P-40 vs. ME-109

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Elvis, Mar 15, 2008.

  1. Elvis

    Elvis Member

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    Sort of another "Which would win that fight" question.

    I just realized that I've never seen anything written on how these two planes stacked up against each other.

    I know they had to have met at one point or another during the war.

    Anyone got any kind of kill ratio's they want to post, or pit performance figures against these two?

    Seems like an almost even match, to me, if the correct varients were pitted against each other.



    Elvis
     
  2. HoHun

    HoHun Active Member

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    Hi Elvis,

    >Seems like an almost even match, to me, if the correct varients were pitted against each other.

    Hm, I remember reading a comment by a P-40 pilot who flew the type over North Africa - he said something like "constant vigilance and mutual support were our only hope".

    A clean P-40N-1 at 3000 rpm, 57" Hg boost, might be able to compete with a Me 109G-2 below 3000 m speed-wise, but its higher weight would mean that it still would be disadvantaged in every aspect concerning energy, i. e. climbs and sustained turns.

    Maybe you are thinking of the P-40F, but the data I have seen indicate that even at +10.36 lbs/sqin, 3000 rpm (choice of units shows this is from a Commonwealth test :), it would not be competitive against a Messerschmitt Me 109 variant later than the Emil. Though it had a two-speed supercharger, the early Packard Merlins were not quite as powerful as their Rolls-Royce powerplants yet.

    Regards,

    Henning (HoHun)
     
  3. slaterat

    slaterat Member

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    A couple good books on this topic are "Kittyhawks Over the Sands" and "Kittyhawk Pilot" both by Michel Lavigne and James "Stocky" Edwards. Edwards was a Canadian ace with 20 or so kills in the Desert Airforce.
    Kittyhawk Pilot , Edwards biography, was published in 83 so it would be hard to find but copies of Kittyhawks Over the Sands are still available. Both books are excellant with lots of first hand accounts and cross referencing of kills /claims.

    Slaterat
     
  4. Elvis

    Elvis Member

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    Ok, so it sounds like this is almost a lost cause.

    Thanks for your comments.
    Much appreciated.

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

    Slaterat,

    Thanks for the recommendations.
    I'll look for those at the local bookstore.



    Elvis
     
  5. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    I believe that Marseille(may have spelled that wrong) enjoyed a lot of success against P40s in N Africa. If I remember correctly the day he allegedly had 17 kills several were P40s. Other LW pilots probably had good success against P40s also.
     
  6. claidemore

    claidemore Member

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    The other area the Bf109 met P40's was on the Eastern Front.
    Here's an excellent link about Lend-lease planes in Russian service. The interview iwth Kulakov is particularly good, he flew P40's against 109s. There is another online interview story of a Russian P40 pilot but I can't remember where it is.

    Articles

    Those interviews of Russian pilots I find very enlightening.

    Theres some good stuff about P39s in there as well.

    Claidemore
     
  7. Graeme

    Graeme Well-Known Member

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    Australia's 3 Squadron operated Kittyhawks and Tomahawks with success in North Africa, but I don't know the final Bf 109 tally...

    [​IMG]
     
  8. claidemore

    claidemore Member

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    James Stocky Edwards, RCAF, flew Kittyhawks with 260 Squadron RAF in North Africa. He got 13 or 14 kills with the P-40 before switching to Spitfires with 417 Squadron. He's credited with shooting down 51 kill ace Otto Schulz, and it's also possible that he shot Marseille down.

    Edwards was on the deck, running for home, came over a hill and saw a 109 and put a burst into it but didn't stick around to see what happened. A day or two later they heard Marseille had gone down where Eddy had shot at the 109. The story was Marseilles engine quit, he bailed out and was killed. Edwards was alone at the time, nobody saw him shoot, so he was never credited and Luftwaffe maintains it was a flying accident.

    Last I heard Edwards was still live and kickin near Vancouver B.C.

    Here's his take on P-40s.

    a Utube link with some RAF,RAAF, RNZAF P40 footage.


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9CwP_JMI2A
     
  9. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    From the excellent book "Desert Warriors, Australian P-40 pilots at war in the Middle East and North Africa 1941-1943" By Russell Brown. I added the confirmed 109 kills up as 49 plus a half kill shared with another squadron for 3 sqn RAAF.
    For 450 sqn RAAF, I got 26 109's destroyed out of 49 enemy a/c destroyed by this squadron in North Africa.
     
  10. Graeme

    Graeme Well-Known Member

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    Well we knocked quite a few 109's out of the sky! Thanks Wildcat! Been away for a while mate? Enjoying the heat? What weather you get, we get in a day or so :(
     
  11. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    Nah, just been working alot lately. I work outdoors so this heat is killing me!
    :(
     
  12. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    He along with the surviving AVG pilots and any other P40 jocks they can scrounge will be at Geneseo this year along with 11 p40'S this year Vintage Wings is bringing a P40 in with his markings from 260 Sqn .
    1941 Historical Aircraft Group Museum in Geneseo, NY
    Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawk
     
  13. Elvis

    Elvis Member

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    Hey, maybe not such a "lost cause" after all!
    Thanks to everyone involved for the comments thus far.

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

    Graeme,

    I've got a program on VHS that I taped off the TV back in the mid 90's, concerning a P-40 that was found in Canada in the 80's (IIRC) and restored by an Aussie named Cole Palen (sp?).
    The show delved into the restoration of the plane, and had a good bit about the P-40's role with the RNZAF and RAAF during the war.
    Part of the program talked a little about 109's as well, and Bobby Gibbes is interviewed, at the unveiling of a (then) newly restored 109.
    Wish I had an extra VCR, I'd make a copy for you.
    Maybe one of these days, I'll have someone dupe all these movies I taped on VHS back in the 90's, down to DVD and have an extra one made for you (...and kool kitty, too).


    Elvis
     
  14. Elvis

    Elvis Member

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  15. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    G'day Elvis, that program is available on DVD, probably be able to get it through EZYDVD, that's were I got my copy from. That Kittyhawk was owed by Col Pay, who was unfortunately killed a few months back. His latest P-40 is painted as one flown by Bobby Gibbes, who also passed away a few months back aswell.
    The book I mentioned above shows 16 Australians achieved ace status whilst flying P-40's in the desert. Of these Andrew Barr is credited with 5 109 kills (from a total of 12 victories), Bobby Gibbs with 5 + 1 shared 109 kills (1 not officially recorded) and Clive Caldwell with 10 109 kills (from his total of 27+3 shared).
     

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  16. Elvis

    Elvis Member

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    Wildcat,

    Thanks for the updated info and the correction on Col Pay's name (turns out Cole Palen was associated with The Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome).
    Sorry to hear of the passing of both those gentlemen.



    Elvis
     
  17. phoenix7187

    phoenix7187 Member

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    I'll add these 2 things 70% of pilots that got shot down in WWII did know they were under fire. Second The P-40 was an out dated before it entered service. The RAF used it in the support roll not so much fighter roll (yes some were due to necessity) It really wasn't up to air war in the ETO. From what I know about the P-40 I would want to take it into combat against 109F or better. your just asking to be another hash mark on some 109's rudder.
     
  18. claidemore

    claidemore Member

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    I get a kick out of how most articles about the P40 start:

    "The United States was 'forced' to put the P40 into mass production because it was the 'best' fighter they had."

    It's always worded like an apology. Why not write it:

    "The United States put their best fighter into mass production, the Curtiss P-40!"

    Soviet lend-lease P-40s were used against various models of the 109 ranging from the Emils to 109G6's. They certainlly weren't able to dominate the 109s, very few planes did, but they did hold their own.

    In one of the Soviet P40 pilot interviews he goes on quite a bit about the interviewers 'obsession' with max speed. He points out that in combat max speed was seldom attained,(when it was it was usually in a dive where the P40 held an advantage) and wasn't a critical factor in a fight. Acceleration was more important than max speed in his opinion and according to him the P-40 could accelerate quickly enough to catch a 109 before it's higher max speed could pull it out of range.

    From Wiki:
    Wiki has 239 Wing RAF in the Western Desert as claiming 283 kills vs 100 losses. Thats almost a 3-1 claim/loss ratio. If you cut the kills in half for over claiming and you still have a 1.4/1 positive kill ratio. Against F and G model 109s thats pretty good.

    BTW, I consider the shark nosed Kityhawks in RAF desert camo paint scheme to be one of the most visually appealing fighters of WWII.

    Claidemore
     
  19. Soren

    Soren Banned

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    Claidemore,

    The P-40s didn't just shoot down fighters - something which is often forgotten when talking kill/loss ratios.

    As for the topic; The Bf-109 is the best hands down. Can't think of an area besides roll rate where the 109 wasn't better than the P-40.
     
  20. claidemore

    claidemore Member

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    True, they didn't just shoot down fighters, but most of the stuff they were shooting at shot back. :) But you are right, that kill ratio would be against all types of planes.

    I agree that the 109 was a better plane overall.

    Advantages of the P40 near as I can tell:
    a) firepower, 6 x.50 mg compared to 1x20mm and 2 x7.92 in the F and G2 109s.(the two wingpod guns would give the advantage to the 109G2 here)
    b) roll rate as you pointed out, so it gets into a turn quicker
    c)turn rate, P40 pilots said they could turn better than the 109, and the RAE test show the P36 Hawk turning better than the 109. Since the P40 has more horsepower available, it should turn as good or better than the P36.
    d) max dive. maybe
    e) visibility from the cockpit
    f)range, 650 miles compared to 550?
    g)wider landing gear, safer on takeoff and landing


    The 109 was faster, climbed better, possibly had dive advantages, and had better high alt performance. I'd say the 109 cockpit layout was better too, the P40 cockpit always looked confusing and cluttered to me.
     
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