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Fork-N-spoon
08-04-2009, 12:08 AM
Hello. I've noticed that there haven't been many lively discussions about aircraft going on around here lately, so I decided to stir the cauldron a bit...

Over the years, it's been my contention that most of the lame duck stories revolving around the P-38 against the Germans involves the 8th Air Force and the 8th alone. I'd rather not get into the 8th at this moment, so I'm going to shift over to the MTO and one group in particular that used the P-38, the 82nd Fighter Group.

The 82nd flew P-38s in the high altitude deep penetration bomber escort role, a role most will tell you that the P-38 was ill suited for. When I point out how the P-38 had more air to air victory claims in the MTO than both the P-47 and P-51 combined, most nay sayers show up and stated, "When the P-51 arrived, it out claimed the Lightning per sortie by a wide margin." Now this is true, but I feel that most overlook some very important reasons why the Mustang was able to do this. It wasn't due to the Mustang being vastly superior, but rather due to the fact that the Mustang was used very differently. For example, when comparing the P-47 against the P-38 in the MTO, the Lightning out claimed the Thunderbolt by a margin of something in the order of 8 to 1. Does this mean that the P-47 was greatly inferior to the P-38? No, it doesn't. What it means is that despite the P-47 being deployed in the MTO in much larger numbers than the P-38, the P-47 was relegated to primarily ground attack roles due to it's insufficient range to participate in high altitude deep penetration bomber escort missions; hence, it should come as no suprise that the P-38 units out claimed P-47 units by a rather large number despite the fact that the P-47 represented the lion's share of fighter aircraft in the theater.

To offer one mitigating example of why P-51 units out claimed P-38 units per sortie, let's take a look at one mission in particular. From "Flight Journal's" June 2003 edition, "Turkey Shoot Over Vienna."

Directly from the magazine:

"With many Luftwaffe fighters based in Austria and southern Germany, U.S. bombers needed fighter protection. The 82nd Fighter Group was among the P-38 units that provided this protective cover, and on July 8, 1944, it just happened to be in the right place at the right time!

When escorting bomber formations, the P-51 Mustangs usually flew far out in front of the formation and intercepted enemy fighters that had scrambled. (This helped to account for the high rate of aerial kills by Mustangs.) The P-38s usually flew above the bombers as top cover. On this day, the strategy was that the P-38s would protect the entire strike force. All three squadrons (48 aircraft) took part in the mission led by Lt. Charles Pinson. "

To paraphrase now, one group of P-38s flew out in front of the bomber formation and jumped the German aircraft while the Germans were climbing out to attack the bomber formation. Unfettered by the restrictive constraints of having to fly close top cover for the bombers, this group of free ranging P-38s scored as well as Mustang groups. A wild melee ensued, and the P-38 group came out with the upper hand.

Back to the article:

"When the mission had finished, the 82nd Group had had one of its biggest days of the War. On that day, it was officially credited with 21 confirmed kills and four "probables." To put this in perspective: other 15th Air Force fighter groups, theater-wide, tallied only eight kills for that day. The next day, Group HQ received a message from Gen. Nathan Twining, who congratulated the 82nd for eliminating an entire group from the German battle order."

So it's my contention that had there been enough P-38s, (shortages were felt throughout the war due to insufficient production), to both act as top cover and free range in front of the bomber formations, the 1000 air to air claims that Mustang groups claimed would have been P-38 group claims. Not only did tying P-38s as top cover for the bombers hurt their claims per sortie, but the bomber crews themselves exacerbated the situation. The bomber crews complained that there was no visible escort, so their command put pressure on the fighter groups to provide visible top cover. Since the P-38 was easily reconizable, it was chosen as the fighter craft to provide this "visible" top cover. The Mustang was not used due to the simple fact that bomber crews tended to shoot at Mustangs because from a distance, it closely resembled single engine enemy aircraft. The myopic view of the bomber crews actually caused more of their losses rather than lessen them. Had the top cover of P-38s been able to range out ahead of the bomber groups with the Mustangs, even more German aircraft would have been dispatched; hence, greatly reducing bomber losses and or cutting back on the number of fighters able to penetrate the bomber formations.

In short, the P-38 was more than capable if it was flown by competent pilots, serviced by experienced P-38 mechanics, and utilized properly in combat. By tying the P-38s to the bombers, this crippled the P-38s ability to claim more enemy aircraft. This is true of any fighter group serving in all theaters of combat during any part of the war. For example, I believe that it was the 356th FG, 8th AF that flew P-47s, and later, I believe, P-51s is a good example of how a fighter group can suffer if too closely tied to the bombers. This group had a rather poor combat record. Their claims per sorte were amongst the lowest in the entire 8th Air Force, and this time there's no P-38 to blame. Rather than blame the men and mechanics that were directly involved, let's take a look at what sort of missions were handed down to them. When one looks at what sort of missions the group was ordered to fly, it's no wonder the group had done so poorly. They did so poorly due to the fact that the 356th was tied directly to the bombers nearly all the time: hence the 364th's poor showing during the war.

In the introduction to the publication "The 356th FG in World War II," Kend D. Miller writes:

"Because the principle of bomber escort was strictly adhered to by the 356th's leaders, pilots of the group often had to pass up opportunities to engage enemy fighters and increase their scores. While this in fact helped earn the 356th a reputation as being a "hard luck" outfit, due to their low victory to loss ratio, the gratitude and praise from the bomber crews more than offset this misnomer."

To show what happened to this group when it was tied to the bombers, the 356th FG had 200 air to air victory claims while losing 115 of their own aircraft and having an additional 13 pilots KIA. I have no intentions of tarnishing the 356th's record or it's personnel, I simply wanted to point out that while other units of the 8th were chalking up record claims, this group suffered dearly due to the way it was employed by its command structure.

So as one can see, no matter what the aircraft, theater, or faction, when tying fighters to bombers, it greatly impedes the fighter group/wing to operate effectively. I believe that the same thing happened to the Germans during the Battle of Britain.

megalopsuche
08-04-2009, 12:15 AM
I don't see what's so controversial here. True, the 38 didn't gain the best reputation during the war, but that was mostly due to problems with the earlier models and the *freezing* cold cockpit. There can be no doubt that it was a capable fighter.

Waldo.Pepper
08-04-2009, 12:53 AM
Originally posted by Fork-N-spoon:
So it's my contention that had there been enough P-38s, (shortages were felt throughout the war due to insufficient production), to both act as top cover and free range in front of the bomber formations, the 1000 air to air claims that Mustang groups claimed would have been P-38 group claims.

I think you are wrong. Ok for a start - after you read the following passage you will not think that "insufficient production" was the sole reason for shortages. Nor losses from mechanical faults were the results of "improper mantenance." or "doctrinal missuse."

But to get back tightly on topic I would dispute your contention for the following two nearly universally overlooked reasons. (which are dealt with in the passage I will present after my introductory remarks.)

Firstly, the heater in the P-38 was terrible. Which helps to explain why it did better in the Pacific and the Mediterannean. Two places that are a little more tolerable than Europe is in the Winter.

Secondly, there war a reliability issue to condend with.

Instead of me typing consider the following words of Veteran P-38 combat pilot (who flew the P-38 over Italy) - Royal D. Frey in Flying American Combat Aircraft of World War 2 pages 69-71.


===

"The other limiting feature, cockpit temperature, would be more correctiy identified as "paralyzing." Cockpit heat from the engine manifolds was nonexistent. When you were at 30,000 feet on bomber escort and the air temperature was —55° F outside the cockpit, it was —55° F inside the cockpit. After thirty minutes or so at such a temperature, a pilot became so numb that he was too miserable to be of any real value; to make matters worse, he did not particularly care. Only his head and neck exposed to the direct rays of the sun retained any warmth.

Not only did the numbness seriously decrease a pilot's efficiency, but the balky clothing he wore further restricted his efforts. For example, I wore double-thickness silk gloves, then heavy chamois gloves, and topped these with heavy leather gauntlets (all British issue). Inside all these layers were fingers almost frozen stiff and completely without feeling. Flipping a single electrical switch required deep concentration, skill, and luck, and the P-38 cockpit was loaded with electrical switches. How we envied the P-47 and P-51 pilots with a heat-producing engine in front of them to maintain a decent cockpit temperature.

