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  1. 1-The absolute was from the actual German quote. I think we understand that an aircraft never catching fire on crashing is a bit of a hyperbole... A-You misunderstand both the physics and the quote. Yes the 190 pilot can suffer terrible Gs pulling up while still going down, because his elevator action is just changing his attitude, not his trajectory: The more he pulls the more cross to the wind he is, so his Gs are deceleration Gs, from his speed decelerating while going down at 40 degrees. This is how Kurt Tank could boast 1G per two pounds of stick force up to 7Gs, making everyone think the FW-190A had GREAT high speed handling! NO... The Russian quote is from outside observation: “falls an extra 220 meters” means “extra” is from observed nose level attitude or higher, or else what would it be “extra” to? How would a Russian know where the pilot started to pull? They also describe “when it pulls up, there is a moment where the FW-190A “hangs”: “Hangs” is your clue as to what it looks like: A nose up aircraft going down, elsewhere described as “tail down sinking”; A fundamental FW-190A trait at high speed, implying stable angles of attack beyond 40 degrees while going down. B-Well the Russians say the exact opposite. Given that the Spitfire doesn’t even have a mid-position flap, I’ll go with the Russians. C-It was in the French “j’ai lu” édition I borrowed decades ago. French is my first language. Closterman said: “Primary characteristic of 109 is speed” then went on to describe FW-190A use of flaps “to turn a little tighter”. This confirms Russian Red Fleet quotes for a year’s worth of combat and the Bodenplatte episode of “dogfights”, with US pilots interviewed: All describe the FW-190As constantly turning below while 109s do hit and run from above, standard Luftwaffe doctrine I would say. G-Is Robert Johnson the only P-47 pilot of WWII? Why trust a demonstrable liar? I- I never extrapolated Zero behaviour to the rest of the war: I said hit and run was an assumption at the START of the war, which proves it was just that: A pre-war assumption, not based on experience, which is already the exact opposite of everything ever said about this since... The official story is the war started with turn fighting, and evolved to hit and run: The opposite of the truth... J- No, I said how bad was the EARLY Ki-43 I Oscar... Which explains its lack of success against the Flying Tigers. From the Ki-43-II onward it was an excellent aircraft, and even in late 1944 front line commanders asked for it instead of the Ki-84, specifically because it turned so much better. It also had unique explosive ammo that greatly boosted the destructiveness of its 12.7 mms, which the Browning design badly needed because it was slowed from an excellent 900 rpm to 500 by the propeller (which is why it was rarely synchronized on US types). K-I have a challenge for you: Find me ONE quote of a WWII pilot adding power during a sustained low speed turn fight, and this increase of power causing a turn rate gain. Just ONE. I have never seen a credible one in 25 years of research. L-The SETP reached those 6 Gs HORIZONTALLY while NOT diving... Their impression: Tough! The pilot manual : Easy! Yes, easy if you DIVE... M-Hahaha. I reiterate the challenge of point K... N-I never claimed the Russians got the Mk XIV... The following quote was from a pilot called Pendergast. Doesn’t sound Russian... O- Lerche is the only German source from WWII to claim the Me-109G out-turned the FW-190A at low altitudes. The Me-109 vastly out-turned the FW-190A at both high altitudes (above 23 000 ft.) and (less well known) at high speeds (but then everything did). Maybe Lerche was fooled by sticking only to high speed during low altitude tests? Test pilots are very safety minded, so keeping the speed high near the ground would easily explain it. But have you seen the several pages of sourced quotes I wrote so far? Somehow it always is the same usual suspects that are trotted out: Robert Johnson, Lerche, Eric Brown, the two US Navy tests of the FW-190, the British flight tests (not the worst, but not great)... The one thing these sources all have in common, bar one, is that they are all far from the frontlines. What real life experience does the US Navy have of the FW-190? You really want to follow these people? I know the past is fixed, but knowledge of the past does evolve, because more obscure sources are brought to light. In the above list, Robert Johnson is the only real front line pilot, and virtually nothing of what he says about the P-47 resembles any of the nearly 1000 combat reports I have read. Not even close. This is hundreds of pilots, not just one blowhard. If you don’t know that the P-47, particularly the Razorback, was nearly exclusively flown as a turn fighter, then you don’t know much about how it was actually used: It’s that simple. You have to read all the possible sources to see the overall pattern.
