Corsair VS Spitfire

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Razgriz1, Aug 15, 2017.

  1. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #141 GregP, Sep 11, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2017
    It isn't hearsay data, Tomo. I've simply never seen any data showing the Bf 109F capable of 400 mph in level flight, aside from a vague description in Wiki (the worst source except for no source), until you posted it, and I don't know where your chart came from. I don't know whether it is calculated, or what the conditions of the test were. Could be a prototype engine, for all I know. I see you don't know, either. Until I DO see data indicating otherwise, all data I have seen show less than 400 mph, so go find it anywhere you find data about the Bf 109F models. I have not seen data for the Bf 109F at WWIIaircraftperformance, but will go check again, to be sure.

    Personally, I don't believe the graph as I have seen zero data on Bf 109Fs going that fast other than that graph.

    Here is the website for the Canadian Bf 109F:

    Messerschmitt Bf 109F-4 - Canada Aviation and Space Museum

    It says 388 mph. Some have said it could get to 400 mph and even slightly higher (410 mph) when the Bf 109F-4 was cleared for 1,350 PS, but I have never seen the data showing it, especially data from testing of a Bf 109F taken from a line unit.

    Almost nobody claims the Bf 109G was a 400 mph aircraft in-service.

    The only Bf 109 variant widely acclaimed to be 400 mph+ in level flight was the K-series, of which some 1,593 were delivered before the war's end. They weren't 450 mph in combat, but could get there in a straight line, at the right altitude, if required. If they were going that fast, it wasn't in combat unless diving for escape or attack because, at that speed, they were completely unmaneuverable. So, while it was capable of it, it wasn't useful to the type except for extreme situations.

    Last, I have no agenda here and no dog in the hunt. I'm a fan of the Bf 109, but don't want to blow up its capabilities beyond what it could really do, either. It was one of immortal planes of the war, for sure.
     
  2. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    I believe that he is saying that the XF4U-1 exceeding 400mph is hearsay.

    America's Hundred Thousand says the XF4U-1 attained 404mph on 1 October, 1940, and that it was claimed that it was the first US fighter to exceed 400mph.

    Does anybody have a more detailed account of that flight?

    There may be some other contenders for first a/c to get to 400mph.

    The Spitfire III was certainly flying before October 1940, its top speed was 400mph with Merlin X, according to Morgan and Shacklady.

    As was the Hawker Tornado. Speed may have been just shy of 400mph, at around 396-398mph. Certainly the first production Tornado exceeded 400mph, but that was in early 1941, using the Vulture V rather than the Vulture II.

    The Spitfire IV/XX prototype had a top speed of 409mph, but that was later in 1941.
     
  3. dedalos

    dedalos Member

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  4. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #144 GregP, Sep 12, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2017
    Hi Dedalos,

    Source for the Bf 109F data? I want to see it and save it to have some objective evidence of same. I don't maintain the Bf 109F wasn't that fast; I said I've never seen data that show it except for Tomo's post above, and it isn't very helpful.

    When I say not very helpful. I mean the conditions of the test and aircraft are not known, etc., not that it is wrong. We usually have a flight report number, with date, aircraft serial, weight, temperature, condition of the airframe (clean, with racks, etc.). The Luftwaffe was as fastidious about data and test conditions as the Allies were, and their reports are usually very complete. A different nationality doesn't usually mean different flight tests; it usually only means a different language and different units of measure. Almost everyone tests very strictly and accurately. They might want to fool the enemy, but they don't want to fool themselves.
     
  5. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Hi Corsning,

    The Corsair breaking 400 mph was big news at the time and widely circulated. If Tomo wants to contend 87 years later that the Corsair hitting 400 mph was hearsay (and I don't claim that to be true), the burden of proof is on him only. I'm quite comfortable with knowing the history that has been written about it. People have been trying to belittle air records since flight began, and the end results always depend on the data presented. I have no desire to go prove something that is established, nor have I any reason to do so.

    Anyone wanting to shoot down existing aviation facts better have a good load of factual ammo, or they'd best let it go. The 400 mph Corsair fact has been recorded in MANY books / references and has been accepted since around 1940. Good luck proving otherwise today. But, hey, if he has the data, then he should go for it.

    I have no axe to grind with Tomo and, as I said already, no agenda in here.
     
