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Author Topic: aircraft armor during WW2  (Read 268 times)

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Flanker27

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aircraft armor during WW2
« on: December 04, 2019, 07:18:01 AM »

I am well aware that most airplanes of WW2 had some sort of armor protection such as plates or armor glass, my question is how effective was it in reality? iv seen seemingly unarmored planes both in game and in photos riddled with holes and somehow make it home yet ones that were supposedly tanks with wings disintegrate into flaming bits. somewhere i have a picture of a B-17 tail gun window that stopped a 20mm shell(HE round im guessing) but also have pictures of the same window with rifle caliber holes in it. having been to aircraft structure repair school I do know that weight is the enemy of any thing flying, so i assume that the plates used for aircraft armor was some sort of composite
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Koty

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Re: aircraft armor during WW2
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2019, 07:54:24 AM »

aircraft armour was mostly steel and armour glass (armour glass being made up of several layer of glass)

but it was in very specific places only (unless we're talking IL-2, that thing had half of fuselage covered in armour, of varying thickness)

it was mainly supposed to protect you and vital systems from ball (fmj) ammo and HE, chances of it stopping a designated AP round would of course be lower, given the thickness
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Radoye

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Re: aircraft armor during WW2
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2019, 08:08:48 AM »

The armor was not applied everywhere - usually it was just a steel plate behind the pilot's seat (in case of a single seat fighter plane) and an armored glass plate for the cockpit windshield. Later on they started adding armor to the cockpit sides as well, around the engine, radiators, sometimes around fuel tanks... And of course the strength of this armor varied from type to type and depending on the perceived mission (ground attack or bomber buster types got more armor than air superiority dog fighting ones - risk and reward, additional weight meant loss of agility).

Early application of armor in fighters was in the range of 40-50 kg of steel in around 1940 creeping up to about double that towards the end of the war, the extremes like Sturmovik carried almost a ton of armor while "special" variants of fighter planes (like for example the Sturmbock versions of Fw 190) would carry upwards of 250 kg steel plating but then they'd need a fighter escort of their own because they would be a sitting duck if enemy fighters are around. With multi-engined bombers it was similar - it is always a tradeoff between protection and performance (if not outright speed or agility, in case of bombers this would be range and payload).
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Flanker27

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Re: aircraft armor during WW2
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2019, 08:17:01 AM »

Steel plates explain why the attack versions of the 190 and the IL-2 handle like pigs. i would also  imagine that spalling when hit by a round would have been an issue
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vpmedia

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Re: aircraft armor during WW2
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2019, 05:08:22 AM »

I watched this recently, it has some interesting info I wasnt aware of before:

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