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P-80 versus Me. 262???


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#1 ickysdad

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Posted 29 August 2009 - 03:10 AM

Which is better any good numbers for thse two's performance???

#2 Pete57

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Posted 30 August 2009 - 08:45 PM

The two aircraft were, in many ways, pretty evenly matched.
Level speed (mph/ft)
Me-262: 484/0, 502/7500, 513/12900, 525/13700, 525/16300, 529/17400, 519/20000, 513/26600, 518/3200 (RAE Report Avia 6/9201 and TsAGI tests)
P-80A: 510/0, 514/5000, 524/15000, 534/25000, 512/34900, 494/39900 (USAAF Memo Rep. No. TSFTE-2009)
Climb Rate (fpm/ft)
Me-262: 3000/1900, 2800/4400, 2680/6700, 2600/9100, 2350/9600, 2070/12600
P-80A: 4900/0, 4500/5000, 4000/10000, 3600/15000, 3200/20000, 2750/25000

The Schwalbe had a slightly higher critical mach, 0.83 (0.80 for the P-80A), which, in a hypothetical dogfight, would give it a chance to escape the Shooting Star in a dive (the US fighter had a higher ceiling).
Unfortunately (for the 262) its lack of airbrakes would translate this in either a final dive or give the P-80 the chance to catch up!

Some sources claim the 262 had a better acceleration, but this may have stemmed from taking at face value the cross-tests the USAAF had run, after the end of the war, between a specially prepared Me-262 (e.g its paint polished, etc) against the early, De Havilland Goblin-powered XP-80 prototype.
Just consider the following:
a. With about the same total thrust, the P-80A was about 2000lb lighter.
b. The Shooting Star had a lower drag area - 3.20 sqft, against the Schwalbe's 4.68 sqft
c. The spool-up time of the centrifugal turbojets of the time was lower than their axial counterparts’'.
And then tell me if the statement on the 262's superior acceleration shouldn't be questioned...

The P-80A had a very high roll rate, said to be pretty close to that of the FW-190, whereas the 262 with its wing mounted pods must have been anything but a stellar performer in this field.

So far as istant and continuous turn rates are concerned, I haven't been able to find the relevant figures, but as a general rule, single engined fighters tend to be more manouverable than twins.

The 262 packed a far heavier punch, but it was less suited, for a dogfight, than the P-80A's and this shows the different roles for which the two aircraft had been conceived: the 262 was a bomber-destroyer, whereas the P-80 was an air-superiority fighter, and in the end, this is why, comparing the two, is a little like comparing apples with oranges.

However, had the war continued to the point where the P-80A could be sent to escort the heavies over Germany, this comparison could be seriously considered, as the ascendancy the 262 had begun to establish over the Allied bomber force could have seriously been put into jeopardy - nice 'what if' ain't it?...

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#3 ickysdad

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Posted 30 August 2009 - 09:57 PM

Where can I get copies of all those tests??

#4 Kutscha

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Posted 30 August 2009 - 11:37 PM

The 262 was not specially prepared Pete but was flown as received from Watson's Wizards. The P-80 certainly was.

Ickysdad, the report is hard, if not impossible, to find for the USAAF hid it away after the Wright Field test flight(s) because it was not favorable to the P-80. Hughes wanted to race a 262 in a race and was told he couldn't because it might be embarrassing for the P-80.

This book, Messerscmitt Me262, WJ Boyle, ISBN 0-87474-276-3, touches on the test briefly.

#5 ickysdad

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Posted 31 August 2009 - 03:03 AM

The 262 was not specially prepared Pete but was flown as received from Watson's Wizards. The P-80 certainly was.

Ickysdad, the report is hard, if not impossible, to find for the USAAF hid it away after the Wright Field test flight(s) because it was not favorable to the P-80. Hughes wanted to race a 262 in a race and was told he couldn't because it might be embarrassing for the P-80.

This book, Messerscmitt Me262, WJ Boyle, ISBN 0-87474-276-3, touches on the test briefly.



