Aircraft Recognition No. 3, Vol. 1

NOV EMBER, 1942 AIRCRAFT Vol. I. —No. 3 RECOGNITION THE INTER-SERVICES JOURNAL H IGH-FLYING aircraft have come into special prominence recently. They present very great problems both to the ground and air observer and, were it not for the tell-tale cloud trail they often leave, would be extremely difficult to locate. The normal maximum height at which an aeroplane of average size can be seen with the naked eye is about 30,000 Theft. maximum height at which such an aero­ plane can be recognised by any salient feature is reputed to be about 5,000 ft. Naturally, these distances are multiplied by the use of binoculars. But even when the most powerful glasses are used a height of about 35,000 ft. is probably the limit for positive recognition although the characteristic “sit ”of certain aeroplanes may betray their identity with certainty still higher up. Fortunately there are comparatively few types of aircraft which normally operate at more than 35,000 ft. Bad weather and poor visibility which may prevent the ground observer from attaining his visual ceiling also prevents the high-flying enemy bomber or reconnais­sance aeroplane from obtaining the results at which it aims. Therefore the most important time for the spotting of the high-flying raider is a clear day on which it can expect to gain the best results. Development moves so fast that no hard and fast rule can be forgiven the exact types of aircraft which might be used by the enemy for substratosphere work. The follow­ing gives an approximate indication on two of the better known enemy high fliers :Type o f Operating Aeroplane. Ceiling. Junkers Ju 86p ...Between 41,000 ft. and 43,000 ft. according to load Heinkel He 177 (Experimental version) More than 40,000 Theft. extremely high-flying bomber is not likely to prove a serious menace because of the very light load it can carry and because of the comparatively few days of the year on which it can operate successfully. Nevertheless, when a high-flying raider is seen its identity is of the greatest importance and an early warn­ing of its approach maybe of the greatest value in its interception. JAde Haviliand Mosquito high-speed bomber. 3
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