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Aaron_GT
12-30-2008, 02:37 PM
So as not to derail the radar thread more thn I have...


and pronounced hein-kel zwei neun-zehn oo-hu

That was probably the best pure nightfighter (heaviest array of cannon) of WW2 of the P-61A&B, He-219, Mosquito. The P-61 was probably the best intruder in the -B version with 4 hard points, the Mosquito the fastest (depending on version).

Mr_Zooly
12-30-2008, 02:41 PM
wow so now we have nightfighter/nachtjaeger whiners, where will this end?
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif

JtD
12-30-2008, 02:45 PM
Do you rate performance only?

Or do things like production, maintenance or reliability count?

How do the radars compare to each other? Both theoretical capabilities and practical performance.

Aaron_GT
12-30-2008, 02:46 PM
On a more serious note the USAAF used A20s (P70s) and Beaufighters earlier in the war. I'm not aware of use of the Mosquito NF by the USAAF, just B models. I don't recall mention on the NF mark in any of my books on the Mosquito. The P-61A and contemporary Mosquito NF (tested against the XVxxx from memory in 1944, can't remember exactly which one) were much of a muchness in terms of performance, although the P-61A could carry twice the bombload as an intruder (~4000lb* versus 2000lb**) and most P-61A sorties were in the intruder role. The P-61C was rather better but missed WW2 service.

Hardpoints were stressed for 1600lbs bombs or 340 gallons fuel, but I don't know if they were all filled to the max.

** Theoretically, but more typically 1000lb plus external tanks on 'night ranger', or just guns plus fuel in 'night intruder'.

Mr_Zooly
12-30-2008, 02:51 PM
do we need to eat carrots as Cunningham claimed http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-tongue.gif
on a serious note i do remember that the Beaufighter was kind of dumped as a nightfighter when the Mosquito became available, that was due to the instability of the Beau while firing although that was partially cured by the dorsal 'spine' (maybe not the right word).

Aaron_GT
12-30-2008, 02:51 PM
I don't know anything about the maintenance issues of the P-61 or He-219 or the relative merits of the FuG radar. If you have information, post away.

I'd suggest the tricycle undercarriage was a good feature of the He-219 and P-61. The extra crew member could be an advantage for the P-61 but often, as the turret was often not present in WW2, often only two crew were carried.

Aaron_GT
12-30-2008, 02:54 PM
on a serious note i do remember that the Beaufighter was kind of dumped as a night when the Mosquito became available, that was due to the instability of the Beau while firing although that was partially cured by the dorsal 'spine' (maybe not the right word).

Plus when the LW started using the Dornier 217 the Beaufighter had a hard time catching it. One missed approach would mean a protracted tail chase.

Mr_Zooly
12-30-2008, 02:55 PM
also the 219 was seriously overrated, look at some of the claims made by the pilots (how could a plane of such mediocrity be a challenge to a Mosquito? (not being nationalistic BTW)).
Also didnt it kill on of its main proponents? Crash landing or something i seem to recall.

Ba5tard5word
12-30-2008, 03:01 PM
Schragemusik FTW

Mr_Zooly
12-30-2008, 03:07 PM
I dont seem to recall the Allies RADAR name during the latter part of WW2 but wasnt Jazz Music an early LW RADAR system?

Aaron_GT
12-30-2008, 03:07 PM
also the 219 was seriously overrated, look at some of the claims made by the pilots (how could a plane of such mediocrity be a challenge to a Mosquito?

Well it was meant to intercept heavy bombers rather than Mosquitoes and there were relatively few Mosquitoes but plenty of heavies. It had a heavier cannon armament including Schrage Musik and a big speed advantage over a Lancaster or Halifax, so was well suited to that task.

Aaron_GT
12-30-2008, 03:10 PM
I dont seem to recall the Allies RADAR name during the latter part of WW2 but wasnt Jazz Music an early LW RADAR system?

It was a method of mounting guns firing obliquely upwards so that an attack could be made from below. This made the target easier to see against any moonlight and the attacker harder to spot. Ironically it was pioneered by WW1 RFC and RAF NF units using an experimental triple Lewis mount on the Sopwith Dolphin. The He-219 typically carried two Mk108 as Schragemusik.

Mr_Zooly
12-30-2008, 03:48 PM
either I'm rusty or drunk http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

mhuxt
12-30-2008, 04:32 PM
Originally posted by Aaron_GT:
I'm not aware of use of the Mosquito NF by the USAAF, just B models. I don't recall mention on the NF mark in any of my books on the Mosquito. The P-61A and contemporary Mosquito NF (tested against the XVxxx from memory in 1944, can't remember exactly which one)

416th NFS used the Mosquito Mk.30 in the Med, with some on detachment to (from memory) the 425th NFS at Etamples.

IIRC there were 2 or 3 Canadian-built bomber conversions used for PR, also in the Med, though many more UK-built PR.XVIs used for various recce sorties and covert ops by the USAAF.

Apparently the P-61 comparison was undertaken against a Mk.XIX of 125 Squadron.

Edit - bah, might have been an XVII of 125, will see if I can find the reference.

Buzzsaw-
12-30-2008, 04:47 PM
Salute

The Germans and British had different roles for their late war nightfighters.

