In response to my questions Russ come back with the following information.
For a mission, each squadron lined up on the runway, four across & either three deep or four deep, depending on whether we were launching a 12 ship or 16 ship squadron. Flight leader & his wingman took off on the left side of the runway & #3 & #4 used the right side of the runway. #1 & #2 would get airborne ASAP while #3 & #4 would stay on the runway until they were well past the point of "lift-off" of #1 & #2, thus avoiding any prop-wash. This type of take-off was continued until all squadron a/c were airborne. We would hold our position until the flight taking off were passing behind the nose of our a/c & then we would start our roll. We could get 12 or 16 a/c airborne in about two minutes. The second squadron lined up on a different runway & as soon as the last element cleared the intersection, they would begin their take-off. The third squadron was lining up on the first runway & as soon as #2 squadron
cleared the intersection, they would begin their take-offs. The total time for all three squadrons to get airborne was usually 6 to 8 minutes. I've seen as many as eight a/c rolling on the runway at the same time.
Pairs were rolling at (approx) 8 to 10 second intervals and I'd guess at about 200 feet apart on the runway.
With 108 gal tanks the lead a/c would use max power & get airborne ASAP using the same technique as above.
On take-off (04/22) 2800 RPM & 72 in Hg about 2/3 rds of the runway & 2nd elements used about 3/4 ths of the total runway.
(the Easterly runway was a different story as we needed every foot of runway we could get).
The normal position for the wingman on take-off, was to keep his wing tip even with the star on the fuselage of the lead a/c and just far enough out to clear the wingtips if an over-run occurred as per an aborted take-off. Normally, the flight leader took the left side of the runway with #2 on his right wing; #3 (Element leader) took the right side of the runway just about opposite of #2 & #4 positioned himself on the left wing of #3. Clearance was never over a couple of feet & I've had my wing man "overlap" as much as two feet of wing & hold it for the take-off & forming up with the rest of the squadron. (That's a tight formation)
This information was great news from my perspective as it allowed a return to the original concept, with the aircraft a lot closer together, which increases the drama, and to my mind improves the composition.
It did mean things needed to be reworked a little however.
The revised composition, with line drawings well underway.
A closer look at the nearly completed line drawing of the main aircraft subject.