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  #16  
Old 25 Jul 11, 03:36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rojik View Post
[Joe Lewis]Wasn't he a bomber?
Can't say I like your politics, Rojik, but that was very well done!
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  #17  
Old 25 Jul 11, 06:09
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And returning to planes, the YaK-3 and YaK-7 were both excellent planes. The YaK-3 probably the most manoeuvrable Allied fighter of the war.
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  #18  
Old 25 Jul 11, 06:18
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I don't think you can discount the Fw 190D, Kawasaki Ki-100 or Nakajima Ki-84 Frank either.
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  #19  
Old 25 Jul 11, 06:31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MonsterZero View Post
The P-51 and the Corsair were advanced enough for their time to serve with distinction in the Korean war. I think if a WWII prop fighter was good enough to continue soldiering in Korea you can make a safe bet it's one of the top contenders. French naval Corsairs (shown below in French markings) fought at Dien Bien Phu in 1954 and did excellent service there.
Why the U.S. Air Force did not use the F-47 Thunderbolt in the Korean War

by Michael D. Rowland

From page 3:
Quote:
"[..........]
Years of lean budgets and the neglect of tactical air power meant that by 1950 there were simply not enough Thunderbolts and associated spare parts left to support long-term combat operations. During World War II, 15,683 Thunderbolts were produced--more than any other American fighter. Of this total, an estimated one third were destroyed in combat, a third were scrapped after the war, and the remaining third went into storage, served with the Air National Guard, or were sold to foreign governments. Late-model F-47Ds and F-47Ns remained in service with a few active-duty Air Force units until the late 1940s, and the Air National Guard did not retire its last Thunderbolts until 1955. When the Korean War began, there were 1,167 F-47s on hand, but most of these were in storage--only 265 Thunderbolts were active in ANG units and they were all considered second-line aircraft. (24) Additionally, the rapid demobilization after World War II affected the supply system and the availability of spares for the Thunderbolts throughout the post-war years. For instance, the 23rd Fighter Group stationed on Guam in 1947 had pilots who had not accumulated the required night time flying hours because their Jugs lacked functioning flight instruments. The group's historian noted "the installation of these instruments is contemplated in the near future, depending of course, upon Tech Supply." (25) Historian Kenneth P. Werrell was told the F-47 was not used in Korea primarily because of the lack of spare parts. (26)

A few suspicious pilots in Korea argued that the Air Force went with the F-51 instead of the F-47 simply to save money, since the F-47 was expensive to build compared to its lighter stable mate. (27) In 1945 dollars, the cost of a single Thunderbolt was $83,000 compared to about $51,000 for an F-51. However, production of both aircraft ended in 1945, and the fact that more Thunderbolts were built during World War II than any other American fighter before or since is an acknowledgment of the Jug's capabilities. Certainly, it would have cost less to operate an F-47 in Korea than to lose an F-51 and its invaluable pilot to ground fire.
[..........]"
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...g=content;col1

Some comments I posted in a previous thread.

Quote:
Quote:
The F-51's liquid-cooled engine, coolant lines, and radiator were extremely vulnerable to enemy fire. Edgar Schmued, chief designer of the F-51, explained that using the Mustang for ground attack was "absolutely hopeless, because a .30-caliber bullet can rip a hole in the radiator and you fly two more minutes before your engine freezes up." (4) Not surprisingly, more Eighth Air Force Mustangs were lost during strafing attacks than in air combat in World War II. (5) The Mustang suffered the highest combat losses of any Air Force warplane during the Korean War, with 172 F-51s shot down by enemy ground fire. A total of 164 Mustang pilots were either killed or declared missing during ground-attack operations.

