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Classic Wings Magazine WWII Naval Aviation Research Pacific Warbird Digest
Final Cut-The Post War B-17 Flying Fortress and Survivors - 5th Edition


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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 7:39 am 
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A recent thread on WIX/Facebook about 3D Printing and the proliferation of Warbird Replicas in the future got me thinking. If you could build Warbird replicas for under $500,000, that have no historical significance beyond there design, what could you do with them?

One of the concepts that always fascinated me were the "Pinball Wizards" of World War II.
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These planes were used as targets for gunnery practice using frangible bullets that would register hits on sensors mounted on various points on the aircraft.

I know it is farfetched and the safety and environmental people would compost themselves, but wouldn't it be neat to see a P-51 Mustang vs. a Fw 190... guns blazing! The planes could mount armored glass and Kevlar cockpit tubs to protect the pilots. The combats could be held over the desert. The planes have Go Pros mounted on them and the events streamed <-- I originally wrote televised but that's a bit archaic now a days.

It's just a wild arsed concept. what would you do with a "low cost" warbird replica?

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 7:50 pm 
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Uhm....it's been done repeatedly....with a number of different aircraft:

https://aircombat.com/


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2015 9:38 am 
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Not the same thing. That's using OTS laser systems modified to work on the airplanes. He's talking real ammo that requires real leading and the real problems of getting a bullet to fly through a distance of air and actually hit another object moving at 300+ MPH and usually not in a straight line. :)

I think it's an interesting idea. With the availability of simunition technology (ammo that uses the normal cases and only slightly modified guns but fires a paint pellet instead of a copper/lead/tungsten bullet), I think that would be a great way to use "real" guns but be safe for all involved, including the environment and spectators.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2015 5:42 am 
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CAPFlyer wrote:
Not the same thing. That's using OTS laser systems modified to work on the airplanes. He's talking real ammo that requires real leading and the real problems of getting a bullet to fly through a distance of air and actually hit another object moving at 300+ MPH and usually not in a straight line. :)


Yup, thats exactly what I'm talking about. It would also make bomber camp even more interesting!

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2015 9:29 am 
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Scott WRG Editor wrote:

Yup, thats exactly what I'm talking about. It would also make bomber camp even more interesting!


Probably not so much for the untrained gunners of a loan straggler B-17. Now if we had every Flying B-17, and put up a proper box.....

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2015 10:59 am 
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Part of the reason why the Air Combat USA, et al, places work is that neither customer pilot actually knows how to fight. Since one of the customers generally makes themselves an easy target, the other customer is usually allowed a shot without too much difficulty and a relatively easy resultant kill. Since the instructors generally know what they're doing, the game never really gets high-performance enough to require much skill.

If it were set up with one aircraft being a platform "defender" and not providing a difficult target, it could be a pretty fun game.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2015 3:45 pm 
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Randy Haskin wrote:
Part of the reason why the Air Combat USA, et al, places work is that neither customer pilot actually knows how to fight. Since one of the customers generally makes themselves an easy target, the other customer is usually allowed a shot without too much difficulty and a relatively easy resultant kill. Since the instructors generally know what they're doing, the game never really gets high-performance enough to require much skill.

If it were set up with one aircraft being a platform "defender" and not providing a difficult target, it could be a pretty fun game.


When I thought of this insanity I had a vision of not so much an air combat tourism type situation but more of a NASCAR type thing. Professional fighter pilots dueling for points prestige and money. I thought it would be an interesting and more intense version of air racing but over a wide landscape with individuals or teams of aircraft.

