Tempest V vs. Spitfire XIV

Discussion in 'Polls' started by tomo pauk, Mar 5, 2011.

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Tempest V or Spitfire XIV

  1. Tempest V

    60.0%
  2. Spitfire XIV

    40.0%
  1. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Two late war RAF machines, both great in my eyes. What one is your favourite, and why.
     
  2. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    without giving it too much thought or research, I think the tempest was the better aircraft. It led to several postwar developments, such as the fury and Sea Fury did it not? I think the Tempest was the newer design, with a greater degree of "stretchability"....similar perhaps to the FW 190/ Me109 comparison.
     
  3. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky Active Member

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    Its hard to saw which was a better aircraft, as they served very different role and had engines that were optimised for very different flight profiles.

    The Tempest V was predominately a low-medium altitude fighter. The Spitfire XIV was optimised from medium to high altitudes. Spitfire XIVs were used to provide medium alt cover for Tempest Vs when the Tempests were attacking MET targets in 1944/1945.

    Performance wise, the Tempest has a low altitude speed advantage of 15-20 mph, but is at a disadvantage in the climb all the way through the altitude range. Through 5000-22,000 ft the advantage in speed seesaws between the two aircraft, thanks to the different power bands of their engines, although the Tempest holds the advantage for more of the altitude range.

    Above 25,000 ft, the Spitfire XIV is faster and becomes increasingly superior with altitude. Its notable that the Spitfire’s rate of climb is more than double that of the Tempest at 25,000 ft and only becomes more superior at altitude increases. The Mk XIV’s absolute ceiling is 6,500 ft higher than that of the Tempest V, its operational ceiling is about 10,000 ft higher.


    If I had the choice of going to war in either aircraft, I’d want to be in the Spitfire XIV. Just so that I’d have a better chance of survival. The Tempest is more likely to meet ground fire and German aircraft in their element – particularly 109A8/A9 and D9s -, whereas the Spitfire XIV was probably one of the great aircraft of the war above 25,000 ft.

    The low/medium altitude performance of the Tempest is superior to the Spitfire, but I don’t believe it is decisively so. In a dogfight below 20,000 ft, I believed the aircraft are closely enough matched that whichever pilot had the initiative or initial advantage would win.

    The better speed, energy retention (high speed zoom) and high-speed roll (above 350 mph) of the Tempest, as well as its heavier gun package (four Mk V Hispano cannon, compared to 4 x .303/2 x 20 mm or 2 x .50/2 x 20 mm), would give the Tempest an advantage on in high-speed bounce situations. The Tempest also cruised faster below 10,000 ft, an important point in determining initial advantage.

    Defensively, the Spitfire has its superior turn and better low speed roll-rate and handling to fall back on, as well as its better acceleration and climb. The Tempest needs to win the fight out in the first few passes, or the Spitfire would be able to either climb away from the fight or use its superiority in the turn to reverse the dogfight to its advantage.

    Above 20,000 ft, I believe the dogfight performance of the Spitfire is decisively superior, thanks to its lower wing loading and better high altitude performance of the Griffon. The Spitfire is 3000lbs lighter and similarly powered. As such it turns, climbs and accelerates better in the thin air.

    The Tempest’s saving grace here is its better high-speed handling, low drag and better dive rate. If bounced, the Tempest can dive away to pick-up speed and use its better high-speed roll to avoid the Spitfire.

    The RAF tactical trials state that “the tactical attributes of the two aircraft being completely different, they require a separate handling technique in combat”. It also concluded that “Regarding performance, if correctly handled, the Tempest is better below about 20,000 feet and the Spitfire XIV above that height.”
     
  4. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    I'll toss some pluses vs. other one:
    Tempest: heavier punch, combat range, visibility
    Mk XIV: lighter -> better climb, better at high altitude, greater ceiling; 15 mph +

    Perhaps Tempest was better suited for tasks at Western front in 1944/45?
     
  5. Tempik

    Tempik New Member

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    Tempest and spit XIV was added to 2.TAF in september 1944. Both aircraft was seven squadrons at V-day.
    Tempest´s pilots have 230 shotdown german planes.
    Spitfires´s (mark. XIV)pilots have 167 shotdown german planes.
     
  6. claidemore

    claidemore Member

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    My pick is the Spitfire Mk XIV. It's just so much prettier! :)
    Seriously though, the big advantage of the late mark Spitfires was climb rate. Height advantage is of paramount importance in air combat manuevering and the superior climb rate of the Mk XIV (and Mk IXs) means it could climb either to gain a better offensive position or as a defensive measure.
     
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