P-51D versus P-47M

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Senior Airman
Mar 21, 2005
Which of these would you rather go into combat with at 20,000ft?
Does someone know the climb rates and max speeds for the P-51D at WEP for the following altitudes:

5,000ft -

15,000ft -

28,000ft -

I'm curious to see how they stack up against the "M" in combat loaded weight of 13,275lbs:
(Data comes from Republic Aviation)

5,000ft - 3,775fpm climnb and 386mph max speed

15,000ft - 3,425fpm climb and 422mph max speed

28,000ft - 2,375fpm climb and 470mph max speed

Sal, the late war P-47D with water injection and paddle prop at 14,500lb combat loaded weight has the following performance (Data comes from the following chart: http://img377.imageshack.us/img377/6500/p47dclimbandspeed7kd.jpg)

5,000ft - 3,150fpm climb and 365mph max speed

15,000ft - 2,950fpm climb and 405mph max speed

28,000ft - 1,800fpm climb and 435mph max speed
P-51D based on the Wright Field and Inglewood tests

5000 ft - 3575 ft/min and 390-396 mph (radiator shutter closed vs shutter open)

15,000 ft - 2975 ft/min and 409-412 mph

28,000 ft - 1030 ft/min and 434-439 mph

For comparison with British fighter of the same period

Tempest V (ADFU and Hawker Trials)

5,000 ft - 3,640 ft/ min and 405-412 mph

15,000 ft - 2,750 ft/min and 420-430 mph

28,000 ft - 850 ft/min and 405 mph

Spitfire XIV (ADFU and Boscombe Down trials):

5,000 feet - 4,650 - 4,870 ft/min and 382 - 391 mph

15,000 feet - 3,600-3750 ft/min and 407-416 mph

28,000 feet - 2,600-2,960 ft/min and 444-446 mph

Of the three:

The P-51D wins out overall in speed; more speed with less horsepower (1720 vs 2000-2050 for the Spit and Tempest). It had a very fast airframe.

The Tempest is clearly the fastest below 15,000 ft, but the Sabre sucked above that because of its very simple supercharging.

The Spitfire climbs like a lift. Its climbing harder at 15,000 feet than the others are at 5,000 feet. Sometimes there is no substitute for the small airframe, powerful motor, big wing combination. Fastest at high alt, but only by a squeak.
Thanks Jabberwocky.

Well, I am not surprised that the P-47 M is far superior to the P-51 but I am surprised that as low as 15,000ft, the P-47 D is about on par with the P-51 in climb and at the margin at which it exceeds the P-51 at 28,000ft.

Are those P-51 figures at WEP and combat weight (full internal fuel and ammunition)?
How about the P-47-N. If you reduced the internal fuel load to that of the P-47-M or P-47-D, I wonder how she would climb? I understand that the P-47-N had fuel cells and not tanks and that they didn't need to be kept full or even used at all. Normally, you get condensation in tanks from the unused, air filled volume.
The P-47 D and M models had an internal fuel capacity of 370 gallons. The N had an internal fuel capacity of 570 gallons. At about 6.5lbs per gallon, that would be 1,300 pounds. The P-47 N had a combat weight of 16,300lbs so the weight would drop to 15,000 lbs.

P-47 D - 14,500lbs

P-47 M - 13,275lbs

P-47 N - 15,000lbs

It would still weigh 500lbs more than a D but would have the benefit of larger wing area and the horsepower of the M.

Frankly, I don't think that at 5,000 ft, she would be able to climb much more than about 3,350fpm or so.

At combat load (16,300lbs), she climbed 2,950fpm at 5,000ft. Still, I might add, impressive for a single engined airplane weighing more than 8 tons. In fact, even at combat weight, she could climb at 1,600fpm vs. the P-51D at 1,030fpm at an altitude of 28,000ft.

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