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Everything posted by tater

  1. Yeah, both books (which I have). It helped of course that the two aircraft were in fact very evenly matched. From my gajillion hours flying ww2 combat sims, I actually prefer the F4F-3 to the folding-wing -4, because the -3 has about the same ammo load, but only 4 guns (the later Eastern built (the aircraft name for General Motors) Wildcats were also 4 guns)—leaving it with substantially more firing time. On the -4 I actually don't use the outer 2 guns and save them just in case I go Winchester on the other 4. Sims are not real life, obviously, but the accounts of battles (Lundstrom is awesome), do show the incredible advantage of survivability. I actually think from a doctrinal POV, the IJN had it exactly wrong given the highly selective and rigorous nature of their pilot training (Sakai's book, Samurai!, among others details this). They worked hard to create fantastic pilots, then put them in an aircraft absolutely focused on "offensive" capability to a fault. They rejected so many candidates, their stable of up and coming pilots was not high enough to meet the demands of a total war. In combat units, their radios were sort of marginal, so many pilots removed them to save weight—for more maneuverability! Pilot armor? LOL—heavy! Self-sealing gas tanks? Those are also heavy! Many pilots also elected not to take the parachutes they were issued. The next result was great, but completely irreplaceable pilots. As fresh pilots came to the front, this was exacerbated, because the vets had the early war combat experience when they dominated to fall back on, but the new guys had to learn on the job, where literally any mistake was often deadly. The USN (USMC/USAAF as well) had by Japanese measures, an effectively endless stream of new pilots—"good enough" as the training was not nearly as selective. These good enough pilots could improve in combat because they could actually make mistakes and still get home—then learn from those mistakes. "Good judgment comes from experience; experience comes from bad judgment" Hard to get the former when bad judgement is fatal. The US could have afforded (in terms of pilots) to make an especially capable, but more vulnerable aircraft—the Japanese really didn't have that luxury, IMHO. They would have done better preserving their pilots, even if it was against their offensive... spirit. They really did the same with ASW doctrine. Unpopular posting because considered "defensive." So the US submarine service absolutely wrecks their merchant marine. USN SS force killed way less tonnage than the U-boats—but the U-boats had ~0 impact on tonnage shipped (only 1-2% of ships in convoys sunk over the whole war), and the US Fleet Boats sank nearly all the Japanese Merchant Marine.
  2. Only issue with the podcast so far is them characterizing the F4F as outclassed by the A6M (Zero). This is flatly wrong. The Zero was a nice airplane, and while it outperformed the F4F in a few ways, it underperformed in a few ways that absolutely leveled the playing field. Zero had longer range, better maneuverability (in most speed regimes, but not all), and 20mm guns in the wings. F4F, depending on version was faster flat out at sea level (regardless both were within a few knots of each other), and while 0.50 cal was objectively less destructive than 20mm per rnd, they had more firing time, and longer range—most importantly, Japanese aircraft were incredibly vulnerable to damage. The last plus for the F4F was ability to absorb damage. So USN/USMC pilots could learn from mistakes that IJN pilots could not—because the latter got hit with a few API rounds, and went down in flames, while many US pilots landed F4Fs with literally 100s of holes in them. F4F never had a K/D <1 with the Zero. The two aircraft were a very close match. I might have to send them an email
  3. We kept looking at the house I live in now, and another one 3 doors down the street. The one we didn't buy actually has a bomb shelter—a quite nice one—and the building it is attached to also has a greenhouse. Course the firestorm likely takes out the neighborhood with a brushfire anyway, so not sure what the point it.
  4. When I was in elementary school, my job was to close the Venetian blinds in the classroom (so the flash would not ignite our crayon drawings?), then we all went into the windowless hallway. Pretty sure even if we lived, we'd die shortly thereafter only a few train stops from midtown Manhattan (in Rye)—it's not like we were prepared to live off the land, lol.
  5. Thanks for this. Now in my podcast feed. Quite good.
  6. https://arstechnica.com/space/2023/09/stoke-space-hops-its-upper-stage-leaping-toward-a-fully-reusable-rocket/ Berger's article says the goal is 7t to LEO, not sure if that is resuable or expended.
  7. https://twitter.com/i/broadcasts/1MYxNoZBVENKw
  8. SLS funding is independent of normal considerations. the pork will flow at least for a while.
  9. I want all the big or reusable launchers to succeed.
  10. An architecture where everything is loaded in LEO (or MEO, whatever) is obviously ideal as it obviates SLS. >$4B a flight freed up buys a lot of lunar missions with other vehicles.
  11. A small SS stretch makes lunar surface round trips a thing from LEO.
  12. Stage 2 alone is about 2/3 the height of the whole New Shepard stack.
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