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RE: HELP ALL YOU AIRCRAFT GURUS

 
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RE: HELP ALL YOU AIRCRAFT GURUS - 6/15/2006 10:47:01 PM   
Feinder


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quote:

17-May
Maximum effort fighter sweep: 18 Zeros over port Moresby. 3 "enemy fighter formations" (usually 12 each) clashed with over the air field. 6 P-39s downed. Ota, Sakai, and Nishizawa perform loops over the field at the end of the attack.


Bah. 

"Maximum Effort" in WitP would have meant 120 Zeros or 96 B-17s.

What a bunch of wusses.  Saki obviously wasn't playing with PDUs.

-F- 

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RE: HELP ALL YOU AIRCRAFT GURUS - 6/15/2006 10:48:46 PM   
Terminus


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Yeah, what a bunch of underachievers...

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Post #: 62
RE: HELP ALL YOU AIRCRAFT GURUS - 6/15/2006 11:02:22 PM   
RAM

 

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quote:


The P-51 WEP generated over 600 additional hp, for the Corsair it was around 400hp. The Bf-109 gained about 210hp.



With all due respect, that's not true.

Depends a lot on the 109 version you're talking about, and the P51 you're talking about, but the War emergency setting of the Merlin aboard the Mustang didn't give that much of an overboost as you seem to suggest. Rated performance at WEP of the Merlin in the P51D was 1750hp. I'm not that sure about the combat setting horsepower, but I assure you that it was well over 1350 hp (both figures at sea level)- so the difference is 400hp.


About the 109, you're even more wrong. Bf109Gs with MW50 (wich would be 100% of them after mid-44) gained from 400 to 600hp from WEP (Depends on the engine, DB605AM had a rated horsepower of 1400hp@combat power, 1800@MW50/WEP, while the DB605D with MW50 relivered 2000hp).




A little information for those who don't know a lot about the issue:

WEP is not a setting or a button you press, like you usually do in combat simulations. WEP was simply overrevving the engine, or increasing the manifold pressure, over "safe" limits for a limited ammount of time. For some engines/planes, that also meant to use an additive (mostly water/methanol injection), which had the effect of cooling down the mixture, and adding an anti-knock effect (to allow for higher manifold pressures).


WEP times are not 3-5-10-or-whatever-time you like to point at. The engine didn't break down if you kept your 3-minute-WEP engine at full emergency power for 5 minutes. It could happen, it could not. I'd say most times it didn't happen. The number of minutes specified for each model were given by the constructors as an advice to keep the engine a long life. BUT...that doesn't mean the pilot coudln't put his plane into WEP power and keep it for a long time, or that it would mean destroying his engine. Far from it.

Depended on a lot of things, and nationality was one of them. German engines, for instance, were cleared for amazing rpm/manifold pressures thanks to the use of MW50. They could use WEP power for 10-minute-bursts ,then allow for a cooling down of 5 minutes, and then use WEP again for another 10 minute burst, and repeat it until fuel or MW50 ran out.

The true story behind this was that any german pilot who did this had to see his engine replaced at his airfield. The wear and tear the high pressures and temperatures, and the corroding effect of the MW50 cut the usable life of the german engines by a lot. So the german pilots actually used their WEP settings for much shorter time spans (usually 3 to 5 minutes) before throttling back (unless in an urgency).


On the other side we have the US stuff. The initial stock R-2800 radial engines had a rated combat power of 2000hp at WEP for 3 minutes, according to the manufactor.

Yet a stock, unmodified R-2800 was kept running at 3500hp in a static test for 36 hours in a row, and the engine worked just fine.

In actual combat the US pilots used much longer WEP time than allowed by the manufactors, just the opposite as the german pilots who, it would seem, had a much longer WEP time than them. There were lots of instances of P47Ds "tuned" by the engineers on the field which had simply outstanding performances, way over the manufactor's advices for standard combat ratings and WEP. Those engines were non special (were built like all the rest) worked just fine. Their usable life was much lower, that's all.




It's all down to how much lifespan has guaranteed a manufactor on his engine unit. US Engines usable life was WAY longer than that of the german's, and that's because US (and to a lesser extent, British) engines never were engineered towards superb performance, but towards high reliability.

Germans on the other side had to rely on much less pure fuels and to reach similar horsepowers than those reached by the allies, had to resort to extremely high rpms/manifold pressures/use of additives. All that (and the lack of strategic materials) really hurted the usable life of the engine units.


in short:
WEP is a much complicated thing that what you people seem to believe here. I'ts no rule set on stone which says "If you run WEP 30 seconds over what the manufacturers say, you'll destroy your engine".

