How The Spitfire Mk XIV Compared to the K4 and Other Questions

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Spacefire, Aug 19, 2015.

  1. Spacefire

    Spacefire New Member

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    Hello all, long time lurker, but finally my first post here! :)


    First off, I have a few questions regarding the Spitfire Mk XIV, and other Griffin variants, along with the 109K4.

    For starters, does anyone have any performance charts on the XIV with the clipped wings? I know it was supposed to be faster, and as far as I know, it climbed slightly worse, however I can't seem to find any specifics.

    Second of all, how would the aforementioned aircraft, clipped and full wing, compare to the K4? From what I've gathered, the K4 has the edge in speed and about equal climb with the 1.98ata boost, however that leads me to something else. I've been told that the Spitfire Mk22 was introduced a few months or so before the wars end, and was stationed in Malta. I could be wrong there, as I haven't found any sources on that information... Anyways, I also know that the 1.98ata boost for the K4 came along soon before the wars end, and saw little action. So what I'm getting to is, would the K4 with 1.98ata be more suitible for comparison against the Mk22 or XIV?

    Frankly I could be totally wrong about the service entry date of the Mk22, I was simply told by someone else, and they used this book as a source... Spitfire: Leo McKinstry: 9780719568756: Amazon.com: Books
    Which I haven't read before, so I cannot verify the legitimacy of that claim...

    Anyways to sum it up;
    Performance charts of the clipped XIV?
    K4 vs clipped and full XIV
    or... K4 vs Mk22?

    And whatever other information you think it's important I know.


    Oh, and right off the bat, I apologize for my severe lack of knowledge (at least compared to most of you guys) right off the bat. :p

    Anyways, thanks!
     
  2. thedab

    thedab Member

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    did the K-4 used 1.98ata in combat?

    and it the mk21 which saw combat and not the mk22
     
  3. mhuxt

    mhuxt Active Member

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    And so it begins...

    (At least K and C are no longer with us, amen.)
     
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  4. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    The 109 and the Spit pretty much matched each other throughout the war, only towards the end when manufacturing/maintenance became difficult in Germany and exotic fuels became available for the Allies did the Spit start to pull away.

    As far as handling and I dont mean manouverability but overall ease of use goes the Spit was always ahead. The 109 went from awkward to downright vicous and then back to awkward for an average pilot, the Spit went from relatively easy to you had to be careful at times but never went as far as being difficult to handle.

    Take 2 pilots of identical ability and put them in equivalent models and in combat the winner would 9 times out of 10 be the pilot who started with the advantage of height and or surprise.
     
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  5. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    Amen brother Amen
     
  6. Spacefire

    Spacefire New Member

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    Thanks for the responses. I was pretty sure the Spit compared favorably, but about my other questions, is there any data on the clipped wing Griffon?

    Also, I know the Mk21 saw service, it actually downed a German midget submarine along with another Mk21, however the claim was that the Mk22 entered service before the wars end. It didn't see combat, but apparently did enter service.

    The book sounds like an interesting read anyways so I may get it.
     
  7. BiffF15

    BiffF15 Well-Known Member

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    Spacefire,

    Welcome to knowledge central! This place is the best library, knowledge warehouse, and custom answering service on WW2 aviation that I have so far discovered!

    Cheers,
    Biff
     
  8. grampi

    grampi Member

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  9. Spacefire

    Spacefire New Member

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    It definitely is! Thank you.

    I've seen it, but the graphs don't include the 1.98ata performance of the K4. And Mike Williams selective sourcing isn't really how I roll. :p
     
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  10. Kryten

    Kryten Member

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    Selective sourcing?

    Oh boy, I hope you can back up your accusations.
     
  11. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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  12. Spacefire

    Spacefire New Member

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  13. RCAFson

    RCAFson Well-Known Member

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    Can you, or anyone else, provide evidence that the Luftwaffe ever flew even a single combat sortie with the 109K using 1.98ata boost?
     
  14. Spacefire

    Spacefire New Member

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    That's... what I asked in the OP...
     
  15. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #15 GregP, Aug 20, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2015
    It is stated in the link that there is no evidence that 1.98 ata boost was ever used operationally.

    So it is not surprising to not find a 1.98 ata curve included.

    It is also interesting to see a B-4 fuel decal on a Bf 109K. If you poke about on the Luft websites, you see that they tout the German fuels used to be as good as Allied fuels, yet here we have a late-war Bf 109K with B-4 fuel decals around the tank fill. Someone explain thaht one. B-4 was NOT equivalent to Allied fuel in the late war, and the engine would not develop the factory-rated max power on B-4. It would make quite useful power, but not rated power.