Quote:
"If it was my life on the line, I would have hoped to be in the P47, as did Colonel Bill Meyers "The F-51 was derisively nicknamed "Spam Can" and left many pilots in Korea wishing they were flying the Thunderbolt instead. Colonel Bill Myers, who flew Thunderbolts in World War II, admits that every time he took off on a mission in Korea in his Mustang, he would pray, "Please, God, make this a Thunderbolt."
http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...&postcount=316

From the above article(page 4):

Quote:
The F4U and AD experienced heavy losses in Korea--almost all of the 312 Corsairs and 124 Skyraiders lost to enemy action fed(sic) to ground fire. The Corsair, in spite of its rugged construction and radial engine, had a number of weaknesses, including vulnerable, wing-mounted oil coolers. To correct these deficiencies, Vought produced 110 examples of the AU-1, a dedicated ground-attack version of the Corsair. The AU-1 had 25 pieces of armor plating installed and the oil coolers were relocated; 17 of the 25 pieces of added armor protected the underside of the AU-1's engine and accessory, section. (32) Additional armor was also installed in the Skyraider. The F-51 Mustang, on the other hand--a plane without the inherent survivability of the F4U or AD--never received additional armor plating to increase its protection in the ground attack role.
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Last edited by At ease; 25 Jul 11 at 06:55..
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  #20  
Old 25 Jul 11, 06:43
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Why don't we list the top ones?
Best Naval Fighter- Corsair
Best Escort Fighter- Mustang
Best Dogfighter- Spitfire/Yak/Zero/Tempest(thats a hard one)
Best Multi-Role Fighter- The "Jug"
Best Operational Jet Fighter- ME-262
Best Overall Fighter (Taking everything into consideration, Impact on the war, Performance and Combat Record)- Spitfire without a doubt, Didn't see no Corsairs or Mustangs battling jerry 1939!
Best Double Engined Fighter- Beaufighter.
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  #21  
Old 25 Jul 11, 07:24
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At ease
That was a good article about the Thunderbolt and Korea
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  #22  
Old 25 Jul 11, 07:29
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Thanks for that.

I found it to be quite an eye opener and very well researched.
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  #23  
Old 25 Jul 11, 08:57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dashy View Post
Why don't we list the top ones?
Best Naval Fighter- Corsair
Best Escort Fighter- Mustang
Best Dogfighter- Spitfire/Yak/Zero/Tempest(thats a hard one)
Best Multi-Role Fighter- The "Jug"
Best Operational Jet Fighter- ME-262
Best Overall Fighter (Taking everything into consideration, Impact on the war, Performance and Combat Record)- Spitfire without a doubt, Didn't see no Corsairs or Mustangs battling jerry 1939!
Best Double Engined Fighter- Beaufighter.
How about best interceptor?
Best to attack a heavy bomber?
Best to fight other fighters?
Best if having to deal with both heavy bombers and fighters.
Best for area defense.
What about best at low altitude fighting such as fighting in an area where attack planes and their escorts are operating.

This can be broken down in some many areas that a great many planes might find a roll that they are best at.
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  #24  
Old 25 Jul 11, 13:58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonsidneyb View Post
How about best interceptor?- Props Spitfire or Hurricane, for service in the BoB
Best to attack a heavy bomber?- Me-262, but that's quite a specialised role aint it?
Best to fight other fighters?- Look up the definition of dogfight
Best if having to deal with both heavy bombers and fighters.- Now we are just getting pedantic, I would go with the Spit though
Best for area defense. -?
What about best at low altitude fighting such as fighting in an area where attack planes and their escorts are operating.- What About best fighter in which the pilot has to wear a tutu under 10'000 feet and above has to wear shorts?

This can be broken down in some many areas that a great many planes might find a roll that they are best at.
You don't have to, you just cover the basics.
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  #25  
Old 25 Jul 11, 21:14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dashy View Post
Why don't we list the top ones?
Best Naval Fighter- Corsair
Best Escort Fighter- Mustang
Best Dogfighter- Spitfire/Yak/Zero/Tempest(thats a hard one)
Best Multi-Role Fighter- The "Jug"
Best Operational Jet Fighter- ME-262
Best Overall Fighter (Taking everything into consideration, Impact on the war, Performance and Combat Record)- Spitfire without a doubt, Didn't see no Corsairs or Mustangs battling jerry 1939!
Best Double Engined Fighter- Beaufighter.
I see that you mentioned the Hawker Tempest en passant, I would add its predecessor : the Typhoon, as the most effective Close Support Fighter.
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  #26  
Old 26 Jul 11, 06:28
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The Best Fighter –Me109 (E—K)

The Best Fighter –Me109 (E—K)



The Me 109 (Bf 109) had many short comings Chastised and criticised as outdated Bf 109As saw service in the Spanish Civil War. By September 1939, the Bf 109 had become the main fighter of the Luftwaffe and the Me109E went to war, with continuous development the 109 was extensively used in all theatres to the final capitulation giving Allied pilots cause for concern.
The Air War 1940....Just how good was the Me109E next to the Spitfire Mk I
There has been an almost endless discussion about the merits of both the Me109 Spitfire Mk I (Hurricane) on balance there was not much between the two. On paper the Spitfire Mk I had a slight edge, both had the same top speed and the spit could out turn the 109. In a dogfight all you need was to go like a bat out of hell, fire you guns and disappear, the Me109E did this very well.

