Sopwith Pup vs. S.E.5

Discussion in 'World War I' started by Soundbreaker Welch?, Apr 14, 2009.

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Sopwith Pup vs. S.E.5a

  1. Sopwith Pup

    4.8%
  2. S.E.5a

    95.2%
  3. Neither was better

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Soundbreaker Welch?

    Soundbreaker Welch? Active Member

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    Which was better? Which was more capable of taking on the Fokker VII?
     
  2. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Faster, higher flying. Way more horsepower. Two guns. Inline engine. Relatively easy to fly. My vote is definitely for the SE5a.

    Like the Pup. Heard it was easy to fly. But would rather fly the 5 against somebody trying to kill me. At least I could run away if I had to. Didn't really have that option with the Pup.
     
  3. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    Didn't you mean to compare the SE5a to the Camel? The Pup was a much earlier machine.
     
  4. Soundbreaker Welch?

    Soundbreaker Welch? Active Member

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    I have heard the Pup was a better dogfighter than even the Camel. It also didn't have the vicious stall the Camel had, which killed many novice pilots.

    Here is a qoute from the Manfred von Richthofen on the Sopwith Pup.

    "We saw at once that the enemy airplane was superior to ours." Manfred von Richthofen, after encountering the Sopwith Pup in combat.

    I assume this was before the Fokker VII had entered on the scene, but this quote still shows the qualites of the Pup quite well if even the Red Baron was impressed with it.
     
  5. BombTaxi

    BombTaxi Active Member

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    The two machines aren't comparable though - it's like comparing the P-51D to the P-36 and asking which is better for fighting Ta152s...
     
  6. Soundbreaker Welch?

    Soundbreaker Welch? Active Member

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    I disagree, the P-36 was more than a 150 mph slower than than the Ta-152.

    The Sopwith Pup on the other hand, was only 5 miles slower than the Fokker D. VII.

    The Fokker D. VII was a great plane, but it wasn't unbeatable, just like the Ta-152.

    A better comparision to the Ta-152 would be the Spitfire IX, a excellent dogfighter, much slower than the Ta-152, but probably still able to hold it's own against the German fighter.
     
  7. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    In that case it has to be the SE5a by a country mile. But its like comparing an Me109e against a Spit XIV, or a Spit Ia against a 109K. One is a very good fighter for its period, the other a very good fighter for a much later period of the war.

    Both these aircraft were easy to fly, one had agility the other twice the firepower, was about 35% faster, dived even faster, climbed better had about 150% more power and could take more damage. No contest.
     
  8. Soundbreaker Welch?

    Soundbreaker Welch? Active Member

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    I agree in terms of speed the S.E.5a was better than the Pup.

    In that case it was superior to the Fokker D. VII as well.

    Fokker D. VII: 116mph

    S.E.5a: 138 mph

    In terms of speed, the Fokker D. VII was at a disadvantage.
     
  9. Milos Sijacki

    Milos Sijacki Member

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    I choose S.E.-5a because of those characteristics that Timshatz mentioned and I would only repeat.

    Sopwith Pup was also a good airplane was armed with only one machine gun and was slower, but it was an earlier model of the war.
     
  10. Waynos

    Waynos Active Member

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    The Pup was easier to fly than the Camel but the Camel was by far a better fighter. Half-decent pilots also used the engine torque of the BR 2 to flick the Camel into a roll and turn that nothing else could follow (strictly one way however!)

    The SE 5a easily beats the Pup but its a much closer run thing against the Camel, which also had its two guns concentrated on the nose cowling and thus fireable at the same time without resorting to a jury rigged trigger pull for the Lewis on the SE's upper wing..
     
  11. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Never liked that Lewis on the top wing. Always wondered how much drag that put on the airplane. Thought it wouldn't take much to drop another Vikers into the fuselage or even rig the Lewis down there. Make the airplane just a little bit cleaner.
     
  12. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    I know that it wasn't possible to put a second gun in the fuselage due to the way the engine was installed. Re the top gun I certainly agree about the drag but some RNAS Camels had a similar top gun. This was because they had to defend the fleet against airships and the preferred method of attack was to fly below them and use the top gun against the belly of the airships.

    In fact some Camels were used for home defence with two guns angled upwards, maybe the first Schrage Musik?
     
  13. BombTaxi

    BombTaxi Active Member

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    Albert Ball used wing-mounted Lewis guns to great effect, pulling the gun all the way back down the mounting rail until it was pointing almost straight up, then raking the exposed and undefended belly of his victim. Drag from the weapon doesn't seem to have had a huge negative effect on aircraft performance, from what I have read...
     
  14. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    I knew about Albert Ball doing that trick with the upward shooting. But he was a one of a kind. Anybody who can fly a rotary engined airplane (torquey as all hell) and hang underneath an enemy, raking them with machine gun fire, is a true wonder. He wasn't much on tactics either. Just flew in to the middle of them and fought it out.

    Ball was truely amazing.

    I remember reading that McCudden (or somebody of his caliber) had put the spinner of a Roland on the front of his aircraft and claimed the speed went up by 5 or 10Mph. He was always tinkering with his airplane.

    Thanks for the info on the engine Glider. Always wondered about that. Though the Lewis was a leftover from the generation before. Agree the 5 was a draggy airplane, but figured every little bit helped.

    It also struck me as a good candidate for a single winged fighter. Strengthen the bottom wing, expand the area of the wing at the same time. Figure out a way to retract the gear (like they do on Mooney aircraft or possible the Wildcat, some crank operation) and it seems to have the qualifications of a pretty fast single wing bird. Couldn't really do that with a lot of WW1 aicraft but maybe you could with the Se5A.
     
  15. BombTaxi

    BombTaxi Active Member

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    The SE5a actually had an inline powerplant (Hispano-Suiza 8b or Wolseley Viper). I hadn't heard the story about McCudden before but it wouldn't surprise me - he was a mechanic for some time before becoming an observer and than a pilot, and was much better acquainted with his machine than most pilots. I would agree that Ball was no tactician - but as a gifted and highly aggressive amateur, he was beyond compare.

    Not sure the SE5a (or any other WWI bird) was structurally capable of having retractable gear, or had the power to carry such a weighty mechanism. Would be interesting to see how the SE5a would work as a monoplane, I think it would need a dramatically improved powerplant to maintain it's performance though...
     
  16. BombTaxi

    BombTaxi Active Member

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  17. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    I figure with a 250Hp engine, it should be able to handle the gear, provided it wasn't too heavy (and that might be a long shot, given the materials available). Then again, maybe a fixed gear with no common axle would work. Something similar to fixed gear aircraft common in the 30s.

    Question that popped into my head is how the weight and balance would be affected by the loss of the top wing? Possible move it back as I believe the Se5 had a forward stagger.
     
  18. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Fast enough, that is sure. But very odd looking airplane. Reminds me of those airplane amusement rides they have for little kids. Has that same portly look.
     
  19. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    I have to agree that it was a huge slab sided beast, never seen anything like it at all.
     
  20. Graeme

    Graeme Well-Known Member

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    I don't think so BT. The "D" version of the Vickers F.B.16 beats it, according to one source, by a month. You can just make out the 'hole' in the spinner in this photo...

    [​IMG]
     
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