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jss78

"Spotting" vs "fighter" catapult aircraft in history

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1,276 posts
9,930 battles

WoWS got me thinking about an IRL issue I don't know the answer to.

 

In game, we have a distinction between "spotting" and "fighter" floatplanes on cruisers and battleships.

 

Did these distinct plane types actually exist? What did the catapult planes actually do most of the time?

 

I can easily see the spotting/scouting being a thing? Did they actually engage in aerial combat? With any success? From Wikipedia, a lot of the planes used had armaments, but they seem rudimentary.

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[TORAZ]
Beta Tester
14,465 posts
20,571 battles

Afaik floatplane fighters did exist though they usually performed poorly in combat against real fighters. The only model I know is a Japanese one:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nakajima_A6M2-N

 

Generally floatplanes were used for scouting and spotting for artillery. During the war they were also used for Search & Rescue to recover downed pilots and ASW.

After the war they were replaced by helicopters.

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