  6. CORSNING

    CORSNING Active Member

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  7. CORSNING

    CORSNING Active Member

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    Tomo,
    I believe I am going to agree with Greg here. While I would love to dissect the graph down
    to raw numbers, there just isn't enough information given. I know I have done that in the
    past with such aircraft as the Bf.110 & Do.335 but that is only because there is no other
    evidence out there. The Bf.109 has some good raw information out there thanks to
    Kurfurst and Mike Williams.
     
  8. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #148 GregP, Sep 12, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2017
    Hi Corsning,

    I assume you have a source for that, with flight test data? I realize the MiG-3 was fast, but it also had several flight characteristic issues making it not a first choice for the VVS. Nevertheless, the date it managed to make 400 mph, if it did, would be of import. I have seen books that said it was done, but not flight test data.

    Wiki (bad source) doesn't claim it was a 400 mph (643 kph) aircraft, but says 640! So, we think it was at least close. Unfortunately, it was fast up high and seldom ever got there in combat. Still, flight test data would be very nice if some information is recorded on it about test conditions.

    For me, finding Soviet WWII data has always been very difficult, but getting it right is what's important, and despite what anyone thinks, their planes were pretty good after about 1942 or so. If you think back on aviation "firsts," the Soviet Union was always right there, in the fray, and many times at the leading edge of performance. I'm one U.S. citizen who does not equate "Soviet" with "inferior."

    In fact, I have spent the last 2 weeks working on a Yak-3 to race at Reno this year. If you want to follow it, the owner is Graeme Frew and the Yak-3 is race number 35 in the Unlimited class. Good, solid airframe. Good guys, too. I wish them very well and think they may surprise a few people, assuming they overcome a few issues. At this time, it is looking good.
     
  9. CORSNING

    CORSNING Active Member

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    Greg,
    That's a good thing buddy. You and Tomo have added a great deal of information
    and add geat conversation to this site. I so very much enjoy reading both your posts.
    I think it is time to slow down now and put our collective knowledge together. We
    all have to remember that the final goal here is to find the truth. We can kick around
    our opinions all day long 75 or more years after the actual facts, but nothing will
    change the actual truth. If we want to find the real truth we have to be open to new
    ideas that conflict with our dead set opinions.

    I personally love finding out the truth. I believed all my sentient WW2 aircraft
    life that the P-51D could outmaneuver the Bf.109G anywhere, anytime. At
    30,000 ft. that was true. It wasn't until about 15 years ago when I really started
    to dig for the truth that I learned that the P-51D was in big trouble at 5,000 ft.
    doing 275 mph. against a Bf.109G.

    You guys are great, but don't forget the reason we are all here. Let's find the
    truth together.

    Jeff:)
     
  10. eagledad

    eagledad Active Member

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  11. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    I don't use Kurfurst as a reference, but thanks for the links.
     
  12. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Why?

    There have been some questionable things with him in the past, but he does present plenty of factual Luftwaffe documents and performance figures that are verified.

    It really is a shame, because if you only get your information from sources that tell you what your preconceived notions want you to believe, you are not actually fact checking.

    If I recall correctly (this is from memory) from Luftwaffe Datenblatt's the F-4 was listed at 397 mph at 19,800 ft. I see no reason why it could not have reached 400 mph as well, especially since the Datenblatt's list it at 660 km/h (410 mph) at 1350 PS from 1942 onwards.

    The British tested a captured F-4 at 390 mph, and they did not fly it to its capabilities.
     
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  13. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    most sources do say the me 109f-4 subtype has a top speed of 388 mph at 21K ft. However as adler points out these published figures are based on captured examples that were not in peak condition and not tested to full capacity.......
     
  14. Greyman

    Greyman Active Member

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    394.5 mph for the Datenblatt I believe.
    The British 390 figure was calculated I think, not 100% sure though. Another British figure was 385 mph.
    Russian figure for the F-4 was 387.5 mph.

    One of the main reasons I don't really go with the high-end German figures I've seen (410 mph, 416 mph) is that I would think if the 109F-4 was truly 50-60 mph faster in service than the Spitfire V, we would see constant mention of that by the Allied pilots.

    That said I'm sure a fast example of an F-4 which was keenly attended to could probably surprise many - it just doesn't appear to be representative of a standard F-4 seen by the Allies.
     
