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Re: "Spitfire" [Re: gavin eisler] #789583 11/09/19 1:17 pm
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The much maligned P40....... It really wasn’t as bad as depicted by many post war historians.

It was available and worked until more modern designs were available....and was likely already obsolete when the war started.

The P40 was a re-engined P36 which first flew in 1935, it was an old design by the time it first saw combat. But it was rugged, had very good handling at speed (which many of it’s contemporaries did not), didn’t need “tropicalized” to function in areas of high ambient temperatures, had better range than all but a few Japanese aircraft at the time it entered combat, was easy to service (due to it’s P36 roots), and accelerated in a dive better than most anything else available at the start of it’s combat career.

But, it was slow in a climb since it was heavy (again due to it’s P36 modular design roots), had poor high altitude performance (it was never designed as a high altitude interceptor), it was sluggish handling at low speed, was tricky handling on the ground, and was not heavily armed early in it’s career (there is that pesky mid 30’s design criteria).

The P40 was also hampered by poor training and tactics. Too many user’s tried to use it as a “dog fighter”. Which it wasn’t. Maybe the P36 was in 1935 performance, but the P40 never was due to the bloat that set in.

With proper training and tactics, the P40’s have a better record than depicted by post war “histories”. And for a design that was likely obsolete at the start of it’s career, it was still in combat in 1944 (1945 with some user’s). Ir was a stable gun platform when used in “slash and zoom” attacks, made a good ground attack fighter, and was rugged.

Most of it’s contemporaries also had issues that seem to be overlooked and were also outclassed by newer designs. But for whatever reason, the P40 got vilified.....strange.


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Re: "Spitfire" [Re: gavin eisler] #789586 11/09/19 1:51 pm
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Clare Chennault's "Flying Tigers", the U.S volunteers in the China Republic's air force, flew P.40 "Warhawks." One of their tricks was to dive down on Japanese "Zero" fighters to shoot them down.
Another was to con the Zero pilot into pursuing them in a dive.

The P.40 was built strong enough to survive the high-speed dive. The Zero wasn't.
At high enough speeds it's wings would fracture, sometimes even peel off.

Re: "Spitfire" [Re: gavin eisler] #789587 11/09/19 2:06 pm
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Very interesting conversation! BSA never made a fighterplane, but Britain built many and one of the most interesting was maybe the Tempest with it´s Napier sabre 24 cyl. engine? Any comments on that one?


Arnstein

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Re: "Spitfire" [Re: NickL] #789588 11/09/19 2:11 pm
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Originally Posted by NickL
I'm not singing any national anthem, i don't disagree with the fact Sun Oil developed the method of adding tetraethyl lead to petrol.
Likewise i'm not having a pop at Westinghouse's metallurgy. I don't suffer with hysterical patriotism, far from it. Congratulations on
your long aviation career. The fact remains that in many aspects of engine and airframe development the Germans and Italians
were very proficient. In fact superior in many aspects. The Japanese too had a very clever approach to fighters, what was the
effective range of a Zero? Lightly built i know but very clever, as an aerobatic plane it was terrific. It took a long while to better in
terms of maneuverability, if it ever was.


While I don't agree with some of what you say I do agree with this statement^^^...The USA always had several major advantages, they were not being bombed and had more production capacity that any other combatants...The USA also excelled at logistics of fighting wars thousands of miles away.America lost 1000's of cargo ships merchant mariners to supply the UK with needed war material, something often forgotten in these conversations...In general, US aircraft were built to take punishement and protect the pilot at the expensive of weight and performance.Pilots were trained not to dog fight but use superior tactics. ..But the USA did have some tech achievements like the turbo superchargers used on all 4 engine bombers, P47 and P38...
From the American military point of view, the air war over Europe was to distract and distrupt the Nazi's until a ground invasion was possible...The loss of nearly 6000 B-17's and 30,000 airmen was the price to clear the way...Then at last General Lemay and the B-29's finally turned attention to the hated Japanese.They were firebombed into ashes and surrendered with no ground troops needed...


