View Full Version : Dog fight between Spitfire I & Curtiss Hawk 75...

01-03-2006, 04:04 PM
Tit for Tat who would you put your money on€¦ http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif



01-03-2006, 04:18 PM
The better pilot.

01-03-2006, 04:19 PM
Spitfire by far,


01-03-2006, 04:28 PM
Since the pilot is more important than the ship, the one with the more experienced and better trained pilot.

01-03-2006, 04:32 PM
Originally posted by MLudner:
Since the pilot is more important than the ship, the one with the more experienced and better trained pilot.

Unless the ships are playing follow the leader, the helmsman's skill doesn't matter. In combat, it would be the Captain's skill that would bring victory over another ship. (well, that and gun range and power)



01-03-2006, 04:32 PM
If I am in the Spitfire, then Spitfire
If I am in the Hawk 75 , then Spitfire

EDIT: Nice pics

01-03-2006, 04:36 PM
Originally posted by ARCHIE_CALVERT:
Tit for Tat who would you put your money on€¦ http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif

Tit - every time. I'm definately not a tat man http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

01-03-2006, 04:43 PM
Achtung Hawk!?! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_confused.gif



01-03-2006, 04:44 PM
Back in 39 the A&AEE at Boscombe Down had doubts at the Spitfires ability as a day fighter... An officer at the said establishment aroused considerable interest in the Curtiss Hawk 75, a version of the USAAF P-36A Fighter used at the time by the French Air Force. When he reported on its flying and handling characteristics. In particular he stressed that in marked difference to the Spitfire, the aileron control was reasonably light at high speeds...

So impressed by his report, the Royal Aircraft Establishment hurried to investigate and procured a Curtiss H-75C No.188 from the Frence on the 29th December 1939 on a fortnights loan. To affect comparisons a standard production Spitfire I, K9944, was made available. A gloster F.5/34 and a Hurricane also participated in the tests... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif

Many strange sights had been witnessed in the air over Farnborough. During the first few days of 1940 could be seen a tubby-looking American Fighter with French roundels being chased around the sky by a Spitfire - and vice versa It was found beyond doubt that-

I'll let you know what they found...Tomorrow http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

Extract taken from Spitfire-The story of a famous fighter. A Harleyford Publication By Bruce Robertson

01-03-2006, 04:50 PM
In a 1995 interview with World War II magazine, expatriate Czech pilot Frantisek Perina recalled the Hawk's outstanding maneuverability. It could "outmaneuver any German aircraft. If one got on your tail in one 360-degree turn you were behind him." Perina regarded the Hawk as superior to the Hurricane, which he felt was heavier on the controls.


01-03-2006, 04:58 PM
There a copy of the test comparison at this site:


click "Allied Aircraft Tests"

then scroll down about 2/3rds of the way

01-03-2006, 04:58 PM
Do not forget that the Spit I has a carburated engine.

The better pilot will win in either.

01-03-2006, 05:03 PM
The Spitfire, all day long.

It's faster and has a heavier armament.

01-03-2006, 05:08 PM
SkyChimp... 'The page cannot be found' Bugger...

01-03-2006, 05:16 PM
Curtiss Hawk. No question. It can out turn a 109, it's competition for the Spitfire, it can pull neg G's, it has a radial engine, and 6 nice and well placed peashooters instead of 8 with a wide spread.

01-03-2006, 05:21 PM
Didn´t the Curtiss climb better than the spit?
wasnt the radial Curtisse a pretty good climber?

01-03-2006, 05:27 PM
Originally posted by ARCHIE_CALVERT:
SkyChimp... 'The page cannot be found' Bugger...

Workin' for me.

01-03-2006, 05:30 PM
I can get into the site but none of the H-75 pages will work for me. I notice a statement on the first page that some of the links are not working.

01-03-2006, 05:35 PM
Spitfire MK.I

01-04-2006, 01:38 AM
Here's what you want...


