Spitfire XIV vs Bf-109 K-4 vs La-7 vs Yak-3

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Soren, May 8, 2008.

?

Which is the best at the below criteria?

  1. Spitfire XIV

    62.2%
  2. Bf 109K-4

    26.7%
  3. La-7

    5.9%
  4. Yak-3

    5.2%
  1. Soren

    Soren Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    Messages:
    6,624
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Spitfire XIV vs Bf-109 K-4 vs La-7 vs Yak-3

    With equal pilots and at altitudes ranging from 0 - 30,000 ft, which of these fighters is the overall best of the lot?

    Make your decision and then justify it as best you can.

    I wish all a good debate :)


    Factsheet:


    Supermarine Spitfire Mk. XIV specs:

    Weight: 3,855 kg
    Wing area: 22.48 m^2
    Wing span: 11.23 m
    Wing AR: 5.61
    Wing TR: 12% to 9%
    Wing Clmax: 1.36

    Engine power: 2,235 HP
    ______________________
    Lift loading: 126 kg/m^2
    Span loading: 343.2 kg/m
    Power loading: 1.72 kg/hp

    Top speeds: 721 km/h at alt, 590 km/h at SL
    Max climb rate: 4,800 + ft/min

    Notes: Sensitive elevator authority at nearly all speeds (Both good bad), even at very high speeds. Good aileron authority at most speeds but stiff at very high speeds. Good to excellent vision from cockpit depending on canopy type. Gyroscopic gunsight to aid precision in high deflection shooting.


    Messerschmittt Bf-109 K-4 specs:

    Weight: 3,362 kg
    Wing area: 16.15 m^2
    Wing span: 9.92 m
    Wing AR: 6.09
    Wing TR: 14.2% to 11.35%
    Wing Clmax: 1.70

    Engine power: 1,975 HP
    ______________________
    Lift loading: 122.4 kg/m^2
    Span loading: 338.9 kg/m
    Power loading: 1.70 kg/hp

    Top speed: 719 km/h at alt, 609 km/h at SL
    Max Climb rate: 5,000 + ft/min

    Notes: Good elevator authority at most speeds, becomes stiff at very high speeds. Very good aileron authority at medium speeds, but stiff at high speeds and near solid at very high speeds. Great vision from cockpit. Center mounted armament for better precision in shooting. Automatic LE slats enhancing turn performance by increasing wing Clmax critical AoA by ~25% in covered areas. Ability to instantly drop from 5 to 20 degree's (5 degree intervals) of flaps in combat (Hydraulically powered), enhancing turn performance by further increasing wing Clmax.


    Lavochkin La-7 specs:

    Weight: 3,354 kg
    Wing area: 17.5 m^2
    Wing span: 9.8 m
    Wing AR: 5.48
    Wing TR: 16% to 10%
    Wing Clmax: ~1.54

    Engine power: 1,830 HP
    ______________________
    Lift loading: 124.4 kg/m^2
    Span loading: 342.2 kg/m
    Power loading: 1.83 kg/hp

    Top speeds: 680 km/h at alt, 585 km/h at SL
    Max climb rate: 3,850 + ft/min

    Notes: Good elevator authority at most speeds, heavy at high speeds. Good aileron authority at all speeds. Good vision from cockpit. Center mounted armament for increases precision in shooting. Automatic LE slats for enhanced turn performance, increasing wing Clmax critical AoA by ~25% in covered areas. Ability to drop flaps in combat, enhancing turn performance by further increasing wing Clmax.

    Negative point: Tooth pick prop


    Yakovlev Yak-3 specs:

    Weight: 2,692 kg
    Wing area: 14.85 m^2
    Wing span: 9.2 m
    Wing AR: 5.69
    Wing TR: 14% to 10%
    Wing Clmax: ~1.35

    Engine power: 1,290 HP
    ________________________
    Lift loading: 134.2 kg/m^2
    Span loading: 292.3 kg/m
    Power loading: 2.08 kg/hp

    Top speeds: 646 km/h
    Max climb rate: 3,645 + ft/min

    Notes: Good elevator authority at all speeds. Excellent ailerons authority at all speeds. Center mounted armament for better precision in shooting. Great vision from cockpit. Ability to drop flaps in combat to enhance turn performance by increasing wing Clmax.
     
