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Subject: Why did twin engine fighters fail in the piston engine era?
Belisarius1234    1/18/2013 8:08:51 AM
Aside from the P-38 in the general role, and the Me-110 in the limited night fighter role, why did twin-engine fighters fail? B.
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Schemer       1/21/2013 5:16:21 PM
I don't know if you meant it with expense but I'd like to mention:
1. drawback is pilot training for 2 engine fighters takes additional time especially for emergence procedures. In the beginning of the war several nations had a pilot shortage so fielding aircraft that are easier to fly would help. This is true and a good point why the various Governments chose not to buy twins. Maintenance, the engine is the most maintenance heavy part requiring specialist maintenance, heaving 2 of them would mean either much more downtime or more maintenance personel. If this was a truely IMPORTANT consideration, then they ALL would have bought fighters with air cooled radial engines as they are very much LESS mantanence intensive than LC Engines?
Even if those engines are not available? Britain had LC engines available and a lot of that came from the airracing prior to WW2. From that research the evolution of the spitfire is quite clear and with that research available it makes sence to use that knowledge rather then restart and  go an entirely different path.
In another threat(d) WEP power was discussed and someone mentioned a wire across the throttle that was broken to initiate it. This wire was there to inform the maintenance crew additional care might be needed. Add to that the fact that twice as much parts are needed to maintain the aircraft and the costs go up even more. If the twin was powered by low maint / long TBO Air Cooled Radials, then it is entirely possible to use much less maintenance than a LC Single engined fighter plane!
Both engines require checking if WEP is used so check 1 engine vs checking 2.
In all multi engine aircraft require more resources not just to built but to fly and maintain aswell.
But the one factor that you did not persue was that of initial cost of any twin being higher than an almost equal single.
Since that factor was already mentioned I did not feel the need to repeat Belisarius1234's point.

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