Which is the better fighter, P-40F or Typhoon?

P-40 or Typhoon


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Schweik

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Here is the difference in the real world. If a Typhoon pilot was attacked from behind by a Fw 190, he really had no recourse except to try to skid and side-slip to avoid being shot until the Fw passed him. It will be very dangerous because the Fw 190 with it's large number of heavy guns has a much faster roll rate and can react very quickly to most of what the Typhoon pilot can do. The Typhoon pilot can try to turn but he has no advantage and his roll to bank will be anticipated by the Fw 190 pilot if he's paying attention.

naca868-rollchart.jpg
http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/naca868-rollchart.jpg
Consider this famous roll rate chart, note which aircraft appears at the bottom of it.

If a P-40L pilot was attacked in the same way by a Fw 190, so long as he saw it coming, he could easily out-turn it (if he doesn't see it coming he'll probably get torn to pieces by those 4 x 20mm guns). At higher speed, i.e. in a dive, (350 mph or faster) he will have a similar or better roll rate so can react just as quickly. Same for a Spitfire or a P-51. He has less chance of stalling than the 190 so he can get away with trying more things to evade.

If the situation is reversed, with the Fw 190 being the one pursued, both aircraft (Typhoon and P-40L) can follow it in a dive, but the P-40 still retains superior turning ability and can match it in high speed roll, therefore can pull lead much quicker. The P-40L can catch it when they hit sea level or at whatever point the Fw tries to straighten out or turn. The Fw pilot is in trouble, his best bet is to try to outrun the P-40 but the latter has pretty long range guns which can sometimes score hits in a long chase. Fw is well armored though and can roll very well, he has a reasonable chance of escape.

The Typhoon has the advantage of much bigger guns and is more likely to destroy or disable the Fw with a quick burst, but is also more likely to lose the Fw as it twists and rolls because the 190s roll rate is between 3 and 5 times as fast depending on the speed.

Against a Bf 109 the Typhoon pilot is even more challenged. It might be able to dive away (depending on the 109 variant) but probably not. It can't try to turn because it will be instantly owned, and it is out-rolled at all speeds by a wide margin. The P-40L by contrast can out turn the Bf 109 and will usually be able to out-roll it especially at higher speeds. Dive speed is basically equivalent, the best option for the 109 pilot is to execute a climbing turn. If the P-40L has sufficient power it can follow it in the turn at least part of the way and fire off a burst. Four 0.5 guns may be a little weak for shooting down a 190 but it's plenty against a 109.
 
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Shortround6

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I really wonder if people read that memo all the way through or stop after it says they ran 70-72In of MAP, see what they want to see and run with it.

And 70in of MAP at zero altitude and over 300mph of forward speed does not mean 70in of MAP at 4000ft with 320mph of forward speed.
Nowhere in that memo does it say that it does. It suggest very strongly that such pressures are achieved by running the engine at 3200rpm or above insead of the usual 3000 rpm limit.
I can't think of any case where an American engine was allowed higher rpm at a WER setting than at military power setting.
The memo does say the forward speed has to be enough to generate 3000 ft of ram, in other words enough extra pressure to equal what would happen if the engine was running stationary at 3000ft below sea level.

I actually have no problem with people thinking the P-40 could and did develop such power in the circumstances described.

My objection is that those particular circumstances are not a common area of flight. And that climbing even few thousand feet can cut HP (as can turing or even banking much)
Yet people want to compare this power level/speed to other planes which are somewhat less restricted. (or are in less danger of damaging the engine)

Please note Mustang running across the North Sea or Belgium Holland can actually fly quite far at 100 feet or less. There are areas of Egypt and Libya where you can do it too, (although there are few sand dunes that are over 500ft high). Once you get west of Tripoli However it gets harder to find that low/flat ground.
 

pbehn

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Here is the difference in the real world. If a Typhoon pilot was attacked from behind by a Fw 190, he really had no recourse except to try to skid and side-slip to avoid being shot until the Fw passed him. It will be very dangerous because the Fw 190 with it's large number of heavy guns has a much faster roll rate and can react very quickly to most of what the Typhoon pilot can do. The Typhoon pilot can try to turn but he has no advantage and his roll to bank will be anticipated by the Fw 190 pilot if he's paying attention.

