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F4U Corsair vs. P-51 Mustang

Discussion in 'Aircraft' started by Nathan S., Jun 4, 2003.

  1. ickysdad

    ickysdad Member

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    Well here's my $.02 worth..
    The USN conducted tests between the 190A ,the F6F-3, and F4U1-C .Now those two USN fighters didn't have WEP that would come in the F6F-5 & F4U1-D models while being retrofitted to earlier models. I'm also thinking that both those later models had other improvements as compared to earlier models most notably in improving the already good roll rates even more. So talking about tests which stated that F4U's should try to manuver instead of diving & such against a FW-190 may depend on what model your talking about.
    If we're comparing the F4U to the P-51 well according to Dean's "America's 100,000" which compares basically fighters using 100 grade fuel and not getting into the overboost & such we have as follows.
    The F4U-1D would be faster by a significant margin up to 20,000' but then the P-51 would take over. In climb both in initial & sustained climb the P-51 is superior but not by all that much. The P-51 seemed to accelerate better. In initial dive accelration the F4U-1D and P-51D are equal though the P-51 had a better higher mach number with one aircraft enduring dive speeds of 605 MPH in several tests with the F4U-1D enduring 575 MPH dives however it also seems the an F4U-1D that suffered dive damage during combat was much,much more likely to retain structural intergrity till it got back to base it seems.
    In rolling once again the P-51 semed to enjoy the advantage while in turning the P-51 also seemed to enjoy a advantage though to be fair to the Corsair Dean's book states that other evidence indicates that the Corsair may have been the equal in rolling to the Mustang . edit...It seems at lower speeds the F4U-1D did better in turning.
    As far as ruggedness there seems to be no comparison the Corsair is head & shoulders ,if not more, above the Mustang. It also is quite carrier capable unlike the Mustang who also would have much more trouble operating from some of the landing strips the Corsair used. However Dean's book also alludes to some of what T. A. Gardiner said about the cocokpit & such however in regards to carrier operations it seems the F4U-1D's performance envelope would be better for carier operations,i.e. lower altitudes.
    Francis Dean's book relied heavily in the ratings on pilot ratings during the Joint Figher Conference.
     
  2. surfersami

    surfersami Member

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    The Hellcat was only a better fighter in that it handled carrier operations better and was put onto carriers substantially sooner than the Corsair.
    As far as the Corsair being the 2nd best fighter, the -4 would out fly the P-51D in every catagory except range and visibility from the cockpit.

    P-51D: F4U-4:
    Speed 437 mph 446 mph
    Climb 3475 fpm 3870 fpm
    Ceiling 41900 ft 41500 ft
    wt in lbs/hp
    Empty 4.2lbs/hp (7125lbs) 3.75lbs/hp (9206lbs)
    Max 7.1lbs/hp (12110lbs) 6lbs/hp (14670lbs)
    Range (mi) 2300 with tanks 1015
    Armament:
    6x.50 400 rnds inbrd, 275 rnds outbrd 1900total 6x.50 400 ea 2400 tl
    Bombs 2000 lbs total 4000 lbs total
     
  3. ickysdad

    ickysdad Member

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    To be fair to the P-51D it started coming into frontline service in about early to mid 1944 while the F4U-4 came into service around May of 1945 around Okinawa.
     
  4. Chesehead121

    Chesehead121 Member

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    Okay, I'm going to take flak for this...
    Speed: P-51. The Merlin was probably one of if not the best engines of the war.
    Armnament: I BELIEVE but am not sure that the P-51 had more .50's than the Corsair.
    Armor: a cute 'lil thing like the corsair can't have that much padding on it.
    Handling: The Corsair was smaller and slower so I'd say it wins there.
    All in all, P-51would emerge cvictorious (if there were equally skilled pilots flying the plane.
     
  5. ickysdad

    ickysdad Member

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    Naaaa!!!! Those big ole P & W radials were the best engines during the war!!!! Just MHO though!!!! LOL !!!
     
  6. mac_bolan00

    mac_bolan00 Member

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    for mid-ocean fighting? the corsair. guess why, hehe..
     
  7. surfersami

    surfersami Member

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    Yah, it's really nice having that tail hook out back!

    Check your history books about the ruggedness of the Corsair. There are a lot of Marine and Naval aviators alive after the war because they were in a Corsair and not a P-51. There were a lot of P-51 pilots who didn't survive the war, or spent it in POW camps because they flew ground attack and a bullet found their cooling system.
     
  8. surfersami

    surfersami Member

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    Moving to the purely subjective, I think the P-51 was a sleek, beautiful aircraft. Stout, mean, awkward, tough, goofy, it's hard to say the hose nose was beautiful. Unless of course it just brought you back from a ground support mission over an island some where in the big pacific ocean.
     
  9. Gromit801

    Gromit801 Member

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    An interesting comparison might be Corsair vs Tempest II.
     
  10. surfersami

    surfersami Member

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    That would be very interesting.

    I wonder what the scores would look like if the Corsair had been on carriers as long as the Hellcat?:)
     
  11. surfersami

    surfersami Member

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    Another interesting fact is the relative size of the aircraft is not that different.

    P-51D:_________________________F4U-4:_______________Difference:
    W=37'_________________________W=41'_______________W=4'
    L=32'3"________________________L=33'8"______________L=1'5"
    H=13'8"________________________H=14'9"_____________H=1'1"
    Wing area=235 sq.ft.______________WA=314 sq.ft.________WA=79sq.ft.
     
  12. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Does anyone have comparative pricing on them?

