PDA

View Full Version : Allison Mustang: uber or target?



249th_Harrier
05-30-2005, 12:33 PM
I have been reading up a little on the Allison Mustang:
http://www.faqs.org/docs/air/avp511.html
It looks like it should have been uber for its time: compared to p-40: much faster, better zoom (better aerodynamics), probably just as maneuverable (guess), equivalent (bad) climb, excellent long range, well armed for its day. Why was it not used for long-range interdiction in the MTO like the p-38? Why was it relegated to recon and dive bombing? It seems like such a waste. Didn't they have tons of p-40s for that kind of work?

I once toured the Allison factory (they make the engines for M-1 tanks now) so I have a soft spot for the Allison-powered birds. Hopefully someday this one will be flyable.

249th_Harrier
05-30-2005, 12:33 PM
I have been reading up a little on the Allison Mustang:
http://www.faqs.org/docs/air/avp511.html
It looks like it should have been uber for its time: compared to p-40: much faster, better zoom (better aerodynamics), probably just as maneuverable (guess), equivalent (bad) climb, excellent long range, well armed for its day. Why was it not used for long-range interdiction in the MTO like the p-38? Why was it relegated to recon and dive bombing? It seems like such a waste. Didn't they have tons of p-40s for that kind of work?

I once toured the Allison factory (they make the engines for M-1 tanks now) so I have a soft spot for the Allison-powered birds. Hopefully someday this one will be flyable.

p1ngu666
05-30-2005, 12:44 PM
one of the first sorties by mustangs was a long range rhubarb. by a guy with 1 arm, and a burns victim http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif

and yes, it was a really good aircraft at low level http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

horseback
05-30-2005, 01:38 PM
From Mustang: The Operational Record, by Robert Jackson:

Since AG345 was retained by North American for continued testing, it was the second Mustang I, AG346, that was shipped to the United Kingdom for RAF evaluation. The aircraft arrived at Liverpool, crated, on 24 October 1941 and was taken by road to Speke, where it was put together by No. 1 Aircraft Assembly Unit...then flown to the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment (A&AEE) at Boscombe Down, Wiltshire, for its Service Trials.

Test pilots and squadron pilots who flew the Mustang at Boscombe Down were unanimous in their praise of the aircraft's handling qualities and also of its cockpit layout, which was pronounced superior to that of any other fighter type in RAF service or under test at that time. Some small modifications were recommended, including changes in the radiator scoop and air duct system, but apart from that the aircraft's configuration was satisfactory.

What was not satisfactory, however, was the Mustang I's performance at altitude. Although the aircraft could obtain 382 mph at 13,000 feet, making it a good 35mph faster than the Spitfire MkV, above that altitude the performance of the unsupercharged Allison engine dropped off rapidly and the Spitfire had the edge in a turning or climbing fight, althought the Mustang's superior diving speed could be used to good advantage. At a later date, AG346 and other Mustang Is were tested in simulated combat against a captured Messerschmitt Bf 109E (RAF serial DG200) assigned to No 1426 Flight at Duxford: in this case the Mustang was the better of the two on most counts, but by this time the Bf 109E had been replaced in Luftwaffe service by the F series and the Focke-Wulf Fw 190 had also made its debut, so the results of these trials were unrealistic.

Because of its limitations as a high-altitude interceptor, it was decided to use the Mustang I as a high-speed ground attack and tactical reconnaissance fighter, at first supplementing and then replacing the P-40 Tomahawk then serving with the squadrons of Army Co-Operation Command. For this revised role an F-24 oblique camera was installed aft of the cockpit on the port side of the rear fuselage, and the armament was reduced to six guns, one 0.30 Browning MG 40 being deleted from each wing. The plan was to equip eighteen ACC squadrons with the new aircraft, although sixteen in fact eventually received it.

Generally, the consensus was that the Allison engined Mustangs were somewhat more agile and 'sweeter' than the Merlin engined types in their respective 'best' alts, being lighter and designed & balanced originally for that engine. Climb was probably better than generally thought, simply because the Mustang on takeoff carried a lot more fuel than its contemporaries (almost 1600 lbs, about one fifth of the total clean combat weight). Once combat was entered, however, much of that fuel had been burned off and the Pony was much more competitive in the vertical plane than the basic numbers indicate.

cheers

horseback

249th_Harrier
05-30-2005, 02:22 PM
What is a rhubarb?

I guess what I am really curious about, is why does the air-to-air record of the p-51a seem so lackluster? There does not seem to be a total of air kills worth mentioning (maybe I have not looked in the right place), even though ~1500 saw heavy service!

The early p-38 models were used to destroy transport flying over the Med. Why weren't p-51A's used for this purpose? Did these transports fly higher than 4000m?

