Dogfighting in a P 38

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by snelson, Aug 1, 2016.

  1. snelson

    snelson New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2013
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    3
    i've been thinking again and came up with a few questions.

    1. when in a dogfight could the pilot use throttles to change how the engines worked? i mean one engine on full power the other on half. if so how would the change the flight characteristics, is there any advantage to doing something like this?

    2. what about the dive brake? could using it make turns tighter or slow the plane down so they didn't over shoot the target?

    i know that i'm not real clear in how i'm asking these questions but thanks anyway.
     
  2. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2008
    Messages:
    15,185
    Likes Received:
    2,027
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Public Safety Automotive Technician
    Location:
    Redding, California
    Home Page:
    The "dive brakes" were actually "dive recovery flaps" and automatically deployed to alter the airflow over the control surfaces, preventing compressability lockup.

    These flaps only existed on the J series onwards, by the way.
     
  3. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Messages:
    5,905
    Likes Received:
    853
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Electrical Engineer, Aircraft Restoration
    Location:
    Rancho Cucamonga, California, U.S.A.
    #3 GregP, Aug 1, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2016
    According to former P-38 pilots that give talks at the Planes of Fame, they could throttle up the outside engine and throttle down the inside engine in a tight turn and make it even tighter ... right up to the point where it departs into a spin if they weren't careful. The pilots who have mentioned it said it wasn't too hard to figure out when to stop as the controls got very light.

    I have no personal knowledge either way and make no claim. Just reporting what I have heard on occasion. Some around here don't put too much value on eyewitness testimony. I do, though I'll never have a personal chance to test the theories.

    I doubt if even Steve Hinton tries that these days ... buy will ask when he is around. There is no war on, particularly for our P-38, and the risk of a low-altitude spin is prohibitive. We DO occasionally use military MAP during an airshow routine, but there has to be a good reason to do it. One such good reason is when Steve flew our P-38 as part of a 3-ship aerobatic act with the Horsemen team. It was beautiful to watch and I have posted the video of it here before.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Dislike Dislike x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  4. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,197
    Likes Received:
    779
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    "on my 3rd mission while in a P-38H model. The 2nd was an Oscar while I was flying in a J model. I was particularly proud of this one 'cause I was able to stay inside this maneuverable little rascal's left turn for 360 degrees while doing about 90MPH, and at less than 1000' above the water. That P-38J was bucking and shuddering all the way around in what was nothing more nor less than a controlled stall. I was so close to the Oscar that his engine oil covered my windshield. For the last half of the turn I was shooting at a dark blur that finally burst into-flames. When I saw the Oscar explode I pulled up and started calling for someone to lead me home cause I couldn't see through the oil on my windshield. "Pete" Madison was kind enough to oblige. When we got back to base, I had to crank down the side window and wipe a clear spot on the windshield so I could see enough to land the bird."

    1st Lt. John Tilley, 431st Fighter Squadron, 475th Fighter Group

    Secrets of a P-38 Ace. John Tilley's electrifying story

    Most P-38 groups in the SW Pacific did not "dogfight" any Japanese fighter, the common tactic was "zoom and boom." There were a handful of select pilots that knew how to control the P-38 at incredibly slow speeds and use differential power to their advantage, but these guys were the exception to the rule.
     
    • Informative Informative x 3
    • Like Like x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
  5. Token

    Token Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2011
    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    36
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Mojave Desert, California
    #5 Token, Aug 1, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2016
    Yeah, but could he be talking about the Fowler flaps? Fowler flaps existed much earlier in the run, were manually operated (hydraulically driven), and from sometime in the F model they had a "Combat" setting to increase maneuverability.

    Also, are you sure the Dive Recovery Flaps are automatically deployed? The manual says (in "Pilot Operating Instructions", section 18 "Diving", last paragraph "Dive Recovery Flaps") that the Dive Recovery Flaps should be extended before starting the dive, or right after starting the dive. In another section it says that the Dive flaps are electrically operated from a switch on the pilots control wheel and will extend and retract in under 2 seconds, and that this can be checked on the ground.

    T!
     
  6. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    41,767
    Likes Received:
    684
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    A&P - Aircraft Technician
    Location:
    USA/Germany
    Thats BS Greg and you know it! Put your big boy pants on and stop acting like a butthurt child.

    Everyone here puts a lot of value on eyewitness testimony, what pisses people off is when YOU discredit other eyewitness accounts such as the pilots who flew the planes because those accounts are not worth a damn if it was not told at your museum.
     
