Moderators: richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
astuteman
Posts: 7439
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2005 7:50 pm

RE: Rolls Royce Merlin Still The Greatest.

Thu Sep 13, 2007 12:17 am

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 49):

Gotta admit, they're awesome..  thumbsup 

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 49):
It's a pity that Britain did not preserve at least one of its battlewagons as a memorial

Warspite would have been the perfect example.

Regards
 
GDB
Posts: 14396
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

RE: Rolls Royce Merlin Still The Greatest.

Thu Sep 13, 2007 3:40 am

Ironic that it was Beatty, the much more aggressive (or reckless) commander, all rakish image, shagging above his social status, wearing his cap at a cheeky angle, media whore of the day, who was the one primarily responsible for the RN's losses.
What with his max rate of fire obsession, non obsession with accuracy and too busy trying to be Nelson redux to signal properly.

Agreed on Warspite , the best modernised WW1 vintage BB of the war.
Took a lot but dealt out much more.
But the best, in looks and all round capability, has to be the then modern USN Iowa class.
(Some will cite the Japanese Yamanto pair, but not much good if the AA guns you bristle with are crap and looked what happened to them anyway).
 
Banco
Posts: 14343
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2001 11:56 pm

RE: Rolls Royce Merlin Still The Greatest.

Thu Sep 13, 2007 3:40 am

Quoting Astuteman (Reply 50):
Warspite would have been the perfect example.

By the end of the war, Warspite was in a pretty sorry state, having been pounded more or less constantly throughout the entire conflict. One turret was seemingly permanently out of action, whilst there was considerable strain on her keel from various bombings. Essentially, had it not been such a global war, she'd have been withdrawn from service years earlier. Of course, that wasn't possible. It was felt that she would have been too expensive for a completely bankrupt country to save, despite a public campaign to keep her, though my own view is that that was a pretty piss-poor excuse given that none of them were saved, not KGV (victor over the Bismarck), not Duke of York (winner of the last big gun engagement in naval warfare), not even Valiant, which didn't leave service till 1960.

It's a dreadful oversight for the greatest naval nation in history (apologies to the US - but you're "Johnny-come-latelys", I'm afraid) not to have an example of the height of the evolution of the battleship as the main projector of power.
 
astuteman
Posts: 7439
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2005 7:50 pm

RE: Rolls Royce Merlin Still The Greatest.

Thu Sep 13, 2007 3:15 pm

Quoting Banco (Reply 52):
It's a dreadful oversight for the greatest naval nation in history (apologies to the US - but you're "Johnny-come-latelys", I'm afraid) not to have an example of the height of the evolution of the battleship as the main projector of power.

In my career, I have come to the conclusion that, as a nation, we don't give a shit about our (unparallelled) naval heritage.
Very Sad.
Can't fault the USA on that front.

Regards
 
Banco
Posts: 14343
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2001 11:56 pm

RE: Rolls Royce Merlin Still The Greatest.

Thu Sep 13, 2007 5:55 pm

Quoting Astuteman (Reply 53):
In my career, I have come to the conclusion that, as a nation, we don't give a shit about our (unparallelled) naval heritage.

People don't understand it, that's the problem. You get it in general histories too. The great naval historian NAM Rodger pointed out (with disbelief) one history that reckoned Britain was on a par with Prussia as a power in the early 19th century, a quite extraordinary thing to say, written by someone with no knowledge whatsoever of naval importance.

Schools teach a history focusing on the land, rather than the sea, an unbelievable thing to do for a nation whose entire power was predicated on naval supremacy. Napoleon was quite reasonable in his view of Britain's "contemptible little army", yet that is where most people's thoughts begin and end. The fact that the Royal Navy completely dominated the oceans, and defeated three navies in those wars doesn't enter into it, nor does that fact that the British victory (and it was British - people think Waterloo again, which was multi-national) led to more than a century of naval - and thus world - dominance seem to seep home. It's sad.
 
GDB
Posts: 14396
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

RE: Rolls Royce Merlin Still The Greatest.

Fri Sep 14, 2007 2:51 am

I think the RN was held in very high national esteem up to the end of WW2.
100 years ago, it certainly was, hence the disappointment that the vital strategic victory of Jutland, was not the, to use modern parlance, 'rip off their heads and shit down their necks' event.
Plus, the slaughter in the trenches would always have a massive effect on national consciousness.

Between the wars though, the RN was still a major source of pride, look how an appearance by HMS Hood was an event sure to draw big crowds, (but if only it had spent less time 'showing the flag' and more being refitted, up-armoured, which they just never got around to doing).

Post war it was different, in the shadow of the atomic, then hydrogen bombs, the grim frontier dividing Europe, and the RN's primary role was eroding as Empire ended.
If Hitler had been stupid enough to actually attempt 'Operation Sealion', with the 5 knot, calm sea only, array of towed converted river barges, being roundly slaughtered by even a few RN units, it would have been different.
But it never did, so the national image of resistance to Nazi Germany has the image of young fighter pilots above Britain in 1940, rightly so.

The RN knew that post war, they had to adapt, so they ran with planning for a re-run of the Battle Of The Atlantic.
Until the late 60's however, with Soviet naval improvements and NATO's adoption of the 'Flexible Response' doctrine, was this actually a realistic proposition.
By then, political and economic realities, had forced the RN to become mostly NATO assigned anyway.

The Defence reviews of 1966 and 1981, further hardened this role, though 1981 is remembered for planned severe surface fleet cuts, selling brand new carriers and what was planned for a mere survey ship, making a military dictatorship trying something very stupid, buried in the detail was an ambitious plan to raise the number of SSN's markedly, and replace, perhaps one for one, the 15 strong conventionally powered sub fleet by a whole new class.
It was not all about Trident.
As it happened, that war averted the more immediate surface fleet cuts, the Cold War ran down then ended before the ambitious plans for an enhanced sub fleet could be realised.

