Wednesday, May 18, 2011
History stuff: World War II airplane facts...
Amazing WWII aircraft facts
276,000 aircraft manufactured in the US.
43,000*planes lost overseas, including 23,000 in combat.*
14,000 lost in the continental U.S.*
The US civilian population maintained a dedicated effort for four years, many working long hours seven days per week and often also volunteering for other work.* WWII was the largest human effort in history.
Statistics from Flight Journal magazine.
The staggering cost of war.
THE PRICE OF VICTORY (cost of an aircraft in WWII dollars)
B-17****** $204,370.**** P-40****** $44,892.
B-24****** $215,516.**** P-47****** $85,578.
B-25****** $142,194.**** P-51****** $51,572.
B-26****** $192,426.**** C-47****** $88,574.
B-29****** $605,360.**** PT-17**** $15,052.
P-38******** $97,147.**** AT-6****** $22,952.
PLANES A DAY* WORLDWIDE*
From Germany's invasion of Poland Sept. 1, 1939 and ending with Japan's surrender Sept. 2, 1945 --- 2,433 days.**From 1942 onward, America averaged 170 planes lost a day.
How many is a 1,000* planes?* B-17 production (12,731) wingtip to wingtip would extend 250 miles.* 1,000 B-17s carried 2.5 million gallons of high octane fuel and required*10,000 airmen to fly and fight them.
*9.7*billion gallons of gasoline consumed, 1942-1945.
*107.8 million hours flown, 1943-1945.*
*459.7 billion rounds of aircraft ammo fired overseas, 1942-1945.
*7.9 million bombs dropped* overseas, 1943-1945.
*2.3 million combat sorties, 1941-1945 (one sortie = one takeoff).
*299,230 aircraft accepted, 1940-1945.
*808,471 aircraft engines accepted, 1940-1945.
*799,972 propellers accepted, 1940-1945.
Think about those numbers. They average 1,170 aircraft accidents per month---- nearly 40 a day.* (Less than one accident in four resulted in totaled aircraft, however.)
It gets worse.....
Almost 1,000 Army planes disappeared en route from the US to foreign climes.* But an eye-watering 43,581 aircraft were lost overseas including 22,948 on combat missions (18,418 against the Western Axis) and 20,633 attributed to*non-combat causes*overseas.
In a single 376 plane raid in August 1943, 60 B-17s were shot down. That was a 16 percent loss rate and meant 600 empty bunks in England.* In 1942-43 it was statistically impossible for bomber crews to complete a 25-mission tour in Europe.
Pacific theatre losses were far less (4,530 in combat) owing to smaller forces committed.* The worst B-29 mission, against Tokyo on May 25, 1945, cost 26 Superfortresses, 5.6 percent of the 464 dispatched from the Marianas.
On* average, 6,600 American servicemen died per month during WWII, about 220 a day.*By the end of the war, over 40,000 airmen were killed in combat theatres and another 18,000 wounded.* Some 12,000 missing men were declared dead, including a number "liberated" by the Soviets but never returned.* More than 41,000 were captured, half of the 5,400 held by the Japanese died in captivity, compared with one-tenth in German hands.** Total combat casualties were pegged at 121,867.