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UK marine spitfire V us p51 mustang

Discussion in 'Weapons & Technology in WWII' started by krieg, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. krieg

    krieg Ace

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    witch wos the better fighter ??
     
  2. Tomcat

    Tomcat The One From Down Under

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    In which role are you referring to? interceptor, bomber escort, fighter, fighter bomber, recon and so on, you need to be a little more specific with your reguests for inforamtion:)
     
  3. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    As the Spitfire MkV entered operational service in 1941, a fair comparison would have to be with the Allison-engined P-51 and IMPO the Spitfire would be the superior fighter.

    A comparison between the Spitfire MkIX and the Merlin-engined P-51s which didn't enter production until 1943 would be much tougher and the P-51D would IMPO be superior.
     
  4. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    I've just noticed that the question refers to the 'marine' Spitfire V ; the first Supermarine Seafire was basically a conversion of the Spitfire V so in this case there really is no comparison ; AFAIK no P-51 was carrier-based in WWII....:confused:
     
  5. krieg

    krieg Ace

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    sorry people for not making myseld clear i spose i thort in a all round roll
     
  6. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    Yes please do be a little more informative and specific. If you want to pose this type of question why don't you tell us what you think? And why?
     
  7. TA152

    TA152 Ace

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    I would be curious as to why they both have the same engine and the Spitfire is somewhat lighter than the Mustang but the Spitfire never had the long range that the Mustang did. Was it because the Mustang could haul more drop tanks than the Spitfire ?
     
  8. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    I'm just musing out loud, here, TA - so I'm fully prepared to be shot down in flames....;)

    I think the problem with the Spitfire stems from the original specification ie a defensive fighter to protect the British Isles from attack.

    Internal fuel capacity of the original Spitfire was 85 gallons, whereas even the early P-51s had an equivalent tankage of 150 gallons. So the Spitfire had a large deficit to make up even when drop-tanks were fitted.....the Bf109, from the same era as the Spitfire, also suffered from poor range.

    I assume - although I don't know....that the P-51 was originally designed with operational use over the Pacific Ocean in mind ? In which case, it was a different horse for a different course ( excuse sickening pun :eek: )
     
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  9. scarface

    scarface Member

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    Actually, the P-51 was proposed (and designed) by North American Aviation in response to a request by the British Purchasing Commission that they build P-40s under license from Curtiss. Dutch Kindelberger of NAA said the P-40 was a dated design (which it was), and they could design and build an entirely new airframe that would outperform the P-40 while still utilising the same Allison engine that was in the current P-40. The Commision said 'Fine, but we need it in 120 days.' Kindelberger gulped and said 'OK', and the airframe was ready to go in something like 117 days.

    An interesting side note - NAA went to the USAAC to see if they wanted some of these new fighters, but they were already fully committed with existing 'Pursuit' plane contracts, but did order a limited amount as 'Attack' aircraft - the A-36 Dive Bomber. This was all prior to when some British (genius) mechanic said "I wonder what would happen if we stuck a Merlin in there?"

    -whatever

    -Lou

    EDIT: Here is a much more accurate, in depth history of the 'Mustang' - interesting reading.

    The North American P-51 Mustang
     
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  10. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Yes, Krieg, give your ideas. Seems to be sane people responding to this thread, I'm sure that they will congenial with their replies. These so far usually are.
     
  11. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Thanks, scarface....I confess that I'm hazier than I should be :eek: about the story behind the P-51......
     
  12. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    These are two very different kinds of fighter aircraft. Digressing for a moment, post war there was a recognition of the diversity of types of fighter aircraft that didn't exist so clearly during WW 2. If we apply the terms and this diversity to WW 2 aircraft we get a better picture of fighter development and application than we do simply applying the name "fighter" to these aircraft.

    The Spitfire was an interceptor. That is, it was intended for defensive applications. Short range, minimal size, good climb rate, and in this case good maneuverability define the Spitfire. When it was moved outside this realm as the war for the Allies changed to offensive the Spitfire diminished rapidly in usefulness. It simply lacked the range for offensive operations and the size to haul a good bomb load as a fighter bomber.
    The P-51 on the other hand is an offensive fighter. It has the range to carry the fight to the enemy. Its sustained climb rate is rather average, but also largely unimportant. It also had the size to make a fair fighter bomber but not a great one. As a fighter it can hold its own as it has decent maneuverability, high speed, a good roll rate, and good energy management.

