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OldPepper
02-19-2005, 11:29 AM
Anyone out there really like the P-39? It's a strange bird for sure.

In fighter vs fighter, is there anything in particular it does very well or very poorly? It sure has an ugly stall characteristic!

I somehow have the feeling this plane is an odd-ball and seldom see people flying them. With such great armament and speed, why is it left on the ground so often?

3.JG51_BigBear
02-19-2005, 11:40 AM
In the original Il2 this plane saw all kinds of use because it was one of the few on the red side that had anysort of altitude fighting ability and could sustain a fairly fast dive. I used it much like a would a P-51 or a FW. Its a heavy, strong fighter, with good armament so it lends itself to energy tactics and boom and zooming. Just get yourself above the fight, select a target and dive. Use your energy from the dive to climb away and prepare to do it again. The P-39 also turns decently which adds for a little more flexibility in your attacks. Instead of having to break off at a quart of a turn you might be able to follow the bogey through up to a half a turn depending on the situation.

Stiglr
02-19-2005, 11:41 AM
In IL-2, I'd say, enjoy its overmodelled capabilities to the fullest.

A lot of history says it was truly a dog. The Russians did fairly well with it, so I suppose it had something to recommend it...

Anyway, the plane has a very good roll rate and that nasty stall characteristic is the other side of that 2-edged sword. It's inherently unstable, but once you learn how, that can be used to your advantage.

The plane turns very well, dives well, and is fast. And that big 37mm gun in the nose can really ruin somebody's day FAST.

Overall, though, I feel it's well overmodelled in this sim, and has been for a long time. It seems to hold onto energy far too well, climb too well (as this was one of its main shortcomings), and I don't believe it's CoG is subject to change as the 37mm ammo is depleted (which was definitely a factor with its already twitchy flight dynamics). The result is a plane that is decidedly too maneuverable overall, especially in the vertical. It can pull up and zoom into planes with an altitude advantage and not suffer much for it; and if it has alt to begin with, it can be a holy terror, reminding you of La5FN or La7-class planes.

3.JG51_BigBear
02-19-2005, 11:47 AM
I don't know if I'd say its all that bad. The Russian versions of the plane seem to have had a good amount of their armour removed which could explain a lot of the planes performance. Also, the US P-39 pilots had to contend with Zeros and Ki43s using dogfighting tactics very much based on WW1 era combat. Most pilots during the early war period in the Army Air Corp, Navy or Marines hadn't figured out how to best used their aircraft. The Russians on the other hand, fought at low altitude where the P-39 was best suited while the German A/C had the advantage at mid to high altitude and isntead of flying against planes with unbelievable turn performance they were fighting against German AC with what I would consider average turning performance.

PBNA-Boosher
02-19-2005, 12:59 PM
Use the MG's to track the target, only use the 37 when you're perfectly sure of a hit, only use it as a way to finish off planes you've crippled. The MG's can cripple very well.

Stiglr
02-19-2005, 01:17 PM
Well, BigBear, Dmitry Loza, in his book Attack of the Airacobras suggests that Pokryshkin and his lot enjoyed their success with the P-39 AT ALTITUDE, 4km and above. And that they used stairstep formations so they had a chance to dive in on Stuka and Heinkel formations, and have some elements covering others from above.

They were merely smart enough to bother to get alt with the Cobras before going out looking for trouble, and began to embrace good large element tactics.

Of course, this would likely work for any fighter.

3.JG51_BigBear
02-19-2005, 02:00 PM
In JG26 Top Guns of the Luftwaffe, part of the unit is sent East and has to get orientated to few combats occuring over 10000ft, about 3000M, and most combats taking place far below that altitude. The JG54 pilots that went West were so unused to high altitude combat that Priller refused to make them operational. I would think then that Loza is the exception rather than the rule. Climbing to four thousand meters before engaging the enemy would give Loza and his p-39 a significant energy advantage that could be used quite effectively against German AC flying at say 2500M looking for other Soviet aircraft like Yaks, Il2s, and other P-39s flown by less savy pilots operating at around 1000M.

Stiglr
02-19-2005, 02:34 PM
Loza's an author, not a pilot. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Anyway, yes, your point is well taken, I was just answering your assumption that P39s were used as low level fighters. They weren't always.

