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An Interesting Find


Double_D
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Hello;

 

Just came across this..first time coming across this..

 

 

 

Edited: I should have added this to our " Virtual Tuskegee Airmen " thread around the 25 minute mark the Tuskegee Airmen were greatly referred to...


Edited by Double_D

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Ah, yes, one of the classic documentaries you could regularly find on cable before the scourge of reality television.:smartass:

 

It has some good info along with some exaggeration and half-truths.

P-51D | Fw 190D-9 | Bf 109K-4 | Spitfire Mk IX | P-47D | WW2 assets pack | F-86 | Mig-15 | Mig-21 | Mirage 2000C | A-10C II | F-5E | F-16 | F/A-18 | Ka-50 | Combined Arms | FC3 | Nevada | Normandy | Straight of Hormuz | Syria

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Sure, the documentary praises the P-51's maneuverability, but a laminar flow wing is the worst possible choice for a WW2 dogfighter. The P-51's stall was hard to predict and unforgiving, and its stick forces were probably the highest of any WW2 american fighter.

 

This floats around the web and offers a more sober evaluation of the P-51:

 

A few years ago, the Society of Experimental Test Pilots ran a flight test comparison of the F6F-5, FG-1D (Goodyear F4U), P-47D-40 and P-51D. Chief test pilot was John Ellis of Kal-Aero. Other pilots also participated.

 

The three radial jobs had versions of the R-2800 that produced appx. 2,000 hp, so differences in performance can be reasonably attributed to the airframe (and prop). The P-51 had a V-1650-9 Merlin rated at appx. 1,500 hp.

 

The P-47 had a Curtiss Electric constant-speed four-blade prop. The FG-1 and F6F both had Hamilton Standard three-bladed constant speed props (so only the airframe made the difference between these two). The P-51 had a Hamilton Standard Hydromatic four-bladed constant speed prop.

 

Because of the age of the aircraft, structural loads were kept to 6g max. Engines were fueled with 100LL, which limited MP by four inches on the radials. Power was limited to maximum continuous settings (except for

take-off & climb to 10,000 ft., when military power was used), superchargers were limited to low range. Altitude did not exceed 10,000 ft (so bomber escort altitudes were not reached).

 

Some of the findings:

 

CLIMB brake release to 10,000 ft.

Hellcat quickest at 4min 15 seconds, followed by the FG-1 at 4min 44 sec. However, the F6F required 100 lbs of continuous right rudder making it very tiring to operate. The P-47 trailed the FG-1 by a few seconds. The

P-51 came in last.

 

LEVEL ACCELERATION at 10,000 ft. using METO to max attainable speed:

P-51 accelerated from 110 KIAS to 242 KIAS in 133 seconds.

P-47 accelerated from 105 KIAS to 223 KIAS in 130 seconds.

F6F accelerated from 100 KIAS to 220 KIAS in 115 seconds.

FG-1 accelerated from 100 KIAS to 230 KIAS in 162 seconds.

 

STALL normal (straight and level decelerating at 1 kt/sec.) and accelerated (constant 3g turn decelerating at 1 kt/sec.)

Aerodynamic warning:

Best--P-47, with buffet 5 kt above stall.

Worst--P-51, no buffet or other warning.

FG-1 and F6F buffeted 2 kts above stall.

Decreasing aileron effectiveness and increasing longitudinal stick forces

were noticeable in all except the FG-1.

Height loss, accelerated stall:

Best--P-47, 100 ft.

Worst--P-51, 500 ft.

FG-1 and F6F both 150 ft.

 

Behavior during accelrated stall:

Most predictable and controllable: P-47 and F6F. Both could be flown at will into the pre-stall buffet, which at no time was heavy enough to present problems with tracking, and held at maximum usable lift coefficient with ease. Sideslip became noticeable as wing heaviness correctible with rudder. There was little tendency to depart controlled

flight. The FG-1 suffered severe airframe buffet shortly before the stall, but at the stall there was a strong g-break and rapid right wing drop--no matter which direction the turn. Careful left rudder could prevent wing drop,

but then at the stall the aircraft became very unpredictable, bucking and porpoising, with a tendency to a sudden departure. The P-51 gave no warning whatsoever of an accelerated stall. At the stall, the aircraft departed with complete loss of control, achieving 270-degree of roll before recovery. Departure was accompanied by violent

aileron snatch strong enough to rip the control stick from the hand. In short, the P-51 suffered from a Part I deficiency.

