Corsair vs. BF 109G,K or FW 190's

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by 16KJV11, Nov 2, 2007.

  1. 16KJV11

    16KJV11 Member

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    How would one of the US Navy's top fighters in the Pacific (the Corsair) match up to top aircraft in the Euopean Theatre such as the later BF 109's and FW 190's?
     
  2. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    Pretty much eat them for lunch...
     
  3. CPWN

    CPWN Member

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    British test pilot Eric Brown seems ever to say Corsair II is inferior to Fw190A.
     
  4. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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  5. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I think overall the Fw 190 and the Corsair would be a pretty good match. Ofcourse at certain alltitudes each one had its advantages. Corsair had the speed and range advantage.

    I think it would come down to pilot skill.

    I dont like Browns rating system so I take what he has to say with a grain of salt.
     
  6. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    I think aircraft designed from the start as carrier vs. land based are automatically handicapped. If a carrier based aircraft is comparable, it is a engineering victory.

    .
     
  7. Kurfürst

    Kurfürst Banned

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    Which Corsair? Which 190? Which 109...?
     
  8. Neto

    Neto Banned

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    there is no way to compare these 3 fighters .. :( but i think that the fighters that combat in europe may be better that pacific fighters (europe was a very hostile theater more that the pacific) so i think the bf ou fw may be better that corsair.
     
  9. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    In a "typical" combat, the Fw 190A-8 with normal combat load, and the F4U-1D in similar drag, it really wouldnt be much of a contest.... The Corsair was a much better performer....

    If we compare the Fw 190D-9/13 against the -1D, it becomes alittle different to compare, but then, if u take the next generation of Focke Wulf, u have to take the next gen of Corsair, and the F4U-4 is in a class of its own....

    However, the pilots who are flying in this "mythical" combat would be the deciding factor...
     
  10. Micdrow

    Micdrow “Archive”
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    Very true Les
     
  11. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    Dead on. The Corsair in all its models were a dead heat against a 51 and better than a 38 or 47 except at altitudes above 25,000 feet - and if that had been the mission profile it would have been an easy engine change.

    I believe that the Fw190D-13 may have been a better dogfighter at than all of the 47D, 51D, 38L and F4U-4 above 34,000ft but who the hell was going to fight up there when the mission was at 20-26,000 ft - and the 51H fits in next Gen with 47N and F4U-4 - bring it down there and you are in the strike zone of all of our best fighters
     
  12. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    The F4U was virtually a dead heat in a fight with a 51 and given equal pilot skill was better below 15-20K feet - so by definition it was a match in most combat against the 109G and Fw190A6. In the same arena it would do well against the Fw190D-9 (in my opinion) an it would have been well matched by the Me109K above 20,000 feet

    Brown had a lot of pilot experience in all these aircraft and deserves respect for his opinions..but in a long running debate (gentlemanly) in which I questioned his rankings of both the P-51 and F4U below the F6F and Fw190 he declared victory on the 190 based on Critical Mach number being higher!

    He won our argument because I could never find the Mcr on either the F4U or Fw190... and candidly the debate blurred between objective performance metrics, and the more subject contibution to the war and multi roles.

    His argument for placing the F6F above the P-51 was based on the crucial impact against JNAF airpower in Pacific while the 51 was joined by P-47, P-48, Spitfire and Tempest agianst the Luftwaffe..
     
  13. Jank

    Jank Member

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    As was already pointed out, it depends which Corsair. The 1-D would have afforded little benefit over the late Thundebolt D with paddle blade. The Dash 4 is another animal. Like comparing the Thunderbolt D to the M.

    If you read yhe encounter reports of Pony and Bolt drivers, you will see that a lot of combat in the European Theatre is at higher altitudes. Not so in the Pacific.

    http://mywebpages.comcast.net/markw4/MSWF4UDATA.pdf
     
  14. JimM

    JimM New Member

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    Umm...any of you guys ever read "I Fought You from The Skies" by Willi Heilmann? He flew 190's in the war.

