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Drifter_Bob
03-07-2005, 04:28 PM
The P-40 makes a lot of lists of the worst fighters of WW II. In nearly every history overview of WWII and almost every book on WW II combat aircraft it is described in an almost identical way, as an obsolete beater suitible only for ground attack, unmaneuverable and slow with the sole saving grace of being tough 'capable of surviving great punishment') and produced in large numbers.

But looking a bit closer to the actual combat history of the type, things look rather different. The most obvious example is the AVG or "fying tigers". It's well known that they had an excellent kill ratio against Ki-43 and Ki-27 Japanese Army fighters. But many people dismiss this as an anomoly, and put the credit on Chennaults tactics and the spotter / warning network he maintained.

But while the AVG experience was a success, the P-40 did poorly in other famous cases. It was considred too poor at altitude to help in the defense of Brtiain, was slaughtered at Pearl Harbor, Java and the Philipines at the hands of Zeros and Oscars in the early Japanese blitzkrieg, and many Commonwealth soldiers were slaughtered by German Bf 109, particularly the South Africans.

But the more I have looked into this, the more it looks like the AVG experience was more the rule and the disasters the exception, rather than the other way around. To start, the USAAF and CATF did almost equally well in the CBI (China / Burma / India theater) after the AVG, according to the Osprey Military book. Counting P-40 kills only, at least 40 pilots made ace with the aircraft in the CBI theater alone. Their high kill ratio has been to a large extent verified by examination of Japanese records (the author of the osprey book often cites the individual enemy pilot shot down in a given incident)

We also know that the New Zealand airforce did well with the type, claiming 99 victories for 20 losses. The Australians suffered many casualties in the brutal struggle in New Guinea especially, but also claimed many kills with this type, both in the Pacific and in the Med. Fighting for the RAF Commonwealth, they did very well with P-40's in North Africa. The top Aussie Ace, Clive "Killer" Caldwell, (he hated the nickname) scored 20 kills in the P-40, mostly of Me 109s, including verified victories over at least two German "experten". Many other Commonwealth nations pilots did very well primarily with the P-40 B/C (Tomahawk) and P-40E (Kittyhawk) versions, which was the RAF's primary air superiority fighter in the region at one point. Several dozen RAF, RNZAF, RAAF, and RSAF pilots made ace in the P-40 (counting only those kills they scored in the type), including at least four double aces.

The US 325 Fighter Group (checkertails) did very well with the type as well, claiming a 5-1 ratio. They did vastly overclaim some encounters, such as one over italy when 20 Me 109s were claimed for one loss. German records indicate the Germans lost 4 aircraft plus an unknown number damaged. Still, thats a 4-1 ratio, hardly a bad record.

Most recently, it seems from data emerging from the former Soviet Union that the Russians considered the type good in combat and their German opponents considred it a dangerous threat.

http://lend-lease.airforce.ru/english/articles/romanenko/p-40/

The Russians didn't like the P-40 very much overall because of technical problems adapting it to Winter conditions in the Leningrad front where the type was most heavily used, (largely a result of lack of parts or technical support from the Lend Lease) but when they were able to get them into the air, they seemd to cope well with the Bf 109 and Fw 190.

Here is one telling excerpt from the above linked article:

"Despite these problems, active combat continued. In January some 198 aircraft sorties were flown (334 flying hours) and 11 aerial engagements were conducted, in which 5 Bf-109s, 1 Ju-88, and 1 He-111 were shot down [6]. These statistics reveal a surprising fact - it turns out that the Tomahawk was fully capable of successful air combat with a Bf-109. The reports of pilots about the circumstances of the engagements confirm this fact. On 18 January 1942, Lieutenants S. V. Levin and I. P. Levsha (in pair) fought an engagement with 7 Bf-109s and shot down two of them without loss. On 22 January a flight of three aircraft led by Lieutenant E. E. Lozov engaged 13 enemy aircraft and shot down two Bf-109Es, again without loss. Altogether in January two Tomahawks were lost-one shot down by German antiaircraft artillery and only one by Messerschmitts."


Three double Hero of the Soviet Union recipients flew the P-40, including Kuznetsov who was a quadrouple Ace with 22 kills in the type, and A. Pokryshev who also scored 22 kills, both of whom flew the P-40 for a year.

Most of these victories were with early (P-40 B/C orE) types in 1942, at which point the P-40 apparently did as it did in many other theaters, held the ground against the enemy at a critical juncture, helped actually turn the tide, until aircraft which were liked better, and more specificially adapted to the exact environment could be found.

P-40s fought from Africa to Alaska, from India to North Africa, and more often than not, they gave better than they got. In flight Sims, P-40's seem to get better and better with each generation. They were not quite the dogs portrayed in the books even in early games like Air Warrior, Warbirds, and Aces High, even though the designers of these games modified flight models to make the aircraft fit more with the historical reputation. In WW II online, the P-40 now seems to be one of the best and most popular early war fighters. In the most realistic Sim now avaialble, Il2 and Pacific Fighters, the P-40 seems to be a better fighter than the in game description gives it credit. And yet, in all these games, only the P-40B/C and E are portrayed, and now the M in Il2 which was (like the P-40K) one of the worst of the series (heaviest and lowest power to weight ratio) The later war types like the lengthened packard / merlin engined F and merlin engined and lightened L, (which were used by 325 fighter group with great success against Luftwaffe and Regia Aeronautica fighters in North Africa) or the 1300 hp N model have never been portrayed in a top quality Sim. I for one would like to see them!

DB

Drifter_Bob
03-07-2005, 04:28 PM
The P-40 makes a lot of lists of the worst fighters of WW II. In nearly every history overview of WWII and almost every book on WW II combat aircraft it is described in an almost identical way, as an obsolete beater suitible only for ground attack, unmaneuverable and slow with the sole saving grace of being tough 'capable of surviving great punishment') and produced in large numbers.

But looking a bit closer to the actual combat history of the type, things look rather different. The most obvious example is the AVG or "fying tigers". It's well known that they had an excellent kill ratio against Ki-43 and Ki-27 Japanese Army fighters. But many people dismiss this as an anomoly, and put the credit on Chennaults tactics and the spotter / warning network he maintained.

But while the AVG experience was a success, the P-40 did poorly in other famous cases. It was considred too poor at altitude to help in the defense of Brtiain, was slaughtered at Pearl Harbor, Java and the Philipines at the hands of Zeros and Oscars in the early Japanese blitzkrieg, and many Commonwealth soldiers were slaughtered by German Bf 109, particularly the South Africans.

But the more I have looked into this, the more it looks like the AVG experience was more the rule and the disasters the exception, rather than the other way around. To start, the USAAF and CATF did almost equally well in the CBI (China / Burma / India theater) after the AVG, according to the Osprey Military book. Counting P-40 kills only, at least 40 pilots made ace with the aircraft in the CBI theater alone. Their high kill ratio has been to a large extent verified by examination of Japanese records (the author of the osprey book often cites the individual enemy pilot shot down in a given incident)

We also know that the New Zealand airforce did well with the type, claiming 99 victories for 20 losses. The Australians suffered many casualties in the brutal struggle in New Guinea especially, but also claimed many kills with this type, both in the Pacific and in the Med. Fighting for the RAF Commonwealth, they did very well with P-40's in North Africa. The top Aussie Ace, Clive "Killer" Caldwell, (he hated the nickname) scored 20 kills in the P-40, mostly of Me 109s, including verified victories over at least two German "experten". Many other Commonwealth nations pilots did very well primarily with the P-40 B/C (Tomahawk) and P-40E (Kittyhawk) versions, which was the RAF's primary air superiority fighter in the region at one point. Several dozen RAF, RNZAF, RAAF, and RSAF pilots made ace in the P-40 (counting only those kills they scored in the type), including at least four double aces.

The US 325 Fighter Group (checkertails) did very well with the type as well, claiming a 5-1 ratio. They did vastly overclaim some encounters, such as one over italy when 20 Me 109s were claimed for one loss. German records indicate the Germans lost 4 aircraft plus an unknown number damaged. Still, thats a 4-1 ratio, hardly a bad record.

Most recently, it seems from data emerging from the former Soviet Union that the Russians considered the type good in combat and their German opponents considred it a dangerous threat.

http://lend-lease.airforce.ru/english/articles/romanenko/p-40/

The Russians didn't like the P-40 very much overall because of technical problems adapting it to Winter conditions in the Leningrad front where the type was most heavily used, (largely a result of lack of parts or technical support from the Lend Lease) but when they were able to get them into the air, they seemd to cope well with the Bf 109 and Fw 190.

Here is one telling excerpt from the above linked article:

"Despite these problems, active combat continued. In January some 198 aircraft sorties were flown (334 flying hours) and 11 aerial engagements were conducted, in which 5 Bf-109s, 1 Ju-88, and 1 He-111 were shot down [6]. These statistics reveal a surprising fact - it turns out that the Tomahawk was fully capable of successful air combat with a Bf-109. The reports of pilots about the circumstances of the engagements confirm this fact. On 18 January 1942, Lieutenants S. V. Levin and I. P. Levsha (in pair) fought an engagement with 7 Bf-109s and shot down two of them without loss. On 22 January a flight of three aircraft led by Lieutenant E. E. Lozov engaged 13 enemy aircraft and shot down two Bf-109Es, again without loss. Altogether in January two Tomahawks were lost-one shot down by German antiaircraft artillery and only one by Messerschmitts."


Three double Hero of the Soviet Union recipients flew the P-40, including Kuznetsov who was a quadrouple Ace with 22 kills in the type, and A. Pokryshev who also scored 22 kills, both of whom flew the P-40 for a year.

Most of these victories were with early (P-40 B/C orE) types in 1942, at which point the P-40 apparently did as it did in many other theaters, held the ground against the enemy at a critical juncture, helped actually turn the tide, until aircraft which were liked better, and more specificially adapted to the exact environment could be found.

