Best fighter in Eastern Front, 1943.

Discussion in 'Polls' started by Tante Ju, Jun 26, 2011.

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What was the best fighter in East Front in 1943? Please give reason!

  1. Bf 109G

    25.0%
  2. Fw 190A

    28.8%
  3. Bf 110G

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. La-5FN

    26.9%
  5. Yakovlev 9

    9.6%
  6. Hurricane

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. Spitfire Mark V

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. P-39

    5.8%
  9. P-40

    3.8%
  1. Tante Ju

    Tante Ju Banned

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    The question - best fighter in Eastern Front, 1943. Kursk battle timeframe. There is lot of discussion on western front. Really eastern front was more important in 1943 until year end, even in air.

    I believe best fighter was La 5FN. It is very fast, more manouverable, great climb. Speed - greater than Luftwaffe fighters where fighting occured.
    Aircraft had two excellent 20 mm Shwak cannon. Also, good visibility - advanced solution, fighter had clear rear armor of armor glass.

    Rate of roll was very good. Probably as good as Fw 190A. Reason - La 5 ailerons greater in relative area of wing than any other. Negative was greater working load of pilot - most system manual.
     
  2. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    #2 Juha, Jun 27, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2011
    Hello Tante Ju
    I cannot choose between La-5FN and Bf 109G, but definitely one of those two. La-5FN was the most dangerous opponent to the FAF 109Gs even if FAF pilots talk more on Yak-9 because of its agility, Yak was called “Wooden Spitfire” by some FAF pilots. When one reads the combat reports it seemed that the pilots gave most positive discriptions on Yak-9s but when one looks on victory and loss tables in Keskinen's and Stenman's LeR 3 and compares those claims/losses were the Finnish researchers think that they have found match from Soviet combat reports one got the impression that in reality La-5FN was the most dangerous opponent and against Yak-9 FAF Bf 109Gs achieved more or less same victory vs loss ratio as against P-39N and Q during the big combats of summer 44. Partly that may have been because usually Yaks and P-39s acted as close escorts and La-5FNs as high cover when VVS fighters were employed as escorts. But even against La-5s the FAF 109Gs achieved clearly positive exchange rate even if the max manifold pressure allowed to FAF 109Gs was 1.3ata.

    I would not choose Fw-190A because Soviet fighter pilots usually thought that 109 was a more dangerous opponent to them than 190.

    So I'd not vote, because I think that it was more or less tie between 109G and La-5FN.

    Juha
     
  3. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Like the clear triangles of armoured glass in the armour of the pressurised Bf109G-1 or the armoured glass panel of the so called Galland Panzer which was fitted ,initially on the G-6, from the summer of 1943 (from memory) :thumbup:

    Sorry I can't vote in your poll,I know nothing about the Soviet aircraft :cry:

    Cheers
    Steve
     
  4. Lighthunmust

    Lighthunmust Banned

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    #4 Lighthunmust, Jun 27, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2011
    Tante Ju and Juha I impulsively voted for the Fw190 yesterday but on further reflection and pulling out a couple of my books I agree with you. I think the thing that had me impulsively voting for the Fw190 was thinking of multi-mission capabilities, lower pilot work load and better pilot comfort for increased situational awareness. As a pure fighter flying short duration missions at eastern front altitudes you guys are probably right about the La-5FN.
     
  5. Lighthunmust

    Lighthunmust Banned

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    I also was once almost completely ignorant of how well many of the Russian aircraft performed. I still only have a superficial amount of knowledge of them. One obstacle I had to overcome is western design philosophy bias. That bias was almost certainly a relic of my Cold War childhood. My awareness now of Russian aircraft qualities is part of the the reason for my Signature comments containing the sentence "Genius knows no geographical boundaries".