Did you guys know I write science fiction? :)

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 9:25 am 
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I went the same way as well Scott. When you spoke of Televising/Streaming it, I went from "public paid adventure" to "professional spectacle" in my thinking which is where the Air Combat USA idea breaks down and the use of Simunition or frangible ammunition comes in since the "unskilled pilot" wouldn't be involved, it would be 2 skilled pilots facing each other. Would be a great way to have "beefs" hashed out between the celebrity pilots that I know are out there, even the friendly ones. I imagine seeing Randy Haskin and Paul Moga going at it in their favorite replica warbird for bragging rights of who really is the best "famous" fighter jock around these parts. ;)


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 10:03 am 
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CAPFlyer wrote:
I went the same way as well Scott. When you spoke of Televising/Streaming it, I went from "public paid adventure" to "professional spectacle" in my thinking which is where the Air Combat USA idea breaks down and the use of Simunition or frangible ammunition comes in since the "unskilled pilot" wouldn't be involved, it would be 2 skilled pilots facing each other. Would be a great way to have "beefs" hashed out between the celebrity pilots that I know are out there, even the friendly ones. I imagine seeing Randy Haskin and Paul Moga going at it in their favorite replica warbird for bragging rights of who really is the best "famous" fighter jock around these parts. ;)


I'd like to see some of the aerobatic pilots like Rob Holland or Mike Goulian go at it.

I could see different classes including biplanes and "unlimited" catagories. It could be interesting. :)

I would love to see the paint jobs on these aircraft!

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 6:18 pm 
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Doesn't Richard Bach end up as a passenger in an international air combat league plane somewhere in One?

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 7:56 pm 
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The only trouble with your idea is that a plastic and paint bullet will not go far enough to make a realistic combat and they would still be very deadly.
Even planes like the Sturmovic with it's tonne, or was it half a tonne of armor would not prevent the plastic/paint bullets from destroying the plane at close range, of falling out of the sky at 1/4 of common combat ranges.
On the other hand electronic ranges like Red Flag and Top Gun use a missile analogue with much electric stuff inside to record and transmit it's place in the air space of the range. The bullets are computer generated and the only dangers, very real at that, are CFIT and Mid-airs. (Both of which have killed more than a few people.)
But the replay is great on the big screen and in real time tells you that you have been shot down! Because of new technologies, it is possible to replicate many dozens of millions worth of 1970's tech with a few hundred bucks worth of GPS-Hero cameras and a cheap lap-top computer!!!
But with the cost of flight hours running into the thousands of bucks each, it is a very rich mans game!
The next best thing are the various SIMS, not games which let you play at being a fighter pilot for the cost of a Outback Steak-House dinner! This is the only practical way to get the thrill WO spending a $100,000 for half a day of gut wrenching Gs WO 10 seconds of good film in return!


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 8:08 pm 
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Part two:
The second part of the game is which plane to fly?
I'll give you a hint, it's not what you think!
B-17s shot down almost twice as many German planes as any single seat fighter plane! (At least according to the Germans!)
The top scoring Allied Ace flew a plane with a crummy reputation and EBH and the next 2-300 highest scoring aces flew the Me-109.
So, which plane do you choose to have the best chance to score and survive in a realistic flight sim game????
What is your recommendation for best flight sim?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 9:08 pm 
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Tiger Tim wrote:
Doesn't Richard Bach end up as a passenger in an international air combat league plane somewhere in One?

Sorry about this, but I can not remember his name, but my money would be on him! He was a real fighter Ace in WW-II, flew chase planes for real test pilots after the war and after retiring from the AF did aerobatic routeens in an Aero Commander (Shike?) Twin engine plane until he was so old that he had to go to court to get his cert renewed! HA HA! Bob Hoover!


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2015 8:33 am 
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Revisiting the 'Laser Tag' idea, it would be easily doable to have the beam simulate the ballistic path during maneuvers. If it could be predicted reasonably well with the gyro sights of the day, and is a small part of sim engines, it should be almost trivial from a computer processing POV.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2015 1:57 am 
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Don't know if we are talking about the same thing, but I recall reading a book in the early 1980s, titled "Gray Eagles" where Luftwaffe and CAF pilots flew armed airplanes against each other, in combat over the Western USA.

Saludos,


Tulio

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