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F4U Corsair vs. P-51 Mustang

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

  1. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    On this we are in full agreement Buford.
     
  2. Buford T. Justice

    Buford T. Justice recruit

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  3. donnybrook9

    donnybrook9 recruit

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    This is like the revolver/semi-auto debate -- radial vs. inline. Both have their advantages (revolver: rugged, reliable, better range and SA accuracy over 25 yds. for hunting).

    The radial Corsair was a heavier and stiffer gun platform, which usually gives better accuracy, especially for auto fire. In a spin-out or emergency dive, it could handle more stress than the Mustang and maybe survive longer before breaking up.

    Cockpit visibility is a two-way street: the hunter on your tail has a straight bead into your naked head -- the top aces scored most of their kills (Erich Hartmann) in diving surprise attacks against unwitting opponents -- from behind. Give me a rear-view mirror and an armor plate behind my head -- a lot of pilots in crippled P-47 survived incredible damage with all that armor.

    At an air show or some kind of civil contest, I'll take the Mustang. In combat, give me the Corsair.

    Add to the prop tally: a Skyraider shot down a MIG in the early years of Viet Nam.
     
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  4. mcoffee

    mcoffee Son-of-a-Gun(ner)

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    The primary use of a rear view mirror on a fighter is so you can see who just killed you. If you haven't spotted a bogey approaching from the rear before he is big enough to show up in the mirror, you are already a dead man. Both the F4U and the P-51 had armor plating behind the seat and headrest, so I don't understand your point. Late model F4U's went to a semi-bubble canopy to improve rear visibility. Head on a swivel is the key to survival.
     
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  5. donnybrook9

    donnybrook9 recruit

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    I'm not a pilot, just an aficionado, but -- unless it's a convex rear-view mirror, an object should appear no smaller than to the naked eye. I think some of the Mustangs, even with bubble canopies, sported twin rear mirrors.

    Whatever headrest armor the bubbles canopies had, I doubt it could match the razorbacks. There's an excellent example on the "Dogfights: Thunderbolt" series available on YouTube, which also throws light on the "machine vs. pilot" debate above (citing NASCAR examples):

    A rookie P-47 pilot on his maiden combat mission gets jumped by a high-scoring ace in his FW-190. The rookie dives, his forward fuselage in flames, the windshield obscured by soot and oil. His canopy is jammed -- he can only open it partially and his chute prevents him from escaping. Then he notices that the flames have died out. He levels out -- a sitting wounded duck for the German ace, who sits on his tail and unloads, raking fire from wing to wing. The rookie feels the rounds smashing into his rear armor...

    The German ace pulls up broadside and waves, as if to say, "This it, say your prayers, Adios!" And then pulls back and strafes the helpless Thunderbolt at close range -- until he is completely out of ammo. And still the pilot lives and the Jug flies on.

    No, the Jug didn't allow the inferior pilot to win the battle -- but it allowed him to survive what should have been a mercy killing.
     
  6. JimboHarrigan2010

    JimboHarrigan2010 Member

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    I saw that engagement on a episode of dogfights.
     
  7. ResearcherAtLarge

    ResearcherAtLarge Member

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  8. KnightMove

    KnightMove Ace

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    By now, there exists a Spanish Wikipedia article on Hondurian ace Fernando Soto Henríquez, who, according to the article, downed two Corsairs and one Mustang with his Corsair.
     
  9. Clean32

    Clean32 New Member

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    Hello

    I joined this forum just to answer or attempt to answer this question. having read all the posts and the lack of information written pushed a button.

    at the end of ww11 pacific, Japan was occupied by believe it or not ALL nations who participated in the pacific war. so in addition to the singular USA known presence. England Australia and New Zealand also had forces Based in Japan. this also included there Air wings.

    USA had naval F6F, and army P51, England had Spitfire MK X111 and MKX1V ( the most bastardised version of a wonderful air frame), RAAF P51D RNZAF F4U

    Now i have never flown any of the airframes mentioned, but i have shoved a few sticks around in older kites, namely until a decade ago, 900 hours in a DH89 etc. this brought me in contact with mainly Australians and Kiwis who were pilots and were based in Japan.