View attachment 522542 http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/naca868-rollchart.jpg
Consider this famous roll rate chart, note which aircraft appears at the bottom of it.

If a P-40L pilot was attacked in the same way by a Fw 190, so long as he saw it coming, he could easily out-turn it (if he doesn't see it coming he'll probably get torn to pieces by those 4 x 20mm guns). At higher speed, i.e. in a dive, (350 mph or faster) he will have a similar or better roll rate so can react just as quickly. Same for a Spitfire or a P-51. He has less chance of stalling than the 190 so he can get away with trying more things to evade.

If the situation is reversed, with the Fw 190 being the one pursued, both aircraft (Typhoon and P-40L) can follow it in a dive, but the P-40 still retains superior turning ability and can match it in high speed roll, therefore can pull lead much quicker. The P-40L can catch it when they hit sea level or at whatever point the Fw tries to straighten out or turn. The Fw pilot is in trouble, his best bet is to try to outrun the P-40 but the latter has pretty long range guns which can sometimes score hits in a long chase. Fw is well armored though and can roll very well, he has a reasonable chance of escape.

The Typhoon has the advantage of much bigger guns and is more likely to destroy or disable the Fw with a quick burst, but is also more likely to lose the Fw as it twists and rolls because the 190s roll rate is between 3 and 5 times as fast depending on the speed.

Against a Bf 109 the Typhoon pilot is even more challenged. It might be able to dive away (depending on the 109 variant) but probably not. It can't try to turn because it will be instantly owned, and it is out-rolled at all speeds by a wide margin. The P-40L by contrast can out turn the Bf 109 and will usually be able to out-roll it especially at higher speeds. Dive speed is basically equivalent, the best option for the 109 pilot is to execute a climbing turn. If the P-40L has sufficient power it can follow it in the turn at least part of the way and fire off a burst. Four 0.5 guns may be a little weak for shooting down a 190 but it's plenty against a 109.
Why didn't the Fw190 pilots being chased across the channel not just turn around and blast those pesky Typhoons out of the sky? When your fantasy combat starts with one plane(your favourite) behind the other (Typhoon) and about to open fire I do believe you are loading the dice ever so slightly against the Typhoon.
 

Schweik

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Pbehn said:
Why didn't the Fw190 pilots being chased across the channel not just turn around and blast those pesky Typhoons out of the sky?

Typhoon and Fw were about equal in low alt performance from my understanding. Fw pilot could try that against a P-40 if he was able to extend enough.

When your fantasy combat starts with one plane(your favourite) behind the other (Typhoon) and about to open fire I do believe you are loading the dice ever so slightly against the Typhoon.

Dude sometimes you don't seem to be on the level.

Are you saying Fw 190 is my favorite? I put all four types of aircraft behind each other ... did I miss something? I was just describing typical combat scenarios (attacking from behind and being attacked from behind) which happened a lot in WW2 fighter combat.

Head to head, Typhoon would be basically equal to the Fw in firepower, have an edge against most Bf 109 up to gun gondola versions. P-40 is at a disadvantage but still in the game head to head vs Fw, has an edge over early 109s and equal up to gun gondola.

High deflection angles ... Typhoon has good firepower to make a quick snapshot count, but less maneuverability to pull lead or evade same as the chase scenario... and handling probably an issue too. What else am I missing?

S
 

pbehn

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High deflection angles ... Typhoon has good firepower to make a quick snapshot count, but less maneuverability to pull lead or evade same as the chase scenario... and handling probably an issue too. What else am I missing?

S
Speed, rate of climb and operating in radar controlled airspace for three. You cannot make any case for the P40 being better that the Typhoon when it is so much slower.
 

Schweik

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I really wonder if people read that memo all the way through or stop after it says they ran 70-72In of MAP, see what they want to see and run with it.