79 T140D, 96 900M Ducati ....On a bike you can out run the demons..
Re: "Spitfire" [Re: NickL] #789598 11/09/19 4:05 pm
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Originally Posted by NickL
[


The design was handed over as a gift as there was no uk company available to produce the device at the time, all were flat out or bombed out.
The carb had actually existed for a fair while in prototype form, made by SU and RR. As the US did not have any real modern fighters until post '41
they would have had no use for such a carb anyway. Then when they couldn't make any more money out of the war and after being attacked they entered it.
No offence meant, but it's the way myself and many others see it. The P51 fighter was produced to a specification issued by the brits who visited NAm and
requested they build the antiquated crap P40 thing for them, the plane that was slaughtered by the Luftwaffe in France. (The French listed it as a Curtiss type)
NAm informed the commission that they would build a better plane and they did. The early mustangs were unsuited to front line operations but were quickly
developed into the required long range escort fighter, which suited the USAF in europe but didn't do the RAF much good, the later Spits being available and
up to scratch, they used them.
'Miss Shilling's Orifice' is the device which was fitted to the float chamber to prevent the subsequent massive over richness from negative G maneuvers,
it was a stop gap really not a substitute or a cure for the main problem. It did however prevent engines cutting completely.

The first US engine to use the Bendix pressure carb was the Allison V-12 in 1936...I don't beliieve the UK was being bombed at that time.As Mark Parker mentions the P40 was used very effectively in the hands of good pilots..The Brits who flew them in Africa early in the war found then equal to the BF109E.
The early Mustang aka Apache/A36 was intended as a low altitude ground troop support mission.as indicated by it's American
" A" prefix rather than "P" for pursuit before the Brits were using it...The excellent aerodymanics and laminar flow wing cave it it's long range as a bomber escort..
Many improvemts during the war were devolped at the same time by the various combatants...


79 T140D, 96 900M Ducati ....On a bike you can out run the demons..
Re: "Spitfire" [Re: gavin eisler] #789634 11/09/19 10:48 pm
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The early type of Bendix carb was not the one fitted to the Merlin.
The design for those carbs was dependant on the actual engine it was used on. It was not like bolting on an improved normal carb to uprate the motor.
The carb was a specific item to suit the engine and it's supercharger. The version of the merlin (66) was not available until '41+
It would be like fitting an injection system off a Toyota Corolla on to a Maserati.
If you read the article i posted (by a yank) it puts it over very well.
Pressure carbs were around in the 30's but not the type used on the Merlin engine.

Yes i agree America lost many ships as did many countries supplying the UK. That was commerce, some countries/companies would carry on supplying, some wouldn't.
My old man spent the first 3+ years of the war in the North Atlantic in the merchants, so i realise what you are saying. He often opted for the extra 5 quid a month 'danger money'
paid for being on tankers. Being in the engine room at or below the water line you had no chance anyway.

http://www.enginehistory.org/Accessories/HxFuelSys/FuelSysHx09.shtml

Last edited by NickL; 11/10/19 5:36 am.
Re: "Spitfire" [Re: gavin eisler] #789663 11/10/19 5:34 am
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Sorry for my derision regarding the P40 it was a good old workhorse really, just dated like the old Hurricane.
The mk2 version of the Hurricane with the better engine and 4 x 20mm cannons or 2 x 30mm was a more like it.
The BF109E was also quite dated being replaced by the F largely in 1940. A bit unforgiving for novice pilots though, i understand.

Re: "Spitfire" [Re: NickL] #789670 11/10/19 7:52 am
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"Mark, the top luftwaffe aces did not go to North Africa, but experienced pilots did." ?