P-40s fought from Africa to Alaska, from India to North Africa, and more often than not, they gave better than they got. In flight Sims, P-40's seem to get better and better with each generation. They were not quite the dogs portrayed in the books even in early games like Air Warrior, Warbirds, and Aces High, even though the designers of these games modified flight models to make the aircraft fit more with the historical reputation. In WW II online, the P-40 now seems to be one of the best and most popular early war fighters. In the most realistic Sim now avaialble, Il2 and Pacific Fighters, the P-40 seems to be a better fighter than the in game description gives it credit. And yet, in all these games, only the P-40B/C and E are portrayed, and now the M in Il2 which was (like the P-40K) one of the worst of the series (heaviest and lowest power to weight ratio) The later war types like the lengthened packard / merlin engined F and merlin engined and lightened L, (which were used by 325 fighter group with great success against Luftwaffe and Regia Aeronautica fighters in North Africa) or the 1300 hp N model have never been portrayed in a top quality Sim. I for one would like to see them!

DB

PBNA-Boosher
03-07-2005, 06:41 PM
The P-40 is a d@mn awesome plane with awesome firepower. Just learn how to use its complicated ways first.

SkyChimp
03-07-2005, 06:59 PM
No question about it, the P-40 was an underrated plane. OK, it was obsolete, but still effective. In fact, it was much more effective than most realize - just as you aptly pointed out.

BaldieJr
03-07-2005, 07:38 PM
Had more P-40's been available to the allies during the BoB, the whole affair would have been finished much sooner.

KGr.HH-Sunburst
03-07-2005, 07:51 PM
No bad words about the P-40, love the way it flies i love the way it looks http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/heart.gif

its my favo early war planes and is still effective op to 1942 and can hold its own
it may not be the fastest nor the best but it got alot of character and the P40E/M with 6 .50cals do wonders in early war servers, it got good high speed control and it rolls like mad and the turn isnt that bad.
if the P40 had more speed in it, it would be a monster plane IMO http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

TheCrux
03-07-2005, 07:57 PM
Very good read by an AVG pilot regarding the P-40's strengths.

< http://home.att.net/~C.C.Jordan/Shilling2.html >

civildog
03-07-2005, 09:36 PM
Having regrettably never flown the real thing I can't give an educated opinion. But it seems to do just fine in the simulation and bears out what the real pilots of it said.

And it's the only WW2 plane that should ever have a sharkmouth on it. All others are abominations before God and man. And look stupid.

Drifter_Bob
03-07-2005, 10:37 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>if the P40 had more speed in it, it would be a monster plane IMO http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I agree, I wish Oleg would put in a P-40 F, P-40 L or P-40 N, some of these could hit 380 mph and had 30% improved climb rate and better high alt performance...


DB

blue_76
03-07-2005, 10:41 PM
well, the p-40 was outclassed, but her success goes to show its not just about the plane.. rather its about the pilot.

Drifter_Bob
03-07-2005, 10:42 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by CivilDog:
Having regrettably never flown the real thing I can't give an educated opinion. But it seems to do just fine in the simulation and bears out what the real pilots of it said.

And it's the only WW2 plane that should ever have a sharkmouth on it. All others are abominations before God and man. And look stupid. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hah hah! I agree with you, I flinch when I see tiger mouths on P-39's, Me 110s, and F4 Phantoms....

It's nice to see so many other people seem to like the P-40, I think the Flight Sim has actually taught us something here.

DB

han freak solo
03-07-2005, 11:11 PM
P-40 http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/heart.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/heart.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/heart.gif
My favorite USAAF ride!!

Monson74
03-08-2005, 12:24 AM
Agreed - the P-40 may not be the fastest, most manoeuvrable or best armed fighter but it does have atmosphere & it served everywhere so you can make many historical settings that are fun to play too. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

LeadSpitter_
03-08-2005, 12:59 AM
many of the ac considered obselete by 43 "altitude, range, top speed"

mig3 lagg p40 me109 p39 zeke ki43

These aircraft still did the job and very well in all fronts.

I mean just look how well the h75 and b239 did in finland which were considered obselete compaired to russian fighters and bomber speeds.

These ac do overly good in game becuase most people turn fight mainly under 3000m even with late war and will always get suckered into a disadvantage.

the p40 maybe slower amd have a worse climb then 109 but it had better high speed manueverability and dive speed accelaration so did the hawk75 and b239 which is a big advantage.

Mig3 at 5000m was faster then the 109g and had a tigher sustained turn rate but down low where the fighting was the 109 had advantages in speed manueverability turn and climb.


it would be nice to have some more late varients like the
p40f
109g4

pourshot
03-08-2005, 01:06 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by BaldieJr:
Had more P-40's been available to the allies during the BoB, the whole affair would have been finished much sooner. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I don€t know I think the BoB was probably fought at to high a alt for the p40 but I am sure the .50 would have been very welcome for killing bombers.(relative to the .303)

Then again if you did manage to get on the tail of a 109e it would have been out maneuvered at higher speeds for sure, the desert air force p40€s engaged 109e€s with relative ease.

F19_Ob
03-08-2005, 01:20 AM
Infact many russians liked the the p40.
It had problems yes, but was one of the more powerful fighters the russians had at the time and they considered it modern.
They especially liked the heavy armament and immediatly removed two of the wingmounted guns.
Golodnikov is one of its fans.
About the p40:
http://lend-lease.airforce.ru/english/articles/golodnikov/part2.htm

All articles:

http://lend-lease.airforce.ru/english/articles/golodnikov/
( If the links dont work ,try later)

Performancewise it could not accellerate or climb with a 109 but it was a lot better than the old hurricanes and many other fighters they got.
If it caught a 109 at an akward moment it could bring it down wich was more difficult with any of the other, slower fighters.

----------------------------------------

In the game it seems popular to pit early p40's
against later 109's and there ofcourse the powerdifference is great and the p40 have little chance, but a p40 from the same year is a dangerous opponent, although its still not as powerful as the 109.

Drifter_Bob
03-08-2005, 02:30 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by F19_Ob:
Infact many russians liked the the p40.
It had problems yes, but was one of the more powerful fighters the russians had at the time and they considered it modern.
They especially liked the heavy armament and immediatly removed two of the wingmounted guns.
is one of its fans.
About the p40:
http://lend-lease.airforce.ru/english/articles/golodnikov/part2.htm

All articles:

http://lend-lease.airforce.ru/english/articles/golodnikov/
( If the links dont work ,try later)

Performancewise it could not accellerate or climb with a 109 but it was a lot better than the old hurricanes and many other fighters they got.
If it caught a 109 at an akward moment it could bring it down wich was more difficult with any of the other, slower fighters.

----------------------------------------

In the game it seems popular to pit early p40's
against later 109's and there ofcourse the powerdifference is great and the p40 have little chance, but a p40 from the same year is a dangerous opponent, although its still not as powerful as the 109. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


Wow thanks for posting the Golodnikov quotes, very interesting, esp this part:

"Personally speaking, the P-40 could contend on an equal footing with all the types of Messerschmitts, almost to the end of 1943. If you take into consideration all the tactical and technical characteristics of the P-40, then the Tomahawk was equal to the Bf-109F and the Kittyhawk was slightly better.

Its speed and vertical and horizontal maneuver were good. It was fully competitive with enemy aircraft.

As for acceleration, the P-40 was a bit heavy, but when one had adjusted to the engine, it was normal.

When the later types Bf-109G and FW-190 appeared, the P-40 Kittyhawk became somewhat dated, but not by much. An experienced pilot could fight an equal fight with it."

Thanks for posting that I add it to my archives

DB

ImpStarDuece
03-08-2005, 04:53 AM
I think that with the current dogfighting regime that most pilots tend to stick to in the game the P-40 is in the best section of its envelope, and the results show it. I do not think, however, that the P-40 was quite as good of a machine in real life as reflected by it results in the sim. Underrated in real life? Yes it was, I agreee. But not by that much. It was still outclassed in important characteristics by its chief opponents (109 and A6M) and needed to be flown in a very disciplined manner to achieve the results it did.

Most dogfights online occur between 1000 and 4000 meters, at engagement speeds usually less than 450 km. In the heavier air and at medium speeds the Allison performs very well and the P-40 is an easy bird to fly. Its in its home environment in this kind of situation.

Most fights, although this is dependent somewhat on the server type, seem to quickly degenerate into low altitude slugging matches where speed and climb take a secondary role to instantaneous turn, sustained turn, ruggedness and acceleration. Here is where the P-40 tends to win out. With its very good rate of roll, good sustained turn, comparatively gentle stall characteristics and ability to absorb glancing hits it makes an excellent machine to be in a T'n'B fight in a European type setting. A good example is the 42 desert scenario in Greater Green where Spitfire Vs, Hawk 81s and Hurricanes take on 109s, 110s and 190A4s. If I climb above 3500 meters I have real trouble finding a fight. All the action is below about 2000 meters, conga lines and slow loops the order of the day.

Its major European opponents are usually LW types: FW 190A4, Me 109F and G and Me 110. It can turn and dive with the 109, is much tougher and has superior forward vision. The 109 does out climb the P-40 and I would feel more confident in a sustained slow speed fight in the 109 because of its superior climb and acceleration. In a coequal E situation I would choose the 109 because of its ability to use vertical climbs to build an energy advantage. In a down and dirty turn fight I would choose the P-40 mostly roll, sustained turn and over nose visibility, but I would be praying for a wingman.

VS the 190 the P-40 is in a similar situation to a Spitfire; it lacks the speed to dictate the terms of engagement but has significant maneuverability advantages. However, unlike the Spitfire it can't threaten the 190 with superior slow speed climb, loses out only marginally in a dive and has similarly good handling at high speed, if not ease of control (which can be an advantge sometimes). The FWs armament is good enough to be almost assured of a kill with a good pass, something that the 109 lacks. Co energy I would put the advantage to the P-40 unless the FW driver has some (any http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif) brains and simply extends and booms him. Short of suckering the 190 into a low alt stall fight a P-40 pilot has little chance if caught by a faster or higher FW driver. Low and slow the 190 is probably an easy target. The P-40s very good roll, dive and turn mean that even a capable scissoring FW pilot will have a hard time.

In a Pacific situation things are very different. Suddenly the P-40 moves away from turn fighting and magically turns into a boomer. Its good turn in a European context isn't that good in the Pacific. The P-40 faces opponents that are more agile, climb better and are equal in speed but very lightly constructed. However the P-40 has dive acceleration and sustained dive advantages, zoom climb advantages, and an absolute advantage in high-speed controllability, at least until faced with the Ki-61. VS a A6M or a Ki-43 the P-40 should be strictly limited to E fighting or a B'n'Z regime. Its opponents are too agile and too maneuverable at low speed and low-medium altitude for a pilot to reasonably expect to survive a turn fight. They can outclimb, out turn and out accelerate the P-40, meaning that an allied pilot is in trouble if he is low or slow.