It's well known that, as I said, P47Ds over europe were "fine tuned" by their mechanics to allow for insanely high manifold pressures and high power settings which the manufactors of their engines never allowed for, yet their engines worked just great. I recall reading somewhere that Bob Johnson's P47 engine was tuned by his mechanic so he could get 1/3 more manifold pressure than an unmodified engine, and he NEVER had to deal with a engine trouble.


On the other hand, German engines were rated for very long WEP times, yet their own pilots restrained themselfs from using it too much because that would mean their engine would've to be replaced much sooner, something that teh german industry wasn't able to cope with.

Japanese engines had same problems as germany. Low grade fuels, high engine ratings, very low reliability...


< Message edited by RAM -- 6/15/2006 11:07:44 PM >


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Post #: 63
RE: HELP ALL YOU AIRCRAFT GURUS - 6/15/2006 11:08:30 PM   
ChezDaJez


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quote:

If tactics and doctrine were the key (and I think they were) then the game value that relates to that would be experience level...


I agree tactics and doctrine were the key factors in the kill ratio. And yes, experience is probably the best way to reflect that.

The problem, of course, is that the tactics and doctrine were were developed and incorporated into the fleet training DURING the war, not before. At the time of PH, no one knew (outside of Chennault) that turn and burn fighting would get you killed against Japanese planes.

This is the reason the Zero bonus exists... to reflect the changing nature of the tactics the US used against it.

Chez

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Post #: 64
RE: HELP ALL YOU AIRCRAFT GURUS - 6/15/2006 11:20:49 PM   
mdiehl

 

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quote:

The problem, of course, is that the tactics and doctrine were were developed and incorporated into the fleet training DURING the war, not before. At the time of PH, no one knew (outside of Chennault) that turn and burn fighting would get you killed against Japanese planes.


One real problem is that your claim is factually incorrect. Vis the F4Fs tactics Thach and Flatley developed tactics for dealing with a faster, more maneuverable aircraft in 1941 and it had been practiced in training, at least among some units. Therefore it would at least logically follow that no zero bonus should exist against some units.

A second real problem with that is that it incorrectly models "absence of knowledge about the Zero" as a deterministic factor while leaving out the absence of knowledge about every other enemy aircraft by every pilot. For example, Japanese pilots had no clue about the durability of the F4F, its superior diving characteristics, US mutual support tactics (which were WIDESPREAD USN doctrine in 1939, even though the specific beam defense maneuver was not commonly used until late 1942), the superior deflection -shooting training of US gunners, etc.

Zoom climbing in front of an F4F, which Zero pilots often did because they'd gotten away with it against the Chinese, lead to the immediate death of many Japanese veterans, precisely because they did not have complete intel on enemy pilot+plane capabilities.

quote:

This is the reason the Zero bonus exists... to reflect the changing nature of the tactics the US used against it.


And that is also why it is utterly illogical. Yes, tactics used against the Zero changed. Likewise tactics used by the Zero changed (slowly). Tactics used by the Germans and Soviets and UK changed as well, with each introduced upgraded variant of both friendly and enemy planes.

The more proper solution here is to have no zero bonus, but instead have a Zero penalty, in which zero pilots are hit with a penalty because their doctrine and tactics were so resistent to change. Compared to most of the other combatants, the slowness in which inferior Japanese formations and tactics were modified is the notable exception, not the tendency for everyone else to shift tactics as situations changed.



< Message edited by mdiehl -- 6/15/2006 11:22:48 PM >


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Post #: 65
RE: HELP ALL YOU AIRCRAFT GURUS - 6/15/2006 11:22:25 PM   
Feinder


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quote:

WEP is a much complicated thing that what you people seem to believe here. I'ts no rule set on stone which says "If you run WEP 30 seconds over what the manufacturers say, you'll destroy your engine".


Such condescending comments are unbecoming.

I've found this thread to be somewhat educational. And when it's not, at least it's amusing. Many of us around here understand that WEP is not just a button you push for "Gimme Nitro Boost Baby!".

By all means, continue this "debate", but the patronizing tone is annoying to say the least.

-F-

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Post #: 66
RE: HELP ALL YOU AIRCRAFT GURUS - 6/15/2006 11:24:55 PM   
Big B

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: ChezDaJez

quote:

If tactics and doctrine were the key (and I think they were) then the game value that relates to that would be experience level...


I agree tactics and doctrine were the key factors in the kill ratio. And yes, experience is probably the best way to reflect that.

The problem, of course, is that the tactics and doctrine were were developed and incorporated into the fleet training DURING the war, not before. At the time of PH, no one knew (outside of Chennault) that turn and burn fighting would get you killed against Japanese planes.

This is the reason the Zero bonus exists... to reflect the changing nature of the tactics the US used against it.

