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MichaelMar
07-15-2005, 04:39 PM
I just recently started to fly the P-39, something different then my under modeled Fiat G50, and find nothing really 'bad' with this plane.

I read WWII reports stating that pilots called it a flying pig and did not care for it all that much.

So, is there anything 'bad' with the P-39?

THX

Achilles_NZ
07-15-2005, 04:59 PM
Heh, getting in the way of that monster cannon can be "bad". http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Seriously, When the P-39 was first included in the sim, it had a nasty tendancy to snap roll and enter flat spins, which were very difficult to recover from. You had to really be careful.
It probably had something to do with the engine mounted about the aircrafts center of gravity.

As I understand it, this had been toned down quite a bit in subseqeunt patches, but I dont fly it all that often to offer conclusive judgment.
Have yet to try it since patch 4.01 either.

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

FritzGryphon
07-15-2005, 05:02 PM
The survivability is very poor. One of the most flammable planes in the game.

VF-29_Sandman
07-15-2005, 05:07 PM
it also isnt a very good choice in high altitude settings..like 4000 meters and up. but it does have a cannon that will take out a fighter in 1 hit if ur lucky enough. properly trimmed and it handles pretty easy. but compared to other fighters, its fairly slow.

carguy_
07-15-2005, 05:14 PM
P39 has ye olde FM back.I love this plane.37mm cannon is quite easy to get kills with and a regular sniper gun at ranges above 200m.I love to shoot just one shell,pefect deflection WHAM! no airplane left.

One of my 3 favorite planes now.

Stigler_9_JG52
07-15-2005, 05:23 PM
I saw one in a helluva frisbee flat spin the other day after I put a burst into it.

I haven't seen many Iron Dogs since the patch, but with the few I've seen, I didn't notice any signs of the old UFO uberDogs that were suddenly every VVS fan's "favorite, always has been". http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

VW-IceFire
07-15-2005, 05:33 PM
Originally posted by MichaelMar:
I just recently started to fly the P-39, something different then my under modeled Fiat G50, and find nothing really 'bad' with this plane.

I read WWII reports stating that pilots called it a flying pig and did not care for it all that much.

So, is there anything 'bad' with the P-39?

THX
Most of that bad reputation came from the USAAF's early attempts at using the P-39 in combat against the Japanese over New Guinea.

There were a variety of issues at hand:
1) Planes came in crates with no manuals and were put together anyways
2) Pilots were totally green on the type as well as to combat
3) The Owen Stanley mountains required climbing to higher altitudes and the P-39 was most happy in the lower thicker air
4) The P-39 was initially used as a bomber interceptor (what it was designed originally for) except the early 37mm cannons would jam, the plane couldn't climb fast enough because the supercharger had been removed from the design, and by the time the 39s were up, the Japanese bombers were already flying home.

Once they used it as a tactical fighter it came into its own. Not especially well liked by the USAAF, it was nontheless used into the end of 1943.

The VVS (Russians) on the other hand had a situation that suited the P-39 well. They stripped the outer machine guns and on occasion reduced other parts for weight (not as much as is assumed). What they had was...

1) A plane that was well suited to poor field conditions thanks to the tricycle landing gear
2) Excellent firepower for anti-fighter and ground attack roles (they commonly reduced armament to 2 .50cals and 1 37mm)
3) Excellent low altitude performance where the VVS was most concerned with (supporting the army and escorting IL-2s)
4) A plane with excellent low altitude climb and superior turn circle to contemporary 109s
5) A plane that was equipped with a good radio

For all the same reasons that the USAAF didn't like it, the VVS adored it. It equipped a good number of their frontline Guards squadrons which were the best of the VVS fighter units.

Its an interesting plane with an ironic and long history.

In-game its been all over the board. Its now got its characteristic flat spin back but its still quite manueverable and faster in climb than its given credit for.

The worst of the lineup is probably the P-39Ds and the P-400 and the best is definately the P-39Q-10 which is fast, lighter than the others, and not a bad match for the 1944 lineup despite its reputation (I was caught off guard on this initially).

chris455
07-15-2005, 05:57 PM
Originally posted by MichaelMar:
I just recently started to fly the P-39, something different then my under modeled Fiat G50, and find nothing really 'bad' with this plane.
THX
What is "undermodelled" re: the G50?

