Twin Engine Day Fighters Europe/Africa Theaters (the bests).

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Vincenzo, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    Premise fighter is intended as an airplane wich must shoot down other airplanes.

    The twin engine day fighters were used already in Poland invasion (germans Bf 110). After a limited use in the Phoney War (generally all the period before of west attack) they started again a relatively large use in the attack to west. The germans have their Bf 110, the french their Potez 631, the netherlanders their Fokker G.I, the british their Blenehim. The 110 has a clear advantage in its engine, the power available is larger (and with a best supercharger) and so it's heavy fastest of group. The relativily small wing probably affect on its horizontal manuevrability and high altitude all round performances. On the whole it's the best of TE available (imho). the surrender stop the development of Fokker and Potez planes. The Blenheim IF was followed by IVF that is not a true progress. The 110C variant was followed by D variant (long range) and E variant (fighter bomber, in late '40 this get the new DB 601P). The British in late '40 put in service the Westland Whirlwind specifically a TE fighter but for various reason this project was deleted and the production run for around one hundred planes (enough for 2 squadrons for ~2 years). The Whirlwind was a 1 man fighter (all those mentioned previously were multiplace) also if the engine were not powerfull like the DB 601 the smallest and lightest Whirlwind get good performances (but have smaller wing of 110 so i'm no sure that get large advantage on this in ACM). The British in late 40 get an other TE fighter the Bristol Beaufighter (was used in combat before of Whirlwind, october '40 versus february '41) this is a larger and heavier plane with 2 large radial engine (Hercules) this has very heavy firepower but it's much heavier of 110 (already not a so light plane) and around 2 times more heavy to Whirlwind, its air to air capability are limited to bomber and maritime patrol planes. The LW had an other TE fighter the Ju 88C (the C-0 were used as attack plane already in Poland) this also is a large plane more than Beaufighter, no probability that get good result in air to air combat (badest than Beau).

    In this first phase (pre Barbarossa) the 110 is the near alone TE fighter that can combat with the SE fighter with not foregone conclusion. The Whirlwind is probably an other but has too low FTH so is limited to low altitude operation. The Fokker G.I was built as intercptor (and ground support/recce) hadrelatively good horizontal manuvreability but not enoug power from its engines and probably too much drag.

    continue...
     
  2. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    One aircraft stands above the rest and it was available for mass production by 1940.

    fw187-7.jpg
     
  3. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    After the start of Operation Barbarossa , in the fall '41, the Pe-3 appeared in the skies. Despite being developed from a bomber is not so heavy or large and it is comparable with 110. During 1942 the LW introduced the 110F back to Zerstörer and with DB601F engines. In the late summer of '42 two new models appear in the skies over Europe: the US Lockheed P-38 (for true not luckily they not got enemy after the first over the iceland sea, the true comabt mission started with the Operation Torch), and the Messerschmitt Me 210. This was a troubled machine that need many works before to get a ready combat plane; imho has not advantage as fighter on 110F, they used same engine the 210 is heavier and also with a smallest wing. The P-38 is again (after Whirlwind) a 1 man fighter this fastest of all the others fighters previously mentioned, as a small wing and is heavy as a 110 the engines had trouble in the cold northern europe (in the initial variants).

    continue
     
  4. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    unlucky for the FW was not put in mass production
     
  5. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Which leaves Germany without a proper high endurance day fighter. Fighter variants of the Me-110, Me-210, Me-410 and Ju-88 were just second rate band aid solutions.
     
  6. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    There was not better TE fighter that the 110 before of P-38 (the others were at best same level). Actually until the Operation Torch.

    The 1943 see the last zerstörer variant of 110, the G-2, with DB-605B engines. In mid '43 the RAF put in service the Mosquito FB VI this was mainly a attack aircraft but on occasion act as fighters. In late '43 LW get her Me 410 (pratically a variant of 210 with DB 603) and her 210C (variant with DB 605). The 410 has large power available but is not a light plane, it's the fastest zerstörer but not enough for the P-38. in early '44 the P-38J coming with engine that solved the original toube in the cold high altitude air of northern europe.
     
  7. CobberKane

    CobberKane Banned

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    I know there are going to be howls of protest from P-38 fans when tthey read this, but I don't think the concept of the twin engined fighter able to match comtemporary single engined opposition ever really proved itself in the ETO. The P-38L, with hydaullically activated control surfaces and dive flaps probably came closest, but even then what could it do that a single engined fighter couldn't do at least as well for less cost? The Mosquito was a superb aircraft but never a dogfighter and the ME110 was famously vulnerable against pretty much every modern fighter it faced. Maybe if the war was a few months longer the Hornet and Tigercat could have have been the one, but it wasn't and they weren't.
    The lesson seems to be that given the extra weight intrinsic to the design, a twin engined fighter can usually only be effective if it has a significant speed advantage over the the opposition, as was the case with the P-38 in the PTO
     
  8. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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  9. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Fly home on one engine - the cost dividend was the survival of the pilot.
     
  10. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    We seem to be overlooking a at least one basic point. In many cases the twin engine fighters were NOT designed to do the SAME job as the single engine fighters. ESPECIALLY single engine fighters designed at the SAME time.
    For instance the P-38 was designed to a different specification than the P-39. It called for twice the endurance as the P-39 while having the same speed and armament. The extra fuel required a bigger aircraft which required more power. The guys at Lockheed figured they could use either a 1500hp single engine or TWO 1000hp engines compared to the P-39 with a single 1000hp engine. When design work started there was no single 1500hp engine immediately available. Both planes did change considerable from initial designs to even the first combat ready units but the single engine planes could not do the P-38s job (eventual jobs) until later in the war when newer engines were able to increase the performance of single engine fighters.
    In some ways some of the European (and even Asian) Twin engine fighters start with the same story. A requirement that a single engine cannot meet. Payload or range wanted is too great for the existing single engines. Even the Whirlwind was considered the smallest fighter that could carry four 20mm guns. Hawker may have offered a four cannon Hurricane in 1937 but with the Merlin III ( or II?) and a fixed pitch prop the result would NOT have been any more combat capable than the French Potez 631.
    Twins were seldom, if ever, envisioned as dog fighters but rather as bomber interceptors or strike aircraft.
     
  11. gumbyk

    gumbyk Well-Known Member

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    Thats one thing that has bugged me about twin-engined fighters. If, during a dog-fight, you lost an engine, would you be able to get out of there before the enemy got you?

    Also, how many planes (and pilots) did they lose because of an engine out on take-off? (twice the chance of this occurring with a twin-engine aircraft)
     
  12. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    Probably less than the number of S/E pilots lost when their engine failed.
     
  13. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    #13 FLYBOYJ, Apr 11, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2012
    The double edged sword of a twin engine aircraft...

    I think the risk of mishap was probably more likely to occur during training. Once a well trained pilots understands what's going to happen if he lost an engine on takeoff, risk is well mitigated.

    As far as surviving an engine out during a dogfight? There are many 5th AF pilots who lived long healthy lives as a result of being able to walk away from a furball on one engine.
     
  14. gumbyk

    gumbyk Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't be too sure about that. Given that the P-38 had two engines, it would be a safe assumption that engine failures are more common. Would a fully-loaded P38 continue take-off on ony one engine, with gear down?
    SE aircraft engine failure means no decision to be made by the pilot - find a place to land and go there.
    TE aircraft - maintain control, gear up, secure dead engine, then decide if you can continue the climb, if not, land ahead.

    The workload and decision-making is a lot greater in a twin-engine aircraft with an engine failure than a single.

    Of course, I may be wrong...
     
  15. gumbyk

    gumbyk Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Flyboy, thats what I was looking for.
    I was also making the point that a twin-engine aircraft is not necessarily safer than a single-engine aircraft.
     
  16. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    A fully loaded P-38 can and did fly away on one engine if the pilot flying the aircraft was trained and understood what was happening to his aircraft during an engine failure. the P-38 was unique as it did not have a critical engine (or it had 2 critical engines depending how you want to interpret the definition). When a P-38 lost an engine you actually had to REDUCE power on the good engine, begin the shutdown process of the bad engine and trim the aircraft accordingly. Once trained, an engine out on a P-38 was a manageable event to any pilot flying it.

    Yes, there is more workload when flying a twin, but again, with proper training, that increased workload can be managed.

    BTW Lockheed test pilot only LeVier was well known for coming over an air base in a P-38 on one engine and then putting on an aerial display of aerobatics while flying with one engine feathered and the landing gear down.
     
  17. gumbyk

    gumbyk Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Flyboy,
    I've definitely learnt something here.
    Sounds like there wasn't really a decision to be made in the event of an engine failure - it could continue.
     
  18. MikeGazdik

    MikeGazdik Member

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    Answer: P-38 Lockheed Lightning. That is really all I wanted to say, but..... To quantify that statement I will say that of all the twin engine aircraft mentioned, only the P-38 had any real chance against single engine fighters. In my opinion, certain models of the P-38, the late J and the L model, were as good as many single engine fighters. This I understand is with argument. But lets say you had to battle one of the premier single engine fighters from any air force: a later Spitfire Mark, a P-51, a F4u Corsair, Me109K or FW190d, or KI84 or whatever, and you HAD to be in a twin engine aircraft, there is no other made during WWII that would give you a better chance than a P-38 Lightning.

    Or in another scenario, I cannot think of a twin engine fighter that a P-38 could not out fight in a 1 on 1 engagement.
     
  19. CobberKane

    CobberKane Banned

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    By that reasoning the P-38 should have had a lower loss rate than single engine fighters - was that the case? I don't think having an expendable engine is much compensation for lacking the agility to avoid getting hit in the first place. After all, how many P-38 pilots were heartbroken at having to turn their Lightnings in for Mustangs?
     
  20. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Depending on the mission, theater and such the P-38 did have a lower loss rate the P-47 and P-51 at times. In the China theater (in which there were only 2 P-38 squadrons?) they were noted as coming back on one engine over 600 miles and a much lower loss ratio while ground strafing where getting hit doesn't really depend on the fighters agility.
     
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