View Full Version : Question about Brewster FM in Pacific Fighters

04-01-2004, 04:55 AM
Hello all.

The B-239 is an aircraft that I enjoy quite a bit in FB. I'm currently designing a campaign for it as a matter of fact.

My question is, will the Brewster in Pacific fighters have the same FM as the Finnish B-239 which they refer to as "The Pearl of the Sky" or will it be the heavier Navy version FM which would seem to make it a bit less nimble?

Please be assured that I will happily fly it either way. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif


04-01-2004, 04:55 AM
Hello all.

The B-239 is an aircraft that I enjoy quite a bit in FB. I'm currently designing a campaign for it as a matter of fact.

My question is, will the Brewster in Pacific fighters have the same FM as the Finnish B-239 which they refer to as "The Pearl of the Sky" or will it be the heavier Navy version FM which would seem to make it a bit less nimble?

Please be assured that I will happily fly it either way. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif


04-01-2004, 07:10 AM
This is probably a pretty good question.

It's a pretty good assumption that we'll have the Brewster in FB, (it's featured on Luthiers new Pacific Fighters sig) understand that by all accounts-and I mean ALL
(British, US, and Dutch)- the Buffalo was a total failure in the PTO.

"Commanders who commit pilots to combat in the F2a airplane should regard such pilots as being lost before they leave the ground"

-a portion of the after action report of a Marine Corps pilot.

It shouldn't be the same plane in PF that it is in FB. Same with the P-39.

It's no secret that I am a big fan of US WWII aircraft, but for several reasons these two ships were simply not the performers in the PTO that they proved to be in other theaters. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-sad.gif


[This message was edited by chris455 on Thu April 01 2004 at 06:18 AM.]

[This message was edited by chris455 on Thu April 01 2004 at 06:28 AM.]

04-01-2004, 09:11 AM
Well, I would strongly suspect that, while the Brewster we'll getin in the Pacific will be somewhat lower performance than the Finish Brewster, I do not believe that the aircraft will be seriously different, in that catagory.

The primary reasons the Brewster was pulled from the Pacific were mostly deployment problems. The Brewster's engine did not tolerate the heat well, the landing gear did not well endure the rigors of carrier landings, and the one peice wing prevented easy repair and compact storage of the aircraft.

Performance wise, the Brewster was only slightly slower than the F4F, and was actually considered to be a more responsive aircraft in manuvers, though I believe the Wildcat has a tighter turning radius. Additionally, the Brewster was slightly less durable than the Cat and had slightly poorer dive.

Now, the problem in the Pacific, was that both the Wildcat, and the Brewster were so massively outperformed but the A6M Zero, in terms of agility, that both aircraft depended heavily on durability and repairability to fight them. The Brewster was simply less durable, and considerably more difficult to fix when damaged, (repairing wing damage, involved replacing the entire wing). When combined with the problems the Brewster factory was having at home (they were bad enough that Brewster became the only US aircraft manufacturer shut down by the Federal Government during the entire war), and the aircraft was deemed unsuitable for operations in the Pacific.

Now, this doesn't mean that the Brewster will be a poor aircraft in Pacific Fighter. Far from it; in the right hands it should be quite a match for most fighters of its time, but I will warn you, if you try to fly it against the Japanese Airforce with the same tactics you use in FB, you will die. Nearly every aircraft in the Japanese inventory could outmanuver the Brewster in the horizontal, by a large margin. In the Pacific Theater, the F2A and F4F must be flown as nearly pure energy fighters. Don't turn, just dive.

I rather suspect that the FW-190 drivers would be more able to hop into the F2A in PF and do well, than the Brewster pilots from FB. Essentially, you have to unlearn nearly everything you learned in FB, in order to fight the JAF and IJN and win.

The P-40 and P-39 pilots are going to face a similare problem, I do believe.

Harry Voyager

Edit: Doh! Forgot who I was replying to. If you fly the Brewser like a 190 in PF, then you'll do fine against the Japanese. It will most likely perform very similarely to the Brewster in Il-2, but its opponents will be so radically different as to force a complete change of tactics.

04-01-2004, 09:42 AM
I'm looking forward to the Oscar and the Wildcat.

Hehe, Wildcat looks like a beer keg with wings, I love it. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

An unfortunate advantage to those flying the Japanese side though is that the majority of people who will likely be playing will be experienced pilots who know how to fight the Zero/Oscar. Not knowing really seems to be why the US Navy and Army took such bad initial losses.