If the community based its fighting above 4000m I feel that the P-40 would struggle, as it did in the cold air of Europe. At altitude is really doesn't have the advantages that are exploited on the deck. The way it€s used at the moment however makes it a very nice ride. I think it€s generally outperformed but does everything (turn, speed, climb, roll, dive) well enough that it can be pressed into any situation with reasonable expectations of success. Its a middleweight, a jack-of-all-trades plane. A master of nothing but an able student of everything, able to switch roles well and adapt to varying situations easily.

ImpStarDuece,

Flying Bullet Magnet... Catching Lead Since 2002

"There's no such thing as gravity, the earth sucks!"

"...war is nothing but the continuation of policy with other means."
- Carl von Clauswitz (1827)

F19_Ob
03-08-2005, 05:25 AM
One also must remember that different countries had different doctrines.

Leaving only 2 heavy mg's on the p40 was considered normal. Some yaks had only 1 mg and one 20mm cannon.
The russians also had a kind of scaring (almost fanatic) attitude, to get more of the aircraft than other nations saw possible.

Golodnikov for example gives an example in his interviews where he outclass yak1's in mock dogfights in his p39 although the p39 was generally thought of as inferior.
He got reprimanded because the yak pilots didnt understand why they lost.
At this stage he was more experienced than the yak pilots and could get the most of the p39.

BSS_Goat
03-08-2005, 05:52 AM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by ImpStarDuece:
I think that with the current dogfighting regime that most pilots tend to stick to in the game the P-40 is in the best section of its envelope, and the results show it. ECT ECT ECT[quote]

A very good post.

TgD Thunderbolt56
03-08-2005, 06:15 AM
In RL, one of the most endearing qualities of the P-40 was its radio. It's been said many times that the Russian birds (especially the early ones) didn't have radios and the air groups relied on hand/wing signals. The introduction of a good (relatively speaking) working radio elevated it to an extent in the minds of the pilots and ,in turn, made them more effective.

As far as the sim goes. I would liken it to the early P-39 in the original IL2. At first glance (and first flight) it wreaks of "dog", Slow in level flight, climbs like a quadraplegic monkey, ans will spin with little warning, but in the right hands and with adequate experience, it can be quite effective.


TB

BSS_Goat
03-08-2005, 06:20 AM
TGD Thunderbolt56 SAY: climbs like a quadraplegic monkey

Man, I can just picture that http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/34.gif

chris455
03-08-2005, 07:04 AM
I admit that loooks count for little, but having said that, I think the P-40b and c models are the meanest looking SOBs that ever flew.
Just awesome. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

KGr.HH-Sunburst
03-08-2005, 07:12 AM
Goat, awesome sig http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

FatBoyHK
03-08-2005, 09:52 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by chris455:
I admit that loooks count for little, but having said that, I think the P-40b and c models are the meanest looking SOBs that ever flew.
Just awesome. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

yes, just look at its shark-mouth nose art!!

geetarman
03-08-2005, 10:21 AM
To get a good idea of what pilots thought of the P-40, try to find accounts from the pilots in the Med.

I was glancing through a book last night in Borders that consisted of pilot recollections of the classic US WWII fighters. One ace (can't remember his name) started on P-40's in Africa/Italy, then went to SPit V's, Spit IX's, P-47's then Mustangs.

He was clear that, althought he 109's he faced were overall better combat aircraft, he could face them equally at relatively low alts. He particulary stated that he could outturn them easily in the horizontal and that technique lead to a number of his kills.

He hated the Spit V's because they had trop filters and were really slow. Also said they were old dogs that had seen better days. Thought the Spit IX was the best plane he ever flew. That said, he felt he'd rather fight in a P-40 than a Spit because it was tougher and had thicker armor plating for the pilot.

Drifter_Bob
03-08-2005, 11:47 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by ImpStarDuece:
I think that with the current dogfighting regime that most pilots tend to stick to in the game the P-40 is in the best section of its envelope, and the results show it. I do not think, however, that the P-40 was quite as good of a machine in real life as reflected by it results in the sim. Underrated in real life? Yes it was, I agreee. But not by that much. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


Very good analysis and interesting post. I agree with most of your specific points, but would add one two points to your observation, first from the historical and then the in-game perspective. First, I just want to re-iterate my point that the altitude of the fighting in Il2 and many flight Sims reflects that of many actual WW II battlefronts, if not most of them, including the Russian front. If the air force is being used in a more tactical manner, i.e. close air support and interdiction, then the fighting is going to be at low altitude. By contrast, the ONLY time the fighting is really going to be at high altitude is when you have strategic bombing going on. It just so happened that most historians believe the most important air combat which went on in WW II was the German (BOB & Blitz), then British, then US / British strategic bombing campaigns.

The Russian perspective is different, since they believe that they acutally won the war and we were more of a sideshow It remains to be seen what people will think 100 years from now.


Second, as somebody who "flew" P-40's in the Il2 Sim almost every day for about a year, I did encounter a lot of people flying using BnZ tactics, including Me 109, Fw 190, and La 7 to mention a few types. Bnz is a difficult tactic, requiring superb discipline and good flying ability. With each pass, you are playing a game that you can either sneak up behind your opponent, or do your vertical turn quickly enough that he cannot pull his nose up to point it at you in time, preferably.

Basically, BnZ works much better on those servers with no external visibility, in which case without a wingman it is much easier to get blindsided.

The P-40 is a good fighter to use to defend against BnZ though. It has pretty good forward firepower, enough to risk head on passes from all but the most heavily armed opponents (the heaviest armed Fw basically or the semi-mythical Ki84C) it's good turn and roll rate and the fact that as you say, it can take a few hits, makes it very good at getting it's nose pointed in the right direction. Once you realise you are being treated to the BnZ, all you have to do is make sure not to let yourself get "roped" into trying to chase the other plane into a climb and lose your E. You just level off and head toward your home base and watch him, and when he makes a pass you turn to face him. When he goes by, you turn again and try to catch him until it's obvious that you either can or cant. If he got away, you level off again and let him go.

One mistake on the part of the boom and zoom pilot, especially on extending, and he is doomed. This is especially true when and if their E gradually drops off and they are forced to dive after their pass to extend. Only a really good pilot flying a plane with a really good rate of climb can preven this.

As the BnZ "victim" you can also sucker them into turning a little and following you into dives, and again this is something the P-40 excells at due to the fact that seemingly, the faster it dives the better it handles and turns...

(This same trait (the good dive speed and great high speed handling) is also what makes it relatively easy for the P-40 to BnZ Japanese planes like the Zero or the Ki-43. You can dive and turn and they simply cannot follow you. If they try to follow you in a dive you can actually out turn them and circle behind them and shoot them down! I have read many accounts of exactly this being done historically)

Either way, the more the BnZing aircraft is relying on diving AFTER their pass, the more likely I am to catch them. And I usually could catch them, again unless they were a truly brilliant pilot

When you are really doomed in this situation is when you are alone and have two or more determined Bnz pilots who know how to work together...

DB



DB

LilHorse
03-08-2005, 11:50 AM
Yes, certainly underrated historically and probably even in it's time. Like so many other planes that had success with other forces (B-239, P-39, P-36) but were concidered dogs by U.S. forces I think it was sold short. Even still it had an impressive amount of success.

In game I think I'm actually liking the P-40B over the E. When you ramp up the speed with it it just gets better in the handling, especially roll. I find I'm better able to deal with Japanese planes in it than I am in the E. And that's whether I'm booming them or turning with them. Seems to do well either way.

Drifter_Bob
03-08-2005, 12:01 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by F19_Ob:
One also must remember that different countries had different doctrines.

Leaving only 2 heavy mg's on the p40 was considered normal. Some yaks had only 1 mg and one 20mm cannon.
The russians also had a kind of scaring (almost fanatic) attitude, to get more of the aircraft than other nations saw possible.

Golodnikov for example gives an example in his interviews where he outclass yak1's in mock dogfights in his p39 although the p39 was generally thought of as inferior.
He got reprimanded because the yak pilots didnt understand why they lost.
At this stage he was more experienced than the yak pilots and could get the most of the p39. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Actually US fighter groups in the Med stripped down the already lightened (and Up engined with a packard merlin) P-40L and often flew them with just two guns. I would LOVE to see an aircraft like this modeled in Il2...

DB

Obi_Kwiet
03-08-2005, 12:23 PM
The P-40 won the war! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

reverendkrv1972
03-08-2005, 01:58 PM
P-40's fine http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

gotta get the tail up early to t/o or you end up sea-sick...but once she's up and you get height can be very effective http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Saburo_0
03-08-2005, 10:03 PM
Altitude.

Alot of (English language) history texts tend to focus on Europe (western front). Where the fights moved higher & higher. After all it's nice to start with an altitude advantage. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif
I don't think Il2 handles high altitude all that well either.
Also during the early war years when the allies were on the defensive (& didn't have radar) the poor climb rate was a killer. Notice the Flying Tiger's performance in China had alot to do with the network which provided early info on enemy planes approaching.
So as a defensive fighter the P-40 kinda sucks. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif
That's where it's bad rep comes from. And the fact that axis pilots were often better trained & prepared didn't help.
As for the P-40 in the BoB, wouldn't the RAF have done even better if equiped with cannon armed 109s ?! Same goes against the Japanese, wouldn't the 109s climb rate have made it a better fighter for the USAAF ?
Just asking to play devils advocate but you do see the point don't you ?
I also recall a quote from a USAAF P-51 pilot, where he said they took the rookies on in mock dogfights, rookie gets P-51 & vet gets P-40. Guess who won ? The point was even tho you're in a Mustang if you don't fight it the right way even an old dog like the P-40 can clean your clock.

Oh & Range, which has already been mentioned. But if you have short range you need a good climb to be a good defensive fighter.