01-04-2006, 05:17 AM
good find.... as a Cr@p flyer and a turn addict I would go for the Hawk http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

01-04-2006, 07:53 AM
So does the Mk.II Spit own the P36 then??

01-04-2006, 08:26 AM
or just a mk1 with the improved prop

01-04-2006, 09:02 AM
Was the Spitfire used in the test run with 87 octane or 100 octane fuel?

100 octane was worth ~ 250 bhp or so below FTH.

01-04-2006, 09:26 AM
Originally posted by ForkTailedDevil:
So does the Mk.II Spit own the P36 then??

As the report states the Spitty Mk 1 has a big speed advantage which means it can dictate the fight. I'd take the Spitfire, it would be harder to one on one but a 2 vs 2 the Spits would dominate.

01-04-2006, 09:48 AM
I read an article interviewing a French ace/squadron commander who flew Hawk's before the Fall of France, he said something along the lines of when the Hawks got the height, they chopped ****. As with the P-40, it was a mix of BnZer and in some aspects TnBer. I can't remember details, but he really thought they were the shiznet against 109's. The article also briefly asked an American who was in the Phillipines with P-36's, then P-40's, and thought the P-36's had alround superior to the P-40, except in speed.
On a side note, I have noticed that pilots always preffered the cr@p planes http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif My friends, we were not wrong in having faith! However, the war needed faster planes, not manouverable ones, so the age of the Turner slowly faded away...

Oh, and to answer your question: Spitfire http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif

Not really.


01-04-2006, 11:12 AM
If it had 50 cals, could it kill a tiger tank?

01-04-2006, 11:33 AM
From Green & Swanborough's US Army Air Force Fighters, Part 1, part of Arco's WW2 Aircraft Fact Files, published in the mid-seventies:

"The Curtiss fighter was by no means an unknown quantity to the RAF, for as early as November 1939 a Hawk 75A-1 had been flown (in France) by Sqn Leader J F X McKenna on behalf of the A and AEE. His report had said that the Hawk was "exceptionally easy and pleasant to fly, the aileron control being particularly powerful" and that it was "more manoeuvrable at high speed than the Hurricane or Spitfire". This report naturally aroused considerable interest in official circles in Britain, and as a result arrangements were made for a Hawk 75 to be borrowed from l'Armee de l'Air for further evaluation in Britain. The 88th Hawk 75A-2 was used, in consequence, at the RAE from 29 December 1939 to 13 January 1940 for a 12-hr flight programme covering handling in general, and specificallyby comparison with the Spitfire, Hurricane and Gloster F.5/34; mock combats were staged between the Hawk and a production Spitfire I (K9944), fitted with the early two-pitch propeller (3-bladed De Havilland two-speed prop-HB).

"The Hawk 75A-2 was flown with aft tank empty at a loaded weight of 6,025 lb (2 733 kg) and the three RAF pilots participating in the evaluation were unanimous in their praise for the US fighter's exceptional handling characteristics and beautifully harmonised controls. In a diving attack at 400mph (644 km/h) the Hawk was far superior to the Spitfire, thanks to its lighter ailerons, and in a dogfight at 250 mph (402 km/h) the Hawk was again the superior machine because of its elevator control was not over-sensitive and all-around view was better; but the Spitfire could break off combat at will because of its very much higher maximum speed. In a dive at 400 mph (644km/h), the Spitfire pilot, exerting all his strength, could apply no more than one-fifth aileron because of high stick forces whereas the Curtiss pilot could apply three-quarter aileron.

"When the Spitfire dived on the Hawk, both aircraft travelling at 350-400 mph (560-645 km/h), the Curtiss fighter's pilot could avoid his opponent by applying its ailerons quickly, banking and turning rapidly. The Spitfire could not follow the Hawk round in this manoeuvre and consequently overshot the target. In the reverse situation, however, the Hawk could easily follow the Spitfire until the latter's superior speed allowed it to pull away. The superior manoeuvrability of the Hawk was ascribed mainly to the over-sensitiveness of the Spitfire's elevator, which resulted in some difficulty in accurately controlling the 'g' in a tight turn; over-correction held the risk of an inadvertent stall being induced.

