How about a little flip-flop

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by MikeGazdik, Apr 27, 2009.

  1. MikeGazdik

    MikeGazdik Member

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    Maybe a strange what if, but it may be fun.

    What Allied fighter, if put into use by the Luftwaffe, would have been most effective at stopping the daylight bombing campaign of the 8th AF.

    And its a double edged sword, because if the Germans developed the plane in question, the allies would not have had the same aircraft.

    I think the Thunderbolt would have been a very good bomber interceptor for the Luftwaffe. Slow to climb I think would be its worse attribute. Now take that from the hands of the USAAC, and what would they have used in that time period until the Mustang? Corsair as we have discussed? Or would they have been forced to use the P-38 in a large scale? P-40? Or maybe the U.S. would have produced Spitfires.

    I think the P-47 (or shoud I say the Re-47) would have been good at downing B-17's and B-24's. How they would have handled interception by the Lightnings and Spitfires would be interesting.
     
  2. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    U'd shoot a hellovalot of .50 cal rounds to drop a B-17.....
     
  3. BombTaxi

    BombTaxi Active Member

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    I don't think any of the US fighters would have made good bomber interceptors, TBH. As les has already pointed out, 6 or 8 .50s is nothing like a sufficient battery for the job - bear in mind that even the Fw190 had additional guns added to an already impressive weapons fit in order to give more firepower against bombers. Assuming the Germans 'designed' the P-47, I severely doubt the aircraft would have looked or performed anything like it's 'real' counterpart. The P-47 was the product of a very different design philosophy from German a/c, and it's layout would have left nowhere to put the kind armament required to down bombers, unless 4x 20mm and a substantial quantity of ammo could be located in the wing...
     
  4. Waynos

    Waynos Active Member

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    The 4 cannon Spitfire IX would be best, but we're not parting with it so tough luck! :)

    I think the argument for the P-47 in the OP rather shoots itself down, a poor time to height is the last thing you would want in an interceptor, apart from no guns, Interception was the Job that British fighters were designed for, in a way that US types never were, so that is my choice.
     
  5. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Hmmm.
    How many decades (centuries?) would take it for Germans to install the cannons in the ultra-thin and weak wings of P-47?
     
  6. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    I agree. However the Spitfire, P-38, P-47 etc. are all expensive to produce compared to the Me-109 and Fw-190. So the Luftwaffe is further ahead with their historical aircraft.
     
  7. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    P-47 was expensive, no doubt about it.
    Yet, the most expensive part of an air force is a trained pilot. And the P-47 excelled in preserving that expensive part.
    The rate to altitude would've been sufficient, esp. with paddle-blade props.

    Therefore, P-47 (with souped-up armament) is the best choice.
     
  8. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    P38! It was designed as an interceptor. Good rate of climb. Impressive range and could stay up a long time. I believe you are all underrating the 50 BMG but that battery of one 20 mm and 4 50s all clustered in the nose would have put a lot of firepower in one spot on the target.
     
  9. olbrat

    olbrat Member

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    How would the P-38 have faired with 30mm cannons? It seemed the Germans put those in a number of aircraft. If I remember correctly, they would send their Me163 interceptors up about 10,000 ft above the bomber formation, scream down and take out a bomber use their speed to gain altitude and do it again. I would think if you could do that with a group of P-38's you would cause some significant damage. Would the P-38's been able to climb quickly enough? Would their structure be able to utilize multiple 30mm cannons?
     
  10. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Agree with Ren, the P38 was made for that job. Especially the way the weapons were set up. Bump it up to a 30MM and it works even better. But figure it could only handle one 30 (with .50Cals) or 2 30MMs in the nose and no MGs.
     
  11. Amsel

    Amsel Active Member

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    I wonder how a P-38 with Mk 108's would do. Or even Mg151. Didn't the F4U have a varient that was armed with 20mm?
     
  12. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    IIRC, the original P-38 was tested with a 37mm cannon in the middle. That would do some pretty good damage, depending on the rate of fire and how many shells it could hold.
     
