Best R1820/R1830 fighter

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by gjs238, Aug 26, 2011.

  1. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    - F2A Buffalo
    - P-36 Hawk
    - F4F Wildcat
    - CAC Boomerang
    - FFVS 22
    - Fokker D.XXI
    - P-43 Lancer
    - Seversky P-35
    - VL Myrsky
    - P-66 Vanguard
    - ???

    What got me thinking about this were other threads where people were debating F4F vs P-40, etc.
    If the F4F is really worth comparing to the P-40, then perhaps there are other R1820/R1830 powered fighters that would be better contenders than the F4F.
    After all, aren't naval aircraft built to more rugged/heavier standards to withstand the punishment of carrier landings?
     
  2. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Best at what?

    The F2A turned out not to be a good carrier fighter because the landing gear wasn't strong enough. I would say that puts some of the land based fighters on shaky ground for carrier use to start with.

    Best over 20,000ft?

    Has to be the P-43 or F4F, none of the others had a supercharger installation that offered enough power to keep them competitive at those heights.

    Best at ground attack?

    P-35 had the highest (official) bomb load until the FM-2 came along. and that was how many years later?

    AS used in WW II (without "what if tweaks") the choice quickly drops to;

    - P-36 Hawk
    - F4F Wildcat
    - CAC Boomerang
    - FFVS 22

    and the CAC Boomerang might be suspect in air to air combat.

    The Fokker D. XXI never used one of the specified engines and some of the other aircraft were dogs in way way or another.
     
  3. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Aircraft Weight, Loaded (data from Wikipedia)
    5,040 lbs. F2A-1.
    5,650 lbs. P-36A.
    7,000 lbs. F4F-3.

    The F4F was relatively heavy. If all three aircraft are powered by the same engine I think it would have the worst performance.
     
  4. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    But they were not powered by the same engines. The F2A-1 was powered by a 950 hp 9 cylinder Cyclone. Not only was this engine over 100lbs lighter than later 1100-1200 Cyclones (and over 200lbs lighter than than R-1830s) but the propeller used was only of 9ft diameter compared to the later 10ft propellers on the later Buffaloes. Power plant weight of the F2A-1 was about 1550 lbs which jumped to 1893lbs for the F2A-2 and then to 2088lbs for the F2A-3.

    Power plant weight for the F4F-3 went over 2500lbs but that includes the two stage supercharger and intercooler. adding 1000lbs to the F2A-1 all forward of the fire wall is going to make for a very badly balanced aircraft.
     
  5. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    If F2A landing gear was insufficient for sustained CV use then installing a more powerful version of the engine is probably a moot point.

    However I would not be so quick to write off the P-36. The aircraft performed well in 1940 Europe. Keep the engine up to date and it might be superior to F4Fs and P-39s historically operating from Guadalcanal during the fall of 1942.
     
  6. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    That 5,040lb weight for the F2A-1 also includes an armament of just one .50 cal gun and one .30 cal gun. As does the weight of the P-36A. Add in extra guns (even .30 cal), armor, self sealing tanks and the P-36 is going somewhat over 6,000lbs. The engine used in the F4F was several hundred pounds heavier than the one used in the P-36. the extra supercharger stage and the intercoolers do cost something, both in weight and drag.
     
  7. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    I don't doubt it. However the P-36 can gain quite a bit of weight yet still weigh less then the F4F.
     
  8. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Depends on what you you want for armament. As I said. the one .30 cal and one .50 cal with ammo in the P-36 weigh 214lbs. the four .50 cal guns and full ammo of over 400rpg of the F4F weigh about 700lbs. A P-40C had just 93lbs of armor and bullet proof glass. The P-36 had none. The P-40 lost fuel capacity and gained around 250lbs with the self sealing tanks. And then you have the problem of the US standards for "G" loading. The US wanted it's fighters stressed for 12 "G"s Ultimate load factor to give a 50% safety margin in flight. Increasing the weight to 6450lbs (800lbs more than the P-36A) reduces the "G" loading to 10.5. The airframe is going to need beefing up for more weight. Heavier tires and/or landing gear may be needed for the increased weight too. There were reports of wing skin buckling on early P-36s. Increasing the normal flying weight by hundreds of pounds and not beefing up the wing a little bit would probably NOT be a good idea.

    And then you have the fact that at 20,000ft or so the F4F with it's two stage supercharger may have 10% more power available than a single stage supercharged P-36 would have. this may help offset the higher weight.
     
  9. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Hypothetical P-36DB

    - Same engine (and supercharger) as F4Fs in production at that time.
    - 4 x .50cal MGs. Similiar to some models of the F4F and P-51.
    - 93lbs of pilot armor similiar to P-40C.
    - Fuel tanks will not be self sealing. Combat radius was very important in the Pacific. Perhaps more important then limited additional protection provided by self sealing fuel tanks.
     
  10. post76

    post76 Member

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    The F4f was probably the better all around fighter because of its altitude performance and range, although the P-36 had to be competitive at some point because it was also the first aircraft to shoot down a 109. It also dove well, and had a similar control linkage as the P-40.
    I wondered how it compared to the D 520 and MS 406 since it participated in the battle of France.
     
  11. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Power to weight ratio has a direct impact on acceleration and rate of climb. The P-36 should be superior to the F4F in both areas.

    Maneuverability counts too (both roll and flat turn). I think the P-36 was good at both. The P-36 lacks top speed but so does every other fighter aircraft powered by the same engine.

    Last but not least...
    The P-36 was probably the only inexpensive fighter aircraft made by the USA during the WWII era. You could purchase two or three P-36s for the price of most other American made fighter aircraft.
     
  12. aircro

    aircro Member

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    But what about P-43A Lancer, with 573km/h(356mph) faster than any of above?
    From Combat Aircraft of WWII, E.C.Weal:
    Weight e/max - 2720kg(5996lb)/3847kg(8480lb)
    Wing area - 21.72sqm(233sqft)
    Time to - 4572m(15000ft)/6min
    Range max 2333km(1450mil)
    Armament 2×.50 and 2×.30 Brownings
    Of 272 to China 108 and 8 to Australia.
     
  13. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    P-36 proved itself very well in combat (France) as well as the Buffalo by use by the Finns.
     
  14. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    At least that's what Wikipedia says.

    A shame because otherwise the P-43 looks like a superior performer.
     
  15. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Using the same engine as the F4F means several hundred pouds more engine weight, it means more drag for the inter cooler. More speed at 20,000ft. less speed at sealevel or 10,000ft.

    I gave you the difference in weights for the armament. F4Fs had more armor than the the P-40C. Not using self sealing tanks would have made the "Hypothetical P-36D" just as flammable as the Zero, not a good trade for range, especially considering it wouldhavenottrick at all to stick the same drop tank the P-40 used under a P-36 to get range.
     
  16. post76

    post76 Member

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    #16 post76, Sep 4, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2011

    It might've been faster because it reached its top speed above 20,000ft, but some of the comparisons i've seen put it behind the pack in acceleration.
    My thinking is that it was more of a concept fighter that they attempted to put into combat which probably explains its limited use despite being somewhat more
    advanced than the other fighters listed.
    On paper it looks like it would be comparable to the F4F but we all know that on-paper stats are sometimes limited when it comes to comparisons.
    Which also begs the question if the F4F was all that impressive in performance compared to some of the land based fighters.
    In other words, the F4F was probably favored for its ability to land and take off from a carrier rather than its actual performance advantages.
     
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