Fastest Piston Engined Aircraft of WW2?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Gimmeacannon!, Feb 20, 2007.

  1. Gimmeacannon!

    Gimmeacannon! New Member

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    My vote goes to the Spiteful F16 quoted at 494 mph, twin engined goes to Hornet F20 at 485 mph, Some late model Spits were also capable of 485 mph so anything go faster than these?.
     
  2. Jank

    Jank Member

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    Are you talking about planes that saw combat in WWII?

    I have read of accounts of P-47 M's clocked at 490mph in level flight.

    The Republic XP-47J Superbolt, a lightweight version of the Thunderbolt with the same engine as the "M" and "N" model (R-2800-57(C)), had a maximum speed of 507mph.

    It weighed in at about 2,000lbs under the "D" model in combat loaded trim.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    The second XP-51G was shipped to the United Kingdom in February 1945. This plane was also named Mustang V, and bore the RAF serial number FR410. It is widely reported to have achieved a speed of 495 mph during tests at the A&AEE at Boscombe Down in February 1945
    North American XP-51F, G, J Mustang

    Kris
     
  4. grampi

    grampi Member

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    I'm surprised the "H" model was the version of the "light weight" Mustangs that was chosen as the model to put into production. According to everything I've read, the "G" model was actually the best performing model...it was also said to have a ROC in excess of 5000 fpm...
     
  5. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    The Hornet prototype RR 915 first flew on 28 July 1944 with Geoffrey de Havilland Jr. at the controls. Powered by twin Merlin engines, it was the fastest piston-engined fighter in Royal Air Force service. The Hornet also has the distinction of being the fastest wooden aircraft ever built and the second fastest operational twin propeller-driven aircraft — being slightly slower than the unconventional German Dornier Do 335 of 1945.
    The prototype achieved 485 mph (780 km/h) in level flight, which came down to 472 mph (760 km/h) in production aircraft.

    The first 10 Do 335 A-0s were delivered for testing in May. By late 1944, the Do 335 A-1 was on the production line. This was similar to the A-0 but with the uprated DB 603 E-1 engines and two underwing hardpoints for additional bombs, drop tanks or guns. It was capable of a maximum speed of 763 km/h (474 mph) at 6,500 m (21,300 ft) with MW 50 boost, or 686 km/h (426 mph) without boost, and able to climb to 8,000 m (26,250 ft) in under 15 minutes. Even with one engine out, it could reach about 563 km/h (350 mph).
     
  6. pbehn

    pbehn Well-Known Member

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    By the end of 1944/45 piston powered aircraft had reached their limit, any advantage in speed had a trade off in some way in their utility. Much the same as with the quest for the speed record for steam engines in the 1930s. I would say in that competition the 005 002 German locomotive was the best in my opinion but only 3 were ever built and in service they were no faster than their British rivals.
    Piston engined propellor aircraft were at their natural limit, the turboprop powered Tu95 is reported to do 575MPH but that has 60,000SHP on tap.
     
  7. soulezoo

    soulezoo Active Member

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    If there is to be that qualifier (IMO intended to give one's favorite acft the advantage rather then just say the fastest) then I vote Japanese I- 202 at an altitude of 200 ft below sea level.
     
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  8. Mike Williams

    Mike Williams Active Member

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    That doesn't make any sense to me. The Eighth and Ninth Air Forces weren't tasked with chasing V-1s. That was the responsibility of ADGB/Fighter Command. In addition the V-1 threat to the UK was largely over by Sept. 1944. It also makes no sense that P-47s were supposed to be V-1 chasers given that most/all went to the 56th FG and were used for offensive operations. Apparently the USAAF was looking for faster max speed at altitude. I suspect it was more to do with the Me-262. It reminds me of the myth that Spitfire XIVs were also nothing but V-1 chasers.

    Hight Speed P-47 Airplanes, 30 Sept. 1944

    Technical Instructions CTI-1653, 9 October 1044
     
  9. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ IP/Mech THE GREAT GAZOO
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    From Wiki - If references a book by Bill Gunston, The Illustrated Directory of Fighting Aircraft of World War II. Salamander Books, 1988.

