View Full Version : DB601 powered fighters: 109E vs M.C.202 vs Ki-61-I

12-02-2010, 11:50 AM
Each of these three fighters presented a major fighter type at each of the three major nations of axis forces. So, how would you guys compare them between eachother, either in the sim or in reality?

Speaking of the sim:

Guns wise, I'd pick Ki-61-I (four Ho-103 HMGs version, let's leave 2xMG 151/20 version at the side for a moment) above the rest, but the choice between 109E and Mc202 isn't easy. I still think I'd prefer the 202 over the 109E because of good ammosupply, ammocounters and nose position of the HMGs. Yes MgFF hits a lot harder than anemic SAFAT, but they're mounted in wings (convergence issues, inherently lower hit ratio...) and carry pretty modest ammosupply (6 seconds of fire). Ultimately the choice would probably depend on the type of target I'm gonna face.

Maneouverability wise I'd again choose Ki-61 over the rest.

Performance wise all 3 planes appear to be very evenly mathced in IL-2.

Vulnerability - Mc202 wins for me. Very sturdy aircraft (given you don't get hit into an engine, which is fragile at all 3 contenders). It can dive to 1000kph too, before breaking apart, can outdive a mustang! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif
However, plane becomes a real b!tch to fly after taking wing damage. The other two handle much better in this regard.

Loadouts - Ki-61 wins again since it has an option of 2x250kg bombs or 2 fuel tanks (not sure how historical this is on the early versions of Ki-61), 109E can carry single 250kg bomb or 4x50kg, Macchi can't carry external ordnance.

Overal - a tough choice. What the Mc202 lacks in loadouts, wins in sturdiness. Ki-61 appears to be the most vulnerable of them all, but also the most maneouverable and well armed.

Feel free to think aloud. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

12-02-2010, 12:13 PM
Of the three I prefer the 109E. I find the KI-61 is too slow and loses too much energy when turning. On the other hand, I find the KI-61 is the easiest aircraft to fly formation in, with very quick speed change with throttle movement.

The MC202 is a lot of fun but it's hairy spin behaviour tips the scales in favour of the 109.

Still, I like all three.

12-02-2010, 12:39 PM
Well, I cannot speak as to the others....and can tell you for a FACT the Ki-61-I in the sim has numerous errors. What I can tell you however is about the Ki-61 real life.

The Ki-61-I by far had the greatest range. Initial versions of it had up to 1,150 liters of fuel onboard (including drop tanks). That quantity reduced over the various versions as fuel tank armor increased (can't make wings bigger, so tanks get smaller) down to the minimum of 900 liters.......In kind with up to 4 onboard fuel tanks and 2 drop tanks along with tank switching, hits to a tank could be controlled to not lose all your fuel.

The Ki-61-I weapons were extremely reliable. the 7.7mm was basically a Vickers, the Ho-103 a Browning .50cal. and naturally the 151/20 Mauser, and with the Ki-61-I-Tei (1d we don't have in sim), the 20mm cannons were essentially the same old Browning design just up calibered. Unlike the early Ki-43, the Hien never saw the problems with the Ho-103 MG as by that time the ammunition issues had been fixed (no longer the Breda type). There have been some reports even that the explosive properties of the round was rather stunning when it hit right.....Crews in New Guinea "assuming" that aircraft hit with 12.7mm explosive rounds being 20mm from the damage done (though naturally the 20mm has much greater power, it simply demonstrates the round had some serious potential).

However, the Ki-61-I until the Tei which we don't have NEVER carried any bombs EXCEPT air to air bombs. These bombs were to be dropped above bombers some like cluster bombs others like phosphorous incindiary (Navy) and had debatable effect (have read how they took down bombers yet also how they did little).

The Ki-61-I Hei had a fuel SYSTEM extinguisher system....very advanced for the day.

The Ki-61-I's systems routing and layout was much more advanced then many other aircraft....It really was laid out quite well in all regards, yet never made ridiculously complex.

Head, back, fuel tank and radiator armor improved dramatically over the series.

The fuselage was like no other in its design and very advanced.

etc. etc..

As to problems, the Ki-61 had NUMEROUS teething problems. Fuel switching solenoids failing on long trips at first costing the 68th and 78th many aircraft even just getting to the battle area. Filtration of air to the engine was inadequate allowing sand to damage the cylinders. Engines in kind had terrible problems due to poor bearing manufacturing, in fact you could easily say that was the biggest problem the aircraft had from day one till the end, engine loss due to bad bearings cost more aircraft then air to air combat.

Look here for a bit....

http://78sentai.org/forum/view...hp?f=4&t=401&start=0 (http://78sentai.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=401&start=0)


12-02-2010, 12:42 PM
For its era, definitely the 109E. Any Italian MG's are just useless, I could probably get more kills with the 109's 60 rounds of cannon fire than with the MC202's entire ammo count. I've fired all of an MC202's ammo into an enemy fighter and not gotten a kill. The MC 205 is the only MC I'd want to fly because it's fairly fast and has cannons which are actually effective, but it came out in very small numbers at the end of Italy's involvment in the war.