Sometimes I think you really wish neither of those memos existed! Be honest, if you could delete them from the interwebs, would you? :p

Though I have thoroughly read through both memos (P40/ Allison Engine abuse and RAF Allison P-51), I personally haven't claimed they were necessarily flying at 72" or 70" alot of the time, the other 66" and 60" Hg settings are probably more important to the combat history. I believe 66" was the one mentioned in the Med context. I suspect 60" was probably fairly routine.

The thing is, I don't see any reason to assume either or both of those memos were made up or the authors were lying. Or that they were flying in some bizarre circumstances or at the end of a dive or something contrary to what you keep implying. I think they could and did do it at some risk to their engine and down near Sea Level. Probably not just ten feet over the water either. I think it's a safe bet if they were being chased by an enemy fighter they would use this option if they knew about it.

We can't say for sure though since we have very little detail in terms of records Somebody needs to find some squadron records.
 

Schweik

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Speed, rate of climb and operating in radar controlled airspace for three. You cannot make any case for the P40 being better that the Typhoon when it is so much slower.

It sounds like you are talking about interception, but once an interception is made, one way or another aircraft are going to get into the ballpark of a shooting solution right?

Granted the interception is a different phase of the fight, maybe the Typhoon does have an advantage there. But that also depends on a lot of other factors unrelated to individual aircraft performance - pilots spotting targets, radio communication, radar as you said, relative altitude of antagonists or their ostensible charges or targets (like escorted bombers) and so on.
 
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pbehn

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It sounds like you are talking about interception, but once an interception is made, one way or another aircraft are going to get into the ballpark of a shooting solution right?

Granted the interception is a different phase of the fight, maybe the Typhoon does have an advantage there. But that also depends on a lot of other factors unrelated to individual aircraft performance - pilots spotting targets, radio communication, radar as you said, relative altitude of antagonists or their ostensible charges (like escorted bombers) and so on.
Typhoons generally did not intercept Jabos its almost impossible, they chased them and shot them down, despite the FW having a big advantage in roll rate. You have an ideological hierarchy with US fighters at the top German fighters in the middle. Your post about the Beaufighter shows it, apparently some claims are matched by records you say.
 

Greyman

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Against a Bf 109 the Typhoon pilot is even more challenged. It might be able to dive away (depending on the 109 variant) but probably not. It can't try to turn because it will be instantly owned, and it is out-rolled at all speeds by a wide margin.

Per British testing, in the initial dive the 190 and perhaps the 109 will pull away from the Typhoon, but the British fighter will catch both of them in a prolonged dive.

I haven't come across a test between the Typhoon and the 109, but the AFDU test of the Tempest V noted that the turning circle of the Tempest vs. the Typhoon was "Very Similar. Any difference appears to be in favour of the Typhoon." And later noted in turning vs. a Bf 109G "The Tempest is slightly better, the Me.109G being embarrassed by its slots opening near the stall."

So we can infer that if they had tested the Typhoon Ib vs. the 109G, it probably would not have been 'instantly owned'.
 

Schweik

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Typhoons generally did not intercept Jabos its almost impossible, they chased them and shot them down, despite the FW having a big advantage in roll rate.

Never claimed that was the only thing that mattered... ;)

You have an ideological hierarchy with US fighters at the top German fighters in the middle. Your post about the Beaufighter shows it, apparently some claims are matched by records you say.

What a bizarre claim to make? First of all, the Beaufighter was an English aircraft old chap. Bristol Aircraft Corporation. Bristol being a city in the UK. Is that where all the malice is coming from with you mate? Some kind of nationalism thing? Why don't you spell out what your beef really is instead of constantly sniping from the sidelines?

If you really think I have a nationalist agenda you haven't been paying attention. Let me be clear. I do not think that US fighters were at the top. And certainly the P-40 wasn't.
But that is an interesting challenge!