    "The P-47M was a more conservative attempt to come up with a higher-performance ("Sprint") version of the Thunderbolt, designed to chase V-1 flying bombs, done, in part, by reducing armament from eight .50-caliber Colt-Browning M2 machine guns to six.[21] In September 1944, four P-47D-27-RE airframes (s/n 42-27385 / 42-27388) were modified into prototype YP-47Ms by fitting the R-2800-57(C) engine and the GE CH-5 turbo-supercharger, a combination which could produce 2,800 hp (2,089 kW) at 32,500 ft (9,900 m) when using Wartime Emergency Power (water injection). Air brakes were added to the wing's lower surfaces to allow braking after a dive onto its prey. The YP-47M had a top speed of 473 mph (410 kn, 761 km/h) and it was put into limited production with 133 (sufficient for one group) built. However, the type suffered serious teething problems in the field due to the highly tuned engine. Engines were unable to reach operating temperatures and power settings and frequently failed in early flights from a variety of causes: ignition harnesses cracked at high altitudes, severing electrical connections between the magneto and distributor, and carburetor valve diaphragms also failed. Persistent oil tank ruptures in replacement engines were found to be the result of inadequate protection against salt water corrosion during transshipment. In the end, it was simply errors made by the R-2800-57(C) model engine's manufacturers which led to these issues with the P-47M. By the time the bugs were worked out, the war in Europe was nearly over. However, P-47Ms still destroyed 15 enemy aircraft in aerial combat, normal results for any fighter type in March–May 1945 when aerial encounters with the Luftwaffe were rare. The entire production total of 130 P-47Ms were delivered to the 56th Fighter Group, and were responsible for all seven of that group's jet shoot-downs. Twelve were lost in operational crashes with the 56th Group resulting in 11 deaths, two after VE Day, and two (44-21134 on 13 April 1945 and 44-21230 on 16 April 1945) were shot down in combat, both by ground fire.


    The second YP-47M (of the batch of four converted P-47Ds) was later fitted with new wings and served as the prototype for the P-47N."
     
  10. pbehn

    pbehn Well-Known Member

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    I don't think you can use chasing V1s as a yardstick. The Tempest claimed most victories (638) but the Mosquito claimed (623) then the Spitfire IV (303) and Mustang /P51 (232) The V1 was fast but very hard to take out with MGs, the Mosquito handled night time attacks no figures I can find for how many were not intercepted and they had a massive advantage, the V1 could be seen from miles away at night. That said the Mossies achievement was worthy of great praise, it was a bomber mounted with cannons. In view of the thread topic if the Hornet was available it would have been used day and night, firing four cannon without divergence gave the Mosquito a huge advantage because you couldnt engage it at close range and survive.
     
  11. Mike Williams

    Mike Williams Active Member

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    Another reason I find it unlikey that the P-47M was designed for V-1 chasing is because the P-47M was slower at low altitude than already existing types employed on anti- V-1 operations. Mustangs and Tempests were both capable of 400+ mph at sea level while the P-47 only managed 367 mph. I'm not seeing any changes to the P-47M's engine that would favor low altitude operations either. It just doesn't add up.

    Comparison of Top Level Speed Performance: Tempest V, Mustang III and Spitfire XIV

    Comparison of P-47D, P47-M and P-47N Performance

    I don't know off-hand about the fastest piston engine aircraft at low altitude but these Mustangs and Tempests were pretty darn fast down low for 1944 operational aircraft.
     
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  12. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ IP/Mech THE GREAT GAZOO
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    I have to agree Mike - could this be the case of an Author taking "hear say" or "folklore" and presenting it as fact? From what I found the major issues with the P-47M was the way aircraft were packaged and shipped when they were sent off to Europe.

    http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/P-47M_Difficulties.jpg

    http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/p-47m-9may45.pdf

    Always appreciate your data! :thumbright:
     
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  13. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    The two XP-51Gs were equipped with the Merlin 14 S.M. producing 2000 Hp at 20,000 feet. There were no major re-designs of the XP-51G leading to the P-51H production model except that the P-51H added the 55 gallon fuel tank plus two more 50 caliber guns (4 to six).

    Additionally, the XP-51F (basically same as G/J but engines different) had no fuselage fuel tank, no bomb racks and no guns/ammo during speed and climb tests.
     
  14. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    The low level V-1 chasing Mustang III with Merlin 100 was The hot rod at low altitudes/

    Mustang III Flight Trials

    404mph/4500 fpm at 2,000 feet
    419mph at 5,200 feet
    455mph at 17,000 feet
     
  15. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    Which is mouse milk to the Do-335's 474mph(763kph). French ace Pierre Clostermann claimed the first Allied combat encounter with a Pfeil in April 1945. In his book The Big Show (pages 273-274) he describes leading a flight of four Hawker Tempests from No. 3 Squadron RAF over northern Germany, when he intercepted a lone Do 335 flying at maximum speed at treetop level. Detecting the British aircraft, the German pilot reversed course to evade. Despite the Tempest's considerable low altitude speed, the RAF fighters were not able to catch up or even get into firing position.
    Only one Do 335 survives today. The second preproduction Do 335 A-0, designated A-02, with Werknummer 240 102, and Stammkennzeichen, of VG+PH. It was captured by Allied forces at the plant on 22 April 1945. The aircraft was test flown from a grass runway at Oberwiesenfeld, near Munich, to Cherbourg, France while escorted by two P-51s. The Do 335 was easily able to out distance the escorting Mustangs and arrived at Cherbourg 45 minutes before the P-51s.
     
  16. Peter Gunn

    Peter Gunn Active Member

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    Not to pick a fight or anything but didn't this already get chalked up to urban myth status?

    The German arrow!
     
  17. Milosh

    Milosh Well-Known Member

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