View Full Version : Question about the p51

08-20-2005, 09:41 AM
why could it cary so much fuel? The endurance of that aircraft is 3-4 times better than some other aircraft (109, spit etc)... Did it have 4 times bigger fueltanks. The plane is close to a 190 in size but can take much more fuel. so whats the secret?

08-20-2005, 09:49 AM
Between the wing design (laminar flow), low coefficient of drag (one of the best--there is a reason they still use airframe for air racing), and an "extra" fuel tank installed behind the pilot (making the craft very unstable until that was first burned off), the Mustang had superior range. So it's a combination of design and extra fuel.

Also, designed to fly at high altitude, the air is thinner and hence drag is reduced there as well.

* _54th_Speeder *

08-20-2005, 09:58 AM
intresting that u mention the laminar flow wing design, cuz that is what makes an AC have a nasty stall! also that design makes the aircraft very hard to fly at low speeds. they get a higher stallspeed! That for me would indicate that the p51 should be a bad turnfighter at low speed, but they still out turn quite a few aircraft in this game...

anyway, so u are saying that most other aircraft didnt have this fueltank behind the cockpit, only the p51?

08-20-2005, 10:34 AM
Wow are you really saying that you want the P51's turn brought down even more?

With the tank behind the pilot dry, the P51 was a stellar turner at high speed and a very good turner at lower speeds. Turn with Yak or Bf at stall fighting, NO.

Too many little rats on these forums blindly following along to oleg's bull**** flute playing.

08-20-2005, 10:45 AM
The Mustang was never a turn fighter...in fact, in the ETO, turnfighting just wasn't the way most battles went.

The B model Mustang was, in real life, a good turner...not great like the Spit but good...better than the Fw and worse than the Bf at low speeds....it was better than Spit, Fw and Bf at high speeds according to stuff I've read.

With the D model, it lost a little bit of it's nimbleness but its real life combat record speaks volumes to its ability and Luftwaffe pilots feared the aircraft. I don't think combat records are stand alone evidence, but they are indicative of an aircraft's role vs design.

This community has a strong affinity for some aircraft, especially the 109, and I find that there is almost a smut campaign against certain aircraft...the Mustang being one of them and the Spitfire/Lightning being the others.

After it's Merlin upgrade and introduction, all aircraft were compared to it...and all propeller aircraft design after that was chasing the Mustang's performance figures...it was the benchmark!

The Mustang we have now is an approximation of the aircraft...imho, not the best I've ever seen but servicable...needs to lose the ufo like high speed elevator authority, the wing disintigration modelling and the antiuber pitch/yaw instability...it was fast, and is fast in the game...should be a joy to fly and fight in...it is in no way over modelled in the turn, other than that pitch and high speed twitchyness which is not a combat asset in this game.

08-20-2005, 10:45 AM
"but they still out turn quite a few aircraft in this game..."

U gotta be takin the piss right. U know this is the FB/PF forum?

08-20-2005, 11:11 AM
It is pointed out often, but forgotten in these discussions...when evaluating an aircraft, you have to understand the environment and role vs the design.

The environment was 20k-35k...the role was bomber escort and freelance high altitude fighter sweeps. The Luftwaffe was on the defence and their targets were the heavies...At those altitudes, turning ability doesn't mean squat!

In fact, the ability for one aircraft to out turn another is actually an equation more influence by horspower than by wing area...planes don't turn well in thin air. At 30,000 ft the Mustang has a huge performance advantage and can out turn a 109G in a sustained turn...I can do that to a La-5 in my Fw-190A4 at 5000+ meters too...its not the swirling kind of dogfight you see at low altitude but rather an energy turn where the plane with poorer performance loses speed and the aircraft with better performance gains altitude, and speed advantage and is able to roll in behind the other guy and shoot him down. In this game, you don't get the bends when you dive from 7000 meters to the ground...but in real life, pilots did not just dive to the ground so easily or willingly...and of course planes like the Jug and Mustang caught them long before they reached the ground...that is not modelled well at all and the twitchyness/ineffective hmg's also spoil the historical recreation of those situations.

