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RCAF_Irish_403
06-13-2006, 02:37 PM
What was the general opinion of Soviet fliers regarding Western Lend Lease Aircraft....i know they loved the P39 and hated the Spitfire...what of the other planes they were given?

RCAF_Irish_403
06-13-2006, 02:37 PM
What was the general opinion of Soviet fliers regarding Western Lend Lease Aircraft....i know they loved the P39 and hated the Spitfire...what of the other planes they were given?

VW-IceFire
06-13-2006, 02:56 PM
Yeah they had some interesting impressions.

Hated the P-47 for everything (including firepower) except for the high altitude performance.

Somewhat neutral on the P-40.

Loved the P-39 for its manueverability, firepower, radio, and comfort.

Somewhat disliked the Hurricane for its slow top speed and sensitive engine.

Disliked the Spitfire because of its sensitive engine and high maitenence requirements.

I've never heard either way their feelings on the B-25 or the A-20.

Its funny because basically take the Western impressions and flip them on their head for most types. The Russians loved what the Americans and British disliked or even forbid to enter combat. Of course this stems from completely different theater requirements, different operational tactics, and different pilot training and philosophy. I remember reading that the VVS evaluation of the P-47 centered on its lack of turn and lack of cannon armament. They didn't seem to care much for its toughness and they had little (albiet some) use for its high altitude ability and good range.

I suspect that if the VVS ever took a look at the P-38 they would have turned their noses up in disgust that such a plane could be considered a fighter. The P-38 was complex, difficult to fly effectively in combat, and required quite a bit of skilled work to keep them flying. But under the USAAF in the Med and in the Pacific the P-38s other attributes far far far outweighed these concerns.

faustnik
06-13-2006, 03:23 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by VW-IceFire:
Disliked the Spitfire because of its sensitive engine and high maitenence requirements. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I've read that too, but, I don't believe it. The Spitfire had everything the Soviets liked, including great turning ability, great climb rates, and excellent cannon armament. Stalin even asked for them specifically along with the P-39.

TheGozr
06-13-2006, 03:40 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">faustnik </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Well i don't beleive on staline been right etheir.. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif
Scanned documents talk.

horseback
06-13-2006, 04:17 PM
Soviet unhappiness with the Spitfire centered on the fact that the first examples they received were used-up, obsolete Mk Vb models. Later British 'Lend-Lease' Spits arrived in better condition, but you know what they say about first impressions.

They had a hard time believing that the British were so poor that they couldn't afford to provide their most effective ally the latest and best they had on hand...

Spits and most other Western types required a lot more skilled care & feeding than their VVS counterparts, which led to some further disappointments.

The P-40, while arriving earlier and in initially greater numbers than the P-39, was the unfortunate victim of common Soviet maintenance practices and poor quality lubricants--from which the later arriving P-39s (actually ex-RAF Airacobra Mk Is) benefitted, the Russians by then having realized that aircraft engine oil that doesn't have a lot of metal shavings and debris in it was much more easily tolerated by the Allison engine.

Added to that was the size difference. Compared to the standard Soviet built fighters, even the Spitfire seems a bit on the large side (this came as a shock to me when I built my first 1/72nd scale Yak-9 and set it next to my Airfix Spit Vb-the Sovs liked their fighters small), and frankly, a little sluggish.

The P-40 was massive by comparison, a bit less nimble than the Spit, and demanded a lot of trim all the time.

The P-39 on the other hand was highly competitive with anything out there up to about 3500m during the early war, and it looked like a modern fighter to Soviet eyes-sleek, petite, heavily armed, and it had all the conveniences one expected from the decadent effete westerners-radios, heaters, and tricycle landing gear.

In spite of the Mustang's size, I think that the Allison engined P-51 and P-51A might have been fairly popular with the Soviets-it was a very good performer below 5000m, and easier to fly than the P-40 by all accounts-but it was out of production as soon as the Merlin versions became a reality. I don't think the heavier and less spectacular at low alts P-51B and later versions would have received the same acceptance.

cheers

horseback

TheGozr
06-13-2006, 04:28 PM
horseback
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">a little sluggish. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
How do you know that ? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif I'm curious..

WTE_Galway
06-13-2006, 05:22 PM
the aussies were not overly happy with the MkV spit either

the Vc had serious overheat problems in tropical conditions .. even outside combat

anarchy52
06-13-2006, 06:01 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by horseback:
In spite of the Mustang's size, I think that the Allison engined P-51 and P-51A might have been fairly popular with the Soviets-it was a very good performer below 5000m, and easier to fly than the P-40 by all accounts-but it was out of production as soon as the Merlin versions became a reality. I don't think the heavier and less spectacular at low alts P-51B and later versions would have received the same acceptance.

cheers

horseback </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Yesterday I stumbled upon a page with soviet evaluation of early Allison Mustangs they recieved. Although my russian is not good it's pretty clear to me that it was a great disappointment. Russians commented negativelly on its climb rate, manuverability and cruising speed.

http://www.airpages.ru/cgi-bin/pg.pl?nav=us80&page=p51a

there was another page with more detailed info but I can't find it now.

LStarosta
06-13-2006, 07:58 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by TheGozr:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">faustnik </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Well i don't beleive on staline been right etheir.. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif
Scanned documents talk. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

OMFG... will you take a chill pill?

We're not exactly arguing manifold pressure ratings for your beloved Yaks.

It's a discussion of opinions.

joeap
06-13-2006, 08:06 PM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif

Plus Gozr misread Horseback, he meant the Spit looked sluggish next to the Yak. That is Horseback's models not real planes.

jarink
06-13-2006, 08:25 PM
I think no matter what the Soviet pilots thought of individual Lend-Lease aircraft, I'm sure they usually thought they never had enough of them around. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/disagree.gif

The Soviet appetite for Studebaker trucks was almost legendary.

horseback
06-13-2006, 09:57 PM
Let me defend my original post.

The size reference is valid. Models of the same scale are the same proportions to each other as the real things are. Just glanced at my Tamiya 1/48th scale Spitfire next to my 1/48th scale Accurate Miniatures Yak-1 and ICM 1/48th scale Yak-7. It is appreciably larger than the Yaks.

The Spitfire Mk V was thought sluggish, or slow to accellerate, by Soviet standards. It couldn't outrun the FW 190A, and the Sovs thought very poorly of the 190. If the original Spit Vb examples they received were as badly abused as advertised, one can only assume that they were even slower to respond to the throttle than the factory fresh versions that couldn't keep up with the FW 190A.

As to the Mustangs the Soviets received from the British; again, pretty much used up. By that point in the war, it may have been premeditated. By late 1943, it was obvious which way things were going, and some parties expected a postwar squabble over Europe with the Soviet Union. Why give away the store?

A Mustang Mk Ia/P-51 (in good repair) could move right along at lower alts, was more capable than the Airacobra by most measures, and had some serious 4x20mm punch. The usual description of it says "faster, more refined P-40."

How could they not like that?

cheers

horseback

TheGozr
06-14-2006, 12:25 AM
I must have touk too much coffee this morning.. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif
thx

mandrill7
06-14-2006, 05:46 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by faustnik:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by VW-IceFire:
Disliked the Spitfire because of its sensitive engine and high maitenence requirements. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I've read that too, but, I don't believe it. The Spitfire had everything the Soviets liked, including great turning ability, great climb rates, and excellent cannon armament. Stalin even asked for them specifically along with the P-39. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

They liked the Spit IX's and obtained and issued them in significant numbers to their PVO units around Leningrad and Moscow. You never read about them because there was little Luftwaffe strike activity at that point in the war.

Some of the VSS pilot interviews I've read appreciate the qualities of the 109 and 190, particularly speed, acceleration and climbing ability. Some of them in fact bemoan the shortcomings of your average Yak in those regards. Soviet fighter tactics however emphasized VERY close escort with no scope for dogfighting and for this type of work speed and acceleration were less important than maneuverability.