    I always like the P-38 but when I saw the cost it was rather eye opening. From a very fallable memory the P-38 ~$100K, P-47 ~$75K, and P-51 ~$50K. Of course how you come up with the price and when can create considerable variation but ...
     
  13. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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  14. surfersami

    surfersami Member

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    I read something that said the Navy could buy five F6F hellcats for three F4U Corsairs.
     
  15. WWIIafficianado

    WWIIafficianado recruit

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    Hi folks, this is my first post to this website, today is the first time I ever saw this.
    The topic caught my attention.
    If we want to determine which plane was the best here, let's consider what the enemy thought of their opponents' planes. The Japanese fought more kinds of the allied fighter planes than anyone else did. In the book written by Saburo Sakai (spelling?) the third highest scoring Japanese ace, the highest scoring of the surviving Japanese aces, he writes that their aviators feared the Corsair more than any other fighter plane.
     
  16. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    GregA
    Doc Raider
    No, the Hellcat entered service after the Corsair but was carrier based before the Corsair. Hellcat, 1st combat September 1943--Corsair 1st combat February 1943. The biggest difference in the number of kills were based upon two factors.
    1.) Most of the Corsairs early kills were when the US was still fighting Japan in the Solomons. Japan at that time still had a large proportion of well trained, skilled pilots. The Hellcat came along towards the end of these operations and being carrier based was the primary fighter for the central pacific campaigns.
    2.)The Corsair being primarily land based during this period had little opportunity to engage in aerial combat. The Japanese during this period were primarily inexperienced and poorly trained. A prime example is "The Great Mariana's Turkey Shoot". When the navy once again approved the Corsair for carrier operations in April '44, the F6f was firmly established as the fighter assigned to carrier squadrons. It was only when the Navy needed to increase it's carrier fighter strength to meet the kamikaze threat and was short of trained fighter pilots, that large numbers of Corsairs made it back on ship because the aircraft and it's pilots were available. In the interum the Corsair had gained a reputation as a formidable close air support aircraft and carried this fighter-bomber role with it when it returned to the carriers in large numbers. The Corsair aided the Hellcat in protecting the fleet against the kamikaze threat but also spent much time in it's role as an air support fighter-bomber. So from the Phillipines to Okinawa and the strikes against Japan, the Corsair again returned to it's fighter role but also split it's time in the fighter-bomber role.

    In Korea the USAF used the P-51D heavily in the ground attack role (the D was used because the H was to lightly built) and the Navy/Marine Corps used the Corsair. The vulnerability of the P-51's liquid cooled engine to ground fire led to heavy losses of the Mustang. The Corsair with it's robust airframe and radial engine again proved to be an excellent ground attack aircraft. It should be noted that the only piston engined aircraft ace of Korea flew a Corsair and the only piston engined vs jet aerial victory involved a Corsair and a MiG 15.

    Smoke286
    In the ETO/MED there was no more manouverable aircraft than Japan's Zero which the F4U/F6f/P-38 faced in the Pacific. The tactics you mentioned were developed to counter this threat. If these aircraft (the P-38 was) were heavily employed in the European theater they would have developed appropriated counters to the specific aircraft they faced. The Royal Navy used their version of the F4U (Corsair Mk's I,II,III and IV) and F6F (Gannet Mk.I/Hellcat F I, F II, NF II, and FR II)and did so successfully. Had they been needed in the ETO the F4U and F4F would have performed (and did on the very few occasions were this occurred) very well against the Axis fighters they would have encountered.

    Stats
    F4U-1-----F4U-1D-----F4U-4-----F4U-5-----F6F-3-----F6F-5-----P51-A-----P51-B-----P51-C-----P51-D

    417mph---425mph-----450mph---470mph---376mph----380mph---390mph----433mph---439mph---437mph

    36,900k---36900k-----41500k----41500k---38400k-----38400k---31350k-----41500k----41900k---41900k

    Range
    F4U-1/-4
    1015mi/1050mi

    P51-A/-B/-C/-D (w/o drop tanks)
    750/810/1180/1155

    If you compare by the timeframe that they were in service the P-51A would compare to the F4U-1, the F4U-1D with the P-51B/C and the F4U-4 with the P-51D.

    Armament-F4U-1/-1D/-4 6x.50 cal F4U-1C 4 x 20mm cannon; P-51A-B-C 4x .50 cal; P-51D 6x .50 cal (but 500 less rounds than the Corsair).
     
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  17. ickysdad

    ickysdad Member

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    I'd be awful careful rating speeds. The F6F actually was probably much faster then the listed 376 MPH for the -3 and 380-385 MPH for the -5. I've seen other sources indicating more like 390 MPH for the -3 & 409 MPH for -5 model of the F6F.
     
  18. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    Of course you are correct, but I tried to be very careful. I went only with reliable sources, used a number of them, and when a variance existed I balanced quality of source vs most commonly accepted number. Of course depending upon conditions, variances in fuel and individual aircraft, level of maintenance, etc., performance will vary but I think that these figures give a good average for each type.
     
  19. ickysdad

    ickysdad Member

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    Yes I know you are very careful and I should worded my response a little better. I use primary documents from the SpitfirePerformance website however in reading through them I noticed alot of times one aircraft is listed at what you might call a basic fighter loadout whereas another might be listed at say an over-loaded fighter loadout. I know Francis Dean in "America's 100,000" mentions the different speeds of an F6F and I think it was him that mentioned the meter in the F6F wasn't calibrated right showing the aircraft going slower in service.
     
  20. ickysdad

    ickysdad Member

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    I think the USN conducted a test between a '190A and a F6F-3 which had the -3 hitting 390 MPH so who really knows sometimes???
     

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