Author Archive

Apr 10

Seaplanes: The End (of the beginning)

Tuesday, April 10, 2018 12:01 AM

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P6M Seamaster takeoff

By the end of the war, the Navy had a number of advanced seaplane designs in the works – the JRM Mars and H-4 Hercules, the Spruce Goose, in particular. These were developed as large (or, in the Hercules case, extremely large) transport seaplanes. The H-4 had a similar mission to some of the earliest Navy seaplanes: crossing the Atlantic, although it would do it with a 150,000 pound payload. With the end of the war, however, development largely stopped to make way for new operational challenges and design paradigms. Captured German hydrodynamics and aerodynamics research complemented contemporary American knowledge… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Mar 15

Seaplanes Go To War

Thursday, March 15, 2018 12:01 AM

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PBY Catalina Sights IJN Fleet 6/42 by John Hamilton

World War II for the flying boats started sooner than many. PBY Catalinas and PBM Mariners, a newer flying boat built to complement the PBY, were sent to Iceland, Newfoundland, Bermuda, and other bases as part of the Neutrality Patrol where they searched for German U-Boats. In May of 1941, Lieutenant Leonard Smith was helping train RAF pilots in PBY operations when he took part in a mission that spotted the German battleship Bismarck, which led to its sinking. The seaplanes escorted the Marine contingent to Iceland in July of the same year.[1] When hostilities commenced, the seaplanes were there…. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jan 31

Seaplanes: The Beginning

Wednesday, January 31, 2018 12:01 AM

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NC4 returning over the Atlantic

The first true seaplanes, built by the Glenn Curtis company in 1911, started a revolution in aircraft performance. With their clean, sleek lines, and lack of landing gear weight, seaplanes held many of the early speed and range records. Additionally, the ability to land on water was a good insurance policy given the unreliable engines of the day. Two of the three aircraft the Navy first purchased in 1911 were floatplanes, and the third was later converted to one. In 1912, the Navy began experiments associated with seaplane performance, and by 1914 a project was underway to build a long-endurance… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Nov 8

Japan’s Victory in World War I

Wednesday, November 8, 2017 12:01 AM

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Japanese delegates to the Paris Peace Conference in 1919.

In marking the 100th anniversary of World War I, a review of Japan’s role as a principal victor of the war highlights critical lessons from naval history. Although Japan suffered about 2,000 casualties in the war, fighting took place outside of the country, which remained largely unscathed. The war resulted in Japan’s acquisition of territory, economic boom, and emergence as a great power with a primary seat at the table during the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in June 1919.[1] Western views critiqued Japan’s participation in the Great War as opportunism. However, Japan deployed its navy to its limit,… Read the rest of this entry »