    Steve
     
  6. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    I am going to open the doors of knowledgeable protestation :) by expressing my vote and confidence in the Bell P-39. Yes it had faults - but a skilled Soviet pilot, operating in the vertical and horizontal planes - could score both Fw-190 and Me-109 kills. Despite being a touch 'flukey' [electrics instead of hydraulics] and refined, Soviet pilots felt confident in this machine. It didn't fall apart under fire, and it crash-landed real smooth. Short range didn't matter cause it was flying 25 miles behind the front - with ground radar support and great radios :). Bell and the US supported the Soviet install base of P-39's - lots of replacement Allisons (life span less than 40 hours combat power) - ethyl lead additives for the AvGas. The P-39 package the Soviets got from Larry Bell and the US Gov't was totally class act No. 1 (IMHO).

    But the French boys who volunteered and flew in the Neumann-Normandie Escadrille liked their Yak's. And did well in them. What does that say :)

    I maintain that the Soviets liked the P-39 because it reminded them of fierce hummingbirds - on the steppes :)

    MM
     
  7. Lighthunmust

    Lighthunmust Banned

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    That's hilarious! :lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:

    Now I can't get that visualization out of my head.:)
     
  8. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    Not just the shape, Light, the tactics. Suicidally close for the kill. For years I've enjoyed the Rubythoats just above my head at the cabin - second story deck. They play chicken with each other - hilarious to watch. The Bells were there to protect the Sturmoviks from 'Messers' and 'Faulkers' plus follow-through bust up over the German rear if ammunition held out. Very solid - beautiful plane - but designed for the close kill.

    MM
     
  9. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Many great machines there; toss up between Messer Cobra for me.
    Michael covered P-39 rather good; 109 was considered by Soviets as a dangerous opponent. Croatian pilots flying 109s were confident in the their mounts, too.
     
  10. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    #10 parsifal, Jun 27, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2011
    when did the Yak-3 become operational? I think design work began in 1942, but squadron delivery was July 1944. If it was on the list, I think it would have to be considered a serious contender, but perhaps its just outside the survey period
     
  11. DonL

    DonL Banned

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    #11 DonL, Jun 27, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2011
    I go with the FW 190A.

    The air war in the east was a low to mid altitude war the whole war till end.
    And at this altitude the FW 190A could play all her best parts because it was optimized for low and mid altitudes.

    Beside this, it was the best gun platform and the four cannons were disastrous.
     
  12. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    More kills then any other fighter aircraft in history.
    Dirt cheap to produce.
    Relatively fuel efficient. This makes for easier logisitics.
    Easy to fly.
    Supercharger coupling provides a smooth power curve at most altitudes.
    Reliable.
    Easy to operate from grass / dirt runways common in Russia.
    Plenty of firepower and it's all mounted on the centerline for superior accuracy.
    Cockpit and fuel tank reasonably well protected for such a light aircraft.
    A bunch of field kits available. This makes for a more versatile aircraft.

    The Fw-190 carried about 50% more internal fuel, which would be nice. But you can only fit so much in the small and inexpensive Me-109 airframe.
     
  13. DonL

    DonL Banned

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    #13 DonL, Jun 27, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2011
    This is a myth!
    From all research I have done on german WWII piston aircrafts, the Me 109G was a real bitch to fly because of the very high control pressures! Only the experts could manage to handle it's performance to a 100% level. The FW 190A was much easier to handle for newcomers because of the lower or very low control pressures and it was much easier to fly this bird to the 100% limit!

    Next myth!
    The FW 190 was much much easier to handle from grass/dirt runways because the FW 190A undercarriage was much stronger then the undercarriage of the Bf 109G.

    2 MG's and 1 cannon against 4 cannons? What will you name the firepower of 4 cannons?
     
  14. Lighthunmust

    Lighthunmust Banned

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    #14 Lighthunmust, Jun 27, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2011
    "More kills then any other fighter aircraft in history."

    Due in large part to 30,000+ being made, far fewer stable mates in comparison to Allies stables, and duration of use, so of course it had more kills.

