FAF 50 caliber performance

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Oct 22, 2005
Hi fellas!

I was just wondering if anyone has any data regarding French Air Force 50 caliber performance. My squadron is currently researching this to better our flight model in the MMORPG WWII Online. The aircraft in question are the P38F and the Curtiss Hawk 81. These were all in use by FAF forces in or around 1940.

We are looking for any kind of ballistics data and any other performance/characteristics-related material.


78th Fighter Group
WWII Online
Don't quite know how to tell you this but:-
The French never had the P38 and the F didn't enter production until 1942 anyway. As for the Curtis Hawk 81 better known as the P40B that didn't enter French service either.
So I am afraid your search is to no gain
Glider is right, the French didn't ever use P-38s or Hawk 81/P-40B.

The USAAF flew its first pre-production YP-38s in March 1940, but it wasn't until the end of June 1941 that all 13 development airframes had been delivered. Quantity production of Lightnings in the B/C form didn't start untill August, 1941. 'F' model Lightnings weren't on the production lines until April 1942, with their first operational use early May 1942.

The French airforce did use Hawk 75 fighters, mostly Hawk 75A1s with P&W R-1830-SC engines, but also some A-2/A-3/A-4 aircraft with varying engine configurations. They recieved about 350 fighters before the German invasion, which went on to make claims for 311 German aircraft.

French Hawk 75s were usually armed with 4 7.5mm MAC 1934, which fired quite a light 7.5x56mm bullet, at a very high 1200-1500 rpm. Some Hawk 75s recieved a six gun armament, also MAC 1934.

As far as I can tell, France didn't use any .50 class weapons during WW2, unless they were .50 M2 Brownings supplied by the USA.
Check here first.


In 1940, the British and French had ordered several hundred P-38's. Between the fall of France and British dissatisfaction with the Lightnings' performance, very few were delivered. Most of these airframes (ordered by the European allies) were kept by Lockheed as training/experimental models or were eventually completed as models P-38F or P-38G

Now check here.


In October 1939 substantial French orders for Hawk 75s were supplemented by a new order for 230 Hawk 8lAs (the Curtiss Company designation for the P-40). Four 7.5-mm (0.295-in) machineguns were to be mounted in the wings in addition to the P-40's standard pair of nose-mounted 0.5-in (12.7-mm) weapons. French equipment was to be fitted, but none had been delivered when France capitulated to Germany in 1940. Like the P-40, the French Hawk 81A-l carried no combat protection, and when the order was taken over by Britain the last 90 were modified as Hawk 81A-2s, with armoured windscreens, cockpit protection and selfsealing fuel tanks. These entered RAF service as Tomahawk hAs, while the first 140, named Tomahawk I, were issued to newly formed army cooperation squadrons for reconnaissance work.

WWII Online includes these aircraft solely due to their availability to the FAF between 1940-1942.

Now about that 50 cal info..... :D
No P38's were delivered to France and the few delivered to the UK were rejected. The Anglo French orders (for model 332) were placed in March 1940 for delivery in December 1941. 149 were finally ordered and 3 delivered, none entered service. and the P38F which is the one you mentioned, not me, didn't enter production until 1942.

Re the P40, read your own posting ' but none had been delivered when France capitulated to Germany'

What you want to do with your Flight Model is of course your own concern. However if you want it to reflect the French Airforce in 1940 I am afraid these two planes should be left out.
Anyone with any knowledge of the French Airforce in 1940 knows that these planes played no part in the battle. If you include them then you run a significant risk of not being taken seriously.
I am well aware that these AC never saw combat. They are only made available in game due to their being available during the time period listed.
They weren't available to the French Airforce though.

P-38s never saw service with France, nor did Hawk 81s. The 140 or so Hawk 81s that were ordered were accepted by the British, the first batch of which didn't reach England until the end of September, 1940. Even then it was deemed 'unsiutable for operations' and used by training units, with some sold off to Canada.

If your doing 'what if' scenarios then the answer is simple: both the P-38 and the Hawk 81 would of been fitted with standard M2 Brownings. There was simply no other weapon in the arsenals of the Western powers with similar size/weight that would of fit without serious need for modification. The only one that comes close is the Vickers 12.7mm
I think this is for a hypothetical where Germany fails to conquer France in 6 weeks and the war in France stagnates into an ongong WWI type battle.


The French did have the Hotchkiss 13.2 mg used as an AA weapon on their warships.

It only had a ROF of 450 rds per min firing a 51gm bullet at 800 meters per second so you would be better off with the American .50 M2

In a what if the P40 is more viable but the P38 would be pushing things a bit.
Some of the potential new French fighters could of been quite potent as well in a 'what if' scenario

The prototype MB-153 with a 1,200 hp Twin Wasp had potential, as did the MB-155, with a 1,180 Gnome-Rhone radial.

The MS 406 and derivatives would of probably gone the way of the Hurricane/P-40 in RAF/USAAF, and been relegated to fighter-bomber status barring emergencies. The were just too slow, to lightly armed and not agile enough.

The D. 520 would of probably solidered on as the main fighter of the Armee de la Air if France had stayed in the war longer. Hispano-Suiza were apparently working on fitting a 1,050 HS 12Y-51 onto the little fighter, and also a version with a 1,300 HP HS 12Z-19 or a 12Z-89ter, which would of been a vast improvement over the 820-900 Hp it was stuck with. Test flights with a HS 12Z engine showed that they could pull the 520 past 375 mph at 20,000 feet, but the engine would not of been ready for mass production until 1941, mostly because of its high failure rate and a lot of 'kinks' to be worked out.

There was also talk of fitting Merlins to French fighters. The combination of very light weight and a 1175 hp Merlin XII engine could of been a real winner.

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