In IL-2, I still feel that the P-39s retain energy FAR too well, giving them the ability to not only use an energy advantage to thier benefit, but to OFFSET that same advantage held by other planes. And, even though they're still twitchy, they seem to be free of a lot of the vices I've read associated with the P-39. At the height of the 'Cobra's "sudden popularity" in IL-2/FB 2.0, I took one for a spin and was amazed at what I was able to do with one, especially when I had also flown one of the original IL-2 versions, where I was hard pressed to keep it in the air.

VW-IceFire
02-19-2005, 03:19 PM
Stiglr, the P-39 has lost quite a bit since those days. I remember it had an awesome roll rate and great turn as well as energy retention.

Some of that energy retention is still present but the roll rate is now moderate (on the Q models) to slow (on the D) and the turn isn't quite what it used to be.

Its not a bad plane but its not a great one either. The D model is a nice piece of history but I'm torn between it and the P-40E when it comes to early war USAAF flying.

3.JG51_BigBear
02-19-2005, 03:54 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Stiglr:
Loza's an author, not a pilot. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gifI just assumed he was a pilot.

jurinko
02-19-2005, 04:12 PM
it is fairly maneuvrable at medium speeds, but at high speeds alas the controls locks. Few times I escaped by steep dive which P-39 behind me did not managed to pull out http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif
against Zekes BnZ plane, against Germans TnB.

OldPepper
02-19-2005, 06:38 PM
After reading a bit about the P-39s history, what stands out most, are that the turbosupercharger was deleted from the original prototype, and the ventral fin suggested by the VVS was adopted to late in the P-63.

It's a plane that really could have been great but was nerfed before it reached production.

Why did they remove the turbosupercharger?!? For as many as were made you'd have thought the error should have been corrected much sooner than close to never.

3.JG51_BigBear
02-19-2005, 07:43 PM
The turbo-superchargers were replaced with single stage geared superchargers because of the overall military and political philosophy in the United States just prior to WW2. Around this time the US was very isolationist once again, especially after the Great Depression and defense of the country was far more important than creating a military force that could be used overseas. For that reason it was very important to keep up patrols of the Atlantic and Pacific to watch for submarines and enemy fleets. The B-17 is a great example of this thinking. The B-17 wasn't called the flying fortress because it was heavily armed, it was called the flying fortress because its range extended the defensive perimeter the air corps could create around the United States.

The government decided that the Pacific and Atlantic oceans made an attack from high altitude bombers by enemies of the United States highly unlikely so instead of needing another high altitude pursuit aircraft, the army wanted the P-39 to be optimized for low-altitude recon and close support operations.

Like many aircraft of the time, the original prototypes were very lightly armoured and many did not have self-sealing fuel tanks. At that time the P-39 probably flew reasonably well but as it was prepared to go to war it became the "iron dog." The AVG was the first group to see the problems with equipping peace time American aircraft for combat when they began adding full loads of ammo, fuel, armour, etc. to their P-40s and saw all sorts of nasty habits that they had to watch out for.

I guess after the P-39 had its *** handed to it a few times and the British turned them down for combat in Europe, the Air Corps probably thought the P-39's days were numbered anyway and with the P-40 and P-38, which were both very competant aircraft if used correctly, there wasn't much need for the p-39 anymore and further development wouldn't really help anybody.

As far as not developing the planes too much further for the Russians and the lend-lease program, I would have to say unfortunately that I don't think American's had too high an opinion of the Russians overall and the P-39 was the perfect plane to send with that mind set. Luckily, the P-39 turned out to be a super plane for the Russians but I doubt few if any in the US thought it would be.

F19_Ob
02-20-2005, 04:38 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by OldPepper:
Anyone out there really like the P-39? It's a strange bird for sure.

In fighter vs fighter, is there anything in particular it does very well or very poorly? It sure has an ugly stall characteristic!

I somehow have the feeling this plane is an odd-ball and seldom see people flying them. With such great armament and speed, why is it left on the ground so often? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Its no oddball and the russians saw its true capabilities and it could put up a better fight than many other planes in their inventory.
The russian p39 in game is in normal configuration. The russians removed two of the wingmounted mg's to get better performance and they also shifted the weight forward with lead weights to overcome some instability issues.
They considered it almost equal to the 109 and many claimed the speed difference so marginal that it didnt affect combat to any greater extent. Most battles there took place below 4000m.

However it has poorer climb and accelleration and becomes dangerous when quickly altering direction at slow speeds (like in a scissoring fight) wich can cause a badnatured snapstall and even initiate a spinn, wich wont happen in the 109.

So a suggestion is to abort scissoring in slow speeds on the deck. It will however outturn a 109 when turning in one direction in the horisontal, but even in that situation a 109 may do a hard breaking, energy bleeding turn and an inexperienced p39 pilot that tries to follow may snapstall and end up on the disadvantage.

A suggestion is to mainly use the machineguns and save the cannon for clean straightforwad shots. in intense maneuvering at close range the cannons may jolt u out of position.
So damage the enemy withe mg's and finish it with the cannon. ( a good startingpoint atleast).

An experienced 109 pilot on the disadvantage will try to start a scissoringfight with vertical elements thrown in
to get u as slow as possible and always close to flipping and spinning.
That way u can get an idea of your foes skill level.
If he tries to out turn u on the horisontal only, he may be inexperienced (good to know).

Any experienced pilot will try to give u only high angle deflection shots so its a good idea to practise on that often in quickmissionbuilder
and to record tracks that u can examine and se where the majority of your shots go.
That way u can adjust your aim and learn the proximate image of the situation when to fire and hit.

Try to get as much altitude u can over your own field before u go hunting. atleast 2000m.
The expert 109 will be above that and thus will have more Enrgy to spend.


a few thoughts

mortoma
02-21-2005, 11:47 AM
Yea, as some said it's energy characteristics may be a touch over-modelled. Against AI in my offline New Guinea campaign, the ace KIs, Zeroes and Hamps don't stand any chance against me. And once online in a P-400 against fairly decent Ki-43 fliers in a coop, they were not able to touch me. I'd stay fast ( way faster than them of course ) and constantly extended. At the end of the extension I'd zoom climb straight up and they were not able to come up even close to me, so I was able to hammerhead down on all of them one by one and pick them off. So I'd say it's zoom climb is too good, which is to says it's energy bleed is a hair too optimistic. Sure is fun to fly though.

Platypus_1.JaVA
02-21-2005, 12:34 PM
The P-39 is not half as bad considering stall charestics then in the original Il-2.

GAU-8
02-21-2005, 12:37 PM
im not a pilot....but i PLAY ONE IN WARCLOUDS :P

p-39 is all i ever use. (online) unless its not available.

she does NOTHING solidly.. but does 80 percent of anything very well. she is a fighter, bomber, loiterer, a bomber escort, all can be done quite well in the right hands.

it takes TIME to really understand how she flies, and falls like a leaf.

she is deadly, when upclose, and at an angle. firing "dead 6" will leave you wanting to punch someone in the head. german aircraft are NASTY on dead 6! its taken oven 6 cannon shots at times to "put her down" so that you know its not a threat anymore. ANGLE IS BEST.

use prop pitch in conjunction with your combat turning, and she turns on a dime.

this aircraft can truly handle a lot of stuff out there. ive really started to FEAR THE PILOT, not the enemy plane now. a skilled pilot in a G-2 will have you scissoring, one THE EDGE stall fighting,"power turning" (i dont know technical term..think ALMOST like a cobra manuever, but not quite), and most of all sweating.
there is a way also to induce a stall, and regain immediately, changing direction leaving the bad guys saying WTF??? really fun http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

most models can go to 730 KPH before break up, but its awfully close.buffet is bad, youll know.

loiter time is unbelievable. quarter tank, and you can easily stay up 40 minutes with the right flaps, prop settings. spiral climbs is FAST, i slowly pull stick all the way back, and bank at 45 degrees. at 5K quicky.

get in CLOSE.REALLY CLOSE. and shotgun them with cannon, and MGs.

wether im right , wrong , or dont know what in sam tarnation what im saying. its a good bird, and very surprising. im GLAD nobody flies her, mny sweet underdog http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Iron-Works
02-21-2005, 01:09 PM
Some blatan plagiarism:

Why was the P-39, which achieved so little air combat success in other theaters, so effective on the Eastern Front? The answer to this question lies in the nature of the air war itself on that front. Neither the Germans nor the Soviets engaged in high-altitude, long-range, strategic bombing. The bulk of Soviet war industry had been moved east of the Ural mountains, beyond the range of the Luftwaffe. German medium level and dive bombers went out every day, escorted by Bf-109s and FW-190s, to find and attack Soviet Army ground units. These bombers, and by necessity their escorting fighters, flew at altitudes well within the high performance envelope of the P-39-under 15,000 feet. The P-39, with its nose armament alone, had devastating air-to-air firepower. A hit on a German bomber with a single 37mm round was frequently sufficient to disable or destroy it. The Red Air Force compensated for the P-39's short range by locating their tactical airfields extremely close to the front line-often within artillery range. And during surge periods, when German air activity was intense, Soviet P-39 pilots were known to fly five and even six or more sorties in a single day.

