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Subject: Best All-Around Fighter of World War II
sentinel28a    10/13/2009 3:38:03 PM
Let's try a non-controversial topic, shall we? (Heh heh.) I'll submit the P-51 for consideration. BW and FS, if you come on here and say that the Rafale was the best fighter of WWII, I am going to fly over to France and personally beat you senseless with Obama's ego. (However, feel free to talk about the D.520.)
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Belisarius1234    A few...   2/11/2013 3:38:22 PM" alt="Foresight America, F6F vs Spit 9" height="500" width="500" />" />" />" />
Too close to call. I would prefer to be the bouncer rather than the bouncee in either plane.

A few carried 20mm cannons is true, but the F6F- 5 was the fastest (the N were night fighters) and that was a good 20mph slower than a MkIX 


whilst it was a better carrier fighter than a Seafire Mk1-111 (the later mks of Seafire would be a different issue, they being a better FIGHER but not FIGHTER BOMBER) 


The tests by the USN of the F4u and F6f showned that they were inferior as fighters to the Spit, however as they were duel purpose in being fighter bombers they were a better fit for carrier ops  
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oldbutnotwise       2/11/2013 3:41:52 PM
Or wait, do you dispute that range and load are inversely linked?
no, I dispute that if you can only carry 2000lbs (6000) to berlin than your bomber is not as efficient as mine that carries 14000lbs to berlin, yes you can carry 8000lbs and trade off range, but that means I fly to russia and you fly to belgium
  No! You miss the entire point!
 If the Lancaster was required to fly as high as the B-17 did, either to evade flack, or make it harder for fitghters to reach, then it could not cary as much bombs as the B-17G to ANY range!
and exactly do you work that out? your making an unproven assumption that had the RAF required a lanc to fly at 35000ft (which it didnt) then a varirant could not have been produced. because a design was not intended to do job it doesnt make inferior, the B17 could carry the bomb load of a lanc to the range of a lanc. the b17 was a fighter target during the day that is all, by 43 the Lanc were as accurate as day bombing and were doing it with 14000lbs not 3000lbs
Besides, you got it wrong, it is 6000 pounds in late B-17Gs to Berlin and at over 28,000'!
303rd BG (H) Combat Mission No. 147
8 May 1944
Target: City area, Berlin, Germany (PFF)
Crews Dispatched: 18
Length of Mission: 8 hours, 10 minutes
Bomb Load: 10 x 500 lb M-43 G.P. bombs
Bombing Altitude: 26,500 ft
Ammo Fired: 590 rounds
303rd BG (H) Combat Mission No. 187
21 June 1944
City Area, Berlin, Germany
Crews Dispatched: 43
Crews Lost: Lt. Allen, Lt. Way & Lt. Morningstar
Crew Members Lost or Wounded: 5 crewmen were wounded
Length of Mission: 8 hours, 25 minutes
Bomb Load: 8 x 500 lb M17 Incendiary bombs
Bombing Altitudes: 28,400 ft; 27,000 ft & 25,900 ft
doesnt seem to agree with you
One more time, If the Lancaster could cary 18,000 pounds of bombs, or even 14,000 pounds to berlin AS AN EVERY DAY THING, then why was the lancaster's total average for the entire war just under 8,000 pounds?
because like the B17 not all mission were the same, however I can find reports that say the two raf bomber command groups one flew berlin missions with 14000lbs the other 12000lbs its your dime you find a report of < 12000lbs to berlin
That means that for ever load with 14,000 pounds up, there had to be a load with nothing up! So in reality, the vast majority of missions were flown with less than 8,000 pounds up and very few were flown with more than 10,000 pounds up! That is a fact of life!
no its your dream world
When you consider that Americans flew by far the most long range missions with longer ranged planes like the B-17 and B-24,
er, which targets did the usaaf bomb that the RAF didnt? Schweinfurt was one of the ussaf longest missions and what do you know the raf bombed it too with significantly heavier bomb loads (usaaf 3 x 1000lbs and 5 x100lbs, raf 1 x4000lbs + 8000lbs of incedaries)
 it is easy to see why the Average bomb load in B-17s was less than 4,400 pounds. When you trade off bomb load for range and altitude you reduce bomb load and that is all there is to it.
and as the b17 didnt carry much bomb load to start with
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oldbutnotwise       2/11/2013 4:01:32 PM
er no, the wing on the Lanc restriced its ceiling not its bomb load, it could and did reach berlin with 10000lb+ at 24000+ , it was never designed to operate at > 30000ft so why would it be an issue? and as the B17 rarely operated at > 26000ft
  Er no! The Lancaster's Average bomb load was less than 8,000 pounds for the entire war,
and what was the b17? i have seen 4000lbs quoted
given the lower cieling and the shorter ranges
no, the Lanc didnt operate at shorter range it bombed all the targets the B17 did (so did both the halifax and the Stirling), this is just a shooter fabrication
 they "Typically" flew, the differance can be ENTIRELY explained by the differances in altitude flown. Those differances in altitude were why so many more Lancs and their crews were lost than B-17s.
and the fact that the B17 flew the majority of its missions later in the war with heavy fighter cover and reducing opposition doesnt make a difference? and the fact that the Luftwaffe night fighter force was actualy larger in 45 than it was in 43, fitting facts to your beliefs again i see
The B-17 had more aspect ratio, better form factor, more efficient engines with better SFC and more fuel tankage. ALL things that the Lanc could not equal.
History says not, its a fact that Lancs took 14000lbs to berlin something beyond a B17 capability, so either your tankage is wrong, your efficeincy is wrong or you form factor is wrong - your choice
  Only because they did so at 17,000'!
strange how there are action reports that have the lanc at 23000ft (a coomon altitude for b17 raids too) thier are also luftwaffe AA reports of Lancs being at 22000ft +
reduce the bomb load to gain altitude to lessen the number of crew killed by flack and the bomb load drops dramatically! Harris was one of those "Old school" guys who's only care was "will there be enough planes and crews left to bomb some place else tomorrow"?
in your biased opinion which is worth zilch, Harris wanted Lanc because you were more likely to return home in one than a Halifax, but Beaverbrook wouldnt let him force Hadley Page to convert to Lanc, he also wanted .5 for the Lanc and is on record as blowing his top about not getting the .5cal turrets, so much that he was repremended about his comments
 He sent his guys out knowing they would suffer disporportionally more casualties at lower altitudes, but believed the effect of so many planes at once would over whealm the deffenders.
Given the 3,249 lost in action out of 7,377 total made compaired to the B-17 which lost 4,688 out of 12,731!
given the fact that the majority of these b17 were operated with 2:1 or greater fighter cover against a weak and poorly trained a/f whilst the nightfigher force was staffed with expertern almost to the end but that doesnt make a difference does it?
 Or 44.1% to 36.82% losses, Lanc to -17! The B-17s shot down more than twenty times as many enemy AC as the Lanc,
fiction, the B17 never got anywhere near the amount of kills you are crediting it with
flew half again as many more missions as the Lanc to get those half as many crews killed! ALTITUDE does matter and dark matters too. If the Lancasters had been required to bomb during the day light hours, they would have been whiped out to a plane down at the altitudes they flew.
what your mean similar altitude to a larger number of B17 missions? and against the most heavily defended targets?
 But Harris knew those risks and made the choices any way and killed half again as many RAF crew members as did American USAAF crews because of his choice of altitude.
yeah right you believe your fictiuos world it makes the b17 a bomber and not just a flying target
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oldbutnotwise       2/11/2013 4:12:08 PM
are those f6f - 5 figures with water injection or without as it makes a difference and to be fair the Mk IX wasnt exactly the state of the art Spit by then
I think thats its a bit unfair to compair a fighter that went from 1939 to 1945 against a 1942 to 1945 one, as it would be to compair a F6f against a f8f Bearcat or Sea fury, and I doubt many would choose a F6f as opposed to one of those
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Skylark       2/11/2013 4:33:51 PM

Sorry but I think you need to check your sources, for example a MkIX spit  will climb faster turn quicker, is faster and has a higher service altitude than the Helcat, in addition the 2 (or 4) 20mm is hardly inferior to the 6 x .5s in the helcat 

The differences between the Spitfire (MK IX) and the Hellcat are not significant enough to make a difference.  The Mk IX is around 25 mph faster and climbs 330 ft/min faster.. big whoop.  I'll debate you on the relative maneuverability of each plane, however, as radial engined planes can do things an in-line engined fighter cannot match.  However, that said, the Hellcat has longer legs and is durable to the point where it could survive a firing pass from a Spitfire, even one equipped with 20 mm cannon, while a similar pass from a Hellcat firing 6 X 50 cal would easily knock out the Spit, with it's vulnerable water-cooled engine.  In a dogfight, between two skill pilots, the relative speed advantage of the Spitfire is lost, and it cannot dive away from the heavier Hellcat, accelerate away, or climb out of the fight fast enough to escape when the fuel warning light comes on.  The range advantage means the Hellcat pilot can go 'balls-out" through the entire fight, while the Spitfire pilot is obligated to conserve fuel by holding back... a big disparity, if you ask me.  Keep in mind, the Hellcat faced the 20 mm equipped A6M Zero, which is very similar to the Spitfire in respect to size, weight, speed, climb and maneuverability, and, unlike the Spitfire, it had the range to be prodigal with its fuel budget.  After it was introduced into the Pacific theater, the Hellcat beat the Zero handily; not simply because the pilots were better, or that the Hellcats were more numerous, but because it was the better plane.  Then you have to consider other factors in judging each plane, such as their relative durability, where the F6F is a clear winner.  The Hellcat is extremely durable and easy to service; the Spitfire is not.  Take ten Hellcats and ten Spitfires and have them go through a series of dogfights, and then see how fast the numbers of planes ready for action tilts to the Hellcat.  The same damage that would require a patch job or the easy replacement of an entire engine for a Hellcat would translate into a lengthy rebuild or disposal on the spare-parts junk-heap for a Spitfire.  That is part of my point about the overall rating of the various planes of WWII, and why the Mustang and the Spitfire (As superb as they are) gets edged out.  It's not a question of glamor or mystique, but reality in the combat theater, and which plane I would want to fly if my life depended on it.  In my case, I prefer a plane that can keep up with the enemy, hit them hard, survive the return volley and go home again... that plane is the F6F Hellcat.
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Belisarius1234    1944 figures.   2/11/2013 4:40:33 PM
Since the two planes are approximately roughly contemporary as 1942 developments on, I would think the comparison is fair. I think the chart rates engines as mil power at 25% fuel load as the condition for the two planes. Modern term, but for our purposes that mil power means max output without the use of nitrous or water-methyl boost. 
Spit has altitude advantage, (marginal) and better instant turn rate, (1/2 dps at best corner), but the corner speed and absolute speed is TOO CLOSE for comfort. These two planes in an angle fight are only separated by about 10-15 mph across the bands! A dirty plane ( as in dirt on the fuselage and wings) could kill you!

are those f6f - 5 figures with water injection or without as it makes a difference and to be fair the Mk IX wasnt exactly the state of the art Spit by then


I think thats its a bit unfair to compair a fighter that went from 1939 to 1945 against a 1942 to 1945 one, as it would be to compair a F6f against a f8f Bearcat or Sea fury, and I doubt many would choose a F6f as opposed to one of those

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45-Shooter       2/11/2013 5:59:34 PM

    what? you making these figures up as you go along? the only WW2 US bomb of 20lbs was a fragmentation bomb dropped in 120lbs clusters
  No, just ignorant of the exACT DETAILS.

and what does 3x7 @ 20lbs mean?  
It means 3 times 7 at 20 pounds each, or (3 X 7 = 21) at 20 pounds each = 420 pounds, plus the container.
 But I was mistaken, that was the pay load, not the "All Up Weight" which was about 490 pounds for the entire cluster.
so we are talking the 500lbs container then, but wait that was 4lbs incendaries not 20lbs,
  Yes, this is corect! AND I was wrong above! As I have told you all before my memory is shot all to heck and back too!

and they are VERY distinctive
Yes they are! That is why they are so easy to Identify in the picture! Now all I have to do is find that link again and all will be well in the world tonight!

 Which is I believe either the Mk-46, or Mk-47 cluster incendiary bomb. Note that the early versions of same had a substantial fuse that protruded from the other wise flat nose.
I was wrong about the exact nominclature, but at least had one didget right!

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45-Shooter       2/11/2013 6:08:18 PM

 before you run out of hang points or foul fall paths). A-Ha! it is not possible to foul the path of any bomb in a B-17, unless the bombs that were let go first failed to drop!
its easy to fowl a shackle, a single 250lbs bomb will cover 3 shackle mounting points, it rather dificult to mount a bomb when thier is already one in the way
  Where on earth did you get this crazy idea?

Which by the way was a common thing in all AFs! Once over the standard load (3 tons) you started to trade fuel for bombs, which cut range further. Again, not true at all! See; EEW ~36,500 pounds, plus 10 crew at 200 pounds each = 2,000 pounds, 5,200 rounds of linked .50 Caliber = 1,582 pounds, 2,780 gallons of gas = full tanks, inc the "Tokyo" tanks = 17,792 pounds, engine oil = 156 Gallons = 1,123 pounds, OR 58,997 pounds grand total less bombs. Over load weight = 72,000 pounds leaves 13,003 pounds of bombs at maximum over load weight. At the more normal over load weight of 65,000 pounds it leaves 6,003 pounds of bombs for a maximum range attack.
 You can figure out how far a B-17 can fly in 2,780 gallons of Avgas. As an aside, the normal opperating weight of the B-17 was about 56,000 pounds sacrificeing both fuel and bombs to get to the required operational ceiling.

yet they still bombed with 3000lbs from less than 20000feet!, why?
  Mission requirements! But certainly NOT because of aerodynamic or structural limits of the air craft!