The point in all this, was that this Cold War role had the submarine as the Capitol Ships, by nature they can never be strong in the public mind, not like an aircraft carrier.

Right now, the focus of public attention, is understandably on the controversy of Iraq, the very hard fighting in Afghanistan.
Terrorism in general.
Many talking heads de-cry the money being spent on the RN, as the CVF decision has proved however, despite everything , all the stresses and strains including financially, policy makers are thinking beyond the end of their nose.
If you want serious expeditionary capability, you need a RN that can still deploy worldwide.
 
deltadc9
Posts: 2811
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2006 10:00 pm

RE: Rolls Royce Merlin Still The Greatest.

Fri Sep 14, 2007 4:21 am

The Merlin is what made hydrplane boat racing so much fun, and the switch to turbines is what is killing it. Now they are looking into returning to piston only and the thunder will hopefully return to "Thunder on the Ohio".

The only fun now is rooting for the one or two Merlin powered boats that still compete to somehow put those boring trubines in their place, and sometimes they actually do!

Long live the Merlin!

[Edited 2007-09-13 21:23:16]
 
Banco
Posts: 14343
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2001 11:56 pm

RE: Rolls Royce Merlin Still The Greatest.

Fri Sep 14, 2007 8:02 am

Quoting GDB (Reply 55):
If you want serious expeditionary capability, you need a RN that can still deploy worldwide.

Quite so. For all the cuts, this is the first review that actually seems to recognise that fact that even now, if you control the seas, you control everything. And this is the point, you can argue that you need to control the air, but to control the air you must also control the sea. One of the biggest myths in British history is that the sea saved Britain in two world wars. But the sea is not just a barrier, it is a highway. It is only a barrier if you control it. if you don't, it becomes the widest motorway in the world.
 
Dougloid
Posts: 7248
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 2:44 am

RE: Rolls Royce Merlin Still The Greatest.

Sat Sep 15, 2007 1:02 am

Quoting Astuteman (Reply 50):
Quoting Dougloid (Reply 49):


Gotta admit, they're awesome..

Back when I lived in Long Beach the Big J was hauled down from Bremerton for refit and modernization prior to the first Gulf War. So I got to tour it in its unrestored, Viet Nam era configuration and then after the updates and refit. I've got more pics around here somewhere.

Over in the Capitol Building (that would be the Italian Renaissance Iowa capitol) there's a model of the second Iowa BB61 that is about ten feet long. I shall go over one day this week and take some pix. Also there is the bell from the first Iowa BB4. We're very proud of the BB61 and the sailors, marines and airmen who served on her-whose bravery us mere mortals can only wonder over, and if we had a seaport you can be quite sure that San Francisco would never have had to dick around and ultimately decide she was too warlike a memorial. Here'sa couple pix I scrounged.


Big version: Width: 140 Height: 84 File size: 4kb
BB61
Big version: Width: 300 Height: 159 File size: 9kb
BB4
 
deltadc9
Posts: 2811
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2006 10:00 pm

RE: Rolls Royce Merlin Still The Greatest.

Sat Sep 15, 2007 3:08 am

Quoting Banco (Reply 57):
One of the biggest myths in British history is that the sea saved Britain in two world wars. But the sea is not just a barrier, it is a highway. It is only a barrier if you control it. if you don't, it becomes the widest motorway in the world.

This holds true for the US as well, very good point.

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 49):
I've been on the Big J and the Mighty Mo.

They are beyond awesome. I have been to the Alabama, and Mo is next.
 
GDB
Posts: 14396
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

RE: Rolls Royce Merlin Still The Greatest.

Sat Sep 15, 2007 4:06 am

Back to Merlins, I am hugely enjoying Jonathan Glancey's 'Spitfire - The Biography'.

Glancey is the architecture and design correspondent of The Guardian , an unlikely person to write about the Spit?
No, since Glancey grew up obsessed by the aircraft, his father was a WW2 RAF Spitfire pilot, the author has a pilot's licence and has flown a Spit too.
I've always liked his stuff, and not just because he was a Concorde fan (rare in the UK press), he writes with wit, enthusiasm and lucidity on a range of related subjects.

This is not intended as a specialised work, though it has drawings of many and specs and numbers built of all versions, including cancelled ones.
It is a very human story with as many unexpected characters as well as more familiar ones too.
Technically literate but often witty, with fascinating stories and facts on every page.
(I never knew that when RAF ace Robert Stanford Tuck, was shot down by AAA on a low lever strafe over occupied France, the last cannon shell his guns fired, split the barrel of one of the AA guns!)

It's the story of the aircraft, much of it's battles, those who designed, built, flew it, decided policy, how it impacted on our culture.
Highest possible recommendation.

ISBN 978-1-84354-528-6
 
Dougloid
Posts: 7248
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 2:44 am

RE: Rolls Royce Merlin Still The Greatest.

Sat Sep 15, 2007 8:58 am

Quoting GDB (Reply 60):
Back to Merlins, I am hugely enjoying Jonathan Glancey's 'Spitfire - The Biography'.

You should order yourself a copy of Herschel Smith's "A History of Aircraft Piston Engines".

It's worth it for the photos alone. There's a pretty good discussion of the V1710 Allison and the V1650 Merlin. He says that the only thing that stood between the Allison and greatness was its inability to deliver power at sufficiently high altitude, and that was because of the Army's decision to rely on turbosupercharging-which put the Allison down the list until the bomber engines got the strategic materials needed. The V1710s in the Lockheed P38 were turbosupercharged and gave fine high altitude performance. Had the P40 been turbosupercharged it would have been a lot better than it already was. The Allison engineers were never able to put the sort of development into a geared supercharger that it needed.

