Arithmetic of baling

Profile picture for user powerandpassion

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7 years 3 months

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I was talking to my father (98, Polish RAF) today about decision making in relation to a damaged aeroplane and baling out. He said that in training (1943) it was reinforced that a Spitfire cost GPB25,000 to build and a pilot cost GPB100,000 to train, therefore a pilot should chose to bale out where there was a choice. I interpret his statement as a reflection on proportions in arithmetic rather than actual numbers. I wonder, though, does anybody know the 1943 costs of a Spitfire and costs of running a pilot through the Empire Air Training Scheme? I would also like to know the ratio of training fatalities to graduates of the ETS. My gut feeling is that more Air Force personnel died in training than in actual combat. My own fathers recollections in training include one Mosquito lost (two crew) on night flying training, another Mosquito on unauthorised low level acrobatics, another on a low level bank too soon after take off. He himself force landed a Mosquito wheels up and an Oxford in a minefield, as well as over riding the directions of an Anson full of Navigator trainees vectoring him into a hillside at night, so he did his bit for the tax payer. If this is extrapolated across the EATS then no doubt it would cost a number of aircraft (and lives) to turn out one frontline pilot.
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Profile picture for user D1566

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13 years 6 months

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No doubt there will have been some interesting cost comparisons, but I doubt you will ever get any reliable figures, especially if you try to add in the near-miss incidents.
Profile picture for user Moggy C

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19 years 9 months

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Bomber Command's losses were 47,000+ in operations against some 8,000+ in training. A ratio of approx 6:1 Moggy
Profile picture for user paulmcmillan

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19 years 9 months

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Moggy I wonder if the 7,000 number is in just bomber command training eg OTU etc not initial or abintio as until a pilot was streamed fighters bombers transport coastal etc they were in all the same pot
Profile picture for user Moggy C

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19 years 9 months

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Good point Paul. If I get a moment I'll have a root around later. Moggy