    The P-40, obstensively the P-51's predicessor was also more of an offensive fighter although obsolesent by 1940. It too had reasonable range, decent maneuverability, a so-so climb rate, high speed for the time, a good roll rate, and acceptable energy management particularly having a high speed in a dive.

    The Spitfire and P-51 are not comparable fighters. One is tailor made to be a short range interceptor. Get off the ground shoot down the enemy near its own base and land. A 1940's version of the F-104 if you will. The P-51 is intended for offensive use. Take the war to the enemy, more of an F-101 or F-15.
    Each in its own realm is going to do better than the other. Picking one as "best" is not something one can or should do.
     
  13. krieg

    krieg Ace

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    hi slipdigit
    i would say i faver the US p51 mustang myself just a better looking plain
    i am way out of my leage up here but learning lots of new things as i go
    i found out that early in the air war battle of britan it wos the older hurracaine fighter that got most of the kills of german plains
    would this be right ?? mark
     
  14. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    The RAF had more operational Hurricanes in the BofB than Spitfires, and also combat damage to the Hurricane could be repaired far more quickly. It's true that the Hurricane shot down more German aircraft than the Spitfire, but many of those were bombers, Bf110s or Ju87s.

    The Hurricane was an outdated design by the standards of the Spitfire and 109E, and its primary task in the Battle was to attack the bomber formations while the Spitfires took on the fighter escorts.

    The amount of 'Spitfire snobbery' among Luftwaffe pilots was quite amusing ; none of them ever admitted to being shot down by a Hurricane, it was always a 'Schpitfeuer!'.

    But many RAF 'Aces' actually flew Hurricanes in the Battle, including such as Douglas Bader and Bob Stanford-Tuck.

    And 'Ginger' Lacey, flying the 'outdated' Hurricane between July and September 1940, was credited with the destruction of no less than thirteen Bf109s......
     
  15. Butts

    Butts Member

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    I hate open ended question like this because the planes were designed for different roles. In the air superiority role and for dogfighting I would pick a Spitfire any day over the mustang. However as a long range offensive fighter the Mustang would get my pick. I am of the overall opinion that the Spitfire was the better plane and had it been properly adapted for long range missons and escort roles (which it could have been) then it would have been a better plane. However by the time Spitfires could have been available to escort bombers to Germany the P51 was available in plentiful supply!

    In a one vs one fight the German fighters feared the Spitfire more than the P51. However using the zoom and boom tactics on the Luftwaffe the P51's achieved some impressive results!

    I rate the Hurrican highly as a fighter in the early war period but it was no match for the Spitfire or Me109, the reason it got so many kills were simply because there were more Hurricanes and they usually dealt with the bombers whilst the Spitfires tackled the fighters.
     
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  16. Tomcat

    Tomcat The One From Down Under

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    I would have to agree with this you cant compare a spitfire and a mustang in an overall performance role because it would depend on what role you were doing. Although the spitfire was versitile in its own right and could be changed dependin on its role such as a fighter bomber for D-day or a PRU spitfire for recon over enemy territory.

    You wouldn't use a P51 for defensive roles but as a mainstay in a long rangee close bomber support role, aka offensive roles.

    So in my opinion it depends on the Role.
     
  17. Butts

    Butts Member

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    I agree completely with that, and thats what I tried to say in my post, especially about the verastility of Spitfire!
     
  18. Tomcat

    Tomcat The One From Down Under

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    OK then:)

    Oh if you didn't read it in the other post welcome to the forum if you want you can go over to the 'new memeber' section and introduce yourself to the rest of the forum offically.:)
     
  19. redcoat

    redcoat Ace

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    If I had to go into combat, I would pick the Spitfire.

    In a one to one, with no tactical advantage to either aircraft, the Spitfire XIV is a better fighter than the P51D
     
  20. redcoat

    redcoat Ace

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    A point often overlooked when people mention that the Hurricane shoot down twice as many aircraft as a Spitfire during the Battle Of Britain, is that you were twice as likely to be killed in combat flying a Hurricane, than if you were flying a Spitfire.
     

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