  15. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I am sure that most combat available and used F-4s never could obtain that speed. Not with armament, fuel loads, and field maintenance being conducted. The high-end figures I only believe for best case flown in test configurations.
     
  16. Greyman

    Greyman Active Member

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    Indeed, if we're going to do that, then the Spitfire V has a speed of 407 mph. :)
     
  17. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I have no arguments with that either.

    Point being: They are capable of it.
     
  18. Robert Porter

    Robert Porter Well-Known Member

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    That to me is the real challenge in determining actual performance. I knew of a Ford Pinto that had been made into a Funny Car back in the late 70's. It turned in times that no actual Ford Pinto even dreamed of. However it seems that every time we get one of these discussions going the end result is we get bogged down in theoretical or test case performance figures which are after all about the only truly accurate figures really available.

    Actual combat usage figures are hard to come by and vary all over the place in terms of how they were acquired etc. After all in combat one really does not often get a chance to setup true repeatable test figures and methods. And even then they are often done on an aircraft just out of maintenance and not with a full combat load out.

    Combat needs outweigh pretty much anything else and should. I guess the point I am making is that the very edge of a performance envelope is often meaningless as the conditions necessary are either not met in combat or not of importance. The difference between 390MPH and 405MPH is insufficient in most cases to make a great deal of difference in combat. Most air to air combat takes place at well below top speeds once engaged. Most aircraft don't maneuver well at their top end speeds which were more often used to close/climb/evade than anything else.
     
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  19. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    Comparing published performance values is silly absent the stated conditions of the test - most importantly gross weight compared to speed run weight; engine RPM/MP; external configuration (racks/no); Combat load versus reduced fuel/ammo; surface prep (taped gun ports, surface finish); etc.

    E.G. The first official flight tests for the P-51B-1-NA at Eglin was for a full variety, including a prototype 85 gallon internal fuse tank (empty/full), external racks/no racks, 75 gallon combat tanks/no tanks - at MP (61" at 3000RPM) and MCP and different altitudes. The max average speed recorded and reduced was 453mp 'clean', 180 gallons fuel and full ammo, no external prep. 441mph with combat racks.

    The only speeds worth comparing were the equivalent fully loaded configurations as expected to engage in combat for averages derived at MP or WEP MP settings as approved by respective authorities (AAF Material Command, for example). Anything else is not presenting anywhere near complete information. Further, climb data is Very much subject to these comparisons at different altitudes to get a fair perspective. The HP output for a BMW801D and DB605A, for example, have very different HP output as a function of altitude when compared to Merlin 1650-3 and -7. What may be true at SL, is often not true at 5,000 and 15,000 and 20,000 feet, much less at 30,000 feet.
     
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  20. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    The 'burden of proof' is prety light on my side, since I've posted two contemporary docs, one of them putting the Bf 109F-4 above the 400 mph mark, another one putting the XF4U-1 under 400 mph mark (even under 380 mph).
    At any rate, here is what Germans thought about the 109F-4 and Fw 190A-2:

    a) Geschwindigkeit:

    Die FW 190 A 2 ist nicht ganz so schnell wie die Bf 109 F 4. Sie ist
    aber einsätzmässig betrachtet, praktisch als gleich schnell zu werten.
    Die Unterlegenheit der FW ist in grosser Höhe merkbarer und beträgt etwa
    15 bis 20 km/h, während sie zwischen 4000 und 4500 praktisch gleich
    schnell ist. Am Boden ist sie gleich schnell, oder sogar etwa 10 km
    schneller.
    (table)
    Bei Notleistung ergibt sich dasselbe Bild.

    Or:

    a) Speed:
    The Fw 190 A 2 is not as fast as the Bf 109 F 4. It is, however, service-capable (machine), in aggregate almost as fast. Lack of speed of the Fw is notable at higher altitudes, where it amounts to 15 to 20 km/h, while between 4000 and 4500 [m] is practically as fast. At sea level it is as fast, if not 10 km/h faster.
    (table)
    When using Emergency power setting, the same thing happens.

    (quick & dirty translation by yours truly; German transcript from here, facsimile of the original doc here; the Fw was outfitted with 2 MGs + 2 cannons during the test)

    We can take a look on how fast the Fw 190A-2 was by looking here. The non-polished A-2, also no outer cannons, doing 630-640 km/h already on Kampfleistung, and 660 km/h on Notleistung.
     
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