 

SUSTAINED TURN PERFORMANCE at METO at 10,000 ft.

The F6F out-turned the other three by a conclusive margin (1g). The other three were all about the same.

Corner speeds of all were very close to the maximum level flight speed, implying very rapid energy loss when turning at the structural limit. The F6F was in light airframe buffet at 6g at Vmax; the P-47 experiencedlight buffet at 4.8g. The FG-1 and P-51 were buffet-free up to 6g.

 

MANEUVERING STABILITY stick forces/g at Vmax

FG-1--5 lbs/g (too light)

P-47--7.5 lbs/g (ideal)

F6F--12.5 lbs/g (barely acceptable)

P-51--over 20 lbs/g (excessive)

 

STATIC LATERAL DIRECTION STABILITY steady heading sideslips

All aircraft except the P-47 exhibited moderate or greater adverse aileronyaw. Worst was the F6F, followed by the FG-1 and the P-51.

 

ROLL PERFORMANCE

1g 360-degree right (left slower--F6F worst, P-51 best)

FG-1--81 deg./sec.

F6F--78 deg./sec.

P-51--75 deg./sec.

P-47--74 deg./sec.

3g 180 degree right (left slower--P-51 and F6F best, FG-1 worst)

P-47--66 deg./sec.

FG-1--58 deg./sec.

P-51--55 deg./sec.

F6F--48 deg./sec.

 

DIVING ACCELERATION 30 deg. dive from 10,000 ft., 5,000 ft. begin pull-up, level off at 4,000 ft.

Aircraft P-47 FG-1 F6F P51

 

Start Speed 110 kts 100 kts 100 kts 120 kts

Max Speed 350 kts 348 kts 315 kts 350 kts

Time 23 secs 32 secs 28 secs 25 secs

All aircraft except the P-47 needed retrimming during the dive.

 

AGILITY

g capture of 3g target, held for 5 seconds.

G capture and hold was easiest in the P-47, predictable and accurate. F6F overshot the target by 0.2g. P-51 and FG-1 both overshot by 0.5g

 

Heading Change Time (180 deg at METO, 220 KIAS at 10,000 ft.)

FG-1--8.5 sec P-47--9.7 sec F6F--9.9 sec P-51--10.0 sec

 

AIR-TO-AIR TRACKING 210 KIAS at 10,000 ft. (straight & level into a 3g turn to the left building to 4g followed by a hard reversal into a 4g right turn.)

FG-1 best, followed by P-47, F6F and, trailing badly, the P-51. Lateral corrections in the P-51 were difficult thanks to the very high stick forces. During one run-thru, an effort at a longitudinal tracking correction that put 4.5g on the plane led to a sudden departure and spin.Poor forward visibility in all aircraft (P-47 worst, FG-1 best) made air-to-air tracking difficult. Depressed sight-line aiming difficult to impossible.

 

AIR-TO-GROUND TRACKING (90-degree roll into a 30-degree dive from 200 KIAS at 5,000 ft. into a 3.5g right rolling pullout to a 90-degree heading change initiated at 2,500 ft.)

The P-47 was far and away the best, accelerating 125 kts in the dive, no retrimming required, with crisp control response. Accurate target tracking very easy. FG-1 next best. 100 kt. acceleration. Agressive lateral corrections required. P-51 similar to FG-1 in acceleration and

control response, but with heavier stick forces. F6F also accelerated 100 kts., but stick forces increased 20 lbs and rudder forces became so high they interfered with accurate target tracking.

 

THROTTLE & PROPELLER RESPONSE

MP response instantaneous. Hamilton Standard propeller response quick and positive. Curtiss electric prop (on P-47) sluggish in response, delaying RPM change by 3 seconds in a change from 2,000 rpm (cruise) and 2,550 rpm (METO).

Radial engines required pilot to manage cowl and cooler flap settings. Merlin engine had automatic control of oil and coolant radiator flaps.

P-51D | Fw 190D-9 | Bf 109K-4 | Spitfire Mk IX | P-47D | WW2 assets pack | F-86 | Mig-15 | Mig-21 | Mirage 2000C | A-10C II | F-5E | F-16 | F/A-18 | Ka-50 | Combined Arms | FC3 | Nevada | Normandy | Straight of Hormuz | Syria

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wow that's an interesting read. We all know that high speed snap roll can ruin your day but that's quite the scathing review. It's interesting that the words of the combat pilots themselves seemed to indicated the P-51 performance was superior in most respects (air to air) to the P-47. This DOEs make me look forward to flying the P-47 and F6F!

