The introduction of the newest DCS campaign: Museum Relics , got me to thinking about that time and how it related to me on a personal, albeit limited, level. On June 9, 1951,which was the date of my birth, the Korean Conflict, or The Forgotten War, as some have labeled it , had been raging for a year, but to most Americans, still flush with victory from the American successes of WW2, conventional wisdom suggested , at least that the might of the U.S. war machine, would make short work of North Korean forces, and our boys would be back home by Christmas. Well, it didn’t quite work out that way.
U.S. aircraft were designers were exploring new concepts, introduced by the Nazis during the war, one the Me262 and the Me-163 Komet rocket plane, with it came the promise of blazing speeds as yet undreamed, even by the men who flew them. Most U.S. fighter aircraft include naval air assets, were of the straight-wing variety and underpowered, , with respect to counter-air operations. American airmen were astonished by the unexpected appearance on the Mig-15.
Ironically, the now iconic North American Aviation F-86 Sabre , was actually born of a 1944 U.S. Navy requirement for a ship-board fighter , a first for the company, in the form of the FJ-1 Fury, which featured a straight wing, and other than being jet-powered was underwhelming in it’s performance. Nothing to write home to Mom about. Except for the rather barreled shaped fuselage, has grafted P-51 wing and tail-surfaces with wing-tip tanks and modest dihedral to the horizontal stabilizer. In retrospect, the limitations are obvious, today, but back then, aeronautical engineers and test pilots and the occasional line pilots, were finding their way. It just so happened that the U.S. Air Force, also had a requirement for a fighter, with superior air to air performance than the Lockheed F-80 Shooting Star and the Republic F-84 Thunder Jet.
So began the development of the XP-86. The path to Sabre, was underway. Originally straight-winged like the F-1J Fury, The North American XP-86, was fitted with a swept-wing, and the benefits were immediately apparent to program test pilots. The knew they had something that was easily comparable to the Soviet-designed Mig-15, particularly in the hands of a well trained ,and in many cases, battle-tested fighter-jock. To most casual observers,(with no aviation savvy), the Sabre, and the Mig, might seem identical, there are some very large differences. Armament: the Mig-15 was fitted with twin 23mm auto-fire cannon, and one hulking 37 mm gun. perfect for taking down bombers like the B-29 and B-36. of course we all know that particular scenario, never played out ,at least in any significant global circumstance. That’s just great with me and the folks back home, but in the skies over Korea, there was a life and death struggle in the air for dominance.
Museum Relics Campaign will allow pilots, myself included,(when I get it!) to get up there into the Virtual Wild Blue Yonder, and mix it up with a jet engine and a six-pack of Browning.50 cal. machine guns. Makes me want to get one of those helmets like my virtual stand-in wears and some aviator shades. Oh yeah, let’s not forget the A2 jacket. (Am I missing anything?) I’m not really sure at this point how the number of Sabre / Mig Modules have been purchased compared to the more modern and in some instances simplified modules.(perhaps a survey is in order.) . but for me, as something of a relic, myself, this is stuff, that boyhood dreams are made of dude. Sometimes, for one reason or other life occasionally gets in the way, and the path to that dream, took an unexpected, but sometimes predictable turn. Oh well..what are you gonna do?
I’ll tell you what I did if you don’t already know. I, with the help of my brother Ralph, was introduced to the world of Virtual Flight in 2000. I’m sometimes referred to an FSX Freak, and that’s fair, because I like to fly “Heavies’, though I do have a number of addons for Dovetail’s FSX Steam Edition, 777 Captain, is the main attraction for me in that venue. My reasons for that are personal. Eagle Dynamics’ DCS World, though is in a wholly different class. It requires me to actually ‘pilot’ as opposed to ‘systems manage’ ,virtual stick and rudder stuff. The people at Eagle Dynamics, gave me and I suspect others to enter the world of ‘what if’, and go as far as we dare . I already have the F-86F and quite familiar with it but not so the Mig15Bis, which I will remedy very soon. I look forward to forming my own opinion. I’ll get back to you, to tell you what I think, There’s a new A-10c Campaign Piercing Thunder. Not much imagination needed as why they call it that, is it, guys?