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#4469640 - 04/09/19 04:12 PM Air show announcers giving wrong information  
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I don't know how much this bothers others, but being an aviation history nut, it really bugs me.
It's happened plenty of times and at the last two air shows I wanted to yell out, "No!! That's wrong!" I'm sure my wife would have been a bit embarrassed...so I didn't.
During the Denton air show a few weks ago a P-40n was going through it's routine. Here comes the announcer..
"Ladies and gentlemen, you'll notice that sharkface painted on the front of the airplane. It is, of course, the markings of the famous Flying Tigers. They were a group of civilian mercenary pilots who went to China to fight the Japanese!"
No!!!!!!!!!! I wanted to run up to the announcers stage. They were all U.S. military pilots. Chennault got permission from the War Department to go to air bases all over the U.S. to recruit pilots who were willing to give up their commisions and go to China. They weren't a bunch of mercenaries. They were , of course , offered money for every Japanese plane they shot down. And they weren't fighting the Japanese before the war began. First time they fired their guns in anger? December 21st, 1941. Two weeks AFTER Pearl Harbor! Geez!!!!
Then Sun n Fun. A Mustang is up this time. Here comes announcer...
"Most people don't know that the Mustang was not designed for the U.S. Air Corps. It was designed for the RAF. During the Battle of Britain," he goes on to say over the speaker system, "The British realized they were going to need a long range fighter. They came to the U.S. and asked North American to build one for them!"
What??!!!! The REAL story is that the British realized they needed a lot more fighters than their factories could build. They came to the U.S. to buy P-40's. Well, Curtiss had too many Air Corps orders, but they told the Purchasing commitee they'd be willing to give another company the rights to build P-40's for them. They went to North American. Dutch Kindlburger said , "Hell, we can design a better fighter for you than the P-40." And the rest, as they say, is history.
The RAF needed a long range fighter? Really? I think an aviation announcer should know a bit more about the history of the subject. Of course, I realize that except for me, no one else really cared.
But I can't help wincing a bit when I hear this stuff.

Last edited by Pooch; 04/09/19 04:12 PM.

"From our orbital vantage point, we observe an earth without borders, full of peace, beauty and magnificence, and we pray that humanity as a whole can imagine a borderless world as we see it, and strive to live as one in peace."
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#4469643 - 04/09/19 04:37 PM Re: Air show announcers giving wrong information [Re: Pooch]  
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Wow.

That would be something that goes beyond the announcer, or so I'd think? Surely the announcer is working from a prepared script, right?


WARNING: This post contains opinions produced in a facility which also occasionally processes fact products.
#4469648 - 04/09/19 04:59 PM Re: Air show announcers giving wrong information [Re: Pooch]  
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Could be, I don't know. But the guy at Sun n Fun was driving me crazy. I forgot to mention that while the P-40 was flying he mentioned to the crowd that it was 1930's technology. He went on to say that, "It has a crank in the cockpit for the landing gear. It takes about 30 turns to get the gear up!"
No!!! It doesn't. He's thinking of the Wildcat fof Pete's sake!

Last edited by Pooch; 04/09/19 05:22 PM.

"From our orbital vantage point, we observe an earth without borders, full of peace, beauty and magnificence, and we pray that humanity as a whole can imagine a borderless world as we see it, and strive to live as one in peace."
Astronaut William C. McCool RIP, January 29, 2003 - Space Shuttle Columbia

#4469649 - 04/09/19 05:23 PM Re: Air show announcers giving wrong information [Re: Pooch]  
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I am sure the shark mouth originated in the Western Desert with RAF P-40s.

The P-51 sat around for months before the US Navy wanted to some gunnery trials. Word got out what a 'sweet ride' it was and that is when the USAAF got interested.

I am with you Pooch.