    "Dirt cheap to produce."

    Due in some part in that like VW Bugs not many changes over the years and after the first 10,000 or so you would think they figured out how to do it on the cheap. Yes I know it used fewer resources and less man hours than comparable American fighters.

    "Easy to fly."

    As compared to what? Certainly not compared to a Spitfire.

    "Easy to operate from grass / dirt runways common in Russia."

    Let's not even talk about the landing and take-off accident controversy surrounding Willy's "creative" landing gear design. In comparison to Russian fighters I doubt it was a good.

    "Plenty of firepower and it's all mounted on the centerline for superior accuracy."

    Which makes me wonder why Erich Hartmann thought it so necessary to get so close to the enemy as to stick the nose into the enemy's cockpit.

    I will agree that Bf109 aka ME109 was a great fighter and a threat to anything in the air, but I think it somewhat overrated just like the Spitfire and Mustang. I also think Russian fighters are underrated by most people.
     
  15. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    For the same reason every expert fighter pilot from every nation opted to shoot from close range. Until gyrostabilized gunsites were introduced you could not reliably hit a 300+ mph fighter aircraft from a distance greater then 200 meters.
     
  16. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    I thought had a reputation of having exceptional long range firing skill. Then again, he probably had exceptional everything when it to piloting
     
  17. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Nobody really "liked" a single 20mm and a pair of 7.62-8mm mgs. But if that is what you had, that is what you fought with. While thousands of Russian planes carried the same basic armament, they were never happy with it and tried a number of times to change but being stuck with the VK-105 engine, increasing the weight of the armament often imposed either performance penalties or CG issues that were considered worse than the light armament. Many Russian aircraft swapped two 7.62 mgs for a single 12.7 MG. At times they did accept the performance "hit".


    Another reason for sticking the nose in opponents cockpit was low muzzle velocities and different times of flight for the different caliber guns. Once the range starts to get into the 300yd and beyond area, different caliber guns need different leads or aiming points for defection shooting. Different rounds also bled speed at different rates so even a similar MV doesn't mean a similar flight time or trajectory.
     
  18. Lighthunmust

    Lighthunmust Banned

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    Both of your posts further support the argument that center line armament in WW2 fighters really didn't provide an advantage. Even at very close range, well before the average 200 yard convergence of wing guns, some of the innate dispersion of 4-8 guns aids in making some hits on an opponent rapidly moving in several directions simultaneously. With centerline armament you either make a devastating hit or miss, considering the crude fire control systems at the time, wing armament seems the way to go for average marksmen.
     
  19. Lighthunmust

    Lighthunmust Banned

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    #19 Lighthunmust, Jun 28, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2011
    No doubt he was exceptional. I will pull out his book today and check my memories. What I think I will find is his admission that most of his success was from guile and close proximity, and not long range marksmanship. I think it will indicate He understood the limited number of projectiles and their power from any burst, his limited ammunition supply, and difficulty of hitting even an unaware moving target from a moving aircraft at long range. Many of his kills will be the just like many of the kills of other fighter pilots, made at close range on targets that realized too late he was attacking or from recognize the color of their eyes range.

    From a exterior ballistics point of view anyone with experience shooting rifles at ranges beyond 200 yards realizes that the ability to understand the environmental factors of light and wind are what separate winners and losers. It is hard enough to make very accurate hits on the ground at stationary targets from hundreds of yards, imagine how hard it must be to do this from a moving aircraft at another moving aircraft in combat. Even with MG and Auto-cannon there were many more misses than hits. From personal experience I can tell you shooting at walking man targets at 300 yards with an rifle is the beginning range for being challenging.
     
  20. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    ".... Until gyrostabilized gunsites were introduced you could not reliably hit a 300+ mph fighter aircraft from a distance greater then 200 meters. "

    "Close" also overcomes issues of different weapon trajectories ... 37 mm + 50 cals in P-39, for example.

    MM
     
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