Bf-109 vs P-40

Discussion in 'Polls' started by beaupower32, Jan 1, 2009.

?

P-40 vs Bf 109

  1. Curtiss P-40 Warhawk

    25.5%
  2. Messerschmitt Bf 109

    74.5%
  1. beaupower32

    beaupower32 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    1,840
    Likes Received:
    41
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Lancaster, California
    Going off of the Hurricane vs 110 thread, how about a bf-109 vs P-40 thread. To me, it is very hard to think which one is better, but I think it will have to come down to pilot in the end. Lets hear your thoughts.
     
  2. renrich

    renrich Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Messages:
    4,542
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    real estate
    Location:
    Montrose, Colorado
    Whew! I think that the P40 was considered as dessert for the 109. The P40 would have to be well flown with mutual support tactics to survive against BF 109s.
     
  3. MikeGazdik

    MikeGazdik Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Messages:
    531
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Ohio
    I will just wait till the Messerschmitt comes down to me in my Curtiss!
     
  4. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Messages:
    23,053
    Likes Received:
    994
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Animal Control Officer
    Location:
    Southern New Jersey
    If you're in the P-40 I think the only advantage would be for you to go down to the Bf 109s and then get the 'ell out of there! :)
     
  5. MikeGazdik

    MikeGazdik Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Messages:
    531
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Ohio
    I think the P-40 (USAAF) in the MTO, had well over 500 aerial kills. Sure the Bf 109 has the advantage on paper. But it would not be dessert.
     
  6. Clay_Allison

    Clay_Allison Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1,203
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    At low alt, it was even. When the Germans realized that P-40 lost performance above 17,000 feet, they hunted higher and fought with energy and killed them pretty bad.

    The war department minimized the need for high altitude operations and retarded development of the two-stage supercharger for the Allison (by indicating that they weren't interested). Thus the P-40, the P-39, the P-51A and to a lesser extent the P-38 suffered from their short sightedness.

    The P-40 was, in my opinion, a better AIRFRAME than the Me-109. Just the Me-109 landing gear (or operational lack thereof) is enough evidence for me. The DB 600 series engines were masterpieces though and elevated an inferior airframe to being a better overall fighter plane.
     
  7. KrazyKraut

    KrazyKraut Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2008
    Messages:
    339
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I don't see where you get that from. The P-40s landing gear wasn't exactly a marvel either and its arrangement was aerodynamically inefficient. Most articles I have read describe the P-40's airframe as overly complex for a single engined fighter (e.g. 5 spar wing). I do think the P-40s, in its Kittyhawk variants, were decently armed and overall acceptable fighters, but inferior to Spitfire and Bf 109 not to even mention the Mustang.
     
  8. beaupower32

    beaupower32 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    1,840
    Likes Received:
    41
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Lancaster, California
     
  9. Soren

    Soren Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    Messages:
    6,624
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The Bf-109F was much faster, climbed much quicker and turned much tighter. So the Bf-109F was no doubt the better a/c, but pilot skill can easily make up the difference.
     
  10. Clay_Allison

    Clay_Allison Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1,203
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    1/3 of all 109s built were destroyed in takeoff and landing accidents. That's ridiculous. Nothing like that happened to the P-40.
     
  11. KrazyKraut

    KrazyKraut Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2008
    Messages:
    339
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Where's the source for that? We recently had some numbers on landing accidents of German fighters here and they showed no extraordinarily high rates for the Bf 109. Certainly there were fighters with more robust landing gears, but the 109 was superior to the P-40 in much more relevant aspects.
     
  12. renrich

    renrich Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Messages:
    4,542
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    real estate
    Location:
    Montrose, Colorado
    As stated in another thread, the P40 had 592 kills in the Med. I suspect that few of those were 109s. The "Star of Africa", I believe, on his best day claimed 17 kills. Most of those were P40s.
     
  13. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    Messages:
    2,281
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    none
    Location:
    Lazio
    they had 592 claims
     
  14. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    41,771
    Likes Received:
    687
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    A&P - Aircraft Technician
    Location:
    USA/Germany
    Gotta go with Bf 109 here.

    I think it was a better airframe overall, better performance where it counted the most (later varients our performed it at all areas I believe but do not take my word on it, this is off of memory) and Armament was better.
     
  15. beaupower32

    beaupower32 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    1,840
    Likes Received:
    41
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Lancaster, California

    Here is what I found. Dont know about the times being accurate, but might give a indacation of how the day went down.

    On September 1st 1942 (ironically, a 3rd anniversary of outbreak of the war) Marseille down 17 allies planes in three sorties. His first encounter that day was with a P-40 which had attack Stukas. It went down in flames rather quickly. Then six Spitfires acting as escort to Kittyhawks dropped down on Bf-109s. Marseille lowered his flaps and throttling back almost staling his aircraft, causing Spitfires to shoot past him. The last got a full course meal from of Jochen's 20-mm canons and machine guns. The British fighter literally disintegrated in mid air. In the short skirmish which then transpired, another Spit was victimized by Marseille, as well as a second P-40 trying to escape on deck.

    Times of victories: 08:28; 08:30; 08:33; 08:39.

