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View Full Version : After all these years I just started flying the Spit!



sgilewicz
07-29-2008, 09:48 AM
I've been playing this sim 7-10 hours a week since the release of the original IL-2. I've done Russian, American (USAAF, USMC & USN), Brit, Aussie and German campaigns. Up to this point the planes I've probably spent the most time with have been the "heavy weights" (P-47, F4U, Tempest, P-38 and F6F) and the German mainstays (109 & 190). With the exception of the 109 (in certain plane sets) TnB is not an option so like most of you I learned fighting in the vertical and deflection shooting.

Recently I started the USAF Channel Front campaign which begins with the Spit Vb. I can see why so much, pro and con, has been thrown about on these boards. For me this experience has been an interesting experience which I'd like to share and hear your own versions:

Pros

The Spit, like the 109 F4 has incredible acceleration/deceleration ability. This applies whether one is taking off or if you are in a furball. Small throttle adjustments translate into significant changes in speed. One of the most useful aspects of a fighter aircraft imho.

She climbs like a cat on fire. The only other planes I have flown in-game that compare are the 109 and LA-7 (I've never flown the IJA or IJN birds so I can't comment).

Unlike the 109, which does have good horizontal turn capability, the Spit seems to do it for longer periods with less enery loss.

Excellent view. I find it comparable to the P-51 and much better than the Tempest or P-47 which have rear views that are "challenging".


Cons

I've been up against 190 A4s almost exclusively over the first 20 missions and she definitely is at a speed disdvantage against the 190. They can extend on me in most situations which gets a bit frustrating at times.

Available firepower is adequate but I expected better with the two cannons. It requires well placed bursts to consistently bring down 190s and the ammo load is painfully low. Believe it or not, I prefer the 8-50cals of the P-47 or better yet the Tempest 4 cannon (both with deep ammo loads).

Dive speed is another annoyance. The plane seems to start shaking at approximately 550 km/hr (3-6000 m alt.). This makes E fighting that much more difficult since it's hard to build up a good head of steam for slashing attacks.

Landing is a bit tricky since the low stall speed tends to find me "floating" a bit longer than I had planned on before touchdown (something I'm sure time in the seat will cure-I hope!).


All in all I find that I enjoy the flight characteristics immensely but seem to do better in combat with faster, less manueverable aircraft. Maybe it was a good thing I discovered this aircraft so late because my other birds seem like work compared to it!

Your thoughts please, and remember I'm new to the Spit so I probably have effed some comments up due to my inexperience. If so, a polite enlightenment would be most welcome! Thanks.

JtD
07-29-2008, 11:31 AM
The Vb is a slow speed turner, so not really much to add to your findings. Against Fw 190A-4 I recommend altitudes of 3000-5000 meters, where their speed advantage is least pronounced. Sadly, giving them 3000meters to dive away from you, usually means that they will do so.

sgilewicz
07-29-2008, 11:48 AM
Sadly, giving them 3000meters to dive away from you, usually means that they will do so.

It almost compels me to compliment OM on this aspect of the AI because that's almost always what the 190s will do! It's one of the situations flying this bird where I wish it was a P-47! And the 190s DO have that incredible roll rate. They just flick left or right and the next thing I know they are pulling away...FAST. I still find this to be a most pleasant challenge!

M_Gunz
07-29-2008, 12:37 PM
The biggest pain I have in Spits is the location of the Slip and Bank needles.
Even a little Slip can throw anything but up close shots badly off.

sgilewicz
07-29-2008, 12:56 PM
The biggest pain I have in Spits is the location of the Slip and Bank needles.
Even a little Slip can throw anything but up close shots badly off.

It's funny you mention that because I've been reminding myself for the past few days to check out the Spit cockpit in the manual because I can't find the ball! Each time I've thought about it was when I was lining up a shot (bit late to bring up the manual, although I guess I could alt-tab and do it LOL).

Stingray333
07-29-2008, 01:12 PM
I am in the same boat. Been playing Il-2 for the past 8 months, but when your completely new to flying and flight sims the learning curve is pretty steep, so I've been concentrating on flying the BF-109 and FW-190s, the auto mixture, auto prop pitch and fairly forgiving nature of the aircraft were attractive to me when I was just starting out.

When I first started flying I tried the spit, but all I could do was stall, spin, auger into the ground and make the engine over heat.

Now with some miles under my belt and newfound appreciation for the use of aircraft trim and a better idea of what I am doing, all I can as is "WOW". Flying in the spits, it feels like it absolutely owns the BF-109, definitely going to be spending a lot more time in spits in the online dog fight servers now.

Stingray

Xiolablu3
07-29-2008, 02:41 PM
Shes a great bird for beginners, and also pros, but the lower top speed is a real hindrance for the Vb. Remember that she was designed to fight much higher than we do ingame. Top speed of the Vb is 365mph at around 16,000 feet which is 5000metres. Its not often we get fights that stay up that high online.

When it was decided not to use the Merlin XX (with the two stage SUpercharger) on the Spitfire V and use the Merlin 45 (with single stage) instead, the British decided to drop the low altitude stage and keep the high alt stage for the Merlin 45. WHich meant that she was slower at low alts, but faster up high. For game it would probably be better with a low alt supercharger.

Great fun to fly, I especially like MkVc(2) vs 109F4 fights. One of the best matchups in game IMO.

I totally agree about the low cannon load in the Vb, its painfully low. After one engagement I am usually on my way back home to fill up with ammo again. The MkIX and VIII have double the cannon load and this is definitely far better.

The Mark VIII/IX are great in 1943 and early '44, but in late 44 vs the Dora and 109K things get very tough.

WOuld be great to have a MkXIV to see how she fared vs the Dora.