  2. Interesting about the Whirlwind... A difference of 2 mm in prop thickness seriously affected the high altitude performance... Amazing... The mention of the P-factor reminded me to add where this other effect might fit into my theory: The P-factor is also an angle of attack prop effect, and it explains why a right turning prop (from the rear) will turn better to the left. (The spiral hitting on the tail planes at high speeds will also usually make rolls to left slower. The Me-109 had an offset fin and no rudder trimmer for most variants, so the nose drifted right with speed, and required an increasing left foot push as speed went up, which slowed left rolls a bit further. As a further aside, the P-51 had its own trim problem of the nose hunting right-left from 370 mph up, and this required dancing on the pedals to keep the nose straight!: It was called “the walking sticks zone”. This got so bad some tails were damaged, and the rudder trim tab was reversed during B production to inhibit pilot actions: Earlier Bs were often said to be much nicer to fly before this change, as reversing the trim tab action made the rudder heavy.) The P-Factor is probably one of the reasons why prop power is assumed to help with the turn: It does help left turns. But the key distinction of this effect is that it only affects the blade going down relative to the fuselage attitude, so its effect is not one of pitch (to the fuselage) but only of yaw. The effect I am describing of the nose pulling down is an effect purely of pitch. Even in sustained 3G turns at 200 mph, the bank angle is around 70 degrees, and with extra aileron deflection might even be around 80 degrees, which means a pitch effect is closer to the horizontal than a yaw effect. Another point worth making is that lower speed reduces forward momentum exponentially, so the observed smaller turn radius would NEVER surprise pilots: This is another thing concealing the effect I theorize. What they might miss is that the reduced radius will be forced wider if they power back up: If the speed does not increase after they increase power, this should mean they tightened the turn. But if the turn was not tightened, it is easy to dismiss this as the airplane reaching its lower limits. It is also worth pointing out aerobatic aircrafts do not behave the same as WWII fighters: It is obvious from films that modern aerobatic types use engine power to create all sorts of crazy maneuvers: The effect of unloading the bottom prop half in a turn-averse way may not scale down, or up, to different weights and configurations. .
  3. Well the Russians test pilots have the P-47D Razorback at 27 seconds, and that is clearly absurd... From memory, they had the Me-109G-2 at 21 seconds, which was the same as the FW-190A-5 which they also had at 21 seconds as well: Just in terms terms of wingloading, that is already inexplicable by current physics... But as to to test pilots getting the empirical data wrong, you have to factor in what I said about the negative effects of power (not recognized at all by science, even today!): They assume more power will turn you faster (which is true if your thrust is not interacting with the wing), so you can assume this data will be at high power, probably at least maximum continuous. If a commander at the front line says to all his pilots: “Ignore stateside training and keep the throttle low whenever you turn”: They will have better turn times than test pilots... That less power turns you faster is not a violation of the laws of physics (it only appears that way). The problem is the test pilots do not feel they have to pull harder on the stick when they add power, so they will not think more power makes them turn slower. The reason the negative effect of more power is “hidden” is that the wing is beating the prop back like a pulley responds to your pull by making the weight seem smaller. Just like the pulley bears the extra weight, so does the wing, unknown to the pilot, who moves his stick at the balance point of forces notably larger than currently understood. However the extra “weight” from more power is still there in the wings. But it can only be measured through extra wing flex and in the slower turn time, not by the pilot’s touch. So unless he tries measuring the turn rate of maximum low speed sustained turns at a lower power level (apparently not a common procedure for 1940s test pilot), he will not notice his slow speed turn times are getting better with less power. The natural tendency is to be more timid with less power. Test pilots going slow will tend to raise the power for safety, precisely the safety mentality that P-47 ace Meroney said needed to be weeded out of the head of newbies... P-47s in combat out-turned Me-109Gs as slow as 140 mph on the deck (at least one combat report of a speed that low, I have it on file). As to how does the wing act as pulley, hiding the prop’s turn-resisting forces to the pilot? Obviously it is a major inter-action with the propeller’s flow. My current theory is that the low wing position splits the prop’s airflow, and, when making a turn, the turn curvature causes part of the air going below wing to “bleed” above the wing: This creates a dogleg path, which is longer, so the below wing prop air is accelerated above the wing, depressurizing the outside turn part of the prop, making the prop “fight” the turn. The prop has about 3000 lbs of thrust, so a loss of 6% below will load up the top 3%, meaning a near 10% imbalance, or 300 lbs. This should be obvious to the pilot, since the elevator can barely do 600 lbs max., but with a tail twice as long as the nose, maybe 1200 lbs of leverage at the nose... 300 lbs at the nose is already 1/4 of maximum pilot effort just to, in