    The pilots

    Both the US navy and army pilots were rotated in and out of japan as per the pre occupation schedule. this meant that squadrons had a mixed bag of experienced and new pilots. the US very experienced pilots were sent back to the US as instructors.
    the poms aussies and kiwis picked there pilots, as all being experienced combat and guys who were not going to get drunk and rape the local nip chicks. IE they picked the cream.

    so based on that we can leave the comparison notes of the US pilots out. infact the US pilots were ordered not to play with the other big boys because they were embarrassing themselves.
    But i am of the understanding that the pilots actually got on well mainly because the Yanks introduced rum and coke a cola in liberal quantities to the rest of the world.

    the poms aussies and kiwi pilots as i said were experienced combat pilots. there was much friction between those from the pacific theatre and the European theatre. for example a flight from Cactus to Rabull took some hours. where in Europe a combat flight may be as little as 20 minits. so the argument was total flying hours vers actual combat time.
    Regardless all country's pilots far exceeded in hours and experience those of the US pilots.

    The Japanese occupation pilots had little to do, so friendly scraps were arranged between different country's and of course different airframes.

    quickest take-off -- spitfire
    fastest clime --- spitfire.
    fast dive F4u
    must comfortable cockpit-- F4u
    Tightest turn, or the ability to get inside --- F4U

    the Kiwi pilots tended to out preform every one. but then they had two advantages. 1 the F4u and the fact that there pilots had in the main flown though out the war, possibly starting of Hawker Harts or even vilderbeasts to SPD or TBFs. P40s and the F4u. the kiwis had a 30 mission rotation compared to the US 18 in the pacific. the 2nd squadron to land at cactus was a kiwi P40, the first to lad at Latie was a kiwi SPD squadron.

    The irony is that the Kiwi air-force had already taken delivery of P51s as the F4u replacement. not because it was a better preforming aircraft but because of economics. both airframes out preformed anything the jap had so there was no argument there. But the f4u was plagued with problems, it was a complex airframe requiring high maintenance hours compared to the p51. this is a very important fact and spins into some of the other posts in this thread.

    now i will address them

    the hurricane had more kills than the spitfire during ww2. true. the reason for this is very simple. it has nothing to do with tactics or performance. infact there is very little between a clean hurricane and a spitfire in performance in there earlier MKs. the reality is that there were just more hurricanes than spitfires, secondly and referring back to the Kiwis change from F4u to P51, the lesson learnt from the battle of Briton was that a damaged hurricane was easier to repair and get back into combat than a spitfire. a bullet though a wing on a hurricane was as simple as a bit of cloth and a dab of Dope. a spitfire well drill out the rivets cut a new panel etc etc.

    the last post i wish to address is the origins of the P51
    the poms turn up in the usa wishing to buy more P40s. the US army said NA we want them so bugger off. so off to the other company to see if they could build a licence knock off P40. all good but Allison said NO, its ours and we are going to keep it, business reasons do not want to help a rival company. beside they will have new modern tooling and would be able to make it cheaper that us and that will make us look bad.
    so the poms all dejected send for a couple of there Expat German aircraft engineers who were sort of hiding in England from Mr Hitler because they had different holidays or they killed the wrong dude 2000 years a go or some thing like that. packed them up and shipped them to the US. where they sat down with the NON Allison company and showed them there plans for a new fighter. how else can you build a new fighter in 10 months??? that is after converting from metric to imperial.
    so the XP51 was born, a replacement for the P40 in north Africa and a great ground attack aircraft NB thats why the radiator was behind the pilot --- ground attack.

    any way, the XP51s were arriving the P40s were getting flogged out and shot up and Allison were getting pissed of. allisons were getting hard to get. so the poms go back to the US again.

    mean time in north Africa, ( bloody kiwis again) amongst a pile of damaged hurricanes and short on replacement Allisons for the XP51 a couple of kiwis shoe horned a hurricane motor into a XP51 BUT this was not the birth of the P51, not yet.