About 10 years ago went along with a group of old folks from the parents retirement home to the local aviation museum. The guide was from the home and we got into a disagreement about what he was saying. He didn't appreciate my corrections. biggrin


There was only 16 squadrons of RAF fighters that used 100 octane during the BoB.
The Fw190A could not fly with the outer cannon removed.
There was no Fw190A-8s flying with the JGs in 1945.
#4469650 - 04/09/19 05:40 PM Re: Air show announcers giving wrong information [Re: Pooch]  
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I think stuff like this stems from two things:


1. A general ignorance of History as an academic subject because it's not a "marketable trade".

2. A general laziness with doing proper research and preparation. This is probably based on the assumption that the audience will be too stupid to notice any mistakes.


“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”
#4469653 - 04/09/19 05:56 PM Re: Air show announcers giving wrong information [Re: KraziKanuK]  
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Originally Posted by KraziKanuK
I am sure the shark mouth originated in the Western Desert with RAF P-40s.


Yes it is for the P-40's, the RAF 112Sqn "Sharknose Squadron". They were the first to use shark mouth design on P-40 in the summer 1941. But I'm not sure it was the first shark mouth design on a plane, there was some nose art relatively early in the war on Bf-110's.

#4469659 - 04/09/19 06:41 PM Re: Air show announcers giving wrong information [Re: Roudou]  
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Originally Posted by Roudou
Originally Posted by KraziKanuK
I am sure the shark mouth originated in the Western Desert with RAF P-40s.


Yes it is for the P-40's, the RAF 112Sqn "Sharknose Squadron". They were the first to use shark mouth design on P-40 in the summer 1941. But I'm not sure it was the first shark mouth design on a plane, there was some nose art relatively early in the war on Bf-110's.


Yes Roudou, I was referencing only the P-40. Shark mouths go back even further than that.


[Linked Image]


There was only 16 squadrons of RAF fighters that used 100 octane during the BoB.
The Fw190A could not fly with the outer cannon removed.
There was no Fw190A-8s flying with the JGs in 1945.
#4469660 - 04/09/19 06:46 PM Re: Air show announcers giving wrong information [Re: Pooch]  
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Love the Roland. I've flown it quite a few times. All virtual of course.


“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”
#4469661 - 04/09/19 06:57 PM Re: Air show announcers giving wrong information [Re: KraziKanuK]  
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Originally Posted by KraziKanuK

Yes Roudou, I was referencing only the P-40. Shark mouths go back even further than that.


Nice pic.

#4469666 - 04/09/19 07:10 PM Re: Air show announcers giving wrong information [Re: Pooch]  
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Back to the subject. It remembers me a french documentary on the death of Nungesser and Coli flying the "Oiseau Blanc" (White Bird) across the Atlantic on the Paris to New York flight, some days before Lindbergh did succesfully the New York to Paris flight.

A french man was trying to prove that (and this is his own words): "Nungesser and Coli were the first to cross the Atlantic ocean." Apparently no one told him that the first crew to cross the Atlantic ocean did it 8 years before. And unfortunately the documentary neither. Not so kind to people who has no knowledge about aviation history.

EDIT: Apparently l'Oiseau Blanc reached Newfoundland, but the prooves are not very solid.

Last edited by Roudou; 04/09/19 07:13 PM.
#4469668 - 04/09/19 07:32 PM Re: Air show announcers giving wrong information [Re: Pooch]  
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The point is though, that they were not civilian mercenaries. They were Air Corps, Navy, and Marine pilots. Greg Boyington was one of them. The Tigers were disbanded on July 4th 1942 anda bunch of the guys returned to the U.S. and went back to their original Service.
And Krazi, the Navy had nothing to do with the Mustang, actually. An interesting part of the story is that the USAAC did not want the airplane. But the U.S. was nuetral, and the laws said that a nuetral country couldnot design war material for a combatant. They were only allowed to sell weapons already being used by that country. So they got around the problem by making the Air Corps order the first batch of P-51A's. Now it was an airplane being used by the U.S.! And England got it's planes. They named it the Mustang, by the way.