Still the original post made some very good points. But you have to remember that when the war started the P-40 pilots knew very little about the enemies aircraft & their good & weak points. If you don't know the Zero can turn circles around you....well by the time ya find out it's likely too late. Doesn't make intelligence failures the P-40s fault, but there were so many things done/going wrong early on in the war that it's not surprising the plane took alot of the blame.
Was the P-40 **** ? NO.
Was it a great plane ? NO.
Compared to the Hurri it served much longer & was more effective. Compared to the Spit, well it had a cooler paint job. Compared to the 109, all in all I'd take the 109. Compared to the Lagg I'd take the P-40. Compared to the Yak 1 ? Well the P-40 has a better radio, is probably better built (?) & can spread bullets all over the place for a long time.
One on one I'll take a Zero or Oscar anyday over a P-40, but war isn't fought one on one is it ?

See it's a complicated thing. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Drifter_Bob
03-09-2005, 12:12 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Saburo_0:
Altitude.
So as a defensive fighter the P-40 kinda sucks. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

As an interceptor, granted it's not the greatest, as a defensive fighter generally, I disagree. In a tactical defense (i.e. at low altitude) it was quite effective, if flown by a decent pilot. Witness George Welsh etc.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
Guess who won ? The point was even tho you're in a Mustang if you don't fight it the right way even an old dog like the P-40 can clean your clock. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Actually I think the point is at low altitude a P-40 easily outmaneuvers a P-51. This dogfight (the 325th did this) illustrates the limits of the plane well..

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
Oh & Range, which has already been mentioned. But if you have short range you need a good climb to be a good defensive fighter.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

The P-40 had quite long range compared to most contemporary fighters, twice that of spit, hurri, me 109, Yak, LaGG, I-16, M.200, G.50 etc. etc. Only the Japanese fighters, Zero and Ki-43 seriously out-distanced it up until late 1942 (when the long legged planes like P-51, P-38 Corsair and Hellcat arrived)
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>

Still the original post made some very good points. But you have to remember that when the war started the P-40 pilots knew very little about the enemies aircraft & their good & weak points. If you don't know the Zero can turn circles around you....well by the time ya find out it's likely too late. Doesn't make intelligence failures the P-40s fault, but there were so many things done/going wrong early on in the war that it's not surprising the plane took alot of the blame. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

True, but most of the early war disasters were really about the P-40 being caught on the ground. Even in the philipines and Pearl Harbor some of the handful which got into the air did quite well. Later, when in the hands of fairly well trained pilots and competent leadership, P-40s historically usually more than held their own.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
Was the P-40 **** ? NO.
Was it a great plane ? NO.
Compared to the Hurri it served much longer & was more effective. Compared to the Spit, well it had a cooler paint job. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'd say the P-40E was roughly equivalent to the Spit 5 in overall combat performance. I think the P-40F,L, and N were probably better, though still inferior to the Spit 9. Still, one US pilot who flew both said he thought the Spit was a nicer plane but would rather fly the P-40 in combat. Based on the imaginary world of Sim experience, I'd agree... the Spit is too fragile to trust your life too. And the short legs cause a lot of problems.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
Compared to the 109, all in all I'd take the 109. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'd take a 109G-6 or higher probably, but against any lower mark of 109 I'd rather have a P-40

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
One on one I'll take a Zero or Oscar anyday over a P-40, but war isn't fought one on one is it ? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

You should check out Osprey Aircraft of the Aces #35 Warhawk Aces of the CBI, and also Japanese Army Aces. The CBI P-40 pilots ate Ki-43's for lunch, as well as all other Army types and frequently A6M's as well (when attacking coastal bases from Hanoi to Hong Kong). They seemed to win hands down one on on, 10 on 10, 5 on 20, any combination of numbers you care to come up with....

Db

BrotherJayne
03-03-2007, 06:04 PM
Hmmm...
I think the P-40 get's a bum rap cuz its two weaknesses matched poorly with the western fronts.

Poor climb and merely good manuverability means it has trouble vs the nimble little jap planes, and poor performance at altitude makes it crappy vs the supercharged me 109's etc
However, online, from about 2000 to 1000 meters off the deck, I find it works wonders. High manuverability and decent armorment lets you smack on the 190's and 109's, and if all else fails, except vs a 190, you can just point down until you're 50 off the deck and just zoom away at 525 mph.

Of course, I fly the P-40 C, I dunno about the E etc

Copperhead310th
03-03-2007, 06:38 PM
In the sim it performs well against enemy aircraft of the same year. provided you fly it to strenghs. and that goes for ETO & PTO.
Against the 109's of the same year can can very well hold it own in all uses.

The 310th VFS & JV-44 held a Best of Three Tourney about 2 years ago.
The three rounds consisted of:
1. a graond attack mission
2. A CAP/ ground defense mission
3. A fighter sweep

and we could only pick a single type from single model year begening with the earliest USAAF model in game. and we did this for every year of the war. Our bird of choice was the p-40 untill the P-47 became avalible.
AND in every match we flew the p-40 we fought them to a stand still. and if memory serves me coorct the entire endevor was ruled a draw.

So in this sim the p-40 is very capable. When used properly.

Viper2005_
03-03-2007, 06:49 PM
P-40 had a high rate of roll at high speed when compared with both the early 109s and the early Spitfires. In fact, P-40F beat the Spitfire V (normal wing) above 250 mph in NACA868.

This really matters if you're using B&Z tactics.

Also, don't forget that the P-51 was simply NAA's attempt to make a P-40. Without the P-40 the chances are that the P-51 would have been very different if it had been built at all.

WWMaxGunz
03-03-2007, 07:54 PM
Something I didn't particularly notice many (2 digits) months ago in the Golodnikov article
is that the P-40's he talks about had fewer and different guns. Only two but those two even
synched have better ROF and less weight than 2 Browning 50's. So I expect that the plane
and performance he describes is not the same as same airframe P-40 with 4 50 cal Brownings.
We also have a P-40 with Russian engine but I have not dug into that much at all, does it
have only the two nose guns?

VW-IceFire
03-03-2007, 07:59 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by WWMaxGunz:
Something I didn't particularly notice many (2 digits) months ago in the Golodnikov article
is that the P-40's he talks about had fewer and different guns. Only two but those two even
synched have better ROF and less weight than 2 Browning 50's. So I expect that the plane
and performance he describes is not the same as same airframe P-40 with 4 50 cal Brownings.
We also have a P-40 with Russian engine but I have not dug into that much at all, does it
have only the two nose guns? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
No the P-40 with Klimov engine we have is based on the P-40E which moved the guns from the nose to three in each wing. The version they were flying was probably a P-40C.

BuzzU
03-03-2007, 08:10 PM
Good thread. I think the P-40 is a sweetheart, and it was good to see so much positive about her.

Tater-SW-
03-03-2007, 08:23 PM
Great thread.

I think it is certainly underrated for all the reasons posted. I also think that the enemy aircraft it fought against are almost as consistently OVERrated, particularly the Zero.

In the Philipines, many of the P-40s that found themselves airborne (invariably grossly outnumbered) had guns that didn't function. Why? because the aircrews and mechanics were under the false impression that the electric gun chargers were unsound. As a result, they were disconnected on all their P-40Es. The guns were charged by hand on the ground, and if the guns jammed (and they almost always did at some point), they had no way of clearing the jam in flight. Read something like Doomed at the Start and you see account after account of P-40s mixing it up armed with 1 or 2 guns working---and if not a "balanced" set left and right, we all know what happens to accuracy.

Another factor that is critically important in combat aircraft is almost always overlooked. Its logistical requirements. Reliability, ease of maintenance, ground handling characteristics, etc. Even really good aircraft frequently (usually?) lost more planes to operational losses than combat. The ability to consistantly fly more airplanes is every bit as important as maneuverability, speed, ROC, etc. That's why the Navy went with the F4F-4 to replace the F4F-3, which was universally considered a better airplane by pilots---the CV could embark twice as many aircraft with folding wings. Twice as many planes trumps each plane being a better plane.

The P-40 by all accounts was a robust, reliable airplane.

Chris0382
03-03-2007, 08:31 PM
Out of all the planes Ive flown in IL-2 the P-40 has been the most stable for me.

Pirschjaeger
03-03-2007, 08:53 PM
I tend to like early planes and the P-40 fits in that category. It is one of the better looking planes of the time and simply looks sweet with the jaws painted on it.

I have a couple of questions though. When did the P-40 first go into production?

I remember seeing a photo of a early 109, maybe a B model with the jaws painted on it. This was a prewar photo, maybe 1936. It looked good on the pre-Emil 109's.

My next question is, "which plane was the first to have jaws painted on it?" I believe this might have been WW1?

Fritz

ElAurens
03-03-2007, 10:58 PM
Excellent thread Gents!

Here is some food for thought....

In September of 1940 Pratt & Whitney purchased a complete H81-A1 airframe, minus engine, from Curtiss. They proceeded to fit it with an 1,100 hp R-1830-SSC7-G 14 cylinder, two stage, Twin Wasp Radial engine.

In flight testing the aircraft achieved 315mph @ sea level, and 388mph @ 25,000 feet.

The aircraft flew several mock dogfights against P40Fs and dominated them at each outing.

http://img242.imageshack.us/img242/61/p40twinwaspsu2.jpg

Photo and info from "Curtis Fighter Aircraft A Photographic History 1917-1948" By Francis H. Dean and Dan Hagedorn, published by Schiffer.

All you P40 guys should have this book.

jolly_magpie
03-03-2007, 11:34 PM
You know, back in the dark ages when I was flying the cr@p out of "Aces of the Pacific", I dreaded the P-40. Control was sluggish and generally horrible.

When I got Il-2 I avoided it for a LONG time. Finally I took it for a spin....and was really surprised.

Good handling, good in a dive and rock-solid when firing guns. Quite pleasent to fly! Not my favourite ride but a solid, fun to fly fighter.

WWMaxGunz
03-04-2007, 01:13 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Pirschjaeger:
I tend to like early planes and the P-40 fits in that category. It is one of the better looking planes of the time and simply looks sweet with the jaws painted on it.

I have a couple of questions though. When did the P-40 first go into production?

I remember seeing a photo of a early 109, maybe a B model with the jaws painted on it. This was a prewar photo, maybe 1936. It looked good on the pre-Emil 109's.

My next question is, "which plane was the first to have jaws painted on it?" I believe this might have been WW1?