theory, keep the nose from going down towards the outside of the turn... Obviously, in order to “hide” this, the center of lift from the wing has to shift in front of the center of gravity (when the below air leaked above the wing), which turns the wing into a pulley to lift the nose, with no nose-down resistance felt by the pilot. (And inobservable except for more wing bending at low Gs mostly, and longer turn times than if he cut power) This at a stroke explains why radials versions of an in-line airframe often seem to turn much better, despite being heavier (Ki-100 from Ki-61, La-5 from Lagg-3) or worse if going from radial to in-line: FW-190 A to D... The center of lift cannot shift far in front of the center of gravity, inches at most, so an 8 foot nose will tax the wings less than a 10 foot nose. And so cutting power will have the same effect as shortening the nose... But first you have to accept that the prop is pulling you out of the turn, which current flight physics doesn’t. I hope this was not too long, but the question was asked why would the test pilots get it wrong. Because the science is wrong, simple. And just remember how quickly after WWII was this area of investigation shifted to jets, which have no direct interaction between thrust and wing...
  4. In USAAF tests the P-51B was considered to have a faster sustained turn rate than the P-47D Razorback. Russian tests have the Razorback even far slower, at a ridiculous 27 seconds per 360! Yet the Russians have, plausibly, the Me-109G at around 22-23 seconds. In 800 combat reports I’ve read (several times, including all of those on the Mike Williams “WWII Aircraft Performance” site) the P-51 emerges as roughly similar-turning to the Me-109G, and only slightly better in multiple consecutive 360s, at low speed, if reducing power with flaps at 20 degrees (Presumably while the Me-109G mistakenly kept power high). The P-47D Razorback, on the other hand, in the near 1000 combat reports I have read (all of them, also several times), will ALWAYS use horizontal turns and ALWAYS reverse a tailing Me-109G in around 4 consecutive 360 turns (or less), especially at low speeds and low altitudes. The only exception is in right turns (rarer, as it is more natural to turn left with the prop rotation and with a right hand), where, when keeping speeds high by steeply spiralling down, the Me-109G can hold its own, barely. But that is much rarer. The P-47D was known to be more asymmetrical than most types when turning. What was Luftwaffe opinion of the P-47D Razorback? Steinhoff said he could escape in a right hand climbing spiral, against the prop again, but more significant is the unequivocal opinion of the KG 200 testing unit, for a captured needle tip prop Razorback: “The P-47D out-turns our Bf-109G.” They did not have the same opinion of the P-51B, noting that its harsh stall killed two of their pilots... To be reversed in four turns I would place the Me-109G at around 23 seconds per 360 and the P-47D Razorback (to Left) at around 18 seconds. No test pilot has ever claimed the results the P-47D Razorback actually achieved in combat. Furthermore, the P-47 in combat will invariably turn, and almost never use the dive and zoom tactics that are supposedly its domain... It can zoom well after a dive (as can the FW-190 if the stick is pulled very gradually), but that is good once, and the P-47’s climb rate remains dreadful, even with the paddle blade prop. The same thing, even more extreme, can be said of the FW-190A, which out-turns at low speed the P-47D by a small margin, while being massively out-turned by it at high speeds. The real hit and run types are largely the inline types, especially the Spitfire, but both the Me-109G and the P-51 can probably reduce their turn times by lowering power. But then so can the FW-190 and P-47... The Spitfire IX could make fairly fast turn times, maybe as low as 20-21 seconds, but only in a much wider circle, and at a higher speed, because it had no mid-position flap. It could stall itself and shoot across to a smaller circle, so that could compensate somewhat, but these would be snapshots, not sustained hits. What do we see in Spitfire combat reports? A lot of diving at high speeds, zooming back up, and little to no turn fighting... The Russians found it not useable for turn fighting. Against the FW-190A what you see is: “In orbit near water level. Unable to hold orbit, the Spitfire’s gunfire hit the water, and was forced to climb back out” (mark XIV in this case, but same for other marks) None of this will ever surface in any Allied test of the FW-190A. (Although the lesser turn handling of the D-9 was correctly recognized in at least one post-war US test, agreeing with Luftwaffe combat pilots: “The Dora nine lacked the high roll AND turn rate of its radial engined predecessor”.) Yes WWII test pilots occasionally did get it right, but that might be because they were transiting back from the front lines, at least in some cases. The picture above looks radically different from most test pilot results, the worst being the two absolutely ridiculous US Navy tests of the FW-190A... Most important, to my mind, is the absence of mention by test pilots of the sustained low speed turn performance, with reduced power, which you see so often used in real combat. Theories based on keeping high speeds at all times were simply at odds with the reality of slow-killing guns, yet kept being taught as the be all end all throughout the war. Capt. Meroney, the 9 kill P-47 ace who advised always chopping the throttle and turning to counter a diving attack, had this to say about the effect of this training on newbies: “Our biggest headache was getting their stateside training out of their heads.”
