Typhoon , F4U-1 comparison

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by slaterat, Mar 26, 2011.

  1. slaterat

    slaterat Member

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    I have recently been comparing the Typhoon to the F4U-1 using mostly performance testing reports from WWII Aircraft Performance . Given the post war reputations of these planes I was somewhat surprised at how close they are in development and performance.

    Here's a list of similarities:
    - prototypes flew in 1940
    - 400 mph was attained
    - 2000 hp engines
    - cranked wings (much more so in the F4U)
    - lengthy development times
    - loaded weights in the 11,000 lb + ranges
    -both survived initial set backs to become very successful fighter bombers

    Reading through the various performance trials of these two aircraft more similarities occur:

    - top speeds from 385 to 405 mph with later models hitting 420 mph
    - climb rates around 7 to 8 minutes to 20,000 ft

    Overall around 8000 ft the Typhoon is superior, at 20,000 ft they are very close and over 25,000 ft the F4U is superior. Realistically though neither one of these planes would be anyone's first choice for combat over 30,000 ft.

    So why does the Typhoon get so much criticism and the F4U-1 so much praise?
     
  2. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    Early Typhoons 'fell apart' in combat stress operations IIRC :). I don't think they ever got over that - and there were high loss rates to flak thoughout all Northern Europe, I've read. F4U was a challenge but the RN basically 'proved in' the system for carrier ops.

    MM
     
  3. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Reliability of Typhoon's engine (Napier Sabre) was wery low until second half of 1943, while R-2800 was almost a paragon of reliability. The other, more serious issue was weak joint (sp?) of hull tail assembly, along with some undesired harmonic vibrations causing tail assembly to be torned off the hull; that was cured within first 6 months of operational use.
     
  4. Kryten

    Kryten Member

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    Early Typhoons had a number of "issues",
    the engines had a nasty habit of dropping the sleve valves into the cylinder, massive oil leaks etc, this was pretty much sorted but it was a complex engine for it's day!

    Some Typhoons lost thier tails, this was later discovered to be caused by compressibility, a bit of a mystery back then, as the aircraft accelerated in a dive the elevators at a certain speed (quite high speed at that) lost thier control authority suddenly, the pilot then fought to bring the nose up and as the speed dropped below the critical the elevators resumed working whilst the pilot was pulling back on the stick, the result of which was a sudden massive load through the rear fuselage and a structural failure!

    a number of Typhoons dived straight into the ground complete with pilot for no known reason, this was quickly discovered to be caused by carbon monoxide leaking into the cockpit, several attempts at sealing were tried but the most effective answer was simply having the pilot breath through his oxy system from start up to landing!

    performance wise the Tiffie was fast, very fast for 1942/3, but it became more and more of a carthorse the higher you went, a function of the thick wing profile being the main handicap, however that same wing gave good low level maneuverability for such a big plane and a high lifting capacity at low level, the Tiffie being cleared for 2x 1000lb bombs as early as end of 43 IIRC!

    when you bear in mind the aircraft was designed as a high speed interceptor the high alt performance was simply not good enough, however they were very successful at intercepting the FW190 and Me109 tip and run raiders over the south coast!
    although they are best remembered as ground attack aircraft they were also successfull as intruders on the ranger sorties where they scored a number of kills against german fighters at low level, bearing in mind the type was re rolled as a ground attack by 1944 the tiffie is credited with 246 air to air kills during it's short life as a fighter!

    it's a much misunderstood aircraft even today, and reliability problems aside was a lot better than it's detractors would have you believe!
     
  5. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    During 1942 the Heer procured over 3,000 light flak weapons (20mm to 37mm). By 1944 the Heer was procuring about 10,000 light flak weapons per year. Every Heer infantry squad, armored vehicle and many supply vehicles were armed with an excellent LMG (either MG34 or MG42) which could fire against aircraft.

    CAS aircraft which attack an army provided with this much light flak can expect casualties. Nobody else was so well provided with light flak and certainly not Japan where the F4U operated.
     
  6. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    F4U4 had a vmax of 445 . F4U1 carried 361 gallons of internal fuel and had a yardstick range of 1500 miles. My source says Mk1B Typhoon had a max range of 980 miles. I question strongly that a Typhoon was better than Corsair below 8000 feet. The F4U4 was the fastest US fighter at SL according to Dean, "America's Hundred Thousand". It is a myth that RN proved F4Us could operate from carriers. The Jolly Rogers (VF17?) were ready for operational use of Corsairs before the RN ever got a Corsair on a carrier.
     
