You are sadly mistaken about this! The Americans DID shoot down many large AC with the .50 and it worked perfectly! Think BV-222/238, Me-232, and numerous Jap four engined sea planes that were as large or larger than a B-17! Ignoring these facts shoots holes in your argument. A famous American Ace and Test Pilot claimed in a Wings TV Channel interview that the .50 caliber was superior to the 20 MM used by others because it would penetrate deep into enemy aircraft instead of exploding on the surface doing little actual damage! I think Chuck Yeager knew as much or more about these things as any of us. Don't you?
Something to consider is that under most conditions, the P-40 was much closer to the other two in performance because it had much larger fuel tanks which meant that it could use more throttle for longer. As a case in point, if the Spit or 109 had to cover some distance between base and the mission AO, the it would have to do that at 25-55% throttle, or between 185-210 MPH! The 109 is just about the same. But if the P-40 has to cover the same distance, it's larger fuel tanks permit it to use 75% throttle to go about 310 MPH! I'd like to have 100 MPH in hand when the fight started, wouldn't you?
This is part of the point I keep trying to make that range is equally important to performance as other factors, may be more!
Good points, except we have been talking about the Fw-190 - not the Bf-109.
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