That doesn't make any sense since there have been far bigger embarrasments and besides Chuck Yeager flew both and stated both were basically equal & he was one of the test pilots involved if I'm not wrong. I don't expect to find anything that says either one was outright superior to the other but just would like to have some hard numbers.
I mean if it's so hard to find then how can anybody know it's not favorable to the P-80? How can one know the Me 262 wasn't specially prepared but the P-80 was?

#6 GregP

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Posted 31 August 2009 - 04:12 AM

Hi guys,

I posted in this thread Saturday evening and it disappeared!

I pretty much agree with Pete57. The P-80A was a very good airplane for its time and the Me 262 is often credited with qualities it didn't have ... even supersnic speed according to some!

As an old aeronautical engineering student for 3 years before switching to electrical engineering, I can tell you it is NOT supersonic.

A game changer? Yes. Thef first deployed jet fighter? Yes.

But the best of the early jets? I don't think so. The two aircraft were very close in performance, with the P-80A getting the edge in my book.

However, they never met in combat.

Somehow I wish the Me 262 had been developed past the end of the war, just see what would have evolved. I think the single-engine fighters would have been better by and large, but the Germans were pretty darn good at making things work the way they wanted them to work, so we don't really know.

In the end, I can't think of a single successful fighter with twin engines in pods under the wings after the Me 262 ... and it was on the losing side of thw war. The closest was the Meteor, but the engines were buried in the wings, not in underslung pods. Still ... it WAS a pretty good unit for the time, and the Me 262 may well have been as good as all the hype.

But let's remember, the hype from the war was from pilots flying piston mounts while watching a jet go by. If they had been flying jets instead, the outcome and the reports may well have been different. In fact, they weren't and we are left with the hype.

Given the choice, I'd opt for the P-80A, but I would not feel disadvantaged if offered the Me 262 instead. Methinks the pilot would have been the deciding factor ... well, that and the location of the fuel truck.

The fight I would like to have seen is the Meteor against the He 280. Very similar airframes.

#7 Pete57

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Posted 31 August 2009 - 08:48 AM

The 262 was not specially prepared Pete but was flown as received from Watson's Wizards. The P-80 certainly was.

Ickysdad, the report is hard, if not impossible, to find for the USAAF hid it away after the Wright Field test flight(s) because it was not favorable to the P-80. Hughes wanted to race a 262 in a race and was told he couldn't because it might be embarrassing for the P-80.

This book, Messerscmitt Me262, WJ Boyle, ISBN 0-87474-276-3, touches on the test briefly.


From http://www.indianami...62A1U3/4012.htm

"This aircraft [FE-4012]was surrendered to US Forces at Lechfeld and was named Connie the Sharp Article, with the number '444'. It was later re-named Pick Il by Watson's Whizzers. It came to the USA aboard HMS Reaper and was flown from Newark to Freeman Field IV Col Watson on 19th August 1945. While at Freeman Field it was reconditioned and given an overall smooth finish for performance comparison with the Lockheed P-80. This process almost certainly involved the removal of its photo-reconnaissance-type nose and its replacement by a fighter-type nose without camera bulges."
A reference to the results of the P-80A/Me-262 tests can be found at http://warbirdsforum...ght=jets&page=2

The figures I've posted for the P-80A are for S/N 44-85044, and they were considered as being representative of the standard, production aircraft, the report stating "The performance reported is representative of the production P-80A-1 airplanes"

It is interesting to compare it with the performance of P-80A-1 S/N 44-85123, winner of the 1946 bendix trophy, which was especially well maintained.
This a/c was also modified with reduced-span wings and a new nose section with airbrakes removed, providing the following results (Memorandum TSETE-2042 on Dec. 3, 1946 - mph/ft)
Standard wing & nose (G/W 11750lb): 548/2700, 546/7600, 542/12000, 501/34700
Mod. nose & std wing (G/W 11560lb): 556/2700, 554/7600, 550/12000, NR/34700
Mod. nose and wing (G/W 11480lb): 562/2700, 561/7600, 557/12000, 505/34700

