Turbo prop P-38 for Vietnam?



While it's only tangentially related, the story I'd like to see investigated is why the USAF decided to bring back the P51 as the F51 for ground attack in Korea while the radial engine P47 would have, by all reports, been infinitely better as a ground attack aircraft. Instead of bringing back an aircraft that could take a great deal of punishment from ground fire you bring back an aircraft that could be brought down with one hit from a rifle. Why?
Mark
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Mark Levine wrote:

P-47's postwar tended to concentrated in east coast ANG's while P-51's tended to be concentrated in west coast ANG's. From what little I've seen the simple reason was ease of shipping due to that.
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I knew an old P-47 jockey from WWII. While he never made it overseas (that I recall), he was fully qualified by war's end and as such would have had the benefit of being trained by experienced pilots returned from the ETO. I take what he had to say about the Jug without reservation and two points he made repeatedly, were:
1. There was nothing like the P-47 in the ground attack mode. He described the manner by which they were being trained to lead an armored target ahead so as to strike the ground and ricochet the rounds up thru the thinner armor below. I can see where on one hand one could say that sounds like nutty bullshit, and where it would be plausible on another. I'll give the old vet the nod on that one in the absence of anyone having something to the contrary.
2. He went out of his way to lament the absence of the P-47 on the Korean War battlefield. He was adamant and somewhat angry about it - more so than any other topic concerning the P-47. He firmly believed the Jug had more life in her and would have torn the Chicom ground forces a new asshole like nothing they had seen.
Rest in peace Lt. George Anderson - you were a cool old bird and I do sorely miss our all too brief chats.
WmB
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Mark Levine wrote:

FWIW The postwar air force was lead by successor's of Hap Arnold's who were firmly committed to the strategic air force dream and most were 8th Air Force Veterans. The Mustang was the fighter that finally made their dream a possibility in Europe and by 1947 the P-47s were on the way to the boneyard or the Guard. The P-51 was the prop fighter of choice until it could be replaced by jets because of its association with the strategic bombing crowd, that simple. No one for saw a mess like Korea, all the air force brass were mesmerized by the threat of Russia and the drive toward a strategic air command.
                            Bill Shuey
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I don't know about the P-38 but the whole lo-tech counter-insurgency idea was abandoned when the Viet Cong acquired shoulder launched missiles.
(kim)
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THe fun thing is, when I got back into modeling a few years ago, the first thing I did was a modification to the Academy P-38/ F-5 as a turboprop. Smoothed all the seams, as it was intended to simulate composite construction, and filled in the superchargers on the top. SMOOTH looking bird. I still need to go in and add some kind of exhaust stack on the side somewhere.
Has anyone any additonal info on the turboprop that Piper built based around a Mustang design? They have it at the Air Force Museumn, and it had an N tail number. I got to see it on their behind the scenes tour a few years ago.
Rich Cox -------------------------------------------------------------- la gloire ternelle de l'infanterie... miroite le nomm de RodgerYoung.
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collected wisdom of the group on this topic...

Rich, If you can get hold of it, Stewart Wilson's book "Mustang" (ISBN 1 875671 51 X ) by Aerospace Publications has a bit of info on the Cavalier Mustang II (1967), the Cavalier Enforcer (1971) and the (ex-Cavalier) Piper PA-48 Enforcer (1983) If you can't get it, let me know and I'll scan the relevant pages (eventually.... I'm slow at this.)
RobG
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The other point to remember is that in that timeframe, the Merlin was itself about to be superseded by the Griffon powerplant with an extra 500hp.
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