  7. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2008
    Messages:
    15,185
    Likes Received:
    2,027
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Public Safety Automotive Technician
    Location:
    Redding, California
    Home Page:
    The Fowler Flaps were installed on the P-38F mid-production onwards and were extensions on the trailing edges of the wing center section. They were not used in a dive.
    P38_Av_4408_DA_flaps_p128_W.png
    The Dive Recovery Flaps were embedded in the wings, just outboard of each engine and when deployed, would restore the lift boundary, during compression, back to the confines of the wing.


    P-38_Dive-Recovery-Flaps[800].jpg
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2004
    Messages:
    7,905
    Likes Received:
    189
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    IT Nerd
    Location:
    Dallas, Tx Jubail, Saudi Arabia
    So without the dive recovery flaps, where does the compression happen?

    Is it to where the flaps in the wings won't move or the flaps in the tail won't move?

    Also, without the dive flaps, short of it being a fatal mistake, when can the pilot regain control? At lower altitudes where the air is more dense or only when/if the plane slows down so the compression goes away?
     
  9. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2008
    Messages:
    15,185
    Likes Received:
    2,027
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Public Safety Automotive Technician
    Location:
    Redding, California
    Home Page:
    In a dive where speeds reach the point of compression, the control surfaces become inoperable.

    In otherwords, the control surfaces are literally held in place (frozen) by the compression of the airflow and won't respond to the pilot's efforts to pull out of a dive.

    The Recovery flaps "lift" (or divert) the compressed airflow away from the control surfaces, which in turn allows the pilot to be able to pull back on the stick and get a response from the aircraft.

    In some cases, like the Me262 for example, the pilot "may" regain control in a terminal dive, by pushing forward on the stick, which in turn breaks the compression envelope and allows them to regain control.

    This is, of course, if they have enough altitude...
     
  10. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Messages:
    5,905
    Likes Received:
    853
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Electrical Engineer, Aircraft Restoration
    Location:
    Rancho Cucamonga, California, U.S.A.
    #10 GregP, Aug 2, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2016
    Geez Adler, what did I do to you today? Whatever it was, it was unintended.

    I just haven't had the experiences related by WWII pilots particularly well received. It was not a comment on you or anyone else in particular. You can bet there won't be another from any pilot including me.

    Mea culpa.
     
  11. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    41,767
    Likes Received:
    684
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    A&P - Aircraft Technician
    Location:
    USA/Germany
    Sure it was Greg. It was a cheap shot and you know it. It added nothing to the discussion.
     
  12. Peter Gunn

    Peter Gunn Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2016
    Messages:
    203
    Likes Received:
    49
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Clearwater, Florida
    #12 Peter Gunn, Aug 2, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2016
    I remember reading waaaay back when, that guys like Dick Bong and Tom McGuire etc. used this method, although I can't remember where I read it and as FBJ already said, only a select few could accomplish it.

    I might have read it in a... martin caiden "history" of the P-38, so, you know, there's that to consider.
     
  13. Token

    Token Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2011
    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    36
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Mojave Desert, California

    Yes, I understand that the Dive Recovery Flaps and the Fowler flaps are not the same thing. But the OP was asking about using the “dive brake” to improve combat positioning, if not maneuvering, by increasing drag.


    My suggestion was that the Fowlers could be manually used, and would increase drag, slowing the aircraft as the OP originally intended. Of course that assumes you are not over the speed rating of the flap position you have selected. But was there a speed rating on the 8% combat setting?


    Also, from the pdf copy of the P-38 manual I have it appears the pilot can manually deploy the Dive Recovery Flaps at any time of his choosing.

    T!
     
  14. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2011
    Messages:
    4,179
    Likes Received:
    167
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Hobart Tasmania
    Aside from operating them differentially, would the dive brakes provide any benefit for turning?

    I am doubting that differential dive brake operation was possible, since when they were really needed - in a dive - differential operation could prove disastrous for the pilot if it was selected accidentally instead of full dive brakes.
     
  15. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Messages:
    5,905
    Likes Received:
    853
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Electrical Engineer, Aircraft Restoration
    Location:
    Rancho Cucamonga, California, U.S.A.
    You're being a bit sensitive there Adler. I haven't taken a cheap shot at anybody since I got re-employed more than 2 years ago. When I take a shot, it'll be an obvious one, really.

    Still, you made your point. No more second-hand stories from old pilots. Nothing to add to that in text or pics. Got it.
     
  16. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    41,767
    Likes Received:
    684
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    A&P - Aircraft Technician
    Location:
    USA/Germany
    Are you obtuse?

    1. It was obvious. Why make the comment?

    2. You obviously did not get my point. I am not saying 2nd hand stories are a no go. I am saying this:

    A. Not a single person is against your 2nd hand stories or dislikes them, AS YOU CLAIM.

    B. People where sick and tired of you of you discrediting 2nd hand stories others had read in books or heard from others because they differ from ones you heard in your museum. YOU are NOT the only person with these kind of resources abd knowledge.