From the Cockpit …………… The Me109E had a superior rate of climb and speed of dive with superb acceleration this was from its Supercharger DB601 Engine
Electric Variable Pitch Propeller a variable pitch prop allowed more interchange between best engine RPM and power, it made all the difference in altitude speed diving –climbing. The Spitfire Mk I only had a 2 speed manual propeller Course /fine (until August 1940)
Fuel injection this allowed the Me109 E to dive away from any attacker. Fuel injection was unaffected by negative –g in a sudden dive giving it a few seconds head start, the Spitfires merlins with carburettors would starve of fuel (rich-cut) and loss of power under Negative-g
The Me 109 suffered little side slip unlike the spitfire by keeping this to minimum an attacker could keep an aircraft in his sights easer

Wing Loading …. The Me 109 was 32lb/ft the Spitfire Mk I was 25 lb/ft this is because the 109 had a small wing compared to Spits elliptical shape giving it a larger surface area. Small wing less drag this contributes to speed. There is a pay-off for high wing loading, the aircraft will stall at a higher speed this is not a problem at altitude but at landing and takeoff the 109 was particularly very difficult. Pay-back to lower the high stall speed slats were fitted to the leading edge and automatically extended at 110 mph with normal flaps to prevent stall. Minimum turn of a Spitfire was 696ft and a Me 109 885ft (note when turning an aircraft will lose speed not good in a dogfight)A Me109 pilot could use this in combat to achieve a tight turn by pulling back on the stick and allowing the slats to open a 109 could in fact out turn a spitfire. RAF pilots were trained to avoid stall speeds, it was very hard to recover a Spitfire or hurricane from a stall the 109 was easy.

Firepower The spitfire Mk I (Hurricane) had eight MGs that fired simultaneously at 1200rpm but with only 300 rounds that meant only 15 sec of firing. The full effect of eight MGs was at point of convergence (asingal303 bullet did not pack a punch) RAF set the convergence range at 400yds than 250. Unofficial some pilots had it reset to 150yds and it really hammered the target.
The Me 109E was armed with 4 MG17nand 1 20mm MGFF cannon 2MG and cannon were mounted on the nose so there was no need for convergence, the 109 had 1000 rounds (3xmore than a Spit)and the MG17 had a slower rate of fire giving 55 sec of firing. The cannon only had 60 rounds giving just 15 sec of shooting, however the cannons and MGs had different firing buttons – top thumb button for the cannon and a finger trigger for the MG, so the MGs having found the target the cannons could be fired a few cannon hits would down a Spitfire.
Altitude was the most important tactical advantage for all attackers with height a pilot could position his aircraft for the best attack, the Me109 was ideal for this it could swoop down hammer an unsuspecting target with big punches and speed then quickly climb away or if caught from above could stall and clime away.

Air War 1941

Despite mixed results over Britain, with the introduction of the improved Bf 109F in the spring of 1941, the type again proved to be an effective fighter during the Invasion of Yugoslavia, the Battle of Crete, the invasion of the USSR and the Siege of Malta.

Arctic Sea North 1941 -44

The Me 109s of JG 5 were very capable and more than equal against Russian fighters, (Aircobras Hurricanes Kittyhawks Il -2 Yak -7) from 1941 -44 In Norway and northern parts of Finland. With the responsibility for providing fighter-cover over occupied territories and also to provide fighter support for the units fighting on the Arctic front
Defence of Germany 1943 – 45
The Me 109 G (variants) could fight well at high altitudes and were a match for Allied fighters in performance. Not only an air superiority fighter, it was the Gustav that encountered the American P-38, P-47, and (later) P-51 fighters when they began to escort the heavy bombers on their daylight raids. The Me 109 (all variant) remained a very competitive fighter throughout the war until overwhelmed by ever increasing number of Allied fighters and events
It is credited with shooting down more enemy aircraft than any other fighter in the annals of aerial warfare
Germany had built over 30000 Me 109s


“Attack with aggression, but always have a plan of retreat”
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  #27  
Old 26 Jul 11, 12:06
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I am torn between the Bf 109 and the Spitfire (and the dilema was hightened by the rather informative post on the Bf 109 by Wellsfargo).