SlickStick
07-29-2008, 03:46 PM
Check out the Vc(4), too. Those 4 - 20mms are devastating and in such a maneuverable bird, yummy.

She's a tad slow, but keep your speed up and you can dodge those B and Zing 109s and FWs, hopefully, long enough to turn the tables. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

sgilewicz
07-29-2008, 03:59 PM
Since one of the Spits advantages is acceleration, is it safe to deploy flaps during combat, being as you only have up or down? I was going to do some experimenting this evening in QMB to see if my flaps would be damaged but might as well ask here! Could be a real benefit with a hard charging 190 on your six to just drop flaps, bank and yank. Thanks.

crucislancer
07-29-2008, 04:15 PM
I've been flying the Spitfire quite a bit lately, and I love it. I haven't been online in about a month or so, but the last few times I was, it was in the Spitfire. It's such a great plane to fly, though it's a little touchy sometimes, particularly with gunnery. Before that, I was also flying a lot of heavier planes, like the Jug and Tempest, with the occasional trip in a Yak-3.

I've been playing PhilK's excellent Burma campaign, The Ace of Spades. Flying the Mk VIII against Oscars, pretty crazy and lots of fun.

I'm partial to the 4-cannon Mk Vc, the Mk VIII, and the Mk IXe.

Sgilewicz, I'm surprised that you liked the view. While the view to the back is pretty good (yeah, way better then the Jug or Tempest), the upfront view is awful. Not so bad on the Mk Vb, but after that it's a pain.

I used to stay away from the Spitfire. I don't know why. But, once I started to fly it, and get used to its quirks, I can't get enough.

Bearcat99
07-29-2008, 04:30 PM
The only thing I dont like about the Spit is the loadout.. other than that I like all of them...

Bremspropeller
07-29-2008, 04:43 PM
RAF unveals new Spitfire flightgear-collection:

http://p3.focus.de/img/gen/G/q/HBGqnXs6_Pxgen_r_311xA.jpg


http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/59.gif

sgilewicz
07-29-2008, 04:53 PM
The only thing I dont like about the Spit is the loadout.. other than that I like all of them...

That was one of the biggest reasons it took so long before I tried it! In most campaigns there is a fair amount of mud moving and I never felt (still don't) that the Spit was in the same league as the "heavy weights". As with the Mustang I was also wary about the vulnerability to ground fire.

Flying German there was little choice since there are really only two main types to work with and I never felt either was as good in the A2G role as the Allied heavy fighters. So that experience put me off flying Spits. Blame the Germans http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

crucislancer
07-29-2008, 05:25 PM
The loadout on the Mk VIII is really funny: Various sizes of drop tanks. Whoopdidoo. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

idonno
07-29-2008, 07:17 PM
Originally posted by sgilewicz:
Since one of the Spits advantages is acceleration, is it safe to deploy flaps during combat, being as you only have up or down? I was going to do some experimenting this evening in QMB to see if my flaps would be damaged but might as well ask here! Could be a real benefit with a hard charging 190 on your six to just drop flaps, bank and yank. Thanks.


The Spit will so easily out turn the 109 and 190 without flaps that I don't see the point in giving up the speed to begin with, and I don't know, but I'll bet they'll jam pretty quickly.

sgilewicz
07-29-2008, 08:25 PM
The Spit will so easily out turn the 109 and 190 without flaps that I don't see the point in giving up the speed to begin with, and I don't know, but I'll bet they'll jam pretty quickly.

You're right. I just did some power off dives in QMB and watched where the flaps jammed. It seems fairly consistent at ~500 km/hr.

As far as giving up speed, it was probably a bad idea on my part but I did use flaps quite a bit during some P-38 campaigns. For a big plane it got it's speed back in a relatively short bit and the flaps helped turning w/German birds. Probably not a good idea w/IJA & IJN fighters though!

"Sgilewicz, I'm surprised that you liked the view. While the view to the back is pretty good (yeah, way better then the Jug or Tempest), the upfront view is awful. Not so bad on the Mk Vb, but after that it's a pain."

Well Crucis, I've been flying F4Us and 190s for the last several months and neither one is known in this game for a great forward view http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif It's just a matter of perspective I guess!

crucislancer
07-29-2008, 09:31 PM
Originally posted by sgilewicz:
Well Crucis, I've been flying F4Us and 190s for the last several months and neither one is known in this game for a great forward view http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif It's just a matter of perspective I guess!

Ah, that explains it. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

WTE_Galway
07-29-2008, 10:09 PM
Originally posted by sgilewicz:


As far as giving up speed, it was probably a bad idea on my part but I did use flaps quite a bit during some P-38 campaigns. For a big plane it got it's speed back in a relatively short bit and the flaps helped turning w/German birds. Probably not a good idea w/IJA & IJN fighters though!


OK someone like Crump will probably be able to chip in with a technically more correct explanation then me but I will give it a go ....

The P38 has FOWLER Flaps. When fowler flaps are dropped they effectively increase the wing area in addition to the usual flap effect changing AOA. Fowler flaps deploy backwards as well as downwards. Basically Fowler flaps give you extra lift without as much drag compared to more conventional flaps. Fowler flaps actually shrink turn radius without losing much speed effectively increasing turn rate at the same time, something not always achievable with other flap types.

Flying a P38 effectively requires both asymmetrical thrust control and judicious use of flaps.

The Spitfire flaps on the other hand are more akin to air brakes http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif They are conventional flaps which deploy in a very extended configuration. They have a huge effect on drag. Flaps on a spitfire in combat are probably only useful as a last minute panic attempt to wash off speed.

Basically P38 flaps and Spitfire flaps are totally different things.

So why not always use Fowler flaps ? Quite simple really, they are more complex and prone to problems and they are also heavier.