06-05-2009, 12:50 PM
Hi all, just a quick heads up for UK folk about the new series. This is new to me. It may have been shown Stateside before now, but UK folk can watch it 10.00PM GMT and later on Discovery+1 at 11.00 GMT. It is being repeated too, check out the times on their website. Not sure about the European times or dates if shown at all.

http://military.discovery.com/...own/about/about.html (http://military.discovery.com/tv/showdown/about/about.html)

This is for the Military channel, (which I don't have) but note that the claim it is only shown on the Military Channel is wrong. It is definitely shown on Discovery at the above mentioned times. There are by episode links for the planes involved. Will be worth it just to see em in action methinks, regardless of the "authenticity" or not of the re-enactments.

Enjoy! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

06-05-2009, 12:56 PM
Gee, I wonder if it will have P-51's?

I love the Mustang (especially online where it pwns if you fly it right) but it would be nice to see some other aircraft in one of these shows for once too.

Too all the "You hate America" types, I don't, I love you guys. Just want to see some variety is all.

06-05-2009, 04:07 PM
Not trying to hijack or anything (too much) also from the UK ... Helicopter Warfare on Channel 5 was excellent as well.

06-05-2009, 04:18 PM
IMHO on the Allied side the Spitfire was the best defence/interceptor and the p51 the best offensive/escort fighter.

B29 best bomber of all theatres, Lancaster the best bomber of the European theatre alone.

P47 and Typhoon best fighter bomber.

Moquito and P38 deserve an honourable mention too.

06-05-2009, 05:30 PM
For those outside of Great Britain, these shows often appear on bit torrents and usenet newsgroups.
If you have Firefox and get the DownLoadHelper addon then you might capture them as YouTube FLV files
if someone puts them up (likely in parts). GOM Player is free and will play FLV (Flash Video) files.

06-05-2009, 05:40 PM
Originally posted by jamesblonde1979:
Gee, I wonder if it will have P-51's?

I love the Mustang (especially online where it pwns if you fly it right) but it would be nice to see some other aircraft in one of these shows for once too.

Too all the "You hate America" types, I don't, I love you guys. Just want to see some variety is all.

While the focus is on American planes, the Mustang isn't the only thing you see. The first episode is the F-86 vs miG-15. After that, we have:

P-47 vs Fw190
F4F vs Zero
P-38 vs Zero
P-51 vs Bf109

There are some others, I just don't recall them all.

To be honest, it's a weak show. The good points are the host getting to sit in the cockpit of each plane, and talking with experts and in some cases those that flew them in combat. It's neat to see the planes actually fly rather then be CGI like Dogfights, but it just doesn't translate well, not to mention that they can't put these planes through the same maneuvers as in the past so they sometimes supliment really awful CGI to get the point across. All the while you have the host, who is a Raptor jock that has way too much of a hard on for the F-22. I swear, he mentions the Raptor every couple of minutes. It's annoying.

There is a better program with the same host (who tones it down a bit) called Great Planes which focuses on a specific plane, and then branches off a bit to other planes that were influenced, or had similar roles, etc. That one leaves out lame flying sequences, and focuses on the plane and it's history. The one they had on the P-40 was a favorite of mine.

06-05-2009, 05:56 PM
If you want to see a truly great TV show about warplanes, check out "Wings." It was on the Discovery Channel here in the US several years ago. Not sure how available it is on DVD but there are several videos from it on youtube.

They had a Wings of the Luftwaffe series that did several planes, and a Wings of the Soviet Union one that did a lot of jets from WW2 to the present.

They covered the development of the plane and went into a lot of detail about the pros and cons of the plane and showed a lot of footage. It was more of a sober documentary than modern shows you see on the History Channel in the US that show you a lot of simulations set to goofy "xtreme" guitar music as the host jabbers on about how "totally awesome" some plane is.