"I./JG 27 claimed 588 aircraft shot down in the period of April 1941–November 1942. Stahlschmidt, Steinhausen and Marseille accounted for 250 of these; a huge 42% of the unit's total. The total claims in North Africa for JG 27 were 1,166 aircraft:"

Marseille claimed 158 but it was probably a few less. German pilots may have been granted leave, but they stayed on operations, those that survived became expert or were expert, which lead to big tallies. Even when shipped out of North Africa those that survived flew in defense of Germany, some in the new jets. Bigger scores were had on the Russian front but it probably didn't represent a higher skill level.

Clive Caldwell was Australia's highest scoring ace. Caldwell flew Curtiss P-40 Tomahawks and Kittyhawks in the North African Campaign and Supermarine Spitfires in the South West Pacific Theatre. He was the highest-scoring P-40 pilot from any air force and the highest-scoring Allied pilot in North Africa. He visited the Curtiss factory during the war and you can imagine the reception he received from the factory workers. P40s were very effective in the south west Pacific.

I talked to an old RAAF guy once, what Australia was adapting for fighter defense was a trainer they were building here based on a North American design and called a 'Wirraway' it was used as a fighter against the Japanese in Malaya and New Guinea until replaced by enough P40s and Boomerangs. Top speed was about 220mph with two 303 machine guns firing forward and one for the observer in the back.

The US commander in the pacific would not allow Australian squadrons to support operations beyond a certain point, even though the US pilots were very enthusiastic to fly with Commonwealth pilots and their famous Spitfires, by then potent Mk V111s.


mark
Re: "Spitfire" [Re: Arnstein] #789674 11/10/19 8:35 am
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BSA actually did enter the air craft just after WW I.
IT was a case of ego over audit and cost them a packet but they did actually make planes for a very short period.


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Re: "Spitfire" [Re: BSA_WM20] #789677 11/10/19 9:09 am
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Originally Posted by BSA_WM20
BSA actually did enter the air craft just after WW I.
IT was a case of ego over audit and cost them a packet but they did actually make planes for a very short period.



Thanks for info, do you know which planes?

There seems to be a lot of knowledge about old planes in the BSA forum. So, asking again for comments on the Hawker Tempest / Napier Sabre 24 cyl.?


Arnstein

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Re: "Spitfire" [Re: gavin eisler] #789687 11/10/19 12:46 pm
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Something to keep in mind about the Mustang... When it was fully operational as the P51 early in 1944 ,many of the most experienced German pilots were dead, injured or POW's..Not like early in the war when inexpereinced American pilots in less than state of the art aircraft went up againts the best German and Japanese pilots in supposedly superior machines..Despite this ,the P40, Navy Wildcat held their own...The P38 was always a mixed bag...Not good in Europe, but better in warmer Mediterrian and excellent in the Pacific...And the huge well armoured P-47 with it's near indestructible R2800 was the aircraft you wanted to be flying when the enemy was punching holes in your ride..But as always, the skill of the pilot is most important..


79 T140D, 96 900M Ducati ....On a bike you can out run the demons..
Re: "Spitfire" [Re: gavin eisler] #789704 11/10/19 4:01 pm
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You left out the F6F Hellcat and F4U Corsair that were also R2800 powered and had a good reputation for getting you home with damage. The R2800 is one of the truly great aircraft piston engines and is still earning revenue in the 21st century.

I have met and talked with some warbird people. They tend to have a few pennies to play with and the ones I have met, tend to have more than one expensive warbird to play with.

The ones I have met have both a P51 and P40. They fly the P51 at air shows, they fly the P40 to stay proficient. Seems the P51’s are incredibly expensive to keep airworthy and don’t lend themselves to easy repair. Maintenance yes, repair no. The P40 is much less expensive per hour to fly, simple to maintain, and simple to repair.

The P40 with it’s mid 30’s design roots had to be easy to maintain and repair due to very tight Depression era budgets. The design is very modular for easy disassembly/reassembly, most if not all components (hydraulics, electrics, etc.) were off the shelf aviation components of the era (and even beyond). The airframe components were simple and are easy to duplicate. The Allison engine is a fairly easy engine to live with.