The greatest problem of all with the P-38 over Europe in 1943-44 was its engines, or rather its engine installation. When the AAF decided to add more internal fuel to the P-38 and thereby increase its range, the only place more tankage could be placed was in the leading edges of the wings where the intercoolers were located. So leading edge tanks for about one hour's additional endurance were installed, and the intercooler radiators were moved to the lower noses of the booms under the prop spinners.

The intercoolers worked fine in this position, but the adjacent oil coolers were now much too efficient. We would put up a Group strength of forty-eight planes, and if thirty got to the target, we considered ourselves fortunate. On every mission plane after plane would turn back for England once we had reached high altitude, primarily because of an engine that had blown up or a turbosupercharger that had "run away"— i.e., uncontrollable over-speeding.

A couple of months after my left engine had blown up while I was flying deep inside Germany (an event that led to my capture), Col. Mark Hubbard, 20th Group CO, arrived at Stalag Luft I, my POW camp on the Baltic Sea north of Berlin. In a conversation one clay he remarked that during the first three months the 20th Group was on operations, it had the equivalent of a complete turnover in pilots—seventy percent of which could be attributed either directly or indirectly to engine trouble. What a needless waste of highly trained men to the enemy!

A Lockheed tech rep explained that at the tremendously low air temperatures in which we were flying, the oil in the radiators cooled to such an extent that its viscosity resembled that of molasses. It simply-refused to flow sufficiently, and the engines would eventually explode or the oil-type turboregulators would malfunction."

====

BSS_CUDA
08-04-2009, 01:39 AM
Originally posted by Waldo.Pepper:
Firstly, the heater in the P-38 was terrible. Which helps to explain why it did better in the Pacific and the Mediterannean. Two places that are a little more tolerable than Europe is in the Winter.
Its just as cold at 30K in the Pacific and Med as it was in Europe so that argument doesn't fly


Originally posted by Waldo.Pepper:
Secondly, there war a reliability issue to condend with. interestingly there weren't NEAR the reliability issues in the Med and Pacific as there was in Europe, perhaps Poor Training was more to blame than the aircraft in general

Gammelpreusse
08-04-2009, 01:47 AM
Originally posted by BSS_CUDA:

Its just as cold at 30K in the Pacific and Med as it was in Europe so that argument doesn't fly

It does, as typical combat altitudes differed greatly for the theatres. The ETO usually sported much higher combat altitutes then both the MTO and PTO.


interestingly there weren't NEAR the reliability issues in the Med and Pacific as there was in Europe, perhaps Poor Training was more to blame than the aircraft in general

That has probably more to do with the environmental conditions. Northern Europe is not exactly easy on the material, especially in autumn and winter.

BillSwagger
08-04-2009, 01:48 AM
Interesting reads.

I must say that Waldos reply coincides with what Fork-N-Spoon had to say about the P-38, which is why FnS directed the discussion toward the P-38s MTO service, and mentions that the plane was more useful and bearable in moderate climates.
I would think at high altitudes would be just as cold, so maybe they weren't flying as high.

Fork-N-spoon
08-04-2009, 03:44 AM
Originally posted by Waldo.Pepper:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Fork-N-spoon:
So it's my contention that had there been enough P-38s, (shortages were felt throughout the war due to insufficient production), to both act as top cover and free range in front of the bomber formations, the 1000 air to air claims that Mustang groups claimed would have been P-38 group claims.

I think you are wrong. Ok for a start - after you read the following passage you will not think that "insufficient production" was the sole reason for shortages. Nor losses from mechanical faults were the results of "improper mantenance." or "doctrinal missuse."

But to get back tightly on topic I would dispute your contention for the following two nearly universally overlooked reasons. (which are dealt with in the passage I will present after my introductory remarks.)

Firstly, the heater in the P-38 was terrible. Which helps to explain why it did better in the Pacific and the Mediterannean. Two places that are a little more tolerable than Europe is in the Winter.

Secondly, there war a reliability issue to condend with.

Instead of me typing consider the following words of Veteran P-38 combat pilot (who flew the P-38 over Italy) - Royal D. Frey in Flying American Combat Aircraft of World War 2 pages 69-71.


===

"The other limiting feature, cockpit temperature, would be more correctiy identified as "paralyzing." Cockpit heat from the engine manifolds was nonexistent. When you were at 30,000 feet on bomber escort and the air temperature was —55° F outside the cockpit, it was —55° F inside the cockpit. After thirty minutes or so at such a temperature, a pilot became so numb that he was too miserable to be of any real value; to make matters worse, he did not particularly care. Only his head and neck exposed to the direct rays of the sun retained any warmth.

Not only did the numbness seriously decrease a pilot's efficiency, but the balky clothing he wore further restricted his efforts. For example, I wore double-thickness silk gloves, then heavy chamois gloves, and topped these with heavy leather gauntlets (all British issue). Inside all these layers were fingers almost frozen stiff and completely without feeling. Flipping a single electrical switch required deep concentration, skill, and luck, and the P-38 cockpit was loaded with electrical switches. How we envied the P-47 and P-51 pilots with a heat-producing engine in front of them to maintain a decent cockpit temperature.

The greatest problem of all with the P-38 over Europe in 1943-44 was its engines, or rather its engine installation. When the AAF decided to add more internal fuel to the P-38 and thereby increase its range, the only place more tankage could be placed was in the leading edges of the wings where the intercoolers were located. So leading edge tanks for about one hour's additional endurance were installed, and the intercooler radiators were moved to the lower noses of the booms under the prop spinners.

The intercoolers worked fine in this position, but the adjacent oil coolers were now much too efficient. We would put up a Group strength of forty-eight planes, and if thirty got to the target, we considered ourselves fortunate. On every mission plane after plane would turn back for England once we had reached high altitude, primarily because of an engine that had blown up or a turbosupercharger that had "run away"— i.e., uncontrollable over-speeding.

A couple of months after my left engine had blown up while I was flying deep inside Germany (an event that led to my capture), Col. Mark Hubbard, 20th Group CO, arrived at Stalag Luft I, my POW camp on the Baltic Sea north of Berlin. In a conversation one clay he remarked that during the first three months the 20th Group was on operations, it had the equivalent of a complete turnover in pilots—seventy percent of which could be attributed either directly or indirectly to engine trouble. What a needless waste of highly trained men to the enemy!

A Lockheed tech rep explained that at the tremendously low air temperatures in which we were flying, the oil in the radiators cooled to such an extent that its viscosity resembled that of molasses. It simply-refused to flow sufficiently, and the engines would eventually explode or the oil-type turboregulators would malfunction."

==== </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

When looking at the "big American three," none of them suffered from excessive losses per sortie.

I can see that it's time to break out some books and begin using quoting sources.

Cockpit heating:

Supposedly, the later model Js dealt with this, although there is controversial anecdotal evidence to support both camps; moreover, you've stated that in the Pacific and Mediterranean that the P-38s missions were at lower altitudes. At this point I would like to point out to you that in my original thread, P-38s were used as high altitude deep penetration bomber escorts, and they flew as high as the 8th did. Additionally, in the Pacific, I've read countless reports of high altitude missions in the area of 25k, 30k, and sometimes as high as 30k+

To debunk your final comments in which you seem to have quoted somebody from a book, you may want to look at what Tony LeVier had to say about his European tour. He stated loosely now, I've not my book to quote from at the moment so I'm paraphrasing, it seemed that the men of the 8th were neither trained to fly the type nor were the mechanics trained to service them. Most mechanics were trained on P&W. Moreover, the pilots were using any combination of boost and rpm to achieve their desired speed. In many cases this meant high rpm and low boost, which is a devastating combination due to the fact that the engines do not produce enough heat to keep the oil flowing and work at their proper tolerances. This condition of high rpm and low boost caused oil to congeal in the radiators until it resembled molasses.

Rather than get into a lot of anecdotal evidence, I consider this, the 8th’s own 479th performed about as well with the P-38 as it did with the P-51. The P-38 units in the MTO performed better than the P-51 units in the same theater performing identical missions as did the 8th air force. In north Africa, and all other theaters, the reliability issue was not a problem. In fact, the Allison engine in the P-38 flew 50% or more hours before overhaul as did the Merlin in the Mustang, and the Allison required some 50% less man hours to rebuild as did the Merlin.

I’ll revisit this topic when I have my inventory of books. At present, I’m going off what I remember reading. I’m sorry, but I’m in the middle of yet another move.

By the way, the temperature about the world is the same above 30K, and the conditions in Italy were far more primative and colder than anything that the 8th had to deal with. It actually snowed in Floggia Italy, and temperatures below 32 degrees F were quite common during the winter.

