Spitfires abroad

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Sgt. Pappy, Dec 25, 2006.

  1. Sgt. Pappy

    Sgt. Pappy Member

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    Hey all! Came back from playing Aces High II (not as good as Il-2, but it makes a fun pak-man type game) and the Spitfire F.Mk.XIV (14) somehow was majorly outturned by at least 50' by the Spitfire Mk.XVI (16) Clipped Wing (regular Merlin 266, lacking +25 boost feature). Additionally, the Hogs under 250 mph outturned me with 20 degrees of flaps.

    Spitfires XIV and IX (9) are supposed to turn almost identically according to RAF tests. The Mk.XVI is essentially a Mk.IX fitted with the American-built, damage prone version of the Merlin 66 engine. This one, however, has got clipped wings, which should make turning worse.

    This is the rating of the best turning Spits (and hogs) to the worst:

    No flaps: Spitfire I (471' diameter turning circle), Spitfire Vb (503'), Spitfire IX (570'), Spitfire XVI (567'), Spitfire LF VIII (625'), Spitfire XIV (632'), F4U-1 (674'), F4U-4 (691'), F4U-1D (702').

    With full flaps: Spitfire I (371'), Spitfire Vb (386'), F4U-1(425'), F4U-1D (427'), F4U-4 (428'), Spitfire IX (433'), Spitfire LF VIII (448'), Spitfire XVI (450'), Spitfire XIV (509').

    Now, according to the charts at some sites, the LF VIII will outturn a IX w/out flaps, but the game speaks for itself... the VIII can't outturn the IX. I guess the recent patch changed the charts.

    Ice Fire from the Pacific Fighter forums told me that this should be impossible, but if anyone has some uber sites w/ charts or something disproving these maneuverability figures, I'd like to know. Spitfireperformance.com doesn't give exact measurements, so the AH:II crew don't seem to accept the fact that a clipped wing XVI and an F4U of any variant are NOT supposed to outturn a Spitfire F.Mk.XIV under 250 mph in a flat turn.

    Happy Holidays!
     
  2. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky Active Member

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    Spitfire IX in Aces High II is the early version with the 1,565 hp Merlin 61.

    Later Mk IX and Mk XVIs had the 1,720 hp Merlin 63/63A or Merlin 66 (which became the most common Spitfire engine after its introduction around March 1943) or the less common Merlin 71 (1710 hp, designed for high altitude work)

    The Merlin 63/66 engined Spitfires have better power to weight ratios, particularly below 22,000 feet., than the earlier Merlin 61 engined marks, which were built for caombat at high altitudes As a result, they have better sustained turn times below about 20,000 ft, as thrust and P/W are important components in determining turn times.

    This is why the Mk XVI would turn better, climb better and accelerate better than the earlier, and less powerful, Mk IX.


    The Mk XIV, being some 1,000 lbs heavier than the later Merlined engined versions, had much higher wing loading (30.7 lbs/ sq ft for Mk IX/XVI vs 35lbs/ sq ft for Mk XIV), which determines turn radius and to a lesser extent turn time, while having similar power to weight ratios (4.3 lbs/Hp for the LF Mk IX/XVI vs 4.2 lbs/Hp for Mk XIV), which is important for angle of bank and turn.

    The RAF ADFU trials report that, for turning circles, in comparison with the Mk IX:

    "The turning circles of both aircraft are identical. The Spitfire XIV appears to turn slightly better to port than it does to starbord. The warning of an approaching high speed stall is less pronounced in the case of the Spitfire Mk XIV."

    Other ADFU trials also report that:

    "the Spitfire XIV is more manoeuvrable than the Spitfire VIII in turns at all heights."

    So here the Mk XIV could be said to be equally as manouverable as the Mk IX (with a 1720 hp Merlin 66), and more manouverable than the Mk VIII (tested with a 1710 hp Merlin 63)

    Unfortunately, RAF trials conducted in 1943 report that, in a comparison of the Mk IX and Mk VIII (both with Merlin 63 engines):

    " There was nothing to choose between either aircraft as regards turning circles at any height; whether on offensive or defensive manoeuvres neither could make any impression on the other. In rate of roll, however, the Spitfire IX was considerably better especially at low altitude."

