most important feature on a WW2 fighter

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Guynemer, Dec 30, 2006.

  1. Guynemer

    Guynemer New Member

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    This is rather academic, but I wonder: What feature should more important/useful on a fighter's performance against another fighter, firepower aside:
    Max. speed
    Rate of climb
    Diving speed/acceleration
    level acceleration
    maximum height
    turning ability

    Happy 2007
     
  2. johnbr

    johnbr Well-Known Member

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    For me it is turning ability what good are the others if you do not have good turning ability.
     
  3. the lancaster kicks ass

    the lancaster kicks ass Active Member

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    speed- speed allows you to pick and choose when and where to fight, it can gain you altitude and allow you to avoid a tricky turning fight.............
     
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  4. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Agreed, I would take speed as well.
     
  5. net_sailor

    net_sailor Active Member

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    Rate of climb
    Diving speed/acceleration
    level acceleration

    Why did you choose max. speed? Its ony number without practical matter. The max. speeed is only reachable in optimal conditions i.e. level (celling) and long and straight distance. How often these conditions happens in combat?

    Better climb rate, level and dive acceleration assure the same :rolleyes:
     
  6. mkloby

    mkloby Active Member

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    I agree, but my choice characteristic would be personal protection of the pilot. It takes a long time and many many hours to train quality pilots. Maneuverability would be my number one flight characteristic, definitely above speed.
     
  7. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Good point Matt. I think I would add good pilot training. Without that, it doesn't matter what the aircraft has.
     
  8. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Something left out here boys...

    During WW2 many of the "Professional Military Pilots" entered the fray early and a good many on both sides were killed off early in the war. You had to bring up people who prior to the war had no interest in aviation, get them trained and make them combat pilots. Although not listed the aircraft has to be "user friendly," easy to fly and operated while giving superior performance. But in viewing the choices I would pick max speed. Remember "Speed is Everything."
     
  9. mkloby

    mkloby Active Member

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    Good point on the user friendly part - but I'm going to still disagree on max speed ;) speed isn't going to keep that target in your sights when you're being outmaneuvered and can't pull w/ him...
     
  10. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    Which speed? Va? Vmo? Vd?

    I'm not sure that outright Vmo is what I would want. An example was the F-106. The time to speed was not a linear curve (ie constant acceleration until Vmo). Rather the time from Mach 1.2 to Mach 1.6 was like 6+ minutes. My point being that noting maximum speed alone is insufficient to evaluate and address the problem.

    I think that being forced to choose only one parameter, I would choose better climb rate. Altitude equates to more potential energy. And anything other than slash and run dogfights are won on energy conservation.
     
  11. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    It's not - but it's going to keep you alive...

    You could handle being out maneuvered by doing Yo-Yos or fighting in the vertical (i.e. P-38, P-40, F-4 in Vietnam). Although the fighter pilot must be aggressive you also want him to be able to survive to fight another day if the fight turns to a disadvantage - when you have speed you could break off and choose another day to fight when you have that advantage....

    My opinion...
     
  12. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    Fair enough. We did see that tactic brought to bear with the P-38 clover leaf tactics. Your point is well made.
     
  13. mkloby

    mkloby Active Member

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    FBJ - that is a good point, the ability to tear off from an engagement. Although slightly different, I know american pilots made good use of favorable dive characteristics vice zekes to gain a sharp speed advantage. You know, in reality, different characteristics will pay the rent or save your ass in different situations.
     
  14. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    ...and thus having to choose only one parameter makes for somewhat of a silly argument.
     
  15. mkloby

    mkloby Active Member

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    matt - are you following me around the forum????

    Maybe but it's a fun debate nonetheless.
     
  16. the lancaster kicks ass

    the lancaster kicks ass Active Member

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    it's more than a number on paper, if you're faster than your opponent, no matter what your speed, he cannot shoot you down! no matter how manouverable he is or how big his gun is he cannot get in behind you and will have one hell of a job deflection shooting or coming in for a frontal attack, it just wouldn't be possible unless you really knew what you were doing, if you have a mnaouverable plane you cannot pick and choose when to fight, if you get into a turning fight you can't run away so you have to finish it, if you're faster than the other guy you don't have to fight and RE acceleration and rate of climb, you don't need to accelerate if you're already going fast!
     
  17. mkloby

    mkloby Active Member

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    I'm sorry I somewhat disagree :D You will not fly in a direct straight line at your max speed forever. In that sense it's impractical. What happens when another A/C dives at you at its Vne which is a heck of a lot faster than yours and starts shooting? Do you stay in straight and level flight and wait till his A/S bleeds off? I would start applying those monkey skills and start yanking and banking...

    Speed is important, but alone doesn't allow you to choose when to fight. It has to do also with orders and type of mission, and altitude is very important as well (remember trade A/S for alt).
     
  18. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Good stuff guys....
     
  19. the lancaster kicks ass

    the lancaster kicks ass Active Member

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    i'm not talking about max speed all the time, i'd want a fighter that even when cruising is lightening fast, case in point the Me-262, when were most shot down? the slowest point of their flight, take off and landing! the rest of the time even when cruising she was faster than most aircraft's top speed, once you've opened the taps before going into combat (thus acceleration not important) nothing could touch her, remember we're talking hypothetical aircraft here, doesn't have to very real or realistic, therefore i'd take a phenominally fast fighter.........
     
  20. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    When I'm bored I follow everyone around the forum. Especially Lanc. I have it in for Lanc you know. :)
     
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