J_Weaver
08-04-2009, 08:34 AM
Interesting read. I love a good debate. To add more fuel to the fire... http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

If pilot and ground crew training issues were responsible for the P-38's performance in the ETO, why didn't MTO and PTO P-38's suffer the same problems? Were the pilots and crews coming out of different schools or perhaps had more P-38 specific traning?

general_kalle
08-04-2009, 01:43 PM
and even though your talking about the P51 and the P38, it really was A P47 Outfit that had the top scoring US ace of the western front and the highest score of all Western front Fighter outfits.

The Famous 56th Fighter Group

dadada1
08-04-2009, 04:29 PM
Surely issues of reliability and poor staff training (both air and ground) cannot be dismissed as factors for why the P38 never acheived perhaps what it deserved. It should be remembered that wartime conditions sometimes mean the best compromise is the answer to a problem and in that instance the P51 (before everyone leaps on this as you guys often do I'm not suggesting the P51 was either compromised or inferior) was the best all round fighter for its purpose in Europe. In peacetime and with proper training the P38 may have been the bee's knee's but we're not talking about that context are we?

deepo_HP
08-04-2009, 04:38 PM
in peacetime noone would have thought to build such an expensive aircraft...

horseback
08-04-2009, 05:02 PM
Originally posted by general_kalle:
and even though your talking about the P51 and the P38, it really was A P47 Outfit that had the top scoring US ace of the western front and the highest score of all Western front Fighter outfits.

The Famous 56th Fighter Group Wrong. I believe the 9th AF's 354th FG, the 'Pioneer' Mustang group had more air to air kills, and the 4th FG had more combined air and strafing credits.

The Wolfpack finished second in all but the news release departments in the 'team' events.

cheers

horseback

R_Target
08-04-2009, 05:12 PM
Originally posted by deepo_HP:
in peacetime noone would have thought to build such an expensive aircraft...

Nobody but Lockheed, I guess(1937).

deepo_HP
08-04-2009, 05:40 PM
yes, and they would have had a miserable time with it, if not war had come to them.

megalopsuche
08-04-2009, 05:44 PM
Originally posted by general_kalle:
and even though your talking about the P51 and the P38, it really was A P47 Outfit that had the top scoring US ace of the western front and the highest score of all Western front Fighter outfits.

The Famous 56th Fighter Group

The P-47 also scored more kills than any other American fighter.

R_Target
08-04-2009, 06:39 PM
Originally posted by megalopsuche:
The P-47 also scored more kills than any other American fighter.

F6F is the highest scoring American fighter. Thunderbolt may be the top scoring Army plane though.

R_Target
08-04-2009, 06:47 PM
Originally posted by deepo_HP:
yes, and they would have had a miserable time with it, if not war had come to them.

Possibly, but not because the USAAF wasn't going to buy P-38s. Lockheed might have been sunk when the British reneged on their agreement to pay for the planes that they ordered. A large legal battle was avoided when the Air Force bought out the British order upon U.S. entry into the war.

ASH_HOUSEWARES
08-06-2009, 01:09 PM
P-38
Rocked the PTO
Hindered in the ETO due to UK fuel
two top US aces flew them
nuff said

DKoor
08-06-2009, 01:10 PM
Originally posted by ASH_HOUSEWARES:
P-38
Rocked the PTO
Hindered in the ETO due to UK fuel
two top US aces flew them
nuff said http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/59.gif

ASH_HOUSEWARES
08-06-2009, 01:58 PM
Nice Sig! S!

hirosangels
08-06-2009, 02:08 PM
I like the P-38.

In IL-2 its awesome, stable. It looks ****, and flies very well. Myh first dewinging happened on the P-38. And it can move mud very well.

And the hammerhead stalls (well with my clumsy hands) with playing with dual engines really rocks (works good for turning 4 taxiing 2).

They helped seal Japan's fate with Operation Venegence.

And the tricycle gear! With my n00bish landing skills, I can land her easy.

But alas,

when you look at real war and logistics.

A plane that has two engines, more service time. More expensive. Requires more fuel.

Takes longer to build.

And the costs must justify the performance. I mean the P-38 was a well performer, but essentially on par with 51 and 47. If it exceeded both of them by alot, heck maybe justify the price tag.

But having two engines is key for survivability (navy had something 2 engine requirement until cost cutting drove them to forsake it with the JSF).

horseback
08-06-2009, 03:10 PM
Interesting read. I love a good debate. To add more fuel to the fire...

If pilot and ground crew training issues were responsible for the P-38's performance in the ETO, why didn't MTO and PTO P-38's suffer the same problems? Were the pilots and crews coming out of different schools or perhaps had more P-38 specific training? The groups that enjoyed the early war successes with the Lightning had been pre-war trained P-38 outfits composed of relatively experienced pilots and they and their support organizations had been largely ‘spoon-fed’ by Lockheed tech reps and test pilots. In the Pacific, most outfits that transitioned to the P-38 had been flying considerably less capable aircraft in combat, and quickly figured out how to take full advantage of its greater abilities. In North Africa, the 1st, 14th, and 82nd FGs were heavily supplemented by drafts of personnel from the 78th FG, which was also a prewar Lightning group, as well as taking their airplanes to replace operational losses.

When the 20th and later, the 55th FGs arrived in England, they had been given a training syllabus arranged by the Army Air Force, which was more than a little schizophrenic, since the Army couldn’t decide if they were multiengine (more than one engine, more than one crewman) pilots or fighter (single seat) pilots. They absolutely did not have the direct support and contact with Lockheed that their predecessors enjoyed. Their support personnel were little better off.

They were also more than a little snakebit; their squadron and group COs had a tendency to get shot down after a week or so in office; this would have made the support situation even more critical, because only a Group’s CO could ‘fire’ a bad support group CO (as Zemke had to with his first support group CO, who was more concerned with the Book than with winning the war).

If the support groups were not getting the job done, they got a free pass every time a new CO reported on station.

Ultimately, the Lightning was doomed by a number of factors:
• It had been designed to a requirement for an interceptor that was expected to result in no more than 150 aircraft built. As a result, the design had made no concessions to mass production.
• It was Lockheed’s first effort at a fighter; some basic considerations for a combat aircraft were overlooked, not least of which was the poor ergonomics of its cockpit and the comfort of the pilot at high altitudes.
• Between management and the Army, the program was poorly run and production during the first two years of the war, when the Lightning had a virtual monopoly on range and performance capability among Allied fighters, was abysmal. It was never available in the numbers needed (much less requested) until more capable versions of the P-51 and P-47 were already dominating the ETO squadrons.
• It was the first American aircraft to encounter many of the problems of high speed and high altitude operations; there is no question that North American and Republic’s products benefited from the P-38’s pioneering work, and avoided some of the pitfalls with the demands of combat in the cold thin air over 25,000 ft.

cheers

horseback

ASH_HOUSEWARES
08-06-2009, 07:44 PM
Originally posted by horseback:
The groups that enjoyed the early war successes with the Lightning had been pre-war trained P-38 outfits composed of relatively experienced pilots and they and their support organizations had been largely ‘spoon-fed’ by Lockheed tech reps and test pilots.
Interesting, I have often felt that had alot to do with it, but never seen anyone make note of it, Explanes alot when you consider the cases, as with all weapons, training is the key, the best weapon in the world wont do you any good if you dont know how to use it. Thanks for the info!

Aviar
08-06-2009, 10:06 PM
Even Charles Lindbergh had a hand in training some P-38 pilots:

http://www.charleslindbergh.com/history/b24.asp

Aviar

J_Weaver
08-07-2009, 01:46 PM
Originally posted by horseback:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Interesting read. I love a good debate. To add more fuel to the fire...

If pilot and ground crew training issues were responsible for the P-38's performance in the ETO, why didn't MTO and PTO P-38's suffer the same problems? Were the pilots and crews coming out of different schools or perhaps had more P-38 specific training? The groups that enjoyed the early war successes with the Lightning had been pre-war trained P-38 outfits composed of relatively experienced pilots and they and their support organizations had been largely ‘spoon-fed’ by Lockheed tech reps and test pilots. In the Pacific, most outfits that transitioned to the P-38 had been flying considerably less capable aircraft in combat, and quickly figured out how to take full advantage of its greater abilities. In North Africa, the 1st, 14th, and 82nd FGs were heavily supplemented by drafts of personnel from the 78th FG, which was also a prewar Lightning group, as well as taking their airplanes to replace operational losses.

