Ki-100 follow-up thread on P-51/Me-109/P-47/Spitfire/FW-190A wingloading

Discussion in 'Flight Test Data' started by Gaston, Mar 28, 2013.

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  1. Gaston

    Gaston Banned

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    Quote "#64 (from previous Ki-100 thread)
    Glider

    "I am waiting, take all the time you need. However just one small point, if you have already posted these half dozen examples on this and other forums, it should only have taken you minutes.

    Unless of course, you hadn't posted them before and are still looking for them. In which case, how could I be ignoring your postings if you hadn't posted them?"
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    I have posted numerous times at least three of five Spitfire quotes I had (I will post them all here).


    In any case, there are a lot of things I have quoted and sourced that no one has yet adressed: I will list them here quickly:

    1-Why does the "Red Fleet" 1943 article describe the FW-190 as a near-exclusive and pugnatious turn fighter that must be countered by high speed and vertical maneuvers?

    -IE: Why does the article say "The FW-190A will inevitably offer turning combat at a minimum speed? And: "FW-190 pilots do not like vertical maneuvers"?

    2-Why does the Russian "Fighter Tactics" article say that the two German fighters "interact in the following manner": The FW-190A engages in "prolonged turn fighting (after frontal attacks)", while the Me-109 "dives and zoom" from above?

    3-Why is John Weir not credible when he says "The FW-190 overmatches the Hurricane in prolonged turns, while the Hurricane overmatches the Spitfire"?

    4-Why did the Russians change their usual turning tactics to accomodate the Spitfire's lack of performance in turns? Why did they remove the outer guns to try to improve this performance?

    5-Why did the German unit KG 200 conclude: "The P-47D out-turns our Bf-109G"?

    6-Why do the accounts of P-47D out-turning Me-109Gs outnumber those where the two are roughly equal by about ten to twenty to one?

    So those are 6 questions I would like to see adressed.


    Gaston
     
  2. Gaston

    Gaston Banned

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    #2 Gaston, Mar 28, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2013
    This is the follow-up to the above:

    I have, for my part, adressed vintage flight testing as unreliable, and while this is a bit of a blanket statement, I think for the sake of argument they should in large part be kept separate from an argument on live combat performance...

    Here are my five separate Spitfire quotes, with my comments as to why they are valid. Four specific combats quotes and one general conclusion by an experienced fighter pilot:

    B]1-[/B]S/L J. B. Prendergast of 414 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 2 May 1945 (Mk XIV vs FW-190A):


    I observed two aircraft which presumably had just taken off the Wismar Airfield as they were at 800/1000 feet flying in a northerly direction and gaining height.-------The other E/A had crossed beneath me and was being attacked by my No. 2, F/O Fuller. I saw my No. 2’s burst hitting the water--------The E/A being attacked by my No. 2 did a steep orbit and my No. 2 being unable to overtake it broke away.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    True, speed and the speed differential is not mentionned, but the low altitude of both sides and the need for the Spitfire to turn even before the orbit is joined does not suggest very high speeds during the orbit, and there was not a lot of height for the Spitfires to gain excess speed.

    Most importantly, the word "orbit" implies a succession of at least two 360° turns, like a Lufberry also does.



    2-RCAF John Weir: "A Hurricane was built like a truck, it took a hell of a lot to knock it down. It was very manoeuvrable, much more manoeuvrable than a Spit, so you could, we could usually outturn a Messerschmitt. They'd, if they tried to turn with us they'd usually flip, go in, at least dive and they couldn't. A Spit was a higher wing loading..."

    "The Hurricane was more manoeuvrable than the Spit and, and the Spit was probably, we (Hurricane pilots) could turn one way tighter than the Germans could on a, on a, on a Messerschmitt, but the Focke Wulf could turn the same as we could and, they kept on catching up, you know."

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Even if he had very limited combat experience with the FW-190A, this does not preclude him from forming this general opinion by discussing this with other pilots after the war (this is a 1990s interview): It is a general statement. This was an overall opinion, and was probably reinforced by his contact with pilots who fought the FW-190A more extensively than he did...

    I consider general opinions like this, including the Russian overall evaluations, to be more valuable than anecdotal accounts, if they are counter-intuitive in nature, as counter-intuitive facts are more likely to be from observations of real-life, rather than pre-digested ideas tainted with theory...

    With a 40% to 50% difference in wingloading, there is no way (in my opinion) that such a counter-intuitive general notion would ever have been expressed by any pilot if it was not based on a real-life observation...

    This same pilot underlined: "it is very important in combat to be objective as hell about what is going on"




    3-Gray Stenborg, 23 September 1944 (Spitfire Mk XII): "On looking behind I saw a FW-190 coming up unto me. I went into a terribly steep turn to the left, but the FW-190 seemed quite able to stay behind me. He was firing at 150 yards-I thought "this was it"-when all of a sudden I saw an explosion near the cockpit of the FW-190, upon which it turned on its back." (Stenborg was killed the next day in a head to head engagement with a FW-190 over Poix)

    Osprey Aces Series. "Griffon Spitfire Aces"

    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    Here speed differential between the two was definitely not the cause of the Spitfire's lack of turning success, since the FW-190A was on the attack and holding on. It is not clear if this is more than one circle, so it could be (wrongly) construed as an example of high speed FW-190A superiority at 6 G plus in unsustained turning... Very unlikely, and, in any case, it still would not explain where the Spitfire's 40-50% lighter wingload went, even if it was high-speed... This is why this is valid.


    4-"-Squadron Leader Alan Deere, (Osprey Spit MkV aces 1941-45, Ch. 3, p. 2: "Never had I seen the Hun stay and fight it out as these Focke-Wulf pilots were doing... In Me-109s the Hun tactic had always followed the same pattern- a quick pass and away, sound tactics against Spitfires and their SUPERIOR TURNING CIRCLE. Not so these 190 pilots: They were full of confidence... We lost 8 to their one that day...

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The specifics of this battle were adressed in detail by others in previous posts (which is unusual), and the argument went like this: Basically the Spitfires were attacked by surprise by an enemy diving from above, explaining the high 8-1 loss: This is actually irrelevant to what he says: What he says is that the FW-190As, unlike the Me-109s, "stayed", which by definiton means "turning" (you don't "stay" in a fight by using the vertical exclusively, in a series of loops, for obvious reasons): So the FW-190As "stayed", and the Spitfire's superior turning circle vs the Me-109s was not useful vs the FW-190As.

    That is what is stated: There is no way around it.


    5-Johnny Johnson "My duel with the Focke-Wulf": "With wide-open throttles I held the Spitfire V in the tightest of vertical turns. I was greying out. Where was this German, who should, according to my reckoning, should be filling my gunsight? I could not see him, and little wonder, for he was gaining on me: In another couple of turns he would have me in his sights.---I asked the Spitfire for all she had in the turn, but the enemy pilot hung behind like a leech.-It could only be a question of time..."

    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    This is pretty much self-explanatory.


    So these are the five Spitfire quotes I have, and the 6 points I would like to see adressed.

    Of note about the Spitfire quotes: I recognize the Spitfire is very superior to the FW-190A in high speed unsustained turns (anything above even 230 mph, as the FW-190A's drop-off in turn performance is huge immediately following the trim change point), so the quotes to the contrary of what I say must have something in them that precludes any notion of high speeds during the turn, which means no previous diving, no high altitudes and no previous long straight lines: The words "multiple/several turns", "orbit", "Lufberry", or any description of multiple consecutive near-horizontal turns, are pretty much required, which is why I don't count the examples provided so far by Glider...

    In effect, any out-turning by the FW-190A could count as low speed (minus the caveat below), since the FW-190A is assumed -for the sake of the argument- to be inferior at high speed/high G... But the Spitfire out-turning examples must provide evidence of low speed... It is not unreasonable, given the description I made of their relative handling.

    This does introduce the possibility of a very slow FW-190A out-turning a super-fast Spitfire that is simply going too fast to make the turn, which would be meaningless because it could happen with any two aircrafts of any type: This is why one of my five examples is borderline, but the word "orbit" just keeps it on the good side, if still debatable...

    So evidence of a large speed differential and no mention of successive consecutive turns would exclude any example I could find.

    By my count, the low-speed accounts/or experience-based general statements now number either 4 or 5 to 0 in favour of the FW-190A vs the Spitfire at low speeds.

    Which brings me to another caveat: General statements in the Spitfire's favour have to be heavily tied to an actual combat account, since the prevailing opinion of this issue is endlessly repeated outside of specific combat descriptions... This is like the well-known "primitive horse/Fox terrier analogy" of schoolbooks, in which a primitive horse is always compared to a Fox Terrier in size: The Fox terrier analogy is endlessly copied from book to book until no one knows where the conventional wisdom started: In fact the actual horse was quite a bit larger than the Fox terrier, and the stereotype repeated in schoolbooks everywhere as common wisdom was completely wrong from the start... (See "Bully for Brontosaurus" for this example of conventional wisdom self-perpetuating itself)

    In other words, general statements in favour of the FW-190A should count, because they go against the conventional wisdom, while those for the Spitfire must be tied to a specific combat, because they are the conventional wisdom... This may seem biaised, but it isn't quite as much as it appears...

    More to come on the P-47 and Me-109...

    Gaston
     
  3. Aozora

    Aozora Well-Known Member

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    more :spam1: :-({|=

    I'm sure the pilots wrote those reports because they knew they would be forensically picked apart 70 years later by some dweeb on the internet with nothing better to do. :big11:
     
  4. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    One more sarcastic remark or name-calling will result in a vacation.
     
  5. Ivan1GFP

    Ivan1GFP Member

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    Hello NJACO,

    I also feel the same exasperation as Aozora does in trying to reason with someone who tries to argue that the laws of physics do not apply to aircraft performance and seems to willfully leave logic behind in selectively interpreting anecdotes.

    I suspect many others do as well which is why no one has bothered to continue what I see as a semantics discussion rather than a technical discussion. The first two posts here leave a LOT that can be discredited but the big question is whether it is worth the effort.

    - Ivan.
     
  6. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Ivan, I share your pain. It seems our friend seems to grasp that there's a thing called "PILOT SKILL" that plays into his rants. While we expect our members to be civil towards all members, be advised that your concerns (and even Aozora's frustration) is noticed by the mods....

    More to come....
     
  7. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Noted.......
     
  8. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I typically find that just ignoring someone enough they might go away. It's a lot better than getting into a pissing contest.
     
  9. Ivan1GFP

    Ivan1GFP Member

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    Perhaps it is dangerous to continue with this discussion but to me, the quote above is an indication of a complete loss of logical reasoning.
    Others may interpret this statement differently but here is how I interpret it:

    Vintage flight testing under controlled conditions by trained test pilots with proper measuring tools who take notes while conducting these tests and are generally able to repeat these tests without situational or environmental pressures is to be discounted.

    On the other hand, combat reports written well after the fact to describe the events from a single point of view without notes as to specific conditions (altitude, airspeed, engine settings, load conditions, initial tactical arrangements, etc) are to be prefered. The intent of these pilots is to win a deadly encounter against an opponent of unknown skill level and not to document the maximum performance of their aircraft. They also have no idea whether their opponent flew their aircraft to the limits.

    This is why I discount combat reports as any more than anecdotes though they do occasionally have gems of information.

    (Sorry, DerAdlerIstGelandet)
    - Ivan.
     
  10. Ivan1GFP

    Ivan1GFP Member

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    Question 1:
    The explanation might be that the German FW 190 pilots were fairly smart.
    Against better turning aircraft in the West, they went vertical to use their advantage over the Allied fighters which had better steady state turn performance.
    Russian fighters such as the Lavochkin La5FN and La7 or the Yak 9 / Yak 3 had fairly small wings and high power to weight ratios. They also were "Angles Fighters" with good vertical performance so the FW 190 pilots didn't fight that kind of fight.

    Question 2:
    The FW 190 uses frontal attacks because of massively superior firepower. Explanation for turns is given above.
    The Me 109 from the F series onward had better acceleration and climb than the contemporary FW 190 and could still exploit their better vertical performance.

    Question 3:
    I don't know the history of John Weir, but if as stated earlier, he never met a FW 190 in combat, then his accounts at best were "locker room discussions" and listening to others stories. As such, they do not reflect personal experience.

    Question 4:
    As stated earlier, the Russian aircraft (as well as every one else's) tend to be designed around their own standards and theories of fighting. They are angles fighters which mean they stress high angular turn rates at a "combat speed" rather than a minimum radius turn. They Spitfire is very good at minimum radius turns but not so great in roll rates and instantaneous turns. As for sacrificing the outboard machineguns, the Russians were great believers in centerline clustered armament and didn't think much of wing mounted armament because at short distance, there wasn't a great concentration of firepower.

    Question 5:
    No idea. I would like to see the actual models and test conditions. Often the load conditions and configuration can be quite revealing. Besides, why is KG200 doing the testing? They were the operators of the captured aircraft.

    Question 6:
    You are reading combat reports from survivors of the air battles. Predominantly they would be Allied. Even with better performing aircraft such as the FW 190D, the German pilots were dying in great numbers.

    - Ivan.
     
  11. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    I too take comments from pilots whose background is from a single airplane type with a grain of salt. It is normal for personal bias on own airplane to be professed to be superior to others. An unbiased, independent and unemotional critique of any airplane platform different from what got them through the war alive is contrary to typical human thought processes. This is why the profession of flight test pilot has standardized and agreed upon precepts, test procedures and quantifiable test results documentation.

    Ivan's last sentence in his post is spot on.
     
  12. Aozora

    Aozora Well-Known Member

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    Apologies to the mods for letting my frustration get the better of me. Unfortunately there are some people who troll the aviation forums simply to pick a fight, or "prove" that their opinion alone is valid, while refusing to concede that others have a legitimate, and often far better informed POV: that such individuals minutely dissect the combat reports of pilots who flew and fought for their lives just to prove a dodgy and tenuous argument makes me see red:evil: Anyway, I'll chill...8)
     
  13. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    Yes. Chill a bit. An opinion is like an azzhole. Everybody has one. But arguing that your azzhole opinion is fact is contrary to all the other azzholes who function very well on a daily basis. No need to rock the boat. Enjoy the forum. And don't mind the smell.
     
  14. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I agree, just ignore.

    When someone does not get attention, they typically go away.
     
  15. Ivan1GFP

    Ivan1GFP Member

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    Source: The Spitfire Story by Alfred Price.
    Comparative Trials AFDU July 1942. (That would be Arnim Faber's FW 190A-3.)

    Spitfire VB versus FW 190:
    "The manoeuvrability of the FW 190 is better than that of the Spitfire VB except in turning circles, when the Spitfire can quite easily out-turn it."

    Spitfire VB Clipped Wing versus Standard version:
    "The minimum turning circle of the clipped wing Spitfire at 20,000 ft has been increased by 55 ft to 1,025 ft compared with the FW 190 turning circle of 1,450 ft (RAE Farnborough figures). This slight increase does not therefore detract from the fighting qualities of the aeroplane in any way, since the clipped wing version is unlikely to be in combat with the standard Spitfire."

    Spitfire IX versus Focke-Wulf 190:
    "The FW 190 is more manoeuvrable than the Spitfire IX except in turning circles, when it is out-turned without difficulty."

    This seems pretty conclusive to me regarding comparative minimum radius turns between Spitfire and FW 190.
    This is not to say the FW 190 didn't do quite a lot better in other areas, but the early Spitfire IX tested here was a pretty fair match for the FW 190A-3.

    - Ivan.
     
  16. Gaston

    Gaston Banned

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    #16 Gaston, Mar 31, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2013
    So you are saying Russians did not typically use turning combat? What I have read from a German officer suggest the opposite (I can find the precise quote later, so I am paraphrasing here): "Every Eastern Front ace sent to me was shot down on the Western Front." -Here maybe a quote from another officer or the same one: "I remember explaining to him to never use the vertical against Allied fighters, always use the turn -they both were flying Me-109s-: The first thing I see him do is him pouring smoke from his exhausts and go into into this steep climb, his Me-109G-14AS with WM-50 fully engaged: He was immediately shot down. The only thing to do against Allied fighters was to turn, but bad habits from the Eastern Front were sometimes hard to shake". "Jagdwaffe, defense of the Reich"

    It does show the Me-109 favoured the vertical on the Eastern Front, just like explained in Russian evaluations, while the FW-190A "interacted" with it by using the horizontal, as described in the Russian "fighter tactics" evaluation, no difference East or West...

    Also your implication is that Russian fighters turn worse than Allied types, which doesn't make much sense...

    Again, your explanation for turning in the East by the FW-190A implies the Russian fighters were not as good turn-fighters as the 190s OR the typical Allied fighters...

    Yet everything about their tactics indicates they flew low and did not use the altitude advantage...

    Also this Russian pilot quote: "The P-39 was a revelation for us, as it could zoom and dive very well, and thus match the Me-109 in vertical maneuvers, so now they could not defeat us either on the horizontal or the vertical."