Mex airframe overload by the way is UNFLYABLE condition. Boeing Aircraft Co certainly disputes this claim!

where? I do not see such a claim

Since I have already posted this plackard from Boeing so many times before, I'll only post the link to same;

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Belisarius1234    Government data...   2/11/2013 6:38:03 PM
already posted makes nonsense of your lies, Stuart.
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45-Shooter       2/11/2013 7:06:41 PM

This is the rub! You think that even with all the excreances "Hanging off" of the B-17 that it is a less aerodynamic aircraft than the lancaster?
The Lanc was designed to carry a lot of bombs a long distance not a small bomb load from high altitude, something that it failed to do even in perfect conditions

Why on earth would you draw that conclusion? Published speeds are either the same or faster depending on the model of B-17! At no time is the Lancaster faster than the B-17, even when you consider that it has more powerful engines!
80hp, not a huge difference in power is it? and as it was ONLY 5mph slower DISPITE carrying a damn site more bombs (68000lbs vs 54000lbs)
But that is the rub! You say 80 HP when it is 80HP per each of the four engines! But wait, that was only the earlier planes, later planes had up to 1,710-1,720 HP in each of those four engines! Take off power of the B-17 never went above 1200 HP per engine! While weight and extra turrets were added. Standard operating weight of the E model was 56,000 pounds, not 54,000 as you state above. Over load was 63,000, then 65,000 pounds in the F model. But wait, the G model had a standard Take off weight of 65,500 pounds and a permissable over load of 72,000 pounds! Now they built 3,405 Fs and over 8,000 Gs, but I have always comp'd late model Lancs Vs the B-17G. But you have comp'd specs from all sorts of B-17 mods. Wait there is more! The F model WO the chin turret is a 317 MPH plane! Page 124 of Wagner's That is 317 MPH Vs 282 MPH, for a 35 MPH differance!

and if we use the Lancaster IV  
we have 319 mph @75000lbs which I believe is FASTER than a B17
Which was only a "paper" air plane, because every single plane built under that program was plackarded as a "Lincoln" not a Lancaster! So you want to compare a "Post War" modified Lanc fuse with much longer wings and Griffon engines of 2,450 HP Vs a B-17G with the chin turret and 1200 HP per engine? Right! 
A better bet would be to compare the "Post War" Lincoln with the B-29. The B-29 could cary more and heavier bombs than the Lincoln faster, farther and higher ALL while it had less power! Four engines of 2,200 HP in the B-29 and four 2,450 HP engines in the "Lanc MkIV"! Right again! But wait, that is not a fair comp, lets comp the "B-29D" to the Lanc Mk-IV?
FROM WIKI; A development of the Lancaster was the Avro Lincoln... bomber, initially known as the Lancaster IV and Lancaster V. These two marks became the Lincoln B1 and B2 respectively.
more aerodynamic yes a better heavy bomber no
  That is the root of the argument. The two planes LAST VERSIONS had the same MTO, about 72,000 pounds, and the same aproximate dimentions, but that is about all. The Lanc had a less efficient wing, poor fuse shape and a long bomb bay that was structually heavy and caused the fuse to be weaker and less tollerant of damage. Given the number lost and the numbers claimed by the German Night Fighter Corpse, the main killer of Lancasters had to be Flack!

So you have to ask yourself if the trade offs they chose to make were worth it or not. The Lanc at +40% casualties, Vs the B-17 at ~30+% and 50% more sorties to drop more tones of bombs. 640,000 from B-17s, or 608,000 from the Lancs? IIRC, ~50,000 dead from the RAF Bomber Command, Vs ~30,000 dead from the USAAF? Or to put it an other way ~12 ton of bombs for each Dead RAF Bomber crewmen Vs >18 tons of bombs for each Dead USAAF Bomber Crewman? So which plane was truly the better plane?   Or to put it more strategically, which type of plane dropped the most tonnage of bombs in the shortest number of calender days? Or which plane had the highest readiness rate? ( Could fly the most missions in a 30 day calender month.)

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