    On his second flight that morning, Jochen flew top cover for Ju-87s. They ran into big party of DAF fighters and bombers. Marseille with his wingman intercepted eight P-40s on their dive for Stukas, and allies planes formed the circle soon after this. He shot down two of his opponents immediately and the circle broke up. As they scattered, Jochen knocked down three more. He took his sixth after short chase, with a very long deflection shot. Throughout all this, his wingman flew close cover. They both climbed up again only to spot another flight of unsuspecting Kittyhawks. Marseille approached alone and shot down his seventh. After turning home he came upon yet another P-40 trailing white smoke. It became his eighth in this flight and probably was his easiest victim.

    Times of victories: 10:55; 10:56; 10:58; 10:59; 11:01; 11:02; 11:03; 11:05.

    Eight aircraft in ten minutes! Back in the base, as soon as he opened the canopy of his 109, he learned that Feldmarschall Kesselring was visiting his unit. Upon reporting to Operations HQ tent, Marseille declared 12 enemy aircraft shot down. Kesselring inquired of him the number he shot himself, and Jochen replied accordingly: "Twelve, Sir". His supreme commander did not say a word. Later, he admitted to being astonished. That was a very busy day for all pilots of the JG-27. After a meal and a short rest, Marseille departed as an escort to Ju-88s which were seeking to bomb British troops concentrations. The battle of Alam el Halfa was at its highest point. Fifteen P-40s attacked Junkers, which in turn were attacked by Marseille's pilots. A series of dogfights erupted which gradually brought fighting aircraft from 5,000 feet to almost ground level. In this aerial fracas the "Eagle of Africa" shot down another five P-40s.

    Times of victories: 18:46; 18:47; 18:48; 18:49; 18:53.
     
  16. slaterat

    slaterat Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Messages:
    251
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    Demolition
    Location:
    Calgary
    The p 40 was too heavy and its climb rate too slow to be equal to the 109. Canadian P 40 ace Stocky Edwards had a chance to fly both and he considered the 109f superior. He states that it was difficult to fly the Kittyhawk to its strengths and lateral instability and jamming guns made it tough to succeed in combat involving violent aerial manueovres.

    Slaterat
     
  17. MikeGazdik

    MikeGazdik Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Messages:
    531
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Ohio
    1) 592 claims. Yep. If we are going to scrutinize those numbers, we must scrutinize ALL claims. Even Marseille's. I cannot remember where I read that number, but a significant number of the victories where Bf 109s.

    2) I have read arguments either way, that the Warhawk could out turn the Messerschmitt, or vise-versa. My opinion on turning performance would depend more on the pilot, and the altitude of the fight.

    3) Im sure the Bf 109 had a relatively high number of ground accidents, but I cannot believe 1/3 of the A/C. I have read that before in books, but frankly just don't think it is true.

    4) I think for sure the P-40 is more tolerant of battle damage.

    5) I am biased, but only a little. I obviously really like the P-40. But I also like the Messerschmitt. I am trying to be objective. Mostly.

    6) Lasty Clay Allison's post made me really want to put a Daimler-Benz in a P-40 ! Just have to figure how to flip that upside down thing around!!!
     
  18. Waynos

    Waynos Active Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Messages:
    1,309
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Or put the scoop at the top, how cool would that look :)

    Now, a question posed through ignorance if you will forgive me;

    It has always been my understanding that the RAF chose to operate only the best available fighters against Germany's 109's in the earlier years of the war and so dispatched its 'lesser' aircraft across the Empire to face the lesser threat (as it was percieved) of Italian forces in Africa and Japanese forces - but only then potentially - in the far east.

    So whilst the Hurricane and Spitfire were retained in the UK, other types sent 'out of harms way' included the Buffalo, Gladiator and P-40. To me this has always signalled an inferiority in the P-40. I know that of the three types I mentioned the P-40 was by far the best and gave excellent service in Africa, but is that view broadly correct, or completely wrong? With explanations too please if you can?
     
  19. MikeGazdik

    MikeGazdik Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Messages:
    531
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Ohio
    I know the Spit, and in particular the Hurricane was in Africa and the Pacific. I'm just not sure if it was after the deployment of the P-40. I do not find the thinking wrong in "saving" the Spitfires for the homeland defense. I know they did not want them in France prior to the Battle of Brittain, due to the fear of losing them. I think it may be national pride also, in sending lend-lease aircraft into harms way first. The RAF obviously had egos and pride, just as the U.S. officials, which is part of the delay in the P-51 coming on line. It wasn't "thier idea". (U.S. Army Air Corps)
     
  20. beaupower32

    beaupower32 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    1,840
    Likes Received:
    41
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Lancaster, California
    Well, here is a question. Considering the 109 had leading edge slats, do you think they would help the plane in a low speed turning fight, considering it went to that type of fight. I know they helped with different aspects of the flight envelope, but would they be considered a advantage over the P-40?
     
Loading...
Similar Threads
  1. Marshall_Stack
    Replies:
    6
    Views:
    1,980
  2. Soren
    Replies:
    1,031
    Views:
    130,489
  3. Elvis
    Replies:
    274
    Views:
    50,045
  4. lesofprimus
    Replies:
    373
    Views:
    91,156
  5. DerAdlerIstGelandet
    Replies:
    370
    Views:
    44,991

Share This Page