    So here we have the contradictory world of aircraft performance in WW2, despite the same organisation performing the tests. The ADFU reports that the Mk IX and Mk VIII (with Merlin 63 engines) both have the same turnig circle, the Mk IX and the Mk XIV have the same turning circles, and also that the Mk XIV has a BETTER turning circle than the Mk VIII.

    It leaves you scratching your head a little, doesn't it?

    One explaination is that the longitudinal stability of the Griffon engined marks of Spitfire, (XII and XIV) was slightly better than that of the later Merlin engined marks, so there may of been a little more latitude in the turn for the pilots of those machines.

    The other one may be that one pilot pushed his machine a little harder on that day. Or that the reports are based on impressions of pilots, which may not necessarily be 100% accurate, being subjective, rather than objective.

    I have pilot accounts that variously describe the Mk I, II, V, IX, XII and XIV as the "best" variant of the Spitfire. A friend of my grandfathers who flew Mk Vs and Mk VIIIs during and after the war as a ferry pilot for the RAAF, swares blind that the Mk V was the better handling of the two, despite many pilots' opinions that the Mk VIII was the best of the Merlin engined Spitfires. He had not a good word for the P-5 though, having had two engines sieze on him during ferry flighs. Again, its all subjective, not objective.

    Another point; Spitfires didn't posses manouvering flaps like the F4U, or many other combat aircraft. They had very simple two position flaps (up or down), that were only used for landing. So, any comparison which uses a Spitfire combat flap setting is going to be inherently flawed.

    If I was in a low altitude turning fight in the ETO in 1943/1944, I'd want a clipped wing LF IX. Despite the slight reduction in wing area, it was reckoned one of the most manouverable fighters of the war, probably the most manouverable fighter in the ETO at that time.

    Even the Soviets, who had a real love/hate relationship with the Spitfire and probably the greatest emphasis on small, nimble fighters in Europe, had almost nothing but praise for the LF Mk IXs flight performance (while simultaneously loathing their mechanical complexity and reliability, particularly in comparsion with their La-5 and Yak-9/3s, partly due to a lack of spares and fine grade enough POL).
     
  3. Hop

    Hop Member

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    The Spitfire VIII in those trials had extended wing tips, which means more wing area and lower wingloading. Just as clipped wing tips reduced turn performance, extended tips increased it.

    In other words, those tests are consistent. The VIII with extended tips performed as well as the IX with normal tips, which suggests a normal VIII would be a bit worse than a normal IX.
     
  4. Sgt. Pappy

    Sgt. Pappy Member

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    Thanks all.

    Jabber, i was wondering, however:

    The Spitfire LF.Mk.VIII (regular tipps) also had a Merlin 66 engine. Though it did weigh more than the XVI, the clipped tips of the XVI in the game should widen its turn, should it not?

    Additionally, I know that Spits had 50 degrees of flaps or nothing, but I was simply trying to show how the F4U and Spitfires compared to each other in Aces High. 50 degrees of flaps on an F4U are used only on landings just like the Spitfire flaps, so showing the turn radius of the a/c w/ full flaps just illustrates my point that the F4U is MADLY outturning the Spitfires.

    I can understand that that a Corsair can outturn on the intial, hard break above 300 TAS, but under 250? Doubt it. I'd like to point out that under 250 mph, the F4U has the ability to deploy 20 degrees of flaps in the game. With these 20 degrees, my Spitfire IX, VIII, XVI, and XIV were all outturned by my buddy flying the Hog. I then switched to the F4U and outturned my friend flying the Spits under the same situations. It was a flat turn, no low or high yo-yos, altitude was at 5,000'.

    Lastly, I was wondering - the Spit XIV did have a higher wingloading considering its heavier weight and its nearly-unchanged wing design, but did the powerloading make up for this? I.e. Did the Spit XIV turn as well as a Merlin 266 Spit16 with CLIPPED wings due to the Griffon's extra power?
     