  5. A-Bad FW-190A high speed handling: Red Fleet November 1943 article: “When diving at 40 degrees for 1500 m of height, the FW-190A will fall an extra 220 m after pulling up past nose level” That’s extraordinarily bad behaviour: It not only makes vertical maneuvers wide at all speeds above 250 mph, it also crushes the pilot with cross-wind deceleration, hence US reports saying “tendency to black out the pilot” ... This while not really maneuvering! This is a fundamental Anton characteristic, noted by Eric Brown as “tendency to kill speed by sinking”, yet E. Brown still said; Should be used vertically at high speeds in dive and zoom attacks!!! B-Low speed is anything near 200 mph. The fact Karhila recommends 160 mph as the “optimal” turning speed for a Me-109G (with gondolas!!), this at severely reduced power, that alone shows there is a fundamental problem with our understanding of the basic physics of these types of aircraft. The problem is simply that prop power in these things is resisting the turn, through asymmetrical loading. Why? I don’t know, but for the book I will investigate real life prop load distribution in Germany, with a company I’ve been pointed to by a pilot. C-Closterman mentions the FW-190A using flaps in the end notes of “Great Circus”. A FW-190A pilot mentionned in detail the use of flaps and the choice of 3 different chord of ailerons (visible in photos but never mentioned) which he supplemented by spacer hinges to stick them out a little: This allowed him to “catch” the wing drop and to turn with deflected ailerons “holding” the turn... He only used the FW-190A in turns at reduced power, and countered diving attacks head to head. D-Air combat evaluations are almost always contradicted by actual combat reports. Everything from test pilots of the era must be viewed with suspicion, and contradicts itself. Front line pilot combat accounts are infinitely more consistent, and that is most of what I have looked at for 25 years. E-No. See B. F-Russian radios were deliberately one way from the flight leader down: Rall: “It was like fighting an apparatus: You shot the tip of the V and the rest milled about in confusion” This remained Soviet Tank doctrine to the 1980s! G- Robert Johnson claimed 72” performance in an aircraft he last flew in March 1944: He himself first tested 150 octane fuel in June, and that fuel was nowhere near frontlines until August... In his very own June testing, climbs were still limited to 65”, this even WITH 150 fuel, and that limitation remained to the end of the War. He thus could not have been confused: It was demonstrably a lie from a painfully obvious blowhard, whose knowledge of the P-47’s turning ability was mediocre at best. He’s the only pilot I’ve seen claim a FW-190D over FOUR months before they appeared (April `44)... I wish this pathological liar was not brought up every time the name P-47 appears anywhere... There are OTHER sources... H-Overall P-51D rates of mrbf (mean rounds between failures) remained half P-47 values (1200 to 2900) all the way to May 1945. I have the 8th AF study. Failures were tied to turning, (guns slowed when Gs were increased) and at least some partial jamming of some kind concerns 30-40% of all P-51 turning dogfights, conservatively. I have a collection of 30 combat reports with them, most 1945... I-That’s what they were told but that’s not what they did. Read Lundstrom’s The First Team and you will find US pilots severely criticizing Zero pilots for using hit and run and avoiding turns: “If they only chopped their throttle and turned with us, they could sit on our tail.” The Japanese were wasting the Zero’s potential by not turning, in US pilot’s eyes... This has been since confirmed by other historians: Zero doctrine early in the war was to NEVER turn, and the first hand evidence of this is overwhelming... The Japanese Army, which the Flying Tigers fought, remained with turn fighting, but the early Oscar Ki-43-I they faced had terrible structural issues that forced the use of springs in the control cables... It had, for that version, just ONE 7.7mm machinegun and ONE 12.7 mm gun that tended to explode or jam!: Wings weakened or broke off regularly... Hardly what I would call a formidable adversary... K- In 25 years of research, I have not found a single case of fighter pilot testimonial claiming increased power improved the turn rate