- Thread starter
- May 16, 2011
None were especially easy to operate, but some were significantly easier than others. Even when operating on land the Corsair was still more of a handful than others. Anyone think the improved Corsair had better landing characteristics than for example a Spitfire or Thunderbolt? Interesting you mentioned the P-40 as it has a similar landing gear set-up, and originally a similar problem with nasty stall characteristics until improved.Criticism of the fight characteristics of the Corsair ( Ensign Eliminator, "It could get you killed") needs to be tempered substantially by the knowledge that those undesirable characteristics were identified in the context of the very demanding environment of carrier operations. Operating the Corsair as a landbased plane was a horse of a different color. Flying from land bases it was very little, if not no more dangerous than most other high performance WW2 fighters. If one reads up on the FW190 it is remarkable how similar it's stall characteristics were to the Corsair. The P40 was the AAF ground looping champion perhaps only exceeded in that category by the F4F and the ME109 was said to have destroyed itself in landing accidents quite frequently. The P38 for a low time pilot was a handful and so on. The fact is that few if any WW2 fighters were especially easy to operate.
I have already expressed my opinion that cost is a minor consideration. As long as materials are available the difference in cost between the most expensive and least expensive fighters is not prohibitively great. None of the combatants ran out of aircraft, they ran out of pilots and fuel. The Bf-109 has so many other limiting factors based on the listed criteria (numbers 2,3,5,6,8,9) that I do not think it the best choice. If I were defending the air over my homeland I would want an aircraft that had great pilot and aircraft survival characteristics when damaged or accidently crashed (109 not noted for either), able to stay in the air for long patrols( 109 rather short ranged), and easy armament logistics (for the 109 working on the guns and engine at the same time was problematic and had more than one caliber of ammunition to supply). I don't think the 109 was very good in any of these things.Yep and don't forget cost and serviceability. For example the Bf-109 was not only a great little aircraft but it was very cheap to produce.If an airforce has equipment that require few hours in the hangar they can fly more sorties than the enemy and defeat him even when numerically outnumbered
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