Fritz </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I dunno about planes but perhaps it goes back to the Viking ships?

msalama
03-04-2007, 01:37 AM
Yep, it's a massively cool crate http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif I however always seem to end up w/ my butt handed to me when flying it http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

HellToupee
03-04-2007, 02:10 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Saburo_0:
Compared to the Spit, well it had a cooler paint job. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

wanna bet :P

http://www.airventure.de/aia2003pics/aia03_spitfire_16.jpg

Joonas_P_K
03-04-2007, 03:49 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by HellToupee:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Saburo_0:
Compared to the Spit, well it had a cooler paint job. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

wanna bet :P

http://www.airventure.de/aia2003pics/aia03_spitfire_16.jpg </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

And I thought p40 looked good with sharkmouth http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_redface.gif.

The small ammout of time I have in p40 in il2, all I can say it is really good in combat, even outnumbered, if you just fly it right.

Bellator_1
03-04-2007, 04:01 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Drifter_Bob: You can dive and turn and they simply cannot follow you. If they try to follow you in a dive you can actually out turn them and circle behind them and shoot them down! I have read many accounts of exactly this being done historically </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


You'd have to go really fast for that to be a possibility, atleast above 320 kts, otherwise a Zero is going to cut inside you easily with a little two hand pull. A better and less dangerous tactic was to dive and do split S's, cause just like the Spitfire can't follow the FW-190 in this maneuver the Zero can't follow the P-40 in this maneuver above 220 kts - and above 250 kts the Zero's ailerons become almost solid. Elevator forces are also heavy above 250 kts however fully manageable up to 320 kts if both hands are used.

Blutarski2004
03-04-2007, 08:13 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Bellator_1:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Drifter_Bob: You can dive and turn and they simply cannot follow you. If they try to follow you in a dive you can actually out turn them and circle behind them and shoot them down! I have read many accounts of exactly this being done historically </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


You'd have to go really fast for that to be a possibility, atleast above 320 kts, otherwise a Zero is going to cut inside you easily with a little two hand pull. A better and less dangerous tactic was to dive and do split S's, cause just like the Spitfire can't follow the FW-190 in this maneuver the Zero can't follow the P-40 in this maneuver above 220 kts - and above 250 kts the Zero's ailerons become almost solid. Elevator forces are also heavy above 250 kts however fully manageable up to 320 kts if both hands are used. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


..... With all due respect, taking a P40C versus A6M2-21 as an example, a Split S will only result in the Zero sitting on top of the P40. The Zero has superior instantaneous maneuverability under all G loads up to the pilot limit of 8G's, better sustained turn at all except top end speed, and will complete the Split S maneuver with much less altitude loss. The Zero also has better acceleration characteristics. It the P40C does perform a Split S, it therefore must still extend by diving a/o rolling into high speed turn reversals in order to lose the Zero.

The ONLY advantages of the P40C in this match-up lie in faster level speed below 30k feet, better terminal dive speed, better roll rate at all speeds, and easier control manageability at high speeds.

BuzzU
03-04-2007, 09:55 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Blutarski2004:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Bellator_1:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Drifter_Bob: You can dive and turn and they simply cannot follow you. If they try to follow you in a dive you can actually out turn them and circle behind them and shoot them down! I have read many accounts of exactly this being done historically </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


You'd have to go really fast for that to be a possibility, atleast above 320 kts, otherwise a Zero is going to cut inside you easily with a little two hand pull. A better and less dangerous tactic was to dive and do split S's, cause just like the Spitfire can't follow the FW-190 in this maneuver the Zero can't follow the P-40 in this maneuver above 220 kts - and above 250 kts the Zero's ailerons become almost solid. Elevator forces are also heavy above 250 kts however fully manageable up to 320 kts if both hands are used. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


..... With all due respect, taking a P40C versus A6M2-21 as an example, a Split S will only result in the Zero sitting on top of the P40. The Zero has superior instantaneous maneuverability under all G loads up to the pilot limit of 8G's, better sustained turn at all except top end speed, and will complete the Split S maneuver with much less altitude loss. The Zero also has better acceleration characteristics. It the P40C does perform a Split S, it therefore must still extend by diving a/o rolling into high speed turn reversals in order to lose the Zero.

The ONLY advantages of the P40C in this match-up lie in faster level speed below 30k feet, better terminal dive speed, better roll rate at all speeds, and easier control manageability at high speeds. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

In real life, or this silly game?

Blutarski2004
03-04-2007, 10:34 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by BuzzU:
In real life, or this silly game? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>



..... AS I understand it, real life.

WWMaxGunz
03-04-2007, 03:17 PM
Eric Schilling has been very clear just how large those advantages played out.

I think that you have wrong the lowspeed rollrate compare between the two though.
Schilling called the Zero ailerons 'barn doors' in one post (not here, looked like usenet)
and said they worked great at low speeds while they were hard to deflect much starting
around 200 mph and near useless at 240 mph. Of course the tactic is to never fight them
below 240 mph. In a spiral dive the P-40 pilot can change direction much quicker and
come back around while the Zero pilot is still trying to change his bank at all. I guess
he can pitch up though and soon enough slow down to change his vector if he thinks to.

BrotherJayne
03-04-2007, 03:48 PM
Spitlover's prepair to get PWNT!

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/a/ae/AVG-Tigers.jpg/800px-AVG-Tigers.jpg

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/784.gif

Blutarski2004
03-04-2007, 04:38 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by WWMaxGunz:
Eric Schilling has been very clear just how large those advantages played out.

I think that you have wrong the lowspeed rollrate compare between the two though.
Schilling called the Zero ailerons 'barn doors' in one post (not here, looked like usenet)
and said they worked great at low speeds while they were hard to deflect much starting
around 200 mph and near useless at 240 mph. Of course the tactic is to never fight them
below 240 mph. In a spiral dive the P-40 pilot can change direction much quicker and
come back around while the Zero pilot is still trying to change his bank at all. I guess
he can pitch up though and soon enough slow down to change his vector if he thinks to. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


..... Hi, Gunz. I made the statement re roll rate based upon data I have from a computer-based comparison of P40C vs A6M2-21 based upon USAF software, circa late 60s / early 70s (same author as the Spit Mk II vs 109E-3 comparison).

This analysis give roll rate values as follows:

Speed-------A6M2-21-------P40C

160 mph-----57 deg/sec----65 deg/sec
200 mph-----55 deg/sec----83 deg/sec
240 mph-----50 deg/sec----92 deg/sec
280 mph-----45 deg/sec----95 deg/sec
320 mph-----38 deg/sec----95 deg/sec
360 mph-----33 deg/sec----92 deg/sec

I'm reading these values from a graph, so may be off + or - a degree or 2, but the idea is clear.

How accurate are these numbers? Damned if I know, but the rest of the analysis seems to fit well with the a/c as I understand them to have performed.

For what it's worth ...

Termitedelight
03-04-2007, 05:07 PM
I've heard bad and I've heard good about the P-40. The men who flew these aircraft said they were a fine aircraft to fly and dogfight with. I like the way it performs in IL-2. It gets me out of situations and it could take a beaten plus gets me home.

XyZspineZyX
03-04-2007, 05:22 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by BrotherJayne:
Spitlover's prepair to get PWNT!

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/a/ae/AVG-Tigers.jpg/800px-AVG-Tigers.jpg

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/784.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The most incredble thing about this photo is that RT Smith took this while in formation, on a combat patrol in the Spring of '42, with a manual focus camera- that means both hands on the camera, and the stick was between his knees. There's plenty of fantastic aviation photos, but how many pics this good were taken by a pilot of a a single engine plane while on combat duty?? He had to wait until the planes stacked up in formation to take the shot!

3rd Squadron Leader Arvid Olson can be seen at the controls of Chuck Older's #68. You can almost read his mind:

"What the fu.."

that's from Wiki? they took the copyright off it

XyZspineZyX
03-04-2007, 05:30 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Pirschjaeger:

My next question is, "which plane was the first to have jaws painted on it?" I believe this might have been WW1?

Fritz </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Fritz, you are 100% correct. I have here a book which shows a Roland CII of kampfstaffel 36, from either 1917 or 1916, with essentially a shark's mouth, but it was called a 'whale's mouth' because of the plane's nickname. Before that, they had a whole pilot fish painted on the airspeed indicator strut

Bremspropeller
03-04-2007, 05:35 PM
I recon you got lots of head-space in there.

horseback
03-04-2007, 05:36 PM
When talking about the P-40's reputation in WWII, you have to take into consideration who, what AF, where they flew it, and when.

The Soviets didn't like it as much as they did the P-400/Airacobra Mk I/P-39s, partially because the Sovs just didn't like big fighter airplanes, and partly because they didn't have the maintenance practices that the Brits and Americans took for granted (specifically in the early-war period). Since they were receiving P-40s before they got the Airacobras, a lot of the 'lessons learned' were applied to the identically engined Airacobras, with excellent results, but the 'bad rap' that the Tomahawk/Warhawks got lingered on within the Soviet Air Forces.

In North Africa, the first Commonwealth units to get it were converting from Hurricanes in combat without a break for familiarization. Flying as they were against some of the finest the LW had to offer at the time, without a remotely comparably performing aircraft, they fell back on mainly defensive tactics for a long time, and initially the P-40 looked bad, although it was acknowledged to be a good turner with good firepower, and it could take a beating and still get you home.

Once a few outfits with good leadership allowed their hot young pilots to get a handle on the Tomahawk/Kittyhawk's virtues, its reputation improved quickly.

In the Pacific, you have a mixed bag. The Flying Tigers had tremendous success, but the Army Air Forces in the Phillipines, Java, and Northern Australia had a lot of setbacks in the first six or eight months of the war, when strategic and tactical mistakes were usually fatal, and lessons learned were not often passed on.

Once that ugly period was past, though, the P-40 units actually handled the Japanese pretty well, until the P-38 was available in numbers. Its performance was always bemoaned, but the fact was that the Warhawk more than held its own in the Pacific, and in the absence of the few early war Lightnings, no one there might have realized it had performance shortcomings until the Marines got their Corsairs.

The consensus was that it was slow to climb and accelerate, but that it had a good top speed, a very fast dive and good zoom climb for its time. It was not as maneuverable as the Japanese fighters, but very competitive in that arena by Western standards, maybe even more so against the Axis because it was so large for a fighter at the time (think tight ends like Kellen Winslow Sr compared to John Mackey) that the opposition couldn't quite believe that it could whip around like it did.

