Copyright ©2016 by Paul Niquette. All rights reserved.
In a WWII documentary
film featuring the exploits of the Vought
F4U Corsair in combat with the Mitsubishi
A6M Zero, mention is made of a well known
performance issue in the Zero. It is a
mystery that continues to this day.
20:35 in the film, a Corsair pilot comments, “We
could turn in either direction with ease.
And the Japanese Zero couldn’t do that. It
couldn’t turn to the right. So in a
high-speed dive with him on your tail, you could
turn to the right, he couldn’t make it and go on
by, so you turn back and ‘Hey, look what I've
The upward inclination of the fuselage tilts the plane-of- rotation of the propeller away from its normal orientation -- perpendicular to the flight path. Accordingly, the downward-moving blade on the righthand side of the aircraft is advancing at an angle into the relative wind and thus developing more thrust than the upward-moving blade on the lefthand side, which is retreating out of the relative wind producing less thrust.
Solvers must conclude that the P-Factor is not operative at high speed in a dive. Based on comments received from a number of email@example.com, it sure looks like there is an opportunity for a Puzzle with a Purpose...
Clue: Introducing the 'R-Factor'