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Names of WWII Fighters


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#71 bearoutwest

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 04:22 AM

Armand,

I believe Doolittle asked the British RAE to assist him with one thing - to investigate why the USAAF fighters of the time (P-51B, P-47C and P-38H) couldn't match the Luftwaffe Fw190s and Bf109s in very high-speed (of the day) maneuvres.  The speeds where the control difficulties occurred where - at the time - only achievable by piston engine fighters in a high speed dive.  The Luftwaffe's preferred tactic with the Bf109 has always been a bounce dive approach from above - with it's relative small size and high performance and heavy firepower.  Against escorted USAAF bomber formations, it was more a necessity, so as to reduce exposure time to bomber return fire and escort intercept.  It would appear that under these conditions, the USAAF fighters could not catch the Bf109s/Fw190s in a sustained, controllable manner.  Doolittle wanted to know why.  Brown and his fellow RAE pilots demonstrated to him why this was the case.

 

This commentary - taken out of context - has been used to denigrate Eric Brown on a number of occasions.  The P-38 comment has to be viewed in light of what the discussion was actually about.  NOT that the P-38 was useless as a fighter, but that in countering the high-speed dive attacks by Bf109s/Fw190s, the P-51B was more suitable than the P-47C and the P-38H.

 

There is no dogfight detail if your P-38H loses control when chasing a diving Bf109 at high speeds beyond Mach 0.68.


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#72 Armand

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 06:38 AM

Armand,
I believe Doolittle asked the British RAE to assist him with one thing - to investigate why the USAAF fighters of the time (P-51B, P-47C and P-38H) couldn't match the Luftwaffe Fw190s and Bf109s in very high-speed (of the day) maneuvres. The speeds where the control difficulties occurred where - at the time - only achievable by piston engine fighters in a high speed dive. The Luftwaffe's preferred tactic with the Bf109 has always been a bounce dive approach from above - with it's relative small size and high performance and heavy firepower. Against escorted USAAF bomber formations, it was more a necessity, so as to reduce exposure time to bomber return fire and escort intercept. It would appear that under these conditions, the USAAF fighters could not catch the Bf109s/Fw190s in a sustained, controllable manner. Doolittle wanted to know why. Brown and his fellow RAE pilots demonstrated to him why this was the case.

This commentary - taken out of context - has been used to denigrate Eric Brown on a number of occasions. The P-38 comment has to be viewed in light of what the discussion was actually about. NOT that the P-38 was useless as a fighter, but that in countering the high-speed dive attacks by Bf109s/Fw190s, the P-51B was more suitable than the P-47C and the P-38H.

There is no dogfight detail if your P-38H loses control when chasing a diving Bf109 at high speeds beyond Mach 0.68.

However RAE didn't tell why, just confirm that they did :-/

As for the PTO was the achilles heel of Japanese aircraft generally lack of dive speed, hence equalling the trouble of the P-38!

Edited by Armand, 15 April 2018 - 06:41 AM.


#73 bearoutwest

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 12:08 PM

It's been over 70 years since the tests, the documents are probably available - out of secret time requirements and all that.  Unfortunately, I'm on the other side of the planet from British National Archives, but perhaps someone with some time and interest could pay a visit one day?



#74 Ricky

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 06:57 PM

It may not exist - floods at Orford Ness and fires at Farnborough destroyed a lot of wartime test records.

#75 bearoutwest

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 01:08 PM

Pity, would have made interesting reading.  Speaking of which, this month's issue of Aviation Historian (#23), has an article on the US-based compressability effect testing on controls of the P-38.

 

I wonder if any of the US Archives contain any copies of these reports?  RAE wartime tests were often shared with the NACA.


Edited by bearoutwest, 16 April 2018 - 01:14 PM.



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