Posted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 12:04 pm Post subject: Never give up
Highest scoring Finnish ace Ilmari Juutilainen with 94 victories
In the fighter aviation the quality proved to be much more important than the quantity. And, the quality of the personnel proved to be the most important factor. The following example (I. Juutilainen: Double Fighter Knight) tells clearly about the importance of the natural skill and good training. The example describes an air combat over the Gulf of Finland after six Finnish Brewsters have attacked on ten Soviet MiG-1s, MiG-3s and Spitfires:
"In front of, and below me were three MiG fighters. I attacked taking the lead plane as my target. My approach went well and I was just about to come up behind it when - BANG! - my engine RPM went down and my speed started to decrease. The agility of my fighter was, of course, gone. The propeller transmission control had failed at the most critical moment!
It seemed that I was totally at the mercy of the enemy. I reported the status of my plane and asked for help, if anybody could afford to do so.
One of the enemy fighters approached my rear sector. I turned as tightly as I could to keep my eye on him. Now he was moving into a good firing position although a little below me. I quickly rolled my fighter inverted above him. My unexpected maneuver apparently frightened him because he broke off and dove away. Maybe he thought that I only pretended helplessness and was now ready to get behind him. I sighed for relief then rolled back into a normal attitude and tried to climb a little with inadequate engine power control. I was trying to make my way back to base if possible.
I was carefully watching the enemy aircraft well above me expecting them to attack at any moment. Sure enough, a Spitfire came down to investigate me. It came in from my rear sector and above, intending that I should be an easy kill. I tried to look as though I didn`t see him. My plan was to act like a fox against a lynx because I was rather helpless.
When the Spitfire came into a good firing range I made a quick, controlled roll standing heavily on my rudder. My fighter slid heavily sideways and I continued with a hard level turn of about 90 degrees. Of course, during my maneuver the enemy couldn`t keep me in his gunsight, and at the end of the maneuver he was so close that he actually slid past me. I quickly turned back to my original heading and the Spitfire was out in front of me pulling up to the right. My speed was gone, but the range was short, about 70 yards. I aimed carefully and squeezed the trigger. My machine guns worked well, rattling sure and steady. The tracers hit the target like a whip. The result was visible at once. The airplane started to smoke heavily and banked. Almost vertically and slightly inverted it crashed into the sea.
Almost immediately another Spitfire arrived to avenge his comrade. I pushed the throttle open and the engine stopped! It was a really nasty feeling. My good old friend BW-364 had failed me at a critical moment! The enemy plane came in from above and behind at high speed so I made a tight turn under its nose. The Spitfire couldn`t turn with me and, after the failed attack, continued its dive toward Lavansaari.
I turned my airplane toward the Estonian coast intending to make an emergency landing there. Then I noticed that when I didn`t put the throttle in a full power setting, the engine would cough back to life. So, I started again to climb back in the direction of our airplanes above me. During my climb a MiG attacked me at an impossible deflection angle shooting as though he were testing his guns. There was no need even to dodge.
I saw a couple of airplanes crashing into the sea almost simultaneously and a third one, a MiG-1, diving steeply toward the water`s surface but pulling up at the last moment. Now it was my turn to be on the attacking side. The MiG didn`t seem to notice me at all, and pulled up right in front of me. I had only to change my nose position ever so slightly to line up the target in the center of my gunsight. Then I squeezed the trigger and sent my bullets into the target.
I found myself wondering if the enemy remembered that he had forgotten to keep looking around, when he saw the glow of the flame from his engine. The airplane rolled over and went into the sea.
When I again began my climb I found our pilots controlling the area and joined them."
The basic fighter pilot`s skills; the excellent situation awareness, the complete handling of the airplane, shooting accuracy and self confidence, are all visible in the action of the pilot.
You cannot post new topics in this forum You cannot reply to topics in this forum You cannot edit your posts in this forum You cannot delete your posts in this forum You cannot vote in polls in this forum You cannot attach files in this forum You cannot download files in this forum