The Awesome B-54 Ultrafortress

USAFSS-ColdWarrior

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The Awesome B-54 Ultrafortress, Boeing’s Best Piston Prop Bomber That Failed To Ever Fly

B-54 Ultrafortress.jpg

(edit: See later post for corrected link.)

Follow that link to a lengthy yet informative article. I hand never before heard of this BOMBER.
 
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Another Ahab

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I wonder what it was about WWII Germany that gave them all that initial edge in aeronautical/ rocket technology.

I'm guessing it was just the genius of von Braun (the house where he lived in the U.S. after WWII is just a few blocks from my house here).

But I wonder if there was more to it than that?
 

Tracer

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wasp-major-r-4360-640x404.jpg5979109157_cf8d33534e_o.jpg A little more info on the B-54. The Pratt & Whitney Wasp Major VDT engine diagram. On paper the engine was capable of 4000/4500 hp. Also the Boeing B-54 mockup.
 

M813rc

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I wonder what it was about WWII Germany that gave them all that initial edge in aeronautical/ rocket technology.
My 2cents worth of opinion......

One of the big factors - financial support.

From the mid-30's the German government was willing to provide the money and facilities for research to pretty much anyone who came up with even slightly reasonable ideas for advancing technology, particularly in the realm of weaponry. Consequently, they were years ahead of everyone else when the others went "Hey!?" as WWII started, and they continued to advance throughout the war.

In the 1920's/30's the British were being tight with their budgets, and their top military brass were a bit too traditionalist in their thinking and tended to dismiss new ideas. Many good ideas were postulated, but the inventors were chastised for being fanciful, (Whittle with his jet engine) and in many cases actually prohibited from investigating/experimenting further. This thinking carried on into the war - look how much trouble Barnes-Wallis had trying to get someone to listen to his brilliant ideas.

At the same time, the US had it's head in the sand and was being isolationist, and the military was barely ticking over on a shoestring budget. Lots of folks having great ideas, but no funding to conduct research. Once WWII started in Europe, and with the Japanese having their way with Asia through the late-30s, the US realized that war was coming, but was completely incapable of participating at that point. Through 1941 the Japanese rather correctly thought that the only threat the US had for them was the Navy, battleships in particular, so they did their best to cripple them in one strike. But this actually allowed the US to realize that aircraft carriers were the key naval power projection weapon for the future. But when you are doing a huge military buildup, you need to put proven technology into mass production, so the US initially started producing weapons with only a little advancement, allowing improvements later.

Once the "sleeping giant" awoke, and money started to flow, you can see what everyone else started to come up with, and the technological "catching up" actually went to "getting ahead" in many fields.

For the Germans at that time, it was mostly a long tradition of engineering/technology combined with opportunity, encouragement, and financing.

Cheers
 
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Another Ahab

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View attachment 672668View attachment 672669 A little more info on the B-54. The Pratt & Whitney Wasp Major VDT engine diagram. On paper the engine was capable of 4000/4500 hp. Also the Boeing B-54 mockup.
I got a kick out of the article noting that the quantity of engine parts and the tolerances were so finicky that the engines had a tendency to "burn and explode". Then goes on to say how the mechanics were happy then once the aircraft got retired:

- You GOT to figure that the flight crews were also pretty happy, but funny how that wasn't mentioned.
 

USAFSS-ColdWarrior

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Flight crews are happiest when they are in the air.

They are most apprehensive with the goobermint (via the engineers, designers, builders and technicians) fail to give them reliable, safe, airworthy ships in which to venture above terra firma (solid ground)
 

Another Ahab

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Flight crews are happiest when they are in the air.

They are most apprehensive with the goobermint (via the engineers, designers, builders and technicians) fail to give them reliable, safe, airworthy ships in which to venture above terra firma (solid ground)
Absolutely, ColdWarrior; I'm sure you're right about that.

But I always remember the comment made by a National Guard aviator I used to work with who told me once:


- It's aways better to be down here wishing you were up there,
- Than to be up there wishing you were down here. :naner:fat lady sings
 
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marchplumber

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Absolutely, ColdWarrior; I'm sure you're right about that.

But I always remember the comment made by a National Guard aviator I used to work with who told me once:


- It's aways better to be down here wishing you were up there,
- Than to be up there wishing you were down here. :naner:fat lady sings
Now that is a SERIOUS "Profundity" there A. Ahab! LMBO
 

tobyS

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My 2cents worth of opinion......

One of the big factors - financial support.

From the mid-30's the German government was willing to provide the money and facilities for research to pretty much anyone who came up with even slightly reasonable ideas for advancing technology, particularly in the realm of weaponry. Consequently, they were years ahead of everyone else when the others went "Hey!?" as WWII started, and they continued to advance throughout the war.

In the 1920's/30's the British were being tight with their budgets, and their top military brass were a bit too traditionalist in their thinking and tended to dismiss new ideas. Many good ideas were postulated, but the inventors were chastised for being fanciful, (Whittle with his jet engine) and in many cases actually prohibited from investigating/experimenting further. This thinking carried on into the war - look how much trouble Barnes-Wallis had trying to get someone to listen to his brilliant ideas.
Rory, you know the Germans were starving and living in hovels after WW1 and the Wiemar Republic debt money system was ravaging their economy for a very long time. That's when the saying "it takes a wheel barrow full to buy a loaf of bread" came about.

Germany threw out the debt currency and put in an equity based system (and I believe nationalized bank assets, but not sure). New money was spent for value into the economy by the government...and in Germany's case it lifted them all from abject poverty. Freed to invent and not starve, they became very competent and talented in technical development.

But the bankers that were not at the top of the pyramid hated it....in fact it caused WW2. Google and read the headline of the March 24, 1933 London Daily Express and it's subheading. It was 5 years after bankers declared war on Germany in that headline that WW2 began.

I support a US Treasury Dollar as a co-currency to a FED Note Dollar, a shared money system, equal in value by law for all debts public and private, by Constitutional Amendment defining "US Money" as a shared system between the US Treasury and the Fedreal Reserve. I hope we can use the wisdom of lessons learned (that people become inventive money works for citizens) (when not hopelessly in debt) and that throwing out one system , nationalizing assets, would surely cause WW3 (a bad thing). It seems to solve a growing problem of the FED and US debt looking like the Wiemar Republic, we could have a debt based money and an equity based money.

Just a thought as we watch the public debt grow.
 

Tracer

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Thomas Jefferson who was against a Federal Reserve Bank said, and I quote. " A single banker is a greater threat to a Democracy than a standing army".
 

M813rc

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Yes, TobyS. I've always been of the opinion that WWII started the day the Treaty of Versailles was signed.

The Allies learned the lesson though, which is why so much was done to rebuild the former-Axis nations after WWII.

The current state of the world economy, and what it is based on, bears scrutiny. Houses built of cards (particularly credit cards) are less than stable.

Cheers
 
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