It had mediocre performance over 15,000 (Allisons)to 18,000 ft (Merlins), but at medium and low alts it was very competitive as long as you kept your speed up.

It was a beast to take off and land, especially in a crosswind. In this regard, it was certainly comparable to the 109, although its rugged construction allowed more survivors of critical mistakes.

And it looked way cool with the sharkmouth, although the F-4E Phantom IIs and the A-10 Warthogs didn't look half bad with one either.

cheers

horseback

Bellator_1
03-05-2007, 02:49 AM
Blutarski,

The Zero won't be able to follow a Split S by the P-40 as its ailerons are near solid above 250 kts and even at 220 kts it rolls much slower than the P-40 - therefore the P-40 will, like the Fw-190 did against the Spitfire, escape the Zero in this fashion. To dive and pull up with a Zero on your tail is pure suicide and will only result in you getting shot down.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by WWMaxGunz:
Eric Schilling has been very clear just how large those advantages played out.

I think that you have wrong the lowspeed rollrate compare between the two though.
Schilling called the Zero ailerons 'barn doors' in one post (not here, looked like usenet)
and said they worked great at low speeds while they were hard to deflect much starting
around 200 mph and near useless at 240 mph. Of course the tactic is to never fight them
below 240 mph. In a spiral dive the P-40 pilot can change direction much quicker and
come back around while the Zero pilot is still trying to change his bank at all. I guess
he can pitch up though and soon enough slow down to change his vector if he thinks to. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Exactly.

WWMaxGunz
03-05-2007, 04:00 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Blutarski2004:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by WWMaxGunz:
Eric Schilling has been very clear just how large those advantages played out.

I think that you have wrong the lowspeed rollrate compare between the two though.
Schilling called the Zero ailerons 'barn doors' in one post (not here, looked like usenet)
and said they worked great at low speeds while they were hard to deflect much starting
around 200 mph and near useless at 240 mph. Of course the tactic is to never fight them
below 240 mph. In a spiral dive the P-40 pilot can change direction much quicker and
come back around while the Zero pilot is still trying to change his bank at all. I guess
he can pitch up though and soon enough slow down to change his vector if he thinks to. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


..... Hi, Gunz. I made the statement re roll rate based upon data I have from a computer-based comparison of P40C vs A6M2-21 based upon USAF software, circa late 60s / early 70s (same author as the Spit Mk II vs 109E-3 comparison).

This analysis give roll rate values as follows:

Speed-------A6M2-21-------P40C

160 mph-----57 deg/sec----65 deg/sec
200 mph-----55 deg/sec----83 deg/sec
240 mph-----50 deg/sec----92 deg/sec
280 mph-----45 deg/sec----95 deg/sec
320 mph-----38 deg/sec----95 deg/sec
360 mph-----33 deg/sec----92 deg/sec

I'm reading these values from a graph, so may be off + or - a degree or 2, but the idea is clear.

How accurate are these numbers? Damned if I know, but the rest of the analysis seems to fit well with the a/c as I understand them to have performed.

For what it's worth ... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well I was wrong about what Schilling wrote anyway! According to him P-40 was faster rolling
than all its early contemporaries. I'll try and get a quote up in a following post and look
for a PM from me on getting an old thread where he discussed all of this.

Sorry for my error back there!

WWMaxGunz
03-05-2007, 04:06 AM
Well what do you know, I can paste here!

This is only for INFORMATION, I make no claims about or from it. It is one post out of a
thread of many and maybe not the best. The author is trying to be clear on a forum, not
writing an exciting book about air war. That don't make him all knowing but the terms are
perhaps aimed a bit more towards understanding by flight history enthusiasts.

Enjoy.
------------------------------------------------------

Subject: Maneuverability -- was Airacobra
From: erikavg@ix.netcom.com(Erik Shilling)
Date: Jan 31 1997
Newsgroups: rec.aviation.military

When I said that I could prove that the P-40 was more
maneuverable than the Zero, several promptly challenged me and
asked for my proof. I hope the following will satisfy their
challenge.

But first of all, one must know the definition of maneuverability
so here's Webster's.

1. To perform a movement in military or naval tactics in order
to secure an advantage.
2. An intended and controlled variation from a straight and
level flight path in the operation of an aircraft.
3. To make a series of changes in direction and position for
a specific purpose.
4. Evasive movement or shift of tactics.
5. To manage into or out of a position or condition.
6. To bring about or secure as a result of skillful management.

As you can see, a comparison of roll is the most important
attribute an airplane must posses in being more maneuverable than
another one. Turning in a tight turn has absolutely nothing to do
concerning maneuverability.
A different approach may convince some of the readers the
reason why our successes against the Japanese was so outstanding.
After reading the following, don't feel sorry for Japanese, they
started the damn war.

All of the aircraft listed below are contemporaries of the
P-40. As an added comment and question, why do many insist upon
comparing apples and oranges? One must not compare aircraft that
weren't flying on December 7, 1941, otherwise it makes as much
sense as comparing the F-16 with Germany's Fokker triplane.

The best known contemporary fighters of the P-40 were the Japanese
AM62 21, and the Hayabusa Ki-43. Germany's Me. 109 E-3. Briton's
Spitfire Mark I, as well as the Hurricane. Not as well known was
North American's A-36A, forerunner of the P-51. Grumman's Hellcat,
Brewster's Buffalo, Seversky's P-35 and P-43, as well as Vultee's
P-66.

The P-40B had a high roll rate than any of them and was. . .
16 mph faster than the P-43, however its top speed was at 25,000 ft
40 mph faster than the AM6-2 (21) Zero.
40 mph faster than the A-36A
50 mph faster than the Hyabusa, or Ki-43.
60 mph faster than the P-35
70 mph faster than the fixed gear I-96.
195 mph faster than the cruise speed of the Ki-21 Sally.
130 mph faster in a dive than any Japanese fighter.
3 times the roll rate of the Zero. the higher the speed the higher
the difference.
P-40 was 5 mph faster than the Me 109 E-3 at 15,000 feet.
P-40 was 9 mph faster than the Spitefire Mk.IA at 15,000 feet
The P-40 could out turn the Me. 109 E-3, and could out dive it.
The P-40 was not the dog that everyone seem to think it was.

One interesting fact is that when comparing top speed of all of the
above mentioned fighters at 15,000 feet, the P-40 was faster than
any including the P-38 and P-47.

An additional fact is that most combat, especially in the pacific,
was done below 20,000 ft, since the Japanese bomber usually flew
below this altitude. Therefore, for the Japanese to defend their
bomber against attacking fighter combat was actually around 15,000
ft.

The P-40B flown by the Flying Tigers had. . .
Self sealing fuel tanks. . . Japanese aircraft had none.
Armor plate that would stop any bullet fired from a Japanese
fighter or bomber encountered over Burma.
Bullet proof windshield that would stop any Japanese fighter or
bomber's machine gun bullets.
All of our aircraft were much stronger than the flimsily
constructed Japanese aircraft. A number of Zero's shed their wings
at speeds slightly over 350 IAS mph. Japanese would not even
attempt a dive that approached 350 IAS. None of Japan's aircraft
could even stand up to P-40's 30 and 50 caliber guns. It only
required a few incendiary bullet, even from our 30 cal. guns, to
set fire or explode their aircraft.

Although subsequent model P-40s did fall behind the newer model
Me.109s and British Spitfires in performance, however in every
case, each new model Zero that came out remained inferior to its
contemporary P-40.

Now why in the hell would anyone consider the Zero to be the best
fighter of the war, or even consider attempting to dog-fight with
Zero?

Hell it didn't even start out that way. . .
The above is not just my opinion, but garnered from available
facts I assume still available today. Also tests conducted by the
US military on captured fighters, as well as the outstanding result
of those who flew the P-40s when using proper tactics against enemy
aircraft.

What was truly obsolete happened to be the turning or dogfighting
combat that had been used during of WW I.

One author, writing for the Smithsonian's Air & Space magazine
claims, "The Zero to be the most fabulous fighter to come out of
the war." What an ill informed ludicrous statement. They either
never flew the Zero, never fought the Zero as it should have been,
and most likely are not pilots, nor aeronautical engineers, so how
the hell do they know.
Aviation buffs always come up with the statement that the Zero
was more maneuverable than the P-40. Emphatically not true. Flown
properly the P-40 was an outstanding fighter, especially in the
Chinese theater of war.
Actually the P-40 was more maneuverable than the Zero.
Unfortunately, those that claim otherwise do not know the defini-
tion of maneuverability as defined by Webster's dictionary.

Interesting comments by Saburo Sakai concerning the Zero:

In a short but informative interview with Saburo Sakai, Japans
leading living Ace, I said, "Commander, what was the Zero's top
speed?" His answer, "The A6M2 had a top speed of 309 mph. and a
maximum allowable dive speed of 350 mph. It became extremely heavy
on the controls above 275 mph, and approaching 350 mph, the Zero's
controls were so heavy it was impossible to roll. A further
comment by Sakai was that the skin on the wings started to wrinkle,
causing the pilot great concern, since a number of Zero's had shed
their wings in a dive." A captured Zero tested by Americans
military, showed its top speed to be 319 mph, this was a later
model, the AM6M5, and was tested without guns or ammunition.
Therefore Saburo Sakai's statement that the top speed of the A6M2
and A6M3 of 309 mph would seem correct.)
Compare this to the P-40's 355 mph, and he the maximum
allowable dive speed of 480 mph, (occasionally our pilots dove as
fast as 510 mph) 130 mph faster than the Zero. The P-40's roll
rate at 260 mph was 96 degrees per second, three times that of the
Zero's mere 35 degrees at the same speed.
Japanese pilots were taught the antiquated importance of
Dogfighting, or turning combat as used in WW I. Unfortunately our
military pilots were taught the same thing, dogfighting. But the
Americans didn't have the equipment with which to be successful.
When the Japanese encountered Chennault's hit and run tactics, they
were at loss. It wasn't in their book, and they didn't know how to
handle the situation. Even Tokyo Rose complained bitterly on one
of her English language broadcast, saying that the Americans were
coward and afraid to stay and fight..........

