Fighter Top speed timeline

Discussion in 'Flight Test Data' started by Bug_racer, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. Bug_racer

    Bug_racer Member

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    Id like to make a layout of WW2 fighters and their top speeds month by month :

    eg : September 1939 : BF 109 E1 - 334 mph
    Spitfire mk1a : 365 mph

    So as far as Ive searched the fastest plane at the start of the war was the Spitfire mk1a .
    Rules are : Must be combat ready and in a squadron .
    Must be a plane used in European theatre . (we can also do a Pacific thatre later)
    Must have credible sources ( If anyone posts a piston plane that flies more than 500mph they will be shot !) . I'll update the first post with a list of all planes .



    September 1939 :
    1) Spitfire mk1a - 365mph
    2) BF 109 E1 - 334 mph
     
  2. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    334 mph for emil ? it's a typo for 354 i hope
     
  3. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    #3 Juha, Apr 15, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2010
    Ah, very complicated,
    say summer 43 NW Europe
    Fastest, excluding Hawker Typhoon and Mustang I, which probably were fastest at low level, but I have not time to check their max speeds
    From sea level to 6000ft Fw 190A-5
    From 6000 to 8000ft Spitfire F.XII
    From 8000 to 12500ft Spitfire F.IX
    From 12500 upwards P-47D-10
    But when 1,42ata was allowed to DB605A, in Oct 43 IIRC, Bf 109G, Spitfire IX, XII, Fw190A-5 and P-47D-10 had all almost same max speed at 8000ft and Bf 109G, Spitfire IX, Fw190A-5 and P-47D-10 also around 20500ft.

    Juha
     
  4. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    354 was for the E-3 - 1st delivered in January 1940. IIRC.
     
  5. Kurfürst

    Kurfürst Banned

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    570 km/h was the same on all models not powered by the DB 601N (E-4/N, E-7/N, ca July 1940) which was probably around 590 km/h at altitude.

    E-3s was delivered from the end of 1938, parallel to E-1s!
     
  6. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    I believe that was only for early production Spitfires. No armor to protect the pilot. No self sealing fuel tanks. No armored windshield. After modifications to make them suitable for combat top speed dropped to 353 mph. Stanford Tuck in his book "Fly for your life" mentions some of these modifications during late 1939/ early 1940.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supermarine_Spitfire_(early_Merlin_powered_variants)
     
  7. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    An addum to summer 43 situation
    Typhoon IB and Fw 190A-5 had practically same max speed from SL to 4000ft.
    Mustang I with 56" Hg boost was slightly faster than Fw 190A-5 from SL to 4500ft and clearly the fastest fighter in ETO between 5000ft and 11000ft, P-47D-10 became fastest at appr. 12500ft.

    Juha
     
  8. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    #8 Vincenzo, May 13, 2010
    Last edited: May 13, 2010
    P-47D-10 in summer '43 ? afaik in summer' 43 there was D-5 and it's the fastest from ~23000 ft (comparate to 190A-5)
     
  9. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    Hello Vincenzo
    you are probably right even if USSR got its first 3 P-47D-10-REs in Sept 43. At least that is what Soviet sources say.

    Juha
     
  10. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    it's not the same i take in consideration data of use in combat not delivery (first 3 probably delivered to test unit). i found that first D-10 lost it's in january '44 but the first D-11 lost it's in november '43
     
  11. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    Hello Vincenzo
    yes, the first 3 (the only D-10s sent to USSR, other 200 were D-22s and D-27s) were delivered for evaluation, and after checking my sources, they were earmarked for delivery in Sept 43, but began their transfer flights only in Nov 43 from Fairbanks and the transfer flight was very protracted affair, planes arrived to Moscow only 20 March 44.
    I found one D-10 salvaged in UK on 16 Nov 43, but that plane had crashed on ferry flight, on 11 Dec 43 there were 2 D-10s salvaged, one from 355FG and the other from 56FG, but the latter case is a bit unclear.

    Juha
     
  12. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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  13. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    unlucky i don't found D-10 lost on 16th november i found a D-5 lost the 17th november (42-8614) same for 2 P-47D lost on 11th december were D-5 (42-7967, 42-8606) all 3 were in 56th FG
     
  14. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    Hello Vincenzo
    as I wrote all 3 were salvaged
    16 Nov was 42-75145
    13 Dec the 56th FG plane was 42-75163 and the 355thFG plane was 42-75045.

    Source: Bishop’s and Hey’s book

    Juha
     
  15. RCAFson

    RCAFson Well-Known Member

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    With 12lb boost, the Spit 1 could do 359 mph at 11500 ft:

    [​IMG]

    Rate of climb went up, to over 3500FM.
     
  16. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Was the Spitfire I using high octane fuel to achieve that performance?
     
  17. vanir

    vanir Banned

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    #17 vanir, May 24, 2010
    Last edited: May 24, 2010
    Yes. Standard grade aviation fuel was limited to +6lbs, which also meant after high octane was introduced in Britain those far away places like Eastern Europe, Asia and SE Asia were still using standard, so Merlins had to be detuned again. Hurricanes or Spits sent overseas had less performance than at home, probably part of the reason neither impressed the Soviets much, whilst MkII Hurricanes sent to Burma ran like overweight MkI's because of poor fuel quality.
    On the other hand Gladiators and Battles/Fulmars in the Mediterranean could be suped up from their standard spec when the higher fuel grade was shipped, so performed better than their listed performance of when they were in home service a few years earlier.
    From what I can tell Allisons tended to handle higher pressures on the same fuel grade compared to Merlins.

    One thing though, iirc the performance of Spits during the battle of Britain tended to vary dramatically between given examples.
     
  18. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    It's my understanding the RAF did not release 100 octane fuel for combat use until May 1940. So during 1939 a Spitfire I in combat condition will be topping out at 353 mph. :)
     
  19. RCAFson

    RCAFson Well-Known Member

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    However, as has been pointed out the earlier Spitfires were lighter and thus faster:

    Spitfire Mk I Performance Testing

    and topped out at 367 mph.
     
  20. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    As has already been pointed out, those 367mph early model Spitfires were not combat ready and therefore do not meet the criteria for this timeline.
     
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