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Yes, that is an interesting read..but one thing I learned over the years..

 

" Theory " is one thing

" Practical " is another thing and usually practical sort of wins on top..for example..

 

I knew some one who was great in the " Theory " aspect " paperwork..but when it came down to the nitty gritty " getting dirty, doing the job " he didn't know where to start..

 

So saying that...yes the stats say this and that..but it really all comes down to who flys the aircraft..if it was so bad in these area's then how come all the praise it got from Combat pilots during that time..are you saying they are nuts and don't know what they are talking about..

 

Remember " Theory " is just that theory..the " Practical " aspect of it is where it really counts..and the P-51 did that show what the theory didn't show..:thumbup:

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While flying F-15s out of Germany, Hands had the opportunity to talk to Adolf Galland, the great World War II German Ace. Hands told the German ace that it was obvious to him that of Germany's World War II fighters, the FW-190 was the superior aircraft based on published performance data. The FW-190 was faster, could turn better and could climb higher than the ME-109, the plane in which Adolf Galland had recorded most of his kills. Adolf Galland Smiled and said that Handley was correct in his analysis of the two aircraft's relative performances -- but wrong in his assessment of which aircraft was superior. The German ace had flown both aircraft and believed that the ME-109 was the superior fighter because "flying it felt like wearing a glove". It was smooth like silk and easy to control, whereas the FW-190 was difficult and unruly. Galland could fly the ME-109 to his -- and its -- maxiumum performance, and this made it the better combat aircraft

 

Source: Falcon 4.0 Manual (limited edition) A-2

 

I think he is quite correct, the technical better aircraft must not be more effective, if the greater number of pilots cannot get this performance out of it and get better results with an inferior airframe.

 

anyway, those documentations are realy nice to see :-)

 

regards,

RR

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The results are not a surprise at those altitudes. The D model P-51 was a high altitude fighter. The A model would have shown better below 10k.

 

If they attempted the same test at say 35K the comparisons would be very different.

 

There are dozens of variables to look at, but I think it's safe to say that the P-51D's stall characteristics would not improve at high altitude.

 

Here is some real test data for the P-51 and P-47. I think you will be surprised at the Jug's high altitude airspeed, but the P-51 is still the winner in rate of climb.

 

P-51A:

 

P-51A-1-43-6007-Chart-1400.jpg

 

P-51B/D with 150 octane fuel (as in DCS):

 

airspeed

mustang-level-150-2.jpg

 

climb

mustang-climb.jpg

 

P-47D:

 

airspeed

p-47-level.jpg

 

climb

p-47-climb.jpg

The P-47M rate of climb was just under 4000fpm at sea level, and 2180fpm at 32k ft.

 

All can be found here: http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/


Edited by gavagai

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Sorry but not to create an arguement here..but I still would take the word of the people who flew the aircraft over statistical paper .. these are the guys that flew them...and had great success with them..if it was as bad as the statistic's say then they would not have run up such great accomplishments..with it..

 

Its paper vs sissors.... sissors wins..:music_whistling:

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The P-51 had several things going for it that other aircraft didn't, from a pilot's perspective. Firstly, it had the range to get you there and back, without having to worry about running out of fuel. I remember hearing stories of P-38 pilots doing the Berlin escort, trying to fend off sparse Me 109 attacks while remaining at max cruise setting, so that they'd have enough fuel to reach Berlin and return home. Fighting at max cruise, and while still carrying full drop tanks? P-51 pilots didn't have to worry about that, and that alone made it a better long-range escort than any other mass-produced fighter of the war.

 

The other big one was that it was generally easier for the pilot to manage the systems & engine in the P-51 than in other aircraft. The P-47, F4U, and F6F had manual supercharger control, IIRC, and other controls which were automated (or unnecessary) in the P-51. The P-38 had a similar level of automation to the P-51, but there were two engines to deal with. For this reason, the P-51 was regarded as easier to manage compared to other front-line U.S. fighters, even though its actual flying qualities (stall, turn, climb, etc.) were inferior to others. The important thing at the time was getting large numbers of pilots up in the air with their engines running reasonably well, not so much making sure that they were able to effectively push their ships to max Alpha in a dogfight.