When the 20th and later, the 55th FGs arrived in England, they had been given a training syllabus arranged by the Army Air Force, which was more than a little schizophrenic, since the Army couldn’t decide if they were multiengine (more than one engine, more than one crewman) pilots or fighter (single seat) pilots. They absolutely did not have the direct support and contact with Lockheed that their predecessors enjoyed. Their support personnel were little better off.

They were also more than a little snakebit; their squadron and group COs had a tendency to get shot down after a week or so in office; this would have made the support situation even more critical, because only a Group’s CO could ‘fire’ a bad support group CO (as Zemke had to with his first support group CO, who was more concerned with the Book than with winning the war).

If the support groups were not getting the job done, they got a free pass every time a new CO reported on station.

Ultimately, the Lightning was doomed by a number of factors:
• It had been designed to a requirement for an interceptor that was expected to result in no more than 150 aircraft built. As a result, the design had made no concessions to mass production.
• It was Lockheed’s first effort at a fighter; some basic considerations for a combat aircraft were overlooked, not least of which was the poor ergonomics of its cockpit and the comfort of the pilot at high altitudes.
• Between management and the Army, the program was poorly run and production during the first two years of the war, when the Lightning had a virtual monopoly on range and performance capability among Allied fighters, was abysmal. It was never available in the numbers needed (much less requested) until more capable versions of the P-51 and P-47 were already dominating the ETO squadrons.
• It was the first American aircraft to encounter many of the problems of high speed and high altitude operations; there is no question that North American and Republic’s products benefited from the P-38’s pioneering work, and avoided some of the pitfalls with the demands of combat in the cold thin air over 25,000 ft.

cheers

horseback </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Good post! Thanks for the info.

HellToupee
08-08-2009, 04:55 PM
Originally posted by deepo_HP:
in peacetime noone would have thought to build such an expensive aircraft...

Actually only in peace time would someone design such an expensive aircraft :P.

BSS_CUDA
08-08-2009, 06:40 PM
/me points to the F-22 and B-2 both peace time aircraft

deepo_HP
08-08-2009, 08:43 PM
well, true about war often demands more economic designs. but i think, the usa had the most reserves that time. i probably had better said: in a peacetime or civil (not military) market situation...
imo, if ressources are not severely limited and production is not under governmental control, war - and also the thread of war - offers a lot of opportunities for a good share.

the f-22 and b-2 exactly show that. the end of the cold war reduced quite fast the planned orders from 130 to 21 (b-2) and from 800 to eventually 190 (?, i think).
also the b-2 is not exactly a peace-time bomber.
i don't know, if there was any analysis proving the actual need for a jet like the f-22 other than demonstrating capabilities. like the question, how one f-22 relates to two f-35 or three super-hornets or even six f-15e.
but it seems, that with the lack of a possible opponent, and the realisation that there hasn't been any use for it in the latest military actions, the economies of market have been reestablished for both.

ASH_HOUSEWARES
08-09-2009, 10:31 AM
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 deepo_HP:
in peacetime noone would have thought to build such an expensive aircraft...

Actually only in peace time would someone design such an expensive aircraft :P. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
That is a good point, the 38 was build prior to WWII ramping up. At which time the mind set was quality over quantity, hence the 38. But as the war got rolling it was clear that quantity had a quality of its own, hence the 51. In short, the US didn't need a plane as good as the 38, the 51 was cheaper and more than enough plane to deal with what the axis was putting up.

JtD
08-09-2009, 10:37 AM
It's more like that the technological evolution made it possible to design a plane that got an as good performance at half the price. The P-51 clearly did have qualities the P-38 could not match, so I don't see where the "not as good as" comes from.

M_Gunz
08-09-2009, 11:11 AM
Originally posted by JtD:
I don't see where the "not as good as" comes from.

That's just attention bait. Next comes the reel it in fight which is what it's about.

horseback
08-09-2009, 12:01 PM
Agree with JtD here.

The P-38 prototype was flying in January of 1939. At that point, it was probably the most advanced fighter desgn out there, but delays after the crash of the prototype held off the building of the second Lightning, a YP-38, until September of 1940.

Here the economic mess the US was in was a factor; we were still stuck in the Great Depression, and the government did not have the wherewithal to finance even such a promising project.

There is a general misconception about the United States' situation in the prewar years that we were just sitting at our ease waiting for the most convenient time to enter the contest. The fact is that things were still a mess, unemployment remained higher for longer than in Europe, and the whole situation was harsher here than most people understand.

A significant percentage (over 10%)of American men who volunteered for the armed forces when the war broke out were found physically unfit for service due to malnutrition during their childhood or adolescent years.

The government didn't have the money for the project, and Lockheed spent a lot of their resources during that time catering to British orders for Hudsons.

In any case, like the Corsair, the P-38 remained a remarkably competitive fighter design well into 1944 without ever reaching full maturity. The difference with the Corsair was that Vought had licensees like Goodyear and Brewster building Corsairs too. It was quickly available in (almost) the desired numbers.

Add to that the P-38's basic limiting flaws of the design which could not be overcome by changing engines, auxiliary systems or propellors; it simply couldn't safely go faster at higher (30K+ft) altitudes without going into compression.

What could have been literally a war winner in 1940 and should have been a war changer in 1942/3 was an also ran in 1944 because it wasn't available in the necessary numbers earlier. Had the USAAF been able to equip and adequately train even half of its fighter groups with P-38s in 1942/3, the Axis' air forces would well have collapsed much sooner.

By late 1943 though, a Merlin powered Mustang could match or surpass the P-38H/J in most if not all regimes, particularly when both aircraft had burned off a significant fraction of their fuel loads,as they would when entering action in the escort role, and the P-51 was more reliable and available in greater numbers during the critical period of January to April of 1944.

The P-47 was always superior at higher alts, and with the paddleblade props & water injection narrowed the gap at medium alts. Once it's makers found a way to increase its fuel load and range, it too eclipsed the P-38, probably no later than May of 1944.

And both the Mustang and the Thunderbolt were vastly easier to master for combat; being an earlier technology, the Lightning was much more complicated and demanding than even the basic requirements of two engines compared to a single engined fighter.

In short, the P-38 was a great fighter in 1942/43, but it was only average by Allied standards NLT mid-1944. That is not to say that it wasn't competitive to war's end, but there were easier to fly, cheaper and more capable choices out there.

cheers

horseback

ASH_HOUSEWARES
08-09-2009, 12:25 PM
Originally posted by JtD:
It's more like that the technological evolution made it possible to design a plane that got an as good performance at half the price. The P-51 clearly did have qualities the P-38 could not match, so I don't see where the "not as good as" comes from.
It comes from my definition of better.

At the time the 51 came hit the scene the 38 bested it in every category except range, and after the inclusion of extra internal tanks it was right up there with the stang. Thus my definition of better is more of a gamers perspective than a real war definition of better. Where real life has to take into account the economics, logistics, training, maintenance, etc.

In short, gamer wise, the 38 was a better dog fighter than the 51 in the TnB since. Which is why I love the 38 in the game.

But, real world wise, from the onset of the war it was clear the air war had moved away from that WWI TnB style to a BnZ style where quality was not needed and quantity ruled the sky. Basically what is good for the game is not necesarly good for real life.

JtD
08-09-2009, 12:57 PM
It had never come to my mind before to try, but it is pretty much fun to shoot up 38's with 51's in game.

ASH_HOUSEWARES
08-09-2009, 01:20 PM
what ever floats you boat, AI is funny like that, but I prefer human pilots and shootin down 109G6s in my 38J

horseback
08-09-2009, 01:30 PM
At the time the 51 came hit the scene the 38 bested it in every category except range, and after the inclusion of extra internal tanks it was right up there with the stang. Thus my definition of better is more of a gamers perspective than a real war definition of better. Where real life has to take into account the economics, logistics, training, maintenance, etc. Please try not to confuse the game's oversensitive trim biotch Mustang FM with the the real thing's flying and fighting qualities. The Mustang was flat out superior to the P-38 for destroying enemy aircraft in real life.

Once the Mustang got the Merlin engine, it was more than a match for the Lightning in most meaningful ways, particularly as a dogfighter. Better all around vision even in the razorback version, comparable climb (without the fuselage tank, some contemporary AAF sources state that it was superior) and acceleration, vastly better dive and zoom (critical in the ETO, especially at high alts), and always faster.