The P40 Kittyhawk/Warhawk is more than a match for the Zero if flown properly... Who cares if you can spin tiny little circles when a Warhawk streaks out of the sky, strafes you, and runs? http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Hard to shoot at something you can't catch. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

Captain Gunner of the 361st vFG


04-01-2004, 01:15 PM
For some reason,I've always liked the Buffalo,but I've always been under the impression that it was grossly overweight with the additional armor the Marines slapped on it. I remember reading an interview with Pappy Boyington where he says the Buffalo was originally a pretty good bird(like what the Finns got),but Marine beaurocrats decided it needed more armor. After that happened,he said it was a piece of sh!t. Lest we forget that famous Marine Buffalo engagement at Midway. IIRC,it was the first and last major Pacific operation with the Buffalo.

"Not all who wander are lost."

04-01-2004, 06:00 PM
the Buffalo was also used by the RAF (Burma , Singapore) and the dutch (netherland east India)in the first stages of the pacifik conflict.
but sure, were slaughtered too http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

interesting read√¬*ngs:

04-01-2004, 07:48 PM
Do you know what(if any) modifications the Dutch and RAF made?

"Not all who wander are lost."

04-01-2004, 08:02 PM
The Marines didn't get much say over what they flew. They got Navy rejects or hand-me-downs.


04-01-2004, 08:09 PM
I'd also point out that in that particulare operation, the Marine pilots practically handed their planes to the IJN fighters on silver platters.

They started the engagement by trying to climb to the Zeros: Energy advantage Zero. Then they didn't cover eachother in the battle: Advantage Zero. Then, they all tried to turn fight with the Zeros: Advantage Zero.

In short, there was little more that that flight could have done wrong in engaging the enemy that day.

That's not to disparage the courage of the Marine pilots, rather, they simply did not have the knowledge or experience to handle what they were thrown up against.

We did not know our enemy, nor did we know ourselves, and as such, we fought completely to their advantage, for many months at the opening of that war.

Harry Voyager

04-01-2004, 08:25 PM
So perhaps the Buffalo's poor reputation is not entirely warranted?

"Not all who wander are lost."

04-01-2004, 11:22 PM
THe FB/AEP Brewster is a bit of a UFO. From the data I've been working on for the new version of my Aircraft Viewer tool it climbs much better than it should have IRL.

I assume this will be addressed for the Pacific sim; a few hundred pounds of extra armour that the Finns didn't have should do nicely.

The Brewster was hardly a stellar performer, but it did suffer in part from poor maintenance (parts supply), and poor tactics. IIRC many were also destroyed on the ground by the Japanese before they could ever be used in anger. I also think it was cursed with a bad reputation which made the allied pilots feel like they were going to lose before they even got into the air.

04-01-2004, 11:27 PM
Kinda like the early P-39s,I guess.

"Not all who wander are lost."

05-13-2004, 10:08 AM
The British version was the B339E; as a result of European combat experience, the original design was modified with bulletproof windscreens and extra armour plating. Unfortunately, the modifications added so much weight that performance suffered badly and the RAF was forced to modify the aircraft by fitting 0.303 guns to replace the 0.50s, cutting ammunition capacity and drastically restricting fuel load. Engine was an 1100 hp Cyclone.
The Dutch B339D had the same engine, but did not have the extra protection that the British aircraft had and in consequence, had somewhat better performance. The Dutch also received a number of B439s, which had a 1200 hp engine. Some of the Dutch B339s operating from Singapore received bulletproof windscreens which were removed from RAF Buffalos which were too badly damaged to be of further use.
According to the Dutch book "De Luchtstrijd rond Borneo, December 1941-Februari 1942" the Dutch discovered shortly before the Pacific war started that using tracer ammunition destroyed the barrels of the B339's guns in very short order, so the ML pilots could not use tracer ammunition during the air war- no doubt a significant handicap.

05-13-2004, 10:14 AM
The FB Brewster rolls like a gator with a sandwich on its back... lots of fun.

05-13-2004, 10:22 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by SkyChimp:
The Marines didn't get much say over what they flew. They got Navy rejects or hand-me-downs.

http://members.cox.net/us.fighters/skychimp.jpg <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes, that is my understanding, too. I can't recall ever hearing of the Marines modifying any plane to suit them better, not even 'slapping on' armor.

