should have been censored by the war dept. And never released to the public. As far as I'm concerned it belongs in a vault next to the arc of the covenant.

Leave it to the Marines to ruin a nice, orderly battle.  No doubt the pilots weren’t in proper uniform, probably unshaven as well.  Just really reflects poorly on the other services.  

 

With regard to the statement that 15 seconds after takeoff, they were over the target, I’m curious about how those aircraft managed to survive the flight.  How high off the ground would a heavily loaded Corsair be 15 seconds after takeoff?  50’?       

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On 11/25/2017 at 9:33 AM, Scooby said:

 

That what I stated too, I also misspelled the battle (Peleliu). But I got it right this time. :)

 

I also made same mistake. Just finished reading Osprey's book on the battle.....oh, well. Sometimes getting sucks.

 

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