"Because of the difference in propellers, the Hawk displayed appreciably better take-off and climb characteristics. The swing on take-off was smaller and more easily corrected than on the British fighter and during the climb the Hawk's controls were more effective; but the Curtiss fighter proved to be rather slow in picking up speed in a dive, making the Spitfire the more suitable machine of the two for intercepting high-speed bombers (which was, of course, the primary role for which the British aircraft had been designed).

""Notwithstanding the excellence of this report on the Hawk 75A-2's handling, the RAF found little use for the Mohawks that began to arrive in Britain a few months later. Upon arrival, they were modified to have British throttle movement, six Browning 0,303-in (7,7-mm) machine guns, British gun sight, instrumentation and radio and standard RAF day fighter finish. Apart form one or two assigned to the A & AEE Boscombe Down for the preparation of handling notes, they were then dispatched to various MUs for storage..."

What I find interesting is the exclusion of any information of how the Hawk fared against the Hurricane in the tests; the bare bones performance figures slightly favor the Hawk over the Hurri Mk I, and slightly favor the figures I have for the not-yet operational (in ealry 1940) Hurri Mk II.

As long as the RAF had sufficient numbers of British made fighters on hand, I suspect that the American built fighter's slight superiority was deemed irrelevent, and once the Battle of Britain was fought, the Hawk's performance, quite competitve in early 1940, was no longer so in 1941, especially when armed with only six .303s.



01-04-2006, 02:13 PM
Horseback- the two pitch propellor was the two bladed wooden propellor, not the three bladed unit.

The two balded propellor was known in RAF service as a 'fixed pitch' unit. But by mid 1940, the short comings of the two bladed prop (longer take off, slower acceleration, lower ceiling, inferior performance at altitude) was well know. DeHavilland went to the Air Ministry and they began fitting 3 bladed, constant speed propellors to the Spitfire. By Mid August some 1500 Spitfires had been converted.

The Spitfire went straight from a wo bladed, 2 pitch propellor to a 3 bladed constant pitch propellor. There never was a 3 balded, two pitch unit fitted to an operational Spitfire.

01-04-2006, 02:52 PM
Sorry, ImpStarDuece, but my sources indicate that at least one version of the 2-pitch (coarse and fine) prop was a three-bladed DeHavilland unit; CSP units came a bit later, just in time for the BoB. Check Wings of Fame, Vol.9, in Alfred Price's article on Merlin Spitfires, page 36, or Aerodata International's Fighters of WWII, page 27 for just two examples.

As for the wooden props in the initial production Spits, these were by necessity 'single pitch', as the spinner and prop blade were a single piece; there was no way to change the pitch of the prop without a big knife...

In fact, while the Rotol units made for the Spitfire were in short supply, DeHavilland CSP units intended for Hurricanes were often grafted onto Spitfires. You may have noticed a number of BoB photos of Spits with bulbous, slightly oversized spinners: those are the ones stolen from Hurricane stores.



01-04-2006, 03:19 PM
For what it is worth the Luftwaffe seems to have been convinced that the RAF were flying Hawks in the Battle of Britain, rather in the same manner the RAF claimed to have destroyed HE-112s. Helmut Wick was credited with a "P36" which he shot down over Portland on 11th August 1940, when he bounced "three English machines with radial engines". He claimed a Spitfire and a Hurricane on the same sortie. 87, 213 and 601 all lost Hurricanes in that area that morning, the latter two being badly mauled, and there are a lot of other losses along that stretch of coast that could cover this kill. I would say a Hurricane rather than a Spitfire might look like a Hawk from some angles?


01-04-2006, 04:14 PM
Actually, that misidentification issue was a two way street--the first clashes with the radial engined FW 190As initially led to the mistaken belief by some in the Air Ministry that the Germans were flying former French Hawk 75s...



