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Most adaptable - Spitfire vs Bf109


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Poll: Which was most adaptable? (21 member(s) have cast votes)

Which was most adaptable?

  1. Supermarine Spitfire (17 votes [73.91%])

    Percentage of vote: 73.91%

  2. Messerschmitt Bf 109 (6 votes [26.09%])

    Percentage of vote: 26.09%

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#161 Ricky

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 12:22 PM

This made me think...

 

Bf 109 -

first flown 1935

in service 1937 

Finally retired 1965 (Spanish Service)

 

Served with 14 different nations, mostly Central European nations and/or former German allies in WW2. Oh, and Israel, just for the irony.

 

Fought in 3 wars - Spanish Civil War, WW2, first Arab-Israeli War

 

Spitfire -

first flown 1936

in service 1938 

Finally retired 1961 (Irish service)

 

Served with 33 different nations, mostly Commonwealth or WW2 allies. Oh, and Israel as well :)

 

Fought in 5 wars - WW2, first Arab-Israeli War (on both sides!), the 1947 Indo-Pakistan war, the Greek Civil War, the Malayan Emergeancy, plus it made a brief appearance in Korea (Seafires) and was an important Recon plane until the early-1950s (Swedish PR Spits regularly overflew the USSR)

 

IMO, these stats do reflect the fact that the Germans lost the war - Spits were popular post-war as they were plentiful, cheap and still in production. Bf 109s were not plentiful by 1945, and only the Czechs were producing any. It looks as though on the whole only those nations who were desperate (ie: Israel) bought any post-war, and only nations who couldn't afford to buy shiny new jets didn't replace them rapidly.



#162 Armand

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 08:47 PM

I did not intend the discussion to be limited to just the war years - both aircraft served pre- and post-war also.

Given the outcome of the war, Messerschmitts didn't have the possibility to develop further until '55 like the Spit' did. Hence it's quite a uneven comparison IMO.
Until this posting (#16) it seems to me that the comments more likely concentrates around design alternations than ability to adapt to changing demands.
As both planes where top end interceptors/dogfighters wich is a rather specific job, and both sides had their alternative aircrafts to whatever would be needed, adaptibility isn't a quality that should be judged for any of them.
All in all I find a comparison of the two planes on this detail is senseless!

#163 Armand

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 09:45 PM

Because, as I said, he had followed, and was very much aware of, the changes to the "Spitfire" he had encountered as it progressed through the war. He had to! His life depended on it. He was constantly updated in aircraft identification. But show that same photo to a lay person (or even a person who is a fan of modern day airplanes but not those of WWII) who has seen photos of the Spitfire in a book on the Battle of Britain, and he will almost certainly say it is not a Spitfire but a sleek-but-different airplane. Do the same with 100 such folks, and the vast majority would do the likewise. The same would be true for the normal-production-run Mks V and IX, as well as some others.

Laypeoples ability to reckognize the main design is the reason why a Porsche is still a Porsche (911) though there isn't much comparability when the original 911 is placed beside any updated model!
For the automotive branch this is the fact wich is used with succes on almost any retro-models, like the BMW Mini, the New Beatle and the Fiat 500.
I think that the opposite of Your statement it's more likely: That laypersons will reckognize the late Spit's too, where fly-bluffs are the ones wich are getting disturbed by all the changed details !

#164 Armand

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 10:26 PM

Until this posting (#16) it seems to me that the comments more likely concentrates around design alternations than ability to adapt to changing demands.


Reading until post #100 with the same experience I now jump to the end and try backwards instead!

#165 Armand

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 10:29 PM

Kutscha:Just a matter of interest. I looked up the German term for wing loading: Wing Loading: Flächenbelastung. Literal translation: Surface Loading. Whoever did the English translation on the Bf 109G loading table sure messed that up. Perhaps it was someone not familiar with aviation terms, but still, "Maximum Load Area Takeoff Weight" is certainly not a good translation.


The translation is more likely 'surface-stress'!

#166 [email protected]

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Posted 13 July 2015 - 08:20 PM

What a good debate,you can add many variations for both fighters,but for me it would have to be the Spitfire in its various forms,as each modification came into service it became faster,from the mk 9 onwards,the clipped wing tips, the fitting of Hispano cannon made it a very. Formidable adversary against the 190 and the 109.the introduction of the 4bladed prop.I think the Spitfire had the edge over the 109/190.And last but not least the skill of the British pilots that flew them,pilots like Douglas Bader,Stanford Tuck,Johnny Johnson.to mention a few.Athough the ME109 may have been prayed as the under dog the 109 was still a good fighter even with the engine modifications that it had the Spit for me still had the edge.
Thanks for listening guys, regards Keith.

#167 [email protected]

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Posted 16 July 2015 - 07:25 PM

The Messerschmit 109 was Germany's primary fighter in the Battle Of Britian.The109 was a worthy adversary to the Spitfire and the Hurricane.In the mid1930s Willy Messerschmitt was well advanced in his plan for a monoplane fighter.His award winning 108, developed into the 109.The first trials took place in Oct 1935 and led to the Luftwaffe placing orders for ten prototypes of the 109, and its rival the He112.In an interesting piece of irony the first 109 prototypes were powered by British Rolls Royce Kestral Engines.
The 109 entered service with the Luftwaffe in The spring of 1937 and flew in the Spanish civil war.But this was not publicised by the Germans at the time,instead they attempted to impress the aviation world with flying displays of the 109 at international air shows where the plane won many awards.Numerous variants of the 109 were built prior to the start of the war,and in 1939 alone 1400 109s were built.At the start of the war the Luftwaffe had 1000 109s available for the Blitzkrieg attack on Poland.
By the time of the Battle of Britian ,the 109 that fought the RAF had one major advantage over its rivals,it's engine had a fuel injection system that allowed a constant fuel flow even in conditions of negative G. This meant that the pilot could dive away at a much faster pace than the Hurricane or Spitfire.The 109 had a limited range and therefore was a disadvantage meaning it couldn't spend much time over Britian whilst performing bomber escort,where as the Spit and Hurricane could land and refuel and re-arm this was not an option for 109pilots.Some variants of the 109 had a cannon placed in the hollowed out nose cone,however vibrations caused from its firing meant that the idea was dropped from the early 109s,but was taken up in later 109s when the vibration issue was sorted out.Most 109s were fitted with two wing mounted cannon and two machine guns mounted on top of the nose cone that fired through the propeller arc .The max speed of the 109 was 385mph (620 km/h) at 22,640ft and had an operational ceiling of 37,895ft and a range of 373miles(600km).
Thanks for listening guys,all the best Keith.




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