There is an excellent discussion of the history of the Merlin and its forbears. Smith remarks that Rolls really figured out geared supercharging and they probably knew more about it than anyone else.

Also, a lot depended on the pilots and their understanding of what their plane could and could not do and how to fight with it, unless it was completely outclassed like the Brewster Buffalo. In the hands of the AVG, the P-40 did very well in China against the Japanese.
 
astuteman
Posts: 7439
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2005 7:50 pm

RE: Rolls Royce Merlin Still The Greatest.

Sat Sep 15, 2007 3:55 pm

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 58):
Over in the Capitol Building (that would be the Italian Renaissance Iowa capitol) there's a model of the second Iowa BB61 that is about ten feet long.

The bit I've loved just about best of all about working in the yard has been all the "Shipbuilders models" dating right back to the late 1800's - as you say, up to 8-10 ft long and exquisitely detailed.
(Ours are all in the Maritime Museum in Barrow now).

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 61):
There is an excellent discussion of the history of the Merlin and its forbears. Smith remarks that Rolls really figured out geared supercharging and they probably knew more about it than anyone else.

 checkmark 

Probably the most significant advantage that RR gave the Merlin.
It was pretty small, compared to most of its competitors, but never seemed particularly disadvantaged by this.

Regards
 
Dougloid
Posts: 7248
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 2:44 am

RE: Rolls Royce Merlin Still The Greatest.

Sun Sep 16, 2007 6:48 am

Quoting Astuteman (Reply 62):
Probably the most significant advantage that RR gave the Merlin.
It was pretty small, compared to most of its competitors, but never seemed particularly disadvantaged by this.

Regards

Let's go to the tape as the sports press says.

Merlin V1650-1650 cid
Griffon-2240 cid
Allison V1710-1710 cid
DB601-2069 cid
DB603-2715 cid
Jumo 210-1202 cid
Jumo 211-2136 cid
Hisso 12x-1636 cid
Hisso 12y-2181 cid
Mikulin AM30 series-2850 cid
VK105-2147 cid
Napier Sabre-2240 cid

If nothing else it points to the utility of labeling engines by their cylinder configuration and displacement.
 
ferrypilot
Topic Author
Posts: 623
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 1:19 pm

RE: Rolls Royce Merlin Still The Greatest.

Tue Oct 16, 2007 11:05 pm

Quoting Ferrypilot (Reply 44):

And there were lots of other great sounding Merlins in evidence, ...including six in The battle of Britain three ship consisting of the Lancaster, Spitfire and Hurricane. Two more Hurricanes flew as a pair, followed by the show finale when five Spitfires got airborne to round off the day.

Sadly one of those Hurricanes that I had seen flying in the two-ship at Duxford on Sept. 9th 2007 crashed six days later at the Shoreham Airshow and Brian Brown who was the pilot for that occasion lost his life.

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Alan Gray
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Martin Stephen

 
ferrypilot
Topic Author
Posts: 623
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 1:19 pm

RE: Rolls Royce Merlin Still The Greatest.

Wed Oct 17, 2007 9:00 pm

Incidentally I believe there is currently no evidence to suggest the above accident was as a result of failure of the Merlin engine.
 
User avatar
SEPilot
Posts: 5739
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2006 10:21 pm

RE: Rolls Royce Merlin Still The Greatest.

Thu Oct 18, 2007 9:44 pm

Quoting Ferrypilot (Reply 65):
Incidentally I believe there is currently no evidence to suggest the above accident was as a result of failure of the Merlin engine.

It certainly is sad when one of these magnificent machines goes down, and even sadder when someone dies in the process. But with machines that old, it's hardly surprising.
 
ferrypilot
Topic Author
Posts: 623
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 1:19 pm

RE: Rolls Royce Merlin Still The Greatest.

Fri Oct 19, 2007 10:03 pm

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 66):

It certainly is sad when one of these magnificent machines goes down, and even sadder when someone dies in the process. But with machines that old, it's hardly surprising.

Whilst I feel very reticent about making this comment, after having looked at the video on UTUBE of this accident I am strongly inclined towards the view that it was the pilot and not the aircraft that was at fault. It appears to me that like many before him Brian Brown has lost control of the aircraft in an attempted slow roll. ...I acknowledge that I may be mistaken and I certainly do not intend any slight on the character of this man who was apparently much liked and respected.
 
User avatar
SEPilot
Posts: 5739
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2006 10:21 pm

RE: Rolls Royce Merlin Still The Greatest.

Sat Oct 20, 2007 1:03 pm

Quoting Ferrypilot (Reply 67):
Whilst I feel very reticent about making this comment, after having looked at the video on UTUBE of this accident I am strongly inclined towards the view that it was the pilot and not the aircraft that was at fault. I

Unfortunately this appears to be often the case. With these planes being so rare and so valuable, as well as expensive to maintain, few pilots can really maintain proficiency in them. I would suspect that they behave somewhat differently than newer aerobatic planes in extreme circumstances, and so being completely competent and current in other planes is not always enough.
 
Dougloid
Posts: 7248
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 2:44 am

RE: Rolls Royce Merlin Still The Greatest.

Sun Oct 21, 2007 2:51 am

I watched Suzy Parrish slow roll her P-40 right off the deck and everyone there that day thought she was a goner.
 
bilgerat
Posts: 250
Joined: Sun Dec 03, 2006 6:43 pm

RE: Rolls Royce Merlin Still The Greatest.

Sun Oct 21, 2007 7:29 am

Quoting Astuteman (Reply 53):
In my career, I have come to the conclusion that, as a nation, we don't give a shit about our (unparallelled) naval heritage

Hear! Hear!

