Top Destroyers Research — why the P-51 was king

Discussion in 'Technical' started by rousseau, Dec 12, 2010.

  1. rousseau

    rousseau Member

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    When we talk about fighters in WW2, the first one jump out from our brain would be P-51 Mustang, the most fierce, powerful, violent fighter for combat in air in that era we will say so.
    Yes, the bubble canopy, the rectangular shaped wing makes it seemingly more handsome, neat, proportional or pulchritude even we shall say.
    Nevertheless, we are not judging lady or playboy here, we ought to support self opinion by data study.
    Then here is mine:
    [​IMG]
    If we change it via sort in terms of unit power, we will see the P-51 down to the 15th far out of top ten.
    [​IMG]
    If we exchange then in terms of Wing Load, the P-51 still sit on fifth seat
    [​IMG]
    So what made Mustang so impressive? Merely nice-looking or really outstanding on specification?
     
  2. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    #2 tomo pauk, Dec 12, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2010
    #1: Quoting Japanese engine powers by the numbers found on Wiki can be missleading (eg Ki-84 was suposed to be slower than 400 mph with 2000 HP???).
    #2: Re-check the power you stated for Spit Mk9 - 3000 HP is not the real-world figure.
    #3: You lack drag and/or speed numbers dearly.
    #4: Ditto for range.
     
  3. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    You can analyze all kinds of facts and figures but the one that matters most, and what made the P-51 so successful as a fighter was it's range. You can have the best horsepower, firepower, wing loading etc. But if you can't get all those great numbers to the fight, they are meaningless.
     
  4. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    #5: Empty weight you provided for Spit Mk.IX is wrong, perhaps some 500kg should be added.
     
  5. rousseau

    rousseau Member

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    Very well, the form has been corrected
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    looks nothing change.
    And I have no idea why the P-51 got so much long range than others? Sorry for lacking internal fuel data.
     
  6. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    #6 tomo pauk, Dec 13, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2010
    Again, no figures about drag, speed, range, then armor, armament, ammo. Your tables will not cut in, I'm afraid.
    As for internal fuel carried, that requires space, which adds weight again, plus the weight of (self-sealing) tanks themselves - therefore US planes don't look nice on tables like ones you're provided.
     
  7. rousseau

    rousseau Member

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    According to my data which unveiled publicly, the top speed certainly is at one altitude not all height. Nothing can be prove according to such speed. If you have those aircraft's flight envelop please share.
    The winf load and unit power are two most important specifications to measure how good the fighter is. When we talk about range, that Japanese aircraft are all covered P-51, do you really want to see?
     
  8. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Oughta add in the doctrine was a big difference. Pilots flew tours of 200 or 250 combat hours and went home. While in the combat zone, the AF flew their asses off. In that time, they were expected (at least when the P51 really started showing up which is at the begining of 1944) to hunt and destroy the Luftwaffe. It was their primary mission.

    Other nation's pilots flew shorter missions and usually flew less often. They usually didn't fly tours (especially axis and Soviet) but were up in the thick of it for the duration. They didn't have to accept combat every day, there was always tomorrow.

    The Mustang pilots flew a mass produced air superiority fighter deep into enemy territory. It was a relatively cheap aircraft to produce (when considered against the P47 and P38) with advantages neither one had (range and manuverability). They were expected to fight the enemy anywhere they found them. In a way, they swamped the Luftwaffe. But that isn't the whole story, they were expected to do that. They also ground them down as they were being ground down. After the tour is over, the US pilot goes home exhausted and another guy takes his spot to keep the pressure up.

    The Luftwaffe didn't have that luxury.
     
  9. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    Trying to normalize data from different countries and sources is extremely difficult. Some data has been lost due to war and incompetence. Also, time period is a variable. For example, the power you quote for the P-51 is 1695 hp. After May, 1944, the P-51 was cleared for 1860 hp on high octane fuel. Performance at altitude is greatly affected by supercharger performance, which is often poorly defined. Factor in drag characteristics, etc, and overall, this is a tough task.

    Your power rating of the P-47N is significantly off. The power of the P-47M/N is 2600 hp at SL, 2800 hp from 5k ft to 33k ft.

    The exceptional Mustang range was due to excellent aerodynamics and large internal fuel capacity, 269 gallons, 1018 liters.
     
  10. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Is the part I've bolded a proven fact of just opinion?

    As for Japanes planes, please do post the figures.

    As for speed, P-51(B/C/D) was the king from 15-25 kft, so that covers it.

    Another thing, could you pick any of the planes from your tables and assign it for a task P-51 was tasked? Provided it has all: range, performance edge vs. opponents, worthwhile armament, ammo, durability...
     
  11. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    A6M2. Entered service during 1941.
    P-51D. Entered service during mid 1944.
    .....Should be comparing the A6M5, Ki-61, Ki-84 etc.

    The P-51D was designed for high altitude operations. At 25,000 feet I suspect it would eat a Tempest for lunch. Conversely, at 5,000 feet the P-51D would probably be in trouble vs a Tempest.

    Since the P-51D entered service during mid 1944 it should be compared to late model Me-109Gs equipped with newer engines like the 1,800hp DB605AM.

    This is not intended as criticism. The P-51D was a good fighter aircraft and relatively low cost to produce (especially compared to most other U.S. fighter aircraft). Firepower was relatively weak. Otherwise it compared well overall with most contemporary fighter aircraft produced during the final year of WWII.
     
  12. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    Also...

    I wouldn't use the term "Destroyer" when referencing the P-51. Destroyers is a term used for aircraft to take down Heavy bombers at altitude.. IMO, the Allies really didnt have a Destroyer because they didnt need one!
     
  13. johnbr

    johnbr Well-Known Member

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    Me I still love the K84.
     
  14. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Britain did. They had the heavily armed Beaufighter and eventually the Mosquito. If Germany had launched raids consisting of 1,000 He-177s and/or Fw191Cs RAF destroyers would have been used similiar to the Luftwaffe Me-110 and Me-410. They would have been supplemented (and escorted) by cannon armed Spitfires.

    I suspect it takes quite a few .50cal bullets to hack down an aircraft the size of a He-177. The U.S. Army Air Corps would have been in trouble without a decent fighter cannon.
     
  15. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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  16. rousseau

    rousseau Member

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    In your sound the word destroyer should be used to describe interceptor?
    This is also a good question to define destroyer.
     
  17. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    #17 comiso90, Dec 20, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2010
    Hello Rousseau,

    Certainly the definition is fuzzy but by my definition, a destroyer puts more emphasis on armament while the interceptor prizes rate of climb more. The Me 262 was both but one version imparticular was certainly a destroyer:

    [​IMG]

    The English used the Spitfire and Hurricane as interceptors but neither one was armed robustly enough to be considered a Destroyer.

    The P-51 was an excellent long range bomber escort and, on occasion, would be used as an interceptor but I cant imagine labeling it a "destroyer".

    We can post photos all day but these are the weapons of a destroyer:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  18. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    The allies didn't have what you call a destroyer, for the simple fact as you rightly say, that they didn't need one.
    If they had such a requirement there would have been alternatives, the one that springs to mind is the Mossie with the 6pd gun. They did shoot down one bomber with it, which was if I recall correctly a Ju88, also the Martin Baker III would have been an option with 6 x 20mm.

    That said the RAF with Spits armed with 4 x 20mm had something that the Luftwaffe didn't have, a heavily armed high altitude fighter. An armament of 4 x 20mm would suffice in most situations so I would doubt the need for more.
     
  19. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Me-109G6/R4
    WW2 Warbirds: the Messerschmitt Bf 109 - Frans Bonn
    GM1 for improved high altitude performance.
    1 x 30mm Mk108 cannon. Firing through prop hub.
    2 x 30mm Mk108 cannon. One in each wing.

    There's nothing wrong with the Spitfire. But the bomber-killer version of the Me-109G6 had even more high altitude firepower.
     
  20. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    #20 Glider, Dec 27, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2010
    As a bomber killer I would agree with you but, and its a big but, the G6/R4 was wide open against fighters. Its handling was very poor whereas the Spit with 4 x 20mm retained its good handling.
    The GM1 I admit to having mixed feelings about, while it worked it was fine but it only worked while the fuel lasted. Before it was used it added more weight to what was already a heavily loaded aircraft.

    The Lufwaffe seemed to have a choice, the Fw 190 which was fine against bombers but wasn't that good at altitude against fighters. Or the 109 which was better at altitude against fighters, but lacked the firepower against bombers. Add the firepower and the performance at altitude dropped which is why the P51 as an escort was so vital.
    Almost all Spits could be armed with 4 x 20mm due to the flexible design of the wing and could also be quickly fitted with extended wingtips giving you a well armed fighter with good handling at altitude.
     
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