Bearcat99
07-15-2005, 07:47 PM
One of the reasons a lot of real pilots didnt like it was the fact that the engine was mounted behind the pilot so if say you had to belly in you still had to worry about the engine crushing you or the shaft which ran between your legs doing some damage.... it was also somewhat unstable.

msalama
07-15-2005, 10:22 PM
All Cobras are somewhat unstable, some more than others. But they're still great low-altitude bomber interceptors, because that 37mm. cannon destroys pretty much anything with just one shot! You do need, however, some practice to get proficient with it, because it's a difficult weapon to use.

My suggestion is to go with the KingCobra (P-63). That's my crate of choice nowadays, because it's the sturdiest, fastest & most stable of the lot...

A.K.Davis
07-15-2005, 10:53 PM
Apparently emptying the cannon would also cause a significant CG shift with pretty severe consequences. Pilots were not particularly fond of this. In fact, the 37mm was pretty universally disliked, despite supposed reputation for being an incredible air-to-ground weapon on the East Front (many Soviet pilots shared U.S. pilots' preference for the 20mm cannon). Velocity was low leading to a ridiculous trajectory, which was combined with a very low rate-of-fire (and thus the appelation of "pop-gun" or "pea-shooter," which did not refer to the round's damage potential, but rather it's horrible ballistics).

When you consider that the P-39 was basically designed around this weapon, you have to question the soundess of some decisions behind its development. But you can't question that it was proved, nonetheless, an effective low to medium-altitude fighter on the East Front. Personally, I think one of the most important factors in its success is never stressed enough: every aircraft was equipped with an effective and reliable two-way radio, which allowed units equipped with the P-39 to employ much more advanced group tactics than other Soviet fighter units.

msalama
07-15-2005, 11:10 PM
...but rather it's horrible ballistics.

And truly horrible they are in the game too http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

But one lives & learns. Straight shooting isn't too bad when/if you take its drooping trajectory into account, but deflection shooting with the bashturt is something else altogether! Still trying to learn that myself...


...an effective low to medium-altitude fighter on the East Front.

Definitely! The Russians used the bird like it was supposed to IMO...

msalama
07-15-2005, 11:17 PM
...perfect deflection WHAM!

Ah-HA!!!

Ok man, own up. How the hex is that _possible_ w/ the bugger???

RAF74_Vostok
07-15-2005, 11:27 PM
"The prototype, designated XP-39, was ordered in October 1937, and it took to the air for the first time on April 6, 1938. Its performance proved remarkable from the start: without armament and armor, it reached a maximum speed of 390 mph (628 km/h) at 20,050 ft (6,098 m), having taken barely five minutes to reach this altitude. Its characteristics were clearly those of an interceptor, although numberous modifications were imposed on the Bell project by the USAAC authorities. The most important of these included the installation of an Allison engine without a supercharger, and therefore unsuitable at high altitudes."

In the US Airforces, once a plane got a bad reputation it seemed to condemn that plane forever, even if strictly speaking it was still competitive. Those deployed in the Pacific were for all the aforesaid reasons used incorrectly, and so cursing the whole line.

Also Western air pilots demanded "absolute" superiority over their enemies. Of course no airframe could give this, but no pilot wanted to fly an aircraft similar or inferior to the enemy if they could help it. The P-39 was never that good.

However the Russians were fighting under fatalistic conditions of total war; they fought expecting to die sooner or later. Men were sent up in any plane that could fly. Soviet production greatly declined during the first half of 42, and was just starting to pick up again during the second half. Even if the modern native Soviet designs were fairly good, they were still few in number and probably poorly built under desperate conditions. Into these conditions came theP-39 - and it must have seemed to the Soviet pilots like the cream of the crop. They of course had no way of knowing whether or not this was a common American plane or what it's reputation was back home. And confident pilots become successful pilots. Casualties were still high but at least they had a modern, well built, competitive aircraft with great firepower.

A similar effect was shown in Finland - the 'obsolete' B-239 was practically the best plane they had for some time, and Finnish pilots felt good about the plane and liked it a great deal.

Its a cool and unsung history of the P-39 that the IL-2 series brought to light, long considered at best a mediocre aircraft fobbed off to the Russians or on attack misions for so many years in the West.

chris455
07-16-2005, 12:05 AM
Personally, I think one of the most important factors in its success is never stressed enough: every aircraft was equipped with an effective and reliable two-way radio, which allowed units equipped with the P-39 to employ much more advanced group tactics than other Soviet fighter units.

