P-51A vs. P-47C: what to choose in 1943?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by tomo pauk, Oct 30, 2012.

  1. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Hello,
    The US duo from the title was swiftly overshadowed by their better-performing more numerous siblings, the two being produced in mere hundreds. What is your opinion on the P-51A and P-47C? What plane was in position to make a noticeable impact on ww2 air war, provided the numbers produced were in much higher, in 1943? What would you choose, between the two, for equipping the Allied units?
     
  2. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    51-A. you need the long range if you wish to continue daylight raids and pressuring the LW over central europe.
     
  3. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    P-51A is low altitude plane the P-47C a high altitude, both in the other side level were bad fighter
     
  4. ShVAK

    ShVAK Member

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    In the escort role, P-47C. A fighter with better range is still useless if it's wheezing at the altitudes bombers fly at. At this point the P-38F/H was a slightly better prospect than either.
     
  5. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    It depends on the mission. The P-51A is superior to P47C for medium bomber escort (or heavy bomber at 15-18K) because of range and overall performance in medium to low altitudes. It was not suited to ETO/8th AF but would have wonderful for 9th AF medium bombers and would have grown into overall escort role in Dec 1943 with the P-51B.

    The P-51A didn't give anything away to the P-47C until altitude > 20,000 feet.

    The P-38 H was a better choice in early to mid 1943.
     
  6. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    U.S. Army Air Corps doctrine emphasized high altitude heavy bombers. Mustang was a superior airframe but it needs a high altitude engine so it can support the bombers.

    Packard V-1650 engine was rolling off Detroit assembly lines by 1942 so U.S. Army Air Corps planners don't need to think too hard to solve this problem.
     
  7. ShVAK

    ShVAK Member

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    I question that. The P-47N had the range and speed to compete with the P-51D and maybe even the H, and was always a sturdier and better armed aircraft. The P-51 had overall better rate of turn and slightly better climb than all marks of the P-47 but could not match it for dive acceleration or rate of roll. With their respective pluses and minuses I'd say late war Jug v.s. late war Mustang is a dead heat. P-47C with its altitude and firepower advantage beats the P-51A (but not P-51B/C/D) in '43.
     
  8. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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  9. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    #9 bobbysocks, Oct 30, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012
    they had high altitude, short range escorts in the fall of '43 with P47s and P38s....so you already have the scenario of how choosing the 47 would play out. you are going to have to do one of 3 things. 1) abandon your bombers after they reach the operation limits of the high alt escorts.....which happened and they got seriously shellacked 2) abandon daylight bombing 3) abandon the massive (1000 plane+ ) deep raids into the german heartland....where now there is no interruption of german industry at all and the LW can retreat, repair, and rest undisturbed. without losing ac over centrel germany the LW will grow in size more than they did. you would not have the loss of experienced pilots to the degree it did. more planes, guns, and personnel could be sent to the eastern front. stalin was already crying he wanted the allies to open a second front...you are going to be hard pressed to pull that off without a long range escort of some sort. i would rather work out a stragegy to work within the operational limits of the A and keep the bombers harrassing berlin during the day and hunting the LW in their airdromes than to adopt option 1, 2, or 3.
     
  10. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    In 1943 the 8th AF hierarchy still didn't believe they needed escorts for their bombers.

    They would have continued without long range escorts even after Schweinfurt II.
     
  11. ShVAK

    ShVAK Member

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    Lower altitude equals greater vulnerability to flak which was already taking a considerable toll on the B-17 and B-24 fleet. It also equals shorter range, and fewer available routes. So high altitude is clearly the way to go for strategic bombing. Maybe the fighter escort gap could be closed by pushing the P-47N into production earlier if P-51B/C/D is not available yet.
     
  12. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    #12 bobbysocks, Oct 30, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012
    Double post
     
  13. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    They wouldnt have an airforce after a few more schweinfort raids. 40% losses opened their eyes and was the reason the 51 got adopted and pressed into action rather quickly.

    The russians ran a lower alt air war ... you saying the western allies couldn't do what the vvs could?
     
  14. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    Nevertheless, Eaker said that he would have continued deep penetration raids into Germany without escort into 1944.
     
  15. TheMustangRider

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    I think that in the scenario in which Eaker would have avoided being "promoted" to the MTO: he would had been forced by a now apprehensive (post-Schweinfurt raids) Arnold to press for the introduction of the P-51B to the strategic fray and the continual increment of P-47 combat range.
     
  16. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    #16 bobbysocks, Oct 31, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2012
    i think he would have been trumped and or removed had he decided to keep on with that. i have absolutely nothing to back that up but i doubt high command ( even up to ike himself ) would not accept those kinds of losses on a steady basis. besides the fact that they could not replace planes and crews at that rate of loss had they persisted aircrews most likely would have revolted. you tell a new replacement that he has just over a 50/50 chance of coming back alive from a mission and he has to do that 50 times. those are great odds. it would boil down to the best he can hope for is being a POW...that is asking a lot. lol..hell its going to be like catch 22 where they crash their plane and float to sweden or "stray" in switzerland to be interred.

    my whole point is half of the scenario in this thread pretty much happened for real. the pairing of the 47 with long range bombers. in 43 that was all we had and we saw what the outcome was. daylight bombing was stopped by the LW. i guess my question is from that point in time...where are you going to take your air war now if you stick with only the 47? what are going to be your tactics and what are your objectives? deep daylight raids are not going to be the norm. you cant say you will wait for another version of the 47 because the 51B would be right around the corner and, again, that scenario did happen. so given no advanced version...no other ac...what's your plan?
     
  17. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    The thread is about 1943, and while you may think it was a dead heat, there was a conscious decision by the AAF to retain the P-51H within the CONUS for 'preservation' post WWII, as well as select the P-51 as the Piston engine aircraft of choice post war. The P-47C had firepower and roll over the P-51A - as well as much better high altitude performance - but in 1943 the P-51A was faster, out accelerated the 47, out climbed it, out turned it and could go far farther in escort. Ideal for PTO, MTO and all medium altitude escort in ETO.

    As to firepower, the 51 was designed for 4x20mm, the gun bays were still set up to replace the 50's with 20mm. Game over on firepower if that became a requirement. The 51 was also half the cost. At the time the P-38's were in the fireld with the allisons, the P-51A and P-38 similarities on engines would have also simplified maintenance and depot requirements.

    As to ETO and Eaker. Arnold was under pressure from Roosevelt regarding joining up with RAF for night bombing role and the losses in August (Ploiesti, Schwenfurt, Schweinfurt II) almost tipped the balance except for the Casablanca decision that the LW must be neutrailzed for the Invasion. Eaker objected - Eaker 'promoted' - Doolittle replaces - P-51B arrives.. rest is history.
     
  18. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    The P-51A could replace P-40's, and potentially other types such as P-39 and P-38's for lower altitude work.
     
  19. ShVAK

    ShVAK Member

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    I dunno, eight .50's in the wings versus four 20mm in the wings is pretty close to a wash depending on ammunition. The P-51 would also have more drag from the long Hispano barrels, and less ammo per gun.
     
  20. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    #20 drgondog, Nov 1, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2012
    True on the drag - approximatey 7-8mph at medium altitudes..

    As to being a wash versus 8x50's there have been enough debates on this forum to highlight the significant superiority of the 20mm battery over twice the 50 caliber.

    Ammo? Critical in a turkey shoot in which many targets are available. There would have been very few, if any, 'aces in a day' but one can speculate that far fewer German aircraft would have struggled to a safe belly landing had they been hit with 20mm.
     
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