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 01-10-2007, 08:29 Post: 138632
BillMullens

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 Altitude limit of WWII aircraft

Anybody know offhand the approximate altitude limit of WWII-era propeller aircraft?

Thanks,
Bill






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 01-10-2007, 10:58 Post: 138636
Murf

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 Altitude limit of WWII aircraft

Bill, some of those old birds were pretty surprising in their performance. Of course they also didn't give much consideration to the weight, power or especially the fuel economy of them either.

It's pretty easy to get high and go fast if you have big horsepower and don't care about how many gallons it takes to do it.

For example, the venerable B-29 had a gross weight of 141,000 pounds (yes, 70+ TONS) but could reach 31,850 feet, go 358 mph thanks to 4 18 cylinder radial engines that put out 2,200hp each for a total of 8,800hp!!!

Some of the fighters were no less stellar in their performance. The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt was one such example, it could climb to 44,000 feet and reach speeds of 428mph thanks to it's 18 cylinder radial that cranked out 2,535hp. It however had a pretty limited range, just over 400 miles, due to it's small size and thirsty engine. The Lockheed P-38 Lightnin though was a different story (and design), it's two and a half fuselage design allowed for twin liquid-cooled V-12 Allisons, each making about 1,425hp. This gave it better economy and range, since it used less fuel and had 12' more wing than the Thunderbolt. It could reach 42,00 feet, but could go 2,260 miles, it could also carry 3,200 pounds of bombs, making it an excellent escort or long range attack aircraft.

Some of the transports had decent service ceilings too, since flying at high altitudes was easier, they could cover better distances, and be safer doing it. The Lockheed C-69 Constellation, which was also a popular civilian aircraft, could reach 35,000 feet and had a 2,400 mile range.

Hope this gives you enough info. without boring anyone to death.

Best of luck.






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 01-10-2007, 15:55 Post: 138641
hardwood

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 Altitude limit of WWII aircraft

Just watched a tractor pull on RFD-TV last night. In the unlimited class one of the finalists had three Allisons, some of the others had four or five Aries racing engines, and another had three turbine engines. I wonder how many CUT's you could buy for what one of them cost?






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 01-11-2007, 07:06 Post: 138653
harvey



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 Altitude limit of WWII aircraft

Frank

Almost as many as Murf has... Wink yeah right

Harvey






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 01-11-2007, 09:28 Post: 138662
BillMullens

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 Altitude limit of WWII aircraft

Excellent.

WWII aircraft was a hobby when I was younger; now that I have a little boy I'm thinking of hobbies we can share, and want to look for aircraft museums and airshows. Now I'm getting interested again.

Thanks,
Bill






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