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Some plane questions

Discussion in 'Information Requests' started by Hummel, Sep 11, 2009.

  1. Hummel

    Hummel Member

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    Hi there,
    I really don't know as much as I could or should know about some allied planes. So, here we go:

    How effective was the Avenger as a torpedo plane? Didn't it also serve as a level bomber? Was it better that way or as a torpedo carrier?

    Were the Japanese Zeros completely unarmored? I seem to remember reading somewhere they didn't have self-sealing fuel tanks. I'm not sure how a self-sealing fuel tank works. Can someone give me a morons-only explanation please? What was the Zero armed with? A couple of light machine guns if memory serves?

    Was the F6F a better fighter than the P-38? I am not sure what I mean by better . . . better climb? dive? top speed? armament? survivability? Maybe just an overall sense? Which allied plane shot down the most axis planes in the Pacific theater? How about the European theater?

    Are there any reports about whether Japanese pilots were surprised when they first encountered the F6F? I mean, it looks an awful lot like the F4F and the performance on the two planes is night and day. I can only think that the Japanese pilots who were first out turned by the F6F thinking it was an F4F must have been pretty freaked out.

    So, thank you very much for the time in answering. I know my questions are sort of rambling and a bit all over the place, but that is pretty much how my poor mind is . . . see what happens when you teach elementary school?

    Ciao!
     
  2. redcoat

    redcoat Ace

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    Early models were unarmoured but later models were fitted with armour and self-sealing tanks, though this did effect performance.
    A self-sealing tank is a fuel tank coated with a rubber-like substance on the outside. When the tank is hit the fuel is prevented from pouring out of the hole because when the fuel comes into contact with the rubber coating this sets off a chemical reaction which causes the rubber to expand, sealing the hole.



    2x20mm cannon and 2 LMG

    Both were excellent aircraft, but the later models of the P-38 had the advantage in power over the F6F, though the P-38 was unsuitable for use off a carrier.

    The F6F was credited with 5,163 kills, the F4U with 2,140, and the P-38 with 1,700.
    Probably the Spitfire with approximately 6,800 kills in Northern Europe alone, the highest scoring US aircraft was the P-51 with around 4,950 for both the ETO/MTO
     
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  3. Hummel

    Hummel Member

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    Thank you VERY much for the extremely informative and spot on reply to my questions. I wish my STUDENTS were as capable as you. All the best!
    Da Bee
     
  4. JagdtigerI

    JagdtigerI Ace

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    It turned out to be one of the best ship born torpedo-bombers of the war. And yes, it could also level bomber.
    Early models did lack armor and self-sealing fuel tanks. However, this allowed it to have greater speed, maneuverability, and range. The F4F in comparison could out dive it, out roll it, sustain more battle damage, and had self-sealing fuel tanks. But as stated before the Zero was faster more maneuverable, had better range, and could out climb it. Later model zeros did add armor and self-sealing fuel tanks but in doing so lost some maneuverability.
    Here are the straight stats for the two planes:

    F6F-5 Hellcat
    Max Speed- 380mph
    Climb rate- 2,980 ft. per minute
    Service ceiling- 37,300 ft
    Range- 945 miles
    Armament- six 12.7-mm machine-guns in wings, or two 20-mm cannon and four 12.7-mm guns in wings, plus provision for two 1,000 lb bombs

    P-38L Lightning
    Max Speed- 414mph
    Climb rate- 2,857 ft. per minute
    Service ceiling- 44,000 ft.
    Range- 454 miles (on international fuel)
    Armament- one 20-mm and four 12,7-mm guns in the nose, plus a bomb load of two 1,600 lb bombs or 2,75-in rocket projectiles together with two 258-gal drop tanks if required
     
  5. Miguel B.

    Miguel B. Member

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    redcoat, just a minor correction. in the european theater, the plane with most kills was the Hurricane not the Spitfire.
     
  6. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    It was reasonably effective. It also was regularly utilized as a regular bomber. In the Atlantic it proved very effective as an anti-submarine aircraft. Late in the war it was selected as the aircraft for the first carrier Airborne Early Warning plane in project Cadillac.
    Another role where it proved devastatingly effective was as a night torpedo bomber. At Truk in early 1944 12 of night torpedo Avengers sank nearly 90% of the ships there over several days without loss.

    Yes, the early Zeros were completely devoid of armor and didn't have self-sealing fuel tanks. Late war models did receive some armor and self-sealing tanks however. The early models had 2 7.9mm "Paint chippers" and 2 20mm cannon. Late models had up to 4 .50 / 12.7mm machineguns and 2 higher power 20mm cannon.
    Self-sealing tanks of that era were typically made by putting a layer of unvulcanized gum rubber over the outside of the tank. In some cases a second layer of sheet metal covered the rubber. When a bullet went into the tank the fuel leaking into the hole reacted with the soft rubber to make it swell up and seal the hole. Obviously this only works with smaller non-explosive bullets. A 20mm shell hitting a tank would simply blow a huge hole in it and set it on fire in most cases.