during a dogfight. The only exception was in the Boddenplatte “Dogfights” episode, and they actually VOICE OVER the old pilot’s face, precisely at the right moment to make him say he added power to his P-47, to out-turn a Me-109G on the deck... Then right back to his voice afterwards... Yes the P-47D Razorback did out-turn the Me-109G, the Luftwaffe`s own KG 200 tested it and admits so. But adding water-injection power improving the turn rate? Let’s just say, despite the neat voice-over trick, that I remain skeptical... (Check out that particular sleight of hand moment on youtube) L-Hartmann describes stalking damaged aircrafts leaving the merge. It was his stock in trade. It reminded me of “loafing” by the net in hockey... M-Hartman kill numbers are doubted by Russian researchers. Some go as low as 80, but I won’t go there. I don’t think comparing kills says anything, quite the contrary, extremes may be less representative. However test pilot Eric Brown having only 2 FW-200 kills is fair game, especially given his enormous influence. N-It is years away, but a tentative title would be: “The most radically confused domain of human knowledge: WWII fighters and their tactics” Key to its content will be how the observations of WWII test pilots are so radically at odds with the observations of front line combat pilots, and how the arrival of jets stopped all serious prop fighter research. (We still rely on 1940s research) In 1989 the SETP did a test, with “modern” test pilots, of the four main US WWII fighters (F4U, P-51D, F6F, P-47D), using “modern” methods: They found they could barely reach 6 Gs for a split second in a true horizontal turn, this at maximum level METO speed, or near 300 mph if not more, 240-250 is claimed in the manual, probably because the manual values were arrived at by dive pull-outs, which unloads the prop... Of course, if you assume the prop load does not hurt the actual horizontal turn, and that doing dive pull-outs is the exact same thing (as is the current science), well then test pilots of the future will keep being surprised. To really prove something is wrong, a truly horizontal turn test with prop load distribution sensors will likely be needed. Until then, all we have is WWII pilots obsessively cutting their throttle in turns, and NEVER throttling back up. What picture does that suggest?
  6. The thing to understand about the fuselage correction is that the real P-47 fuselage had sides that were absolutely dead straight, looking down from above, all the way from the front cowling main vertical panel line, just behind the front radius, all the way to the square turbo exhaust doors on the middle rear fuselage sides. The whole Tamiya fuselage has an elongated tear drop shape seen from above. It is only obvious from directly above, but it really is a massive error. (The Eduard Hellcat has a similar plan view error, except the rear tapers too early: I think the Hasegawa avoids this, not sure) The main clue the Tamiya kit is wrong is the cowling sides get wider by nearly 1.5mm to the rear: The cowl should be absolutely parallel, looking down from above. The Yoyuso correction on the Wings of Pegasus site corrects the appearance visually, but it is still wrong: He widens the cowling at the front (massively complicated, as this requires rescribing fully all new parallel panel lines): The problem is the Tamiya cowling is already the correct width at the first front cowl panel line, 38 mm side to side if memory serves, so what is needed is narrowing the cowl rear: This means cutting aggressively to narrow the entire massively buttressed fuselage “cap” that is the big engine support part: Hard to do subtly. The whole Tamiya fuselage bulk is 2 mm too wide, from actual dimensions, and squeezing this (while not narrowing the cockpit opening) will be tough given the numerous internal supports. The good thing is the mid- wing position means we don’t have a one piece bottom wing to deal with. Pfffew! The Tamiya bubbletop canopy is also too tall, and this carries over to the Razorback a little bit, but not too bad. Would be tough to improve, as the effect is very subtle and on a steeply tapering cross-section. I’d ignore it. The Tamiya kit has some good qualities, but I’d rather wait for a better 1/48 P-47, as fixing these issues requires both heavy work and a lot of subtlety, two things hard to combine.