I guess it would vary year by year but my top 3 would be something like:

1935 - 1937
----- Cr 32
----- I-15
----- Ki-27

1938 - 1939
----- Hawker Hurricane Mk I
----- I-16
----- P-36

1939 - 1940
----- Spitfire I
----- Bf 109E
----- Hawker Hurricane MK II

1940 - 1941
----- Bf 109F-4
----- Spitfire V (early)
----- A6M

1941 - 1942
----- Fw 190A-4
----- Spitfire VC (2)
----- Ki 43

1942 - 1943
----- Spitfire IX
----- Fw 190A-8
----- La 5 FN

1943 - 1944
----- P-51B/C/D
----- F4U-1A
----- Yak 9

1944 - 1945
----- Spit XIV or XXII
----- Yak 3
----- Me 262

Honorable mention for top spots would include: Spit VIII, Bf 109G- K, MC 202, P-38L, P-47D-25 to M, Tempest, La 5FN, Fw 190D, and Hellcat in their various eras and Theaters.

I'd put the I-153, Gladiator, D.520, P-40, F4F, La 5, Whirlwind, P-38F through J, P-47C through D-23, Beaufighter, Yak-1 and Yak 7, Re 2002, Re 2005, Fiat G.55, Ki-61, N1K1, Ki-44, J2M and the Ki-84 in a second tier in their various eras and contexts. Most were either very good but not properly utilized, or good and widely utilized but significantly flawed in some way.

Others like Bf 110, Me 410, MS.406, LaGG-3, D.XXI, P-39, P-63*, Typhoon, P-61, He-219, Ki-45, Ki-100 I would put in a third tier of really promising designs that never quite achieved their potential and were crippled by flaws, but still did some substantial damage to the enemy (or at least worried them a little).

But you know to me, if you are still reading by this point Pbehn, I actually do prefer the second and third tier fighters, I find them a little more interesting. Depending on the context etc. More often I think that is where the good stories are anyway. And some of the fighters in the second or third tier could successfully challenge first tier fighters in certain Theaters.

* not sure where to put P-63 precisely, not really used by the US but it was a good interceptor and probably was fairly useful for the Soviets.
 
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Schweik

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Per British testing, in the initial dive the 190 and perhaps the 109 will pull away from the Typhoon, but the British fighter will catch both of them in a prolonged dive.

I haven't come across a test between the Typhoon and the 109, but the AFDU test of the Tempest V noted that the turning circle of the Tempest vs. the Typhoon was "Very Similar. Any difference appears to be in favour of the Typhoon." And later noted in turning vs. a Bf 109G "The Tempest is slightly better, the Me.109G being embarrassed by its slots opening near the stall."

So we can infer that if they had tested the Typhoon Ib vs. the 109G, it probably would not have been 'instantly owned'.

I think you ought to look a little deeper into that one. It might be closer with a G-6 carrying gun gondolas, but most variants of the Bf 109 would turn rings around a Typhoon. Bf 109F has a wing loading of around 36 or 37 lbs / sq ft, G-2 and G-4 are similar maybe 38. Still better than a Typhoon.

I could be wrong but in Northwest Europe I believe gun pod carrying 109s would mostly be up at high altitude going after the heavy bombers.
 

wuzak

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1935 - 1937
----- Cr 32
----- I-15
----- Ki-27

1938 - 1939
----- Hawker Hurricane Mk I
----- I-16
----- P-36

1939 - 1940
----- Bf 109E
----- Spitfire I
----- Hawker Hurricane MK II

1940 - 1941
----- Bf 109F
----- Spitfire V
----- A6M

1941 - 1942
----- Fw 190A
----- Spitfire V
----- Ki 43

1942 - 1943
----- Fw 190A
----- Spitfire IX
----- La 5 FN

1943 - 1944
----- Yak 9
----- P-51B/C/D
----- F4U-1

1944 - 1945
----- Yak 3
----- Spit XIV or XXII
----- Me 262

Interesting list, but there seem to be some issues.

There is some overlap, obviously.

