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Monday, February 21, 2011

Family Guy Warbirds

If you have been living in a cave for the last few years, you may not know about the FAMILY GUY. Family Guy is an ADULT cartoon series on the Fox network. It airs on Sunday nights here and sweet Wifey and I never miss it.

It is full of satire and raucous humor. In fact I have heard it criticized by those do-gooder types who are afraid the CHILDREN will be ruined for life if they should happen to see an episode. Well you know the type. It's the same kinda people that think there ought to be smoking bans in restaurants because it's bad for the CHILDREN! Hey! If you don't wanna poison your little yard apes, don't bring them in to the restaurant! In a similar manner if you don't want your yard apes to see Family Guy, don't lettum watch the TV! GEEZ! Alas I digress......

I like Family Guy because they are equal opportunity insulters. They make fun of everybody, Republicans, Dimocrats, liberals, conservatives, blacks, whites, Hispanics, handicapped people, retarded people, rednecks, movie stars......... If you are alive and breathing, they are just liable to make fun of you. If you're one of those people that just live to be offended (you know who you are) don't watch it.

Last night's episode GERMANY GUY was particularly interesting to me. Without going through the whole thing, Mr. Herbert, the resident child molesting pervert took us back to a time when he flew fighter planes in world war 2. I was astounded by the artwork of the animators and their faithful reproduction of WW2 warbird aircraft. Click the video below to watch:

Pretty cool stuff for animation I thought. The first plane shown in the clip was a bomber. I thought at first it was a B-24 liberator, but no, it was instead a British Avro Lancaster.

The B-24 cockpit merges directly into the aft part of the plane. There is no "hump" where the cockpit protrudes from the fuselage. Also, the gun turret on a B-24 is directly behind the cockpit. The Family Guy bomber has the turret situated about half way back toward the tail. Also the B-24 has radial engines, not inline engines like the plane in the clip. Finally the twin vertical stabilizers on a B-24 are rather rounded while those on a Lancaster are pointed. The picture below illustrates the differences. See if you agree with my assessment.
I found it a bit puzzling they would use a Lancaster with US markings. I could not find any cases where the US used this aircraft for any bombing missions. They would have instead used a B-24 or a B-17. Only the RAF and the Russians used Lancasters, oh well, perhaps the artist just liked the look of the plane.

Old man Herbert was flying a Curtis P-40 Warhawk.
The P-40 was first made famous by the Flying Tigers who flew it against the Japanese in China and many were painted with the shark tooth artwork on the nose. It is not likely that old man Herbert really flew a Warhawk over southern Germany in 1944. The P-40 was totally outclassed by the German BF-109, especially at high altitudes. In reality the P-40 was used mostly in North Africa and as a ground attack aircraft, a mission where it excelled. I always thought the P-40 was a beautiful plane and I have wondered why it was never melded with the British Rolls Royce Merlin engine that made the Supermarine Spitfire and the North American P-51 Mustang so deadly. In 1944, old man Herbert would have probably been flying a Mustang.

The German pilots were flying the venerable Messerschmitt BF-109. What a beautiful aircraft and the Family Guy artist did a remarkable job of capturing it.
I doubt the German pilots would have been very afraid of the "jaws" on a P-40. From what I have read about Luftwaffe pilots of the period, I don't think they were very much afraid of anything.

In the end, old man Herbert puts on his old war uniform and confronts the Nazi who held him captive back in the war. Mr. Herbert is wearing a corporal insignia (2 stripes) on his shoulder. As far as I know, American pilots have always been officers (no corporals). The British had some non-commissioned officers as pilots, but not the US. I am not sure about the Germans. Evidently the artists did their homework a little better than the writers.

In case you haven't figured it out, I am a pilot and a warbird buff. Last night's episode of Family Guy was most entertaining.


  1. No takers on this post sweetie? Too bad. Nice job. I knew you would get a post out of this.

    Right Truth

  2. Stewie also flew a Lancaster, in the episode in which Mort zapped himself to Warsaw 1939 by mistaking Stewie's time machine as a bathroom. But that was one with proper RAF markings.

  3. Thank god! Took me half hour to find out i was right! A Lancaster with us markings??

  4. Thank god! Took me half hour to find out i was right! A Lancaster with us markings??