  7. A-Spitfires escorting bombers, with their short ranges, seems to be a rare thing. As far as 190 encounters are concerned, I cannot recall a case. Any examples of Spifires out turning FW-190As at sustained low speeds? In 25 years of researching this very topic for my book, I found none. The Spitfire did make reasonably fast turn times at high speeds in a broad turn, but with no mid-position flaps it could not slow down. A broad turn, even if fast, will usually not give a lead on a smaller radius. One pilot described turn fighting as “a race where the slowest won.”: It gives perspective... B-I can only say this: Chopping the throttle, and keeping the throttle down, was a key part of success in WWII turn fighting, to the point the throttle was sometimes cut even before the merge. FW-190A and D pilot Eric Brunotte mentions never using maximum continuous power in combat, and even less stepping beyond the notch to use War Emergency Power!! This is why MW-50 was usually disabled in late War Luftwaffe fighters: It was not useful... And turn fighting itself, cut throttle or not, was an even more massive part of WWII tactics, it’s dominance increasing as experience was gained in later war years. I know Shaw pretended otherwise in his research, using the P-47 (of all things) as an example (because of its appearance I assume), but historical assumptions always need to be revised, and this one is over fifty years old... Appearances can be deceptive. There are physical differences between jets and props that explain this discrepancy. C-The Hurricane our-turning the Spitfire is widely known. Minimum radius on a Hurricane I was in the 800 feet range while it was over 1000 feet on the Spitfire I. This is not turn times, but it is evocative... D-You are correct, bailing in a P-51 is only mandatory over water. PS: Very interesting stuff Dov!
  8. The FW-190A out-turned the Spitfire at low speeds, and that was the main tactic that it used against it. An experienced pilot never used it in vertical hit and run type combat: RCAF John Weir: “The Hurricane was much more maneuverable than the Spit. The Spit was a higher wingloading. We could turn tighter than a Messerschmitt, but the Focke Wulf could turn the same as we could, and they kept on catching up.” Johnny Johnson (top Spitfire ace): “I asked the Spitfire for all she had in the turn, but the 190 hung behind like a leech: It was only a question of time and he would have me in his sights” Sq Leader Alan Deere: “Never had I seen the Hun stay and fight it out as these Focke-Wulf pilots were doing... In Me-109s the Hun tactic had always followed the same pattern- a quick pass and away. Not so these 190 pilots. We lost 8 to their one that day.” Osprey Duel #39: p.69: “Enemy FW-190A pilots never fight on the vertical plane.” p.65: “An experienced FW-190A pilot practically never fights on the vertical plane.” Red Fleet, #37, a summary of one whole year of combats with both German types: “The FW-190 will inevitably offer turning combat at a minimum speed.” The FW-190A was never widely used in hit and run tactics, and this here is six correlation from six sources across two theatres, including five separate global statements, not anecdotes. The only WWII source for the FW-190A being used on the vertical plane, in combat, is Eric Brown, who was mostly a test pilot, and had two Wildcat kills on four engine types. Post war jet tactics did find hit and run energy fighting useful, but the picture that emerges from new research is quite the opposite for WWII: Attempts at hit and run were easily foiled by turning continuously, and early Zero tactics that avoided turn fighting were considered poor by opposing pilots: “If they only chopped throttle and turned, they could sit on our tails.” Capt Virgil K Meroney (9 kills, all on P-47): “If you are bounced from above you cannot out dive the enemy. Having learned that, I always chopped my throttle and turned into them.” The “superiority” of hit and run is in large part a post war reconstruction. The reality of aces who used it successfully was often that they waited outside the furbal, and latched on to damaged stragglers exiting the combat area. They acted as sweepers in effect. Hit and run was not as low risk as assumed, since it was very easily foiled by cutting power and turning, and it was definitely low reward except for pilots with exceptional eyesight. Even then, hit and run proponent Eric Hartmann was shot down 17 times, while chop-throttle turn fighting proponent Karhila was never hit in combat. Hartmann survived so many times because of the excellent protection of the Me-109, and it’s uniquely good crash landing characteristics, a unique 109 feature being that it never caught fire on crash landing. To give a comparison, in a P-51 taking to the parachute was mandatory because of the belly scoop, which meant he would have bailed 17 times...