    Fighting in the vertical in the West was advantageous for the FW-190A against the likes of the Spitfire Mk IX, P-38, P-47 and P-51?!?

    They all climbed better by a large margin, except the early P-47s (late P-47s climbed slightly better than the FW-190A)... Even the Me-109G had trouble against those in the vertical, including the P-47 because of its zooming ability... How could the inferior climbing FW-190A have any hope beyond the first zoom, given the miserable dive pull-out performance described by everyone?: Red Fleet 1943: "After a 40° dive of 1200 m, the FW-190A will fall an extra 220 m after nose-level during the pull-out"

    How do you know that for sure, since fifty years later he chose to mention that in the context of a veterans affair interview? Why would he mention this, with fifty years plus of hindsight, if he did not think it was valuable enough to keep in mind all this time?

    OK for the guns, if you want, but the first French magazine quote indicates the Russians preferred horizontal turn tactics, and had to abandon them because the Spitfire was performing too poorly compared to the their indigenous fighters in this tactic... It doesn't say they dropped these tactics for their indigenous fighters, but it does say the Spitfire made them revise these tactics because of a lack of success using them on this type...

    Furthermore, you don't seem to differentiate between minimum "radius" of turn, which the Spitfire did do well by controlled stalls and losing speed, and the rate of turn, which requires an ability to complete multiple circles faster, regardless of radius... Obviously Russian tactics are more geared towards sustaining turns to pepper the target for a while, which the Spitfire did poorly compared to their indigenous fighters...

    To believe otherwise would amount to say the Spitfire could sustain rapid turn rates, but could not have "fast high angles": The opposite of everything that is known about its handling: It stalled easily but remained fully 3-axis controllable in the stall, which allowed it to "point inside the circle" accurately while the wings were rumbling and it was shedding speed, this being the whole secret of its "out-turning" the opposition when in fact it was controlled-stalling to aim "inside the turn"...

    And if you don't believe this, consider handling reports that describes that at some speeds the Spitfire's wings started to rumble at a backward stick movement of 3/4 of ONE inch. The large wings had unusually low lift, but were very stable, with full aileron control, while stalling... This is why the elevators were described as "oversensitive"...



    A captured Razorback P-47D with needle-tip prop. It was described as being sluggish and underpowered because it could not develop full rated power: Yet it out-turned a perfect condition Me-109G... Remember what I said about reduced power (or a weaker churning prop as well) helping the wingloading?...


    Does that selection implies that every time a P-47 was out-turned by a Me-109G, it doesn't show up in reports because the US pilot didn't make it back? If he does make it back anyway, how come we never hear about it?

    It also doesn't explain why I posted numerous examples of FW-190As holding their own, or beating P-47s in turns (basically every time a low-altitude turning contest happens: See the well-known FW-190A-8 film video on Youtube (FW-190A vs P-47) that makes your head spin, the FW-190 narrowly winning after about ten 360° turns), and yet the same thing almost never surfaces for the Me-109G...

    Preview of coming attractions: 8 RAF P-47s beating back 20 Me-109Gs, 0 loss to 3 kills, for minutes on end, on the deck, while carrying their full load of two one thousand pound bombs... The squadron report that followed this was pretty eye-opening, to those who want to see that is...

    Gaston
     
  17. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Gaston, how do you expect people to listen to you when you ignore what everyone else says? You had several members tell you that combat reports are only PART of the equation, not the total! You can't see or understand why they shouldn't be totally reliable???

    uh, duh!

    Are you serious? THATS your source material?????

    I think that occurred when it reached 952mph cruising speed.
     
  18. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    I believe that Weir is supporting my own pet theory that the AFDU was infact (along with the RAE) an organisation thoroughly infiltrated by nazi agents. As a result they time and time again reported that the Spitfire could out turn the Fw190 in order to develop tactics for the RAF's Spitfires that would inevitably lead to them fighting at a disadvantage against the superior turning Fw 190.

    I don't know why this devious nazi plan was not successful in leading to the defeat of the RAF in Western Europe. Maybe you can explain that ?

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  19. Ivan1GFP

    Ivan1GFP Member

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    That is quite easily explained: The Nazis didn't lose the war. They won while in charge of the Allied governments!

    Thanks Stona! We needed that!
    - Ivan.
     
  20. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    Which Youtube video? The Wings of Prey posting? There are many to choose from.
     
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