The P51 was designed for mass production. Maintenance is easy, as it was designed to be maintained by inexperienced ground crew. If the airframe needed major repair, well, throw it away and get another one. Most of the components (hydraulic, electric, etc.) were unique in many cases to the Mustang. The components simply don’t exist anymore. Significant portions of the airframe are difficult to reproduce due to complexity. And the Merlin is a demanding engine to keep running correctly.

And from I have been told.....the P40 is, with the exception of landing, is an easier plane to fly. The landing issue is just being cautious with narrow track landing gear. The wide track Mustang is easy to land, but is not stable in flight.

Strange thing is, reading autobiographies and interviews with the guys who lived it first hand.....they have similar opinions of the 2. They certainly appreciated the speed and range of the Mustang, but missed the sweet handling of the P40.


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Re: "Spitfire" [Re: Rich B] #789742 11/10/19 10:38 pm
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Here's a nice read for you guys...It's a collection of the performance of the various WW2 fighter aircraft from data when new....The rates of climb are interesting and surprising...

Warplane performance


79 T140D, 96 900M Ducati ....On a bike you can out run the demons..
Re: "Spitfire" [Re: Arnstein] #789746 11/10/19 10:43 pm
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Originally Posted by Arnstein
Originally Posted by BSA_WM20
BSA actually did enter the air craft just after WW I.
IT was a case of ego over audit and cost them a packet but they did actually make planes for a very short period.



Thanks for info, do you know which planes?

There seems to be a lot of knowledge about old planes in the BSA forum. So, asking again for comments on the Hawker Tempest / Napier Sabre 24 cyl.?



The Tempest a development of the Typhoon was a very effective fast well armed fighter. The very troublesome Sabre had at that time been largely sorted
having been very problematic in the Typhoon. 2000+HP and 4 x 20mm cannon made a very formidable plane back then.
The Radial engine made by Bristol was also fitted to some marks. That was a complicated engine. More so than the Sabre which was developed from
the Napier Dagger an air cooled motor. The object with these was to keep frontal area low hence the 2 crank H section.
My old art teacher at school was a typhoon pilot, poor sod. They used to have a tendency to catch fire when started apparently. Then low level attacking with rockets etc.
Huge losses.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2RPNJW_y1E
https://aviationshoppe.com/bristol-centaurus-radial-engine-p-219.html

Last edited by NickL; 11/11/19 12:36 am.
Re: "Spitfire" [Re: gavin eisler] #789792 11/11/19 9:45 am
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Thanks for your comment NickL. Yes, the Tempest must been a formidable plane..


Arnstein

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Re: "Spitfire" [Re: gavin eisler] #789794 11/11/19 11:20 am
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For some excellent reading material I suggest Allied Piston Engines of WW2 by Graham White....And to get an idea of the struggle to build a competitve combat engine in the USA V's for Victory, the story of the Allison V1710 by Daniel Whitney. These books are out of print and somewhat expensive but well detailed with an objective point of view


79 T140D, 96 900M Ducati ....On a bike you can out run the demons..
Re: "Spitfire" [Re: gavin eisler] #789796 11/11/19 11:26 am
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On Hillbillies suggestion I bought V for victory, great read and got it new for less than list off UK Amazon. Thanks HB.

Re: "Spitfire" [Re: gavin eisler] #789803 11/11/19 1:41 pm
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For another great read, get VICTORY THROUGH AIR POWER, by Alexander Seversky, the aero engineer who designed the P.35 fighter, which was the forerunner of the P.47 Thunderbolt.

Seversky predicted how the "next war" (which became WW II) would be won by what he called "arial blockade", meaning that a strong air force could control any movement on the ground beneath it.
His theories and predictions proved to be true.

The book is commonly available from used book dealers.