The hillsides ring with, "Free the People",
Or can I hear the echoes from the days of '39?
~ Clash

05-13-2004, 11:13 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by HarryVoyager:

Edit: Doh! Forgot who I was replying to. If you fly the Brewser like a 190 in PF, then you'll do fine against the Japanese. It will most likely perform very similarely to the Brewster in Il-2, but its opponents will be so radically different as to force a complete change of tactics.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


We have a mixed group of FB Fw190 and P-40/Spitfire pilots in our new squad VMF92. We've been flying practice missions with the Brewster against A6M2s and P-47D-10 (F4U substitute) against A6M5s and Ki-84s. I can tell you the Fw190 drivers are having a rough time in the Brewsters because we don't turn. The Zeros easily run us down even in a dive. The Brewster in FB has a glass jaw too, unlike our usual rides. The only thing that saves us is scissors moves. The P-40/Spit drivers are doing fine in the brewsters.

In the P-47, us old 190 types are right at home. Zeros don't have a prayer and the Kis we've been able to beat using standard pair tactics. So is suspect 190 driver = good F4U driver but, infighting with F4Fs/Brewsters will require a whole new set of skills.

www.7Jg77.com (http://www.7jg77.com)
CWoS FB forum. More Cheese, Less Whine. (http://www.acompletewasteofspace.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=25)

05-13-2004, 03:11 PM
the Dutch version is faster but have less arnament.

05-14-2004, 04:55 AM
Not so- the British Buffalos carried four 0.303s, all Dutch B339Ds and B439s carried two 7.7mm and two 12.7mm guns- certainly a heavier armament! Some sources even suggest that the Dutch aircraft carried three or even four 12.7mm guns, though this is unlikely. Furthermore, the Dutch aircraft could- and on several occasions did- carry two 50kg bombs, mainly on anti-shipping strikes.

05-14-2004, 12:31 PM
Does anyone have a comparison chart of the pacific brewster vs the finnish brewster. I know some finnish versions used refurbished dc3 engines. they also removed some uneeded parts only 40-80lbs worth which didnt make much of a difference.


05-14-2004, 12:37 PM
so, it would be nice to have a RAF brewster AND a Dutch Brewster in PF http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

05-14-2004, 06:26 PM
Britt Brewsters suffered from bad Oil Bearings that would burn out, and leak. They could not use war power to climb. The machine guns misfired more often that not also.These were two major issues, otherwise the Buffalo is simmilar to the Wildcat. Often they would only get one shot, and then they would jam. Flight 'performance' was slightly better than the Wildcat.Some Guadalcanal wildcat pilots requested buffalos, as they would turn slightly better.

05-14-2004, 07:35 PM
Spot on Gerrit! http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

The differences in the Finnish version - the Model 239 - and the USN, Briti/Dutch version was most marked.

Weight was the killer for the Buffalo.

Gross combat weight for the Model 239 (Finnish version) was around 5276 lbs.

Gross combat weight for the F2A-2/3 (the equivalent of the British/Dutch Model 339) was around 6906 lbs.

So the British/Dutch/USN version was carrying more than half a ton more in weight than the Finnish version. Wing load alone went up more than 172lbs.

No wonder that the Anzacs and Dutch in Malaya and the East Indies bitterly complained about the aircrafts lack of performance compared to such lighweight fighters as the Ki-27 and Ki-43. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

05-14-2004, 07:49 PM
The biggest problem with the Pacific for the Allies during the first 12 months was that nobody was prepared for War in the Pacific except for the Japanese.

Even Churchill made mention about how RAF Pacific suffered greatly because of our Dire needs elsewhere. ( Europe)

From December 7th 1941 right up till the end of 1942, the Main Allied fighters in the PTO are.

P-400 (New Guinea)

Allied Airforces
The same plus early model Hurricane, and some 22 Spitfires showed up around Darwin Australia.

So that first year of the War is going to be very hard fought (on both sides ) should be fun.


05-14-2004, 09:10 PM
My reading on the topic leads me to believe that the chief problems with the Buffalo in the Pacific were (1) the pilots were either inexperienced or unaware of the proper tactics to use against the Zero, and (2) the machines themselves were more unreliable than the Wildcat because of poor quality control at the Brewster plant and design flaws, such as the notoriously weak landing gear.

My guess is that if we Americans did not have the Wildcat, we would have figured out a way to make the Buffalo work for us, just like the Finns did.

Because reliability is not really modeled in the game, I would imagine that the Brewster will fly very much like the Wildcat (but with less directional stability), but will be noticably more fragile.

