P-47 or F6F-5

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Senior Airman
May 12, 2005
hey guys, which of these 2 planes would you fly during a dogfight. :)
P-47 for me too.... The Hellcat was a better dogfighter though.
Differen't horses for different courses, as they say.

I have some interesting exerpts of Grumman test-pilot Corky Meyer's first flights in a P-47B. His basic assesment is that down low the F6F would out turn, out climb and out accelerate the P-47 and had a significantly lower stall thanks to its much lower wing loading, but that the situation reversed as altitude increased. In addition, the P-47 could leave the F6F behind in straight line speed, dive acceleration and rate of roll at all altitudes.

He noted that the Best climb speed of the P-47 was some 45mph higher than the Hellcats. and it showed a real reluctance to get off the deck. He found the stall speed was some 20mph higher than the Hellcat's, but behaviour in a stall was better than a in a Hellcat: stalls were gentle, with little wing drop and easy recovery and prononuced buffet announcing stall onset.

Corkey then went on to fly some mock combats in a P-47B against an early production Hellcat:

" The Thunderbolt's higher top speed and climbing ability was quite apparent as altitude increased. Because of this obvious asset, I decided that I would as a grumman production test pilot - a former Navy pilot- to meet me at 25,000 feet the next day to try a few combat manouvers. We squared off by closing at more than 600mph airspeed and then began to tangle. The Hellcat pilot tried to turn and evade me, but I was able to roar right past him, pull up in a wingover and get right on his tail. I had an edge because I had talked to ken Jernstadt- a double ace AVG pilot in China. The seemed too easy- almost as if he had his wheels down. After several more it was obvious that my P-47s 300 hp advantage, which gave me faster acceleration, was a benefit in high-altitude fighting capability. It seemed as though the only way a Thunderbolt pilot could be shot down was if its pilot was asleep in its comfortable cockpit "

His assesment seems to have been fairly dubious at first and then growing in confidence as the advantages of roll, speed and acceleration became clear to him.
what was average altitude used in PTO? I would guess it would be much lower then the ETO because either protecting the fleet or escorting the attack force the F6F would at a lower altitudes 12000 or less. It only makes sense (maybe only to me) that in the PTO for stealth reasons alone plus no AA to worry about and litle terrain difficulties plus the attack force Helldivers . Daunltless, and Avengers would all work at lower altitudes . I"m going to assume the IJN would also be fighting at lower levels for the same reasons . so in that work enviroment I'd take the F6F
The toothpick bladed P-47B was an anemic piece of crap.

The later "D" model with the paddle blade priop, water injection and 2,535hp was a force to contend with.
Magister said:
The toothpick bladed P-47B was an anemic piece of crap.

The later "D" model with the paddle blade priop, water injection and 2,535hp was a force to contend with.

I would totally agree with that, as would a guy I know from our museum that used to work on P-47s during the war. The other problem with toothpick blades was tha it was not terribly uncommon for them to get out of balance and pop off! :shock:
But which would you choose to fly off an aircraft carrier? The F6F's design was optimized for the war that it fought, mostly from carriers against slower (but maneuverable) Japanese aircraft. It made compromises both for safe carrier operations and for producability. Grumman built almost as many F6Fs in one factory as Republic and Curtiss built in 3 factories (12,xxx vs 15,xxx). The F6F was designed to out-number its enemies through ease of production and reducing operational losses. The Hellcat only used flush riveting where it was most exposed to airflow. The Hellcat did not use ram air at low altitudes even though ram air would have made the plane faster. Reason: some F4Fs were lost to carburator icing caused by the ram air. The F6F was built with a high pilot's seat overlooking a sloped nose. This may have been less aerodynamically efficient than the F4U and P-47, but the superior pilot view kept deck accidents to a minimum, and it also was a help in gunnery, especially when pulling g's chasing an enemy plane through a turn.

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