    Now the poms needed motors, both for there own fighters but also the think big bomber aircraft. no luck with Allison the visited Mr ford. again to make Allison under-licence. MR ford said NO way, you poms will lose and i will never get paid. beside Mr Hitler is paying me well for my truck factory's and i do not want to upset that business.

    so off to Packard, Now Allison was talking about being able to up the power of there donk, well they did but then it didn't fit in the P40 and the poms were quite pissed of at Allison by this time. so with the news that a merlin would fitt into a XP51 and by now there were a few RR powered P40s buzzing over the sand. the deal was struck with Packard for the V 1650 and the rest id history.

    now to the last post. P51 vers FW190. well nether the XP51 or P40 or spitfire could match the FW190. the WF chewed them up and spat them out. hence its Name " the butcher bird" solution a bigger supercharger or a 2 stage super charger on the spitfire. a longer nose to fit it as well. "Mk9" I think. it was this two stage supercharger witch gace the spitfire and the XP51 the edge, thus being the birth of the P51 since P51 with the american production line changing from the Allison to the two stage RR.

    NB the P51 had many advantages over the spitfire, range we all know, but then a gassed up P51 was a dog until it burned off fule. mainly the rear tank because this stuffed up CoG badly. the P51 was fast because of it laminar flow wings --- bollocks. the XP 51 was a ground attack aircraft, as a result it needed thick wings to handle the ruff air and hard pull-outs at low levels. the laminar flow wing achieved this but it was thick and it was draggy. the spitfire wings had much more bite but were to thin for the ground attack role. hence many spitfires were written off with warped or wrinkled wings. where the P51 made up for its wings was the air intake. or one fact about that intake. " bleeding edge" the american contribution.

    now here is the kicker, the irony of war. the XP51 was originally and in its original form a German designed airframe. designed as a ground attack airframe to fit between the ME109 and the stuka. but the Germans didn't see the need for it beside it didn't fit with the Nazi ideology since it was designed by a bunch of guys who they were trying to kill off.

    the last bit of Karma. according to McNamara ( fog of war) Mr ford dint make a cent during WW2. rather drive a Nissan or a BMW than a ford LOL

    ramble over bed time
     
  10. Clean32

    Clean32 New Member

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    you must be a yank. what about the RAF RAAF RNZAF RIAF RSAAF not to forget the poles Germans French etc etc. i mean america played a ralitivly small part in ww2, or ww1 for that matter
     
  11. Clean32

    Clean32 New Member

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    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.


    say what!!! you must be a yank try On August 9th, 1952, Fleet Air Arm Lieutenant Peter “Hoagy” Carmichael
     
  12. Clean32

    Clean32 New Member

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    1/2 correct. the only p38s in Europe were RAAF. unfortunately for one reason or another they did not have the super-turbo chargers fitted, thus they were a dog. the poms scraped them.

    now the yanks had them in north Africa and up into italy (?) on escort missions, see Romanian oilfields bombing etc
     
  13. Clean32

    Clean32 New Member

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    To fit their carrier hangars – which had lower headroom, due to the substantial armored decks the British ships had – a total of 16 inches was removed from the F4U’s wing. This had the effect of increasing the Corsair’s roll rate, and let it fit inside the RN’s hangars. The dreaded deck bounce was cured by a stroke of RN engineering brilliance. A variable rate bleed valve was fitted to the oleo leg of the undercarriage, which tamed the bounce (I worked with a former FAA Engineering Officer who served on the unit that devised this cure!) The stall characteristics were altered for the better by the installation of a small stall strip on the starboard wing leading edge.
     
  14. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    It helps too to have some friends and fly in a finger four, changing direction frequently.
     
  15. mcoffee

    mcoffee Son-of-a-Gun(ner)

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    Picking up the bar tab for those friends doesn't hurt either :cool:
     
  16. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

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    America produced more planes, tanks, airplane engines, ships, trucks, locomotives, generator sets, landing craft, radios, medicine, bulldozers, bridging equipment, non perishable combat rations and atomic bombs than any other nation.

    And over 400,000 Americans gave their lives.
     
  17. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Don't worry about him, he is suffering from "Yank" envy.
     
  18. Clean32

    Clean32 New Member

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    Not to belittle your post, but you did just confirm how little the US, comparatively contributed overall. the only non debatable point is that the US produced more Atomic bombs than any other country. Produced Not invented. that was a collaborative effort ( Tube alloys) but again to put that in perspective.
     
  19. Clean32

    Clean32 New Member

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    na not envy, realism and the ability to count.
     
  20. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

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    Ok, Thank you for correcting me.
     

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