"From our orbital vantage point, we observe an earth without borders, full of peace, beauty and magnificence, and we pray that humanity as a whole can imagine a borderless world as we see it, and strive to live as one in peace."
Astronaut William C. McCool RIP, January 29, 2003 - Space Shuttle Columbia

#4469672 - 04/09/19 07:49 PM Re: Air show announcers giving wrong information [Re: Pooch]  
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The Americans retained a couple of British P-51/Mustangs at W-P where they sat around doing nothing for many months. As I said, the Navy wanted to do some gunnery trials and the Air Corp gave the Navy then to do so.

Strange that you say that as the contract for the NA-73 was signed May 23 1940.

In 1940, the US Army had given its permission for the initial British Mustang delivery to proceed, with the proviso that two of the NA-73s destined for England be made available to the Army for tests free of charge. In a separate contract dated September 20, 1940, the two aircraft delivered to the Army were to be the fourth and tenth production NA-73s, and the planes were to be designated XP-51.


There was only 16 squadrons of RAF fighters that used 100 octane during the BoB.
The Fw190A could not fly with the outer cannon removed.
There was no Fw190A-8s flying with the JGs in 1945.
#4469678 - 04/09/19 08:15 PM Re: Air show announcers giving wrong information [Re: Pooch]  
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"Strange that you say that as the contract for the NA-73 was signed May 23 1940."
I'm not sure what you mean. Strange that I said what? And Krazi, I just looked though a history I have of the Mustang, and I don't see anything about this Navy involvement. First time tye Navy had anything to do with the P-51, as far as I know, was when they attempted carrier trials with them in '44. They were going to call it the Seahorse if it had worked out. But the Navy just didn't really like In-line engines on carriers.


"From our orbital vantage point, we observe an earth without borders, full of peace, beauty and magnificence, and we pray that humanity as a whole can imagine a borderless world as we see it, and strive to live as one in peace."
Astronaut William C. McCool RIP, January 29, 2003 - Space Shuttle Columbia

#4469681 - 04/09/19 08:28 PM Re: Air show announcers giving wrong information [Re: Pooch]  
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As a matter of fact, further research shows that only one Mustang ever went to the Navy. BuNo. 57987. The P-51D that was used for carrier testing.


"From our orbital vantage point, we observe an earth without borders, full of peace, beauty and magnificence, and we pray that humanity as a whole can imagine a borderless world as we see it, and strive to live as one in peace."
Astronaut William C. McCool RIP, January 29, 2003 - Space Shuttle Columbia

#4469683 - 04/09/19 08:29 PM Re: Air show announcers giving wrong information [Re: Pooch]  
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Strange:
"But the U.S. was neutral, and the laws said that a neutral country could not design war material for a combatant. They were only allowed to sell weapons already being used by that country. So they got around the problem by making the Air Corps order the first batch of P-51A's".

At that time, the USAAC reserved for itself the right to block any foreign aircraft sales that it regarded as not in the Army's interest, for whatever reason. On May 4, 1940, the US Army reluctantly agreed not to block the British sale, but they added a condition. Two examples of the initial NA-73 lot for Britain were to be transferred to the USAAC for testing free of charge.

On September 25, 1941, the US Army ordered 150 Mustangs under the provisions of Lend-Lease for delivery to Britain. All previous RAF Mustangs had been direct purchases by Britain.


There was only 16 squadrons of RAF fighters that used 100 octane during the BoB.
The Fw190A could not fly with the outer cannon removed.
There was no Fw190A-8s flying with the JGs in 1945.
#4469698 - 04/09/19 10:09 PM Re: Air show announcers giving wrong information [Re: Pooch]  
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The first 150 of these airplanes, for contractual purposes only, were purchased by the Air Corps. The Army gave them the designation P-51 and they were handed over to the British. This, I'm sure, was to keep it all legal. They were airplanes issued to the USAAC on paper, only.
Ah, but it gets confusing again. By the time deliveries of these planes started, the U.S. was in the war. 55 of the 150 wound up being diverted to the U.S. Army Air Force (The Air Corps' new name). They wound up going to the first U.S. Mustang outfit. The 311 Fighter Bomber Group that shipped out to the CBI with them.


