Low Altitude P-47D Razorbacks vs Gustav

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by kettbo, Feb 16, 2016.

  1. kettbo

    kettbo Member

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    #1 kettbo, Feb 16, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2016
    I've been naughty, have been away for a bit....

    During part of my absence I started to paint SCADS of Bf109G in the small 1/285 scale. I started paintwork on 16 P-47D Razorbacks. EPIC FAIL with the Invasion Stripes so they got stripped, got the basic repaint. Now I am looking at the project again.
    EDIT: This is for a miniatures game, some painted hex sheets, altitude stands, etc/ NORMANDY and beyond.

    The US player(s) will generally get a Squadron and some mission orders for the day. The US leader will have to figure out how he is going to fly the mission unless he's TOLD what to do by his boss. Altitudes, spacing, timing.... The Germans will get a Staffel though seldom at full strength. While the Germans were almost always outnumbered far worse than this, I believe they'd avoid going after a FG when they could easily find a Sqdn or less to hit. Naturally this is an end state, will have to start smaller. Likely to begin with the US having 1-2 flights with the LW having a Rotte or Schwarm to train up with. The Germans might get a call to stop a ground unit from getting "Jabo" attacks or they may have to go after a raid that is headed to the south or southeast (no clear idea what the target will be).

    I know beginning of '44 the P-47s got the M-W injection and paddle blades. This helped performance at all levels, IIRC. I am aware that the Bf109G-6 was the standard, MW50-equipment was common-enough this late in the program and during July the Bf109G-14 entered production with MW50 being standard (other planes will join the fray, doing the primary planes first)

    LOOKING FOR ANY PERFORMANCE ADVANTAGE

    biggest factor is CREW....so overall the US will have well-trained pilots though most will lack combat experience. The Old Man is likely to have seen previous combat early in the war. The Germans will be a mixed bag, will research a bit. Pretty sure the 30-40 kill Staffel Fuhrer days are over.....10-20 kills more likely. The Flight leaders are probably 5-10 kills, Element leads are likely long serving NCOs, likely with stron kill tallies. Wingmen will be an assortment with Average being the best of the bunch. Some green, some raw....guys you want doing after repair test hops and also used to bring in replacement aircraft. This is nearly taking on a role-playing-game type features. Vision, alertness, morale...
    I'll have this covered pretty well

    NEXT, and where I need help, looking for comparative Low Altitude performance
    TALKING VERY LOW to 7000' or so ft of altitude max (correct me if I am wrong here with my ratings!!!!!)

    Speeds: pretty even
    Acceleration: slight advantage GUSTAV
    Roll: advantage P-47
    Turn: advantage GUSTAV
    Climb: big advantage Gustav
    Zoom: ???? might be pretty close, no big dives at low altitude
    Dive: big advantage P-47
    Dogfight type flying: advantage Gustav
    Firepower: P-47 vs G-6, the P-47 is the clear leader vs G-6 with cannon pods, good advantage to the Gustav
    vs the G-6 or G-14 with mk 108 engine cannon, results will depend on first IF any rounds hit, than how many.


    P-47 is easier to spot, easier to hit
    Gustav is not anywhere as tough as a P-47
    (will have special and critical hits so planes can dramatically come apart)


    I'll get some pictures up tomorrow, thanks in advance for your help
    P-47Ds in basic paint, no fancy stuff yet
     

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  2. Reegor

    Reegor Member

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    I'm not sure what your goal is here, but it's an interesting idea. As far as I can tell, by 1943 the quality of pilots was overwhelmingly in favor of the US. The Germans had no fuel for training, and were experiencing losses of approximately 50% every 6 months (or higher)! So the "average" encounter was between a US pilot midway through his first tour (say 300+ hours in training and 100+ operational), and a German pilot with less than 100 hours total.
    Here's an excerpt from a book I'm writing that touches on this issue. The table does not come through.

    Finally, what was the effect of this behavior? By late 1943 the Luftwaffe had lost most of its original pilots. In the first six months of 1943, Germany lost 1,100 fighter pilots, which was about 60% of the number at the start of the year. It lost another 15 percent in each of July and August. New pilots and new aircraft were arriving every month, but in contrast to new aircraft, new pilots are vastly inferior to those they replace.
    The high pilot losses had two disastrous effects. First, even if they had been well trained, newer pilots were inexperienced and inevitably had more accidents and combat casualties than the pilots they replaced. Second, the Luftwaffe increased its training rate partly by shortening the training period. Shortages of fuel due to bombing and Soviet recapture of oil fields also forced reductions in flight training hours. Figure 6-23 shows the dramatic reduction in training hours for Germany, from over 240 hours including about 80 hours of training in front-line aircraft, to less than half that by the last year of the war. Over the same years the training hours for the Americans and British were growing, with the American USAAF eventually averaging over 400 hours of flight training before pilots reached operational units.

    1. Flight hours in training for different air forces.
    The Luftwaffe trained enough pilots to equal the losses, but it never got significantly ahead of them and new pilots did not live long enough to build experience. In 1942 Germany trained 1660 new pilots; in 1943 it doubled that to 3276. The effects of more new pilots with fewer flying hours showed up in falling pilot quality and higher casualties. General Steinhoff recalled that:
    Toward the end of 1944 the situation of the German fighter forces was such that, while we still had a limited cadre of experienced pilots, the majority of the fighter pilots were very young and inexperienced. Between late 1944 and early 1945, the average young pilot flew only two missions before he was killed—that is what the statistics say. On the other hand, the aircraft situation was excellent. ... However, the fuel situation was hopeless; for training purposes almost no fuel was released any more.
    Similarly, Günther Rall wrote that in late 1943:
    To compensate for the growing losses against the western allies’ bomber streams, the training time of young fighter pilots is shortened. Now pilots are going into action with scarcely more than 50 hours of flying time on powered aircraft in their logbooks, and with only a handful of those hours having been completed on the types they will fly operationally. Most of them will be killed before their tenth mission.

     
  3. kettbo

    kettbo Member

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    Reegor, acknowledged, all over this pilot skill thing. Superior pilots will do better than novices across the skill rolls.
     
  4. kettbo

    kettbo Member

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    Reegor, I'm all over the crew quality issues. Appreciate what you have shared
     
  5. Reegor

    Reegor Member

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    An additional issue in training, as I'm sure you know, is that it was increasingly hard for the Germans to find places to train. Once the long-range fighters were allowed to leave the bombers, training flights were no longer safe.
     
  6. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Firepower: P-47 vs G-6, the P-47 is the clear leader

    How do you figure that? 20mm mine shells will do the airframe damage of multiple solid machinegun rounds. Centerline weapons are more accurate too.

    It's probably safe to say either aircraft can knock the other down in a single pass if they get weapons on target.
     
  7. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Again with center-line argument?

    [​IMG]

    Please note that ANY range from 150 yds to over 500yds the .50 cal bullets are never more than 18 in away from the line of sight vertically and at 150 yds they are only about 12 ft apart horizontally IF set for a 350yd crossover. With a 250 yd cross over they are about 8 feet apart at 150yds and are spreading out to about 8ft at around 350yds.
    The time of flight for the .50 cal guns to any given range is shorter which means that less lead is needed. The longer the range the greater the difference in time of flight.

    At really short range, say under 100yds the P-47 might only be hitting with one wing worth of guns but that one wing is equal to the combined firepower of a P-51B/C and they didn't seem to have too much trouble shooting down 109s.

    One might also note that very seldom did the Germans use a belt of 100% mine shells. Ballistics (times of flight) and trajectories of different 20mm shells make pretty much a mockery of any claims of long range accuracy for the MG 151, you are either hitting with the mine shells and missing with the standard HE-T ammo or you are hitting with the tracer ammo and missing with the Mine shells.
     
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  8. The Kohler

    The Kohler New Member

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    You might be right with the 20 mm shells vs. .50 slugs, but only if they hit the target. Let's look at the number of rounds and weight of these rounds in a 3 second burst.

    Assuming the Bf 109 G-6 has two MG 131 and one MG 151/20 and the P-47 carries eight Browning AN/M2 with the following specs:
    Rounds per minute and slug/shell weight. All slightly rounded.
    • MG 131 with 900 rpm and 35 gram slugs
    • MG 151/20 with 675 rpm and 115 g shells
    • Browning AN/M2 with 800 rpm and 45 gram slugs

    With a 3 second burst the Bf 109 puts out a total of 124 slugs/shells with a total weight of 5,485 grams. In comparison, the P-47 puts out 320 slugs with a total weight of 14,400 grams. This means, the P-47 h has roughly 2.5 times the higher number off lead in numbers as well as weight flying towards the target. The P-47 advantage might be compromised due to the fact that the ammunition for the MG 151/20 is an explosive shell, but on the other hand the Bf 109 is a flimsy construction, at least in comparison with the Thunderbolt, and therefore more likely to be mortally damaged. And last but not least, the slugs for the AN/M2 as well as the MG 131 weren't simple slugs as we know out of infantry weapons, they were often some sort
    Incendiary and/or Armor-Piercing rounds.

    Just my 2 cents.
     
  9. Peter Gunn

    Peter Gunn Active Member

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    Not to mention that very little usable airplane would be left if the 109 was in the convergence for those eight .50's, just think of roughly 100 slugs hitting it in about 1 second...*shudder*.
     
  10. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Bf 109 is a flimsy construction

    P-47 aluminum wings are no more bulletproof then Me-109 aluminum wings. Any machinegun or cannon shell will penetrate at any range you can score a hit. Explosive filler is the different between holes 1 inch in size and holes 1 foot in size.
     
  11. The Kohler

    The Kohler New Member

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    There weren’t any bulletproof fighters in WWII.

    I made the Bf 109 flimsy remark in comparison to the P-47. Or do you want to make a statement that the survivability in a Gustav was the same as a Thunderbolt? If yes, please look-up at these two fighters again. And by the way, a hole in a wing isn't a 100% mortal defect. However, a .50 round in the cooling system or the DB 605 of a Bf 109 take the Messerschmitt out of service within minutes. A 20 mm shell hit into a P-47’s R-2800 might be survivable. There are some examples with a knocked out cylinders which made it back to base.

    However, I stay with my comment that the P-47 has more firepower than a Bf 109 G-6.
     
  12. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    The unshakeable belief in the 50 risesagain.

    this issue has been debated before....

    .50 cal machine guns vs 20 mm autocannons on US aircraft

    20mm cannon, best, worst, specs, comparison to LMG, HMG etc.

    The 50 kinda died after the war, with some very notable exceptions, whilst the 20mm soldiered on in new forms to this day
    The Brits when considering a replacement for their 0.303 calibre LMGs considered the 50, passed it over as they considered it had insufficient step up in firepower compared to the 20mm. Their initial installations into Spitfires were a disaster but eventually they got their wing mounted cannon to work well
     
  13. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    You have to admit, that a one second burst from eight (or even six) .50s, is a substantial amount of mass being violently delivered onto an enemy airframe...
     
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  14. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Please define "bullet proof"?

    Nobody built a wing that would deflect even 7.62-8mm bullets or cause them to fail to penetrate at any but the most shallow of angles.
    However some wings could withstand more damage than others before folding up or failing.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Granted these maybe the exceptions vs the rule or average.
    Blowing a few square feet of wing skin (even if it does bear some of the load) off the spars and ribs does not guarantee wing failure.
    A single (or even a couple) of 1/2in holes in a wing spar doesn't guarantee wing failure either.
    The P-47 is pumping out about 2.6 times the number of projectiles per second compared to the 109G-6 and the .50 hits a lot harder than the 13mm MG 131 ammo that makes up 2/3rds of the G-6's projectiles.
    Given that the 20mm shells may be around 3 times as effective as the .50 cal it means the G-6 has roughly 1/2 the firepower per second of the P-47.
     
  15. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    As many of you may know I am not a big fan of the .50, mostly because of it's weight vs it's "effect".
    However the idea that a single 20mm cannon and a couple of low powered 13mm guns are equal (or even close) to eight .50s in effect takes a lot of swallowing.
    So does the claim that one in the fuselage is worth two in the wings. A few quotes ( or one?) from aces doesn't really prove anything one way or another unless backed up by studies/tests by ordnance depts.
    Or that the fuselage mounted guns are more accurate when the 20mm gun in question is using two really different projectiles that don't ballisticly match well and the 13mm projectiles don't really match either one of the 20mm projectiles. At least the .50 used projectiles that matched ballisticly out to around 600yds fairly well.
     
  16. kettbo

    kettbo Member

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    thanks for the remarks so far! Keep them coming

    I was calculating .50 cal at one point each so
    8 pts for the P-47, 6 pts for P-51D/K, 4 pts for P-51B/C
    above the P-47 would use an 8-sided die, the P-51D a six side die, the P-51B a 4-side die

    For the LW, was working with a 13mm being 1pt each, the 20mm 3pts each, 30mm Mk 108 might hit 1-3 rounds, or not at all but 1-10 hit points each round
    Base Gustav with 1x20 and 2x13 =5pts maybe, maybe a bonus of one point for center weapons(?) for 6 points and use of a simple six-side die
    With cannon pods 3x 20mm (3x3=9) and 2 13mm =11pts, maybe push this up to 12 pts
    30mm vs fighter roll a d6, Close range 1-3 gives you that many hits, a ten side die roll each while 4.-6 misses. Medium range vs fighter, 1-2 hit, the rest are misses

    With the plane hit points, I value the Gustav around 8 pts, the P-47 comes in around 11. Even if the Gustav rolls high, one burst will not drop the T-Bolt. ENTER the critical hit table...roll bad here, the pilot might be hit, lose that oil cooler, wing comes off, etc

    I dug out some of my 1.285 scale miniatures. SOMEONE YOU KNOW made the original a few years back, it is a RAIDEN Miniatures offering. Here she's decked-out in grays and has the tall tail, Erla canopy, mid war wing with lump
     

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  17. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    The USN investigated at length the relevant merits of cannon and machine gun armament. The conclusions were unequivocal. This is a precis of a talk given at Joint Fighter Conference held at NAS Patuxent River in October 1944.

    Commander Monroe noted that, from a gun “horsepower” standpoint, one 20 mm cannon was equivalent to three .50-caliber machine guns. “The 20 will go through .75 inch of armor at 500 yards, while the .50 cal will go through only .43.” He also noted that the cannon barrel was not as susceptible to being damaged with long bursts like the machine gun’s.

    There were disadvantages, of course. He noted that the time of flight of the 20 mm shell was longer, .75 second for 500 yards as compared to .62 second for a .50 caliber bullet. The 20 mm installation was also heavier, “one half as much ammunition for the same weight.” The standard of 400 rounds of ammunition for each gun (30 seconds) could therefore not be maintained so only 200 rounds of 20 mm ammunition could be provided per gun. Nevertheless, “The 20 is lethal enough to get far more results out of that 200 rounds than the .50 ever will get out of the 400 rounds.”


    There are plenty of other reports, including for British trials at Orfordness, that came to the same conclusion.

    The only evidence that I've ever seen to suggest that one centre line weapon was worth two in the wing amounts to hearsay and opinion. It certainly isn't supported by combat evidence. I've never read any report in which a pilot has said anything like 'I've have got him if only I'd had centre line armament'. As far as I know the British never did a scientific comparison which suggests it wasn't considered relevant. I don't know about anyone else.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
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  18. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    The American/Allied comparisons were done between the 20mm Hispano and the .50 cal Browning.
    Comparing the .50 cal Browning to the MG 151/20 gets a lot murkier as there were plenty of differences between the ballistics of the Hispano and the MG 151/20 and their aren't a lot of comparison tests between those two guns.
    The .50 cal was heavy for the effectiveness that was offered but that is irrelevant to this thread. We are not discussing what the planes might have been armed with but what they were armed with and the practical differences.

    Now one 'practical' difference has been referenced by Stona and that is the time of flight, .63 seconds to 500yds.
    A plane doing 300mph can cover 277ft (8 1/2 plane lengths?) in that amount of time so you need quite a bit of 'lead' in order score hits.
    Please remember that the firing pilot/aircraft doesn't actually know the exact speed of the target or it's exact course. Tracers tell you where you should have been aiming .63-.75 seconds ago. They do help but are obviously not a panacea.
    Shorter ranges are much, much easier but then shorter ranges fall into the convergence zone of the wing mounted guns until ranges get so short that the firing plane can be damaged by parts coming off the target.
    The German guns have longer times of flight (at short ranges there may not be a lot of difference) much longer than the Hispano's .75 seconds to 500yds so the German pilots need to use much more lead at long (500yd) range. The German guns/ammo also have different times of flight and different trajectories from each other. The Trajectories are not that big a deal at ranges much under 500 yds against something like a P-47. Best gun/ammo hits top of fuselage while worst hits the bottom ;)
    Time of flight and lead are much more important because at longer ranges the different rounds may be 'landing' several plane lengths apart which rather makes a mockery of the greater accuracy for center line guns argument.
    Now Kettbo with his game has limited options for showing differences between guns/ammo. The 13mm MG 131 was very limited in power compared to the US .50 with about 60% of the kinetic energy per round. However the 13mm had around 1/3 the energy of the 20mm MG 151 round (not counting HE) so there is a limit as to what can be modeled using dice.
    The 109 without gunpods and with 20mm gun may have roughly 1/2 the firepower of a P-47.
    Some people figure that the MG 151/20 was roughly equal to the Hispano on average but they do have different attributes.
    The MK 108 has great power if it hits but has limited ammo (60 rounds?) and it's low velocity makes estimating the lead required even trickier.
     
  19. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    #19 stona, Feb 18, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2016
    The difference in time of flight for the two weapons tested by the USN is 0.13 seconds to 500 yards. By the figures above an aircraft flying at 300 mph travels 57 feet in that time, close to two Bf 109 lengths and that would be the adjustment needed compared to the .50 calibre machine gun at maximum deflection i.e. 90 degrees angle off. There were very few, if any, pilots who could hit anything at maximum deflection in any case.
    The adjustment of lead, to compensate that 57 feet, at 500 yards, is less than two degrees
    The adjustment is much less at lower angles off. Too much is being made of the total time in flight rather than the difference in time in flight, which is relevant in the comparison, for the two systems.
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  20. Kryten

    Kryten Member

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    kettbo, how are you going to factor in the manoeuvrability penalty of the gun pod armed Gustav?

    Those pods caused a considerable negative penalty to the planes handling.
     
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