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Mr_Zooly
09-25-2008, 01:12 PM
I was reading the questions and answers section and a familiar question was asked.
This was:
Which was the best fighter of WW2; Spitfire, FW190 or P51?
this is not a troll post, it was a real question that was asked by someone who may (or may not) frequent this forum but I look forward to the replies http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/34.gif

Edit
replies from the newspaper readers.

Mr_Zooly
09-25-2008, 01:12 PM
I was reading the questions and answers section and a familiar question was asked.
This was:
Which was the best fighter of WW2; Spitfire, FW190 or P51?
this is not a troll post, it was a real question that was asked by someone who may (or may not) frequent this forum but I look forward to the replies http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/34.gif

Edit
replies from the newspaper readers.

b2spirita
09-25-2008, 01:17 PM
Dont read the mail.

Mr_Zooly
09-25-2008, 01:20 PM
me neither normally but i was having breakfast at work and had a quick flick through. I admit to having a little smile on my face when i read it.

b2spirita
09-25-2008, 01:25 PM
I mean noone should read the mail http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

But it is quite funny, i wonder what the responses will be

joeap
09-25-2008, 01:27 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by b2spirita:
Dont read the mail. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

+1 I've read the online version. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/disagree.gif

EmKen
09-25-2008, 01:44 PM
This paper is widely known as "The Daily Bigot" -if it doesn't conclude pretty quickly that the Spitfire "must have been superior to anything 'johnny foreigner' could come up with", I will buy a months subscription (and when I pick it up from the newsagents, hide it inside a copy of 'Readers Wives' to spare me from the shame).

Viper2005_
09-25-2008, 02:11 PM
It's not really a meaningful question because they were all designed for different jobs.

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The Spitfire was a point-defence interceptor. It was intended to defend the UK against a ~200 mph bomber at about 20,000 feet with extremely short (pre-radar) warning time.

It was originally designed to carry 6 guns, and had straight taper. The man from the ministry asked for 8 guns and the wing was modified to an elliptical planform to provide sufficient depth outboard for the additional guns.

Its wing loading was set by the requirement that it be operated by relatively inexperienced bi-plane pilots flying from grass airfields. This meant that it couldn't really have an approach speed much greater than 70 mph. It was very much the F-104 of its day however; almost twice as fast as the aeroplanes it replaced, with complex systems (retractable gear, and flaps!) and a high approach speed. Of course, as it was developed, weight was added and its wingloading therefore increased; the resultant increase in approach speeds was acceptable now that the RAF had been dragged kicking and screaming into the monoplane era, and when its wing was eventually redesigned at the very end of the war, no attempt was made to revert to the pre-war wingloading.

It wasn't really intended for mass production. It was built at the end of a very lean period for the British aerospace industry, where orders were generally small. Supermarine weren't really ready to handle even the first production order because times had changed so fast that it was far larger than they had anticipated.

Really the Spitfire was designed in the hope of defending peace rather than with the intention of fighting a total war.

Its wing was really designed for evaporative cooling; the radiators arrived part-way through the design process, and suffered from being first-generation technology of limited performance. It was intended to retrofit a P-51 style "doghouse" with superior pressure recovery, but the demands of mass production frustrated that goal.

Mitchell's genius shines forth from its extremely thin wing which permitted it the highest tactical Mach number of any WWII fighter.

It was developed throughout the war, perhaps largely because the tooling was available and could be continuously modified to meet the needs of the moment in less time than it would have taken to re-tool for an optimal new aeroplane.

////

The P-51 was intended to be a better P-40, and initially used the same engine and essentially the same armament. It was designed for mass production from the start because there was a large order on the table and with WWII already in full swing, every prospect of repeat business.

As such it has a much simpler wing planform. It's much more of a military aeroplane than a sports-car. It was able to adopt a higher wingloading than the Spitfire, partly because of more advanced high-lift devices, but largely because acceptable approach speeds were much higher now that pilots were used to monoplanes.

It benefited from several years of technological advances, especially with regard to radiator aerodynamics, and to a lesser extent its "laminar flow" wing.

However, the poor performance of its Allison engine would have relegated it to low level work had its low drag not attracted the attention of Rolls-Royce.

A Merlin 60 series engine installation was simultaneously worked on in the USA and at Hucknall in the UK. The development of two independent installations for the same engine by both airframer and engine manufacturer undoubtedly improved the finished product.

By the time the P-51B arrived in Europe in December 1943, the Allies had learned a lot about air combat, and were therefore well placed to make the best use of its potential.

The main reason for the P-51B's dominance as an escort fighter was that it had the highest tactical Mach number of any available American escort fighter* (the P-47D actually had a longer range). Its range was sufficient to perform the task asked of it.

Contrary to popular belief, the Spitfire could have been adapted to escort bombers all the way to Berlin**. However, since other aeroplanes were available this wasn't necessary.

*Eric Brown: Wings on my Sleeve.
**Geoffrey Quill: Spitfire: A Test Pilot's Story

////

The Fw-190 was more of a multi-role fighter. It was designed for war. It was built for an airforce that was already well and truly into the monoplane era and therefore like the P-51 it could have a significantly higher wingloading than the Spitfire.

The Germans had benefited from considerable combat experience in the Spanish civil war and therefore had a much better understanding of what fighter combat is all about than the allies. This may be seen in the 190, which from the start had a control system emphasising roll rate, a cockpit designed with ergonomics in mind to minimise pilot workload, and a blown canopy to afford excellent visibility.

The use of a radial engine was also something of a departure for a European fighter aeroplane. This was done largely for the pragmatic reason that available inline engine production capacity was already fully deployed. However, this allowed the 190 to be produced in parallel with the 109 and therefore was extremely important in allowing the Germans to make good use of their available industrial capacity.

Another important feature of the 190 is that the test pilots were listened to. From rifle calibre machineguns in the prototypes, production aircraft went to cannon, affording the lethality which would later be needed to take on heavy bombers.

Whilst the Spitfire and P-51 provided performance meeting their respective specifications, and arguably left it to their pilots to work out how to use that performance to offensive effect, the 190 was designed by an experienced pilot, and gives the impression that it was optimised to do its job rather than simply to hit performance numbers.

////

If somebody offered me a ride in any of the three, I'd be more than happy!

Aaron_GT
09-25-2008, 04:27 PM
I am going to nit pick some things here!

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">It was very much the F-104 of its day however; almost twice as fast as the aeroplanes it replaced </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

It was intended to replace the F.7/30, aka the Gloster Gladiator at 240mph and could manage 350 in Mk. 1. That's a long way short of double!
Only with the Spiteful and Seafang was the speed doubled.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">and when its wing was eventually redesigned at the very end of the war, no attempt was made to revert to the pre-war wingloading. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The Mk.20-24 wing redesign started in 1942, flying in 1943, laminar flow (Spiteful) in 1943, so mid war rather than late war, it is just that service of the F.21 only just clipped the end of the war in Europe.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">It wasn't really intended for mass production. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

It was intended for the UK was going to undergo fairly hefty rearmament and ease of production and maintenance were specification requirements for the 1934 specification, even if the Spitfire failed to really meet the requirement and it was relaxed for F.10/35.

Aaron_GT
09-25-2008, 04:30 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Contrary to popular belief, the Spitfire could have been adapted to escort bombers all the way to Berlin** </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I think the Spitfire was a better choice here, not least because the larger cockpit led to less pilot fatigue.

snafu73
09-25-2008, 05:26 PM
If you've been inculcated with pluralism, you'd better steer clear of the Daily Mail.

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