  7. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    While the Germans certainly had better Light AA the the Japanese it might come as a surprise to the Americans that they were lacking in AA defense.
    Firing an MG 34 or 42 against aircraft by resting it on another soldier's shoulder is hardly the most effective use of the gun. Many German tanks did not mount an AA machine gun and many of their SP guns didn't mount one either, blazing away from the hip may look kool but it is hardly effective. How many thousands of .50 cal Brownings were mount on Tanks, SP guns, half tracks and even trucks in Europe, let alone the quad .50 mounts. And the 37mm and 40mm AA guns?
     
  8. TheMustangRider

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    #8 TheMustangRider, Mar 26, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2011
    Wouldn't that measure be a little bit risky for the pilot, taking in consideration that oxygen systems could malfunction at any point of the sortie or be battle damaged in enemy engagements.
    I don't think I would feel safe stuck with oxygen during the entire mission.
     
  9. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    Dean did not take into account of the higher boost (72-76"Hg) P-51s, which were being used long before the F4U-4 went operational, but rather the 67" boost versions, in the comparison. The F4U-4 was capable of a healthy 377 mph at SL, but the P-51B was tested at 386 mph at high boost. The P-51D at high boost would also be in the F4U-4 range. Also, the P-51Hs which were also becoming operational at that time and were capable of over 400 mph at SL.

    Also, it is a bit unfair to compare the F4U-4 to the Typhoon. More accurately, would be the Tempest V and the much faster, at lower altitude, Tempest II. Both would give up high altitude performance to the F4U-4.
     
  10. Kryten

    Kryten Member

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    I have not read or heard of it being an issue, but there is always that risk?
    Closterman on his first aquaintance with the typhoon remarked on using the oxy syatem from start up!

    Its intersting to note his comments on how much difficulty he had slowing the Typhoon down for landing , a fast approach to the airfield at 400mph resulted in him doing several circuits with the throttle closed before he got it down below 300mph, that sounds a bit hairy!
    Sqdrn Ldr des scott flew a captured FW190 and whilst impressed thought he could get the better of it at low level, later the same afternoon he fought a sea level turning fight with a 190 and claimed to be getting into a firing position before the 190 stalled and span in!
    the Typhoon sounds like it was a real handfull, but the skilled guys like Beaumont and baldwin to name two did quite well in them!
    cant say I would have liked to take one into combat though!
     
  11. slaterat

    slaterat Member

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    The "Tail falling off issue" with the Typhoon is a bit of a red herring imho. This was discussed in another thread on this forum. The total number of documented losses to this issue is around 25 aircraft and pilots. Out of a total of over 3000 Typhoons built, that's less than 1%. However it seems to be always one of the first points brought up when anyone discusses the Typhoon. Kryten is right , it probably was the result of over applying stick forces when coming out of compressibility an issue with many second generation fighters. The main solution appears to be limiting the max speed in a dive to 525 mph ias.

    I deliberately limited the discussion to the F4U-1 as the F4U-4 was essentially re engined and didn't see action until rather late in the war, April of 45 I believe. It is much more comparable to the Tempest V or II. The Tempest was at first designated the Typhoon II.

    The carbon monoxide problem was also common to other WW2 era fighters including the F4U. The FAA put the same restriction on their Corsair pilots having them use oxygen from engine start up to shut down. The problem was resolved by using longer exhaust stubs on the Typhoon but these had a negative affect on performance so the short exhaust stubs were kept and oxygen was used.

    By Aug of 1942 the Tyhoon could achieve 375 to 390 mph at 8000 ft. By August 43 with the sliding hood and whip aerial the Typhoon could hit 398 mph at 8,800ft.

    In comparison typical speeds at this alt for an F4U-1 were in the 330 to 350 mph range. By 44 with water injection speeds of 380 mph could be attained.
     
  12. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    It's the time frame that makes difference re. tail falling off. If those 25 occurrences were spread over 3 years of service, perhaps nobody would've talked too much. But if that happened, roughly speaking, once a week, on not such a great numbers of planes delivered, issue becomes more serious.
     
  13. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    I agree that its a bit off comparing the F4-U4 against the Typhoons its a later version and the one to look at is the F4-U1. In that area I believe that they compliment each other. The Typhoon for low level mainly GA work and the F4 for fighter cover. The problems with the Typhoon on introduction are well known but were resolved.
    For the GA role the Typhoon had the radiator which was a minus but had better armour protection which probably balances it out.

    You cannot compare the German AA with the Japanese, the German AA guns were very effective and available in quantity, the Japanese were not. I have little doubt that had the Typhoon operated against the Japanese their losses would have been much lower. The AA guns would have hit less and the Japanese fighters would find the Typhoon, very very difficult to catch.
     
  14. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    Actually, comparing any F4U to any Typhoon or for that matter any Tempest or any British fighter except for the later Sea Fury makes little sense because although the F4U was very effective as a land based fighter and fighter bomber it was essentially designed as a carrier borne fighter. As discussed numerous times in the past on this forum, an F4U purpose designed and manufactured for only land based use would undoubtedly have had better all around performance than the carrier F4U. Even though the Seafire and Sea Hurricanes were not very successful as carrier borne aircraft, the modifications they had to have to operate at sea negatively influenced their performance compared to the land based only versions. The fact that the F4U could more than hold it's own with most if not all land based piston engined WW2 and Korean War fighters, which before the Corsair arrived was thought impossible, is what makes the Corsair an iconic design.
     
  15. Kryten

    Kryten Member

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    #15 Kryten, Mar 27, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2011
    The incidents were spread over the period from introduction to wars end, IIRC the last known incidence was just after the end of the war in Europe?
    the problem of comressibility was a bit of a conundrum back then, the real problem was the failures only occured pulling out of a very high speed dive, in those circumstances the ability of the pilot to escape a wildly gyrating tailless aircraft were very slim, so there were no survivors to explain what they were doing which would have given the engineers a clue?

    by the way before anyone gets the idea I know what i'm talking about I must point out I am merely relaying the knowledge of an old guy who used to live near me who worked for Hawker as an engineer, I had the fortune to bring up the subject of Typhoons (eurofighter as it happens) in his presence in the pub one afternoon and he was more than happy to discuss the original in some detail, some days you just wish you had a tape recorder on you!!
     
  16. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    In other words, tails continued to fly off even after reinforced?
     
  17. Milosh

    Milosh Well-Known Member

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    Not all catastrophic tail failures were the result of a high G maneuver, like when coming out of a dive. The first failure had the a/c doing a turn in a shallow dive. In other cases the a/c was flying straight and level. Trials doing a vicious yaw at 500mph produced no tail failures.

    Going through the loss list (to May 8 1945) in the Thomas and Shore book on the Typhoon/Tempest I found 17 Typhoons as s/f (structural failure) of which 12 happened before May 1943. The biggest cause of a Typhoon loss (non enemy reason) was due to e/f (engine failure).
     
  18. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    AA Weapons
    If this is correct then total IJA light flak production from 1938 to 1945 was only about 3,000 weapons. Furthermore 80% of IJA light flak had a ROF of only 300 rounds per minute. The numbers aren't even close compared to the Heer. Furthermore German army light flak was qualitatively superior for the most part.

    I don't doubt that F4U pilots considered IJA flak to be dangerous. But Typhoon and P-47 fighter-bombers faced German flak that was much worse. So it would not be fair to compare loss rates to ground fire between CAS aircraft that fought in Europe and those that fought in the Pacific.
     
  19. slaterat

    slaterat Member

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    Rerich wrote:
    I have to somewhat disagree Renrich, for the reason that eventually naval aircraft will always find themselves in combat with ground based aircraft. This fact alone merits a comparison with their land based counterparts. However This thread isn't asking the "What is better Typhoon or F4U-1 question?" What I was asking is why two planes quite similar, both with checkered development and both achieving great success as fighter bombers, yet one is viewed as "iconic" while the other as a footnote.

    You may have answered some of this in your quote Renrich. Maybe its the longevity of the Corsair's service while the Tiffie disappeared almost completely after WWII.

    I was going to say more but its getting late I'll check back tomorrow.
     
  20. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps it is because the Corsair also had a reputation as air superiority fighter? It could take on and win against any opposing aircraft (that it actually meet in any numbers, find a Ta 152 vs Corsair engagement) at any altitude needed in it's area's of combat. It didn't need a separate type to give top cover.
     
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