    In the context of experienced pilots...

    He said the only thing they were afraid of were the Jugs diving on them from high above. They didn't fear the Mustangs...the Corsairs were more or less the equal of the Mustang...

    What does that tell you about a good German pilot facing a Corsair?
    Food for thought.

    Bud Anderson also said that the 190 was the equal of the Mustang.
     
  15. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    I would add a point. The F4u-1D was introduced about the time the Paddle Blade was added to the P-47D-10(?) and the R2800-8 boosted the max HP about 12% giving the lighter Corsair and even better comparison against the 51 and the 47.

    Having said all this I Do NOT have inflight, performance comparisons to throw at you so consider my comments in that light?
     
  16. Kurfürst

    Kurfürst Banned

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    Tell me if I got it right : basically, 1943 P-47D do not have a paddle blade, and are having a top speed of ca 660 km/h / 410 mph at altitude.

    Beginning January 1944, they start to receive paddle blades, and the conversion becomes widespread in use by April/May 1944. This boosts speed to about 690 km/h / 429mph at critical altitude.

    Correct ? Or did I get something wrong ? I have to admit, P-47/F4U developments are a bit of a Terra Incognita to me, as far as boost increases/improvements concerned and the date of their implementation.
     
  17. Jank

    Jank Member

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    dragondog,

    I did say "late Thunderbolt" for a reason. It wasn't until about mid 1944. The paddle blade increased the performance and climb at all altitudes and not just low and medium. Finally, yes, Bolts struggled with 109's and Fw-190's.

    There are a lot of encounter reports of out manuevering Fw190 and Me 109 at high altitude where the performance of the D really kicked in - but not so many on the deck - primarily because that's where a lot of 47s were shot down.

    Actually, I did not say anything about out manuevering the Krauts at higher atitudes. I just said that was where a lot of the combat was taking place which was not the case in the Pacific. Most all shoot downs do not involve out manuevering your opponent. Just getting into place at a moment when he is not aware of you and hitting him with a volley of rounds that cause enough damage or injury to partially disable. (Shock and awe) Then you pour on the lead. Remember that the Bolt was spitting out almost 100 rounds a second.

    Keep in mind that the Bolt had a 4.6:1 air to air record and lots of Bolts were shot down in high altitude furballs "primarily because" that is where lots of combat was taking place.

    On an aside, once the 150 grade fuel was in use (44-1), the late war "D" model with paddle blade and water injection was performing at a much higher level than people give it credit.

    P 47D Performance Test

    70Hg - 444mph at 23,200ft
    65Hg - 439mph at 25,200ft

    65Hg - 3,260 fpm at 10,000ft (yes, that's 65Hg and 10,000ft and not 70Hg and S/L)

    (the above are all at full combat load)

    Here's an interesting chart showing relative performance of F4U-1 and P-47 both with water injection:
    http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/fighter-comp-chart.jpg
     
  18. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    Bud also said he was talking about medium and low altitudes. My father who only had 7 in the air was more concerned about the 109G so I suspect what all this really means is that the 51s and 47s and F4Us had advantages of speed and range, equal in most manuever envelopes, deficient in roll (less deficient for 47) to Fw190 at all altitudes and less in turn at low/medium altitudes and speed.

    Nobody that fought enough 109s at medium altitudes was under any illusions that a 51 would 'easily' out turn it nor could the 51 stay with it in a hard turning climb to the right..back again to the pilot skill factor

    The Fw190D-9 created total parity with the latest combat ops P-51s and P-47s and the Fw190D-13 would have been better than all but the P-51H at altitude.. ditto Ta152H and the 51H would have been slightly at a disadvantage at normal combat envelopes.

    With all these fighters at medium altitude pilot skill and tactical advantage would prevail.

    Since the F4U never made the ETO it is all speculation but fun to think about. Personally I love the Mustang and believe it was most important contributor to daylight Strategic Bombing - but I believe the introduction of the F4U-1 in late 1942 would have made the P-51, P-47 and P-38 un necessary for long range escort in ETO.
     