Even in the ground attack role, 9th AF p-38s and p-47s had lots of kills flying top cover for their own jabos. Why not the p-51A?

jarink
05-30-2005, 03:28 PM
Rhubarb was the code name for low-level fighter bomber attacks against occupied Europe. Rodeos were simple fighter sweeps and Circuses were escorted bomber missions.

Zyzbot
05-30-2005, 03:53 PM
€œA-36As did not see very much air-to-air combat, since it was optimized for low-altitude operations and lost its effectiveness above 10,000 feet altitude. It was generally believed that the A-36A Invader was no match for the Messerschmitt Bf 109 at high altitudes, and that it was therefore best for A-36A pilots to avoid such encounters if at all possible. If air-to-air combat was unavoidable, it was thought best to force the battle down to altitudes below 8000 feet, where maximum advantage could be taken of the A-36A's excellent low-altitude performance. Although it was not a fighter, the Invader claimed 101 enemy aircraft destroyed in air-to-air combat. One of the pilots of the 27th Fighter Bomber Group, Lt Michael T. Russo, became the only ace in the Allison-engined Mustang, although several of his A-36A colleagues scored victories as well.€

There were about 500 A-36A€s produced.

http://joematlock.com/A36Invader.htm

fordfan25
05-30-2005, 05:42 PM
i read one resone it had bad high alt speed was no super charger. if so why not just put in a SC?

p1ngu666
05-30-2005, 06:23 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by fordfan25:
i read one resone it had bad high alt speed was no super charger. if so why not just put in a SC? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
well, there wasnt one for high alt, if u look at spitfire series u see the big difference with LF and normal Vb spitfire. the merlin in the IX, p51 etc had a 2 stage 2 speed supercharger, giving good performance at all alts http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

TheCrux
05-30-2005, 07:38 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by fordfan25:
i read one resone it had bad high alt speed was no super charger. if so why not just put in a SC? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

It did have a supercharger ( as did the P39/40 ) but just a single-stage one.

249th_Harrier
05-30-2005, 08:15 PM
I have read accounts on the internet that match the quote in Zyzbot's post, but it just doesn't make sense. If I am attacking your airfield in a p-51a jabo, unless my 'Stang is equipped with a Norden sight, I am going to be at between 1000 and 100m when I drop my eggs on your hangar. In response, your 109 will have to attack me at the altitude I am at, which is within my performance envelope. This is the exact reason the p-39 was so effective in the east: low level attack operations by their nature draw the interceptors to low levels to respond, and low altitude is where the Allison can breathe. The p-51a had roughly the same engine as the p-39, but a technologically superior airframe, which gave it superior range and speed, and superior armament for air-to-air. If a p-39 was on equal terms with a bf109-F, the p-51a should have had the advantage (pilot and tactical situation plays a part of course). The Yak-3 and La-7 never had great high altitude performance, and they didn't need it. What was different in the case of the p-51a?

JG53Frankyboy
05-30-2005, 08:48 PM
tactical differences on the different theaters of operation.

and even the USA needed some standartization in plane produktion. and a Merlin Mustang was still faster at low level than a Allison one (even later was fast in general)

PBNA-Boosher
05-30-2005, 09:22 PM
Low altitude and not carrying bombs?

The Uberitude of the A-36 dominates.

F19_Ob
05-30-2005, 11:33 PM
A story about p51's over Norway.
These chaps had a good day.
http://www.elknet.pl/acestory/cwynar/cwynar.htm

Oldie but still readable... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

JG53Frankyboy
05-31-2005, 02:08 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by PBNA-Boosher:
Low altitude and not carrying bombs?

The Uberitude of the A-36 dominates. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

my hopes are going with a RAF Mustang Mk.I for a 1942 BoB adon http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

horseback
05-31-2005, 09:52 AM
There are a number of reasons that the Allison engined Mustang was not a high scorer; the biggest is that it was used primarily for low-level reconnaissance by both the RAF and the USAAF.

When you're flying recon missions, you're flying solo, or at most, in pairs, and your job is to stay fast and take your pictures home. Even if you have guns (in the context of the early war, remember that the Allies did not have the ability to control the air past enemy lines), combat is a last resort.

With a Mustang already at or near its top speed at low levels, interceptions were difficult; even with a slight speed advantage, a FW or 109 attempting to catch a Mustang with any kind of lead had a long chase ahead of him, and if he couldn't be caught before he reached the Channel (or his own lines), you had to break off. So the recon Mustangs were generally limited to ground targets (among the rhubarbs) and aerial targets of opportunity.

The only place the P-51A was used primarily as a fighter was in the CBI in both Burma and in China. There was at least one P-51A ace in Burma by the end of 1943 by the name of England, but the most-produced dedicated 'fighter' version of the Allison engined Pony was produced at almost the same time as the Merlin engined version was introduced.

For some reason, North American decided to concentrate on the Merlin version instead.

cheers

horseback