Somehow the Bf 109F is better than the Spitfire V in 1940-1941, but doesn't make the top 3 in 1941-1942, while the Spitfire V keeps its 2nd top billing.

The Spitfire XIV arrives at much the same time as the P-51B/C, ahead of the D. The Spitfire XIV > P-51D. Except in range, obviously.

Also, the Spitfire XIV >>>>>> Yak 3. Or Yak 9. Or F4U-1.

Whether the Fw 190A is better than the Spitfire IX, or not, probably depends mostly on the altitude you are talking about. They were pretty close.
 

pbehn

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I think you ought to look a little deeper into that one. It might be closer with a G-6 carrying gun gondolas, but most variants of the Bf 109 would turn rings around a Typhoon. Bf 109F has a wing loading of around 36 or 37 lbs / sq ft, G-2 and G-4 are similar maybe 38. Still better than a Typhoon.

I could be wrong but in Northwest Europe I believe gun pod carrying 109s would mostly be up at high altitude going after the heavy bombers.
Now you are adding "gondolas" to justify an argument, it is complete BS. Yes the gondolas affected performance but so did the Typhoons cannon, carrying armament affects performance, it is this ridiculous whataboutery that drives me nutz. You most certainly are wrong because you are now talking about Bf109s intercepting bombers with gondola mounted cannon while Bf 109s carried cannon when acting as escorts where combat went down to church spire height. When quoting roll rates for the Bf109 are the wings full of ammunition?
 

Greyman

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It seems that the 109G in the trials vs. the Tempest had the under-wing gondolas. My gut tells me a Typhoon dogfighting a 109 (especially above 10-15,000 feet) would probably have been bad idea.

But again, going about things in an indirect way re: AFDU reports ...

The Typhoon Ib was (if anything) slightly better in the turn than the Tempest V.
The Tempest V was (if anything) slightly better in the turn than the Tempest II.
The Tempest II was always able to out-turn the Thunderbolt II (P-47D).

USAAF Thunderbolts were confident in scrapping with Luftwaffe fighters at low level, were they not?
 

Shortround6

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I think you ought to look a little deeper into that one. It might be closer with a G-6 carrying gun gondolas, but most variants of the Bf 109 would turn rings around a Typhoon. Bf 109F has a wing loading of around 36 or 37 lbs / sq ft, G-2 and G-4 are similar maybe 38. Still better than a Typhoon.
.

Wing loading is not everything. It is a very good place to start but it ignores the actual coefficient of lift of the airfoil and even the coefficient of lift of the airfoil doesn't tell you the coefficient of the whole wing ( in which the aspect ratio comes into play but for most WW II fighters that was not very different.)

I would note that the Pilots notes for the Typhoon gives it a stalling speed (flaps down) about 10mph slower than a P-40 with with Flaps down. the Typhoon didn't use a flap system any more sophisticated than the one on a P-40, Maybe it means something and maybe it doesn't. Approach speeds are higher but the Typhoon is still about 5mph less.
Many British designers liked those thick wings because they were high lift. If somebody told them they were not Iigh drag maybe they bought into into it because they wanted the lift to get in and out of the small airfields without complicated high lift devices. Just a thought, if somebody wants to shoot it down I won't fight very hard.

dive speeds in the Manual (all indicated) are 525mph clean with hood closed. 480mph with rockets and rails or rails alone, 450mph with bombs (up to 1000lb bombs) and 400mph for all other stores)
 

pbehn

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Many British designers liked those thick wings because they were high lift. )
As I understand it Hawkers and the RAE in the early years considered thick wings to be essential to retain the turning performance of bi planes as much as was possible, the contrary school of thought was that if you give 30MPH to your opponent with thick wings how do you get him to fight, except on his terms, from this developed the boom and zoom strategy.
 

Schweik

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It seems that the 109G in the trials vs. the Tempest had the under-wing gondolas. My gut tells me a Typhoon dogfighting a 109 (especially above 10-15,000 feet) would probably have been bad idea.

But again, going about things in an indirect way re: AFDU reports ...