  19. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    Kurfurst - Jank's performance figures are correct for the really late P-47s that came into ETO (late as in post D-Day)..I haven't looked but I suspect the model he is referencing is the P-47D-28RA. The 47s that were in the inventory in January 1944 were largely P-47D-5RA and RE's plus some -10s dribbling in.

    As he noted the Paddle Blade was a major performance enhancement for both climb and initial acceleration at all altitudes... and the 150 octane fuel did add to top speeds but was not an instant success when introduced in September timeframe - several Mustangs and Thunderbolts had engine failures early on.

    Jank - the reason I only noted low to medium altitude performance change for Paddle blade is that was the envelope that a Jug better have an altitude advantage so he could trade energy for speed then get the energy back with a zoom climb.. but do not stick around and turn with the 190 or 109. A 51 was more forgiving because it accelerated and turned better than the Jug at those altitudes - as did the F4U.

    I haven't cross checked my data yet but you might be interested to know that so far for 8th AF, the 56th FG with all P-47 ops was around 12:1 air to air ratio while all the other groupsMustang groups were in the 5:1 to 15:1 ratios. The lower ratios were for groups like the 356th and 78th (and 20th/55th/364th) that flew something other than 51s for most of their ops... the higher ratios were for dominant Mustang ops (except for 56th) like the 479th, 357th and 361st..

    Where groups flew different a/c I will try to break out ratios later for the different a/c. Only the 56th, 357th and 339th flew only one type in 8th AF.

    This is strictly air to air, does not take into account losses to flak, weather, mechanical or accidents. What I did do is assign an "air loss" where a loss to unknown causes on the MACR was in an area where enemy fighters existed to make sure the air to air ratios were unfairly skewed... where no fighter activity was known the loss remained "unknown-other"

    I will publish the data on Mike Williams site in near term and here in draft form on another new thread.

    9th AF Jugs were far lower because of the nature of tac air combat on the deck.
     
  20. Soren

    Soren Banned

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    Drgondog,

    No US fighter in the ETO could turn with the Bf-109 at low to medium altitude, the P-51 wasn't even close, and I'm sure you agree with that but I'm just stating it clearly.

    Ofcourse the green Bf-109 pilots unwilling to exploit the full potential of their a/c were not very difficult targets, and unfortunately there were many of these within the LW by 1944. Bf-109 armed with gun-pods were also vulnerable and these were equipped on the majority of 109's fighting the bomber streams in 1944-45.

    As to the FW-190 Dora-9, well it was clearly superior in every aspect of flight compared to the P-51 Mustang at low to medium altitudes, but this superiority diminished as altitude increased, and at typical bomber altitude the P-51 was definitly fit for fight. Go further up passed 32,000 ft and the P-47 Thunderbolt was pretty much unrivalled, even being able to out-turn 109's at this alt. The Ta-152H is the only piston engined fighter of WW2 which would been able to give the P-47 a licking at very high altitudes.

    Anyway getting on topic:

    The FW-190 Dora-9 would've proven a match for the F4U-4 at most altititudes, maneuverability I believe would've been roughly the same, the Dora-9 holding a slight advantage in turn rate at high speeds and a more noticable advantage in roll rate at all speeds.

    The Bf-109 K-4 is superior to the F4U-4 Corsair in everything but roll rate, the K-4 being much more agile in horizontal vertical maneuvers, easily out-turning out-climbing the Corsair. The Corsair did have the advantage of better control at high speeds though, something which is VERY valuable as demonstrated by the FW-190 fighting the Spitfire over the channel.

    And then ofcourse there's the fact that the F4U Corsair was a multiple purpose a/c in the same way as the FW-190 but with better range, making the F4U a MUCH MUCH more versatile single engined fighter than any other fighter of WW2 really. The best Allied fighter of WW2 IMO.
     
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