My particular outfit are having great problems recruiting new people. The vast majority of the British public have no idea who we are or what we do, which is a shame really considering we've been doing it for 102 years now and are considered the best in the world at what we do!

It's also a shame, because so many skills learned in the industry are absolutely critical to our industrial base as a nation, and those skills are slowly being lost because all the kids at school want to be lawyers or vets (but most end up working in a hairdressers or Asda!).

Big version: Width: 1024 Height: 768 File size: 201kb

Big version: Width: 1024 Height: 768 File size: 184kb

Big version: Width: 1024 Height: 768 File size: 160kb
 
MD11Engineer
Posts: 13899
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2003 5:25 am

RE: Rolls Royce Merlin Still The Greatest.

Sun Oct 21, 2007 10:35 am

Quoting BilgeRat (Reply 70):
because all the kids at school want to be lawyers or vets (but most end up working in a hairdressers or Asda!).

This seems to be international. Germany too is loosing it's industrial base (small to medium size innovative engineering companies) because less and less young people want to go into "dirty" professions like engineering. More money is to be made by studying law or business administration. While we have many unemployed, especially from low qualified jobs, which were sourced out to other countries or taken over by machines, there exists an accute shortage of qualified staff (engineers, skilled professionals in trades like welding or machining), which already forces companies to reject orders, which in turn hurts the economy.

Jan
 
Dougloid
Posts: 7248
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 2:44 am

RE: Rolls Royce Merlin Still The Greatest.

Sun Oct 21, 2007 9:05 pm

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 71):
This seems to be international. Germany too is loosing it's industrial base (small to medium size innovative engineering companies) because less and less young people want to go into "dirty" professions like engineering. More money is to be made by studying law or business administration. While we have many unemployed, especially from low qualified jobs, which were sourced out to other countries or taken over by machines, there exists an accute shortage of qualified staff (engineers, skilled professionals in trades like welding or machining), which already forces companies to reject orders, which in turn hurts the economy.

I'll have to second that as well. For a young person manufacturing is a chancy sort of thing. I mean hell, I was in manufacturing and after the last set of aerospace layoffs in 1992 I went and became a lawyer, because it's one damned job that is hard to send to Bangalore.

Or so I said to a friend of mine in the trade in New York and he said "Oh, you can get appellate briefs done in India....they read sorta funny but they sure are cheap."
 
ferrypilot
Topic Author
Posts: 623
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 1:19 pm

RE: Rolls Royce Merlin Still The Greatest.

Wed Oct 24, 2007 1:42 am

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 69):
I watched Suzy Parrish slow roll her P-40 right off the deck and everyone there that day thought she was a goner.

There is plenty of evidence to suggest that even above average pilot's can come to grief attempting to slow roll at low level in piston warbirds. ...New Zealander Cobber Cain who had the distinction of becoming the RAF's first ace in WW2 and in the Battle of France was killed slow rolling his Hurricane just prior to the commencement of the Battle of Britain in 1940.
And the very famous legless Battle of Britain ace Sir Douglas Bader had lost his pins in 1931 slow rolling a Bristol Bulldog.
Apparently he wrote in his flying logbook afterwards :- "Crashed slow-rolling near ground. Bad show."
 
aero145
Posts: 2859
Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2005 4:59 am

RE: Rolls Royce Merlin Still The Greatest.

Fri Jan 25, 2008 12:05 am



Quoting SlamClick (Reply 5):
Sweetest sound to wake up to I can imagine.

I'm very sorry I am waking up an old thread, but I must say that I was woken up by the aircraft on the picture in the start-post of this thread, and I took that photo in the aircraft's second takeoff. Ooh, I'd love to be woken up by Merlins every day! But still, I also want to photograph the aircraft carrying them.

Anyone know if the Glacier Girl will finally go to Europe?
 
L-188
Posts: 29881
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: Rolls Royce Merlin Still The Greatest.

Fri Jan 25, 2008 4:10 am



Quoting Banco (Reply 45):
No, there was nothing wrong with the armour in British vessels.

Tell that to the crew of HMS Hood.
 
XT6Wagon
Posts: 2746
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 4:06 pm

RE: Rolls Royce Merlin Still The Greatest.

Fri Jan 25, 2008 4:45 am



Quoting L-188 (Reply 75):
Tell that to the crew of HMS Hood.

The hood is and isn't a good example. Its true that the British armor of WWI wasn't as good relative to the best of the day, but its not why the Hood was in DEEP trouble when it faced the Bismark. Even new it was very much a "glass hammer" with big guns and minimal armor to keep the size/cost down. Even worse, its very much suspected now that it wasn't a "golden BB" that took the Hood out but rather very very poor powder handling which let just a minor hit rip through the ship and set off the magazines. I suspect that if the Hood had proper powder handling like the later American Battleships it would have survived a heavy pounding and perhaps maybe even left the engagement under its own power. By this I mean proper handling in crew training, AND in modern equipment to keep the different spaces isolated even when shells and powder is being handled.

It was well proved throughout WWII that naval gun battles largely became not who sinks who first, but rather who disabled the other first allowing finishing off by torpedo/scuttling/internal fires/etc. Ranges close enough for accurate gunfire it was rare to get a meaningful underwater hit, and longer ranges with proper plunging fire was very inaccurate. Even the hoods minimal armor wouldn't have mattered since reviewing the record it seems unlikely that it DID take a shot to the main magazine. It was merely a shot that set off the secondary armament and then that managed to make its way into the main magazine by way of poor handling and poor compartmentalizing
 
baroque
Posts: 12302
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 2:15 pm

RE: Rolls Royce Merlin Still The Greatest.

Fri Jan 25, 2008 1:06 pm



Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 76):
Even new it was very much a "glass hammer" with big guns and minimal armor to keep the size/cost down.