The Mustang had the best performance of any aircraft at high altitude...it had speed and altitude...all pilots know this equals life...and the circumstances of the airwar over Europe dictated the fight was going to be at high altitude.

That is why it did so well...the right plane for the job and in those circumstances...it performed awesome.

If the war had been a tactical, low altitude war and the US had tried to utilize the Mustang and Jug at those altitudes, the Merlin would not likely had been installed and/or there would have had to been modifications to the aircraft in order for it to survive....The Jug would have been labeled a ground attack fighter and there would have been development of other aircraft or at least other modificatins...the P-38 would have had a more positive combat record over Europe and maybe eclipsed the other two in terms of ability as it was extremely good at low and medium altitudes in real life...maybe the Spitfire would have recieved some more attention and extra fuel added and gone down as the best fighter of the war.

Who knows...we just have history and I dare say if you meet me at 30000 ft and I'm in a Mustang and you are in a Bf109G6 or G14...I'll out turn you...but if I meet you at 15,000-20,000 ft...I will not out turn you and I'll have to run or climb away.

08-20-2005, 12:16 PM
P-51 was good from the deck up to 35,000 feet.

The idea it is P-47-like in its ineffectiveness below 15,000 is bushwaw.

Performance was more important than low speed turning in WW2. All countries realized this, and designed planes that went faster and faster, not slower and slower. The P-51 was outstanding at high SPEEDS, not just altitudes.

2/3 to 4/5 of all aerial kills are from the unobserved bounce, not a dogfight.

US pilots did not fear to get into turning fights with ME-109's.

08-21-2005, 02:53 AM
Originally posted by GH_Klingstroem:
why could it cary so much fuel? The endurance of that aircraft is 3-4 times better than some other aircraft (109, spit etc)... Did it have 4 times bigger fueltanks. The plane is close to a 190 in size but can take much more fuel. so whats the secret?

The large fuel load was simply because they needed a cheap low-maintenance plane that could escort the bombers all the way from england to germany and back.
It was easier to fly than p-38 and had better performance (and could turn better) than the p47 at low and medium altitude.
This ment that average pilots had better chances to score kills compared to the other two, wich actually made a big difference.
But as mentioned the p51 could be a handfull when the bellytank was full and a developed spin took a lot of altitude to recover from.

The p47 really was more comfortable and smoother to fly but an experienced pilot was needed to make best use of this heavy fighter whereas the p51 was a bit more twichy but could hold energy better in hard maneuvering aswell as accellerate and climb steeper at low speed.

The p38 was a better fighter in several respects. It accellerated climbed and turned better and was easier to handle at lower altitudes and speeds because there were no torque. The p38 also had a 20mm cannon in addition to the mg's w and the nosemounting and setup made for a smooth and concentrated firepattern at all ranges.
The vices on the p38 was the high cost and double maintenance of two engines. It was only superior in fighting over the p51 if a very experienced pilot flew it. wich ment that average pilots had a harder time in it than in the p51.
The p38 also was uncomfortable and freezing cold at higher altitudes.
So with this in mind one can easier understand that people feel that p-51 was the best.

German aces like G√ľnther Rall thought the p51 was the best. Not because of its maneuverability but because of it's range. He said a mustang could stay in the air 6 hours longer than a 109, and that ment the 109's had to land while there was p51's around. At the end of the war p51 shot down many fighters while they were landing.
One german pilot said; "One have to land sometime".

A few things I picked up http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

08-21-2005, 08:31 AM
the p51 should be a bad turnfighter at low speed, but they still out turn quite a few aircraft in this game...
Being my ride of choice, I'd respectfully disagree with this statement. At low speeds and altitude, I can rarely turn with anyone. 190s yes, but 109s and most Russian AC = definitely not.

most other aircraft didnt have this fueltank behind the cockpit, only the p51? Others had one, but not as big. The tank used was 85 gallons and self sealing(since Angel missed that http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif ). Think about a typical 40 gallon water heater and multiply by 2...that's a lot of gazz http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif (typically, the max amount would be 65 gallons due to directional instability problems). 485 US gallons total with 2 drop tanks (two main tanks in the wing, 90 gallons each, 85 gallons behind pilot where old style radio used to be, and two 110 gallon drop tanks).

Comparitively, the Ta-152C had internal 280 US gallons, the 109 only 88 internal gallons (total of 154 gals with drop tank), and the 190 A-8 and D-9 had 138 US gallons internal (plus provisions for a 30 gal auxilliary tank behind the pilot and one 79 US gallon external drop tank).

* _54th_Speeder *

08-21-2005, 09:07 AM
spitfires got bigger tanks aswell, behind pilot, and in the wings, plus some adustments to the ones infront of the pilot for abit more fuel http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

p51 carried alot of fuel, plus was aerodynamic so could cruise well..

08-21-2005, 09:19 AM
Having a fuel tank behind me would kind a make me paranoid lol. Was the the tank self sealing?

08-21-2005, 11:34 AM
The Mustang is quite a bit larger than a Me-109, despite the similarity in planform. Go to a hobby store where they display customers' work and there are bound to be models of the P-51D and the 109.

In the same scale, it is obvious that the Mustang is quite a bit larger than either the 109 or 190A, primarily because it is quite a bit 'deeper' in profile, as well as being a bit larger in length and span.

Here are the dimensions for comparison. Unfortunately, I had to use Imperial units, because my source for the German birds did not include metric equivalents. For this, I apologize, but the proportional differences are still apparent.

P-51D- Span: 37 ft Length: 32ft 3 in Height: 13 ft 8 in Wing Area: 235 square ft Empty Weight: 7,635 lb. Loaded Clean Weight: 10,100lbs

Me 109G-6- Span: 32 ft 6 1/2 in Length: 29 ft 1/2 in Height: 8 ft 2 1/2 in Wing area: 174.376 square ft Empty Weight: 5,893 lb Normal Loaded Weight: 6,940 lb

FW 190A-8 - Span: 34 ft 5 1/2 in Length: 29 ft 4 3/4 in Height: 12 ft 11 1/2 in Wing Area: 196.98 square ft Empty Weight: 7,652 lb Loaded Weight: 9,660 lb

Compared to the Mustang, both German fighters are 'hot rods'; a lot of engine squashed into as little airframe as possible in order to provide as much power to weight as possible, at the sacrifice of range (on internal fuel), a degree of firepower and some structural strength. They are not 'offensive' fighters in the sense that they cannot go any great distances to seek out the enemy. They had to wait for the enemy to come to them.

The Mustang, being about a generation later in design, is more aerodynamically refined, getting more bang for the buck in terms of power to weight ratio. Designed as an offensive fighter, it sacrifices some (initial)climb and maneuverability for range, allowing it to gain altitude over friendly territory and then go seek out the enemy from a favorable height. By the time it reached disputed airspace or enemy territory, it was supposed to have burned off or ejected its excess weight in fuel, making it much more competitive with its opposition in its intended environment: high altitude, high speed, fighter to fighter combat.



This post edited by HORSEBACK in order to protect my reputation--I had the weights for the 190 wrong. And now, back to our regular program...

08-21-2005, 03:35 PM
F-19_ob wrote:

The p38 was a better fighter in several respects. It accellerated climbed and turned better

Nope. Not the P-38H that was the model used by the 8th, that went "head to head" with the Mustang in the decisive Jan-May 1944 time frame.

It accelerated much worse.
It's climb was about like the P-51, depending on altitude and wep or military.
It stalled at higher speeds in a 3 G turn. If both planes used combat flaps, I don't know. I DO know the P-51 could use its combat settings at speeds up to 400 IAS. I believe the P-38's Fowlers were limited to 265 mph.
Its roll rate was not as good at any speed. At high speeds the P-38H rolled poorly.

It was also about 35-40 mph slower.
It was limited to .65-.67 mach in a dive, a very low figure. The P-51 didn't start to compress until mach .80.

To get a favorable comparison to any Merlin Mustang you have to use the J or L model.