F-80s Had Their Prob­lems

Flight Journal - - AIRDROP - J. D. Sch­midt

I was a radio me­chanic in the 65th Fighter Squadron, 57th Fighter Group in Alaska from Jan­uary 1947 to De­cem­ber 1948. We had P-51H mod­els un­til the sum­mer of ’48, then we got F-80s, which I think were one of the best-look­ing air­planes ever built. But as your ar­ti­cle “P-80 Jet Jockey” states (Au­gust 2017), they did have en­gine trou­ble. It took three days to change an en­gine in a 51 and three hours in an 80. We had 80s dis­in­te­grate in midair, and the pieces were so small they had not fig­ured out for sure what caused it. Some pi­lots would ask the crew chief for the go/ no-go gauge and crawl up the tailpipe them­selves to check the clear­ance be­tween the tips of the tur­bine blades and the case.

It doesn’t in­spire con­fi­dence in your air­craft when you have to crawl up the tailpipe.—BD

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.