06-05-2009, 05:59 PM
Saw this on another forum.. here (http://www.historic-battles.com/HBforum/index.php?topic=2775.0)

OK, people are asking for new threads on non-current events topics. So let's go for the old standby...

What was the greatest fighter aircraft of WW2? By "greatest", do we mean the aircraft with the best performance on paper, the aircraft with the best combat record, or a combination of both? One has to know what the criteria are before trying to form an opinion.

Taking into account everything, looking at the complete history of an aircraft, giving points to being on the winning side, and limiting it only to those types that saw significant combat (discounting the Me 262, Ta 152, F8F, MB.5, La-9, or Meteor, among others), I'd rank the greatest fighters of WW2 as follows:

1. Supermarine Spitfire. Had more effect on the air war, in more places, over more time, than any other aircraft. In the air-to-air short range fighter role, the most formidable piston-engined fighter in the world in mid-1940, and arguably still the most formidable piston-engined fighter in the world in mid-1945.

2. North American P-51 Mustang. The aircraft that ensured the success of the American daylight bomber offensive (after the P-47 had established air-superiority), and the best long-range escort fighter of the war.

3. Yakovlev Yak-9. One has to remember that the Luftwaffe suffered 62% of its losses on the Eastern Front - to exclude the Soviet fighters would be unthinkable. The Yak-9 was the most widely produced Soviet fighter of the war, and so probably accounted for more Axis aircraft than any other Allied fighter.

4. Grumman F6F Hellcat. The fighter that established US air superiority in the Pacific, the F6F shot down more than twice as many Japanese aircraft than any other fighter. Its kill ratio of over 19-to-1 in US Navy/USMC service speaks for itself.

5. Messerschmitt Bf 109. Shot down more aircraft than any other plane in history. The Fw 190 was probably a "better" fighter, but the Bf 109 accomplished more.

6. Focke-Wulf Fw 190. Probably the best fighter in the world upon its introduction to service, the Fw 190 remained in the top rank until the end of the war. Could easily be ranked as high as second.

7. Hawker Hurricane. The most underrated aircraft of the war, and the most versatile single-seater, the Hurricane shot down more Axis aircraft than any other Anglo-American type. Served as an interceptor, night fighter, naval fighter, ground attack aircraft, and with two 40mm cannon, a tank-buster.

8. Mitsubishi A6M Zero. The Hellcat from 1943 onward outclassed it, but the A6M was the single weapon most responsible for the early Japanese victories. The first naval fighter to be better than almost any other contemporary land-based fighter.

9. Republic P-47 Thunderbolt. A devastating fighter-bomber, the P-47 was responsible for 72% of the bomb tonnage dropped by USAAF fighters in the ETO/MTO. And as an escort fighter, it was the P-47, not the P-51, which first established air superiority over the Reich.

10. Lavochkin La-5/7. By putting a radial engine on the LaGG-3, Lavochkin engineers created one of the two Soviet fighter mainstays. Top Allied ace Ivan Kozhedub scored all 62 of his kills flying Lavochkin radials.

The three great fighters that couldn't crack the top ten are the Chance Vought F4U Corsair, Hawker Tempest, and Yakovlev Yak-3; they had some very impressive points in their favor, but the other ten were clearly greater, IMHO. Other aircraft performed well in one theater but not in others - the Brewster Buffalo with the Finns and Bell P-39 with the Soviets had impressive records, but they were ineffective elsewhere.

The choice of the Spitfire over the Mustang seems pretty clear to me. The Spitfire had more effect on the air war, over a longer period of time, over more fronts, with more air arms, than any other fighter, and was still the best short-range air-superiority fighter in widespread service in 1945. However, since the idea of the Mustang's superiority is so prevalent, I feel I need to explain my choice. Whoo boy, where do I start?

I also wish to state that there's no "winner" or "loser" when comparing the Spitfire and Mustang - like comparing, say, Babe Ruth and Ted Williams, or the Beatles and Rolling Stones, there are only two winners.