Both were pre-war designs, which then soldiered on to the end of the war and in the Spitfire's case beyond. Both saw numerous upgrades througout the war, demonstrating how good the initial designs were.....OK, so some of the late war stuff was better....but I have to hand it to these two designs as being in my best of the bunch!
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Old 26 Jul 11, 15:43
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A coffin

Quote:
Originally Posted by wellsfargo View Post
The Best Fighter –Me109 (E—K)
ould out turn the 109. In a dogfight all you need was to go like a bat out of hell, fire you guns and disappear, the Me109E did this very well.

From the Cockpit …………… The Me109E had a superior rate of climb and
The Me 109 suffered little side slip unlike the spitfire by keeping this to minimum an attacker could keep an aircraft in his sights easer

Wing Loading …. The Me 109 was 32lb/ft the Spitfire Mk I was 25 lb/ft this is because the 109 had a small wing compared to Spits elliptical shape giving it a larger surface area. Small wing less drag this contributes to speed. There is a pay-off for high wing loading, the aircraft will stall at a higher speed this is not a problem at altitude but at landing and takeoff the 109 was particularly very difficult. Pay-back to lower the high stall speed slats were fitted to the leading edge and automatically extended at 110 mph with normal flaps to prevent stall. Minimum turn of a Spitfire was 696ft and a Me 109 885ft (note when turning an aircraft will lose speed not good in a dogfight)A Me109 pilot could use this in combat to achieve a tight turn by pulling back on the stick and allowing the slats to open a 109 could in fact out turn a spitfire. RAF pilots were trained to avoid stall speeds, it was very hard to recover a Spitfire or hurricane from a stall the 109 was easy.

A present day squadron commander got into an ME109 and said in effect
"this is constricted and I'm a pretty small guy".

And a wartime pilot said "it felt like I was going into a coffin". (tilt-over canopy)

Also the width was so narrow that the pilot couldn't use his full arm to lever the joystick around.

The undercarriage was so narrow it was a devil to taxi on grass strips.

But...

It was well made and a top pilot (memory!) preferred it over the FW190.
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Last edited by Long Lance; 26 Jul 11 at 16:02.. Reason: FW190 reached N. Africa Nov. 42
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  #29  
Old 26 Jul 11, 19:23
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Messerschmitt 109 - myths, facts and the view from the cockpit

Quote:
Originally Posted by wellsfargo View Post
The Best Fighter –Me109 (E—K)



The Me 109 (Bf 109) had many short comings Chastised and criticised as outdated Bf 109As saw service in the Spanish Civil War. By September 1939, the Bf 109 had become the main fighter of the Luftwaffe and the Me109E went to war, with continuous development the 109 was extensively used in all theatres to the final capitulation giving Allied pilots cause for concern.
The Air War 1940....Just how good was the Me109E next to the Spitfire Mk I
There has been an almost endless discussion about the merits of both the Me109 Spitfire Mk I (Hurricane) on balance there was not much between the two.
<SNIP>
Quote:
Originally Posted by Long Lance View Post
A present day squadron commander got into an ME109 and said in effect
"this is constricted and I'm a pretty small guy".

And a wartime pilot said "it felt like I was going into a coffin". (tilt-over canopy)

Also the width was so narrow that the pilot couldn't use his full arm to lever the joystick around.

The undercarriage was so narrow it was a devil to taxi on grass strips.

But...

It was well made and a top pilot (memory!) preferred it over the FW190.
The above posts prompted me to do a bit of "digging" concerning information about the "109".

Fortunately, this time I found a rather large and very interesting article written mainly from a Finnish perspective.

As the following article (and my post) title suggests, there may be a lot of ill informed opinions "doing the rounds".

By definition of the Finnish experience, the article tends to concentrate on the "Gustav" version of the "109", but not to the complete exclusion of earlier or later versions.