 

Still, as a flying airplane--ignoring the engine management and fuel range, and not getting into the complex issue of max speeds under various conditions--the P-51 was generally inferior to most of the other front-line U.S. fighters. The P-38 had better climb and turn, the F4U had better turn and roll, etc. And virtually all of them had better stalling characteristics. The P-51 was not a bad dogfighter, but it was not a great one, either, compared with a number of other fighters. The Mustang gets the spotlight more than other fighters (Corsair, Lightning, Hellcat, etc.), mostly because the P-51 was revolutionary as a logistical fighter--one that was easy to train pilots for, easy to produce & maintain, and one that could efficiently get to Berlin and back. But the P-51's reputation amongst its more casual admirers as a super dogfighter is undeserved. Compared to a P-40 or P-39? Sure. But when compared to a number of other high-speed fighters of the era, the P-51 was only adequate at dogfighting.

 

Disclaimer: several generalizations in this post. For example, "better climbing" can be a bit of a grey area. Max climb rate can vary so much under different conditions, such as altitude and boost rating (which itself is somewhat dependent on fuel grade). Mostly, this a simplified amalgam.


Edited by Echo38
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The other big one was that it was generally easier for the pilot to manage the systems & engine in the P-51 than in other aircraft. The P-47, F4U, and F6F had manual supercharger control, IIRC, and other controls which were automated (or unnecessary) in the P-51.

 

P-47s had a turbocharger like the P-38.

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I think there is also a difference between the terms "unforgiving" and "top performer". There are always tradeoffs with performance in any arena. For instance, you might not like discovering the rear wheel torque effects of a Dodge Viper and it may not warn you of an impending loss of control but to hold that against it would be silly when you are talking overall performance in the hands of a professional. My impression from reading several accounts from the WWII pilots themselves was that the P-51 was the thoroughbred beast of a fighter they always wanted. In the hands of an experienced pilot it was very lethal. As far as arguing which plane was better... we all know how that discussion goes. Forever.

 

P-51B/D with 150 octane fuel (as in DCS):

 

I'm pretty sure 150 octane is not modeled in DCS. Otherwise the manifold pressure allowed would be higher. I'd have to look up the documentation, but I think it was raised from 67" to 72" when using 150 octane as well as the need to replace all the spark plugs every other mission.

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Press e to engage WEP.

P-51D | Fw 190D-9 | Bf 109K-4 | Spitfire Mk IX | P-47D | WW2 assets pack | F-86 | Mig-15 | Mig-21 | Mirage 2000C | A-10C II | F-5E | F-16 | F/A-18 | Ka-50 | Combined Arms | FC3 | Nevada | Normandy | Straight of Hormuz | Syria

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I think there is also a difference between the terms "unforgiving" and "top performer". There are always tradeoffs with performance in any arena.

 

This is true, but in the case of the P-51's stall and turn, it was neither forgiving nor a top performer. It was reasonable for the aircraft's weight and speed category, but not a top performer in stall & turn. The P-38, for one, had better stalling and turning abilities (climbing, too). And the P-38 was far from the only high-speed fighter which had superior turning abilities to the P-51.

 

My impression from reading several accounts from the WWII pilots themselves was that the P-51 was the thoroughbred beast of a fighter they always wanted. In the hands of an experienced pilot it was very lethal. As far as arguing which plane was better... we all know how that discussion goes. Forever.

 

Most pilots I've read or heard talking about their fighters felt that way about their ship, regardless of what it was. It isn't just a P-51 thing. Lots of P-38 pilots were convinced that the P-38 was the best fighter, lots of Me 109 pilots felt the 109 was the best fighter, etc. The "lesser" birds (e.g. the P-39) often had a large number of pilots who disliked them, but with the "hot ships," the pilots usually loved them, as far as I can tell. Some exceptions, of course.

 

When you find a pilot who flew different high-performance aircraft and preferred one over the others, that's when their enthusiasm becomes more relevant, but even here, opinions varied wildly. Some pilots who flew both the P-38 and the P-51 loved the P-38 more, while others liked the P-51 better. This is one of the reasons why the "which plane is better" thing goes on forever. However, there are "hard" areas where fact is fact; any given aircraft, flown to its limit, does certain things better or worse than others, and these things are not a matter of opinion. For example, max climb rate, at a given max horsepower rating, weight, and air temperature. It's an absolute, as long as the conditions are constant.

 

I'm pretty sure 150 octane is not modeled in DCS. Otherwise the manifold pressure allowed would be higher. I'd have to look up the documentation, but I think it was raised from 67" to 72" when using 150 octane as well as the need to replace all the spark plugs every other mission.