109E is faster than pretty much any contemporary enemies. Its cannons are pretty effective if used carefully, and it has 1000 rounds of 7.62mm MG fire on top of that, they are peashooters but the large ammo count should let you kill a few fighters with MG's alone.

Ki-61 is ok but for its era it's very slow, and unfortunately when flying against AI planes in Il-2 speed is just about everything. Flying against a lazy human pilot would be better because it is a very maneuverable plane, and US planes in 43/44 are not maneuverability champs. But any faster AI planes will just fly past a Ki-61 and keep running away so you will spend forever flying after them and being unable to catch up. Also its MG's are pretty useless and only the one late model has cannons.

12-02-2010, 02:00 PM
I've had considerable success in early Ki-61s against targets who tried to maneuver, both online and offline. I like its visibility, and its handling

The Bf-109 has the best armament, despite having such a small load-out. But I imagine back in 1939 that cannons were rare in general, so having a pair would be like having a 30 mm gun in 1944 (Which incidentally also has 6 seconds of ammo in the Bf-109). The trick is to click just a few rounds off at a time, and use the red machine gun tracers to estimate lead.

My favorite of the three at the moment is probably the MC.202. It simply handles like a dream, although it will still bite you if you push it too hard. It's incredibly beautiful too, whereas the Bf-109 simply reflects a utilitarian purpose. It's easier to take off and land because of the wide track, but it has a habit of nosing over too. The "cloud belchers" can either be a turn off, or an opportunity to take a challenge, depending on my mood. If you can sneak up on someone's six, then they will be out of the fight, at least. On servers with outside views or offline, you're not going to have a fun time. Needless to say, the Mc.205 type 3 is everything you could ever want in a fighting airplane.

12-02-2010, 04:57 PM
The 109E may be a bit faster than the other two but it always felt to me as being the slowest one. It may have something to do with the handling. I'd rate the Ki-61 as having the best handling and being the most friendly and communicative to a pilot in combat. The 109E definitely hits harder than the early models of Ki-61 an the MC.202 is a blast to fly but on the edge it can be dangerous and the guns are nearly useless.

All three are interesting! It highlights how good the sim is that we can even have this discussion. Each are similar in concept but each is quite different when you're flying them.

12-02-2010, 05:20 PM
All 109's feel kind of doughy to me in handling, and the 109E especially felt very stuffy when I first started flying it, but like with the other planes you have to compare it with its contemporary planes where it has so many advantages. Hurricanes, early Tomahawks and early Spitfires were its main opponents and they would all get easily lapped by a 109E, especially in Il-2 where it's easy to maintain high speed all the time and not have to worry about fuel much, especially for the AI. The 109E isn't really a joy to fly like the Ki-61 and MC-202 can be, it's just a lot more effective as a weapon against its typical opponents.

12-02-2010, 09:44 PM
Here is a little something for the ears a test run of a DB605 enjoy, wish the engine would sound like this in the game!

12-02-2010, 10:44 PM
All are good planes I hold in high regard in-game wise, but I have to give the nod to the Ki-61 overall due to the fact it seems to combine the best of all the 3 performance-wise, and is an all around nice flying A/C with good ( read: docile ) handling qualities. Also, I very much like the fact it carries 2 250Kg bombs and how much flight time you get even at 50 percent fuel.

12-03-2010, 03:16 AM
Of the three, my fav is the Ki-61. None of the three is perfect, however- but what plane is? The Hien and Folgore have wide-track undercarriages, making them easier to land than the 109E. Armament of the Folgore is next to useless and its rearward view is the worst of the three. The 109's 20mm guns don't have sufficient ammo.

Fortunately engine reliability isn't modelled into the sim because the Ha-40, though a licence-built DB601, was hopelessly unreliable. Manufacturing the engine was beyond the Japanese aero engine industry's capabilities. Among the problems- improper crankshaft hardening, insufficient precision in finishing the various parts resulting in too high surface roughness and parts out of tolerance- not only the crankshaft and its roller bearings but also the Bosch direct-injection fuel system. It's interesting to note that Aichi also manufactured the BD601 under licence and its version had pretty much the same reliability problems Kawasaki's Ha-40 did.

12-03-2010, 08:28 AM
Originally posted by TheCrux:
Also, I very much like the fact it carries 2 250Kg bombs.

Hopefully that will be fixed in 4.10 (as in removed).


12-03-2010, 09:19 AM
Not, it won't be. Any loadout that is in 4.09 is to stay - regardless how wrong it may be. Removing loadouts could break existing missions and Daidalos was instructed not to do anything that might result in this.