--AKD
Spot on, AK, this WAS the P-39's main attribute in the VVS, and not one to be underestimated.

Kocur_
07-16-2005, 03:45 AM
AFAIK not once engine broke forwards when P-39 crash landed.

Its useful to spend some time of you life in communist countryhttp://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif (not too long though!) - you get the perspective about sources...
In EVERY Polish pre 1989 book or article where P-39 is mentioned you will read that front wheel leg kept on breaking on field airstrips, thus VVS pilots disliked Cobras tricycle gear...

BTW:16 GIAP lead by Alexander Pokryshkin was to be reequipped with La-7's, but when one of his pilots died in one of first La-7's delivered, which crashed, Pokryshkin said "No, thanks" and they stayed with Cobras http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Cajun76
07-16-2005, 06:15 AM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v30/Cajun76/p-39_c_23.jpg

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

ElAurens
07-16-2005, 06:20 AM
Originally posted by VW-IceFire:

the plane couldn't climb fast enough because the supercharger had been removed from the design,

Not exactly true.

All P39s had a single stage, single speed, mechanical supercharger. The aircraft was originally designed to have a turbocharged Allison V1710, like the P38 had. This is what was deleted from the design.

Vipez-
07-16-2005, 06:40 AM
Originally posted by chris455:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by MichaelMar:
I just recently started to fly the P-39, something different then my under modeled Fiat G50, and find nothing really 'bad' with this plane.
THX
What is "undermodelled" re: the G50? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/26310365/m/8751006733

http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

VW-IceFire
07-16-2005, 09:13 AM
Originally posted by ElAurens:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by VW-IceFire:

the plane couldn't climb fast enough because the supercharger had been removed from the design,

Not exactly true.

All P39s had a single stage, single speed, mechanical supercharger. The aircraft was originally designed to have a turbocharged Allison V1710, like the P38 had. This is what was deleted from the design. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Ooops...yes you are absolutely right. I was being absent minded.

The turbocharger was deleted. That was supposed to give it the top level performance. I've heard so many reasons why that was done that I can't remember what the issue actually was...

jarink
07-16-2005, 09:41 AM
Originally posted by Achilles_NZ:
Seriously, When the P-39 was first included in the sim, it had a nasty tendancy to snap roll and enter flat spins, which were very difficult to recover from.

I did this the very first day I had 4.01 loaded! Since everyone was talking about how much better most planes' stall characteristics were, I decided to try getting a -39D into a spin. I got into a wicked flat spin on the first try; augered in after dropping from about 5000ft like a stone. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/59.gif

mortoma
07-16-2005, 12:56 PM
Originally posted by VW-IceFire:

The worst of the lineup is probably the P-39Ds and the P-400 and the best is definately the P-39Q-10 which is fast, lighter than the others, and not a bad match for the 1944 lineup despite its reputation (I was caught off guard on this initially).

Huh?? The P-39D2 is by far the fastest of all of them!! You must not have IL2 Compare or Hardball's Viewer, otherwise you'd know that.
The D2 model will leave of the other models in the dust, including Q-10.............

msalama
07-17-2005, 03:24 AM
The P-39D2 is by far the fastest of all of them!!

I wouldn't be too sure about that http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

According to the game's own object viewer, the P-63C-5 is faster by some 20KMPHIAS @ altitude. The D-2 _feels_ much nimbler and responsive, though, because of her lower overall weight.

And oh boy how the thing spins too, if you don't know how to handle her right http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/53.gif

But faster she isn't, according to the specs at least!

PS. To avoid spins, use rudder sparingly when doing aerobatics & you should be OKish (he says optimistically)...

Eraser_tr
07-17-2005, 07:13 AM
A book I have on american aircraft of ww2 said the USAAC wanted it deleted because of its intake's drag as well as weight.

Silly usaac. if they had left it, they would have saved alot of lives over port moresby and new guinea where we lacked decent high altitude performance.

msalama
07-17-2005, 08:50 AM
...where we lacked decent high altitude performance.

Erm... not sure what's your meaning here? All Cobras were bad high-altitude performers due to lack of turbocharger - a mechanical supercharger was installed, but their critical altitude tends to be pretty low AFAIK.