  9. The Mach number only had a real “bite” above 20 000 feet, because Mach speed was lower there: Below 20.000 the main limitation was airframe buffeting, individual to each design. As far as I know, the FW-190A had a higher Mach number than the Me-109G, and was around 0.84, similar to US fighters. Despite this , it was rarely used in true prolonged vertical fighting, because it had among the worst high speed elevator handling of WWII... Namely sinking behaviour with massive tail down deceleration. The FW-190A was almost exclusively used for low speed turn fighting, where it excelled any other Western Front fighter, especially the Spitfire, which had good high speed handling but no real low speed turn fighting ability, having no mid position flap. (As Russians found out to their dismay) A slow speed turning fight between a Spitfire and a Fw-190A was not a contest: In the words of Johnny Johnson, top Spitfire ace, the Spit was rapidly reversed. The Spit could however stall with 3 axis control and briefly shoot across into the smaller FW-190A turning circle, which sometimes muddled the issue. The dreadful FW-190 high speed handling really forced German tactics into turn fighting, which gradually became the dominant WWII form anyway. The Russian 1943 Red Fleet article has the Me-109G and FW-190A interacting as such: “The Me-109 performs hit and run attacks from above, while the FW-190 commits to prolonged low speed turn fights.” This pattern was seen throughout the war, including in Boddenplatte. Only when hastily trained, in 1944, to intercept Western Front bombers (at high altitudes where its handling was bad) do Luftwaffe pilots appear unable to use the FW-190A in turns. Orekov: “The FW-190 is never used in vertical fighting” The P-47 also was an obsessive low speed turn fighter, judging from combat accounts, in Razorback form able to reverse a Me-109G in four 360s (but much less so as a Bubbletop) and was a near match to the FW-190: It was also rarely used in hit and run attacks, given it’s terrible climb rate, only marginally improved by the paddle-blade prop. Even the Merlin P-51 was often forced to perform as a turn fighter, using flaps and reduced throttle, which befuddled lower time Luftwaffe pilots who tended (wrongly) to keep power high, given their lower time experience. Because of an issue with its gun feed (3X the failure rate of P-47s), prolonged P-51 turn fights very often ended with just one inner turn gun working(!), this far worse in Bs but all the way to late Ds. In general the US won the air war with superior pilot turn fighting knowledge, and this included Hellcat and Wildcat use against the Japanese (the Hellcat could extend its flaps horizontally, Japanese butterfly-style, but lowering angle was automatically spring controlled and very conservative, so there was no pilot chosen angle setting: A unique set up...) There is even some evidence the FM-2 Wildcat our-turned Model 52 Zeroes, so really the only Japanese types that could reliably out-turn US Navy types were Oscars and Ki-100s... Not the story one typically hears. There does seem to be an additional unknown issue, beyond hit rates, that made reduced power slow speed turn fighting so dominant in WWII, and the rare top aces that could use high speed high angle approaches really muddled the picture of what actually went on, because they tended to get the preponderance of historian attention. Slogging through thousands of obscure combat reports, written by obscure pilots, really does reveal a surprisingly different picture...