    If you read the first link, it mentions poor fuel, poor finish, poor workmanship, and deliberate sabotage, coupled with shrinking maintenance crew who were being transferred to the infantry as the war wound down. None of which bodes well for the average Bf 109K in the field to make spec numbers.

    Kurfurst also has an article saying the Bf 109G series could cruise at max continuous power as fast as the Spitifre IX's max speed. At the same time we see in the first link descriptions of poor-quality Bf 109G's being delivered that had rough finish, poor workmanship, running B-4 fuel, and being sabotaged from the factory.

    I have no doubt the Bf 109K models could be fast if well finihsed, running decent engiens and props, and better fuel, but since the Bf 109 airframe was not well suited to combat above 320 mph or so, does anyone really think they'd be cruising around 50 mph faster looking for combat? Even the K model Bf 109's were best suited to aerial combat in the 180 - 290 mph range and were OK if a bit stiff up to about 320 mph.

    Atfer that they were not very maneuverable in fighter v. fighter combat. This is from reading a lot of flight tests. Anyone in here can find the same flight tests I have been reading. The best speed for the Bf 109 in combat was right around 275 mph. By best speed I mean good roll and turn performance coupled with good climb. The best climb speed of the Bf 109 was much slower and at a steeper angle than the best climb speed of any Allied fighter. It made the Bf 109 difficult to follow ina climb for most Allied fighters.

    Lack of trim in the Bf 109 made flying around at high speeds very tiring for the pilots, and 380 mph would probably mean a sore leg from holding rudder pressure to stay straight. At 400 mph the ailerons were almost immovable. It probably couldn't roll more than slightly at 450 mph+ and the elevator would feel like it was set in steel. None of this means the Bf 109 was a bad fighter. It wasn't.

    But to BE a good fighter meant using the strengths of your machine against the oher side's weaknesses, and high speed maneuverability was not among the Bf 109's strengths. High speed was used for repositioning or to get to or escape from a fight with another fighter. It wasn't used in dogfighting a Spitfire. The only real high speed fighting with fighters a Bf 109 typically employed was boom and zoom. Attack from above and zoom-climb back to the high perch. The late war Bf 109s were faster than most late war Spitfires at the right altitudes, but they weren't going to turn well while doing it.

    P-40's did the same with the Zero in the Pacific, though the Bf 109 did not have the turning deficit versus the Spitfire the P-40 did versus the Zero. At the right speeds, the Bf 109 and Spitfire were pretty close for at least a portion of a circle, at least enough to get in some shots.
     
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  16. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    How many RAF sorties were flown using 1.98ata boost prior to May 1945?
     
  17. Spacefire

    Spacefire New Member

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    What would be the allied equivalent of that? +21 lbs? +25? And on what plane? I assume the XIV but as far as I know, the Spit 9 flew sorties with +25 lbs before that, with the Merlin engine, though.

    Maybe I'm wrong though.

    And anyways, we're not comparing when the boosts were available, we're comparing the planes with boosts appropriate for their times.

    If the K4 never saw service of with the 1.98ata boost why should I compare it with an aircraft that saw service with its respective boost?
     
  18. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    I agree and to do that we need an idea as to what constituted a typical Spitfire during April 1945.
     
  19. Greyman

    Greyman Active Member

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    I would guess the Spitfire IX/VIII/XVI with Merlin 66/266 were still the most common.
     
  20. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #20 GregP, Aug 20, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2015
    1.98 ata is 57.3 inches of US MAP and 13.5 psi British boost.

    Offhand, I'd say the American and Brits were flying that for a LONG time. The fact that the Germans weren't might indicate B-4 fuel use. Certainly most Allisons were rated at 57" and Merlins in P-51's were ,too.

    Even merlin 45's were rated at +18 psi (2.30 ata. 66.6 inches). The Merlin 61 was rated at +15 psi (2.09 ata, 60.5 inches) and the Merlin 63 was rated at +18 psi (2.30 ata, 66.6 inches). Late-war Allisons were cleared to 70 inches (2.42 ata, 19.7 psi) and the pilots ran them to 75 inches (2.59 ata, 22.1 psi).

    One of the main reasons why the claims of German fuel quality being equal to Allied fuel quality is suspect is covered by the low boost they ran. 1.8 ata is 52.1 inches and 10.9 psi, and that was considered high boost for a Luftwaffe pilot. It was mid-range power for a Merlin.
     
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