Maybe it wasn't quite as nifty in a turn, but that doesn't seem to hamper the FW 190's reputation either; both the 190 and the Mustang have a better reputation for maneuverability than the postwar aerodynamic numbers would indicate.

Most pilots who flew both the P-38 and the P-51 in combat soon preferred the P-51, especially if they were taking the fight up past 25000 ft.

All the logistical factors pale in comparison to the fact that Mustangs were credited with more victories per sortie than Lightnings under the same conditions for the 8th AF in the early months of 1944. If the Lightning had been available in greater numbers, had similar victory credits and been more reliable, it would have pre-empted the Mustang, higher cost or not.

A lost, or even an extended war is more expensive than mere cash considerations.

cheers

horseback

ASH_HOUSEWARES
08-09-2009, 01:42 PM
Originally posted by horseback:
Please try not to confuse the game's oversensitive trim biotch Mustang FM with the the real thing's flying and fighting qualities. Im not, I am basing it off of the real world performance tests preformed on both planes.

AllorNothing117
08-10-2009, 05:58 AM
I don't believe that the 1 38 was as expensive 2 51's or 47's. No way. I don't buy that. 2 enginse yes, more fuel: It's bigger and a had a longer range. Just cos it can carry more fuel doesn't mean that it was more expensive as it could travel a further distance no Anyway, it had fewer guns and the same amount of everything eles apart from 2 engines. I've never heard the 38 refered to as being like, mega expensive compared with the 51 or 47, or any other plane for that matter.

JtD
08-10-2009, 07:29 AM
P-38 134000$ decreasing to 97000$ as the war went on, P-51 59000$ decreasing to 51000$.

The P-38 was not designed as a mass production fighter. The P-51 was.

P-47 cost about 85% of a P-38, a P-40 less than half.

ASH_HOUSEWARES
08-10-2009, 09:20 AM
Originally posted by AllorNothing117:
I don't buy that.
As JtD pointed out it was more, but not double. But even if it was double, you got allot for it! Double the reliability with two engines thus double the survivability. Something that gave the PTO guys great comfort while flying over the big blue nothingness. And as I noted before, performance wise, the P38 did everything better or as good at the P51. All in all a better dog fighter TnB wise, its only real short coming ws it was not as cost effective as the P51. But that still didn't stop them from making the 38. As a mater of fact I think the 38 is the only US pre war plane that was still in production at the end of the war

M_Gunz
08-10-2009, 09:41 AM
Initial price does not cover cost to run and to maintain. P-38 kept on being more expensive, it is not a model on a shelf.

P-38 has a lower critical Mach than either P-47 or P-51. Sure, there are dive brakes on later models but that don't catch
the bandits diving away nor does it keep energy. Cockpit view is blocked to either side by the booms as well.

JtD
08-10-2009, 10:10 AM
If the P-38 did everything as good or better than the P-51, how come the 51 is considerably faster?

M_Gunz
08-10-2009, 12:24 PM
I think that there are those who will say the last P-38 model was as fast or faster. For instance the Wiki article
lists the maximum speed as 433 mph down in the info block while up above in the text you can see that refers to a
one-off prototype and the value coming from Lockheed. Any bets that the instrumentation was completely right?
Going once....

A number of experimental planes were canceled because they were not appreciably faster or better than the P-51.
None that I ever heard of were canceled because they were not better or faster than the P-38.

JtD
08-10-2009, 01:02 PM
433? That would be only 50 mph slower than a number I found for a late P-51.

But I was referring to service models, contemporaries preferably.

horseback
08-10-2009, 01:22 PM
Ash, I have to wonder about the sources of your information about the P-38.

The two engine comfort factor was almost entirely psychological; the Lightning's compexity often led to problems and aborts on long-range missions at a similar rate to single engine types, and it was significantly worse in the ETO. Its loss rate in the ground pounding mission was higher than the P-47s, and actually closer to the P-51's, not least because its planform made for a bigger target for AAA, and two engines provided twice the flammmables.

Pilot's field of view was quite a bit more limited than single engine fighters, as others have posted.

It did have a superior gun setup; all that firepower packed in the nose provided a much more intuitive aiming system and provided a huge punch at almost all ranges. It was designed to kill bombers, so a fighter straying into the line of fire was unlikely to survive the experience.

It had a wonderful sustained rate of turn, but this was hampered by the slow initial rate of roll; German pilots in the Med quickly learned to roll right, roll left and dive away when they had a Lightning on their tail. The inevitable result was that the Lightning driver would still be trying to reverse his roll right by the time the German aircraft he was chasing had already obtained an uncatchable lead.

That never changed, even with the later hydraulic assist to the controls, because the problem was inertia, not how much force could be applied to the ailerons.

Finally, the cockpit layout was a nightmare, especially if the pilot was wearing the heavy gloves required for high altitude operations over Europe. Just dropping the tanks and going from cruise condition to high performance mode when you spot the enemy about to bounce you required something like 6 or 8 separate actions that had to be done in the correct order.

It was NOT user friendly; even its strongest proponents agreed that it took a pilot twice as long to gain the proficiency needed to be an asset rather than a liability to a flight in combat. Most who flew both the Lightning and the Mustang agreed that the Mustang was a better fighter, and that they'd rather be in a P-51's cockpit in a fight, including Robin Olds.

In short, sometimes the 'book' values don't translate into the expected superiority, especially when the competition keeps getting better faster than you do.

cheers

horseback

Xiolablu3
08-10-2009, 02:31 PM
Interesting stuff guys, thanks!

ASH_HOUSEWARES
08-10-2009, 07:02 PM
Originally posted by horseback:
Ash, I have to wonder about the sources of your information about the P-38.

The two engine comfort factor was almost entirely psychological; the Lightning's complexity often led to problems and aborts on long-range missions at a similar rate to single engine types, and it was significantly worse in the ETO. Its loss rate in the ground pounding mission was higher than the P-47s, and actually closer to the P-51's, not least because its planform made for a bigger target for AAA, and two engines provided twice the flammmables.

Pilot's field of view was quite a bit more limited than single engine fighters, as others have posted.

It did have a superior gun setup; all that firepower packed in the nose provided a much more intuitive aiming system and provided a huge punch at almost all ranges. It was designed to kill bombers, so a fighter straying into the line of fire was unlikely to survive the experience.

It had a wonderful sustained rate of turn, but this was hampered by the slow initial rate of roll; German pilots in the Med quickly learned to roll right, roll left and dive away when they had a Lightning on their tail. The inevitable result was that the Lightning driver would still be trying to reverse his roll right by the time the German aircraft he was chasing had already obtained an uncatchable lead.

That never changed, even with the later hydraulic assist to the controls, because the problem was inertia, not how much force could be applied to the ailerons.

Finally, the cockpit layout was a nightmare, especially if the pilot was wearing the heavy gloves required for high altitude operations over Europe. Just dropping the tanks and going from cruise condition to high performance mode when you spot the enemy about to bounce you required something like 6 or 8 separate actions that had to be done in the correct order.

It was NOT user friendly; even its strongest proponents agreed that it took a pilot twice as long to gain the proficiency needed to be an asset rather than a liability to a flight in combat. Most who flew both the Lightning and the Mustang agreed that the Mustang was a better fighter, and that they'd rather be in a P-51's cockpit in a fight, including Robin Olds.

In short, sometimes the 'book' values don't translate into the expected superiority, especially when the competition keeps getting better faster than you do.

cheers

horseback
As for my sources, no need to wonder, Ill tell you, they are top notch, in that they are tests preformed by the USAAF, not some cherry picked aerospace values, but the values the USAAF obtained during their acceptant testings. With that in mind, lets compare the rate of climb and time to climb of a typical 38J to the typical 51D. In that as we all know the rate of climb is analogies to excess power.

<pre class="ip-ubbcode-code-pre">
alt(ft) 38J(fpm) 51D(fpm) dif(fpm) 38J(min) 51D(min) dif(sec)
0 4000 3600 400
5000 3960 3575 385 1.25 1.4 9
10,000 3820 2925 895 2.54 2.9 22
15,000 3550 2275 1275 3.89 4.8 55
20,000 3190 3050 140 5.37 6.6 74 (1min 14sec)
25,000 2665 2375 290 7.06 8.4 80 (1min 20sec)
30,000 1830 1700 130 9.32 10.9 95 (1min 35sec)</pre>

As you can see the 38 best the 51 all the way up to 30kft, it isn't until 35kft that the 51 starts to match the 38 and it isn't until 40kft that the 51 starts to out preform the 38. As most of you know, just flying at those high altitudes was a challenge, thus the real dog fighting altitudes where they mixed it up was typically below 25kft. Thus if I had to choose a plane to mix it up in, it would be the 38, espically in and around 15kft! Note the 38 has a 1275fpm better rate of climb! I don't know where most of the action was in real life, some claim to know, I have never seen any real data to support thier claims, but as far as the game goes most of the fighting online happens around 15kft.

As for the two engine comfort factor being almost entirely psychological, that is your opinion and your welcome to it, I just don't agree with your opinion.

As for ground attack loss rates, there are more variables at play there than the plane, plane size, etc, Thus I don't come to the same conclusion that you do. But again that is your opinion and your welcome to it, I just don't agree with your opinion.

As for pilot's field of view being limited, that is also subjective. Some pilots claimed it to be better, others said it was worse. I tend to see it the way Jeff Ethel described it, I wont repeat it all here, but know that he found it to be superior to other single engine planes.

As for hampered by the slow initial rate of roll, I would be willing to bet that 'most' who held that opinion were pilots that didn't have alot of stick time in the 38 and didn't use rudder to assist the roll, let alone adj the thrust/throttles. But that is just my opinion, and a hard one to provide supporting evidence in that it is not 100% clear from roll rate testing if rudder was or was not employed in those tests.

As for the hydraulic assist to the aileron controls, it may not have improved the initial roll rate, but it greatly increased the roll rate at higher speeds, such that it out rolled a Fw190 at high speeds

As for layout, that is your opinion and your welcome to it, I just don't agree with it, But even if true, I see this as something that would be a non issue as more time is logged in the plane, that goes for any plane.

As for most pilots preferring the 51 over the 38, I would love to see the statistics your basing that off of, because all the real P38 pilots I have had the pleaser to talk to never said that.

As for book values translating, well, that is a two way street! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

M_Gunz
08-10-2009, 09:54 PM
Rate of climb is analogous to specific excess power **at the speed and altitude not to mention loading of the climb**,
as --all-- specific excess power is _at speed, altitude and loading_. But then the obfuscation (aka Smoke and Mirrors)
provided only includes the part that supports the P-38 as superior POV.

How much specific excess power does a P-38-J have at 25,000 ft going 400 mph level? Ya think it's more than a P-51-C?
That's with equal fuel, full ammo, no bombs or drop tanks, last serial makes of both models.

As for a lot of opinion... LOL! Trying to say that trained military pilots didn't know how to kick rudder to snap roll
is really trying to discredit them badly. Trying to say that workload doesn't matter with experience is pure BS, the
controls don't move just by thought and even the veterans had times when they wished for quicker and easier controls.

But typical we-know-who says the only things and opinions that matter are what we-know-who decides matters.


As for my sources, no need to wonder, Ill tell you, they are top notch, in that they are tests preformed by the USAAF, not some cherry picked aerospace values, but the values the USAAF obtained during their acceptant testings. With that in mind, lets compare the rate of climb and time to climb of a typical 38J to the typical 51D. In that as we all know the rate of climb is analogies to excess power.

Note clearly that the first sentence invokes the USAAF *acceptance* testing values but doesn't invoke them ALL, only
what's going to be used. It's stage magic, "keep your eye on my left hand as in that's all that matters". In the push
for persuasion, rhetoric replaces logic as needed.

Did the P-51D pass USAAF acceptance testing? Even, GASP, with such a poor climb rate compared to the P-38J?
Please, do tell how all fracking important those climb rates are! Please, was the P-51D as tested fully fueled for
a round trip to Berlin that no P-38 ever made? LOL, of course not, right? Because that would be cherry picking!

ASH_HOUSEWARES
08-10-2009, 10:48 PM
Originally posted by M_Gunz:
Rate of climb is analogous to specific excess power **at the speed and altitude not to mention loading of the climb**,
as --all-- specific excess power is _at speed, altitude and loading_. But then the obfuscation (aka Smoke and Mirrors)
provided only includes the part that supports the P-38 as superior POV.

How much specific excess power does a P-38-J have at 25,000 ft going 400 mph level? Ya think it's more than a P-51-C?
That's with equal fuel, full ammo, no bombs or drop tanks, last serial makes of both models.

As for a lot of opinion... LOL! Trying to say that trained military pilots didn't know how to kick rudder to snap roll
is really trying to discredit them badly. Trying to say that workload doesn't matter with experience is pure BS, the
controls don't move just by thought and even the veterans had times when they wished for quicker and easier controls.

But typical we-know-who says the only things and opinions that matter are what we-know-who decides matters.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">As for my sources, no need to wonder, Ill tell you, they are top notch, in that they are tests preformed by the USAAF, not some cherry picked aerospace values, but the values the USAAF obtained during their acceptant testings. With that in mind, lets compare the rate of climb and time to climb of a typical 38J to the typical 51D. In that as we all know the rate of climb is analogies to excess power.

Note clearly that the first sentence invokes the USAAF *acceptance* testing values but doesn't invoke them ALL, only
what's going to be used. It's stage magic, "keep your eye on my left hand as in that's all that matters". In the push
for persuasion, rhetoric replaces logic as needed.

Did the P-51D pass USAAF acceptance testing? Even, GASP, with such a poor climb rate compared to the P-38J?
Please, do tell how all fracking important those climb rates are! Please, was the P-51D as tested fully fueled for
a round trip to Berlin that no P-38 ever made? LOL, of course not, right? Because that would be cherry picking! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

As for obfuscation, not sure what it is your trying to say there, you said a lot but IMHO didn't really say anything, care to give it another try?

As for what a P51C might or might not do at 25kft with different configs, I could only guess. But I prefer to stick with real world data, like I provided, and thus will leave the unsupported undocumented guess work to you.

As for discrediting pilots attempting to roll the 38, I did nothing of the sort IMHO. I simply suggested that someone with more stick time in a 38 is more likely to know how to combined the stick, rudder and throttle settings to obtain the best roll rate.

As for discrediting pilots workload in the 38, I did nothing of the sort, as a mater of fact I did just the opposite in pointing out that with enough stick time it will become 2nd nature to them.

As for we-know-who decides matters, not sure what it is your trying to say there, you said a lot but IMHO didn't really say anything, care to give it another try?

As for static magic, not sure what it is your trying to say there, you said a lot but IMHO didn't really say anything, care to give it another try?

As for did all P-51Ds pass USAAF acceptance testing? I could only guess. But I prefer to stick with real world data, like I provided, and thus will leave the unsupported undocumented guess work to you.

As for how important climb rates are, IMHO the rate of climb tells a lot about what a plane can do in a dog fight. Personally I think a 1200fpm rate of climb advantage over your opponent can be put to very good use. But that is my opinion, your mileage may vary, and clearly does. If you have some real world data to dispute that, I am all ears. If not, and you think a 1200+fpm rate of climb advantage is no advantage at all, well that is your opinion and your welcome to it, I just disagree with your opinion.

All in all if you have some real world data that disputes anything I posted, I would love to hear it. As for your ill tempered opinions vs. my opinions, well Im really not interested.

JtD
08-10-2009, 11:04 PM
So the interceptor design has a better maximum climb rate than the escort design. Wow. We all knew that.

But you still compared the best P-38 climb data with the worst P-51 climb data I know. Except for the 150 octane fuel tests.

And how does the better climb rate make the P-38 as good or better than the P-51 at everything, for instance faster?

na85
08-10-2009, 11:04 PM
<pre class="ip-ubbcode-code-pre">alt(ft) 38J(fpm) 51D(fpm) dif(fpm) 38J(min) 51D(min) dif(sec)
0 4000 3600 400
5000 3960 3575 385 1.25 1.4 9
10,000 3820 2925 895 2.54 2.9 22
15,000 3550 2275 1275 3.89 4.8 55
20,000 3190 3050 140 5.37 6.6 74 (1min 14sec)
25,000 2665 2375 290 7.06 8.4 80 (1min 20sec)
30,000 1830 1700 130 9.32 10.9 95 (1min 35sec)
</pre>

Tagert could I trouble you to provide a link to the source of this data? Without knowing the conditions the tests were performed under, this is useless.

Please and thank you.

M_Gunz
08-10-2009, 11:41 PM
Simple to know that at near top speed the P-38J does not have as much specific excess power as the not as near top speed
by a long shot P-51D, both at the same high speed. P-38 was not built to go as fast as the P-51.