"From our orbital vantage point, we observe an earth without borders, full of peace, beauty and magnificence, and we pray that humanity as a whole can imagine a borderless world as we see it, and strive to live as one in peace."
Astronaut William C. McCool RIP, January 29, 2003 - Space Shuttle Columbia

#4469707 - 04/09/19 11:31 PM Re: Air show announcers giving wrong information [Re: Pooch]  
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The NA-73X prototype contract was signed on May 23, 1940. The British insisted that a heavy eight-gun armament be fitted. NAA had actually been quietly working on such a fighter project since the summer of 1939, and by that date they had actually already completed much of the detail design. On May 29, a provisional RAF procurement was issued for 320 aircraft, contingent on satisfactory testing of the prototype. NAA agreed to start deliveries in January 1941. RAF serial numbers were to be AG345 through AG664, and the aircraft was given the name Mustang I in RAF service.

The British did not get all of these NA-91s. Since the RAF deliveries took place after Pearl Harbor, many were repossessed by the Army before they reached England. Out of 150 produced, only 93 ended up going to the RAF, with 55 being retained by the USAAF and two being devoted to the XP-78 (XP-51B) project. These included RAF Mustang IA serials FD418/FD437, FD450/FD464, FD466/FD469, and FD510/FD527.


There was only 16 squadrons of RAF fighters that used 100 octane during the BoB.
The Fw190A could not fly with the outer cannon removed.
There was no Fw190A-8s flying with the JGs in 1945.
#4469719 - 04/10/19 01:55 AM Re: Air show announcers giving wrong information [Re: Pooch]  
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Originally Posted by Pooch
The point is though, that they were not civilian mercenaries. They were Air Corps, Navy, and Marine pilots. Greg Boyington was one of them. The Tigers were disbanded on July 4th 1942 and a bunch of the guys returned to the U.S. and went back to their original Service.


Well, the 1st AVG was set up well before Pearl was attacked, and it was given the go-ahead by FDR in writing. Some confusion still surrounds the Flying Tigers, I usually refer to the original group by the formal name: First American Volunteer Group, as the USAAF did take over AVG assets on 4 July 42 and also took the nickname 'Flying Tigers'. The planned 2nd AVG (bombers) never happened,

But the AVG personnel did have to resign their commissions or military status to join the AVG. They had to resign and take "employment" with a (more or less) front company called CAMCO or Central Aircraft Manufacturing Company. So they were, in regards to military status, civilians while in the AVG, as in "not currently in the US military by means of written resignation". ( you can actually find images of Boyington's resignation: http://www.warbirdforum.com/boyingtonresign.jpg ) The deal was they could regain the commissions after their term of employment was over, on 4 July 1942. Being 'civilians' was a potential problem, as the Japanese- who knew almost all about it in the fall of '42 via their spy network- used a bit of propaganda to label them bandits, subject to immediate military justice (execution) when apprehended.

The announcer actually got that right, but probably by accident. But "mercenaries"? A romantic notion but not 100% true. The move was approved by potus, and the money was really supplied by the US, for bounties etc., and the whole thing was a wink's as good as a nod to a blind bat. Not all went back to original branch either, as you note. General Bissel's behavior soured a lot of them. Chuck Older, for example, did not return to the USMC. He became a US Army fighter pilot. Tex Hill did not go back to the USN.

Incidentally, some AVG personnel used that deal as a loophole to get out of military service. They abandoned their responsibilities at CAMCO and split for home, which was merely breach of contract, not desertion.


What kind of car is that? What does it matter? When I drive it, I'm Steve McQueen
#4469770 - 04/10/19 01:28 PM Re: Air show announcers giving wrong information [Re: Pooch]  
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Like TV Sport commentators, they're to fill in the silence. But half the time they are so full of crap, I too hate listening to them. And know they're taking money for it.

When did Denton have an airshow this year? Crap. I love their shows and have looked forward to them resuming. What all was there?

#4469788 - 04/10/19 02:34 PM Re: Air show announcers giving wrong information [Re: Pooch]  
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I feel you, my Dad and I have a running joke dating back several years ago when an Airshow Announcer didn't know what to call a Hammerhead, "There's an Airshow turn folks"


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