  2. KrazyKraut

    KrazyKraut Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2008
    Messages:
    339
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    You guys have yourself a poll sub-forum here, why not use it ;)

    From the above it's a close call between 109 K-4 and MkXIV for me. I'll probably hurt somebody's feelings but I see neither the Yak-3 nor the La-7 as superior as certain sources make them. Both had problems with structural integrity: Yak-3s had problems with high g-curves and La-7s were known to have a rapidly detoriating airframe and a very short lifetime. Their admittedly impressive power/weight ratios don't justify that (for me at least). Early Yak-3s were also underarmed for the period they were flying in.

    Back to MkXIV vs K-4: Both have their advantages but when it comes to dogfighting, I give the Griffon Spitfire my vote. Easier armament, better gunsight and apparently overall a little less tricky to fly than the 109.
     
  3. Chocks away!

    Chocks away! Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Messages:
    336
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Occupation:
    Artist
    Location:
    Cyprus
    Yes, in pure performance it's between the Bf-109 K-4 and the Spitfire XIV.

    I'd say the Spit has armament that is easier to use, and probably more docile to fly.

    The armament issue arises because of the fact that in the Bf-109 gunpods worsened performance too much, so they had to find an alternative, and that is the 30 mm mk 108 in the nose. Necessary for combat against bombers.

    On the other hand, I think that the La-7 and Yak-3 are probably both easier to fly than both western types, the La-7 probably overall best at low altitudes.

    So I'd say the first one out is the Yak-3.

    Then it's between La-7, Me-109 K-4 and Spitfire XIV.

    The fact of the matter is that whatever we say, it's going to be subjective. There's no way to 'prove' which is best right now.
     
  4. kool kitty89

    kool kitty89 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,069
    Likes Received:
    36
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Proposed variants of the K model were supposed to return to the internal mounted wing guns. (not seen since the Emil)

    2x MG 151/20 in the wings. (some say 15mm were also considered)
    or 2x MK 108's in the wings.

    There were also studies with the MK 103.

    But iirc none of these reached production.
     
  5. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2006
    Messages:
    4,441
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    MGR
    Location:
    Phila, Pa
    Kicked it around in my head and would go with the Lag. That's if I had to fly it in a situation where people were shooting at me.

    Reasons being:
    - Relatively easy to fly (all these birds are a handful to fly)
    - Good Manuver.
    - Good enough speed
    - Excellent Firepower
    - Good/Excellent ability to handle punishment (at least from what I've read).

    I also consider the radial engine in there when considering punishment. It is the only one in the list with one and they have a reputation of greater resilence when damaged. Only takes one bullet in the cooling system to kill an inline. Radials are usually stronger than that.

    That being said, if I wanted to pick one to "look good" in, it would have to be the Spitfire. That is one pretty bird.

    But none of the aircraft are really at a disadvange. Late war fighters were all very well designed (if not always well made) machines.
     
  6. kool kitty89

    kool kitty89 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,069
    Likes Received:
    36
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    The 109 looks good, but more in a menacing kind of way. Not a "pretty" way.
     
  7. Soren

    Soren Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    Messages:
    6,624
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    What we can prove though is the difference in performance agility between the a/c. However small characteristics, such as control harmony and the like can make one a/c harder to fly than another.

    Overall between the a/c above I think the Spitfire has a small edge.
     
  8. claidemore

    claidemore Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    Messages:
    682
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    British Columbia, Canada
    Yak 3 was indeed a very simple airplane to fly.

    The 40 Yak 3's given to the French by the Soviets after the war flew for two years with operational squadrons with 0 accidents. They then turned them over to training squadrons where they served as trainers till 1956. How many other fighters had such a safety record or devolved into a 10 year carreer as trainers?

    Yak 3 was the lightest most agile pure dogfighter of WWII without a doubt. Were it not for its low alt rated engines on the majority of production, a hands down winner in this discussion. The VK-107, 108 or the ASh 82-FN radial version, had they been produced in numbers, would tip the scale in the Yaks favor IMO.

    I think Soren got the order right in the title of the thread, Spit, K4, La7, Yak3.
    Prophetic! :)
     
  9. kool kitty89

    kool kitty89 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,069
    Likes Received:
    36
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Another thing to consider is range though, if you limited fuel capacit so they all had the same range, it would effect relative performance levels.
     
  10. KrazyKraut

    KrazyKraut Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2008
    Messages:
    339
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Fair enough. But nearly all the La-5FNs and La-7s delivered to (now former) Czechoslovakia were grounded in 1946 on the basis of structural disintegration of the plywood: frame strenght was reduced to half! Unlike with western planes like the Mossie or Ta-154s the Russians apparently didn't treat the wood with effective preservatives. And the Czechs kept the type longer than any other country (officially until ~1950), so I guess that shows something. That's why I personally wouldn't have any confidence in a Russian plane with critical parts made of wood.
     