As for supported claims, yeah sure that little table sans conditions tells more about the claimant than the planes.

JtD
08-10-2009, 11:42 PM
na85, this is the P-38 Jtest (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-38/p-38-67869.html) and this is the P-51D test (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/mustang/p51d-15342.html) AH referred to.

A very poor choice, imho.

M_Gunz
08-11-2009, 12:18 AM
Originally posted by JtD:
na85, this is the P-38 Jtest (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-38/p-38-67869.html) and this is the P-51D test (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/mustang/p51d-15342.html) AH referred to.

A very poor choice, imho.

Could have used worse, no? The P-51D wasn't overloaded. Still, climb at under 200mph... do that in a furball
and you're a sitting duck!

na85
08-11-2009, 12:23 AM
Originally posted by JtD:
na85, this is the P-38 Jtest (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-38/p-38-67869.html) and this is the P-51D test (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/mustang/p51d-15342.html) AH referred to.

A very poor choice, imho.

Thanks JTD

na85
08-11-2009, 12:44 AM
Originally posted by JtD:

A very poor choice, imho.

What makes it a poor choice IYO?

BSS_CUDA
08-11-2009, 05:45 AM
uhm, why are we comparing the 38J with the 51D???

you should be comparing the J with the B or C

Bremspropeller
08-11-2009, 07:15 AM
Even better, as the B and C were faster http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/59.gif

JtD
08-11-2009, 09:26 AM
The selected P-51D a poor choice because they were using MS gear to a too far up altitude. They say it automatically changes at about 16000ft depending on the ram, but 16000 is too high for climbing (where you have very little ram). They then went on to test it in manual mode, and tested FS gear only from 17000ft up. They should have tested it down to about 10000ft, as it was done in other tests. There's no reason to have the climb rate drop below 3000ft/min at 15000ft. So, instead of 1275 ft/min difference AH gets so exited about, you'd have like 500ft/min.

The reason the P-38J is a poor choice is because it has been done with an early model that doesn't have the LE tanks. It was only with those that the P-38 could equal the range of the P-51 (on internal capacity only), unless you compare it to model that don't have the fuselage tank. If you were to compare models with equal range, you'd end up with a reduced climb performance by the P-38J or an increased one by the P-51. Depending on your choice, the differences are in the range of 200-400 ft/min for most of the altitudes. It is obvious that this will have a notable impact on the difference as noted by HA.

ASH_HOUSEWARES
08-11-2009, 07:47 PM
Originally posted by na85:
Tagert could I trouble you to provide a link to the source of this data?
You allready managed to get one thread locked with this sillyness, are you trying to get this one locked too?

ASH_HOUSEWARES
08-11-2009, 07:49 PM
Originally posted by JtD:
So the interceptor design has a better maximum climb rate than the escort design. Wow. We all knew that.

But you still compared the best P-38 climb data with the worst P-51 climb data I know. Except for the 150 octane fuel tests.

And how does the better climb rate make the P-38 as good or better than the P-51 at everything, for instance faster?

and


Originally posted by JtD:
The selected P-51D a poor choice because they were using MS gear to a too far up altitude. They say it automatically changes at about 16000ft depending on the ram, but 16000 is too high for climbing (where you have very little ram). They then went on to test it in manual mode, and tested FS gear only from 17000ft up. They should have tested it down to about 10000ft, as it was done in other tests. There's no reason to have the climb rate drop below 3000ft/min at 15000ft. So, instead of 1275 ft/min difference AH gets so exited about, you'd have like 500ft/min.

The reason the P-38J is a poor choice is because it has been done with an early model that doesn't have the LE tanks. It was only with those that the P-38 could equal the range of the P-51 (on internal capacity only), unless you compare it to model that don't have the fuselage tank. If you were to compare models with equal range, you'd end up with a reduced climb performance by the P-38J or an increased one by the P-51. Depending on your choice, the differences are in the range of 200-400 ft/min for most of the altitudes. It is obvious that this will have a notable impact on the difference as noted by HA.

As for interceptor vs escort, both the P38 and P51 were 'pursuit' aircraft (hence the 'P') that could and were tasked with escort and climb to intercept missions. Of the two the P38 'pursuit' aircraft had a better climb rate than the P51 'pursuit' aircraft. As for range, neither plane started off with the range they ended up with, both had internal fuel added to them to increase the range. Thus your in error to think they were from conception only suited for one task or the other, and thus in error to think you knew that in advance.

As for how does the better climb rate make the P38 as good or better, as I have already stated, rate of climb is analogies to excess power. Typically a plane with more excess power is going to be better at the TnB type of classical dog fight, within reason. Granted the P51 was faster, but that had more to do with it's clear aerodynamic lines (read less drag) which also help in its range. Thus give the P51 enough time and it will walk/run away from a P38, but most dog fights didn't occur at or near the planes top speed. Slashing BnZ blind sided attacks yes (read boxing), but not TnB types of dog fights (read wrestling). But even if they were to take place near the top speeds, the 38 would again have the advantage over the 51 in that it could actually maneuver at those high speeds with its dive breaks, elevator authority and boosted ailerons (That enabled it to roll faster than a Fw190 let alone a P51). So faster is useful for the one pass blind sided slash attack and run tactics (read BnZ) and either plane could do each well, but should you get into a TnB style of flight, you will wish you have the 38 with it better rate of climb (read more excess power). And we have not even begun to talk about the other aspects of the 38 that made it a better dog fighter, things like centralized guns placement, counter rotating props that made it a stable gun plat form and gave it great stall charterstics, just to name a few.

As for a poor choice, that is your opinion and your welcome to it, there was nothing sinister about my choices, I simply picked two tests and did the comparisons. The point your missing is even if you use the P51 test your referring to, you will find the 38 still has a better rate of climb, now you and yours can poo poo a better rate of climb all you want, where you suggest that 500fpm is not a big deal. But IMHO that says more about your lack of understanding of what excess power means to a fighter in a TnB style fight. Only a fool would think that all it means is you can climb away at from the enmy at constant rate.

SILVERFISH1992
08-11-2009, 07:51 PM
Damn, please no more fighting!

You guys are acting younger then me! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif

dadada1
08-11-2009, 08:20 PM
Originally posted by SILVERFISH1992:
Damn, please no more fighting!

You guys are acting younger then me! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif

Been like this here for as long as I can remember. Some will argue that black is white and vice versa, either way they'll just wear you into submission rather than proving a point.

BillSwagger
08-11-2009, 08:43 PM
I'm not disagreeing, but what i don't understand is if the P-38 had a better climb rate, then why was it out performed in rate of climb against most of the German contemporaries??


At least, that was a suggestion that was made in referring to its preferred use in the PTO where its rate of climb was far better than most JPN planes.

It is also common knowledge that the 38 won the favor of more pilots in the PTO, where the same can be said about the P-51 in the ETO.

So something is very peculiar about the P-38s use in the war and why it wasn't used as frequently as the P-51 in the ETO.
Especially when you start showing statistics of climb rate and range, etc etc.

what is going on there??
Why these tests that mark the P-38 as superior, however, we still see more Mustangs on escort missions??

Why would the USAAF look at these tests and still go against them by choosing the Mustang?

dadada1
08-11-2009, 08:56 PM
Originally posted by BillSwagger:
I'm not disagreeing, but what i don't understand is if the P-38 had a better climb rate, then why was it out performed in rate of climb against most of the German contemporaries??


At least, that was a suggestion that was made in referring to its preferred use in the PTO where its rate of climb was far better than most JPN planes.

It is also common knowledge that the 38 won the favor of more pilots in the PTO, where the same can be said about the P-51 in the ETO.

So something is very peculiar about the P-38s use in the war and why it wasn't used as frequently as the P-51 in the ETO.
Especially when you start showing statistics of climb rate and range, etc etc.

what is going on there??
Why these tests that mark the P-38 as superior, however, we still see more Mustangs on escort missions??

Why would the USAAF look at these tests and still go against them by choosing the Mustang?

Because the guys who were there at the time took ALL THINGS into consideration and made a decision in the context of the war. Are we any smarter or more informed than they were?

I very much doubdt it, more importantly we weren't there.

ASH_HOUSEWARES
08-11-2009, 09:05 PM
Originally posted by BillSwagger:
I'm not disagreeing, but what i don't understand is if the P-38 had a better climb rate, then why was it out performed in rate of climb against most of the German contemporaries??