I will start with this lengthy but important excerpt concerning often quoted "109" performance data.



Quote:
Messerschmitt 109 - myths, facts and the view from the cockpit

[..........]

109 test flight reports

The problem with Me performance numbers

When talking about the Messerchmitt 109 performance, we must take into account that many western sources are simply wrong. They are based on original wartime allied test flights flown with damaged planes, or with such equipment that the planes do not represent a normal fighter variant. Also western sources often fail to quote the used power setting. Was the engine runnign on continuous, 30 minute or 5 minute power? Western performance numbers (US/FAF/RAF) are always quoted with maximum power settings. Luftwaffe standard was to test all climb and level speed performance with the 30 minute setting, which really gives a more "real life" performance. Some Allied tests are quite good, but especially Me 109 tests are often very suspicious.

A good example this are the 109 F-4 tests. The only test flight of the type was flown by the RAF. All other "tests", American reports included, are copies of the British test. US never flew a single test flight of a Me 109 F-4 and their "report" fails to mention that the plane ran roughly, engine was derated and did not develop its full power, hence "the numbers must be regarded as absolute minimum performance for the plane". These numbers have since changed into gospel in western aviation literature, and these numbers are copied from book to book as the maximum performance of the plane.

German level speed tests are usually recorded with "Steig & Kampfleistung", "climb & combat" power, 30 minute maximum.
The "Start & Notleistung" - "takeoff and emergency" setting was not in tests. If it was used, the sheet mentions it. These settings were usually available for 1 to 5 minutes, depending on engine series, hence it is often referred as the 5 minute power setting.

But what is the reliability of German tests? Some have argued that they are propaganda and cannot be trusted. Incorrect. For example with the 109s, RLM had aggressively committed themselves to the Me 109 as the only single-engined fighter the Luftwaffe was going to purchase, and there was no competition at all. The Kennblatt figures weren't provided for the benefit of the marketing department, but they were the yardstick against which the aircraft delivered by Messerschmitt were measured. Failing to meet the figures would result in customer complaints, corrective action and financial consequences - and in the Third Reich perhaps even more severe results. If anything, the factory and test flight centers produced usually very accurate information. As the Finnish State Aircraft Factory test flight pilots commented, only two of all the fighter planes delivered to FiAF in the war years actually matched the factory papers: the Brewster B-239 and Messerschmitt 109. Other types, including the British, French, American and Italian planes, different often wildly from their "paper performance".