  5. Chingachgook

    Chingachgook Banned

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    A Mk VIII is almost the same as a XI/XVI but with retractable tail wheel and some airframe reinforcements, but here is the spoiler... The VIII had an extra fuel tank in the aft fuselage (some of them anyway)...

    If memory serves me (it usually doesn't) the VIII in the test against the XIV had a full fuel tank in the aft fuselage during the turn evaluations. That had to throw things off for the VIII. It certainly made the VIII a different animal than the XI for that test.

    If that fuselage tank in the VIII was empty or non-existent in the turn test with the XI (1943) then it makes sense that they turned the same.

    To confuse things further, I would think that the VIII (without fuselage tank) could have a faster turn rate than the XI because the VIII had less drag (retracted tail wheel) (?).

    *I can not find the test between the VIII and the XIV - I thought it was on the Mike Willaims site but I can't see it... anyone know where it can be found? Crap, I hope I am not wrong about that extra tank... all I could find was that the fuselage tank was enlarged to 96gal... and the 2 wing tanks added...
     
  6. Sgt. Pappy

    Sgt. Pappy Member

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    Thanks, Ching. However, I believe the Spitfire Mk.VIII had 2x 14 Imp. Gal. wing fuel tanks with a 96 Imp. Gal. main tank as oppsed to the 85 galloner of the other marks, not a fuselage tank. Maybe some had the fuselage tank, but I can't remember any records saying so.

    And according to the IL-2 gamers, the F4U could not outturn the Spitfires under 300 mph in any flap setting. Here's hoping I can prove that to the Aces High II people.
     
  7. Chingachgook

    Chingachgook Banned

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    Eventually I will learn NOT to depend on my faulty memory. But that extra tankage must hurt against the XI because the RAE always tested with full fuel (at start). Still, I need to see XIV vs VIII again.
     
  8. Sgt. Pappy

    Sgt. Pappy Member

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    lol ... that should work out for you.

    The Spitfire LF IX I believe was on par with the LF Mk.VIII in the turn rate because it was more than 100 lbs. lighter, but that tailwheel kinda messed up its aerodynamics. However, that's what makes it my favorite Spitfire since to me, range isn't an issue. Besides, Mk.IX's in 1945 started carrying had the rear 75 Imp. Gal. fuel tank as a standard. Killed maneuverability, but it was ususally drained before combat.

    Anyone know, btw, if the Bf 109G-6,-14, K-4 turn tighter than the Spitfire XIV?

    P.S. Nerf the Aces High II Corsair!
     
  9. Chingachgook

    Chingachgook Banned

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    Oh no... not this again! :shock:

    Someone hide Sorens eyes - quick!
     
  10. Sgt. Pappy

    Sgt. Pappy Member

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    Woo! Soren! we need ur knowledge!
     
  11. Chingachgook

    Chingachgook Banned

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    :rolleyes:
     
  12. Sgt. Pappy

    Sgt. Pappy Member

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    Ching, I looked up some info on the Spits. Apparently the Mk.IX's XVI's and XIV's had 74 - 75 Imp. Gal. rear fuselage fuel tanks according to most books.

    One of the cross sections i've picked up in a different book show a Mk.IX had a 29 Imp. Gal. fuel tank in the aft instead.

    Anyone know why this is?

    Also, did the modified Spitfires how did they fill up these tanks? was there an access panel for the tank or would they remove a panel and fill 'er up?
     
  13. spit_ace'43

    spit_ace'43 New Member

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    At risk of sounding like a crazy-ass noob, what is Aces High II?
     
  14. spit_ace'43

    spit_ace'43 New Member

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    nm i just looked it up. I gotta try this....combat flight sim just plain sucks balls(can I say that?).
     
  15. Nonskimmer

    Nonskimmer Active Member

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    You sure can. :evil4:
     
  16. Sgt. Pappy

    Sgt. Pappy Member

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    LOL yes it does.. but it's free so I'm waiting till my birthday so i can buy IL-2 1946 - IMO one of the best sims out there.
     
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