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Thread: WWII photo reconnaissance aircraft...?

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    Forum Mascot Lucky13's Avatar
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    WWII photo reconnaissance aircraft...?

    Can't remember ever see a thread about those eyes in the sky... Which would you say was the best photo reconnaissance aircraft of WWII?


    Jan "Felicis Tredecim"
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    Der Crew Chief DerAdlerIstGelandet's Avatar
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    I think the ultimate photo recon aircraft of WW2 has to be the Arado Ar 234B-1.

    )


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    Senior Member imalko's Avatar
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    I think that for the Eastern front it would have to be Focke Wulf Fw 189. I believe the Soviets had good opinion of this aircraft too. I remember to have read somewhere (think it was in book "Back Cross Red Star") that Soviet fighter pilots considered Fw 189 as a hard plane to shot down and Red Army soldiers knew that when Fw 189 appeared on the sky they could expect an air raid or artillery bombardment.

    Of course, there were also photo recon versions of fighter aircrafts like Spitfire or Bf 109, just to name the few...
    Last edited by imalko; 05-25-2009 at 01:14 PM.


    "Find your enemy and shoot him down - everything else is unimportant."

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    I think the Ar-234 as well, followed by the Spitfire PR.XI, which recoded a higher speed than was ever recorded in an Ar 234, albeit travelling downwards

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    Sounds like a stuck record I know but its the Spitfire.

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    Pacific Historian syscom3's Avatar
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    The F5 version of the P38. Its big fat nose meant lots of room for cameras.

    And most importantly, it had the range to go where the Spitfire could never get to.

    And it had a decent enough speed to keep pursing aircraft at bay.
    "Pilot to copilot..... what are those mountain goats doing up here in the clouds?"

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    Senior Member Juha's Avatar
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    LR work Mossie PR.34 or PR IX
    Medium range Arado Ar 234
    TacRec NA F6 or Spitfire FR.XIV

    Juha

    Lucky, there is at least one tread on PR a/c, see http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/avi...sie-17225.html (mid war recon aircraft -Ki-46 Dinah or Mossie?)
    Last edited by Juha; 05-25-2009 at 05:06 PM. Reason: Added the link and changed the older Mossie variant

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    Quote Originally Posted by syscom3 View Post
    The F5 version of the P38. Its big fat nose meant lots of room for cameras.

    And most importantly, it had the range to go where the Spitfire could never get to.

    And it had a decent enough speed to keep pursing aircraft at bay.
    Its worth remembering that the 8th Airforce used Spitfire XI as well as the F5 and that they asked for the Spit XI because they could do what the F5 couldn't. I don't know the exact range figures but I do know that the Spitfire was able to operate over Germany by day and night so the range was more than good enough.

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    Pacific Historian syscom3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glider View Post
    Its worth remembering that the 8th Airforce used Spitfire XI as well as the F5 and that they asked for the Spit XI because they could do what the F5 couldn't. I don't know the exact range figures but I do know that the Spitfire was able to operate over Germany by day and night so the range was more than good enough.
    And the F5 gave you coverage all the way into eastern Poland.

    And the 8th AF always wanted P38's because they could do more things that the Spits couldnt do.

    And of course in the PTO, the Spitfire simply didnt have the range to do anything.
    "Pilot to copilot..... what are those mountain goats doing up here in the clouds?"

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    Senior Member Thorlifter's Avatar
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    My vote would go for the Mosquito.

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    With Thor on the Mossies as the best recon machine in the ETO - so good even the USAAF used it On the Eastern Front, the superior type was definitely the Fw189. I'm not sure what I would go for in the PTO, probably the PBY, and definitely the Liberator for the North Atlantic, as it finally closed the infamous 'Air Gap'.
    "Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind;
    and therefore never send to ask for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee" - John Donne, Meditation XVII

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    Senior Member pbfoot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by syscom3 View Post
    And the F5 gave you coverage all the way into eastern Poland.

    And the 8th AF always wanted P38's because they could do more things that the Spits couldnt do.

    And of course in the PTO, the Spitfire simply didnt have the range to do anything.
    The recce spit mkIV had a range of 2000 mile however I'd opt for the Lightning F5

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    Pacific Historian syscom3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pbfoot View Post
    The recce spit mkIV had a range of 2000 mile however I'd opt for the Lightning F5
    2000 miles? You have information to back that up?
    "Pilot to copilot..... what are those mountain goats doing up here in the clouds?"

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    Pacific Historian syscom3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BombTaxi View Post
    With Thor on the Mossies as the best recon machine in the ETO - so good even the USAAF used it On the Eastern Front, the superior type was definitely the Fw189. I'm not sure what I would go for in the PTO, probably the PBY, and definitely the Liberator for the North Atlantic, as it finally closed the infamous 'Air Gap'.
    PBY? Every time they went on a recon mission and were found out by the Japanese, they ended up getting shot down or shoo'd away.

    Same with the B24. Couldnt do deep recon without escort.

    Now of course, there is a difference between maritime recon as opposed to continental recon.
    "Pilot to copilot..... what are those mountain goats doing up here in the clouds?"

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    You have just answered your own criticism sys - there were no Axis fighters over the North Atlantic, so the Liberator was in it's element. While there is difference in maritime recon and overland recon, both roles are still recon. We could hair-split over what tasks constitute tactical recon, strategic recon, BDA, maritime patrol, etc etc, but all fall to a greater or lesser extent under the recon banner, IMHO. The basic aim is the same though - to locate the enemy, and by photographic means or otherwise, record his location and strength and then transmit the information back for processing and the tasking of other units as required by the threat.
    "Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind;
    and therefore never send to ask for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee" - John Donne, Meditation XVII

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