If you have stuck with me this far I'll comment on the tumble
and the Bell P-39 and the P-51's high speed stall problem in a
future posting, assuming of course for those who may be interested.

Also there are those including Dan Ford, a frequent visitor on
this net, who say the AVG never fought the Zero. I believe I have
undisputable proof that we did, but will also post this information
in a sperate posting.


Regards,

Erik

WWMaxGunz
03-05-2007, 04:23 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Bellator_1:
Blutarski,

The Zero won't be able to follow a Split S by the P-40 as its ailerons are near solid above 250 kts and even at 220 kts it rolls much slower than the P-40 - therefore the P-40 will, like the Fw-190 did against the Spitfire, escape the Zero in this fashion. To dive and pull up with a Zero on your tail is pure suicide and will only result in you getting shot down.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by WWMaxGunz:
Eric Schilling has been very clear just how large those advantages played out.

I think that you have wrong the lowspeed rollrate compare between the two though.
Schilling called the Zero ailerons 'barn doors' in one post (not here, looked like usenet)
and said they worked great at low speeds while they were hard to deflect much starting
around 200 mph and near useless at 240 mph. Of course the tactic is to never fight them
below 240 mph. In a spiral dive the P-40 pilot can change direction much quicker and
come back around while the Zero pilot is still trying to change his bank at all. I guess
he can pitch up though and soon enough slow down to change his vector if he thinks to. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Exactly. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Except that I was wrong at least about the low speed roll rate differences.

Bellator_1
03-05-2007, 07:04 AM
Well I didn't really pay much notice to that as it was my point all along that the P-40 possessed a higher roll rate.

Blutarski2004
03-05-2007, 07:13 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> Originally posted by Bellator_1:
The Zero won't be able to follow a Split S by the P-40 as its ailerons are near solid above 250 kts and even at 220 kts it rolls much slower than the P-40 - therefore the P-40 will, like the Fw-190 did against the Spitfire, escape the Zero in this fashion. To dive and pull up with a Zero on your tail is pure suicide and will only result in you getting shot down. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

and

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> You'd have to go really fast for that to be a possibility, atleast above 320 kts, otherwise a Zero is going to cut inside you easily with a little two hand pull. A better and less dangerous tactic was to dive and do split S's, cause just like the Spitfire can't follow the FW-190 in this maneuver the Zero can't follow the P-40 in this maneuver above 220 kts - and above 250 kts the Zero's ailerons become almost solid. Elevator forces are also heavy above 250 kts however fully manageable up to 320 kts if both hands are used. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


..... I think that choice of evasion tactics for the P40 would have depended a great deal upon the tactical situation - i.e.: speeds, difference in speeds, separation distance, and altitude.

If both a/c are slow and the separation distance short, then I must agree that a Split S is to be preferred as an escape maneuver. The first order of business for the P40 would be to get out of the Zero's sight picture. The P40 still has a modest roll rate superiority at low speed, so can get into the Split S more quickly. Since the P40 could enter the Split S more quickly, it would gain time to accelerate in the dive, thus cancelling the Zero's acceleration advantage as low speeds. But the P40 must follow the Split S with a long diving extension in order to gain gain complete separation and speed. If the P40 simply executes the Split S and levels out, the pursuing Zero, which will lose less height executing its own Split S, will end up both above and behind the P40.

If both a/c are slow, but with a lengthy distance separating them, the P40 could gain separation simply by entering a shallow dive, then rolling into a turn when speed had been built up.

If both a/c are fast, then the P40 could exploit its 3:1 superiority in roll rate by mean of bank reversals or a combination of shallow dive and turn or bank reversal. So long as the P40 keeps speed up, the Zero has no counter and the P40 pilot will lose less altitude.

To sum up, I do agree that a Split S would be the preferable evasion tactic - under certain tactical conditions.

Bellator_1
03-05-2007, 07:35 AM
I agree completely.

In a close fight the P-40 would have to do Split S's, which means several, not just one, otherwise the end result is as you explained - the Zero being above and behind, and on top of that with greater speed as-well because of its better acceleration and speed retention in maneuvers.

WWMaxGunz
03-05-2007, 07:55 AM
In a diving fight (the Zero follows) the P-40 would be able to reverse much faster and
might gain the advantage doing so. Maybe the best part of a sim is you can try without
risk.

horseback
03-05-2007, 10:01 AM
US evaluations of the Zero noted that the controls stiffened up considerably above 200 knots, and became almost immobile at 240. That would be for an average well-fed American male of the early 1940s, 175cm (5'9") tall, weighing 75kg (165 lbs).

If you consider that the average Japanese male in 1941 was 158cm tall (5'2") and weighed less than 57kg (125 lbs), I suspect that the stiffening and immobility may often have begun sooner in combat.

While the ailerons of the Zero were 'like barn doors', they had to be moved against the airstream with muscle power. Between size and diet advantages, the average Allied pilot was going to be able to exert more strength to his control surfaces than his Japanese counterpart, and he was unlikely to tire sooner, even flying the early war fighters like the P-40 or Wildcat.

cheers

horseback

Bellator_1
03-05-2007, 11:23 AM
You may be surprised to know that American pilots in general weren't all that big or heavy, and the Japanese pilots definitely weighed more than 57 kg, try with 65 kg while the average US pilot probably weighed around 70 kg - Japanese pilots were well fed and fit, and exercise was carried alot more frequently amongst Japanese pilots than US pilots, so their strenght would've been atleast the same.

Also the longer you operate an a/c with stiff controls the more you and your body gets accustomed to it and Vice Versa.

Bellator_1
03-05-2007, 11:33 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by WWMaxGunz:
In a diving fight (the Zero follows) the P-40 would be able to reverse much faster and
might gain the advantage doing so. Maybe the best part of a sim is you can try without
risk. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes, but a straight pull out is going get you killed, unless you're going absolutely ballistic ofcourse. IIRC Saburo Sakai told of an episode where he went past 400 mph in a dive with the Zero, he very nearly didn't make it out alive - took a good deal of altitude to level out.

Blutarski2004
03-05-2007, 11:42 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Bellator_1:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by WWMaxGunz:
In a diving fight (the Zero follows) the P-40 would be able to reverse much faster and
might gain the advantage doing so. Maybe the best part of a sim is you can try without
risk. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes, but a straight pull out is going get you killed, unless you're going absolutely ballistic ofcourse. IIRC Saburo Sakai told of an episode where he went past 400 mph in a dive with the Zero, he very nearly didn't make it out alive - took a good deal of altitude to level out. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


..... I recall reading some commentary by Sakai regarding the Kamikaze campaign of the late war. Kamikaze attack doctrine was for a steep dive from altitude into the deck of the target ship. Sakai disagreed and recommended a shallow diving tactic. He believed that green pilots, barely trained in high-performance a/c, would be unable to maintain proper control of their a/c a steep dive. Sakai was convinced that many of the Japanese a/c seen diving straight into the sea without any apparent attempt at maneuver were being lost to over-speeding in the dive and its attendant control lock-up and not to AA fire.

Interesting sidelight.

horseback
03-05-2007, 12:08 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Bellator_1:
You may be surprised to know that American pilots in general weren't all that big or heavy, and the Japanese pilots definitely weighed more than 57 kg, try with 65 kg while the average US pilot probably weighed around 70 kg - Japanese pilots were well fed and fit, and exercise was carried alot more frequently amongst Japanese pilots than US pilots, so their strenght would've been atleast the same.

Also the longer you operate an a/c with stiff controls the more you and your body gets accustomed to it and Vice Versa. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Read Sakai's autobio, and take a look at Allied efforts to interdict Japanese supplies from mid '42 onwards. Better yet, read Toland's Rising Sun. The Japanese frontline forces were feeling the pinch before Guadalcanal, and it got progressively worse. Most pilots were enlisted men, and the Japanese system made few allowances for duties when it came to divvying up the food.

As for the size advantages, height is more important for leverage advantages than weight, and regardless of how 'used' one becomes to heavier controls, the fact remains that they still are a lot more work, and an extended fight favors the larger, stronger, better fed man, especially if he's operating with lighter control forces.

As for your appraisal of US pilots' exercise habits, I'd suggest that while there was little in the way of organized calisthenics, the energies of young guys in their early twenties almost inevitably leads to lots of exercise in the form of play & impromptu sports, even aboard ship. I spent three years on a US Navy fast frigate during the seventies (before the 'fitness standards'), and NOBODY got soft and fat during extended periods at sea.

Before the days of shipboard TV, Gameboys and the like, any distraction after your watch hours was eagerly sought after, and we spent a lot of time in wrestling matches, pullup contests, and 'shuttle races' (these required a passageway that had very limited traffic to be conducted safely). I can guarentee that US carrier pilots (some of the most competitive personalities I've ever met were fighter pilots) did not spend all their time aboard ship smoking Lucky Strikes and drinking coffee, and I cannot imagine Army Air Force pilots being any different. I know that USAAF pilots stationed in Britain were all issued bicycles to get around base, which led to 'jousting tournaments' and worse, besides the usual races.

Of course, all that sort of activity doesn't fit too well with our sober Puritan ideals, so it wasn't often made part of the public record, and may have seemed a bit immature for one's steely-eyed fighter pilot persona when writing memoirs.

cheers

horseback

Bellator_1
03-05-2007, 12:39 PM
The situation was very different for the Japanese pilots compared to the foot soldiers, the pilots were more often than not well fed and fit - they were the most important, they were the Samurai of the day.

The foot soldiers on the other hand were turning very skinny nearing the end of the war..

And yes if you fly an a/c with heavy controls regularly you'll automatically grow stronger physically in the areas in the most of strain - German and Finnish pilots experienced the same, and didn't complain about the, according to british pilots, heavy controls of the 109 at very high speeds - Finnish pilots noting that not until over 700 km/h did it become troublesome.

As to exercise, well ofcourse Allied pilots played sports when'ever they had the opportunity to do so, however the Japanese carried out exercise regularly, exercise made specifically to get you fit.

horseback
03-05-2007, 03:15 PM
1. It's hard to be "better fed" when there is NO food. Again, I refer you to Toland and Sakai. Pilots at forward outposts like Rabaul and island bases where they were unable to grow their own food were not particularly well fed, and once the general program of choking off supply lines to Japan itself, nobody was eating well.