    The P-38 was a better long range escort and better at high altitudes. The F6F was a better dogfighter at medium and low altitudes. The P-38 was better at vertical maneuver while the F6F was better at more traditional dogfighting methods.
    The F6F shot down far more aircraft than the P-38 in the Pacific. In fact, the F6F was the top scoring US fighter in that theater. Alot of that had to do with it being on carriers that saw far more action than land based planes could.
    In Europe the F6F was only in very limited service with the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm so it really saw little action there.

    This is true initially. Japanese pilots mistook the F6F for the less capable F4F Wildcat at first. This led to their trying tactics that worked on the F4F against it. The result was usually the F6F blasted the Japanese fighter much to the Japanese pilot's surprise.

    Ah. That explains much.
     
  7. redcoat

    redcoat Ace

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    Sadly I don't have a figure for the total amount credited to the Hurricane, but while it shot down more enemy aircraft in the BoB than the Spitfire it had ceased to be a front line fighter in Europe by 1942, while the Spitfire in its later marks remained the main RAF fighter in the theater until the end of the war.... and anyway I did only say 'probably' ;)
     
  8. MVHAGEY

    MVHAGEY Member

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    Building off of the Hellcat/Lightning question, I have had a nagging thought that won't leave my mind. I have a book witha topic on the Ki-84 and it states that it could perform on par with late model fighters such as P-38L's, F4U's, P-47's, P-51's etc., while it could outperform the Hellcat. Most people agree that the Hellcat is a better fighter than the P-47 (at most altitudes) and is a better dogfighter than the P-38...What's the story with that? Could the F6F prove a match for the Ki-84? Thanks for your help.
     
  9. ickysdad

    ickysdad Member

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    On the F6F well the -3 is credited with only about 375 MPH but Francis Dean's seems to say it actually was much faster at around 390 MPH all production models along with existing -3 models were later brought up to -5 status where it could hit around 409-410 MPH. I've heard that USN data for the F6F-3/5's was slower because the speedometers(or whatever you call them) weren't calibrated right anyways it seems the F6F was faster then many give them credit for. The P-38L I've seens as high as 440 MPH
    In climb rate according to the same publication the F6F-5 at 12,483 lbs. got to 20K in around 7.7 minutes though it could be flown in pure fighter mode at around 11,422 lbs . along with initial climb rates of between 3300-3680 FPM. The P-38L is credited with an initial climb of well over 4,000 FPM and in the spitfireperformance website is credited with time to 24K of around 6.48 minutes .
     
  10. Tomcat

    Tomcat The One From Down Under

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    Thread moved to Information Requests Forum
     
  11. moutan1

    moutan1 Member

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    Hi to all
    I also have some regular questions as my information about ww2 fighters are poor
    1-what was the british escort plane through the strategic bombing?
    2-Was the 4×20mm(british) a better fighter armament than 6 × 0.50 in(P51) ?
    3-How effective was the Tempest compared to (P51,FW190,Spitefire)?
    was the Tempest better fighter than P51 or FW190?
    thank you very much for your time
    Best Regards
     
  12. MVHAGEY

    MVHAGEY Member

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    To answer the question about the armament, 20mm cannons were loaded with a chemical load which exploded on impact, making for a much more powerful bullet than a .50. The USAAF confirmed that a 20mm is the equivalent to two .50's, so the planes with 4x20's had the weight of fire of eight .50's. But there is the fact that 20mm cannons had a slower rate of fire and a bigger ballistic arch (the bullet drops faster), making it less effective against fighters. It is somewhat oppinion based. Hope I helped.
     
  13. redcoat

    redcoat Ace

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    The British strategic bombing campaign was mainly at night, so the fighters used to support the bomber campaign were the night fighters, the Bristol Beaufighter and the de Havilland Mosquito. On daylight raids the standard escort fighter was the Spitfire.
    It should be noted that in the early period of the USAAF strategic bomber campaign the standard escort fighter was also the Spitfire flown by USAAF pilots, these were eventually replaced by the longer ranged P-47's and P-38's
    Yes. The British 20mm cannon was tested by the USN and found to have 3x the destructive power of a Browning .50.
    While its performance fell off at high altitude, it is considered the best low level Allied fighter by many
     
  14. moutan1

    moutan1 Member

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    thanks a lot for reply to my questions
    as I see the 20mm cannon was a better armament than the Browning .50 so I think the P51 had inferior armament compared to german and british fighters(Spitefire,FW190,Tempest), is this true?

    Best Regards
     
  15. Smithson

    Smithson Member

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    yes japanese zeros' were unamored which is why they were famous for speed and manoverability :aa_japan:
     
  16. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    No the .50 was not inferior to the 2cm cannon arms. it depended on what type of tactical operation - i.e. bomber killing or fighter vs fighter. the .50 had laonger range, the 2cm Minengeschoss round of the LW was highly explosive maybe even more so than any Allied round made during the war but it's prime use was in the anti-bomber role
     
  17. lwd

    lwd Ace

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  18. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    the author is a member of the forums by the way and there have been ammo selection questions regarding the above several times
     

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