High altitude intercept: Spitfire and P47

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by pinsog, Aug 28, 2014.

  1. pinsog

    pinsog Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Messages:
    658
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    18
    We all know about the Spitfire being used for high altitude interception of JU86P(I think) at 49,000 feet. The P47 was also very good at high altitude, one of, if not the best high altitude fighter of WW2.

    Could a P47 have made the 49,000 foot interception? I know it would have to be lightened, so lets ditch 6 of the 8 machine guns and all of the armor plate to make it a special, high altitude PR interceptor.

    Was the P47 capable of doing the job?
     
  2. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    6,418
    Likes Received:
    64
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    With nitrous oxide almost any fighter aircraft could climb that high and remain until the nitrous oxide tank is empty. Would be tough on the pilot without cockpit pressurization though.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2011
    Messages:
    4,179
    Likes Received:
    167
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Hobart Tasmania
    The P-47 also took longer to climb to altitude. Certainly to 20,000ft and 30,000ft. Not sure over 40,000ft, though.
     
  4. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2009
    Messages:
    2,336
    Likes Received:
    405
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Motor Mechanic
    Location:
    Lancashire
    #4 fastmongrel, Aug 29, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2014
    Specially lightened Spitfires with extended wingtips, specially tuned engines and propellors barely made it (only a few of the JU86 flights were ever intercepted and only one was even shot at) and were constantly on coffin corner. I seriously doubt that just fitting a Nitrous tank to almost any fighter will get it up to 49,000ft and I very much doubt that the pilot would have any control.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coffin_corner_%28aerodynamics%29
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. awack

    awack Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2009
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Ive seen one of these in an old documentary, the wings are long and pointy, they look very similar to the wings of the ju 188.
     
  6. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2009
    Messages:
    2,336
    Likes Received:
    405
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Motor Mechanic
    Location:
    Lancashire
    The wingtips were bolted on additions and the pilots hated them as they turned the Spit never the greatest rolling plane into something that flew like a wardrobe below 20,000ft.

    spitfire_mk-vii.jpg

    They did the job at altitude though increasing service ceiling by approximately 4,000ft.
     
  7. Balljoint

    Balljoint Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2012
    Messages:
    325
    Likes Received:
    16
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    Manager
    Location:
    Boulder, CO
    Pierre Clostermann in his book Big Show describes his high altitude intercept with another Spit. Perhaps this was not at 40,000’ since I recall the target being a single engine fighter, but it’s been some time since I read his book. I’ll see if I can find it
     
  8. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Messages:
    3,734
    Likes Received:
    65
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Helsinki
    Hello Balljoint
    its Bf 109G-6/R3 wn 20357 A6+XH of 1(F)/120 Ff. Oblt. Helmut Quednau missing on 20th.Feb.1944. The combat report is for P/O J. Blair D.F.M. and F/L Bennetts of 602 Sqd. with the 109 credited to P/O Blair. I can only assume that Closterman's account is written from F/L Bennetts point of view. P/O Blairs Spitfire damaged Cat. E belly landed on Island of Stronsay following being hit by debris from the 109.

    Juha
     
  9. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,199
    Likes Received:
    784
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    What model Spit, what model P-47?
     
  10. pinsog

    pinsog Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Messages:
    658
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    18
    FLYBOY I'm not going to be picky about which model of either aircraft. Lets go with any P47 after the P47-D25, the model that introduced the paddle blade prop, and the Spitfire model that coincided with that P47.
     
  11. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Messages:
    3,734
    Likes Received:
    65
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Helsinki
    A few Ju 86Ps/Rs were shot down by the specially modified Spits from 103MU in Med.

    Juha
     
  12. rochie

    rochie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    Messages:
    14,631
    Likes Received:
    421
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Head chef
    Location:
    billingham nr middlesbrough uk
    you are correct Juha, the chapter in Closterman's book is written from the other pilots perspective.
     
  13. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2009
    Messages:
    2,336
    Likes Received:
    405
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Motor Mechanic
    Location:
    Lancashire
    #13 fastmongrel, Aug 30, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2014
    I have never come across any convincing (apart from a dubiously evidence free claim in wrongapedia) evidence that a high altitude Ju86P was ever shot down. There were JU86P intercepts and on at least 2 occasions hits were claimed but the LW didnt record any that were lost to enemy action and I have never come across an official RAF official claim.
     
  14. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Messages:
    3,734
    Likes Received:
    65
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Helsinki
    At least on 6-9-42 there is Ju86R1 5101 of 3(F)/123 in crashlanding with 60% damage at Bir el Abd following Feindbeschuss ( Luft QM's report dated 6-10-42 ).
    2-7-43 4U+IK crew of Ltn. Stock missing from mission to Alexandria
     
  15. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2009
    Messages:
    2,336
    Likes Received:
    405
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Motor Mechanic
    Location:
    Lancashire
    #15 fastmongrel, Aug 30, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2014
    Unfortunately I dont read German do you have a translation of the report. I have had a quick look but I cant find a corresponding RAF claim for a high altitude intercept on those dates. Possibly they were both caught at a lower altitude by SAAF or USAAF pilots and there wont be an RAF report.
     
  16. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Messages:
    3,734
    Likes Received:
    65
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Helsinki
    Hello, I'm using secondary sources but the following:
    6/9/42 P/O GEC Genders and P/O A. Gold Ju86
    2/7/43 P/O J. Hunter P/O GT Pratley (80 Squadron) and two pilots of 103 MU. But the victim was in fact Ju88 (4U+IK Ltn Franz Stock crew). Sorry for that, I was in a hurry and only checked that there was a Ju 86P or R coded 4U+IK, see on Crete Image of the Junkers Ju.86 | 4U+IK - Wing's Palette, but after all the shot down plane was a Ju 88 from same unit and same code.

    Juha
     
  17. Balljoint

    Balljoint Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2012
    Messages:
    325
    Likes Received:
    16
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    Manager
    Location:
    Boulder, CO

    According to Clostermann, on Feb 21st, 1944,

    “Jacques and Kelly were on ‘readiness’ from 1030 hours to 1400 hours. Superb weather but bitterly cold.. Not having anything much to do, Ian Blair and I were playing a game of chess. At12 o’clock everybody went off to lunch, but we decided to finish our game. Kelly enviously watched the others going. …. We ended up taking pity on him and offered to take their place. They accepted…..”

    Thus, according to Clostermann, he and Ian Blair made the intercept of a 109G with Axillary tanks at 40,000 in Strat-Spit VIIs. The 109 went into a terminal velocity dive -600mph TAS in the Spit- but was caught and hit by Blair at 10,000’, probably since the 109 didn’t (couldn't?) jettison the auxiliary tanks. Blair made a belly landing on Stronsay after being hit by debris.

    I have no idea as to which report is correct. Clostemann’s version is from his notes after the war but does include details such as a congratulatory telegram from Admiral Ramsay.
     
  18. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Messages:
    3,734
    Likes Received:
    65
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Helsinki
    It's just one of many "artistic liberties" Closterman took while writing his books.

    Juha
     
  19. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Messages:
    12,631
    Likes Received:
    309
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    Isnt 49,000 ft. above the point you need cockpit pressurization or a pressure suit?
     
  20. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2006
    Messages:
    2,934
    Likes Received:
    105
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    retired avionics engineer
    Location:
    Southern California
    I believe you are right.
     
Loading...

Share This Page