By Edward M. Young
In the course of the overdue Nineteen Thirties an armament race built among bombers and the combatants that have been bent on preventing them. the advance of multi-engined, multi-gun, all-metal bombers pressured a corresponding elevate in fighter armament which, in flip, resulted in additional makes an attempt to enhance bomber armament to make sure its skill to outlive within the face of antagonistic combatants. the USA military Air Corps (USAAC) asked that powered gun turrets be suited for its critical long-range bombers, the B-17 Flying castle and the B-24 Liberator. In reviewing reviews of air strive against from Spain, China and the early levels of the warfare in Europe, the USAAC assumed that the best possibility to the bomber will be assaults from the rear region, and hence took steps to make sure that either the B-17 and the B-24 had tail turrets. A powered turret above and in the back of the cockpit might deal, it used to be felt, with assaults from the frontal zone in order that the nostril armament for the B-17 and the B-24 consisted of a number of handheld 0.50-cal desktop weapons, yet no longer a powered turret. German and eastern fighter pilots may quickly become aware of and take advantage of this weak spot. The JAAF's reaction to the rise in bomber armament was once to advance a so-called heavy fighter in parallel to the improvement of the Army's major fighter, the Ki-43 Hayabusa (known because the 'Oscar'), which sacrificed armament for improved manoeuvrability. but the shortcoming of the japanese plane to supply those heavier opponents (the Kawasaki Ki-60 and Nakajima Ki-44) in adequate amounts intended that the JAAF had no replacement yet to depend upon the Ki-43 to intercept American heavy bombers. below the suitable stipulations that existed within the Burma and China theatres for a lot of 1943, the absence of escort opponents allowed the Ki-43 pilots to press domestic their assaults to devastating impact.
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Extra info for B-24 Liberator vs Ki-43 Oscar: China and Burma 1943 (Duel, Volume 41)
During the 1930s the Army Aviation School at Akeno in Japan became the center for training fighter pilots. Here, a prospective fighter pilot would gain more experience handling frontline fighter aircraft, after which he would be introduced to the rudiments of air combat tactics, including formation flying and air-to-air gunnery. On completion of advanced flying training, the pilot would be posted to an operational unit, where he would complete his operational training under the supervision of more experienced pilots and be integrated into the unit.
8in. behind the pilot’s seat set at a 45-degree angle. The JAAF’s fighter sentais in Burma and China began converting to the Ki-43-II soon after it entered production. The 64th converted in December 1942, followed by the 50th in February 1943, the 25th Sentai in May and the 33rd shortly thereafter. 7mm Ho-103 machine guns mounted in the nose. The latter configuration remained standard in production versions of the Ki-43 through to war’s end. (Peter M. Bowers Collection, Museum of Flight) The pilots now had a fighter they could fly with confidence, but the demands then facing the Japanese fighter force were of a different nature.
Bombardier’s seat 16. 50in. machine gun 17. 50in. machine gun 18. Flexible ammunition feed belt 19. Defroster hose 20. Cabin heater 21. Receptacle for flying suit heating plug 23. Portable oxygen bottle 24. Compass 25. Light 26. Bombardier’s intercom control 27. com Student bombardiers prepare to board a Douglas B-18A at a bombardier school in Texas. Until sufficient numbers of Beech AT-11 aircraft, seen here beyond the B-18, became available, many bombardiers trained on the veteran Douglas “bombing twin”.
B-24 Liberator vs Ki-43 Oscar: China and Burma 1943 (Duel, Volume 41) by Edward M. Young