Gaijin Entertainment presents the Shooting Range You are watching The Shooting Range – a weekly show for all tankers and airmen of War Thunder. Yak-15: a turbojet fighter with the wings of a biplane RHA vs CHA vs FHA: we explain the way armour works Hotline: the developers answer questions that you’ve left in the comments! But first, let’s start with – how to land on an aircraft carrier. There are basically two types of aircraft. Sea-based…and all others. Look at the American Buffalo and the P-40, for example. The former is a proverbial carrier-based fighter. It is able to launch in a short distance and is equipped with a tailhook. The second aircraft is a frontline fighter…and it was not meant to land on a carrier. But what do you do when there are no airfields nearby and you have no other choice but to land? It’s not that difficult, actually. Let’s start with the easy mode…when we’re flying the Buffalo (or any other carrier-based plane). Start to plan your descent when you are roughly a mile away from the vessel. Make sure you are properly aligned to the carrier. Remember that you can compensate for some of your speed if you move in the same direction as the ship. Lower you throttle until you get to approximately 220-250 kmph. By that point your gear should be down and your flaps – in the landing position. Get as slow as possible while still keeping your nose up. When you pull level with the deck, kill the engine, wait for the tailhook to deploy and then land as softly as you can. Remember that the tailhook (which is not at all surprising) is deployed from the rear of your aircraft. so take care to keep your nose up. All right, you’ve made it. Now some good news: it’s almost the same with the regular aircraft. The main difference is that there is no tailhook to help us. but we can make the landing easier by pitching forward. That’s how it’s done. Get your flaps in the landing position, reduce the throttle and when your wheels hit the deck, pitch forward. Needless to say, it is a good idea to practice this maneuver in a test flight; you probably won’t be able to do it the very first time you try it. Keep in mind that heavy aircraft, as well as the planes that are equipped with nose landing gear, are notoriously difficult to land on a carrier…even using this method. If you are flying one of those you are very likely to end up as ball of flame. but it doesn’t mean it can’t be done! …and now let’s get back to the ground and to its formidable machines of war. We’re going to discuss the very thing that makes these vehicles really hard to get rid of: armour. It’s one thing to cross fields under the flimsy protection of bulletproof armour. and another – to approach enemy lines in a tank, in which you are safely hidden behind thick armour plates. But let’s see what actually protects tankers from enemy shells. The armoured steel has to have two basic qualities. It should be hard (hard to penetrate)…yet tough, resistant to shock. If it’s hard but not ductile… it will be brittle. Even if the plate stops the shell, the impact can cause the armour to shatter from the inside. and spall in all directions. On the other hand, the armour that is tough but not hard is too easy to penetrate. Engineers try to find a middle ground here…they strive to make armour that is both hard and tough. A good example is rolled armour, which is pretty good at both of these things. Rolled armour is produced by processing cast steel billets and then rolling them into plates. Hot rolling homogenizes the grain structure of the steel and removes imperfections that can reduce the strength of the steel. It is worth mentioning that this production method is ideal for making flat plates… but not much else. Another popular type of armour is called cast armour. There is no rolling involved; the armour is made by pouring molten metal into molds. This type of armour resists less well than rolled armour but allows for a production of more complex designs. For example, you can cast an entire turret. Despite their differences, both rolled and cast armour are called homogeneous armour. The idea is that their structure and composition are uniform throughout their thickness. But what if you take a flat armour plate and harden it (with a heat-treatment process or through carbon cementation)? You will get heterogenous…or face-hardened armour: now the face of the steel is composed differently from the substrate. Such armour can be very hard and extremely tough at the same time. The drawback is that these kind of plates are difficult (and expensive) to make. For example, in WW2 only Germans could afford to consistently use this type of armour on their tanks. After the war the more practical and cheap rolled homogeneous armour (or RHA) fell out of use. It was just not very effective against a new generation of anti-tank rounds (HEATs, for example). But it was so widespread and played such a significant role in WW2 that even nowadays armour performance is still stated in terms of the equivalent thickness of RHA plates…even when the armour doesn’t have a trace of metal in it! let’s speak