05-15-2004, 12:08 AM
The Finnish B239s were much lighter than either the British B339Es or the Dutch B339Ds and B439s, but had a less powerful engine- the 239s had a 940 hp engine (R-1820-34) whereas the B339Ds and Es had an 1100 hp engine (GR-1820-G105A); the B439s had a 1200 hp R-1820-40. The Dutch aircraft did not have any of the extra protection the British aircraft did and therefore weighed less- certainly their performance was better than that of the British aircraft.
I agree that a major cause of the lack of success was inadequate pilot training. Several ML-KNIL pilots were sent to Britain for operational training before the start of the Pacific war, but did not return until the war had started- too late to have had any opportunity to pass on any of their knowledge gained in Europe, and too few in number to make a difference anyway.
Reliability of the Brewster, the Dutch aircraft anyway, does not seem to have had much negative effect, so I think that can be discounted.

05-15-2004, 04:29 AM
There's some evidence that Brewster did not fit the advertized engines to Brit and Dutch Buffaloes, sometimes they used re-furbished engines for DC3s, maybe not always the 1200hp type. Also some had fuel pumps intended for smaller engines which couldn't provide full flow. Only this can account for the kind of performance in RAF reports.
Having said that, a lot of Brewster losses in Malaya/singapore/Java were on the ground or by abandonment. It may be that the RAF Buffaloes actually did no worse than the Spitfires were doing at the same time vs the Luftwaffe. The Buffalo was surely inferior to the Zero in most ways, but it also met plenty of Nates and Oscars against which it had some areas it could compete in, if not out-numbered and short of warning.
I guess PF must model the best Brewster of each mark and not worry about oil pressure and fuel pumps.

05-16-2004, 10:05 AM
(From a post on rec.aviation.military)

In October, 1977, I had the privilege and honor to have a few fairly lengthy conversations in a relativly private atmosphere with Greg Boyington. He seemed a hard, inwardly angry man. By this I mean, he never had it easy and this came through in his demeanor. His speech was rather gruff, he rarely spoke unless spoken to first and his answers to questions came quickly, brusquely and to the point. He had no qualms about his liking of alcohol, constantly nursing beers as we spoke. Coors, as I recall.

I remember asking him about the Brewster Buffalo (Then, Now and Always, my favorite aircraft). I had no sooner finished saying the word 'Buffalo', when he slammed his beer can down on the table, and practicaly snarled, "It was a DOG!" (His emphasis). Then he slowly leaned back in his chair and after a moment quietly said, "But the early models, before they weighed it all down with armorplate, radios and other ****, they were pretty sweet little ships. Not real fast, but the little ****s could turn and roll in a phonebooth. Oh yeah--sweet little ship; but some engineer went and ****ed it up." With that he reached for his beer and was silent again. After that answer, I somehow had the feeling that I had just gotten a glimpse into Boyington's attitude towards life in general.


From the after-action report of 2nd Lt William Brooks of VMF-221 at Midway, 4 June 1942:
I was pilot of F2A-3, Bureau Number 01523. Our division, under Captain Armistead, was on standby duty at the end of the runway on the morning of June 4, 1942, from 0415 until 0615. At about 0600, the alarm sounded and we took off. My division climbed rapidly, and I was having a hard time keeping up. I discovered afterward that my ... wheels ... were about 1/3 of the way down. We sighted the enemy at about 14,000 feet; I would say there were about 40 or 50 planes. At this time Lt. Sandoval was also dropping back. My radio was at this time putting out no volume, so I could not get any messages from [Midway]. At 17,000 feet, Captain Armistead led the attack followed closely by Captain Humberd. They went down the left side of the [Japanese bomber formation], leaving two planes burning. Lt. Sandoval went down the right side of the formation and I followed. One of us got a plane from the right side of the Vee. At this time I had completely lost sight of my division. As I started to pull up for another run on the bombers, I was attacked by two fighters. Because of my wheels being jammed 1/3 way down, I could not out- dive those planes, but managed to dodge them and fire a burst or so into them as they went past me and I headed for the water. As I circled the island, the anti-aircraft fire drove them away. My tabs, instruments and cockpit were shot up to quite an extent at this time, and I was intending to come in for a landing.