Re the A-20, there appears to be nothing written in English re the Boston in Soviet service. The VVS seems to have converted many of the strafers back into glass-nose bombers which is interesting.

anarchy52
06-14-2006, 09:05 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by horseback:
As to the Mustangs the Soviets received from the British; again, pretty much used up. By that point in the war, it may have been premeditated. By late 1943, it was obvious which way things were going, and some parties expected a postwar squabble over Europe with the Soviet Union. Why give away the store?
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Deliveries of P-51s to soviets started mid december 1941.
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">
A Mustang Mk Ia/P-51 (in good repair) could move right along at lower alts, was more capable than the Airacobra by most measures, and had some serious 4x20mm punch. The usual description of it says "faster, more refined P-40." How could they not like that?
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>
It was deficient in climb and manuverability compared to P-39. Cobra's tricycle landing gear made it more suitable for operations on frontline fields. Cockpit view was also superior.

P-40 wasn't anything to write home about compared to contemporary fighters, early P-51s werent that much better overall and were inferior in manuverability to P-40, a characteristic soviets considered of great importance.

F19_Olli72
06-14-2006, 10:06 AM
You can read a bit about what Golodnikov thought about lendlease planes here: http://lend-lease.airforce.ru/english/articles/golodnikov/part1.htm

For example, about P-40:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">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. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

RCAF_Irish_403
06-14-2006, 10:27 AM
awesome, thanks for the replies

it's incredible how conditions and doctrine dictate an AC's use

horseback
06-14-2006, 11:02 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Deliveries of P-51s to soviets started mid december 1941.

quote:

A Mustang Mk Ia/P-51 (in good repair) could move right along at lower alts, was more capable than the Airacobra by most measures, and had some serious 4x20mm punch. The usual description of it says "faster, more refined P-40." How could they not like that?


It was deficient in climb and manuverability compared to P-39. Cobra's tricycle landing gear made it more suitable for operations on frontline fields. Cockpit view was also superior.

P-40 wasn't anything to write home about compared to contemporary fighters, early P-51s werent that much better overall and were inferior in manuverability to P-40, a characteristic soviets considered of great importance. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>December 1941?

That would be a couple of months at least before the first RAF Mustang squadron (26 Squadron, I believe-I'm at work, no chance to check) was operational, and about 3 or 4 months before it flew its first combat sorties.

That the RAF would ship examples (two or three, wasn't it?) of a brand spanking new fighter not even deployed yet, across enemy defended seas to a beleaguered ally appearing to be teetering on the edge of collapse simply defies belief, particularly when everything else sent to the Soviets at that early point was either of limited use to the Commonwealth or just plain used. The issue was still in doubt for Britain at that point as well.

I had been of the impression that those Mustang Is were sent in late 1943, after the U-Boat hazard had been largely overcome. If I'm wrong, then I can only say, Winston Churchill -- what a guy.

I'd question whether the Airacobra had a climb advantage on the Allison Mustang; a USAAF appraisal in 1943 states plainly that the P-51 was the fastest and second best climbing (after the P-38) a/c in the inventory below 18,000 ft. It was only after the second stage blower kicked in that the heavier Merlin Mustang was able to build up an edge over its older brother.

The P-40 hardly needs my defense. It was nothing special in some people's hands. Some air forces weren't capable of adjusting their tactics to a new aircrafts' strengths.

cheers

horseback

TheGozr
06-14-2006, 11:02 AM
http://www.gozr.net/iocl/viewtopic.php?t=1466

Like i always say scans of documents is always good to illustrate some debates.
Here just a sample

crazyivan1970
06-14-2006, 11:20 AM
Based on memoirs of the soviet pilots Spitfire was loved. It was everything that fighter should be. But it was not cheap and engines did not do well in CONDITIONS that they had to fight in. Same applies to weapons. Regiment of P-47s razorbacks that russians received in 1943-44 only was used by Northern Fleet. I forget exact number of those. Since it was no match to IL2 as far as ground attack (as they concluded) and it was not match to Yak and La line of fighters as a fighter... it pretty much flew patrol missions and wasnt used in combat. P-40s were popular from what i can tell and served well. Hurricanes were way outdated and lacked firepower. That`s why they were re-fitted with 20mm cannons and heavy MG and used mostly as bomber busters with escort of more up to date fighters.
p-39...well, it was perfectly suitable for the type of airwar that was specific for eastern front.

Written above is small summary based on memoirs of pilots.