At least, that was a suggestion that was made in referring to its preferred use in the PTO where its rate of climb was far better than most JPN planes.

It is also common knowledge that the 38 won the favor of more pilots in the PTO, where the same can be said about the P-51 in the ETO.

So something is very peculiar about the P-38s use in the war and why it wasn't used as frequently as the P-51 in the ETO.
Especially when you start showing statistics of climb rate and range, etc etc.

what is going on there??
Why these tests that mark the P-38 as superior, however, we still see more Mustangs on escort missions??

Why would the USAAF look at these tests and still go against them by choosing the Mustang?
Simple, The TnB style of dogfight was the exception to the rule. From what I have gathered over the years from reading and talking to WWII pilots, most pilots were shot down and never knew what hit them. That is to say the blind sided slashing BnZ attack was the majority of what went on. Thus with that in mind, the P51 was more than capable of fighting that fight. But should you find yourself in one of those exceptions to the rule, you would wish you were in a 38! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif Factor in the fact that the 38 had issues with the British fuel and you have your answer for the why the ETO didn't care for the 38 as much as the guys in the PTO. Also, rate of climb (excess power) is not everything in a TnB style of flight, but it is a big thing. The P38 shot down more japan planes than any other US plane, the two top aces in WWII flew the 38, and they both flew in the PTO. On that note the japan planes are typically considered to be more nible than the Luft jobs. So clearly the 38 was able to hold it's own with manavuralbe planes.

BillSwagger
08-11-2009, 10:48 PM
i doubt the big plane handled itself well in a TnB battle with the much more maneuverable planes in the JPN inventory.
What i do see is a plane with a stronger climb rate than those JPN planes, and two engines giving it both the added thrust (from slowing down in extended turning) so they could out accelerate most JPN planes before they could get caught in the burn. They still opted to hit and run with the 38.
The JPN calibers tended to be a bit smaller than what was being hucked around in the ETO, so i think it also had a better place in the PTO where the Mustang was likely to suffer heavily from a light caliber round into the engine, and not have the wear with all on a relatively longer flight back to base.

I think the Mustang had to carry some advantage over the P-38 for its preference in the ETO.
It could've just been size and appearance, and perhaps with the larger calibers it was better to not be hit at all than fly a larger domineering plane.

I think the Mustang was better suited in the ETO with its high speed turn performance, and possibly better adapted for taking on the German inventory.
The P-38 had a good ceiling and climb but lacked the ability to dive away safely to escape, which was a necessary asset to have in the ETO.

JtD
08-11-2009, 11:01 PM
Originally posted by ASH_HOUSEWARES:

As for interceptor vs escort, both the P38 and P51 were 'pursuit' aircraft (hence the 'P') that could and were tasked with escort and climb to intercept missions.

But only the P-38 was built to answer a specification that explicitly called for an "interceptor".


Thus your in error to think they were from conception only suited for one task or the other, and thus in error to think you knew that in advance.

Don't claim to know what I think. You don't.


As for how does the better climb rate make the P38 as good or better,...

That's not the question.


Granted the P51 was faster...

Ok, so the P-38 was not better at everything. Your claim is wrong.


... the 38 would again have the advantage over the 51 in that it could actually maneuver at those high speeds with its dive breaks, elevator authority and boosted ailerons (That enabled it to roll faster than a Fw190 let alone a P51).

The P-51's high speed maneuverability leaves little to desired.


As for a poor choice, that is your opinion and your welcome to it, there was nothing sinister about my choices, I simply picked two tests and did the comparisons.

If you "just picked two tests", then you're putting way too much weight into the result of your comparison.


The point your missing is even if you use the P51 test your referring to, you will find the 38 still has a better rate of climb, now you and yours can poo poo a better rate of climb all you want, where you suggest that 500fpm is not a big deal.

I did not suggest that.
Overall the P-38J has a marginally better climb than the P-51. At some altitudes, it is somewhat better, at some altitudes slightly worse.


But IMHO that says more about your lack of understanding of what excess power means to a fighter in a TnB style fight. Only a fool would think that all it means is you can climb away at from the enmy at constant rate.

Wow, that's quick. Personal attacks at the end of the first reply to me.

M_Gunz
08-11-2009, 11:57 PM
Cut out the abuse Gunz,no need for it.

Waldo.Pepper
08-12-2009, 12:03 AM
Originally posted by BillSwagger:
i doubt the big plane handled itself well in a TnB battle with the much more maneuverable planes in the JPN inventory.


The real world is not a game. Real world pilots tended to avoid turn fights. A single pass was common on an ideally unsuspecting prey. Those who did make turn fighting their regular practice were less likely to be alive today to tell us about all the fun they had risking their life was.

Why was the P-38 favored over the pacific? The Pacific is a REALLY REALLY BIG Ocean. If your life was riding on the reliability of a single engine, wouldn't your nerves feel better flying a twin?

Despite what some here think about temperature and the theatre of operations, planes do have to sit on the ground and climb through weather to get to 30K altitude. During that time in Europe the pilot and plane suffered.

To restate; this and the reliability of a twin is why the Lightning fared better in the Pacific than elsewhere.

I don't understand why it is a mystery why a single aircraft type does better in one part of the world than another. Examples from the war are all too common. Brewster was a dog for all but the Finns. Surely all know about the P-39 in Soviet service rising to the occasion. The Lightning is another example of this. No big mystery.

Kettenhunde
08-12-2009, 03:31 AM
The high speeds obtained on the two original engines was reported because more speed data was available, less time was on the airplane and engines, and the surfaces of the airplane were less worn at the time this data was obtained.



It may be stated here that the performance reported cannot be obtained unless strict attention is given to maintaining a minimum duct leakage by keeping the entire duct system tight.


It is a brand new airplane and well maintained example. It will perform accordingly.


All power figures are based on a power curve from Eng. Spec. No. 162, dated 30 November 1942.

Typical of all flight testing. Most the data from the curves you see in the these reports is calculated from data points obtained in the ~30 flights conducted in the test testing 14 parameters at one CG position.

Most importantly the following data was not posted by the website:


Airspeed indicator and altimeter calibration (See Fig. 1 &2)


http://www.wwiiaircraftperform...p-38/p-38-67869.html (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-38/p-38-67869.html)

http://www.wwiiaircraftperform...-38j-67869-climb.jpg (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-38/p-38j-67869-climb.jpg)

All the best,

Crumpp

HellToupee
08-12-2009, 01:41 PM
Originally posted by Waldo.Pepper:
To restate; this and the reliability of a twin is why the Lightning fared better in the Pacific than elsewhere.


I would say it was more the fact it was facing much lower performance aircraft in the Pacific.

AndyJWest
08-12-2009, 01:48 PM
Guys, there's a simple way to settle this once and for all:

P-38 fanclub pay to build an 100% authentic replica.
P-51 fanclub do same.

Dogfight!

Now can we have some donations, and volunteer pilots...

SILVERFISH1992
08-12-2009, 01:49 PM
I'm a P-38 pilot... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/halo.gif

ASH_HOUSEWARES
08-12-2009, 06:48 PM
Originally posted by JtD:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by ASH_HOUSEWARES:

As for interceptor vs escort, both the P38 and P51 were 'pursuit' aircraft (hence the 'P') that could and were tasked with escort and climb to intercept missions.

But only the P-38 was built to answer a specification that explicitly called for an "interceptor".


Thus your in error to think they were from conception only suited for one task or the other, and thus in error to think you knew that in advance.

Don't claim to know what I think. You don't.


As for how does the better climb rate make the P38 as good or better,...

That's not the question.


Granted the P51 was faster...

Ok, so the P-38 was not better at everything. Your claim is wrong.


... the 38 would again have the advantage over the 51 in that it could actually maneuver at those high speeds with its dive breaks, elevator authority and boosted ailerons (That enabled it to roll faster than a Fw190 let alone a P51).

The P-51's high speed maneuverability leaves little to desired.


As for a poor choice, that is your opinion and your welcome to it, there was nothing sinister about my choices, I simply picked two tests and did the comparisons.

If you "just picked two tests", then you're putting way too much weight into the result of your comparison.


The point your missing is even if you use the P51 test your referring to, you will find the 38 still has a better rate of climb, now you and yours can poo poo a better rate of climb all you want, where you suggest that 500fpm is not a big deal.

I did not suggest that.
Overall the P-38J