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Duel over China: Curtiss Model 68 Hawk III vs. Mitsubishi G3M


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#11 Rick65

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Posted 06 September 2017 - 09:24 AM

looking at data from a variety of websites, there were three main versions of the G3M.

The G3M1 had 910hp engines and a top speed of 225mph

The most produced G3M2 was introduced in 1937 and was the type most involved in the August 1937 raids that led to the conflict with Hawk III that is the subject of this discussion.

This version had 1061hp engines and a top speed of 233mph.

The G3M3 mentioned by Corsning was introduced in 1941 when the type was largely obsolete.

It had 1300hp engines and a speed of 258mph.

I had always assumed that the maximum speeds quoted for bombers were clean with no bombload, making the operational performance of all significantly less, particularly if they do not have a bomb bay as the Nell did not.

Is there an established regime for this sort of testing?

 

In the video the Nell's are presumably undertaking a long distance raid so full of fuel for the return, they extend their retractible turrets on sighting the Hawks and they are visibly carrying external bombs so their speed would have been far below the quoted maximum of 233mph.


Edited by Rick65, 06 September 2017 - 09:47 AM.


#12 bearoutwest

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Posted 06 September 2017 - 11:59 AM

If the Navy Land Attack bomber tactics over China were anything like those over Northern Australia in 1942-43, then they would have comprised a medium altitude approach and bomb release followed by a slight angle diving egress to build up speed and avoid intercepting fighters.

 

So if your defending fighters were caught climbing or had minimal combat speed overtake advantage over the bombers, then the fighters were very unlikely to catch the G3M style bombers.  This would seem to tie in with the various combat recollections of Chinese fighter pilots in 1937, where most damage was scored on the G3M by the fighters squadrons/groups who were positioned for a firing pass early, rather than those with a stern chase option.



#13 Rick65

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 05:59 AM

Lots of information on Hakans Aviation Page,

Biplane Fighter Aces from the Second World War

Following is part of the description of just one day, 14 August.

Ineresting that the Nells are described as the slowest type, M1s

 

http://surfcity.kund...panese-1937.htm

 

The IJNAF Kanoya Kokutai dispatched nine Mitsubishi G3M1 Model 11 long-range bombers under the command of Lieutenant Commander Nitta to attack the Schien Chiao Airfield near Hangchou and nine under the command of Lieutenant Commander Asano to attack the Kwang-teh Airfield. The Japanese planes took off from Matsuyama Airfield in Taipei at 14:50 (local Japanese time), each carrying two 250kg bombs.
The raid was soon spotted by the Chinese and the Chinese intelligence reported that a number of Japanese bombers had taken-off from an airfield Taiwan, crossed the Formosa Strait and were heading north over Chekiang in the direction of Hangchou. At this time, Hangchou was only defended by a handful of Hawk IIIs flown by instructors from the Central Chinese Aviation Academy since reinforcements from Chou Chia-Kou hadn't been able to fly in due to bad weather. Colonel Kao Chi-Hang had previously flown from Nanchang to Schien Chiao to await the 4th PG's Hawk III's, which were flying in from Chou Chia-Kou in the Honan Province and which was under his command. The three squadrons of the 4th PG encountered heavy weather en route, with heavy rain and low visibility.
However barely had the warning been received when a number of Hawk IIIs from the 21st and 23rd Squadrons of the 4th PG landed. The newly arrived fighters were hurriedly re-fuelled but this was far from complete when the air alarm started due to the arrival of Lieutenant Commander Nitta's bombers. Colonel Kao rushed to his aircraft no. IV-1, which had just been landed by Captain Mao Ying-Chu. Ordering Mao to go get another aircraft, Kao jumped into IV-1 and, without waiting to be refueled, took off immediately. He joined up with Lieutenant Tan Won who had just spotted Nitta's flight (No.1 Shotai) of 3 G3Ms.
The Japanese came in at the low "attack" altitude of 500m, which made it easier for the Chinese to intercept them right after the take-off. The Japanese dropped their bombs on the airfield doing little damage. Tan opened fire on the No.3 G3M in Nitta's Shotai. However, the much more experienced Kao noted that Tan had opened fire from out of effective range. Kao then bore in himself and closed in also on the No.3 Japanese aircraft. He first silenced the two Japanese gunners and then closed in to 20m(!) firing steadily at the left engine. The wing tanks on the left wing caught fire and the G3M crashed burning near the town of Ban Shan near the airfield.
Kao then spotted the 3rd Shotai and attacked the No. 2 aircraft between Schien Chiao and Chien Tang River. Again, Kao bore in to close range firing at the fuselage and the left wing on the G3M, putting the left engine out of action. Kao’s engine was then hit by return fire forcing him to return to Schien Chiao.
While Kao was attacking the No.2 plane in the 3rd Shotai, 21st PS Squadron Leader Captain Lee Kuei-Tan and his wingmen Lieutenant Wang Wen-Hua and Lieutenant Liu Chi-Sheng caught up with the no. 3 plane of the same Shotai. Shooting at the hapless G3M repeatedly, the three brought it down near Ban Shan.
The 22nd PS refueled at Kwang-teh and took off at 16:20 to fly to Schien Chiao where they landed at around 17:00. The 22nd PS was on the ground, refueling at Schien Chiao when the Japanese bombers dropped their bombs and they scrambled trying to catch the Japanese bombers that were flying east. They flew to the mouth of the Chien Tang Chiang (river) amid low cloud and bad weather where they lost sight of the Japanese aircraft and returned to base. Pilots included in this chase were flight leader Lieutenant Le Yi-Chin and 2nd Lieutenant Chang Kwang-Ming. However, Lieutenant Cheng Hsiao-Yu of the 22nd PS managed to intercepted them. Cheng had taken off too late to intercept Nitta's flights during the attack and flew on to Chien Tang Chiang on a hunch. After passing Weng-chiao Pu Airfield, Cheng reported good visibility below the clouds. Spotting the G3Ms, Cheng gave chase and attacked one of them. Cheng reported shooting at and hitting the right wing of his target. A fire broke out but then quickly went out again. Cheng attacked 6 - 7 times before breaking off when his ammo was exhausted.



#14 bearoutwest

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Posted 08 September 2017 - 04:14 AM

Dan Fords website might be of interest too.  He covers both Japanese and Chinese air operations and the Flying Tigers:

https://www.warbirdf...com/cafhist.htm






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