Another series of tests was run in 1947 to determine the effects on the overall performance of the engine thrust and the aerodinamically efficient but expensive to maintain, smooth paint that was being used on the early P-80A's, the results being summarized in the Memorandum Report TSFTE-2053, on Feb. 14, 1947.
The aircraft involved were S/N 44-85075, S/N 44-85044 using two different engines, for these tests, 44-85123, all of these painted, and S/N 44-85462, un-painted.
Speed/altitude (mph/ft)
44-85075: 524/5000, 523/20000, 490/35000
44-85044 (engine #1): 514/5000, 520/20000, 507/35000
44-85044 (engine #2): NR/5000, 537/20000, 512/35000
44-85123: 548/5000, 531/20000, 500/35000
44-85462: 525/5000, 522/20000, 502/35000
The results showed how a well maintained paintwork could offset, in terms of maximum level speed, its extra weight.

ickysdad all these reports can be found at http://www.wwiiaircr...erformance.org/

Greg I wholehartedly agree on the He-280/Gloster Meteor what-if, and I do believe that had the Luftwaffe decided to put the 280 into production, delivering the early examples to some Eprobungskommando, sometimes in late 1942-early1943, then the RAF would have pushed harder for the Meteor's development which, according to a Frank Whittle interview, could have also been put into service earlier.

Political Correctness is a doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media,
which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end -
Quote byTexas A&M Student


#8 Kutscha

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Posted 31 August 2009 - 11:13 AM

Col Al Boyd:
There was no comparison as far as I'm concerned between the operational capability of the Me262 and P-80. There was nothing comparable with the Me262 in Britain or the US. It was another couple of years before the P-80 began to approach it.

Boyd was one of the test pilots and was cautioned not to release his findings.

Are you going to argue with the test pilot who did the testing?

The conclusion of the official report on the tests were also censored. They stated: "Despite a difference in gross weight of nearly 2000lb, the Me262 T2-711 was supior to the average P-80A in acceleration, speed sand approximately the same in climb... The Me262 apparently has a higher critical Mach number, from a drag standpoint, than any other current Air Force fighter."

Btw, there is a big difference between cleaned up, the a/c had been sitting around, and 'specially prepared'. The Me262 received an extensive refurbishment and a high gloss paint job when returned to Hughes.

The race Hughes wanted to enter was the 1948 Bendix Thompson Jet Trophy Races with the only competition being P-80s. Again, do you want to argue with Col. Watson who stated that Gen. Arnold stopped the Me262 from being entered because it could potentially be an embarrassment to the fledgling Air Force.

pg 854 of Me262 by Smith and Creek

#9 ChrisMcD

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Posted 31 August 2009 - 12:56 PM

The race Hughes wanted to enter was the 1948 Bendix Thompson Jet Trophy Races with the only competition being P-80s. Again, do you want to argue with Col. Watson who stated that Gen. Arnold stopped the Me262 from being entered because it could potentially be an embarrassment to the fledgling Air Force.

pg 854 of Me262 by Smith and Creek


This ties in with what I have read. Hughes Aircraft released a number of publicity photographs and were treating the 262 as their own property. IIRC their intention of entering it for the Bendix trophy was the last straw and they were reminded that it was government property and had to be returned.

Arnold had a feud on with Howard Hughes dating back to the start of the war, which probably contributed to the decision.

http://books.google.... arnold&f=false

Which may also explain why Hughes aircraft were absent from WWII to any great extent!

#10 ickysdad

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Posted 31 August 2009 - 03:41 PM

Several other sources disagree with the book "Me. 262" and Chuck Yeager who flew both aircraft(the YP-80A & me. 262) says they were essentially equal . Have any of you thought those test pilots were told what to say in order to get more funding for the USAAF post war? Funds were quite hard to get then and there's nothing like saying something to the point of " Hey the Soviets captured some of the same and it's already way ahead of anything we got" to get Congress tom approve more funds.Furthermore a book about the Me 262 maybe just a little bit biased . You hear tid bits of what people who are involved with a project say but it would be nice to actually read the report with hard figures and I really doubt the so-called USAAF's "embarrasment" would be ongiong after 60+ years .
This is why I mainly try to rely on primary documents. Also in reading Eric Browns "Wings of the Luftwaffe" & other works it seems the Me. 262 had ALOT of operational issues that one never seems to hear.

Edited by ickysdad, 31 August 2009 - 03:56 PM.





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