And the speed up. 31 knots in 1920 and 29 in 1941 with 48,360 tons 3k tons more than when first commissioned.
 
Banco
Posts: 14343
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2001 11:56 pm

RE: Rolls Royce Merlin Still The Greatest.

Wed Jan 30, 2008 12:33 pm



Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 76):
Ranges close enough for accurate gunfire it was rare to get a meaningful underwater hit

Even then...Rodney, with her 16" main armament, and KGV with her 14" were pounding the Bismarck at point blank range but she still didn't sink until she was torpedoed. For all the difference that made - she was a complete wreck by that point anyway, and the actual sinking made relatively little difference except in terms of PR, she was finished.

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 76):
Its true that the British armor of WWI wasn't as good relative to the best of the day,

Not really. It's an oft-quoted thing, but it tends to be based on the performance of the battlecruisers, not the battleships. Their problem was a fundamental design flaw, not the armour itself. The level of punishment absorbed by the battleships at Jutland tends to reject that argument. More than that, at that particular battle, although the British lost more ships, the German battleships received appalling damage, and many were stuck in the dockyard for months in comparison to the British ships that were back in service extremely quickly.

Rangefinding was where the British were weak. Not armour.
 
baroque
Posts: 12302
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 2:15 pm

RE: Rolls Royce Merlin Still The Greatest.

Wed Jan 30, 2008 2:01 pm



Quoting Banco (Reply 78):
Rangefinding was where the British were weak. Not armour.

And even worse to some extent ignored Barr and Stroud. I gather on the principle that if you wanted to know how far something was away, you would go over and measure the distance.
 
XT6Wagon
Posts: 2746
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 4:06 pm

?

Thu Jan 31, 2008 2:53 am



Quoting Banco (Reply 78):
Even then...Rodney, with her 16" main armament, and KGV with her 14" were pounding the Bismarck at point blank range but she still didn't sink until she was torpedoed. For all the difference that made - she was a complete wreck by that point anyway, and the actual sinking made relatively little difference except in terms of PR, she was finished.

Exactly my point. We found out when we examined the wreck that the Bismarck was Swiss cheese long before it sank. So clearly its heavy armor compared to the others in the atlantic wasn't terribly useful when outnumbered by a large margin. If it had no armor at all it still wouldn't have sunk in that engagement from the look of it.

Quoting Banco (Reply 78):
Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 76):
Its true that the British armor of WWI wasn't as good relative to the best of the day,

Not really. It's an oft-quoted thing, but it tends to be based on the performance of the battlecruisers

pound for pound the British armor was behind the times when looking at the ships they had to fight with in WWI. Its a difference, but not one that really matters compared to nearly everything else. Certainly doesn't matter when you are running light on armor period.

Interestingly enough it looks like one huge advantage the US Navy had in WWII was the use of STS or structural armor. It allowed them to reduce weight by making bulkheads and decks out of armor that not only is self supporting but positive structural member of the ship. From the ship designs it looks like it was limited to not very thick cross sections, and had cost issues... That said it ment that US battleships using it had far more protection in areas away from the main belt and far superior "shrapnel" protection. In the end pointless as the US battleships got to show their stuff outside of "target practice" but a couple of times.

Its a shame that the battleship never followed the evolution of technology properly. The Iowa class finished the century out as still one of the nastiest things on water, air cover or no. Modern fire control, fast speed, missiles, guns, etc all combined to make a nasty little package. Oh and since modern anti-naval missiles are designed to work against unarmored ships not armored ones.... Just too tempting to keep feeding the 800lbs gorilla that is the nuclear carrier supporters.
 
L-188
Posts: 29881
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: Rolls Royce Merlin Still The Greatest.

Thu Jan 31, 2008 3:12 am



Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 80):
Its a shame that the battleship never followed the evolution of technology properly.

Agreed,

In many ways it was manpower issues that killed the Iowa's not combat effectiveness.

What a powerful deterant weapon we could have if we developed a 16 inch gun with automated shell and powder handling. In the Iowa's a lot of that was done manually.
 
XT6Wagon
Posts: 2746
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 4:06 pm

RE: Rolls Royce Merlin Still The Greatest.

Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:53 am



Quoting L-188 (Reply 81):
What a powerful deterant weapon we could have if we developed a 16 inch gun with automated shell and powder handling. In the Iowa's a lot of that was done manually.

Even better would be a all new gun based on modern design. Truly frighting ranges could be achieved coupled with lower weight. 70+ NM range coupled with the ability to ignore anti-missile defense would make for a nasty guided missile cruiser ship.

I think it would have taken ground up design to properly harness each great leap in technologies that would make battleships that much more effective. The Iowa simply couldn't be rebuilt enough to properly integrate modern electronics, extensive anti-air missile capability, close and medium range missile defense, modern armors, etc.

Though thinking about how defense contracting runs, in the end I bet they would have found a way to not only balloon the budget for a state of the art battleship to the same as a ready to deploy CVN, but would have cocked up the systems so in the real world the "air defense shield" would be the "air defense sieve"
 
Banco
Posts: 14343
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2001 11:56 pm

RE: Rolls Royce Merlin Still The Greatest.

Thu Jan 31, 2008 10:00 am



Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 80):
Exactly my point. We found out when we examined the wreck that the Bismarck was Swiss cheese long before it sank. So clearly its heavy armor compared to the others in the atlantic wasn't terribly useful when outnumbered by a large margin. If it had no armor at all it still wouldn't have sunk in that engagement from the look of it.

