P-40 vs. Yak-1 vs. Hurricane

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Clay_Allison, Mar 20, 2009.

  1. Clay_Allison

    Clay_Allison Active Member

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    We have a lot of threads uselessly comparing the P-40 to the Spitfire and Mustang. On the other hand, in my opinion, the proper comparison is with the other "obsolete" fighters that were thrust into the gap in the early war and fought on till the end in lower priority roles.

    So, say you need fighters and these three designs are on your desk. Which do you want?
     
  2. Jerry W. Loper

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    I don't know much about the Yak. Between the other two, I'd have to pick the P-40, especially if the fighter I'd pick would have to try to soldier on as an air-to-air fighter.
     
  3. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    It's a really close call.

    All the 3 were decent planes, but I'd pick the Hurricane IIC over the contemporary P-40B and Yak-1 just because the Hurri had 4 cannons.

    The Yak had more development potential though.
     
  4. LWulf

    LWulf New Member

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    Yak, because of the engine mounted cannon, small size, ease of production and maintenance, good performance and handling.
     
  5. claidemore

    claidemore Member

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    Yakovlev.
    It wasn't obsolete, in fact it was just at the beginning of it's design developement, with the basic design soldiering on into the Korean War along with it's contemporaries, the P51 and F4U. The Yak 3 and Yak 9U were right up there with the top half dozen or so fighters in 1945.

    The British replaced Hurricanes with P40s in Africa as front line fighters, so the Hurri, as much as I admire it, is clearly not the plane to choose.

    The RAF P40s in North Africa were replaced by Spitfires, and since those who flew both Yaks and Spits consider them to be equal in performance capabilities, the P40 clearly can't be chosen over the Yak series.

    The Yak fighters performed the 'bread and butter' role admirably, particularly the Yak 1,7,9-9D. The Yak 3 and 9U became true air superiority fighters in the final months of the war, fighting against Bf 109Ks and FW 190 Doras, with the Yak 3 arguably the best pure 'dogfighter' in service at that time.
     
  6. Clay_Allison

    Clay_Allison Active Member

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    The Yak-1 was obsolete. The Yak-3 and Yak-9 were clearly not.
     
  7. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    the yak 1 was not obsolete at its time. i'm agree with claidemore analysis
     
  8. claidemore

    claidemore Member

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    The Yak 1 was most definately not obsolete. It was simply the first model in a series, just like the Spitfire Mk1, Mustang 1, FW190A2 etc.

    Yak 1 production did not stop till 1944, which cannot be said for P40BCDEFK. Yak 3 was basically a lightened Yak1, it replaced the Yak 1 on it's production lines as most components were identical. The Yak 1 would be a good contender for longest production run of a specific model designation in WWII.

    Early Yak 1s were competitive with 109E, and just a little behind 109F. They replaced the Migs and LaGGs in many Soviet units, which would tend to indicate obsolescence for the types they replaced, not the other way around. Of course those replacements were due to better performance, not obsolescence. Improved Yak 1s (Yak 1B) were competitive right up till 1944 against 190s, and Gustavs. Consider the success of the Normandie Niemen regiment for example, which used Yak1bs through 1943, replacing them with Yak9Ds in 1944 and eventually Yak 3s.
    The final air victory over Europe (afaik) was scored by Victor Golubev on May 9, 1945 in.....a Yak.
     
  9. Clay_Allison

    Clay_Allison Active Member

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    I don't question that the lines of the airplane were solid, but the Yak-1s they made early in the war were not very refined wooden designs. Manufacturing got better and like every major engine, the Klimov kept adding horses until even the late-war all-wood plane was a plywood powerhouse.
     
  10. claidemore

    claidemore Member

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    A few notes about design and development of the Yak 1:

    A.S. Yakovlev designed the Yak 1 AFTER examining both the Spitfire and Bf109. His design is newer than either of those fighters.

    The initial orders for development of this fighter were issued in April 1939. First prototype I-26 was completed December 27, 1939. First flight, (on skis) was done on January 13, 1940.
    The first ‘issue’ Yak 1 was ready on March 22, 1940, with the balance of the first production run ready by June. Pilots who were to fly this first batch of Yak 1s were required to have several flights in the Yak 7UTI trainer, which was developed parallel to the Yak 1.

    The P40 on the other hand first flew in 1938, and was based on a 1935 design, the Curtis P36 Hawk.
    Hawker Hurricane design was started in 1934.

    Yes the Yak was a simple deisgn, though one could argue that they went through considerable 'refinement' with hundreds of small changes made during it's production life.

    I'm never too quick to denigrate wood in airplane designs. The Mosquito was a 'modern' mid war design, which used wood in it's construction, and was one of the fastest and most effective planes of the war in the roles it was used in. A plywood powerhouse as Clay puts it.
     
  11. Clay_Allison

    Clay_Allison Active Member

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    If you've read my threads you know I have a passion for the non strategic materials fighters.
     
  12. claidemore

    claidemore Member

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    Yup. Me too.
    I've worked with wood all my life and it irks me that so many don't understand that it can be as strong or stronger than aluminum or steel in many applications.
    The sim designers who model planes with wood construction in the wings and have them breaking off at high speeds are particularly irritating! (though I haven't done any simming for a few years now)
     
  13. Clay_Allison

    Clay_Allison Active Member

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    Any thoughts on the Miles M.20? I still feel that if the US had gotten hold of the design and gotten Fairchild and Hughes to produce it under license (they were the best with wood) with an Allison engine and 4x.50MG armament, we could have made it the perfect export fighter for the Aussies, Indians, Chinese, and Russians.
     
