Thunderbolt Killer

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by ralphwiggum, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. ralphwiggum

    ralphwiggum Member

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    I'm sorry to have asked SO many questions but you folks are a TREASURE
    of fascinating info!!
    Who were the top Thunderbolt killers in the Luftwaffe?
    ralphwiggum
     
  2. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    Kacha`s Luftwaffe Page
     
  3. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Kacha's site is very informative, but he should rectify the Gustav Roedel entry (the shooting down of a P.24 near Warsaw is out of the question since no P.24s was used by Poles). A minor issue anyway.
     
  4. Soundbreaker Welch?

    Soundbreaker Welch? Active Member

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    In Il sturmovik, it seems like the P-47 wing can come off with a couple of cannon rounds to it.

    Was the P-47 wing that weak in reality? I thought it was extremely tough, even from cannon shells, and was fairly unlikely to break apart in mid air.
     
  5. Watanbe

    Watanbe Member

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  6. Ivan1GFP

    Ivan1GFP Member

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    Hey Watanbe,
    I am sure you are right, but I just can't stop laughing at your answer!

    - Ivan.
     
  7. Krabat42

    Krabat42 Member

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    I think, a "few cannon hits" can break any airplane's wing. Or weaken it enough to break it when the pilot is maneuvering. Bullets are another thing entirely.

    IMO the P-47 is a tough plane in Il-2 too. It's got its weak points but a frind of mine is almost always flying it. He's doing well always going up and down. His best feat is luring La-7's up to 6.000m and then playing with them. :D

    Krabat
     
  8. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    The Jug wing was very strong.

    The heavier the ship, the stronger the wing to meet design limit and ultimate loads for that category (Fighters in WWII generally 8glimit/12g ultimate for a target weight). Conceptually, in level flight, a wing on a 14,000 pound fighter would be nearly twice as strong in bending as a 7,000 pound fighter if those weights represented the design weights.

    Who knows how the IL-2 modellers crafted reality - either in context of lethality of .50 caliber fire or vulnerability to 50 cal/20mm?

    A wing on a fighter will survive a lot of rounds that fail to damage primary spars or blow something up.. even moreso with a bomber.
     
  9. MikeGazdik

    MikeGazdik Member

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    This is a guess, but as a group, I would say likely it would be the JG26 of the Luftwaffe. I read a book about them. They were one of the first I believe to field the Fw190 on the Western front. They took it to the 56th group of the U.S. until they had experience and numbers.

    So IF JG26 had the most kills against the 56th group, and against the other 8th Air Force units that operated the Thunderbolt until they transitioned to Mustangs, I would have to say the Focke Wulf would be the Thunderbolt killer.

    Right or wrong, it is a fabulous book. I have the book packed away, it is a paperback and I think it was titled JG26, Top Guns of the Luftwaffe.
     
  10. HoHun

    HoHun Active Member

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    Hi Welch,

    >Was the P-47 wing that weak in reality? I thought it was extremely tough, even from cannon shells, and was fairly unlikely to break apart in mid air.

    I don't know if a P-47 wing was unusually weak, but generally the wings were considered profitable target for cannon shells of the mine shell type at least.

    These shells carried a large amount of explosive (for the MG FF and MG 151/20, about twice as much as the heavier Hispano high explosive shell carried), and upon pentrating into the target aircraft's structure, would blow up to generate a strong blast effect. This blast effect destroyed a large area of the aircraft skin, which in a stressed-skin aircraft meant that the structure lost some of its load-bearing ability.

    Depending on the amount of skin that was destroyed and the load put on the damaged wing, structural failure can occur as a result of the hit.

    One of the reasons for the Germans to adopt mine shell ammunition was that it eliminated the need to hit the small (and possibly armoured) critically vulnerable spots of an arcraft as almost the entire aircraft was vulnerable against mine shell hits.

    The effect of the mine shells increased when they hit parts with a smaller internal volume as this would mean that the destructrive pressure on the skin would be greater, and as the wings had little internal volume (between the ribs), they were considered escpecially vulnerable.

    (Though fuselage hits were not as effective as wing hits due to the larger internal volume, 30 mm mine shells were powerful enough to structurally destroy a fuselage as well - the British test-fired them against 10 Spitfire fuselages and considered all of them to be destroyed or likely destroyed as a result of the 30 mm hit.)

    However, it's my experience that video game designers are obsessed with parts coming off aircraft because it visualizes the damage so unambiguously, so please don't mistake my post as a defense of Il-2 ;)

    Regards,

    Henning (HoHun)
     
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