Or are you talking about my previous comment where I mentioned top speed at _altitude_? That was just a reference to values used by 1C, and as such a bit misleading! But I've seen various documents which clearly state that the KingCobra was the best performer of the lot at sea level too - and thus your aircraft of choice if maximum top speed is what you're after...

mortoma
07-17-2005, 01:03 PM
Originally posted by msalama:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">The P-39D2 is by far the fastest of all of them!!

I wouldn't be too sure about that http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

According to the game's own object viewer, the P-63C-5 is faster by some 20KMPHIAS @ altitude. The D-2 _feels_ much nimbler and responsive, though, because of her lower overall weight.

And oh boy how the thing spins too, if you don't know how to handle her right http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/53.gif

But faster she isn't, according to the specs at least!

PS. To avoid spins, use rudder sparingly when doing aerobatics & you should be OKish (he says optimistically)... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>So who's talking about P-63s??????????????????????? This thread is about the P-39, which although superficially similar, it's and entirely different aircraft, hence the P-63 designation, instead of P-39'S' or something like that!!! An Airacobra ain't no Kingcobra!!!

msalama
07-17-2005, 01:29 PM
OK OK OK!!! Care to lend me a pair of earplugs if this is the discussion volume today? http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

But yeah, the D-2 is a nimble ride as far as AIRACobras go, you're right about that...

Eraser_tr
07-17-2005, 01:31 PM
I was responding to icefire about why the usaac deleted the turbocharger.

If they had left (the turbocharger)on the P-39 would have had better performance at higher altitudes and would have saved lives over port moresby and new guinea where we lacked planes with decent high altitude performance. does that make more sense now?

faustnik
07-17-2005, 03:54 PM
Originally posted by Stigler_9_JG52:
I saw one in a helluva frisbee flat spin the other day after I put a burst into it.

I haven't seen many Iron Dogs since the patch, but with the few I've seen, I didn't notice any signs of the old UFO uberDogs that were suddenly every VVS fan's "favorite, always has been". http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

The old Cobra is back Stigler, be sure! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

mortoma
07-17-2005, 04:03 PM
Originally posted by msalama:
OK OK OK!!! Care to lend me a pair of earplugs if this is the discussion volume today? http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

But yeah, the D-2 is a nimble ride as far as AIRACobras go, you're right about that... No big deal, I should have toned down on the excessive question marks and exclamations. I can be a bit anal at times...........sorry.....

IL2-chuter
07-17-2005, 04:32 PM
. . . http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-indifferent.gif . . . can someone point me in the direction of the beer concession?


As far as the topic is concerned . . . I'm quite proficient in the overhaul and maintainance of the original three blade Curtiss Electric prop used on early P-39's. (I've done two props.) Knowledge that someday may go a long way to financially assisting me in purchasing 1C's BoB . . . http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

msalama
07-18-2005, 02:31 AM
does that make more sense now?

Definitely http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

msalama
07-18-2005, 02:31 AM
sorry.....

No harm done whatsoever!

Tex-Hill-AVG
07-18-2005, 09:06 AM
Got this from the USAF Museum on the Kingcobra:

The most unusual P-63 variations were the RP-63A and RP-63C "pinball" versions developed late in WW II. These manned target aircraft were fired at by aerial gunnery students using .30 caliber lead and plastic frangible machine gun bullets which disintegrated harmlessly against the target's external skin of Duralumin armor plating. Special instruments sent impulses to red lights in the nose of the "pinball" aircraft, causing them to blink when bullets struck the plane.

How would you like to be the pilot that drew that assignment?

rennyrd2
07-18-2005, 12:22 PM
At my hometown airport a guy has a KingCobra and likes to do high speed fly-by. When ever I see him I think to myself "I would never do that with a 60 year old drive shaft between my legs!"

msalama
07-18-2005, 10:24 PM
Hmmm... I just wonder whether there still are any salvageable Cobras in Russia today... but then again, I of course don't have the money for that kind of project anyway. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

MLudner
07-20-2005, 12:29 PM
Most of the reasons the P-39 was disliked have been discussed and are quite accurate.
Primarily, it was an aircraft with much potential. The death-blow was that it was saddled with an Allison engine. Allison engines work fine ... if you have more than one of them on your aircraft (e.g.: Bombers, the P-38, that sort of thing), if you don't (P-39, early P-51's) they work poorly. They have poor power at altitude, but they do fine low down. This is why the RAF relegated its first Mustangs to the dive bomber / strike role, because their performance at altitude was poor due to their Allison engines. What made the P-51 was when the Brits decided to put a Merlin engine in along with an extra fuel tank; it just made all the difference.
The P-39 would have been a great fighter if the same had been done for it. At low altitudes the P-39 was fast and agile and was powerfully armed.

pauldun171
07-20-2005, 12:57 PM
In the game, my take on the P-39 is that it dives well, but the controls lose responsiveness at high speed. Stay above 2500m to keep that dive ability as a defensive measure. View forward is very good.

I always used the P-39 for stalking enemy AC who were on route to a combat area(an area where they had enough time to climb to 2500-3000M but had yet get to speed). I'd park it at 3000-5000M and look for oppurtunities away from the furballs. If that 37mm doesn't blow them to bits on the first pass it will at least scare the **** out if them.

Worst case scenario, it can hold it's own in the horizontal down in the weeds.

Asgeir_Strips
07-30-2005, 07:34 AM
Originally posted by MichaelMar:
I just recently started to fly the P-39, something different then my under modeled Fiat G50, and find nothing really 'bad' with this plane.

I read WWII reports stating that pilots called it a flying pig and did not care for it all that much.

So, is there anything 'bad' with the P-39?

THX

Horrible performance over 15.000 feet

GAU-8
07-31-2005, 06:46 AM
there are no heavies allowed on full real real servers...

YAK 9 K is not allowed anywhere else on full real servers either. (and its not fast, nor a turn n burner..but is assumed ALL yaks are the same "uber quality").

so i flew the P-39 exclusively..for several years,until the latest patch...

NOW
everybody out climbs you.
everybody out brakes you.
everybody out turns you.
everybody out dives you.
everybody out classes you.

i am a cannon man..but i dont get satisfaction from flying blue, i really wish i did. so i flew the P-39/P-63 (red/allied).

its dogmeat in almost every encounter except for a few chances you actually sneak up on someone, and place a good cannon round. or your against a newbie..who doesnt know how to fly. a single shot always tends to blow my wings right off.. from any kind of gunfire. good lord, the fecker flatspins, upside down, with the most gingerly of input, and 99 percent unrecoverable.

you cant do squat with it now... can barely even defend yourself in it, and when you TRY..flip-flop-flip-flop..all the way to the ground.

VW-IceFire
07-31-2005, 09:08 AM
Originally posted by mortoma:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by VW-IceFire:

The worst of the lineup is probably the P-39Ds and the P-400 and the best is definately the P-39Q-10 which is fast, lighter than the others, and not a bad match for the 1944 lineup despite its reputation (I was caught off guard on this initially).

Huh?? The P-39D2 is by far the fastest of all of them!! You must not have IL2 Compare or Hardball's Viewer, otherwise you'd know that.
The D2 model will leave of the other models in the dust, including Q-10............. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
I know that...and yet I still must suggest that the Q-10 is by far the better plane to be in. The D-2 is bloody sluggish except in straight line dashes. The Q-10 is much more nimble thanks to the deletion of the extra weapons.

In relation to actual speed, the Q-10 is faster running at 100% power vs the D-2 at 100% and the D-2 is faster at 110% so you have a bit of a choice.

Grey_Mouser67
07-31-2005, 11:35 AM
I've read the viewer info on the D-2 and it has an extremely powerful engine rating and speed rating of something like 386mph.... I've never researched this but assumed that it was an error...can anyone confirm or deny?

That engine rating is higher than the N and Q series...for a 1941 plane, it is dominant.

I guarentee that from 5000 meters and below against bf109E-7's and maybe even F model 109's this thing holds its own! Can't turn but I tend to fight with it like I fight with a Fw...keep it fast and don't turn too much and I get similar results if my gunnery is ok...odd thing is with those 37mm...it seems like I'm either on or way off.

The real P-39 was referred to as the "iron dog". I remember reading an article about Thomas Mcguire who was somewhat a daredevil...he took the P-39 out and actually looped it! Now the thing I got from this is why would someone be afraid to loop a WWII fighter if you had enough speed? That sort of summed it up for me, it must have been a real pig at slow speeds...like at the top of a loop and then the with CG being off, very dangerous. Its biggest issue was that Japanese planes flying from Rabaul to Hendersen were always at very high altitude...the P-39's were sitting ducks and American's, going back to wwII, did not view people as being expendible or to be sacrificed...they always substitued firepower for manpower...did then, do now. So they were not happy with an aircraft unless it dominated its opponent....the successful US aircraft did just that.