Fun facts! -

DrJonesHat

All-around bad person
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The term "the whole nine yards" comes from WWII, when the ammo belt for a P-51 Mustang was exactly nine yards long. When a pilot would come back with an empty ammo belt, he was said to have given the enemy the whole nine yards.

When Carrie Fischer was going to be fitted for her slave girl costume, the guy doing the fitting was such a creeper about it that George Lucas himself became concerned for Fischer's safety and had someone else do it.
 

TiggerNits

Yankee vampire living off the blood of the poor
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kiwifarms.net
British and ANZAC pilots in the North African theater of WW2 had a tactic they would use defensive. lt was known as the "Wagon Wheel" where less maneuverable fighters (Hurricanes, P-40s, and other older planes) would try to form a circle where they would all turn in the same rate behind each other as equidistant from one another as possible hoping they could then pull enemy fighters off one another as they tried to saddle up behind one another in the turn.

Problem is an enemy pilot who would just enter in to engage had a very easy tactic to completely bypass the defensive advantage of the maneuver. All the Bf-109s had to do to completely invalidate the attempt was engage at an offset angle (think to the turning planes belly or top, but from a 3 to 9 o'clock approach). Luftwaffe and even Italian pilots were able to obtain a staggering amount of kills by just attacking the circle and not actually entering in to it, and just accelerating out of it because the pilots in the wheel would be too afraid to leave their wingman, even if he just got picked off because they felt it made them more vulnerable.

German ace Hans-Joachim Marseille claimed a lot of his success was just from figuring out when to dive on to the wheel and score hits with his 20mm nose cannon while he accelerated away. Its even said that more than once he decided to enter the circle and just work his way forward shooting down the enemy fighters because they wouldn't leave the circle, so his plane could out accelerate and out turn them in their own circle to complete negate the tactic.

And it's not like it was only used for a few months before someone in the RAF wised up. From 1940-1942 it was still a commonly taught tactic among the UK and her colonies. It allegedly only fell out of favor because American P-51 pilots and RAF Spitfire crews started to openly challenge the wisdom and ability of the superior officers in the RAF that kept insisting it be used. The more succesful P-40 and Hurricane pilots in North Africa were even known to outright refuse using the tactic and instead only employing their fighters in the same manner the more succesful members of the American Volunteer group in China, the "Flying Tigers" as they too also had to fight lighter, faster and more agile enemy planes. By just using a superior rate of climb to allow for them to dive at an enemy fighter from any angle and then accelerate away from them using the momentum after the pass to not allow them an attempt at engaging after the head to head.
 

RomanesEuntDomus

May contain nuts.
True & Honest Fan
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British and ANZAC pilots in the North African theater of WW2 had a tactic they would use defensive. lt was known as the "Wagon Wheel" where less maneuverable fighters (Hurricanes, P-40s, and other older planes) would try to form a circle where they would all turn in the same rate behind each other as equidistant from one another as possible hoping they could then pull enemy fighters off one another as they tried to saddle up behind one another in the turn.

Problem is an enemy pilot who would just enter in to engage had a very easy tactic to completely bypass the defensive advantage of the maneuver. All the Bf-109s had to do to completely invalidate the attempt was engage at an offset angle (think to the turning planes belly or top, but from a 3 to 9 o'clock approach). Luftwaffe and even Italian pilots were able to obtain a staggering amount of kills by just attacking the circle and not actually entering in to it, and just accelerating out of it because the pilots in the wheel would be too afraid to leave their wingman, even if he just got picked off because they felt it made them more vulnerable.

German ace Hans-Joachim Marseille claimed a lot of his success was just from figuring out when to dive on to the wheel and score hits with his 20mm nose cannon while he accelerated away. Its even said that more than once he decided to enter the circle and just work his way forward shooting down the enemy fighters because they wouldn't leave the circle, so his plane could out accelerate and out turn them in their own circle to complete negate the tactic.

And it's not like it was only used for a few months before someone in the RAF wised up. From 1940-1942 it was still a commonly taught tactic among the UK and her colonies. It allegedly only fell out of favor because American P-51 pilots and RAF Spitfire crews started to openly challenge the wisdom and ability of the superior officers in the RAF that kept insisting it be used. The more succesful P-40 and Hurricane pilots in North Africa were even known to outright refuse using the tactic and instead only employing their fighters in the same manner the more succesful members of the American Volunteer group in China, the "Flying Tigers" as they too also had to fight lighter, faster and more agile enemy planes. By just using a superior rate of climb to allow for them to dive at an enemy fighter from any angle and then accelerate away from them using the momentum after the pass to not allow them an attempt at engaging after the head to head.
I think you got one detail wrong here: When a plane is slow and not very agile, it most likely will have a bad climb rate. Maybe you mean ceiling height, which is a planes maximum operational altitude, meaning it can strike from a greater hight than (say) a Messerschmitt?

Also, on the topic of aerial tactics:
Japanese Zeroes are extraordinarily fast, agile and gain height quickly, severely outperforming its American opponent Grumman F4F Wildcat in all regards.
A pilot named John S. Thach came up with a defensive strategy to alleviate this issue completely. The maneuver is called the Thach Weave. 2 or more planes cross each other's flight path repeatedly in a weaving motion. When a hostile pilot concentrates on one plane to shoot it down, this automatically puts him into the sights of his target's wingman. Given the Zero's poor defenses (it didn't even have self-sealing fuel tanks), this was very effective, especially with the growing number of US planes and the diminishing quality of Japanese pilots, who had to be pressed into combat quicker and quicker, the more pilots died.

German pilots would often attack large bomber groups head on, since WW2 bombers had massive glass-noses at the front, making them weakpoints. This would mean that planes would somtimes zip past each other at a relative speed exceeding a thousand kilometres an hour (that's more than 600mph, for my Ameribros).

I guess most people know about Kamikaze attacks and the Ohka, which was essentially a piloted cruise missile:

These things would be carried close to a carrier-group by a heavy bomber, dropped and the pilot would hit a button on the Control stick to ignite 3 rocket engines that accelerate the plane to roughly 900km/h (560mph). It would hit the target at roughly 350-600km/h (220-370mph).
Upon hitting the target, a short fuse would ignite the 1.2tons of explosives...
However there was one issue (aside from using people to guide the bomb): These things were built to hit large and heavily armored carriers or Battleships, which lead to problems when these struck way smaller targets.
It seems to not have been uncommon for these planes to crash into a Corvette or Fregate, punch a hole clean through the entire ship from side to side and then exploding behind (or below) it.

Edit: Damn, how could I forget about "Schräge Musik" (lit: "slanted music" -> "strange music", German term for music such as Jazz in the 30s and 40s).

Bombers often had poor defenses against enemies from below, Germans would take advantage of that by attaching machineguns to their night-fighters that would fire almost straight upwards. Bomber crews would often assume that they were being fired upon from ground forces, not realizing that it was coming from another plane.


Similar system mounted on a Focke Wulf 190:
 
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TiggerNits

Yankee vampire living off the blood of the poor
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kiwifarms.net
I think you got one detail wrong here: When a plane is slow and not very agile, it most likely will have a bad climb rate. Maybe you mean ceiling height, which is a planes maximum operational altitude, meaning it can strike from a greater hight than (say) a Messerschmitt?
Not necessarily, wing loading, propeller pitch and climbing flaps can all actually add a good rate to a slower plane depending on altitude and air temperature (for reasons of both aerodynamics and theoptimal engine operations envelope). I did leave out that there were very specific speeds, altitudes and even times of day since if these tactics required though to be in their best parameters. A lot of kit built STOL planes are slow as fuck and handle poorly, but they can climb really fucking quick in their best configuration



That said, my source for that pervious post is the Dan Hampton book Lords of the Sky, and Dan has a bad tendency to shit on anything that isn't USAF wild weasel crews
 
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AnOminous

do you see what happens
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Retired Staff
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It allegedly only fell out of favor because American P-51 pilots and RAF Spitfire crews started to openly challenge the wisdom and ability of the superior officers in the RAF that kept insisting it be used.
This is why intelligent armed forces are often from free countries where you're allowed to think for yourself. If ordered to do absolutely stupid shit that just gets them killed, they'll literally tell you to go fuck yourself and do what keeps them alive.
 
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AnOminous

do you see what happens
True & Honest Fan
Retired Staff
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In most cars, there is a little arrow on the fuel meter that points to the side where the fuel cap is located. I only discovered this recently and my mind was blown.
Goddammit and I've been driving around rental cars and having to move them when I stupidly parked on the wrong side my entire life.
 

TiggerNits

Yankee vampire living off the blood of the poor
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
This is why intelligent armed forces are often from free countries where you're allowed to think for yourself. If ordered to do absolutely stupid shit that just gets them killed, they'll literally tell you to go fuck yourself and do what keeps them alive.
Yeah, there's a reason the US armed forces run a lot of slack on your leash when you're actually in combat regardless of MOS or pay grade. When I was doing my FAC time I even told the platoon sgt and the RTO who was an E4 if I say or do anything dumb to just shake their head at me and offer correction, since they were front seat to that shit and could more often than not do a better job of what I was attempting, it's just that the Marine Corps really likes someone with a shiny collar to be there to sign off on it

Hell, the best advice my great uncle, a retired colonel, ever gave me before I went in was "Find a few NCOs who won't hesitate to tell you off and just ask them for advice and give them carte blanche to offer advice as anything begins to happen." Because as it turns out those guys have probably seen the exact situation you're in play out before from a few angles and have a better idea of what's coming next. Shit happens fast even in training so having someone who's heard the song before is pretty helpful to a guy that's just now learning the beat.

Honest to God the best examples of this in media are Band of Brothers and Generation Kill. A few times they show bad leadership directives that get unfucked 2 or 3 levels down the chain of command by guys who realized that the higher levels of command had zero fucking clue what was actually happening.
 

Clockwork_PurBle

John Goldfarb, get your ass back home.
kiwifarms.net
The harbor town of Sweet Haven shown in the 1980 musical adaptation of Popeye was built exclusively for the film. Construction began in 1979 and a crew of 165 came together to build it.

It is still there! Located on the coast of Malta, Sweet Haven, a.k.a the Popeye Village, remains a popular tourist attraction.
 
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