The late war +25 boost Mossie Nightfighters were designed to shoot down enemy nightfighters, not bombers. One piece of equipment unique to them, the Serrate radar detector, was designed to home in on the German NachtJager's airborne radar emissions. On the other hand, the German HE-219's radar equipement was focused on detection of bombers, in coordination with ground based radar.

As far as performance is concerned, the late Mosquitos definitely had the edge in the area of speed.

By the way, the Beaufighter was not removed from its role operating at night as the Mosquitos became more numerous. Instead it was retasked as a 'Night Intruder', ie. operating at low altitude, (where its performance was better) and assigned to attack German nightfighter airfields, and German nightfighters taking off and landing. It continued successfully in that role to the end of the war.

High speed performance was not nessesarily a requirement for success. The most successful German nightfighter pilot flew Me-110's NF's, which were comparatively slow. However, when compared to the speed of a Lancaster or Halifax, the 110's were more than adequate.

The German nightfighter pilots had much higher scores than the Allied, primarily because of the availability of targets. When there are 1000 planes flying in a relatively small area, the opportunities for encounters become enhanced. The Allied nightfighter pilots faced much smaller numbers of enemy aircraft in the air, hence their opportunities were much less.

DIRTY-MAC
12-30-2008, 08:25 PM
I think all the highest scoring aces flew the Bf110,
and it probably shot down more planes than any other nightfighter did in WWII.

Waldo.Pepper
12-30-2008, 09:17 PM
Originally posted by Mr_Zooly:
do we need to eat carrots as Cunningham claimed http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-tongue.gif
on a serious note i do remember that the Beaufighter was kind of dumped as a nightfighter when the Mosquito became available, that was due to the instability of the Beau while firing although that was partially cured by the dorsal 'spine' (maybe not the right word).

Sorry but this is wrong. The Beaufighter's star started to sink due to the greater range of the Mossie which could travel further into Germany on Bomber escort missions. This also translated into greater loiter time when on an Intruder mission.

Initially the crews did not like the position of the radiators on the Mossie. When you get close to prey and blast them, this feature was seen as a weakness due to debris.

For a time the Beaufighters were favored for use over the continent because the more advanced AI Mk X (which was not installed on Beaufighters) was being kept in reserve.

As for reliability.... Naturally the earliest sets were the most tempermental of all. Rawnsley mentions the following in his book...

"The Thing also appeared to be subject to the most amazing and infuriating number of faults. The operators knew only that these fell into two categories: those which one could do something about by administering a gentle kick in the thing's vital parts; and those which produced the Awful Smell. The latter was always followed, unless one switched off at once, by volumes of smoke and anxious inquiries from the sharp end of the aircraft."

In another book (Even the Sparrows are Walking by Laurie Brettingham) it is pointed out that ... "No 100 Group have firmly held that radar-equipped nightfighters demand concrete airfields since the vibration that is set up during take off and landing on grass airfields seriously increases radar unservicability." p 226.

Lastly there about performance of Mosquito and P-61 Queen of the Midnight Skies tells this story on p 208-209.


There always seemed to be some doubts within the War Department as to the suitability of the Widow and they seemed to be driven in their attempts to get Mosquito night fighters. Col. Kratz who had just learned first hand the feelings of the Ninth's night fighters and witnessed the P-61s performance pitted against that of the Mosquito, recalled an earlier similar experience: I was in General (Carl) Spaatz's office along with Mr. Robert A. Lovett then Assistant Secretary of War for Air. We wanted to know whether or not the P-61 should be produced in quantity. Mr. Lovett was very much in favor of it. General Spaatz was not. He said he had the performance troops fat Eglin Field. Florida) in the P-61 and the Mosquito, and they found the Mosquito to be better; and he had arranged for the AAF to get 200 Mosquitos. I asked Gen. Spaatz if he couldn't have a competition. I had an informal competition. I flew the P-61, and someone else flew the Mosquito: and we tried climbs, etc. I was very elated al the results and sent back this report to Gen. Spaatz. The P-61 was then mass-produced. A couple of months later a more formal contest was held using the test pilots. I'm sure they could get a great deal more out of the '61 than I could and probably a test pilot could get more out of a Mosquito. The same thing happened. I'm absolutely sure to this day that the British were lying like troopers. I honestly believe the P-61 was not as fast as the Mosquito, which the British needed because by that time it was the one airplane that could get into Berlin and back without getting shot down. I doubt very seriously that the others knew better. But come what may. the '61 was a good night fighter. In the combat game you've got to be pretty realistic about these things. The P-61 was not a superior night fighter. It was not a poor night fighter. It was a good night fighter. It did not have quite enough speed.

R_Target
12-31-2008, 02:39 AM
Despite being the standard USN and USMC nightfighter, the F6FN seems relatively unknown around here. They saw quite a bit of action:

http://i41.tinypic.com/2upxpo8.jpg

http://i40.tinypic.com/nzproo.jpg

Including taking over missions that the Black Widow couldn't handle:

http://i40.tinypic.com/2akbsx2.jpg

Aaron_GT
12-31-2008, 03:29 AM
AFAIK the F6F5N was also used by the FAA.

R_Target
12-31-2008, 04:17 AM
http://i42.tinypic.com/scqkhd.jpg

I would have to dig to find something on operations.

Aaron_GT
12-31-2008, 04:49 AM
I think it was used in the Med, but I don't have a citation to hand, so I can't be sure.