  14. claidemore

    claidemore Member

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    Interesting to compare Miles' aircraft to Yakovlevs'. Yakovlevs experience was primarily in the design of trainers (and racers) as was Miles.
    The M.20 was a good looking plane and the bubble canopy was a big improvement over most fighters in 1940.
    The negatives would be the lack of retractable landing gear, pilot armor, and possibly the thick wing (I don't have specifics on it).
     

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  15. Clay_Allison

    Clay_Allison Active Member

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    I think the landing gear could have been added, the estimated range wasn't bad, so, don't know that the wing was too thick. It was just an estimate though.

    Was there ever a possibility that the Soviets would have sent the Yak-1 plans to America for development and building under license for lend-lease? Or would they have been too paranoid?
     
  16. HoHun

    HoHun Active Member

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    Hi Clay,

    >So, say you need fighters and these three designs are on your desk. Which do you want?

    Here is a performance comparison. Be warned that the Yak-1 data is still rough, I think I'm going to have to redo it.

    I used speed figures from the internet for the Yak-1 (M-105) and found that changing engine data to that of the Yak-1 (M-105PF) gives an OK match to data from the same source. Any authoritative data would be appreciated.

    I'd also like to ask everyone here which propeller reduction gear ratio the M-105P and M-105PF were using in the Yak. Apparently, the engines came with two different ratios of 1.5 and 1.7xx (with the last two digits illegible in my copy).

    Anyway, here the graphs.

    Regards,

    Henning (HoHun)
     

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  17. claidemore

    claidemore Member

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    Henning:
    Probably from the same online source: Yak 1 with M105P/PA would do between 472 pr 478 @ sea level, and 563/573 @4800 meters. Which agrees with your graph.
    Yak 1b with M105PF would do 523-531 @ sea level and 590-592 @ 4000 meters. I know there is some data that shows a PF engined Yak at [email protected] and 571 @4500m, but most data uses the higher numbers. I believe the discrepancy is due to constant modifications and tightening up of quality at the factory level. ....
    Or it could be that the P and PA engined Yaks used the VISh-61 variable pitch propeller, and the PF engines used the VISh-105 constant speed prop. Not sure.

    I found your sustained turn rate comparison very interesting. Anecdotal evidence was that a Yak was much more manueverable than a 109, particularly in the horizontal fight. Plenty of anecdotal evidence from North Africa showing that a P40 was equal or slightly better than a 109 in the turn, not to mention the tests of the Curtis Hawk vs 109E done by the Germans. Even if we consider that the P40 was equal to the 109 in the turn, your graph supports the opinion that the Yak turned better.

    Aside from performance, there were other factors that favored the Yak. Very pilot friendly, no vices as far as aerobatics and general flying. Simple and cheap to produce, less costly than either the Hurricane or P40. Better visibility from cockpit from 1942 on and it had the much vaunted centerline mounted armament. Approximately 1300 lbs lighter than a Hurricane and 2000 lbs lighter than a P40.

    Yet another plane that would have benifitted from a Merlin installation. (Merlin 61 was approximately equal in hp to the problem plauged VK107)
     
  18. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Someone commened on the P-40 replacing the Hurricane in north Africa. As I understand it, this is not the case. In fact the two types existed side by side. The Hurris were the best FB of the early war period, with sub-types packing 40mm guns. Conversely the RAF warhawks, were longer ranged. The P-40 Tomahawk suffered from a lack of engine power and firepower, later moels introduced from '42 onwards addressed this somewhat, but the P-40 was never a great performer at altitude, from all that I have read.
     
  19. HoHun

    HoHun Active Member

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    Hi Claidemore,

    >Yak 1b with M105PF would do 523-531 @ sea level and 590-592 @ 4000 meters. I know there is some data that shows a PF engined Yak at [email protected] and 571 @4500m, but most data uses the higher numbers. I believe the discrepancy is due to constant modifications and tightening up of quality at the factory level. ....

    Quite possible ... to get the 590 km/h @ 3850 m for the Yak-1b I was aiming for, I had to improve the drag status (virtually :) quite a bit, and also to increase the ram efficiency. I can't quite make the sea level speed though - maybe the PF had improved exhausts giving more thrust?

    >I found your sustained turn rate comparison very interesting. Anecdotal evidence was that a Yak was much more manueverable than a 109, particularly in the horizontal fight.

    As I have no data on the maximum coefficient of lift for the clean airframe without the influence of propeller slipstream for the Yak-1, I just chose the figure that gave me the 19 to 20 s turn time at 1000 m indicated by my source. This works out as 1.27, which looks quite credible. The turn performance of the higher powered variants then follows arithmetically. The Yak-1b is given with 18 - 19 s while I calculate 19.3 s, not too bad for a first try.

    >Plenty of anecdotal evidence from North Africa showing that a P40 was equal or slightly better than a 109 in the turn

    Hm, I can't see how that would be possible. With a similar wing profile, a similar wing loading but a markedly worse power loading, how could a P-40 realistically hope to outturn a Me 109? I suspect that the perception of the P-40 pilots was that they could lose the Me 109 by turning, while the Me 109 pilots did not really want to turn with the P-40s because enjoying both the speed and the climb rate advantage, they had safer options to engage the P-40s. I don't think the P-40 can have been anything better than a mediocre turner. The much lighter P-36 can't really serve as a useful yardstick here.

    Regards,

    Henning (HoHun)
     

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  20. HoHun

    HoHun Active Member

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    Hi again,

    I have just added the Hurricane turn rate information to the graphs in my previous post ... this just serves as a "heads up" because I believe the edit is not shown by "New Posts".

    Regards,

    Henning (HoHun)
     
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