1944: the best fighter under 15000 ft?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by tomo pauk, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Plenty of contenders here, from all parts of the world. Soviet types are trumpeted as great planes for low altitudes, but others have something to offer, too, if not better. Count it all in - raw performance figures, maneuverability (that's going to be a grey area), weaponry, protection, etc.
    No prototypes, one-offs, just in-service planes. Combat range and carrier capability yield no points here :)
     
  2. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Tempest
    F4U
    Fw-190A8
    Fw-190D9

    All very capable in most respects. However like most U.S. aircraft the F4U was lacking in firepower.


    1944 versions of Me-109 and Spitfire were nothing to sneeze at either. Late war versions of DB605 and Merlin engines gave these aircraft a superb power to weight ratio.
     
  3. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    And the Soviet La-5FN/La-7 and Yak-3, even if they were deficient in range.
     
  4. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    Tempest is my choice. Its climb and speed at low level are exceptional plus it was well armed
     
  5. DonL

    DonL Banned

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    #5 DonL, Jan 13, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
    Tempest or FW 190-D-9 with MW50, very tough choice.

    I'm not prepared to make a choice, if had seen more valid datas.

    Edit:

    No chance against a Tempest or a Fw 190 D-9 with MW50, from all viewpoints.
     
  6. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    Hello Don

    La-7 (s/n 452132-76):

    0-616 km/h; 24,2 m/s
    1000-639 km/h; 24,2 m/s
    2000-661; 20
    2200-666; -
    3000-657; 18,6
    4000-645; 15,0
    5000-651; 15,0
    6000-672; 12,7

    I'd say that it had a good chance against D-9 at low level

    Juha
     
  7. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    I believe both the La-5 FN and the La-7 were superior to the Fw 190D at low altitude in maneuverability and had the speed and firepower to be deadly. At least they shot down a LOT of Fw 190 aircraft during the real war. The late Ray Hanna said the La-11 (same family tree) would out-accelerate and out-roll a Bearcat, and that is saying something.

    Another couple of contenders at low level are the Ki-100 and the Ki-84. They are among the best at low level, but are relatively unsung for some strange reason.

    Ditto the Reggianne Re.2005 and Macchi MC.205, but were not really produced in numbers before Italy ceased hostilities.

    One of the very best was the Grumman F8F Bearcat, but it didn't get to actually fight in WWII, so I can't really consider it as a candidate. Same with the P-51H ... didn't make the war as a combat aircraft and actually fight. Still, if either HAD met an enemy, they'd have done well, so maybe a mention is worth it in the thread even if they don't really count.
     
  8. DonL

    DonL Banned

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    #8 DonL, Jan 13, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
    Till now I haven't found any primary source or docus from the LW, which stated an outstanding performance of the La-5FN/La-7 compare to the D-9 or A-8.

    Quite the contrary, where the JG's were fielded they could get air superrmarcy even late 1944!
    I haven't found till now any hints that the LW was impressed about the VVS a/c's or performance, but there are a lot of references to the P51, Spitfire, Tempest and P47!

    Do you have any sustained sources for this claim?

    From my sources, the performance of the VVS and the a/c's of the VVS was nothing what was impressing to the LW and the fielded JG's in the East late war end 1944/45.

    From all I have read about the D-9, the pilots were quite self confident about their a/c as long as they could use MW50 and didn't do some fighting higher then 7000m.

    Edit:
    It is quite interesting that you are claiming this for the F8F and the P51H but has denied it for the Ta 152H, in other threads, although the Ta 152H shot down a Tempest and a bunch of Yak9 from primary sources.
     
  9. Aozora

    Aozora Well-Known Member

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    #9 Aozora, Jan 13, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
    This is a tough one because there are so many contenders; I'm picking the Tempest by a very short head over the 190D-9, but noting that the strategic situation in 1945 meant that the D didn't always have MW50.

    (BTW: came across this interesting site Ludwigslust aerial combat while looking for info on a famous Tempest v Ta 152 combat. Lots of scope for debate...:firestarter:)
     
  10. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    That's a chunk of my life I won't get back :)

    Steve
     
  11. Kryten

    Kryten Member

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    Tempest here, although mk XII spit deserves a mention in dispatches as this was what it was built for!
     
  12. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    #12 Juha, Jan 13, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
    Concidering huge gains the Red Army made in 44, was the case that LW air supermarcy didn't have effect on ground, OKH and OKL didn't bother to commit JGs avaiable to right places or was it simply a case that the Soviet High Command continuously utwitted German High Command and JGs available were simply misplaced?

    I don't have seen official reports but at least Lipfert according to his memoirs was impressed and Barkhorn had once hard times with, of all planes, a LaGG-3, Ok most probably with Serie 66 plane.

    So seem to have been Soviet fighter pilots. Generally they thought that 'Messers' were more dangerous opponents than 'Fokkers.'

    Have you seen Soviet/Russian primary sources on those Yak-9 losses? Spitfires seems to have shot down 2 Ta 152Hs but IMHO that didn't prove that Spit was superior to Ta 152. And Yak-9, especially Yak-9M wasn't the hottiest plane of VVS in 45.