It was at this time that I noticed an important feature in their fighting. I saw two planes, dog fighting over in the east,and decided to go help my friend if at all possible. My plane was working very poorly, and my climb was slow. As I neared, both planes turned on me. It was then that I realized that I had been tricked into a sham battle put on by two Japs, and I had failed to recognize it because of the sun in my eyes.... I turned and made a fast retreat for the island, collecting a goodly number of bullets on the way. After one of these planes had been shaken, I managed to get a good burst into another as we passed head-on when I turned into him. I don't believe this ship could have gotten back to his carrier, because he immediately turned away and started north and down. I again decided to land, but as I circled the island I saw two Japs on a Brewster. Three of my guns were jammed, but I cut across the island, firing as I went with my one gun. But I could not get there in time to help the American flier, and as soon as the Brewster had gone in the water, I came in for a landing at approximately 0715 (estimated).

It is my opinion that the Japs have a very maneuverable and very fast ship in their 00 fighters, plenty of fire power. They can turn inside the Brewster, but of course, on the speed I would be unable to say, as my wheels were jammed about 1/3 way down during the fight, causing considerable drag.

My plane was damaged somewhat, having 72 bullet and cannon holes in it, and I had a very slight flesh wound on my left leg.

It is my express desire that Lt. Sandoval, deceased, be logged-up with the bomber which one of us got in our first run.

(As published in The Yellow Sheet, Spring 1996)

05-16-2004, 04:37 PM
The Marines got a lot of say over what they flew, but it had to be carrier capable.. I dont know of a single instance in which USN airframes were passed to the USMC during WWII. Squad rotation would often pass aircraft to the incoming squadrons, but I'd doubt there was much if any interservice rotations

05-21-2004, 04:08 PM
Both a British and a Dutch Brewster shouldn't be too hard to achieve- and why not have both, as there are two versions of the Me 109F in FB, the F2 and the F4. I hope we will have them all, as I want to try the 1200 hp Dutch Brewster against the A6M2 and Ki43. With extra skins available, no doubt some will be "cheating" by disguising 1200 hp Brewsters as RAF Buffalos! http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

05-21-2004, 04:12 PM
The pilots that had to use the Buffalo in the Pacific, nothing was able to do to deal with the Zero, they even loaded the plane with less fuel to have a chance due of reducion of weight, but it also was useless.

05-21-2004, 05:09 PM
Also can't forget that Japan's navy pilots had been fighting at least since 1937 and JAAF pilots had people that had been flying combat missions since 1931. I love the b-239 though so I'll like the Brewster as well.

05-30-2004, 01:58 AM
When the Pacific war started, several Dutch squadrons of Glenn Martins and Brewsters were sent to Singapore. On the day of their arrival, one Glenn Martin was lost when a pilot of 453 squadron stalled during landing and crashed his Buffalo into the parked bomber. Earlier that day, another 453 sqn. Buffalo had also crashed during landing. Certainly 453's (Australian) pilots were extremely inexperienced, not only without any combat training but also little actual flying experience.

Ruy Horta
05-30-2004, 03:07 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by GerritJ9:
Buffalo had also crashed during landing. Certainly 453's (Australian) pilots were extremely inexperienced, not only without any combat training but also little actual flying experience.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

One only has to read both volumes of "Bloody Shambles" to understand the magnitude of operational attrition APART from combat losses. Almost every Op. would lead to a number of a/c becoming at best u/s.

Not only the inexperienced would prang their crates, but maintenance was proving to be difficult, especially at basically unprepared jungle bases. Squadrons were sometimes decimated before even getting to their base, a/c getting lost, out of fuel and suffering all kinds of technical failures on their way to the front.

Part of the available a/c was either obsolete or soon to become so, but a fair share was state of the art anglo-american material, so the excuse doesn't lie their either. Lets face it the Japanese were using a fair share of obsolescent types themselves, which sort of equals things out.

Since part of the allied air crew had combat experience, it also equals out with the Japanese.

Maybe the only real difference (apart from numbers) lies in who had the strategic initiative. The (devided) allies had to cover all their colonial territory, spreading their assets, while the Japanese could concentrate their forces to maintain complete local superiority. And if not superiority, complete tactical initiative.

BTW, In "Bloody Shambles" there is an interesting remark about the Brit. Brewster, which did not compare unfavorably with the Hurricane.

B.S. Vol 2 page 256

"The fighter version of the Hurricane was tested during the day by Sqn Ldr Frank Carey (CO of 135 Squadron) in a mock dogfight over Mingaladon with a 67 Squadron Buffalo flown by Sgt Gordon Williams. The Buffalo's performance at 20.000ft and above was actually found to be superior, whilst at 16.000ft the two aircraft seemed evenly matched. Below that level the Hurricane undoubtedly had the edge. The result thereby cast an interesting light on the oft-maligned Brewster fighter."

Ruy Horta