about the plane that is sometimes considered to be the ugly duckling of all turbojet fighters Yakovlev Yak-15 In the second half of the 1930s the Soviet researchers working on a turbojet were making steady progress and in some cases even left their European and American counterparts behind. But after the end of WW2 it was a completely different story. The reason is simple: the British and American cities never had German tanks at their doorstep. and their specialists didn’t have to travel for hundreds of miles to work in safety. Even the German scientists, who could boast quite a few breakthroughs in that field on their own, somehow had it better: the Allied forces only started to knock at their doors in 1945. The gap had to be closed as soon as possible, so right after the last shots had been fired Moscow started to make up lost ground. The Soviets quickly reverse-engineered the German Junkers Jumo 004 engine. It wasn’t very reliable, but it was something they could work with. A number of teams rushed to create the first Soviet jet aircraft. But there was still another significant problem: most of the pilots, even aces, were not ready. They simply didn’t know how to fly a jet. Enter Alexander Sergeyevich Yakovlev, an experienced aircraft designer, who was especially good at making trainer aircraft. Some might consider that a trivial task… but in fact it’s quite a challenge. Trainer aircraft should be very forgiving, easy to master…and easy to fly at a range of speeds. When in the year 1940 Yakovlev was ordered to make a fighter aircraft, he designed it as if it were yet another trainer plane. The new aircraft even got a Clark YH aerofoil profile, which was often seen on trainer monoplanes or even biplanes. but was a fairly unorthodox choice for a brand new monoplane fighter. The same profile was later inherited by the Yak-7, the Yak-9 and the Yak-3. This peculiar design choice severely limited the maximum dive speed of these fighters. but made them very nimble. At a speed which would make a sluggish flying brick out of any Bf.109, Yaks were still able to maneuver with ease. The pilots loved the Yak-3. So when it became clear that the airmen had to be taught to fly jets, Yakovlev decided to use his old design and just to replace the piston engine with a turbine as simple as that. In the world where everyone used laminar-flow airfoil, Yakovlev was building a jet fighter with the wings of a biplane! Sounds like a terrible idea, doesn’t it? Keep in mind that the new Yak had to be a conversion trainer. to help Soviet pilots with their transition from the piston-powered aircraft to the jet era. The plane was basically the good old Yak-3… with a new engine mounted underneath the forward fuselage. They added a steel heatshield to protect the fuselage, gave the plane a new solid steel tailwheel, fortified the vertical stabilizer and the leading edge…and that was it. What’s amazing is that any pilot that knew how to fly a piston-powered Yak, could easily switch to the new plane: he just had to learn how to operate the new jet engine, and that was a matter of hours. The first Soviet jet never engaged an enemy aircraft. There were only a few of these planes built and they didn’t serve for long. But that was the aircraft that taught thousands of Soviet pilots how to fly a jet and prepared them for the battles of tomorrow. …finally it’s time for the traditional last part of our show: Hotline! Developers answering questions from the comments! Strictly speaking it’s not the most serious-minded section of the show. If you want answers to be given with solemn faces, feel free to appeal to the official forums. Here we’ll have a more… lighthearted discussion of the big questions of War Thunder. We hope you’ll like it. We start with a question from Anders Halkjær: “Why aren’t there any premium jets in any of the current tech trees? And will we ever see it?” Nope, there will never be any tier V premium vehicles. And there is a big and important reason for this: we don’t want our players to buy their way to the top. You can only get there through skill and dedication. A guy called Glennyboyy asks: “Will you add Saab 29 Tunnan in the game?” Frankly speaking, we don’t have such plans at the moment. But! There is a fantastic user-made version that you can download from live.warthunder.com. It comes with a special mission as well, please check it out. Then a question from a player called JustARandom: “Why do I always get the worst teams?” Oh, that’s a very common bug. Just go to the options menu and uncheck the box that says “pick me the worst team possible”… But seriously, if randoms fail you time and time again.. just join a squadron. Or grab some buddies and play in a well-coordinated squad. Best of luck, mate! Finally a very important observation from The Green Cactus: “We read all the comments” I bet you didn’t read this” …but we did. Your move, cactus man! That’s it for today but feel free to write your questions in the comments below. We do read them all, and you might see some of them answered in the next episode! See you on the Shooting Range!