Iron-Works
02-21-2005, 01:30 PM
more blatan plagiarism:

Also worth noting. An RAF Duxford comparison test of a captured Me 109E and
P-39C showed the Bell outperforming the 109 in every category except rate of
climb when below 15,000 ft. The P-39 could easily out-turn the 109--it took
the 'Cobra less than 720 degrees to get on the tail of an Me that was planted
on its tail.
So the P-39 should have had no trouble dealing with the 109 at the altitudes
common in the East.

Yimmy
02-21-2005, 02:27 PM
In my opinion, it wasn't so much that the P39 was a poor aircraft in general, but had a poor reputation because when America was using it early on in the pacific theatre, in such a desperate situation for them as it was at first, that no aircraft would have done particularly well and the pilots mindset caused them to largelly blame their tools.

It doesnt have an overly poor climb rate, but due to the American bases having so little warning of the enemy raid, no plane would be able to climb fast enough to give a decent response.

The P39 is certainly no worse than a Hurricane, yet the British loved to fly the Hurricane - because they had the radar networks and organisation providing them with the means to use their mounts to their best.

TheCrux
02-21-2005, 03:02 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Yimmy:
In my opinion, it wasn't so much that the P39 was a poor aircraft in general, but had a poor reputation because when America was using it early on in the pacific theatre, in such a desperate situation for them as it was at first, that no aircraft would have done particularly well and the pilots mindset caused them to largelly blame their tools.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Bingo.

meina222
02-21-2005, 06:01 PM
The p-39 q-10 in game is a TERRIFIC dogfighter with excellent turn circle and climb. I would take on a yak-3 even a lagg any time in p-39 q-10. You have to use a lot of flaps and be quick with change of flap positions to avoid stalling and still maintain decent energy.

The N is much more stall prone and slower but is still a decent dog fighter. However it is no match for a g-2 despite its excellent armament.

meina222
02-21-2005, 06:13 PM
GAU I do love the p-39 and fly it mainly bc of its df capabilities and strong all around other performances. I never use CEM - not necessary to achieve a penny turning circle - besides you forgot to mention that the P-39 has 2 fuel tanks!!! so when you get a leak it leaves the enemy in dismay why do you continue to fly for another 15 min.

GAU-8
02-21-2005, 11:35 PM
with CEM, you still acheive higher turning, momentarily,

example: sights on 109, he pulls straight up, the moment you see hes turning tighter than you, drop prop pitch to ZERO/amd cut throttle for just a few seconds, the pull of the prop is nulled, there by letting the wing do its work..tighter turning. im not a an aerodynamics expert or anything, so maybe cutting just throttle, OR CEM to ZERO, is the same. i do both. but make sure you power back up ion both quickly or ....goodbye.

dadada1
02-22-2005, 09:58 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Stiglr:
Loza's an author, not a pilot. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Anyway, yes, your point is well taken, I was just answering your assumption that P39s were used as low level fighters. They weren't always.

In IL-2, I still feel that the P-39s retain energy FAR too well, giving them the ability to not only use an energy advantage to thier benefit, but to OFFSET that same advantage held by other planes. And, even though they're still twitchy, they seem to be free of a lot of the vices I've read associated with the P-39. At the height of the 'Cobra's "sudden popularity" in IL-2/FB 2.0, I took one for a spin and was amazed at what I was able to do with one, especially when I had also flown one of the original IL-2 versions, where I was hard pressed to keep it in the air. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Have to agree with you on this, history records that this plane was anything but a success and relegated to tactical roll rather than air superiority, anyone that augues otherwise is on shakey ground I think. Even now I feel it to be comparable to the Yak 3 in terms of climb and manouverability, in the early Il2 days it was just crazy.

BSS_Goat
02-22-2005, 10:47 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by dadada1:
history records that this plane was anything but a success and relegated to tactical roll rather than air superiority, anyone that augues otherwise is on shakey ground I think. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Have you read what the Russians did w/ it? They beat some serious @ss.

I quote : "Several of the Red Air Force's ranking aces flew the P-39 for a major portion of their combat sorties. The top ace in the P-39 and number four overall was Guards Major Gregoriy Rechkalov, who shot down 50 of his total 56 kills while flying a P-39. Guards Colonel Aleksandr Pokryshkin, who finished the war as the number two Soviet ace with 59 individual and 6 shared kills, reportedly flew the P-39 for 48 of his kills. Another high scorer in the P-39 was Guards Major Dmitriy Glinka, who destroyed 20 German aircraft in 40 aerial engagements in the summer of 1943, and finished the war with an even 50 kills, 41 of them while flying the P-39. Third-ranked Soviet ace Guards Major Nikolay Gulaev transitioned to the P-39 in early August 1943 with 16 individual and 2 shared kills. He flew his last combat sortie on 14 August 1944 (ordered to attend higher military schooling), leaving the battlefield with an additional 41 individual victories and 1 shared kill after just over one year in his P-39."

dadada1
02-22-2005, 11:42 AM
Erich Hartmann scored 352 kills flying what was by 1943 a largely outdated and becoming obsolescent aircraft. He did this by using superior tactics not a superior airplane. He even managed to down at least 7 P51s, a more modern design to the G6/G14 he was flying at the time, again nothing to do with a superior airplane, just experience and self discipline.

BSS_Goat
02-22-2005, 11:49 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by dadada1:
nothing to do with a superior airplane, just experience and self discipline. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'm not saying it was superior, just capable in its element (under 15k feet, kinda like online dogfights)

dadada1
02-22-2005, 01:00 PM
I suppose the question I'm really trying to pose is this. Take the LA 5Fn and compare with a P39 Q10. I'm sure that in reality the Lagg is a superior aircraft by quiet a margin, in my opinion this is not reflected in game. I would even be happy in theis game to tackle a Yak 3 in a Q10, was not the Yak 3 a very feared aircraft, even by old "Experten" such as Lipfert ?

dadada1
02-22-2005, 01:18 PM
Its possible that the game physics seem to help turn fighters such as the P39 and don't help others, (FW190 D9 comes to mind). How does history record the D9? My feeling is that the P39 as depicted in game is more than a capable aircraft, better than perhaps it really should be, just my opinion though, I've been wrong plenty of times.

meina222
02-23-2005, 02:46 AM
dadada1, you have a point

I will gladly take on a yak3 in p-39-q10 since to me it seems to be an equally capable dogfighter (actually i would even say superior though i know some ppl would start again calling me a newbie and morone - to those i would say come and meet me in HL.) That hardly reflects stories about either plane's capabilities.

meina222
02-23-2005, 02:48 AM
I would actually go on to say that p-39 is another glaring overdo besides spit ix imho.

CzechTexan
02-24-2005, 02:59 PM
I think Loza's biggest point and the major factor in the 39's success of Pokryshkin's group was the use of the RADIO. They were well disciplined in its use and used their flying formations accordingly resulting in high kill/loss ratios.

Stiglr
02-24-2005, 03:07 PM
1) The radio
2) The "stairstep" tactics

Those, I'd think, were the two big elements that added to the P-39s successful use in Russia.

Plus, when you compare it to real pieces of sh*t like LaGG-3s, Yak 1s, clapped out Hurricane castoffs from Britain, etc., it was a better aircraft.

But it sure shouldn't hold a candle to a later Lavochkin 5 or 7, or a Yak3 (or even a Yak 9!).

The IL-2 P-39 certainly has a large element of er, optimistic modeling behind it.

F19_Ob
02-25-2005, 07:28 AM
One interresting thing that may cause some of the success that some planes seem to be enjoying
,is good tactics and skill in firing on long distances.

In real life many russian pilots, like most pilots in the world ,were lusy at shooting, thus the "dont shoot until u see the rivets " stuff.
(no disrespect ment)
In the sim we have the favor to be able to die and learn something from it, Improve and try again.
In RL that wasn't the case.

A skilled shooter may in a p39 hit an enemy at 500 or even beyond. In RL the pilot tried to get around 200m or closer and usually not fire beyond 300m (if not an expert)(ofcourse it must've happened).
Most combat in russia was below 4000m and the russians were happy with the p39's performance up to that.
In the game, if one waits to get within 200m on a 109 U probably are shot down before u are in range since there is no way of catching a 109 if u dont happen to be in an advantageous position above, or if the 109 makes a dire mistake.

Personally I dont feel the p39 hold any edge over the 109 and I would still prefer to be in the plane that can engage or leave when the situation calls for it if it was the real thing.


But now when it isn't, I'm happy to engage any foe in my doubleseater il-2 for the fun of it http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif ,preferably with some mates covering for me when the situation gets out of hand. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif