What if: Mosquito vs P-38

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by michaelmaltby, Jul 22, 2009.

  1. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    3,917
    Likes Received:
    625
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Toronto
    #1 michaelmaltby, Jul 22, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2012
    I confess I am not as enamored with the P-38 as some on this forum. Considering it's advantages (twin engines, concentrated firepower, and range) I don't think it did as well in the ETO as it should have. I am sure it was a delight to fly at above zero temperatures but the advantages it offered were wasted on average pilots, I suggest. In the hands of exceptional pilots .. another story .. but equally true of the Me-109, the Hurricane and most fighter aircraft. There are pilots and then there are fighter pilots :)

    In contrast, I believe the Mosquito was probably the best value, most versatile airplane on the Allied side.

    Both the Mosquito and Lightning were used as Pathfinders, both had quite a respectable bomb load, but the P-38 tackled aircraft like the Me-109 whereas the Mosquito (as a fighter) tackled night fighters like the Ju-88, Me-110, 210, 410 etc and was stalking rather than dog fighting. The rest of the time in daylight it just "ran".

    So my question to you is this: In the hands of experienced pilots which aircraft would have prevailed under typical daylight combat conditions. The P-38 has the slight advantage in altitude, speed and range (although I question the range differential if the Mossie has slipper tanks). Structurally, I believe the Mosquito is tougher than the P-38 and is trading 4x20mm cannon fire for 1x20 + 4x50's.

    In the night fighter role I think the Mosquito would have it all over the P-38.

    :)

    MM
     
  2. river

    river Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Hi,

    If typical daylight combat operations means flying high and fast, beyond reach - maybe getting into a melee with the odd plane that could get up to my height, then I'd take the Mossie.

    If it mean down low and locking horns with enemy fighters, I'd take the P38.

    river
     
  3. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Messages:
    10,678
    Likes Received:
    676
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Urban Design/Strategic Studies Tutor
    Location:
    Orange NSW
    what were the turn characteristics of the two aircraft????
     
  4. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    3,917
    Likes Received:
    625
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Toronto
    Parsifal, one of the reasons I posed this question was to discover more of their characteristics. I suspect the P-38 could out turn and the Mosquito could out-dive ... but I'd like that confirmed. They are very close in weight.

    MM
     
  5. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    6,418
    Likes Received:
    64
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    When do we start comparing the P-38 vs other long range day fighters rather then night fighters? :cry:
     
  6. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    3,917
    Likes Received:
    625
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Toronto
    "When do we start comparing the P-38 vs other long range day fighters rather then night fighters.."

    Is that a no-no, DaveBender? Moreso than comparing things that were built in quantity with things that weren't ...:)

    MM
     
  7. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2006
    Messages:
    7,359
    Likes Received:
    561
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Executive, Consulting
    Location:
    Scurry, Texas
    In typical daylight conditions, each starting at same altitude I would favor the P-38 all day long, at the end of the respective life cycles the P-38L is far superior airframe in air to air combat and should remain so at any altitude.

    The Mossie had a lower wing loading but the 38J-25 and newer ship had dive brakes, manuevering flaps and boosted controls and should turn with the Mossie even at low speeds.
     
  8. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    6,418
    Likes Received:
    64
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    Of course not. You can compare a B29 heavy bomber to a Me-109 fighter if you really want to. However it makes more sense to me to compare aircraft of the same type and produced during the same time period.
     
  9. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2005
    Messages:
    6,160
    Likes Received:
    128
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Consellor
    Location:
    Lincolnshire
    As a day fighter then the choice has to be the P38. If you want any other role then the Mosquito wins the day, but as a day fighter, its the P38
     
  10. Dark Matter

    Dark Matter Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    Messages:
    353
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Computers
    The mosquito is simalar the the Bf-109 except for its higher speed.

    The P-38 would win.
     
  11. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    41,768
    Likes Received:
    684
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    A&P - Aircraft Technician
    Location:
    USA/Germany
    What?????

    How is the Mosquito similar to the Bf 109?????
     
  12. Dark Matter

    Dark Matter Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    Messages:
    353
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Computers
    I'm sorry, I ment the Bf-110. :oops:
     
  13. FalkeEins

    FalkeEins Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2005
    Messages:
    228
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    ex- Air France dispatcher LGW
    Location:
    Capel-le-Ferne, Kent, England
    ..slight understatement there ....versions of the Mossie could carry a bigger bomb load than the B-17
     
  14. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Messages:
    3,541
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    Engineer and overgrown schoolboy
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Well OK, but Mosquitos:-

    1. Weren't composed primarily of metal
    2. They didn't have to carry 10 aircrew
    3. Or 12 heavy machine guns, each packing:-

    i. Ball turret: 650 rounds/.50 cal gun (2) stored in containers attached to hangers outside of turret.
    ii. Tail turret: 500 rounds/.50 cal gun (2) stored in bins located in aft section of fuselage.
    iii. Nose turret: 700 rounds/.50 cal gun (2) stored in boxes located outside of turret on each side of nose fuselage.
    iv. Top turret: 480 rounds/.50 cal (2) stored in containers supended from turret ring in front of gunner.
    v. Waist gun x 2: 700 rounds/.50 cal gun (1 @ each waist window stored in boxes along fuselage on each side).
    vi. 10 - 15 boxes (150rds per box) reserve ammunition

    as well as the payload.

    Both good aircraft, but a direct comparison is stretching it a bit
     
  15. Maximowitz

    Maximowitz Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    Messages:
    1,971
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Railwayman
    Location:
    London, England.
    I don't think Neil is making a direct comparison, he's merely pointing out that the Mosquito was a far more flexible aircraft, very good at any role it was asked to perform.

    Or that's how I interpreted his post anyway.
     
  16. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    6,418
    Likes Received:
    64
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    Those were design choices. Boeing could have made similiar choices when designing the B-17.

    BTW, I consider wood construction to be a negative feature. Britain did this because they had a shortage of aluminum not because wood was inheritly superior for aircraft construction.
     
  17. Dark Matter

    Dark Matter Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    Messages:
    353
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Computers
    Me too.

    I also consider fabric to be a bad feature.
     
  18. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Messages:
    3,541
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    Engineer and overgrown schoolboy
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Well
    of course they were design choices, what else would they be? The fact is, Boeing DIDN'T make similar choices, hence Mosquito primarily wood, B-17 primarily aluminium; for which we can assume alot of surviving B-17 crews were very thankful.

    I also consider wooden construction to be a negative feature, I would say its greatest achievement was freeing up aluminium for other aircraft and employing an area of the private sector in war production that would otherwise not have been. Sitting in a Mosquito that's getting thumped by German cannon must have been like sitting in something half greenhouse and half garden shed.
     
  19. Focke Wulf Meister

    Focke Wulf Meister New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2009
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    In a dogfight? Mossie vs. P-38? Or, Mossie vs. Axis Fighter compared to P-38 vs. same Axis Fighter? Or, Ground attack on the same target? Altitude? Weather conditions? There are so many variants of both types, how are we deciding which versions are going up against each other?

    I'm not trying to be an a-hole, I just want clarification of the scenario.8)
     
  20. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    3,917
    Likes Received:
    625
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Toronto
    Frankly, I posed this particular thread because it's an opportunity to compare 2 twin-engine high performance aircraft, both very versatile, that had similar features (nose armaments) range, manoeverability etc. etc. If I'd wanted to compare a B-17 to a Mosquito I would have ... duh :)

    The question I posed was whether a solid-nose fighter version of a Mosquito could hold its own with a P-38 (not the ultimate P-38F or whatever) but the P-38 as it was operating in the ETO circa 1943 - in daylight - under typical conditions - from altitude to the deck. If I had wanted to compare the ultimate P-38 with the Mosquito I would have called for the post war aluminum version .. the de Havilland Hornet/Sea Hornet.

    So far, I'm not getting much insight except that planes made out of wood are BAD and planes made out of metal are GOOD. I don't think that's necessarily true in all cases ... Hurricanes in the B of B -- which were fabric covered and had some wooden structural members -- often survived 20mm hits because the shells passed clean through without detonation - whereas Spitfires ....

    I would love HoHun to jump into this thread with his charts and graphs ...:)

    To my knowledge, the only downside to Mosquito construction was that it didn't do well in the tropics .... dry rot eh what :)

    DaveBender may consider this thread frivolous but no more so than speculating on RR Griffin-powered P-40's with 5-bladed props - which, to me, is just silly.

    Mosquitos were still being flown in military roles several years after the P-38's had all been scrapped or auctioned off as circuit racers.

    "..Sitting in a Mosquito that's getting thumped by German cannon must have been like sitting in something half greenhouse and half garden shed."

    And getting thumped by German cannon sitting in the P-38 must have been real comforting too, Colin. Those booms break up and you're in deep sh*t. Frankly, the only aircraft I'd want to be in under your scenario is a P-47 ... I could dodge around inside :) (Little joke from Eagle Squadron pilots when they were first confronted with their Spitfire replacement P-47's).

    But for my next thread, DaveBender, I'd like to compare B-29's and Sturmaviks ... you know ... in the ground support role :)

    MM
     
Loading...
Similar Threads
  1. gjs238
    Replies:
    33
    Views:
    3,341
  2. wuzak
    Replies:
    77
    Views:
    5,443
  3. Ghostdancer
    Replies:
    28
    Views:
    14,178
  4. B-17engineer
    Replies:
    25
    Views:
    9,372
  5. cheddar cheese
    Replies:
    746
    Views:
    108,520

Share This Page