P-47N Thunderbolt vs. F4U-4 Corsair - Which was superior?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by DAVIDICUS, Feb 23, 2005.

  1. DAVIDICUS

    DAVIDICUS Member

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    I'm curious which of these were better in the air to air role and why.
     
  2. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    I'd have to go with the Corsair in air to air engagements on this one. They were both capable air to air fighters, but the Jug was bigger and heavier. The Corsair was designed using the biggest possible engine in the smallest possible airframe.

    The original specification on the Jug, interestingly, called for a small, lightweight fighter! The November 2004 edition of Air Classics has a great article on the Jug.
     
  3. DAVIDICUS

    DAVIDICUS Member

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    The P-47 had the top speed, roll rate, dive speed, armament and protective armor advantages. The P-47 had a high altitude advantage in general performance.

    The F4-U had the manueverability and the climb rate advantage. The F4-U had a low and medium altitude advantage in general performance.

    Any disagreement on these attributes?
     
  4. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    They were both excellent aircraft. In a pure air to air role, I would think the Corsair would have the edge.
     
  5. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    They were designed for different things. The P-47N was a long range escort plane, the F4U-4 was a patrol/interceptor. The P-47N probably had the advantage above 30,000 feet, the F4U-4 below 30,000 feet. The P-47N had more firepower, the F4U-4 was a little tougher.

    Very hard call.

    =S=

    Lunatic
     
  6. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    They were both excellent ground support aircraft as well.
     
  7. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

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    . . . but you could land a Corsair on a carrier.
     
  8. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Sure, but the P-47N had 1000 mile greater range. Kinda fits since the P-47N was a USAAF plane, where the F4U-4 was a USN plane. They were designed for different roles.

    =S=

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  9. Soren

    Soren Banned

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    In a Dogfight, it would defidently be the Corsair !

    It could climb faster and it was more maneuverable, plus against the P-47 the F4U Corsair had the rare advantage of being able to out-turn the P-47 :!:

    The best thing the P-47 could hope fore against a F4U Corsair, would be a head on attack or, that there was enough altitude to let it dive away from harms way. (Almost nothing could follow a P-47 in a dive !)
     
  10. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    That is true, but a majority of Corsair missions were flown from land bases. When it finally was able to land on the carrier, it was still a difficult task due to that long nose.
     
  11. the lancaster kicks ass

    the lancaster kicks ass Active Member

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    i honestly don't know who would win but i'd kinda want the P-47 to win, a very good thread here, shud be some good disscussion...........
     
  12. cheddar cheese

    cheddar cheese Active Member

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    I know id rather be in a P-47N... 8)
     
  13. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Umm... the P-47 was fast into the dive, but a number of planes could dive faster. The Corsair and the P-47 were about equal in initial dive performance (both are very heavy planes) and the Corsair was actually faster (550 mph) under a high degree of pilot control.

    In general I'd agree, the F4U-4 probably would have the advantage, but it'd be slight. And the P-47N had TWICE the firepower of the F4U-4, which is a huge factor. Near the end of WWII P-47N's chewed up Franks flown by two of Japan's few remaining ace squadrons, over Korea. One relatively rookie pilot, Oscar F. Perdomo, scored 5 kills that day, becomming the last "Ace in a day" in history.

    http://www.elknet.pl/acestory/perdomo/perdomo.htm

    =S=

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  14. DAVIDICUS

    DAVIDICUS Member

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    RG_Lunatic,

    What is your source regarding your statement, "Umm... the P-47 was fast into the dive, but a number of planes could dive faster. The Corsair and the P-47 were about equal in initial dive performance (both are very heavy planes) and the Corsair was actually faster (550 mph) under a high degree of pilot control."

    In addition, what is your source for your statement, "And the P-47N had TWICE the firepower of the F4U-4, which is a huge factor."

    I am certain the latter of your above statements is incorrect and interested to find out if my understanding concerning the former is incorrect.
     
  15. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    The P-47 was fast in its initial dive acceleration because it was heavy and had a large engine. But its critical mach level is lower than a number of other planes, and compression limited its maximum dive speed. The Corsair was able to dive at speeds up to 550 mph IAS, which is faster than the max IAS of the P-47.

    The P-47N got the .50 M3, which fired at 1200 rpm. That means the ROF was the equivalent of 12 x .50 M2's, double the 6 x M2's on the Corsair. Somewhere I have records of the M3's being delivered to Iwo Shima and one other base, both of which were P-47N bases. Also, pilot comments can be found refering to the faster rate of fire on the P-47N guns.