    Juha
     
  13. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to reiterate the call for proof on that. Also are you sure that they were shooting down A and D series? The F series, the ground attack version which was heavily armored and armed and NOT optimized for fighter-on-fighter combat, was often mistaken by the Soviets as fighter variants and I could see the 'lots' of FW190s shot down being the F-series ground attack variant that couldn't maneuver compared to the better Soviet fighters. Of couse the Soviets routinely lied about all sorts of things, for example what happened at Prokhorovka, so until I see some verified information I'm not inclined to believe claims like this.
     
  14. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    Hello Wiking
    II./JG 54 lost 20 190As in Dec 44 durch Feindeinw. and 10 more to other reasons while it was based at Libau/Liepada.

    Juha
     
  15. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    By trying to compare aircraft performance by arguing about who "killed" who you are ignoring the single most important component of any combat aircraft,the pilot. In the period you are discussing many Luftwaffe pilots had about 10 hours on operational types. What chance would such a man have had against an experienced pilot flying an aircraft that was even remotely comparable in performance?

    Even in the "Ludwigslust" combat some are comparing the performance of two relatively similar aircraft,one flown by the hugely experienced Reschke and the other,Mitchell,described as a new pilot with the unit. What Mitchell's previous experience was I don't know but I doubt he would have anything like that of Reschke.

    Cheers
    Steve
     
  16. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    Since the thread is about 1944, no sense in bringing the Ta 152 into the discussion and the Fw190D-9 didn't start combat ops in December with MW-50 - at least not according to Caldwell's JG 26 sources. No sense in talking about F-8F or P-51H either or P-47N.

    I do believe the Ki-84 and Ki-100 need to be at or near the top of any list of pure dogfighter with firepower and range. The La 7 and Yak 3 were also very formidable below 15,000 feet as well as the P-63.
     
  17. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    The first production Ta 152 weren't handed over to Rechlin for testing until 11th December 1944!
    They were irrelevant to the air fighting in 1944,infact they were irrelevant to WW2 :)
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  18. jim

    jim Banned

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    Really i dont want to take part anymore in discussions but i cant allow the truth to be mis presented like this
    LIPFERT WAS NOT IMPRESSED BY LA7. He was impressed by YAK3 while he was flying Bf109G6 with out MW50

    You said II/jg54 lost 20 Fw1920As in Deceber 1944 . What you dont bother to mention is against what odds were they fighting? 1:20 ? 1:30?
    I am sure you know well the force balance of that battle. Were their airfields under constant attack? What was the state of the aircrafts? You know well the answer .
    You also know the LW fighter strength on the eastern front for the entire 1944 , but you still put irony against Mr DonL
    Soviets planes may performed exceptionally in Soviet test centers, but Mr DonL is correct. Germans,at the front, were not terrifeid by them at any time.
    Lipfert himself was flying without orders in April 45 to score his 200 kill ( I know you dont believe these numbers) .Obviously not impressed enough
    It s easy to produce a very manouverable aircraft. If you dont care for the pilot, you cut instruments, wings strength, landing gear strength and the weight is low. Now if the plane brakes during combat ,who cares.Anyway no one will dare to protest. If it reqiures great pilot work load because of fully manual engine controls ( that leads to sub performance during the heat of the battle) thats again ok. On paper looks good.
    If you also cut radios, again the weight goes down. Now the enemy may be radar directed because of great radio equipment but again,on paper you look good.
    The amazing light guns are great for the performance as well. Now for how much they shoot straiht is a detail.
    Give up the high altitude performance so you improve low altitude engine performance.. The enemy may bounce at you from altitude but you dont care. You have countless fighters and expendables pilots. The ground attack planes are even lower and thus protected
    Also accept lower engine life, greater acceptance tolerance in production examples, and you have a super fighter. On paper.
     
  19. vinnye

    vinnye Member

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    If it were my plane that I was going to use on operations, it would be a Tempest - good spee, firepower and fairly nimble.
    I would also have the advantage of being quite well trained and have usually numerical superiority over my enemy.
    I would most likely have Spitfires or P51's acting as "top cover" - would not hurt would it!
    I believe that someone posted that the LW suggested that its pilots avoid low level combat with Soviet aircraft, so I presume they must have had a good reason for this advice?
    All in all, it did not look good for any LW pilot in 1944!
    If you were a seasoned combat vet, you may be able to manage many situations, but odds of upto 50 to 1 - make things look pretty bleak!
     
  20. Kryten

    Kryten Member

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    Not a paper super fighter, a battle winning combination, if you can build enough slightly lower spec planes, crew them with enough slightly lower trained pilots and be able to absorb greater casualties than your enemy, your going to win!
    the Russians closed the quality gap substaintially in the later years of the war, they may not have been as good as the Luftwaffe's aircraft but they were good enough, there were plenty of them and they won!
    Old army saying, "quantity has a quality all of it's own"
     
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