Bomber vs fighter

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by mig-31bm, Apr 1, 2014.

  1. mig-31bm

    mig-31bm Member

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    if a well armed B-17 meet a fighter light armor and weak weapon like P-51H or A6M zero in 1 vs 1 situation then which one do you think more likely to get shotdown ?
    it obvious that fighter will fly , climb , turn alot better but the B-17 have 13 � .50 in (12.7 mm) gun which mean it can basically attack the fighter from any direction , and also with 4 engine it seem like it really hard to be shotdown , not to mention very thick armor on a bomber
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    btw : can the rocket be used to shot down bomber ??
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  2. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    #2 bobbysocks, Apr 1, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2014
    i know 51s took down 4 engined fw 200s and they had turrets...maybe not as heavily armed as a 17 or 24 but close enough i would think. and come to think of it RAF hellcats ( or martlets ) did the same off the coast of portugal protecting shipping lanes.


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnRvSKfp3jk
     
  3. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    A6Ms shot down plenty of B-17s during 1942. And I don't consider any aircraft carrying 20mm cannon to be weakly armed.
     
  4. mig-31bm

    mig-31bm Member

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    iamnot quite surprise if group of 51s can take down a bomber however i just think if they meet 1 on 1 it would be extremely hard for p-51 to take down bomber , fw 200s only have gun compared to 10 gun of the b-17 :confused: also the hellcat have very good armor while the p-51( especially H version ) is very fragile almost the same level as the zero if not worst due to it's liquid cooling engine
     
  5. mig-31bm

    mig-31bm Member

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    it only have 60 rounds per gun not alot , not sure if that enough to bring down a b-17 unless the A6M have advantage in number :confused:
     
  6. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    The exceptionally lightly armed JAAF Ki-43s got upper hand during their clashes with B-24s in CBI, so surely better armed A6Ms or P-51Hs would have done better against B-17s, even if B-17 seems to have been a bit toughter nut than the newer B-24.

    Juha
     
  7. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    #7 FLYBOYJ, Apr 1, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2014
    What's plenty??? I don't think there were "plenty" of B-17s in the PTO to begin with!

    http://www.joebaugher.com/usaf_bombers/b17_20.html
     
  8. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    I never saw anything about Ki-43s really hampering B-24 operations in the CBI. I know there was an Osprey book written about B-24s in that theater, I also remember reading B-24 gunners claiming many Japanese aircraft in the CBI
     
  9. CobberKane

    CobberKane Banned

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    #9 CobberKane, Apr 1, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2014
    I would be wary of equating the allied experience of attacking Fw Condors over the Atlantic with the situation a fighter would face tackling a B-17. The Condor was designed as an airliner (really, not as misdirection as was the case with many other German military aircraft) and had nothing like The B-17s toughness. Nor was it as comprehensively armed. Some contributors maintain that HMGs should be sufficient for bringing down a heavy bomber but the Luftwaffe, who were the only service routinely tasked to do so, thought otherwise and progressively up-gunned their fighters. Even so, Galland expected to lose a fighter for every bomber they bought down, and that was at a time when they could largely avoid the escorts. The LW did extensive studies on what it took to knock down a Fortress and the results were that no single engine fighter had the weapons or ammo load to reliably do the job (more than 50% of the time) unless it had 30mm cannon.
    Mig, I suspect your assertion that the P-51 was as fragile or more-so than a Zero is really stretching things. But in the scenario you describe the LW experience would suggest that the average pilot in a fighter armed with HMGs would require a solid helping of luck to bring down a B-17, even without the defensive fire to deal with. Mass attacks and ganging up on stragglers were the best options
     
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  10. Greyman

    Greyman Active Member

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    It's not so much that the Ki-43 was able to hamper Allied B-24 operations - that equation involves many more variables than just how a fight between a Liberator and an Oscar would turn out. On that latter question, however ... that was one of my takeaways from Christopher Shores' Bloody Shambles series that surprised me; Ki-43 vs. B-24 = bomber(s) in deep trouble.

    Another really interesting aspect of Shores' work; you can really see how far off the mark claims generally were.
     
  11. Aozora

    Aozora Well-Known Member

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    Be good to see some actual facts and figures. Otherwise I could have sworn the JNAF pilots considered the B-17 to have been their toughest target, until encountering the B-29:

    Saburo Sakai:

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    From Bombers Over the Southwest Pacific: http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a434245.pdf

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    A single bomber against a single fighter is usually going to be toast.

    The bombers depended on each other for defense, not just their individual guns.

    The fighters tactics lot of times were designed to break up formations , or separate a bomber from the formation so it could be dealt with on it's own.

    A solitary bomber by itself usually didn't last very long.
     
  13. mig-31bm

    mig-31bm Member

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    could the fighter use rocket to shot down the bomber ? , i think the rocket out range the MG on B-17 and also deal good enough damage
    [​IMG]
     
  14. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    I fully agree, Cobber. The B-17 was a much stronger airframe structurally than the Condor - its weakness as a result of subsequent modifications for its maritime role is well known.

    Regarding the B-17s strength, here are some quotes from Saburo Sakai's book Samurai about his encounters with B-17s:

    "In the spring of 1942 the first B-17s with new tail turrets made their appearance in our theater. Up until this time our favourite method of attack against the big planes had been to dive from behind in a sweeping firing pass, raking the bombers from tail to nose as we flashed by. We soon discovered this had little effect on the well constructed and heavily armoured B-17. It was this knowledge - not primarily the addition of tail turrets to the Fortresses - which brought about a sudden change of tactics. We adopted head-on passes, flying directly against oncoming B-17s, pouring bullets and cannon shells into the forward areas of the enemy bombers. This proved temproarily effective, but it was soon negated by sudden evasive manoeuvres by the B-17 pilots, which brought their heavy guns to bear on our incoming planes. The final attack procedure, and the most effective, was to fly high above the Fortresses, dive vertically, then snap over on our backs and continue to roll as we dove, maintaining a steady fire into the B-17s."