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  16. DAVIDICUS

    DAVIDICUS Member

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    RG_Lunatic:

    My understanding was that the M2 was the standard gun used on U.S. aircraft throughout the war. (There certainly was no need to engineer and introduce a fifty with a higher rate of fire. Six fifties were considered more than adequate against other fighters [especially Japanese fighters] and most of the "N" models had eight! Also, as the cyclic rate increases, so do the jams.)

    I'd like to read anything you know of that states differently. I have heard that the rate of fire of the M2 would increase as the belt got used up as the gun would be dragging a lighter ammunition belt although, frankly, I'm not sure about that claim.

    As to the dive claim, please name some of these "number of planes" that could exceed the speed of a P-47 in a dive. I have never read or heard of these planes and everything I have read and heard indicates that the P-47 was faster in a dive than the F4-U, probably due to drag from the different wing loadings. The F4-U's wing loading made is better able to haul heavy loads and require less airstrip to get airborn. Perhaps you've heard of the joke about P-47's - Q: How mush airstrip does a P-47 need to take off? A: All of it!

    Perhaps you have some date you can share concerning various "critical mach levels" of different aircraft.

    One more unrelated question if you would be so kind as to indulge me. How exactly are the "confirmed kills" and "unconfirmed kills" calculated when you post?

    Thanks.
     
  17. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    The M2 was the standard gun. The M3 was introduced very late in WWII. Apparently it was only used for the top front turret on a few B-29's and the P-47N. Years ago I tracked the shipments of the approximately 18,000 M3's deployed during WWII to 3 bases, one of which was Iwo Shima, which only fielded P-47N's in any significance. The P-47N was ideal for the M3 because of its huge ammo supply of 500 rpg, and I believe it had a power assist belt feed. I believe the F-86 also sported the M3 in Korea, but aside from that it has only been used on helicopters. The jam rate probably did increase, but given that the M2 had a Jam rate of only about 1/3rd the rate of the Hispano or MG151/20, how is this relevant? Also, steralite lined barrels and other improvements to the M3 design would mitigate the increase in jam rate. And evidence from the use of the "nickle trick" is that it did not significantly increase jam rates, but that it did tend to wreck guns by cracking the reciever after a dozen or so sorties - but usually these guns were still working when the cracks were found by the armorers!

    I'll have to search for the info. It's been 4 or 5 years, two moves, three machine and two or three OS updates since I dug out the records. It's in some military accounting records somewhere (the tracking of the M3's) which should be easy to find if the urls are still good, but which will be hard if I have to locate them in old offline content under an old OS installation (which sucks because there is no way to view it short of firing up the old installation).

    BTW: another thing that effects RoF is gun age. Older guns tend to fire faster as the springs become worn.

    Sure. Spitfire XIV = 0.89, Tempest = 0.83, P-51B = 0.84, P-38 = 0.65, P-47C = 0.69

    Note: "limiting mach" is usually figured at about 0.02 below crtical mach, which is where the really bad behavior hits hard.

    Of course, the P-47N would have had a better critical mach figure than the C model. The experimental J model had a critical mach of 0.83.

    I have not been able to find anything more on the F4U critical mach figure than that it was "comparable to the P-51", other than that the prototype in 1941 got a figure of 0.73 in the wind tunnel - which probably would translate to about 0.78 true.


    LOL - I have no idea. You will have to ask a board Admin.

    =S=

    Lunatic
     
  18. cheddar cheese

    cheddar cheese Active Member

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    I dont know how theyre calculated, its kinda random ;) As a general rule, the more you put in a post, the more you get.

    (The reason mine are so low is cos im on here so much and it limits you to certain amounts a day)
     
  19. DAVIDICUS

    DAVIDICUS Member

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    RG_Lunatic:

    Are you saying that the Spitfire XIV, Tempest, P-51B, and P-38 could exceed the P-47 in dive speed? I don't think so but at present can offer nothing more in support than what appears below.

    Chuck Hawks wrote an article "The Best Fighter Planes of World War II." In it, he favored the P-51. He received a letter from Lt. Rip Collins who piloted both P-51's and P-47's in the 35th Fighter Group in the Pacific. Lt. Collins took him to task citing several reasons why the P-47 was a better fighter than the P-51. See number 4 below. If the Corsair's dive speed was "comparable to the P-51" as you mentioned, then Lt. Collins claim would indicate that the P-47 was superior to the Corsair in a dive.


