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I work for Vought

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  • I work for Vought

    Triumph Group-Vought Aircraft Division. It's a mid-sized aerospace firm in far west Dallas. We have not been a prime contractor since the Vietnam era A-7 Corsair, but have produced significant portions of recent aircraft such as the B-2 and C-17.

    Vought was a major firm in WWII. We produced the famed gullwing F-4 Corsair that was a mainstay of the Pacific conflict. Why would Ennis focus on this name? I guess because it's a real name, but small enough to be unlikely to sue.

    There was one very unsuccessful product in the late '40s and early '50s- the F-7 Cutlass (Vought traditionally named aircraft to begin with the letter "C", and used swashbuckling terms). It was a twin engine delta jet fighter. The Allison engines were underpowered, requiring very tall nose gear (to increase angle of attack) that hurt the pilot's visibility when landing. I don't believe as many dies from the F-7 as did from Lockheed's F-104, though.

    Ennis was spot on about the M-16 inferences, though. My father was a combat marksman (sniper) when the M-16 (produced by Colt) was introduced. He said that many a lone soldier was found dead, his fingernails pried off by trying to clear a jam with an anemy approaching. I understand it's a good rifle now, but its introduction was rumored to be driven by Colt political contributions.

  • #2
    The Corsair was the coolest fighter ever produced. I had no idea that it was made by a company called "Vought" until I looked up a photo for this very post. Seriously, this was the Shelby Mustang of Fighter Planes. I'm with you, statsman: why the hell would Ennis pick the company that built the Corsair to be his "incompetent badguy"?

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    • #3
      Oddily enough, I took The Boys #19, where the infamous "Grizzly" is shown, and it appears to be identical to the Corsair, rather than the Cutlass.


      Here's the real thing:




      And here is the Enniverse one.


      Notice the inclined wings, precisely those of the Corsair.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Kamakazi View Post
        The Corsair was the coolest fighter ever produced.
        The Corsairs were arguably the best cast members of "Baa Baa Black Sheep" / Black Sheep Squadron!

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        • #5
          Airplane nerds

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          • #6
            Damn, how old ARE all of us? I was gonna make a "Baa Baa Black Sheep" reference, but thought "No man, nobody would get it."

            Great find on the Cutlass, Boris!

            You know, it may have been underpowered, but the idea was phenomenal. Dual rear-mounted jets and a semi-tailess design? In 1945? The damn thing was so far ahead of it's time that it might as well had a warp-core. After looking over the specs, it's pretty obvious that the problem wasn't that the design sucked, it was that the design (apparently literally stolen from the Nazi's "insane shit we shouldn't possibly have in the 1940's" file after the war) was so far ahead of it's time that existing engine technology simply couldn't power it.

            It reminds me of that epsiode of Star Trek where Spock tells Joan Collins: "I'm endeavouring, Ma'am, to construct a mnemonic memory circuit using stone-knives and bear-skins."

            Imagine if the Nazis had actually managed to build all the wild crap we stole from them and built first. Rumor has it that the only reason they didn't build the A-Bomb before we did was that a math error led them to incorrectly believe that they needed roughly 100 times more enriched Uranium than they actually needed. (And imagine if they'd actually built that sucker, and detonated it somewhere.)

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Kamakazi View Post
              Damn, how old ARE all of us? I was gonna make a "Baa Baa Black Sheep" reference, but thought "No man, nobody would get it."
              I had to google it, in fact.

              Great find on the Cutlass, Boris!
              Your merit, as usual. Your pic of the Corsair got me to think "isn't that the crappy plane the Legend spoke about?" (I don't know zip about airplanes )


              Imagine if the Nazis had actually managed to build all the wild crap we stole from them and built first. Rumor has it that the only reason they didn't build the A-Bomb before we did was that a math error led them to incorrectly believe that they needed roughly 100 times more enriched Uranium than they actually needed. (And imagine if they'd actually built that sucker, and detonated it somewhere.)
              I dont' know. Those guys surely knew how to build a tank or a rocket, but they shot their own feet with their ideology. Most of technological advances made in the '30s and '40s by Germans were "just" applications of discoveries made before Hitler came to power. Then, with the vast majority of German scientists and engineers being Jewish, funds for universities and research came to a curious halt, and most of them (from Einstein downwards) just fled the country for the US (nice work, Nazis!).

              Ditto for Italy. Fermi and his group discovered nuclear fission in 1934, and he even began to work on a "modern" particle accelerator in 1935. In 1936 Mussolini allied with Hitler, and in 1938 he introduced antisemitic laws, so Fermi (whose wife and half his collaborators were Jewish) lost his job and fled to US.

              By the end of 1943, the Axis had lost all its technological superiority (not mentioning industrial and military capabilities) to the Allies, thanks just to their racist agenda. In the end they resorted to work on sci-fi "projects" (like an alchemical formula to turn water into gasoline, go figure).

              I suppose the best of the wild crap the US got from Nazis just crashed in Roswell.

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              • #8
                Its all very intriguing, indeed.

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                • #9
                  The Germans probably had the best airframe designs, and the Brits may have had the best engines. The US advantage? At peak capacity in 1944, the Ford B-24 plant (building the Convair designed B-24 Liberator on a license) had one B-24 flying off to Europe every hour, 24 hours per day, and 7 days per week. Can you imagine that? The Ford engineers revised the design to make it more producible, and probably reducing the service life, but it's not like any of those needed to fly more than 20 missions.

                  The underpowered Cutlass needed very tall Nose gear to get the angle of attack necessary to get off the deck. I worked with a very old engineer whose first assignment was to fix a design flaw with electrical harness routing. The Nose gear deflected so much on landing that it snapped a harness, and somehow sent a command to the seat to eject, without first blowing the canopy off (this was not one of those designs where the seat was supposed to blow through a canopy). This problem was discovered the hard way.

                  Vought got smarter with the F-8 Crusader. It had a good single engine (when the Navy would still buy single engine fighters), and had a hydraulic actuator tilt the wing to gain a better angle of attack when taking off. Th wing would resume its nominal position during flight.

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