01-04-2006, 04:24 PM
Ok, I was wrong about the 3 bladed, two pitch unit. I had always assumed that the two pitch airscrews were 2 bladed props, not 3 bladed props. My bad http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_confused.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif

This sort of thing is nice to find out though.

Some information on the 3 bladed CSP unit service entry, just to make up for it http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif :

From "The Battle of Britain"- Derek Wood and Derek Dempster pp. 109

"At the beginning of June all Spitfires, Hurricanes and Defiants were fitted with two-pitch propellors, but on June 9th 1940, Flight Lieutenant McGrath, an engineer officer at Hornchurch, telephoned the de Havilland propellor division at Hatfield, Hertsforshire, to inquire whether a Spitfire could be fitted with a constant speed propellor 'without a lot of paperwork and fuss'. Having answered in the affirmative, de Havilland sent half a dozen picked engineers and a test pilot, Mr E. Lane-Bursleum, to Hornchurch, with appropriate equipment to carry out a trial conversion. This was carried out on the night of June 14th, while the Germans were rejoicing over their entry into Paris.

On June 20th Lane-Bursle reported that he had sucessfully test flow the plane, which was from No 65 squadron, and that other pilots, including the commanding officer, Squadron Leader Cooke, had tried it. The results were startling. An extra 7,000 feet was added to the service ceiling and the machine had better manouervability at height and improved take off and landing performance. Squadron Leader Cooke was only able to give a breif demonstration in battle of his modified mount. On his second sortie in it he was killed.

Two days after the report, on June 22nd, de Havilland recieved verbal orders to convert all R.A.F. Merlin-powered fighters in the field with top priority.

The senior technical staff at Fighter Command and the company agreed that the conversion would start on June 25th and that Spitfires would be done first. Work was to begin simutaneoulsy at twelve stations with a de Havilland supervisory engineer at each. It was estimated that it would take 10 days to convert a squadron, and that all Spitfire modifications would be completed by July 20th.

Although there was no written contract, de Havilland immediately started to produce 500 conversion sets. These came out at the rate of 20 per day from June 24th onwards. While field conversions went on Supermarine were sent 20 sets a week so that two thirds of the Spitfires produced rolled off the line with constant-speed propellors.

To start the programme de Havilland used a number of constant-speed units originally ordered by the French Airforce, while the de Havilland aircraft factory hurridly set about producing 1000 sets of engine pipes and propellor quill shafts to drive the hydraulically operted constant speed units.

As soon as the de Havilland engineer arrived at each station with is precious cargo he was given a picked team of R.A.F. N.C.O'c and fitters who watched him make his first conversion. The R.A.F. ground crew then made the second with his help and the third under supervision. Then, if all was in order, the engineer departed to repeat the sequence at the next station. Lane-Burslem followed, flight testing the first aircraft at each base.

Some Spitfire and Hurricane squadrons in more remote parts of Britain flew their aircraft to the south in ones and twos for conversion. Some even arrived at the Hatfield works.

Averaging fifteen to sixteen hours a day, the de Havilland engineers went steadily from station to station. By August 15th 1,051 Spitfires and Hurricanes had been converted, making an average of 20.2 per day over fifty two days. This remarkable achievement was of the utmost benefit to Fighter Command, when dealing with the Me 109 at high altitude"


RAF comparisons between the Rotol 2 pitch units and the de Havilland constant speed units on the Spitfire Mk I are interesting:

According to RAF testing the take-off run was reduced from 320 to 225 yards. Time to 20,000 feet dropped from 11.3 minutes to 7.7 minutes. Peak rate of climb jumped from 2,100 feet/minute to 2,900 feet/minute. Top speed at full throttle height dropped by about 5 mph, but speed below full throttle height was up by about 6 mph. Dive acceleration was improved as well.

Combine this with the introduction of 100 octane and +12lbs boost limits and it must of been like getting a whole new airplane.