Japanese Aircraft SWPA - Effective operating ranges 1942-44

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lagarto
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Japanese Aircraft SWPA - Effective operating ranges 1942-44

Postby lagarto » 20 Feb 2013 01:02

Can anyone point me to authoritative resources which will allow me to ascertain the effective operating range distances for Japanese military aircraft in the period 42- 44. I am interested only in fighter and bomber aircraft which could operate from land based airfields.

I am researching the utility of the Portugese Timor airfields to the Japanese strategy in that period to the extent that airfields within East Timor - as it is now known - provided a strategic advantage over those within West Timor, the Dutch area first occupied.

thanks

lagarto
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Re: Japanese Aircraft SWPA - Effective operating ranges 1942

Postby lagarto » 20 Feb 2013 14:49

In hindsight I have perhaps cast my net too wide. My enquiry should be as to Japanese aircraft - fighters and bombers - actually in service as at February 1942 since that is the time-frame within which the decision to occupy Portuguese Timor was made.

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Kingfish
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Re: Japanese Aircraft SWPA - Effective operating ranges 1942

Postby Kingfish » 20 Feb 2013 17:51

For what its worth, Betty's flying out of Rabaul routinely raided shipping off Lunga point, which puts the one-way distance at around 650 miles. They could certainly reach further, as evidenced by the sinking of USS Chicago off Rennel Island.
The gods do not deduct from a man's allotted span the hours spent in fishing.
~Babylonian Proverb

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LWD
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Re: Japanese Aircraft SWPA - Effective operating ranges 1942

Postby LWD » 20 Feb 2013 19:19

You might want to ask on the aircraft boards over at:
http://www.j-aircraft.org/smf/index.php?www;board=3
and
http://www.j-aircraft.org/smf/index.php?www;board=2
depending on whether you want them for navy or army aircraft.

lagarto
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Re: Japanese Aircraft SWPA - Effective operating ranges 1942

Postby lagarto » 20 Feb 2013 22:16

Thanks Kingfish and LWD.

LWD:
Will do. Newbie at this.

mokyme
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Re: Japanese Aircraft SWPA - Effective operating ranges 1942

Postby mokyme » 27 Feb 2013 01:41

Japanese Navy Aircraft (Operational SWPA > Feb 1942):

Navy Type 0 Carrier Fighter Model 21 (Mitsubishi A6M2 Zeke):
Normal Range: 1010 Nt.miles (1160 St. miles)
Max. Range: 1675 Nt.miles (1930 St. miles)

Navy Type 96 Land Attack Bomber (Mitsubishi G3M2 Nell)
Max. Range: 2365 Nt.miles (2722 St. miles)

Navy Type 1 Land Attack Bomber (Mitsubishi G4M1 Betty)
Max. Range: 3256 Nt.miles (3749 St. miles)

Japanese Army Aircraft (Operational SWPA > mid 1942): (Timor area operational from 1943)

Army Type 1 Fighter Hayabusa (Nakajima Ki-43-1a Oscar):
Max. Range: 1200 km (745 St. miles)

Army Type 99 Twin-engined Light Bomber (Kawasaki Ki-48-1 Lily)
Normal Range: 1980 km (1230 St. miles)
Max. Range: 2400 km (1491 St. miles)

Army Type 97 Heavy Bomber (Mitsubishi Ki-21-Ia/Ki-21-IIb Sally)
Max. Range: 2700 km (1680 St. miles)

Source: RJ Francillon, Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War, Naval Institute Press, 1995.

NB: These aircraft were active in SWPA within the 1942 period but please note that Army aircraft were NOT operating in the Timor area until late in the first half of 1943. Only Navy aircraft operated from Timor and surrounding bases like Kendari (Celebes) and Laha (Ambon) in 1942.

Darryl

mokyme
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Re: Japanese Aircraft SWPA - Effective operating ranges 1942

Postby mokyme » 10 Mar 2013 05:01

I should add that the Max Range of the Zero is given as nearly 2000 miles (3200 km). This would be with the drop tank and the pilot flying well below the normal cruise speed which was 207 mph (180 kt). The pilot would lean the mixture (air/fuel ratio) right out and fly as slow as 120 mph (104 kt) to achieve this tremendous range.

Source: Images of War Magazine Vol 2 No 16, 1989.

Darryl

Mostlyharmless
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Re: Japanese Aircraft SWPA - Effective operating ranges 1942

Postby Mostlyharmless » 19 Mar 2013 15:59

I don't think that the Japanese were concerned about the usefulness of Portugese Timor as a base for their aircraft in 1942. Their problem was that the Allies had already occupied it, so they needed to take it. That well known reliable source Wikipedia has:

Up to this point, the government of Portugal had declined to co-operate with the Allies, relying on its claim of neutrality and plans to send an 800-strong force from Mozambique to defend the territory in the event of any Japanese invasion. However, this refusal left the Allied flank severely exposed, and a 400-man combined Dutch-Australian force subsequently occupied Portuguese Timor on 17 December. In response, the Portuguese Prime-Minister, António de Oliveira Salazar, protested to the Allied governments, while the governor of Portuguese Timor declared himself a prisoner in order to preserve the appearance of neutrality. No resistance was offered by the small Portuguese garrison however, and the local authorities tacitly co-operated, while the population itself generally welcomed the Allied force.

Going back to the original question, the critical range was that of the A6M2. This operated with some difficulty (i.e cruising at low speed with a very lean mixture) from Tainan to Manila, which is 941 km = 585 miles. That is the maximum effective range. Operations from Rabaul to Guadalcanal were further but it was necessary to retain the drop tank in combat, which may have been why the A6M2 did worse against the Wildcats there than against Hurricanes over Ceylon for example.


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