    3. So I say it again. Out the big boy pants on. Stop being butthurt over BS, and quit with the cheap shots.

    Look Greg, I am not an asshole, and I am one of the most easy going Mods around here (I have evolved with age...:D), but I am not going to stand by and ignore such comments that are false, and have no merrit to the discussion.

    The ball is in your court. You can quit with the nonsense, and we both move on and forget about it, or we can hash this out. You decide.
     
  17. pbehn

    pbehn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Messages:
    2,231
    Likes Received:
    411
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Adler and Greg, watch any motor race and listen to the commentary, then when there is an accident listen to the two involved racers point of view, the eye witnesses (commentators) frequently havnt got a clue what happened and the two people involved never agree who was at fault, that is the value of eye witness statement.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Messages:
    5,905
    Likes Received:
    853
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Electrical Engineer, Aircraft Restoration
    Location:
    Rancho Cucamonga, California, U.S.A.
    I was pretty sure I HAD stopped any attitude more than 2 years ago.

    You can believe it or not, but it wasn't a cheap shot at you. It was a statement that I had heard some former pilots say they could turn the P-38 with differential throttle, as was asked in the opening post, and an allowance by me that some folks don't seem to put much credence to old pilot's recollections. And that's ALL it was.

    If you think otherwise, there's nothing I can do about it. I am not an expert in WWII planes, but am around people who are on frequent occasions. I have mostly quit positing what they say since it seems to get taken wrong rather often. This incident makes me want to go back to lurking as there really was no intent at all to say what you have rather obviously taken it for.

    I have no axe to grind whatsoever. To the best of my recollection, I haven't sniped at anyone in the last 2 years except maybe James W. ... I plead guilty to that one. I sniped at the F-35, but that's an aircraft and is a far cry from taking shots at forum members. I got told to leave it alone and I have as far as I know, in here.

    Your post above is baffling to me since I rather carefully made sure to point no fingers at anyone. Sorry if you didn't like it much, but I honestly can't see that it should be offensive to anyone, much less the chief moderator. It was NOT intended to be so and I really don't want to argue with you or anyone else at all, or even have cross words. I haven't felt as if I was in much of a disagreement with anyone in over 2 years excepting James W.

    This discussion is just perplexing to me. I think you are posting to the Greg from 3 - 4 years when I was depressed and angry at the world. I'm not there today and am not harping at anyone. So if it is "in my court" as you stated above, I say there was and IS no intent to insult anyone in here. Perhaps an unfortunate choice of words, but I talk like me, not like someone else. I didn't see it as a potential insult. Sorry you did. No intent for it at all.
     
  19. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Messages:
    5,905
    Likes Received:
    853
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Electrical Engineer, Aircraft Restoration
    Location:
    Rancho Cucamonga, California, U.S.A.
    Thanks pbehn. Rather spot on as an observation.

    I can go back and read the post, try to put myself in Adler's place, and can see maybe it could be taken that way. But I would never have thought so when I wrote it and posted it. Back when I was unemployed, I should have stayed away ... but there was nothing much else to do and almost no other outlet at the time. Words come back to bite you later, sort of like emails from politicians.

    Let's see, it's like a quote from the Bellamy Brothers song, "Life ain't nothing like a bowl of cherrys. There's too little laughter and too much sorrow. It's more like a jar of Jalapenos, 'cause what you do and say today, it don't go away to stay, no it'll just come back and burn your ass tomorrow."

    To those people out there whom I have insulted in the past, I'll say let's be friends going forward.

    Cheers.
     
  20. pbehn

    pbehn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Messages:
    2,231
    Likes Received:
    411
    Trophy Points:
    83
    I have no idea what the argument is or was you havnt insulted me. I started racing a Suzuki X7(250cc), any road test of a Suzuki X7 will tell you of its faults, unstable prone to weaves at high speed (high speed was 100MPH my tuned version did 110mph) however tuned and sorted I got many second and third places against the later Yamaha RD250LC, I also beat a Laverda 1000cc Jotas and a Ducati 900SS and dozens of Yamaha 400/350s. Many people who saw me ride said I was "mad" despite the fact that I didnt crash. The bike was unstable because it had a light frame and very short wheelbase, it was unbeatable under braking even by open class racers and was lightening quick on steering. The next year I got a Yamaha and started to get a few wins, however I will never forget the stupid ill advised comments of spectators who saw what they saw but didnt actually realise what they were seeing. My bike would shake and squirm but still grip and turn if you treated it right whereas others like the Laverda would just throw the rider up the track with almost no warning. That colour my opinion of eye witness and veterans accounts.
     
    • Like Like x 1
Loading...

Share This Page