I think everybody can agree that the P-51 was the best escort fighter of the war, and that it played a significant role in the success of the US daylight bomber offensive during 1944/45. My question is, would that automatically make it the best fighter of the war? The role of short-range air superiority fighter was just as valid as that of long-range escort, and the late-model Spits were clearly better than the P-51 in that regard. I don't dislike or disrespect the Mustang; I think it was a truly great fighter, one of the three best of all time. But the Spitfire XIV was better than the P-51D in every aspect except range. There's also the question of the role of the aircraft in the service for which it was designed. Exactly why would the RAF need a long-range fighter when they had no long-range daylight bombers to protect? To give the Mustang credit for having a significantly greater range is a valid point, but there's also the fact that the RAF didn't regard range as a particularly important consideration for a single-seat fighter.

Many people compare the P-51D to the Spitfire IX, on which the Mustang comes out slightly ahead, but that's comparing a fighter that entered service in July 1942 to one that entered service in May 1944, which is a lifetime in WW2 fighter development. The correct comparison is not the Spit IX to the P-51D; it's the Spit XIV to the P-51D. The Spitfire XIV actually entered service in January 1944, five months before the P-51D. It was faster than the Mustang, had a better rate of roll and tighter turning circle, had a higher service ceiling, and could climb better. It was superior to the P-51D in EVERY combat category except range, and the only way that came into play in a dogfight is if the P-51 could fly around long enough for the Spit to run out of fuel!

Some quotes:

William Dunn (US fighter ace who flew Spitfires, P-51s, Hurricanes, and P-47s): "Now, if I had to make the choice of one fighter aircraft above all the others - one that I'd rather have tied to the seat of my pants in any tactical situation - it would be, without any doubt, the world's greatest propeller driven flying machine - the magnificent and immortal Spitfire."

Eric Brown (RN test pilot and holder of the world record for number of types of aircraft flown): "I have flown both for many hours, and would choose the Spitfire [over the Mustang] if given a choice in a fight to the death."

Writer Jerry Scutts, quoting German pilots in his book JG 54: "The Jagflieger had to keep a wary eye out for enemy fighters, particularly Spitfires, a type JG 54's pilots had developed a particular aversion to...Pilot reflections do not, surprisingly enough, reflect over-much respect for the Mustang or Lightning, both of which the Germans reckoned their Fockes were equal to - unless they were met in substantial numbers."

Gordon Levitt, Israeli fighter pilot, comparing the Spitfire, Mustang, and Avia S-199 (Jumo-engined Bf 109), all of which the Israelis flew: "Despite the pros and cons, the Spitfire was everyone's first choice."

Karl Stein, Luftwaffe Fw 190 pilot (who served mainly on the Eastern front): "English and American aircraft appeared on the scene in those closing days of the European war. Spitfires were the most feared, then Mustangs..."

USAAF 31st FG War Diary (when transferring from Spitfires to P-51s): "Although pilots think that the P-51 is the best American fighter, they think the Spitfire VIII is the best fighter in the air."

USAAF pilot Charles McCorkle (who flew both in combat), reporting on a mock combat between a Spitfire and Mustang in 1944: "Now we could see which was the better aircraft...a Mustang and a Spit took off for a scheduled 'combat', flown by two top young flight commanders. When the fighters returned, the pilots had to agree that the Spitfire had won the joust. The Spit could easily outclimb, outaccelerate, and outmaneuver its opponent..."

Author Francis K. Mason, talking about fighter development during the early war years, when Britain stood alone, in Royal Air Force Fighters of World War Two, Volume One: "It was [Britain's] fighters that won the admiration of the world, above all her incomparable Spitfire. It was this agony of survival that lent urgency to fighter design and gave Britain a two-year lead, a lead that was not seriously challenged by America until 1947."

I could go on and on, but you get the point. While many pilots considered the P-51 exceedingly valuable because of its increased range, I've yet to see one pilot whom I respect who regards the Mustang as a better pure fighter than the Spitfire.

The argument for the P-51 hinges on its effect on the air war over Europe in 1944/45. This was a considerable achievement, and deserves respect. But as several writers have pointed out, the P-47 was doing an excellent job as an escort fighter before the P-51 was even used in that role. Taken as a whole, the Spitfire's combat record was more valuable. It served from the first day of the war until the last; the Merlin Mustang didn't come into service until the Spitfire had been fighting superbly for over four years. The Spitfire was a first-line fighter for three times the amount of time as the P-51 (the Allison-Mustangs, while fine reconaissance and close-support aircraft, weren't really used as first-line fighters except in China). That's a lot of ground to make up, and I don't think the P-51 came that close. I simply don't think that the Mustang contributed as much to winning the war, and the fact that the Mustang never seriously threatened the Spitfire as a pure fighter puts the icing on the cake.

It all depends on whether you think the P-51's role over Germany was more important than the Spitfire's similar role on a half-dozen occasions over Dunkirk, Southern England, Northern Europe, North Africa, Italy, Australia, the CBI, and yes, even over the D-Day invasion beaches. Its shipboard version, the Seafire, although it certainly doesn't rank with the Hellcat or Zero as a pure naval fighter, is considered by the leading naval aviation authority of the war as "unquestionably the finest low-level naval fighter the Allies produced" (Barrett Tillman, Hellcat Aces of World War Two). Not to mention that over 1,000 Spitfires served on the Eastern front with the Soviets. The P-51 Mustang was the best long-range escort fighter of WW2. The Spitfire, when all is considered, was the best overall fighter.
Sounds about right to me..

06-05-2009, 07:06 PM
This show was a big letdown for me. I'm sure Paul Moga is a fine pilot, but he's a terriblly boring host for a TV show. What little history is related is about as substantial as a wikipedia entry, and about as accurate.

The only redeeming quality is watching the planes fly. I usually watch with the sound down.

06-05-2009, 07:10 PM
Originally posted by K_Freddie:
Saw this on another forum.. here (http://www.historic-battles.com/HBforum/index.php?topic=2775.0)
[QUOTE]Sounds about right to me..

I agree.

06-05-2009, 07:12 PM
Originally posted by Ba5tard5word:
If you want to see a truly great TV show about warplanes, check out "Wings." It was on the Discovery Channel here in the US several years ago. Not sure how available it is on DVD but there are several videos from it on youtube.

They had a Wings of the Luftwaffe series that did several planes, and a Wings of the Soviet Union one that did a lot of jets from WW2 to the present.

These are high quality shows, and are still aired on Military Channel in the states. The problem is that it's usually 4AM when they're shown.

06-05-2009, 07:12 PM
vid of a Wings episode on the FW-190


06-05-2009, 07:16 PM
Originally posted by R_Target:
This show was a big letdown for me. I'm sure Paul Moga is a fine pilot, but he's a terriblly boring host for a TV show.

Once he tones down his enthusiasm he's actually not too bad. He does ok with the "Great Planes" show, but with "Showdown" he sounds like a teenage girl swooning about a boy with the way he talks about the F-22.

06-06-2009, 03:10 PM
I thought Paul was very mellow when I met and worked with him on-set for Showdown, but once he got in front of the camera, he started to ham things up a little. I dont know if this was his direction, or something the director told him to do. He's an Air Force pilot, not an actor, so telling him to "give me more emotion" may bring out the wrong quality. I also think he was trying to be similar to Richard Makovits from the show Firepower, who puts in a LOT of emotion and passion in how he talks about stuff.

These shows walk a fine line with viewers. Do they higher some actor to deliver the lines, or is it more authentic to have a real pilot? Paul is an F-22 driver and has a lot of face time/public appearances at air shows, so im sure they thought it was the best of both worlds.

BTW, I did the models for the 3D sequences.