  11. kool kitty89

    kool kitty89 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,069
    Likes Received:
    36
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    In the short term they should be fine though.
     
  12. Kruska

    Kruska Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Messages:
    606
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    16
    :thumbup:

    Hello Soren,

    I think that this discussion/poll doesn’t stick – not fair to the a/c. The 109K-4was termed a fighter, but its mission was to intercept bombers and at the same time to be capable of performing/survive in dogfights. I believe that none of the others could match a K-4 when it comes to attacking bombers, however on a pure fighter mission the K would lose out to a Spit XIV.

    Regards
    Kruska
     
  13. Soundbreaker Welch?

    Soundbreaker Welch? Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Messages:
    1,900
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Still a student
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    I would argue the Spitfire Mk.I was as much a pure dogfighter as the Yak-3.


    Though isn't the Yak-7 or Yak-9 more suited to fight late model Spitfires and Bf 109's? The later Yaks were faster and had better firepower to match the later generations of WWII fighters.
     
  14. kool kitty89

    kool kitty89 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,069
    Likes Received:
    36
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    The Yak-3 is later... And performance was generally equal or higher than the contemporary Yak-9. (albeit not as durrable)
     
  15. Chocks away!

    Chocks away! Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Messages:
    336
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Occupation:
    Artist
    Location:
    Cyprus
    The Yak-3 despite the fact that it's a great plane, it's more of a compromise as the A6M Zero was, very light, agile, not particularly impressive other than that, with the possible exception of low altitude dogfights.

    I think the La-7 is more competitive in comparisson.
     
  16. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    41,771
    Likes Received:
    687
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    A&P - Aircraft Technician
    Location:
    USA/Germany
    As others have pointed out, I think it depends on the mission. I will vote for the Bf 109K only because the Bf 109 is my favorite aircraft.

    I believe that the Bf 109K and the Spit XIV are pretty equal. They both have advantages over the other, and it all depends on pilot skill as well as the type of mission.
     
  17. Soren

    Soren Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    Messages:
    6,624
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Well it depends Kruska. If the Spitfire pilot gets suckered into a low speed turn fight or a spiral climb then the K-4 will have the edge, however if he keeps his speed up and forces the German pilot to have to constantly battle with his ailerons to follow track then he's got a huge advantage.

    Now ofcourse then some will argue that a smart 109 pilot wont allow himself to be sucked into a scissors fight, and would simply break off the attack and stay higher, but then the Spit could just as easily reverse and get its guns on him instead.

    So like I said, overall I think the Spitfire has a small edge.
     
  18. Soundbreaker Welch?

    Soundbreaker Welch? Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Messages:
    1,900
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Still a student
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    I thought the Spitfire could generally turn tighter than a Bf 109, at least for the average pilot. It was harder to make the Bf 109 make a tight turn, and inexperienced German pilots had trouble doing it, though with an expert a 109 could turn tighter than a Spitfire.

    Now I know the Spitfire XIV couldn't turn as tight as say a Spitfire I or XIII, so maybe I'm wrong.

    I also thought the Bf 109 was better at Split S's than a Spitfire, and a scissors roll I thought was sorta along that line.
     
  19. kool kitty89

    kool kitty89 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,069
    Likes Received:
    36
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    It depends the model spit 109 and situation, but the maneuverability avantage went back and forth between the Spit and 109, except for the Emil with unreliable and unpleasant slats. (opened rapidly and not always simultaneously resulting in aileron snach and shuttering, also they were prone to jamming at high G's and sensitive to dirt)

    One consistant advantage of the Spit over the 109 was range. (by ~25-30% better for normal range spitfires depending on comparison, as high as 50% in some cases)
     
  20. Kruska

    Kruska Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Messages:
    606
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Hello Soren,

    Well, since we after war generation guys had intensive time to study books and playing IL2 etc. etc. we might come to such a conclusion. However I seriously doubt that except for a few flying aces on both sides any normal pilot knew how to maneuver their a/c in such an “exquisite” way in order to achieve an advantage or stay alive.

    As such I would tend to believe, and that is why I forwarded the Spit in regards to fighter attributes (maybe I am wrong) that a Spit was far more easier to handle then a 109K by some rookie or less experienced pilot, since in 1944 such experienced LW pilots were extremely rare or for sure not enough of them around to equalize for the rookies.

    Regards
    Kruska
     
Loading...

Share This Page