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Review Feedback - AlphaSim B-24

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From a reader of the review article at...




"Interesting stuff for someone who has flown in both 24s and 17s in combat. Flying in a virtual plane is probably fun, but I'm sure it doesn't give you the same kind of chills one gets with the real thing. I knew several crews who shifted from 24s to 17s after Gen. Doolittle declared that he wasn't going to take any more 24s in the 8th AF. Almost to a man (including me) they declared their relief after flying a few missions in 17s. I wasn't a pilot, but a radio operator, but I can tell you about the difference between those two types of planes.


The 24 had a high-speed, Davis wing that wasn't very efficient at low speeds. (read that takeoffs and flying to target). Their takeoffs were hair-raising and flying to targets involved trying to fly at low power settings in order to keep fuel consumption low. A 17 would climb, perfectly stable, in close formation with a power setting that resulted in around 150 indicated. At the same power settings a 24 wallowed all over the place, it's nose never settling on one line. Mission commanders in 24 groups had to increase power to achieve any kind of stability, thus increasing fuel consumption dramatically. Pilots of 24s had to adjust trim constantly to keep them on track. We could identify 24 fields (in Italy) from the damage to tops of trees just of the ends of runways!


B-24 bomb bays were made to hold 4 tons each, max, but the planes couldn't climb over 25,000 feet with 3 tons of bombs, total, so in Italy (15th AF) at least, they were limited to carrying 2 1/2 tons on all long missions. Standard bomb load was 3 tons in a B17, and we often flew at 30,000 feet, or even higher.


The two planes had a lot of other differences, of course, but those above were the most critical. Our own pilots said it better than I can. They often said that they could fly a 17, but had to drive a 24.


I offer these comments in the best spirit possible. At age 85 I can't afford to get into a fight.


Best of luck to you.


Jack Botts"


It's always good to see that people are still looking at these reviews once in a while, even months and months after being published. This one is especially poignant, coming from one who was there. It's even more noteworthy that he is one of relatively few who flew in both the B-24 and the B-17. This gives him the first-hand knowledge to be able to make an intelligent comparison of both types. Far be it from me to dispute any of that.



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