    "It was incredible out there today" Tanaka said, "We caught the Fortresses just right, and over and over I pressed home the attacks against the B-17s. At least twice I caught a bomber perfectly. I could see the bullets hitting and the cannon shells exploding in the airplanes. But the bomber wouldn't go down!" Tanaka looked almost haggard. "These damned bombers are impossible," he spat disgustedly, "when they work into their defensive formations."

    "This time I caught one! I saw the shells exploding, a series of red and black eruptions moving across the fuselage. Surely he would go down now! Chunks of metal - big chunks - exploded outwards from the B-17 and flashed away in the slipstream. The waist and top guns were silent as the shells hammered home. Nothing! No fire, no tell tale sign of smoke trailing back... The B-17s continued on in formation. we swung around and up, and rolled back in for the third run. The enemy formation continued on, seemingly impregnable as if nothing had happened. The third time down I went after the bomber I had hit before and again I caught him flush. Through the sight I watched the shells exploding, ripping metal from the wings and fuselage, ripping the indise of the fuselage apart. Then I was past the plane, pulling out into a wide sweeping turn, going for height. The plane was still in formation! No fire, no smoke."
     
  15. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    Hello Flyboyj
    my source is Young's B-24 Liberator vs Ki-43 Oscar China and Burma 1943 Osprey Duel 41 (2012) In real numbers Oscars shot down 31 B-24s while they lost 20 Oscars. I was also surprised when I read the book, Ki-43 wasn't an ideal interceptor but Japanese developed an effective tactic to their not so ideal tool.

    Juha
     
  16. CobberKane

    CobberKane Banned

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    Initial attempts by the Luftwaffe to use rockets were petty crude and marginally effective. The fighters equipped with them hung back out of gun range and tried to lob the tried rockets into the bomber boxes about a kilometre away. Hitting an individual bomber was pure luck, but the area effect of the explosions did loosen up the defensive formations and give the conventionally armed fighters a better shot.
    The RM4 rockets that arrived on the scene in the final days of the war were a different kettle of fish. They apparently had similar ballistics to a 30mm cannon shell but greater explosive power and range, and the overall installation was lighter as no gun was required. The simultaneous launch and spread of the rockets during flight made a hit much more likely than was the case than with cannon, and a one or two hits were enough to bring a bomber down. Things could have been pretty ugly if they had been available earlier.
     
  17. CobberKane

    CobberKane Banned

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    double post
     
  18. mig-31bm

    mig-31bm Member

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    was the RM4 rocket better than the US HVAR rocket ?
     
  19. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Day Bombers rely on the tightnes of the defensive box to give high levels of defensive fire. break up the box and you open up the bombers to a concerted attack by fighters.

    The B-17 offered the best solution to this tactic, because it was well armoured and possessed pretty good all round defensive fire. Its success when operating unescorted was however only a qualified success, some would say an outright failure.

    B-24s had a slightly higher operating altitude and used this to good effect.

    British bombers suffered in being limited to .0.303 inch defences, and not possessing an all round field of fire. more importanly however, the night bomber formations had to enter the target area as a stream, because of navigational issues, so there was no defensive box. For this reason, British bombers, if they could detect the NF before it destroyed them, would almost always enter into a tight corkscrew manouver to try and throw the NF off its poassive detection systems. Effectively, dogfighting with a lancaster.....The last few kilometres of interception generally relied on radar homing devices and AI radar, and both these pieces of technology could be fooled by violent evasive manouvers by the bombers. they had to be lucky, but it was one way of defending.

    Another was to insert Mosquitoes into the bomber streams, using a radar detection called Serrate (Types I to IV) which had varying amounts of success. Basically the LW NF would get on the tail of the mossie . at about 1km range, the mossie wouold switch off the Monika tail radar (used by the Germans as a radar beacon on which to home in on) and switch on its own AI radar, enter a tight turn throttle up, and before the LW crew knew what hit them have an angry mossie on their tail guns blazing. British AI radar was higher definition compared to German, and could either

    German bombers were very vulnerable. they lacked the speed to get away, were not particulalry high fliying, were not well protected with armour, and their defensive armmanet offered incomplete fields of fire, and were generally lacking in turrets. German bombers were generally easy meat as a result. Same can be said for italian and Japanese bombers, who had the additional misery of being unarmoured , and in the case of the italians, being made out of fabric and wood.

    The heavily armed defensive bomber was probably the least successful defence method of the war for the allies. greter defensive benefit would have been achieved by higher altitude, higher speed or better manouver over the defensive guns packed into the heavy bombers of the 1930s. Without a doubt, the best solutions on offer, were those provided by the Mosquito, B-26, and at the end of the war, the AR234.

    B-29s had tremedous defensive benefit from their extreme ceilings, but they had to forego this in order to increase thei lethality and fire bomb Japanese cities. this in turn dictated they convert to night bombing. Lucky for the US, japanese night fighters were not very effective.
     
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  20. CobberKane

    CobberKane Banned

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    The HVAR and it's British equivalent were air to ground weapons, and not particularly accurate ones (though that did not preclude them being effective in the right circumstances). They were effectively useless air to air.
     
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