Case: Bf.109E
RAF Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE) Farnborough handling trials,Bf.109E Wn: 1304. http://www.geocities.com/capecanaver.../flybf109.html
Messerschmitt Me (sic) 109 Handling and Manoeuvrability Tests, M.B. Morgan and D.E. Morris, Communicated by the Principal Director of Scientific Research - Air, Reports and Memoranda No. 2361, Great Britain, September 1940. (Probably also using data from RAE Jan 1941 testing).
Comparitive Trials between Me109E and British Fighter Aircraft, RAE (?), 14 August 1941
Here we have two interesting reports. They're actually a 1941 report from tests conducted in September of 1940 from an aircraft that was captured by the French in 1939 (see next chapter). At the time the tests were conducted in 1940, they didn't have oxygen bottles for the 109, so test could only be done at low to medium altitude, where they thought combat would take place anyway. At these altitudes the result was indeed that both the Spitfire and Hurricane could out-turn the Bf109, and this was reported to the squadrons, whose pilots would have reacted in combat according to this perceived strength. Later, well after the Battle was over, testing at higher, "combat" altitudes showed the opposite to be true at these heights.
There is even more confusion. The 109 tested is claimed to be "Me 109E-3 Werk-Nr 1304" which is documented to have been captured. However, there is some discrepency as to WerkNr 1304 actually being an Me109E-1. So what have they tested? E-1? E-3? E-4? Did they test one of the crash landed, damaged planes? So we got major confusion with the tested plane. Also, Bf 109 E-3 WNr. 1304 (RAF AE 479) was at one point crash landed, among other things, and it received a new tail section from a Bf 109 E-4 WNr. 1980.
Another problem is with the test itself, when compared to a Spitfire. Overall the accuracy of the test suffers from the fact that it was flown with a crash landed plane wirh a worn, several years old engine producing less power than usual. It was then flown against a brand new Spitfire with a 1940 engine. As shown by the test data, the turns were made in the 120mph range which is too slow for the 109 slats to be deployed, which doesn't compare the maximum turning abilities of each aircraft. Further inspection of the report will show that the test was conducted with the "Rotol" Spitfire. The Rotol Spitfire had a Merlin III engine, not the Merlin II. At 11,000 feet it had a climb rate of 2,905 ft/min, the turn test was conducted at 12,000ft. This test was conducted 19 March 1940. Now look at the other two Spitfires in the test. Their test date was in July 1939. The climb rate of the 1939 aircraft at 12,000 feet was only about 2,000ft/min vs the 2,900 ft/min of the Rotol aircraft. The Rotol aircraft is inconsistant with the performance of the aircraft in the field. The 109 was captured in 1939, therefore for an accurate representation to be made it should be compared to other 1939 aircraft. We are talking about taking 1940 technology and applying it to a 1939 matchup, taking an aircraft with 45 % more climb rate than aircraft available at the time the 109E was in service in 1939.
The 1940 report clearly states that the performance of the 1939 aircraft was not even near equal to that of the 1940 test (2100ft/min vs 2900 ft/min @ 10,000ft). The 109E matchup was done with the Spitfire employing 1940 technology, a constant speed propeller that was not in use in 1939. The matchup was also done with a Merlin III engine that was not available in 1939 aircraft. Also, it was done with a captured battle worn aircraft of questionable service against a brand new aircraft. The report does not state the maximum speed of the 109E by which one could gauge the relative engine horsepower output compared to other known DB601 engines. Also, it doesn't state a matchup between the 109E and Spitfire MkI employing a Merlin II engine and a standard propeller at the time, rather with the new 1940 constant speed propeller.
The French flew their test with the same Me 109 E-3 (E-1?). The test results are not available in English, but to author's knowledge their recorded performance numbers are higher than in the British tests. Since British tests do not give the used power setting, it is extremerely hard to find the truth between different test results.

References: Impossible to Follow? http://users.bigpond.net.au/mantis/FW/Bob/Best.htm The 109 tested is claimed to be "Me 109E-3 Werk-Nr 1304" which is documented to have been captured. http://www.luftwaffe-experten.co.uk/usa.html However, there is some discrepency as to WerkNr 1304 actually being an Me109E-1: http://www.ww2.dk/pictures.html Could this aircraft have been mixed up with other E-1's and E-3's captured and may have been damaged resulting in lower performannce: http://www.luftwaffe-experten.co.uk/allied.html
http://www.virtualpilots.fi/feature/articles/109myths/

Due to it's length, I am still digesting the contents of the article, but the comments I have read so far concerning the "109"'s take off and landing "problems" are quite an "eye opener", to say the least.

Fortunately, the article is broken down into distinct, easy to find "chunks" like this one dealing with take off characteristics:

http://www.virtualpilots.fi/feature/...myths/#takeoff
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Last edited by At ease; 26 Jul 11 at 19:45..
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Well I would like to draw your attention to, rather verbose: The Augsburg Eagle a Documentary History Messerschmitt Bf 108 by William Green.
It has a series of pictures of AE479 Werk Nr 1304. Looking at the wings of the bird it does look like an E-3/4 not an E-1. It was said to be an early production E-3, maybe it was upgraded from E-1 to E-3 standard before capture? Just repeating part of the history: ex JG II/JG 54 landed in error an the French side of the border 22/11/1939. Test flown in France and flown to Boscomb Down 4/5/1940, were a comparison flight was made with a Hurricane. Moved to Farnborough 14/05/1940 for further handling trials the following month. The replacement tail was fitted in the UK after a crash in Jan 1941, thus after the tests. The test RAE Report No. BA 1604 is also described in the book and a little bit longer and therefore possibly more informative on pages 63 to 70. It also mentioned a second Bf 109 E assembled from components of several machines with the Sn DG 200, that was used by Rolls Royce for comparison trials. Is this the descrepancy allured to? A point of note I would like to make is that the LW still operated Bf 109 E-1 at the beginning of the Battle of Britain.

Ed.

Last edited by dutched; 26 Jul 11 at 20:55..
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