  10. Great! I realize now I was muddling up the B-29A with the B... I do vaguely remember that the B was derived only from the A, which is why I conflated both variants.. As to the wingroot difference, the wing root fairing is visible in the Squadron Signal Walk Around, with the difference in wing construction explained; B-29As and B-29s were in no way identical... (the wing root fairing looked at least 15 foot long, so it was not small)
  11. Getting back to ammo consumption, a Luftwaffe study of air combat showed that the average air to air burst of gunfire placed only 1% of shots on target, anywhere on the target... This weakness of air to air firepower had a major effect on air tactics; It meant the pre-war assumption that dogfighting was dead, to be replaced by high speed high angle approaches (the going assumption ever since monoplanes were introduced in the 1930s) was wrong, and an entire class of fast twin engine day fighters, which were to rely on hit and run from higher altitudes, were in fact useless, as the lethality of even a twin`s firepower was not enough at high approach angles: You had to follow in a turn to "pepper" for a while... All this due to the low hit rate... Of all the early war day fighter twins, only the P-38 barely managed to remain relevant in its intended day fighter role. That hit and run was the dominant assumption at the start of war, by ALL combatants (except Russians, who also avoided the twin day fighter pitfall), can be seen in the early appearances of the Mitsubishi Zero: Many Pacific historians (among them Lundstrom in "The first team") have found that, contrary to expectations, early in the war, the Zero obsessively avoided turns, to the point 1942 US pilots commented: "If only only they would cut their throttles and turn with us, they could just sit on our tail." Exceptional pilots did manage to make hit and run high speed approaches work, but it was so problematic for the average pilot that a band-aid solution was attempted in 1944, to try to make hit and run at high angles workable for the masses: The K-14 gyro sight. While hailed as a great success, an equal number of pilots just set it on fixed, and engaged in what was by then the universal solution to low hit rates; Cutting the throttle and locking the target into low speed horizontal turns. (Once engaged in a turn, it was almost impossible to roll out of a turn fight, a fatal mistake many inexperienced pilots made) Low speed horizontal turns were so effective at foiling hit and run attacks that a 1944 Japanese front-line commander specifically asked for the cancellation of Ki-84 deliveries, to have those replaced by Ki-43-II or III Oscars... This was due to the inferior low speed turning performance of the Ki-84, not reliability issues (Ki-43 oscar aces of WWII Osprey: https://ospreypublishing.com/ki-43-oscar-aces-of-world-war-2?___store=osprey_ca). In that same passage, the Oscar ace described inexperienced Spitfire Mk VIII pilots attempting to do hit and run attacks, and having those easily defeated if the attack was spotted: Once they realized they were spotted while diving, experienced Spitfire pilots would interrupt their dives(!) and cancel their attack, while inexperienced pilots kept going... One account of one Ki-43 Oscar has it making continuous low speed turns, at reduced throttle, while 16 P-38s attacked for 20 minutes, until they are all forced to retire from lack of gas or ammo... By 1945, turn fighting was so widely used to foil hit and run attacks, a FW-190A pilot had to correct a painting made of his aircraft in combat: The painter had depicted his aircraft in battle with the wings nearly level... He said: "No. In battle we turned continuously, without ever stopping: By 1945, it was the only way to survive..." While little acknowledged, all this derived from an over estimation of the effective hit rates before the war.
  12. No! The large underwing fairing is a wingroot fairing, to smooth over the airflow from the B variant wing stubs. The B-29B, not the B-29, had different wing attachments that made it 1 foot wider in wingspan, and this was from 6 inch wing root stubs at each wing root. I presume the huge underwing wing root fairing, which is described in the Squadron Walk Around, and shown in one photo, is to smooth over the wing root stubs: No kit ever attempted the depiction of this massive feature, afaik, but curiously enough, the Monogram does have the wing stubs as attachment points(!), but without the underside fairing, and with a wing span slightly too short even for the regular B-29 (not to mention a fuselage also 1 foot short, 98 ft not 99)... I assumed most Bs had turrets, and that turretless versions were only for the 180 or so Bs you mentionned.... All Bs had no turrets? That is interesting... I also assumed the B wing root stubs were from attaching the wings separately without hoisting up the fuselage, while a regular B-29 was assembled as a hoisted fuselage lowered unto a fully assembled central spar going out to both outer nacelles: Hence no need for wing root stubs, and a one foot shorter span.
  13. Was the large underwing fairing common to all Bs, or just a silverplate feature? How does a production of 183 adds up to 311 turretless B-29Bs? Where the rest post war production?
  14. Amazing that after 30 years of kit bashing, this on an absolutely massive scale (including in printed media), it is still down to kitbashing to get the most advanced WWII Spitfire... And after ALL that, Airfix comes out with.... Drum roll.... Basically a post-war variant. These people are more clueless than Mr Bean.
  15. It is absolutely brilliant. Almost beyond belief. And top quality too, except for the PE chains... Wish tamiya showed this kind of imagination 15 years ago when they re-booted the scale (since Bandai left it in 1972)... I always wished for more common scales, if only 1/32 had won for armor, instead of Tamiya ruining everything by sizing hulls to batteries... As if that makes sense...
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