Most Beautiful Aircraft

the Oscar also had no armour and no protection for the fuel tank. It didn't even have a bulkhead behind the pilot. early versions were so lightly built that some of them broke up in aerobatic flight, not even combat. Later ones were reinforced but still very light so that they usually caught fire and came apart when hit by the guns of a P40 or Hurricane. Later ones had some armour and fuel tank protection but were still vulnerable. they were in action right to war's end, despite better aircraft coming along and the last few were expended as Kamikazes. there are about five modern replicas and a few original ones left.
 
the Oscar also had no armour and no protection for the fuel tank. It didn't even have a bulkhead behind the pilot. early versions were so lightly built that some of them broke up in aerobatic flight, not even combat. Later ones were reinforced but still very light so that they usually caught fire and came apart when hit by the guns of a P40 or Hurricane. Later ones had some armour and fuel tank protection but were still vulnerable. they were in action right to war's end, despite better aircraft coming along and the last few were expended as Kamikazes. there are about five modern replicas and a few original ones left.

One of my favourite lanes, amazing light and under armed, more like a sporting plane than a fighter and after the war, some captured examples served in limited numbers in the French Air Force in Indochina against Viet Minh prior to the full on Vietnam war.
 
the French kept crashing them and eventually one of them asked the Japanese pilots, all PoWs, who had been instructing them, to point out what they were doing wrong. "landing too fast! " The French thought that the Japs couldn't teach them anything about flying and didn't pay attention to the Japanese instructors. After they cracked up a few Oscars, they learned to approach at a slower speed, especially when they learned that the Japanese had been placing bets on which French pilot would wreck an aircraft.
 

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