    1. The Republic Thunderbolt had a radial engine that could take hits and keep on running. I know of an actual case where a Jug brought a pilot back from Borneo after 8 hours in the air. The pilot landed with the master cylinder and three other cylinders blown out of commission. But the Jug kept chugging along, running well enough to bring its pilot back safely to his base at Morotai. I was there.

    2. The Jug's radial engine was air cooled, instead of liquid cooled with a radiator system, like the Mustang's V-12. This is significant because one small caliber hit on an aluminum cooling line in a Mustang would let the coolant leak out, and when the coolant was gone, the engine seized, and the show was over. I took a small caliber hit in a coolant tube over Formosa (Taiwan). When I landed back at base, my crew chief said, "Lieutenant, did you know you got hit?" I replied, "No." He continued, "You took a small caliber shell in the coolant tube on the right side of the engine. I'd give you between 10 and 15 minutes flying time remaining." I had just flown from Formosa, over nothing but the Pacific Ocean, to our fighter strip on Okinawa.

    3. The P-47 could fly higher than the P-51. With its huge turbocharger, it could climb to over 40,000 feet. You could just look down at your enemy in a stall and smile.

    4. The Jug could out dive the Mustang. As a matter of fact, it could out dive any enemy fighter, and at 7.5 tons loaded, it dove fast! I have personally been in a dive at what we called the "state of compressibility," at nearly 700 mph indicated air speed. I was scared to death, but with a tiny bit of throttle, I pulled it out at about 2,000-foot altitude, literally screaming through the sky.

    5. The Thunderbolt had eight .50's. The Mustang had six. That's 33 1/3% more firepower. This made a major difference.

    6. The later model Thunderbolt's could carry and deliver 2,500 pounds of bombs. (One 1,000-lb. bomb on each wing, and one 500 lb. bomb under the belly.) This was a maximum load and you had to use water injection to get airborne. But it would do this with sufficient runway. I have done this myself.

    In addition to being a first class fighter, it was also a superb fighter-bomber and ground level strafer. Jugs practically wiped out the German and Italian railroads. I have strafed Japanese trains, troops, ships, gunboats, warships, airfields, ammo dumps, hangers, antiaircraft installations, you name it. I felt secure in my P-47.

    7. The P-47 was larger and much stronger, in case of a crash landing. The Jug was built like a machined tool. Mustangs had a lot of sheet metal stamped out parts, and were more lightweight in construction. One example was the throttle arm. You can see the difference. What does all this mean? The safety of the fighter pilot.

    8. The Thunderbolt had no "scoop" under the bottom. You can imagine what happens during a crash landing if your wheels would not come down (due to damage or mechanical trouble). On landing, it could make the P-51 nose over in the dirt as the scoop drags into the earth. In water (and I flew over the Pacific Ocean most of my 92 combat missions), it could cause trouble in a crash landing because the air scoop would be the first part of the aircraft to hit the water. Instead of a smooth belly landing, anything might happen.

    9. The Thunderbolt had a much larger, roomier cockpit. You were comfortable in the big Jug cockpit. In my Mustang, my shoulders almost scraped the sides on the right and left. I was cramped in with all my "gear." I could not move around like I could in the P-47. I found the ability to move a little bit very desirable, especially on seven and eight hour missions.

    10. The Mustang went from 1,150-horse power Allison engines to the Packard built Rolls-Royce Merlin engine that had 1,590 hp. The Thunderbolt started out with a 2,000 hp Pratt Whitney engine, and ended up with 2,800 war emergency hp with water injection. That's close to twice the power.

    11. The Jug had a very wide landing gear. This made it easy to land just about anywhere, with no tendency to ground loop. Many times we had to land on rice paddies and irregular ground. When you set the Thunderbolt down, it was down. In the Far East, England, Africa, and Italy, this helped you get down and walk away from it. To me, that was very important for the safety of the pilot.

    12. The Jug's record against all opposing aircraft is remarkable. The ratio of kills to losses was unmistakably a winner. Thunderbolt pilots destroyed a total of 11,874 enemy aircraft, over 9,000 trains, and 160,000 vehicles.
     
  20. cheddar cheese

    cheddar cheese Active Member

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    The Jug certainly was tough, someone posted on here a while back that they had read of a P-47 literally flying through trees (on purpose!) and surviving :lol:
     
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