The Typhoon Ib was (if anything) slightly better in the turn than the Tempest V.
The Tempest V was (if anything) slightly better in the turn than the Tempest II.
The Tempest II was always able to out-turn the Thunderbolt II (P-47D).

USAAF Thunderbolts were confident in scrapping with Luftwaffe fighters at low level, were they not?

Honestly I don't think Thunderbolts were that good low level. They were used down low as fighter bombers but from what I've seen they took rather heavy losses. P-47 was designed for high altitude and that was where it excelled. Confidence probably came from numbers.

And I don't think there is that much guesswork involved in figuring out which aircraft could out turn which others - it's basically a function of wing loading. There are other things that can affect turn, like the use of "combat" or partial flaps settings, slats or slots to help with stall speed and so on... flaps especially can be a factor. And engine power helps too but only to a point.

From what I understand wing loading is a pretty good determinant of turn radius in WW2 fighters. And everything I've seen shows Typhoon around 41 lb / sq ft. I believe Tempest V was supposed to be a little less, closer to 38. The Tempest wings though thinner had a larger wing area, 302 sq ft vs. 279 in the Tiffy.

Fw 190 and P-51 had a high wing loading too... but they made up for that by having a very fast roll rate.


The other factor is altitude, some fighters - like the P-47, were particularly good at high altitude not just the engines but the airframe too. Generally bigger planes with bigger wings did well up high so long as their engines had the turbo or two stage or water injection or whatever got them to run hot at 30k ft'.

S
 

Schweik

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Now you are adding "gondolas" to justify an argument, it is complete BS. Yes the gondolas affected performance but so did the Typhoons cannon, carrying armament affects performance, it is this ridiculous whataboutery that drives me nutz. You most certainly are wrong because you are now talking about Bf109s intercepting bombers with gondola mounted cannon while Bf 109s carried cannon when acting as escorts where combat went down to church spire height. When quoting roll rates for the Bf109 are the wings full of ammunition?

Reign it in there Francis. The Gondola thing is "a thing". I didn't make it up. I think they were removable too? I'm not sure I'm not really a 109 guy. But I do know they were made for extra firepower for killing bombers - four engined heavies in the West and Il-2s in the East. They stuck out in the slipstream a lot and they were heavy.

Maybe somebody more versed on 109s can chime in.
 

Schweik

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Interesting list, but there seem to be some issues.

There is some overlap, obviously.

Somehow the Bf 109F is better than the Spitfire V in 1940-1941, but doesn't make the top 3 in 1941-1942, while the Spitfire V keeps its 2nd top billing.

The Spitfire XIV arrives at much the same time as the P-51B/C, ahead of the D. The Spitfire XIV > P-51D. Except in range, obviously.

Also, the Spitfire XIV >>>>>> Yak 3. Or Yak 9. Or F4U-1.

Whether the Fw 190A is better than the Spitfire IX, or not, probably depends mostly on the altitude you are talking about. They were pretty close.

Edited slightly - I actually rate the Spit IX over the Fw 190, I didn't mean anything by the order initially but I've adjusted the list so that now it does.

Spit V had a lot of variants and was in service a long time, I think the later VC(2) was better than the contemporaneous 109s, especially the G's which were starting to get a little heavy.

I give P-51 props due to the escort role it was playing and very high rate of air to air victories.

I know it's not a popular school of thought around here but I personally rate the Yak 3 very highly. I think the F4U is a pretty extraordinary bird as well though it had some teething issues early on.

Feel free to post your own list including second and third tier.
 

pbehn

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Reign it in there Francis. The Gondola thing is "a thing". I didn't make it up. I think they were removable too? I'm not sure I'm not really a 109 guy. But I do know they were made for extra firepower for killing bombers - four engined heavies in the West and Il-2s in the East. They stuck out in the slipstream a lot and they were heavy.

Maybe somebody more versed on 109s can chime in.
Rein (reign) what in, compare the low level fighter Typhoon's standard armament to your supposedly specifically anti bomber Bf 109.
 
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