 

A governor also needed to be adjusted (this wasn't something that could be done from within the cockpit). Filling the tank with high-grade fuel didn't increase max HP rating by itself, but rather allowed the engine to safely run at that rating after the governor was altered.


Edited by Echo38
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This is true, but in the case of the P-51's stall and turn, it was neither forgiving nor a top performer. It was reasonable for the aircraft's weight and speed category, but not a top performer in these areas. The P-38, for one, had better stalling and turning capabilities (as well as climbing). And there were others.

 

My point, was that each advantage comes at a cost and each aircraft manufacturer tried to find ways to push the envelope and win contracts. I wasn't trying to say the P-51s stalling characteristics were a plus in any way or that it "helps" its performance.

 

Most pilots I've read or heard talking about their fighters felt that way about their ship, regardless of what it was. It isn't just a P-51 thing. Lots of P-38 pilots were convinced that the P-38 was the best fighter, lots of Me 109 pilots felt the 109 was the best fighter, etc. The "lesser" birds (e.g. the P-39) often had a large number of pilots who disliked them, but with the "hot ships," the pilots usually loved them, as far as I can tell. Some exceptions, of course.

 

I guess I should have clarified this one. I was speaking of pilots who did, in fact fly several of "the great ones." Most recently for me, Steve Pisanos. He specifically was tasked to check out his squadrons first Mustangs after they had developed a great love for their P-47s. To even make this more impactful, he also had flown many hours in the legendary Spitfire, and said the P-51 beat them all. Yes, you can get varying opinions if you look for them, but it's hard to argue with that endorsement.

 

A governor also needed to be adjusted (this wasn't something that could be done from within the cockpit). Filling the tank with high-grade fuel didn't increase max HP rating by itself, but rather allowed the engine to safely run at that rating after the governor was altered.

 

Are you saying we have 150 octane but our ground crew decided not to let us reap the benefits? :)

 

I think the more likely explanation is that the DCS Mustang is modeled as a modern restoration (with live ammo and no GPS) and due to the extinction of 150 octane, we are stuck with a WEP of 67" for now.

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The P-51 had several things going for it that other aircraft didn't, from a pilot's perspective. Firstly, it had the range to get you there and back, without having to worry about running out of fuel. I remember hearing stories of P-38 pilots doing the Berlin escort, trying to fend off sparse Me 109 attacks while remaining at max cruise setting, so that they'd have enough fuel to reach Berlin and return home. Fighting at max cruise, and while still carrying full drop tanks? P-51 pilots didn't have to worry about that, and that alone made it a better long-range escort than any other mass-produced fighter of the war.

 

Flying with external tanks in a fight was a very bad idea as many found out, most notably with your P-38, Tom McGuire. The Mustang pilots had the same challenges... just further from home. It was a tough call to drop those tanks. You knew you were going to have to turn home a lot sooner and say goodbye to your big friends that were depending on you.

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Hey Double_D, I get it... there is a huge difference between theoretical and practical.... I don't have graphs, charts or anything else to back it up, just stories...

I live and work in a 'retirement capital', in an industry that allows me access to peoples homes on an annual basis. When I tell them about DCS and my pit, it lights them up!

I have had 'spitfire' drivers tell me stories about embarrassing 'mosquito' drivers and 'mosquito' drivers who've embarrassed 'everybody else'.

I know a P51 driver who wouldn't trust his life to any other plane... a 'harrier' driver from the Faulklands conflict who wouldn't dream of getting in any other airframe... an RCAF pilot from the Gulf War (1st.) who wouldn't consider using anything other than an F16. A Huey driver from Viet Nam that just won't stop singing it's praises....

 

'Herman', who this year turned 93, says there's absolutely no reason to trust anything other than an ME109... he's German, it's the plane that saved his life.... many, many times.

 

I've seen the Tuskegee guys talk... and I admire their courage, but for all these young lads, American, German, British, Vietnamese, etc. etc.... they all, to a man, love the memories of the thing that kept them alive :thumbup: And that, my man, is practical!

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I try not to.. but it will get you 67" I believe.

 

Damn, you are right!:doh: I guess that compensates for the 190D-9 not having its MW50 boost.

P-51D | Fw 190D-9 | Bf 109K-4 | Spitfire Mk IX | P-47D | WW2 assets pack | F-86 | Mig-15 | Mig-21 | Mirage 2000C | A-10C II | F-5E | F-16 | F/A-18 | Ka-50 | Combined Arms | FC3 | Nevada | Normandy | Straight of Hormuz | Syria

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