12-03-2010, 10:11 AM


12-03-2010, 10:51 AM

A better comparison would be the 109F4 rather than the 109E. The F4 was also produced with a DB-601.

In my opinion it was easily the best airframe to make use of the engine.

In fact, many Luftwaffe 109 pilots thought the F4 was the best balanced 109 of them all, certainly the best 109 when taken in comparison to its opponents.

12-03-2010, 11:04 AM
Macchi C.202 "Folgore" in my opinion.


Speed= It's faster. Period. In my opinion that's the most important aspect of a fighter: speed is everything. it is faster than
the 109E by up to 40 km/h
the Ki61 by up to 30 km/h

And it's not a small difference. It could go to 600 km/h, while still having a great maneuverability, a good armament of 2 big and effective heavy machine-guns with quite a lot of ammo (despite what most people think and the sim reproduces... Italian pilots always said , even after the war, that the guns were sufficient against every planes encountered... apart from heavy bombers)
Marginally faster than a Spitfire V and P40s and that was the most important aspect against these planes during the war.

Range: the Ki61 can't be beaten, obviously, but the C.202 could go to about 770 km while the 109E ran out of fuel at 480 km.
So, it's in the middle, between the 109 and the Ki61.
Not a great range, but sufficient for its characteristics

Structure: It was very sturdy, and especially very very aerodynamic. It could easily reach an amazing speed just in a shallow dive. Exterior and interior finish was excellent; not a great feature on a war-machine and hard to build in quantity, but the examples built were really smooth and finished like a racer-prototype of the Schneider Trophy.
Excellent diving characteristics; one of the main tactic used when in a dangerous situation by RA pilots.
Well-laid out cockpit,not huge but not cramped like in the 109, good visibility all around, not perfect on the 6 o.c., but not too bad either as in the sim, but thanks to its side shaped bulges, a pilot could watch a good portion of its tail section.
Good armor all around the pilot and some part of the engine, armoured-glass added in later series.
Advances acustic and visual signals for landing gears, flaps. Efficient ammo-counters for the Breda and nice gun-sight up-front.
Large under-carriage

Engine: very realiable, the German built daimler-benz, and the italian built Alfa Romeo RA1000.

Agility = Almost every pilot loved it. Enemy pilots who had the chance to fly it (included the C.205) were always greatly impressed (including Eric Brown...)
Enemy pilots who encountered it in the skies in North Africa always regarded it highly ( read "What Were They Like to Fly?", by Squadron Leader "Nobby" Clarke who fought against it in his P40)
Flight commands very balanced, easy to fly and aerobatic, very fast for its engine's power.

And , IMO, a beautiful machine, which isn't a bad thing in a fighter http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-tongue.gif

Too bad not many of them were produced...


12-03-2010, 12:18 PM
Italian pilots always said , even after the war, that the guns were sufficient against every planes encountered... apart from heavy bombers

Problem is in Il-2 they are like paintball guns.

12-03-2010, 05:13 PM
The problem really isn't the SAFATs, it's the very rudimentary damage model our 10 year old sim has.


Now, of the three, I'll take the Ki-61. Even though it's maneuverability is hobbled and it has bomb racks, and their added drag, that were mostly not used, it is a great flying plane.

12-03-2010, 06:06 PM
Originally posted by csThor:
Not, it won't be. Any loadout that is in 4.09 is to stay - regardless how wrong it may be. Removing loadouts could break existing missions and Daidalos was instructed not to do anything that might result in this.

yep. Maddox did it once in the past (removed a loadout from the IAR81s) - i guess he have learned the lessons http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

12-04-2010, 03:50 AM
On absolute terms, I'd too say its the MC202. Faster than the others, maneuverable, and 4 machine guns isnt that bad.

But considering that MC202 faces later model P-40s, Spitfires, even P-47s and P-38s and the Ki-61's foes arent much easier, in a historical matchup I think Emil does the best. Against the foes it got to fought, it was from vastly superior to equal with, something Ki 61 and MC 202 never were. Those 2 designs, Folgore and Hien, were more than equal to Emil, but they were 1 to 2 years behind. Opposition had grown too bad. Ki 61s even had to fight P-51s.

Another advantage the Emil has is that it flies and feels like other 109s, and moving from previous models to Emil(though Emil did introduce the much criticized engine torque at takeoffs, especially on paved runways), and from Emil to better models of the series a pilot doesnt need to learn a completely new machine. Pilots who jumped from CR.42, G.60 or MC200 to MC202/205 or from Ki 27 or Ki 43 to Ki 61 got their hands on a completely different behaving and performing aircraft, that also required a very different type of flying and tactics to succeed in air war.

12-04-2010, 04:29 AM
Got ta be the Bf109E4 for me.

Or the E7 then I can take a bomb and hit some targets first http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif