frf3 wildcat v. hurricane1

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by fibus, Jul 29, 2009.

  1. fibus

    fibus Member

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    The British flew both. Winkle Brown flew both.
    They were of the same era.
    How did they compare?
     
  2. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    The early F4F3, which I think you are referring to, was very light with sprightly performance. As weight was added, protected tanks, armor, it's performance suffered. It's 4-50 cals was potent armament against German bombers.
     
  3. Daviducus2

    Daviducus2 Member

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  4. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    What makes you say that? Compared to cannon armed aircraft the F4F and most other American made fighter aircraft of WWII were rather lightly armed.
     
  5. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    Dave, it is my understanding that the Hurricane I was armed with 8-303s. I believe that 4-50s with 400 rounds per gun is a lot more firepower. No less an authority than Eric Brown stated that the Wildcat 'Had a heavier punch than the ME109F". and that the Wildcat was 'powerfully armed."
     
  6. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    I agree. But that does not mean the F4F was heavily armed.
     
  7. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    #7 pbfoot, Jul 30, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2009
    I'm aware this doesn't indicate the model of the Wildcat that would be up to some one in the know on the USN but the Hurris were Mk XII' I'm not taking this as gospel for type vs type but in this case it seems the Hurri came out on top



    "Along with submarine patrols, 128 Squadron carried out a number of exercises with the Army and Navy in addition to our own squadron exercises On 6 July 1943, the USS Wasp an American aircraft carrier arrived in St Johns harbour after completing a tour of duty against the Japanese in the Pacific theatre . The Wasp carried a full complement of Grumman Wildcat fighters That evening, many of the Wildcat pilots arrived at our Mess in Torbay We heard some pretty hairy stories of events that some a them had experienced an the Pacific .After a few rounds from the bar, a discussion developed regarding the merits of the Wildcats versus the Humcane IT continued until the Americans issued a challenge. They would have four Wildcats at Torbay the following morning The tactics were sample Four pairs, each consisting a.
    Wildcat and a Hurricane would meet at an agreed upon altitude .
    in each of the four quadrants of the sky, North west, south and east a of the airport They would meet. fly in formation for a minute or two , then break up and approach each other head on From then on it was a straight dogfight, with each pilot trying to get on the other fellows tail. Flight Commanders were not allowed to fly on either side We were part of the large audience assembled on the ground to see the show Everythmg went according to plan. All the aircraft met, flew in formation for a minute or two, and then began dogfiglmng In a couple of minutes there were four Hurricane - the tails of four Wildcats, and they stayed there, to great applause and shouts from the audience below.
    After landing, everyone adjourned to the hangar to hash out . the situation The Amencans seemed completely nonplused by turn of events They could not understand how things could turned out the way they had It must have been some kind of aberrartion that could never happen again, so they issued a challenge for the following afternoon this tame, they announced flight Commanders could fly, so I decided to get in on the fun in Humcane 5485 That afternoon the two readiness aircraft, equipped with depth charges. were sitting on the tarmac Butch Washburn and Gibby Gibbs were the readiness pilots that day and Butch said to me, you know Bill, I thank we can take on these buggers with those readiness aircraft ''. "why not i replied We lined up a fourth pilot and the exercise was carried out all over again with four Hurricanes on the tails of four 'Wildcats once again Butch Washburn was so keen rhat he stayed on the 'Wildcat's tail; until it landed on the runway. The Americans were forced to admit that the Hurricane was a better aircraft. even when it was ladened down with depth charges."
     
  8. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    #8 Vincenzo, Jul 30, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2009
    i think that a mg 151/20 and 2 mg 131 all in the nose are best that 4 ,50 browning in the wing

    Edit

    the F haven't the mg 131 (ony Galland personal plane have it) but mg17 so i think thet are even
     
  9. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    Pb, that story about Hurricanes defeating Wildcats with depth charges on board sounds a little questionable to me. The F4F4 was certainly not a high performance AC but if the Hurricanes were that much better then the pilots flying Hurricanes in the CBI and PTO must have been terrible because their record against Zekes was not great and the Wildcat's record was no worse than even.
     
  10. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    I don't disagree with you but what I like to know is what unit was aboard the Wasp. I often indicated that these "dogfights" mean little as the pilots flying are an unknown quantity as opposed to what is known about their aircraft
     
  11. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    pb, I think I have found out why those Wildcats got trounced by the Hurricanes. The story says the USS Wasp arrived in St Johns on 6 July, 1943 after completing a tour of duty against the Japanese in the Pacific.. Wasp, CV7 was torpedoed and sunk on 9/15/42. Wasp, CV 18, an Essex class was not completed until 8/17/43. So, either those Wildcats were salvaged from the bottom of the Pacific and did not fly well or the story is not accurate. I doubt if any Wildcats served on CV18, the Essex class CV.
     
  12. DAVIDICUS

    DAVIDICUS Member

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    renrich, I too thought it a bit odd but didn't look further into the account. I was thinking, "What the heck was the Wasp doing there in 1943 in the first place?"
     
  13. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    GREAT RESEARCH!!!!!
     
  14. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    #14 pbfoot, Aug 2, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2009
    then what carrier was there I've seen the account from different guys who were there,
     
  15. JoeB

    JoeB Member

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    USS Ranger was. That ship and its air group hadn't seen combat action in the Pacific though. The group's then single fighter squadron VF-4 (had been designated VF-41 earlier in WWII) had seen one successful combat against French fighters at Casablanca. Ranger was shortly after assigned to the British Home Fleet and carried out a successful raid on German shipping in Norway that October, VF-4 shot down a couple of German snoopers but didn't encounter German fighters. No carrier unit was based in Newfoundland after seeing action in the Pacific.

    That's an interesting story I guess, but even if 100% true as told, it would be subject to the vagaries of the specific situation and pilots. And as it is the already apparent inaccuracies (Wasp and 'saw action in the Pacific') give it a distinct 'sea story' kind of flavor. I wonder how VF-4 would recall the same episode, assuming it happened at all.

    OTOH there's a clear factual combat record of the Hurricane in action v modern Japanese (Zero and Type 1) fighters in 1942 that was consistently disastrous, and the Wildcat's which was about even in 1942 (later on Hurricanes did passably v Type 1's, but later on Wlidcats did better still even against the later Japanese fighters). When that's brought up, Hurricane fans inevitably question, pilots, situation etc. and there are always such variables, but at least that's real combat, we can verify the facts based on both sides of the story, Allied and Japanese records, and it's a bigger sample of events as well.

    Joe
     
  16. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    #16 renrich, Aug 2, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2009
    Joe B, as usual we can rely on you to fill in the blanks. Many thanks. Another point about the early Hurricane is that somewhere I read that it could barely exceed 300 MPH, though if that was at SL that is not bad. Also, it could barely get to 25000 feet and was out of breath there. The early F4F3 in 1940 had a critical altitude of 22000 feet. To add to the Ranger operations, during Torch, VF9 with 27 F4F4s, VF41 with 28 F4F4s operated from Ranger and VGF 26 operated 14 F4F4s from Sangamon and VGF27 operated 12 F4F4s from Suwanee. Martlets operated during Torch in 802 squadron from Victorious and Martlets of 805 Squadron operated in the Western Desert from Dekheila.
     
  17. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky Active Member

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    Addition of a CSP pepped up Hurricane I performance at altitude, but it was hardly wheezing at 25,000 feet even with the two bladed wooden Watts prop.

    Critical alt ('Full Throttle Height') of the Merlin II/III, the production engine, was about 17,500 feet. Earlier Merlins had lower FTHs, about 14-16,500 feet.

    Typical performance, depending on prop and weight (the Mk I gained about 1,100 lbs between 1936 and 1940 with various additions such as armour, new prop, cooling system mods ect), was between 310 and 326 mph, usually achieved at just under 18,000 feet.

    Hurricane II, with the two speed Merlin XX, is a different kettle of fish. FTH is about 21,000 feet, and the Hurricane II did about 330 mph at 23,000-24,000 feet. There is a report of a Sea Hurricane doing 342 mph at 25,000 ft, but I think this is with a later Packard Merlin and a 12 x .303 package, rather than the 4 cannon, which cost about 4-6 mph in terms of speed.
     
  18. Elvis

    Elvis Member

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    7/6/43 would indicate the Grumman's were most likely F4F-4's or FM-1's.
    However, wouldn't F6F's already be "standard fare" on anything other than an Escort Carrier by that time?


    Elvis
     
  19. Elvis

    Elvis Member

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    #19 Elvis, Aug 8, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2009
    Ok, according to ace pilots.com, here's some specs for the F4F-3

    Began service Dec. '40
    Empty weight 5293 lbs.
    Loaded Weight 7467 lbs.
    Max. Weight 8771 lbs.
    330MPH top speed
    200 lb. bombo load
    4-50's
    1200HP P&W R-1830-86 engine
    Climb rate of 2050 ft./min. (???!!! see note below)
    32.600 ft. ceiling
    1274 mi. range (extended?)
    AKA Martlett Mk.I and Mk.II

    Personally, I'm a little suspect of that climb rate.
    I've seen a 2350 ft./min. figure listed several times in the past.
    ...maybe its a typo.
    FWIW, I left the quoted figure there, since I was quoting a source, but if it were me, I'd lean a little more to the higher speed figure I just posted.

    Hard info to find, though. Most places list F4F-4 specs.





    Elvis
     
  20. vanir

    vanir Banned

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    Early Martlets are weird anyway, some were redirected French or Greek orders and others were ordered by the British, they had various engines, some Pratt Whitney and some Wright Cyclone. Some were six gun and some four gun and all of them are roughly accordant with the F4F-3 production period, I don't think any of those early ones had paper clip wings which is the real distinction of the F4F-4 (and standardised 6 gun armament).

    A British Martlet in 1941 could have 4 or 6 guns or either of two engine types and no folding wings. In the European Theatre it was a superb carrier fighter either way, and a damn good fighter in general, though perhaps not quite as high performing as a short range interceptor like the Spit and 109.

    Similar to the previously posted anecdote vs the Hurricane I've read an anecdote of Wildcats mock-dogfighting P-40s in which they won three for three for the island audience.
     
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