2. While one may not complain about a difference one is not aware of or assumes will not change, it still has a negative effect. I competed in endurance sports for a good part of my life, and while you may get used to an extra weight or resistance penalty, it is still wearing you down faster than the guy with no penalty who has worked just as hard (and may have built in advantages like size-check out the dimensions of the majority of world-class swimmers for instance).

3. I'd question your charactorization of the Japanese exercise regime. As a high school and AAU athlete in the late sixties-early seventies, I can attest that there were some really bad ideas floating around out there, especially about hydration (really critical for a distance runner in Arizona, as you can imagine) and recovery time.

As recently as the last decade, American players in the Japanese baseball leagues had tremendous issues with Japanese conditioning practices, with a clear emphasis on the old fashioned 'whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger' ethos. The concepts of working smarter, getting adequate rest, and so on hadn't crossed the Pacific yet. My old cross-country coach would have fit right in there...but the fact remains that 'exercise' in the absence of adequate diet and rest is an excellent recipe for anerexia, not stronger and fitter pilots.

cheers

horseback

ElAurens
03-05-2007, 03:52 PM
I suggest reading "Fire In The Sky". Through out the New Guinea campaign the limiting factor for number of aircraft up on a given day was not servicable aircraft, but rather the lack of healthy pilots, on both sides.

The South West Pacific was a terrible place to fight a war.

cawimmer430
03-06-2007, 03:00 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by CivilDog:

And it's the only WW2 plane that should ever have a sharkmouth on it. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

...which was copied from the German BF-110's. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Pinker15
03-06-2007, 04:12 AM
Here is I think interesting example of fight between P40 and Reisen showing that manovering fight was possible and could be succesfull.

http://www.elknet.pl/acestory/urbano/urbano.htm

ViktorViktor
03-06-2007, 01:01 PM
ElAurens writes:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I suggest reading "Fire In The Sky". Through out the New Guinea campaign the limiting factor for number of aircraft up on a given day was not servicable aircraft, but rather the lack of healthy pilots, on both sides.

The South West Pacific was a terrible place to fight a war.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The U.S. had DDT and so could get rid of the mosquito (malaria) problem while the Japanese didn't, so I'm surprised to hear that Americans were equally crippled by disease. Did I understand that right ?

BrotherJayne
03-06-2007, 01:05 PM
"On Killing" attributes the equality despite diet and DDT to willpower
:-P

Tater-SW-
03-06-2007, 02:12 PM
Actually the principal solution to the Malaria problem was pharmaceutical. Unfortunately, while the drug (Atabrine) was in good supply for the US forces, there was a rumor (untrue) that it caused sterility. The troops elected (in very large numbers) not to take the malarial prophylaxis.

M_Gunz
03-06-2007, 10:01 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Bellator_1:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by WWMaxGunz:
In a diving fight (the Zero follows) the P-40 would be able to reverse much faster and
might gain the advantage doing so. Maybe the best part of a sim is you can try without
risk. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes, but a straight pull out is going get you killed, unless you're going absolutely ballistic ofcourse. IIRC Saburo Sakai told of an episode where he went past 400 mph in a dive with the Zero, he very nearly didn't make it out alive - took a good deal of altitude to level out. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

If I'm spiraling down right and he is following at 240+ mph then I can make a switch to
left and reverse that before he has a chance to change his course much.

Just suggesting a tactical maybe based on maneuver by the dictionary definition Schilling
showed and discussed. I really doubt that unless done in a crass manner that I would lose
parts. OTOH, if I yanked off on the diagonal while mashing the rudder then it's oh well,
cya on the other side!

Bellator_1
03-07-2007, 08:38 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by M_Gunz:
If I'm spiraling down right and he is following at 240+ mph then I can make a switch to
left and reverse that before he has a chance to change his course much.

Just suggesting a tactical maybe based on maneuver by the dictionary definition Schilling
showed and discussed. I really doubt that unless done in a crass manner that I would lose
parts. OTOH, if I yanked off on the diagonal while mashing the rudder then it's oh well,
cya on the other side! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Exactly right.

With a Zero on your tail, and the speed above 240 mph, the smartest maneuver in the P-40 was to dive and do split S's - however nomatter the speed trying looping or level turns against the Zero and you would only succeed in getting shot down.

gregpeters
03-09-2007, 09:03 PM
Hi all
great to see this thread. If this flight sim can at last change the almost universal view that the P40 was rubbish, then Oleg & his pals deserve a medal.
Very strange things humans are . Seems they need something to call "bad" just to balance all the other things they call good. Among WWII allied planes, the P40 was somehow given the "bad" role -and everyone followed like sheep.

Tho I never flew, I was brought up among pilots. Both old pilots and new pilots who knew P40s (the latter in rebuilt warbirds) say it was magic to fly - like an extension of your own body. Of course, it was not good at altitude etc, but every plane had its problems.

In 1979, I visited the Smithsonian air museum. A big thrill for me - as I live in Australia. so, I looked at every plane they had, included some parked in a lonely hangar in outer Washington. They had a P40 there, which I photographed. Disappointing to me was that the tour guide was just another sheep! He said: "this plane wasnt much good - only thing you could say in its favour is there were plenty of 'em". The whole tour group looked pityingly at the poor dismal aircraft before them, and to a man, nodded in solemn agreement!!! I almost spoke up in defence of the poor thing - but feared the "expert guide" would "shoot me down in flames". seems his side had me outnumbered, anyway!

Thanks to you guys and this great flight sim - maybe the world will get to appreciate the P40 at last.
I'm off now to fly a solid nose B25. yours....

Ruy Horta
03-10-2007, 01:32 AM
Has the P-40 really been so "underrated"?

Always thought the reverse opinion to be more prevalent.

The P-36 and P-40 were the best fighters the US could field in any numbers in the early part of the war (as in 1939-1941). Not great, but steady performers. They may have lacked the finesse of either Spitfire or Messerschmitt, but certainly could hold their own in experienced hands. The model was never a world beater though, regardless of AVG legend.

Once the US started the offensive in serious strength, the P-40 had been surpassed by superior types that have captured the imagination of the ordinary people*.

Don't get me wrong, I love all of Curtiss' Hawks. Would love to see a flyable H-75 / P-36 in this game (or the next - Battle of France perhaps).

*reading biographies and histories of the less ordinary I'm always struck by the irony that some early types are described as "old" and "worn off" whereas they were acually pretty new but just not great performers (this ranges from F2A, SB2U to TBD or lets say B-18, but even the P-40 falls under this category sometimes).

horseback
03-10-2007, 11:39 AM
Maybe it would be more appropriate to say that the P-40 was underrated by its opposition. Even when they were consistantly getting their heads handed to them by P-40E/K/M opponents, Japanes Oscar and Zero pilots were contemptuous of the P-40.

Similarly, the Germans facing the first US-flown P-40 units appear to have underestimated them, as well (and here, of course, we should point out that the Merlin engines in those P-40F and L models provided a bit of extra 'oomph' to go with the American pilots' greater aggression & unexpected skills).

A skilled P-40 driver would be mindful of its shortcomings versus the opposition, but very quick to make the most of its virtues. An opponent who ignored the Warhawk's relative strengths did so at his peril.

cheers

horseback

ViktorViktor
03-10-2007, 12:34 PM
Well, OK, maybe the P40 wasn't all that bad after all. And the P39 wasn't bad either, if you flew it according to its strengths.

What fighters of WWII were actually second rate, then ? (and not because it was used after it became obsolete)

Xiolablu3
03-10-2007, 12:46 PM
I always thought of the P40 as the 'US Hurricane', in that its performance wasnt startling in the period it was used 1941/42, just like the Hurricane 39/41, however it was just about good enough to enable it to hold its own.

Both planes were real workhorses, and although their performance wasnt up to the enemies standards, good brave pilots enabled it to hold back the Luftwaffe and give air support to the troops regardless.

Both the Hurri and P40 were invaluable in the early period of the war. They sure 'did their bit'.

Flying P40's vs 109F4s/G2 or Hurricanes vs Emils/F4's is tough, but a good pilot using teamwork can certainly pull it off. Its a real good challenge.

Ruy Horta
03-11-2007, 02:48 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by horseback:
Similarly, the Germans facing the first US-flown P-40 units appear to have underestimated them, as well (and here, of course, we should point out that the Merlin engines in those P-40F and L models provided a bit of extra 'oomph' to go with the American pilots' greater aggression & unexpected skills). </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Interesting point which I would love to investigate a little deeper, any sources for these claims?

- underestimation of US P-40
- American pilots' greater aggression & unexpected skills

I expect that these should be possible to trace to German sources eventually, but I'd like a starting point.

gregpeters
03-11-2007, 06:51 AM
hi all
regarding comment
"we should point out that the Merlin engines in those P-40F and L models provided a bit of extra 'oomph' "

it can be argued the Merlins in these P40s made virtually no difference, because they were already-superseded Merlin models.
Evidence for this,
from Don Berlin, designer of the P36 & P40:
Don said that he went to England in 41 to gather data. While there, he saw the new Merlin 60 being test run. However, Berlin's campaign to get the Merlin 60 (in production known as Merlin 61, or later, V-1650-3 in the USAF) was unsuccessful. During the latter half of 41,..the packard motor company was cranking up production of the Merlin 28 (V-1650-1)....This engine, which was only marginally better than (the Alison) then being installed in the P40-E, was offered to Curtiss", and went into the P40F (& L). Berlin says: "I was never told why we couldnt have the Merlin 60 instead of the 28, although the engine we needed later went into the P-51..."
For this & other reasons Don Berlin was disillusioned, and left Curtiss about then.

There was one other attribute of all Merlins that even P40 pilots who later switched to Mustangs complained of. The Alison used 100% glycol for coolant, whereas the Merlin used a glycol/water mixture. The water lowered the boiling temp to 160C - which was approachable under stress. Even a small bullet in a coolant pipe could empty all this hi-pressure, near-boiling coolant much quicker than it did with the Alison. So, with the Alison engine, you could cop a round or two in the engine compartment & often get home before it seized! [Oleg - this is one thing the P40 engine damage model should reflect!]

the above comes from a book called "P40 Hawks at War" Christy & Ethell, pub.Ian Allan, London, 1979, & some other sources.

yours, &
up the Alison-engined P40!!!