But historically not particularly unusual. It is only really the short period of the dreadnought era that conditioned people to think in terms of sinking opposing line of battle ships. There were few naval engagements anyway in the latter half of the nineteenth century as no-one dared to take on the Royal Navy, but historically sinking an opposing ship has always proved extremely difficult. Even the outrageously heavily armed 100 gun first rates like HMS Victory would relatively rarely sink an opponent, despite the ships being made of wood. They could destroy them, and fire would then finish the job, but actually sinking them? Not usually.

And if you look at the most recent large naval engagement, in the Falklands, again the actual sinking of a ship wasn't necessarily the point. With the obvious exception of the Belgrano, the British casualties tended to result from ship damage rather than the sinking, which often happened much, much later once the ships were abandoned.
 
L-188
Posts: 29881
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: Rolls Royce Merlin Still The Greatest.

Fri Feb 01, 2008 3:21 am



Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 82):
Even better would be a all new gun based on modern design.

I could go with a clean sheet design, but not at the expense of the KISS principle.

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 82):
The Iowa simply couldn't be rebuilt enough to properly integrate modern electronics, extensive anti-air missile capability, close and medium range missile defense, modern armors,

Agree completely, while I do give Reagan credit for re-activating these assets and modernizing them, they where still from a time when manpower was cheap.
 
ferrypilot
Topic Author
Posts: 623
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 1:19 pm

RE: Rolls Royce Merlin Still The Greatest.

Sat Feb 02, 2008 10:58 pm



Quoting Aero145 (Reply 74):

I'm very sorry I am waking up an old thread, but I must say that I was woken up by the aircraft on the picture in the start-post of this thread, and I took that photo in the aircraft's second takeoff.

...Well it is a great photo which is why I chose it to start the thread. You can be proud of it. I wish I could take photo's like that.
 
aero145
Posts: 2859
Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2005 4:59 am

RE: Rolls Royce Merlin Still The Greatest.

Fri Feb 15, 2008 5:23 pm



Quoting Ferrypilot (Reply 85):
...Well it is a great photo which is why I chose it to start the thread. You can be proud of it. I wish I could take photo's like that.

Well thank you very much! Appreciated.  Smile
 
GDB
Posts: 14396
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

RE: Rolls Royce Merlin Still The Greatest.

Fri Feb 15, 2008 9:54 pm

I just think that trying to re-invent an old concept, like the big gun Battleship, or more a modern Monitor perhaps, is just a waste of resources.
Those 16 inc hers firing looked impressive, could do a lot of damage, but then so could a WW2 1000 bomber raid, or any big raid for that matter.
But air forces are not about to try and re-invent them.

The technical developments in smart munitions, targeting, super accuracy, all the rest, that makes mass raids not needed, apply to warships too.
The most effective weapon, if you factor in range, accuracy- vital in most conflicts since large collateral damage is just unacceptable, of the modernised Iowas, were the Tomahawks.
Which are also now fitted to a large range of naval platforms, including subs, something not true when the updated BB's appeared again 25 years ago.

Guns in the 5-6 inch range are the biggest really practicable today, considering what the USN is wanting to fit to it's new Destroyers, quite applicable to major upgrades in smart munitions, range, rate of fire.
 
Areopagus
Posts: 1338
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2001 12:31 pm

RE: Rolls Royce Merlin Still The Greatest.

Sat Feb 16, 2008 1:30 am



Quoting Dougloid (Reply 61):
There's a pretty good discussion of the V1710 Allison and the V1650 Merlin. He says that the only thing that stood between the Allison and greatness was its inability to deliver power at sufficiently high altitude, and that was because of the Army's decision to rely on turbosupercharging-which put the Allison down the list until the bomber engines got the strategic materials needed. The V1710s in the Lockheed P38 were turbosupercharged and gave fine high altitude performance. Had the P40 been turbosupercharged it would have been a lot better than it already was. The Allison engineers were never able to put the sort of development into a geared supercharger that it needed.

 checkmark  The XP-39 also had good performance at high altitude from its turbosupercharged V-1710. But the Army didn't want to spring for the cost of putting the turbo in the production machines, so the P-39 was condemned to poor performance. Too bad Allison didn't take out a license to build Rootes blowers for their engines.
 
L-188
Posts: 29881
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: Rolls Royce Merlin Still The Greatest.

Sat Feb 16, 2008 6:02 am



Quoting Areopagus (Reply 88):
But the Army didn't want to spring for the cost of putting the turbo in the production machines, so the P-39 was condemned to poor performance.

The russians loved them though.

That 37mm in the nose where the engine should have been really did a number on tanks.

Wasn't a bad anti-shipping aircraft either. The Navy took used ones out of P-39's in the south pacific and mounted them on the fore-decks of PT boats to shoot up barges and sampans.
 
Areopagus
Posts: 1338
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2001 12:31 pm

RE: Rolls Royce Merlin Still The Greatest.

Mon Feb 18, 2008 7:39 am

Yes, the Russians loved the Airacobra, but they used it for low altitude ground support.
 
ferrypilot
Topic Author
Posts: 623
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 1:19 pm

RE: Rolls Royce Merlin Still The Greatest.

Thu Feb 21, 2008 11:58 pm



Quoting Areopagus (Reply 90):
Yes, the Russians loved the Airacobra, but they used it for low altitude ground support.

The Airacobra never had that begging to fly look that Spitfires and Mustangs and in fact most other WW2 fighters had. And so it never has appealed to me. ...But I recall Chuck Yeager mentioned in his book that he liked flying it.
 
Areopagus
Posts: 1338
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2001 12:31 pm

RE: Rolls Royce Merlin Still The Greatest.

Sat Feb 23, 2008 1:22 am



Quoting Ferrypilot (Reply 91):
The Airacobra never had that begging to fly look that Spitfires and Mustangs and in fact most other WW2 fighters had. And so it never has appealed to me. ...But I recall Chuck Yeager mentioned in his book that he liked flying it.

That's funny, I have always thought the P-39 was better looking. From Yeager's description, I surmise that the P-39's wing didn't have the right twist (or other design feature), allowing the down aileron to stall early and produce reverse roll at slow speed. I suspect that is what is behind the verse:
Don't give me a P-39 with an engine that's mounted behind
It will tumble and roll and dig a big hole
Don't give me a P-39.

The mid engine was another factor in its unpopularity. A book I have says that pilots feared getting smashed by the engine in the event of a wheels-up landing, but the author couldn't find any such occurrences. The author stated that even though pilots preferred the P-40 to the P-39, the Army's testing showed the P-39 to have better performance given the same engine version.
 
XT6Wagon
Posts: 2746
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 4:06 pm

RE: Rolls Royce Merlin Still The Greatest.

Sat Feb 23, 2008 2:42 am



Quoting Areopagus (Reply 92):
That's funny, I have always thought the P-39 was better looking. From Yeager's description, I surmise that the P-39's wing didn't have the right twist (or other design feature), allowing the down aileron to stall early and produce reverse roll at slow speed. I suspect that is what is behind the verse:

Yah, bell kept telling the pilots the roll issue was a figment of thier imagination till some russian pilots who A. experienced it and B. had such huge balls getting in was an issue.... Showed them exactly what was going on. The p39 was a very good plane, just let down by the poor tactics the airforce used at the time and some questionable decisions on the early versions. It did quite well against the zero given that it was often greatly outnumbered and the pilots had yet to be trained not to get into turning matches with them.

Quoting GDB (Reply 87):
Those 16 inc hers firing looked impressive, could do a lot of damage, but then so could a WW2 1000 bomber raid, or any big raid for that matter.

The large naval gun is STILL the most powerful thing the navy has every had. One Iowa class battleship simply DWARFS the ability to put tons of ordinace on a target over time. The carrier shoots its load, then takes forever to hit again, the Battleship can just keep pounding away. Even better the COST of doing so is super cheap. If a target is in Bombardment range then it can be serviced for a fraction of the cost of a aircraft or missile strike. Even better no one as yet has ever found a way to KEEP a 16" shell from saying hello where as there is very credible AA defenses that can take out both missiles and aircraft.

Naval gun technology stagnated basicly at the end of WWI. Very little real work happened after that time given that the budgets and priorities were not on the Battleship. What would carrier aviation look like if they had seen little improvement over the seaplane carriers? Or heck even the very early monoplane designs used at the start of WWII... even to this DAY.

To that end a modern naval gun would likely be in the 12-14" range unless 16" is selected for image reasons. Ranges would increase greatly. Modern barrel, propellant, and shell design would combine for unheard of performance. Better yet modern computer targeting and possibly semi-guided shells remove the restriction that MADE the development of the gun stagnate. Over the horizon targeting. No point in making a gun that can shoot over the horizon if you can't see that far, and its quesionable that you could hit it even if you could.
 
strudders
Posts: 83
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2004 11:39 pm

RE: Rolls Royce Merlin Still The Greatest.

Sat Feb 23, 2008 10:39 am

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 93):
Naval gun technology stagnated basicly at the end of WWI. Very little real work happened after that time given that the budgets and priorities were not on the Battleship
Hi XT6Wagon

I agree with what you have to say but I would like to add.

I think the Washington Treaty was more behind the slowdown in Naval Gun technology given the limits on tonnage and the number of Capital ships after WW1.

Also Naval engagements using shore bombardment are only as good as the distance from the shore your ships can get to. Good example would be Afghanistan and Iraq. I am not to sure that they would be much use for a ship to shore weapon with limited range in these theatres!!.

The aircraft carrier sealed the fate of the big 16" when the Japanese flew into Pearl Harbour. The ability to surprise an enemy, hit strategically and be gone again made the Aircraft Carrier the weapon of choice.

Best Regards

Struds

[Edited 2008-02-23 02:40:46]
 
XT6Wagon
Posts: 2746
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 4:06 pm

RE: Rolls Royce Merlin Still The Greatest.

Sat Feb 23, 2008 2:47 pm



Quoting Strudders (Reply 94):
I think the Washington Treaty was more behind the slowdown in Naval Gun technology given the limits on tonnage and the number of Capital ships after WW1.

This is somewhat true, however the ability to improve existing designs or make new sub 16" guns was available and generally not used.

Quoting Strudders (Reply 94):
Also Naval engagements using shore bombardment are only as good as the distance from the shore your ships can get to. Good example would be Afghanistan and Iraq. I am not to sure that they would be much use for a ship to shore weapon with limited range in these theatres!!.

Iraq is largely a problem of the USN having near 0 mine clearing equipment since the end of WWII. GW1 they didn't really get a chance to work since they never properly cleared the gulf of mines.

Quoting Strudders (Reply 94):
The aircraft carrier sealed the fate of the big 16" when the Japanese flew into Pearl Harbour. The ability to surprise an enemy, hit strategically and be gone again made the Aircraft Carrier the weapon of choice.

It should be said that Pearl Harbor cost us NOTHING but the lives of the men and some aircraft. They missed everything of importance that day. The repair facilities were intact, the fuel storage was intact, and the airfield was largely intact. The carriers were not sunk. Navigation into the Harbor wasn't even really affected. Other than the lives lost, America only lost the use of obsolete and largely useless battleships in terms of the pacific. Sadly I think they did lose sight of just what Battleships ARE good for in the era.

It also misses the fact that a carrier group with a fast battleship is far more deadly than one without one.
 
GDB
Posts: 14396
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

RE: Rolls Royce Merlin Still The Greatest.

Sat Feb 23, 2008 5:59 pm

Can we really say that Naval main guns have stagnated in 60 years?
They have become less important, with decent missiles like Harpoon against enemy ships, the heavier AA role taken by missiles, so what is left really is gunfire support to shore, the BB's were not built just to do that.

Not to say a modern gun would not be used against ships, in 1982, a RN Type 21 Frigate, on a recce into San Carlos Water in the Falklands, at night ran into an enemy naval auxiliary, a tanker I think, as in encountered it unexpectedly in those waters much like fjords in Norway.
The Frigates MM-38 Exocets were not suitable for this engagement, so the vessel was disabled by the 4.5 inch gun, but this was not really warship to warship.

A modern naval gun, like the US 5 inch, can fire munitions at and of much greater accuracy, with a higher rate of fire, than possible 60 years ago.
Because the same basic platform has been in USN service for over 30 years, does not mean as a system it has stood still. The F-15's been around for about the same time.

There was a perceived deficit in US naval gunfire in 1982, but the primary reason was a desire to more easily reach Reagan's '600 ship navy' goal, by reactivating those 4 BB's.
The gun defect really was about the USN having lost a potential, modern, 8 inch system a few years before.
 
Banco
Posts: 14343
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2001 11:56 pm

RE: Rolls Royce Merlin Still The Greatest.

Wed Mar 05, 2008 11:04 pm

Pearl Harbor wasn't really the death knell for the battleship as much as the sinking of the Bismarck and the later loss of Repulse and Prince of Wales in the far east. What those events showed was that the battleship was ludicrously vulnerable without complete air cover. This remains true to this day. Operating a battleship inshore as a battery might well be effective and cheap in terms of ordnance, but you still require that air cover, so you are still going to have to have a carrier in the squadron to provide protection. That being the case, and given that the carrier-borne aircraft can also do a similar job, all you are doing is having to double up resources in order to achieve the same objective.

It's a false economy if in addition to the battleship you still require the carrier and its aircraft you are supposedly saving on.
 
ferrypilot
Topic Author
Posts: 623
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 1:19 pm

RE: Rolls Royce Merlin Still The Greatest.

Thu Mar 06, 2008 2:46 am

For me the most outstanding feature of most Battleship conflicts and starting with WW1 and ending with the Falklands War, ...is the staggering numbers of men that went down with them when they came off worst. Usually almost the entire crew. Seems to me if you wanted to send 1500 men to go off and meet with Davey Jones in short order, then the place to put them was in a Battleship.

...And also how easily that supposed mighty asset was often disabled by the most primitive aircraft.
 
Banco
Posts: 14343
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2001 11:56 pm

RE: Rolls Royce Merlin Still The Greatest.

Fri Mar 07, 2008 6:41 pm



Quoting Ferrypilot (Reply 98):
Seems to me if you wanted to send 1500 men to go off and meet with Davey Jones in short order, then the place to put them was in a Battleship.

No, far from it. The battleships (at least in the European theatre) on the whole spent most of their time swinging around their moorings in both world wars. In WWI it was because the British were keeping the High Seas Fleet bottled up, and they essentially met once, at Jutland. Even the losses there are minor in comparison with the size of the fleets involved. And that was more or less it. Battleship crews after that were pretty safe, considering, though there were isolated sinkings from when they were torpedoed by U Boats or when they hit mines.

In WWII, it was a similar picture, with the Home Fleet again in Scapa Flow for much of the war, to ensure that if the few heavy German units came out, there'd someone to meet them. The fairly miserable career of Tirpitz actually made strategic sense for quite a long time, because she tied up the Home Fleet just by existing.

So battleship crews were generally fairly unoccupied for much of the war. There were clear exceptions, Warspite for example was a virtual non-stop combatant, pausing only to patch up the latest massive damage she received in whatever Mediterranean operation she was in.

But for the rest, you tend to remember the calamities, Invincible, Indefatigable and Queen Mary blowing up at Jutland, Hood blowing up at the hands of the Bismarck, Bismarck herself being pounded to destruction by KGV and Rodney, Royal Oak being torpedoed at her moorings by Gunther Prien, Scharnhorst being battered to pieces by Duke of York, the catastrophe of Pearl Harbor etc etc.

Most of the allied battleships survived the second world war well enough, and even where one was lost outside of the above list, survivors were numerous - for example, the torpedoing of HMS Barham. The various British battleships mentioned in this post are the only ones (don't think I've forgotten any!) lost during the war. Of the 21 battleships in the Royal Navy that served in the war, 16 survived. Another, more familiar with US Navy history than I will doubtless be able to offer the answer as far as they are concerned. The French navy, of course, suffered appalling casualties at the hands of the British at Mers El Kebir, whilst the Japanese suffered terrible losses throughout their navy as the war progressed and the overwhelming superiority of the USN began to show.

The real losses came amongst those that did the somewhat unheralded and often un-noticed work in smaller ships. Destroyers, corvettes and sloops in both world wars, and particularly in minesweepers, where the casualty levels were truly horrific, hence the saying (used elsewhere too) "Join the navy and see the world, join minesweepers and see the next!". And not just fleet minesweepers either, which were in desperately short supply. They were very often trawlers and other light vessels converted to do the job, crewed very often by RNR servicemen - fishermen, coaster crews and the like. Tackling a mine was incredibly dangerous work, and the number killed as a proportion of the number serving was appalling.

And let's not forget those who served on the merchant ships. Once again, casualty rates were shocking, not least because even if you survived the sinking the chances were that you'd be left behind by the rest of the convoy. Even those picked up had another problem, in that the ship owners deemed their employment terminated from the moment the ship went down. And let's not even begin to think about the very special kind of courage needed to serve on tankers or munitions ships.

No, dangerous work though it was in any naval theatre, those on the battleships largely had the better of it than their colleagues, civilian and military, in the smaller ships.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Buckeyetech and 9 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos