P43 vs P40 vs Wildcat How did P43 compare?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by pinsog, Feb 9, 2010.

  1. pinsog

    pinsog Active Member

    Jan 20, 2008
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    What were the performance specs of the P43 Lancer? I've read it was around 353 mph. If it was better than the P40 and Wildcat, why wasn't it used more extensively? It certainly, I've read, had better high altitude performance than the P40. Could it have dealt with the Zero?
  2. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

    Jan 2, 2009
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    Engineer and overgrown schoolboy
    United Kingdom
    The P-43 first flew comparative trials in early 1939, under its company designation AP-4.
    It attained a top speed of 350mph @ 20,000ft and although performance fell away, it could reach 38,000ft. Kartveli's team had alot of trouble getting the turbo into the airframe.

    This performance should be compared with:

    the P-40E 362mph @ 15,000ft
    the F4F 318mph @ 19,500ft

    with the P-40E not even being a contemporary of the P-43 by some 3 years.

    Could it have handled the A6M? Like the Japanese fighter, it had no self-sealing tanks or armour and had a decent range but unlike the same, its manoeuvrability was poor. The P-43 exceeded USAAC requirements at the time it was trialled but by 1941 it was obsolete. Its high-altitude performance was good, the P-43s originally destined for the AVG went to the Chinese and were the only aircraft able to catch the Japanese Dinah at the altitudes those flew at when on photo-reconnaissance duties.

    In the same year, the USAAC decided the P-43 had run out of development stretch and concentrated on the more promising P-47.

    I think I mentioned this before in a P-43-related thread but around 300'ish were built, which was no mean achievement considering they didn't intend to build any at all.
  3. billswagger

    billswagger Member

    Mar 12, 2009
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    #3 billswagger, Feb 10, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2010
    P-43 was a good plane by comparison but i don't think it was suited for naval operations like the f4f.
    In my reading on some of the history of Republic aviation, the P-43 was more of a prototype to the P-47 and although production models were made, i don't think Republic ever had the intent to mass produce them. It was more of stop gap until the R-2800 was completed so they could continue to develop the P-47. I'm sure they learned something in the process of both creating a turbo driven radial as well as higher altitude performance.
    Despite all this, the P-43 didn't perform any better in turns against the Zero.
    Also, the dive characteristics of the P-40 were well known and documented so commanders were a bit apprehensive about flying a new plane in such a roll.
    Lastly, its lack of self sealing tanks meant that it was essentially obsolete in the eyes of the USAAC. In fact, Channault had the opportunity to use some of these hand-me-downs for his AVG, but declined initially until they had self sealing tanks installed.

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