Re: "Spitfire" [Re: kommando] #789804 11/11/19 2:09 pm
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Originally Posted by kommando
On Hillbillies suggestion I bought V for victory, great read and got it new for less than list off UK Amazon. Thanks HB.

Great! The other book mentioned has great details of the Brit sleeve valve radials and Brutally complex Napiers


79 T140D, 96 900M Ducati ....On a bike you can out run the demons..
Re: "Spitfire" [Re: gavin eisler] #789869 11/11/19 10:49 pm
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Although i loved the the v's and H's etc. Politics was the big problem, Frank Whittle's jets could
have been powering stuff much earlier and avoided a lot of deaths. Even when available the Brit
jets were not allowed to see combat over europe for fear of technology falling into enemy hands.
Yet they pushed the underdeveloped Typhoon into service and killed plenty of pilots.
Like the mosquito, far too few of those were produced really, a brilliant plane that could carry a
fair bomb load at twice the speed of most bombers and once dropped were faster than most
fighters. But when as a country you squander thousands of men in support of treaties and allegiances
such as the BEF being sent to europe when it was, all a political show and a huge waste of resource.

Re: "Spitfire" [Re: NickL] #789882 11/12/19 12:36 am
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Albert Einstein warned the American President around 1940 the Nazis were trying to develop atomic weapons.. That gave the go ahead for the Manhatten Project and the B-29. The US though the UK would fall in some manner, The Russians would stall and would stand alone to fight the Japanese in the west an the Nazi's on the east...We would need a fleet of long range fast bomber to nuke them to ashes.This was the priority so America got the best minds in the world to make it happen...America's did not need to devolop the best technology, we got it from the Brits and others...But we were the unrivaled industrial manufacturer, build more equipment for a war of attrition..
I was born in 47 of the parents that fought in the war...Our grade school books implied the the USA took on Axis and kicked their asses back to hell with a little bit of help from other nations..Not exactly true but it was imprinted into my mind..The victor is in control the history...
And we got the best Nazi rocket enginners.. wink







79 T140D, 96 900M Ducati ....On a bike you can out run the demons..
Re: "Spitfire" [Re: gavin eisler] #790537 11/19/19 5:09 am
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The Merlin engine, as displayed at the Air and Space Museum in DC.
I was surprised by how compact the engine is to produce such awesome power.

Attached Files Merlin.JPG

Stepping on others doesn't make you stand tall.

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Re: "Spitfire" [Re: gavin eisler] #790557 11/19/19 12:22 pm
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Of the BSA range named after WW2 era fighters the undermentioned model in this discussion is the Hornet, the hot rod with all the HP, built along similar lines to the P38 Lightning. From what I can read on the different fighters available at that time my preference would be the late P38, or Hornet. Nothing could roll faster than a late model P38 with it's power boosted controls, it's guns fired straight ahead on it's centre line. And it had HP, two Allisons giving 1700hp each, with a much better climb than the P51.

The single seat De Havilland Hornet had two slimline Merlins, 2070hp each, with a level speed of 485mph, described as absolute bliss for aerobatics. It's range was 1500miles. And again like the P38 guns were on the centre line. It had excellent vision with the pilot sitting well forward under a bubble canopy. And again brilliant climb.
Work began in '42 and prototypes were being tested in '44.


mark
Re: "Spitfire" [Re: DavidP] #790561 11/19/19 12:45 pm
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Originally Posted by DavidP
The Merlin engine, as displayed at the Air and Space Museum in DC.
I was surprised by how compact the engine is to produce such awesome power.


Naturally, Jay Leno owns one.


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Re: "Spitfire" [Re: gavin eisler] #790563 11/19/19 1:14 pm
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WHAT A GREAT SHOW!

Thanks for posting it here.

It was Lancaster bombers that destroyed the Ruhr River dams in Hitler's Germany.
View the movie: "The Dam Busters."

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