  13. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    If the Packard Merlin had been available to the LW at the beginning, or the DB603 for the Mustang or P-38 I would be inclined to go with one or the other of these two. I would only pick these because of high altitude performance and range.

    The Spitfire is a ready to go choice with 4x20mm cannon. I don't choose this marvelous interceptor because both the P-38 and P-51 have enormous range capability as well as stores hardpoints for 'other stuff'.

    The P-47 re-gunned to 20mm would be very good but all the others have better performance at middle to bomber altitude and more range (until the M and N appaear very late in the war).

    The Mustang is easily converted back to 4x20mm and the German 20's would have made it devastaing -

    As E mentioned the 38 was capable of using a 37mm and I think either a prototype mod was made, or a proposal made, for the 38 to install 6 x 20mm.

    I would have a hard time believeing at least a couple of 30mm Mk 108s would be difficult to install when one looks at the 262.

    Additionally, while the P-51 and P-38 could intercept at long range, the P-47 and Spitfire could not escort at long range.

    So, if you take the state of each of these in their development state by Dec1941, The only two that were combat ready would be the P-38D and the Spitfire.

    If you assume Germany had the XP-38 in 1938 and installed the DB series engine and had production tooling in 1939 - I would pick the P-38 primarily because it would be an easier platform to add night fighting capability.

    If Daylight Interception is the only criteria and you assume the P-51 was designed around the Merlin I consider picking it with possible consideration to DB engines which would have been better than Allison. The primary reason is cost and balanced performance at all altitudes.

    If you start with both daylight and night interception as criteria and ready in 1941/1942 the the Mossie is tough to turn down. I would pick it over the Mustang or P-38 or P-47 or Spit.

    It clearly is not best air superiority fighter and would have been vulnerable to all the other ships in the interceptor role... but so was the 109 and 190 and 110 and 410.

    This Mustang would have been equivalent to P-51B but available in late 1941/early 1942.
     
  14. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    The Spit with 4 x 20mm is the obvious choice but if you want a big hitter initially operating outside the range of escorting fighters, then the Mossie with the 57mm.
     
  15. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Think it was the "C". Not sure who they went to.
     
  16. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    It would require a fighter escort similiar to the Me-410.
     
  17. MikeGazdik

    MikeGazdik Member

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    I like the Daimler powered P-38. With a mix of Germain armament, it would certainly be a very good bomber killer.

    How would it deal with interception then by the Allied Spitfires, Thunderbolts and later on Mustangs?
     
  18. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    True, but initially the escorts couldn't go all the way to the target which is the opportunity I was thinking of.
     
  19. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    I believe the Germans would have solved the early issues with the P-38 in a shorter time. The late P-38J, if available in mid 1943 would have fared ok against the P-51/P-47 and Spit.

    If your great bomber destroyer also has reasonable parity versus the other side's escort fighters at altitude all the way to the deck you move the P-38 roughly in the same envelope as the Fw 190D.

    The second main factor with this choice is there is no Long Range Escort until December 1943. The P-47D-25 with extra internal fuel and external wing racks doesn't show up until mid 1944 and the Mustang w/Merlin until Dec 1943.

    That is a long time to have long range interception capability, far ranging,high performance, fighter sweeps all over England (or Africa or Russia) and the ability to intercept escort fighters well before daylight bombers have reached Germany - forcing even shorter range for escorts.

    The reason I picked Mossie is only to combine night fighter capability with exceptional high altitude performance and heavy armament. For the same reasons it completely dominates skies over Germany versus the 47 - which can't penetrate deeply until last three months of 44..

    If you pose the question and let me keep all other LW variants to provide inner barrier defense and night fighters, then I pick P-38 because it is 'good enough' over London as well as over Paris and Berlin versus Allied Escort fighters and capable of much greater firepower than the 47 and 51.
     
  20. olbrat

    olbrat Member

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    If there are no escort fighters for the bombers, how about the A26 invader? You could put jet-assist take-off packs to get it up to altitude, then, with its 350 mph speed, 10 x .50 cal. mg's and 14 x 5 inch rockets it could mess with a few bombers.
     
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