Chez

I pretty much agree. And I have also gone from being one of the loudest critics against the ZB to accepting it,(after a S--tload of testing).

I am still left a bit in limbo, however, after chewing over the fact that the Zero is not rated at full power speed (316?)- but overboost speed, while the F4F seems to be rated at full speed only, and not any help from WEP.

This one will take a while of thinking over...

A big personal Thank You to everyone who has taken the time to post on this thread you have all been very helpful.

B


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Post #: 67
RE: HELP ALL YOU AIRCRAFT GURUS - 6/15/2006 11:26:55 PM   
RAM

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Feinder

Such condescending comments are unbecoming.

I've found this thread to be somewhat educational. And when it's not, at least it's amusing. Many of us around here understand that WEP is not just a button you push for "Gimme Nitro Boost Baby!".

By all means, continue this "debate", but the patronizing tone is annoying to say the least.

-F-




Well, should say ,that I'm not a native english speaker, in fact I don't speak english very well.

I didn't want to sound condescendent on my previous message. All I wanted to say is that the "WEP" is not anything like a "overboost" button, and that the WEP times were reccommended estimates, but never absolute, and that they had more to do with the engine useful life time than with actual danger of the engine seizing or stopping mid-flight because using WEP too much.


as I said, never wanted to be condescendent, nor to sound as a smarta$$ (in fact I'm a simple aficionado when it comes down to aircraft engineering, I guess as many others around). It's just that trying to talk in a foreign language is not that easy.

My excuses for anyone who might have been offended by my previous message.

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Not like that! NOT LIKE THAT!!!"

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RE: HELP ALL YOU AIRCRAFT GURUS - 6/15/2006 11:36:46 PM   
Feinder


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My quote was from Chez...



Didn't mean to get you mixed in that RAM.

-F-

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Post #: 69
RE: HELP ALL YOU AIRCRAFT GURUS - 6/16/2006 9:07:22 PM   
worr

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: ChezDaJez

quote:

If tactics and doctrine were the key (and I think they were) then the game value that relates to that would be experience level...


I agree tactics and doctrine were the key factors in the kill ratio. And yes, experience is probably the best way to reflect that.

The problem, of course, is that the tactics and doctrine were were developed and incorporated into the fleet training DURING the war, not before. At the time of PH, no one knew (outside of Chennault) that turn and burn fighting would get you killed against Japanese planes.

This is the reason the Zero bonus exists... to reflect the changing nature of the tactics the US used against it.

Chez


Spot on here, Chez.

Worr, out

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Post #: 70
RE: HELP ALL YOU AIRCRAFT GURUS - 6/17/2006 1:06:04 AM   
Oznoyng

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Big B

quote:

ORIGINAL: m10bob

318 MPH

http://olympicflightmuseum.com/aircraft_gallery/f4f_01.htm

Of course, you must realize atmospherics and avgas quality, maintenance standards and hours on the airframe are factors as well, so I would accept this figure as a very good generic answer, and yeah, I am somewhat of an aviation grognard, from that era.....

Thanks m10bob, and what a lot of typing that was!


Here's the conundrum, The A6M2/3 is accepted to be more agile, a better climber, and faster than a Wildcat. However, in real combat the Wildcat and it's pilots consistently held their own, and prevailed.

In the WitP system this will not happen - as A6M's will run up a consistent 2 to 3:1 kill ratio over F4F's (if not even greater than 3:1).

So what is the best way to address this departure from reality?

Is the answer to de-rate the Zero to it's 'Full Speed' of about 316mph? - (doesn't seem a satisfying solution)

Weren't allied planes capable of 'Over boost' for short periods of time(W.E.P.)? then the F4F could be given a speed closer to the A6M (say 330mph) - which would change the kill ratio.

Or is the answer to look at experience ratings of F4F squadrons and bring them up to a generic 85-90 to account for superior training in deflection shooting and combat tactics?

What is the best way to reflect the historic reality of what really happened in air combat between these two aircraft?


(A note on the Zero's speed: P-40s could overtake or break contact with Zero's because they had better top speed. Although the Zero was deemed faster than the F4F - I never read about Zeros' engaging and breaking contact at will with F4Fs - this to me suggests that their relative top speeds were close enough that neither could simply run away from the other at will)

B


At the risk of opening up a debate I do not have time for, the loss figures at Guadalcanal are a poor basis for rating relative performance of the two aircraft in early 1942. The problem with the historical exchange rate is that the battles between F4F's and Zeros occurred over Guadalacanal in late 42. Allied fighters enjoyed significant advantages in those engagements:


  • Allied pilots benefitted from radar warnings and were often in prime position to attack the Zeros
  • Zero pilots were escorting, which tied them to the bombers and limited the flexibilty with which they could fight
  • Zeros were at long range, even for a Zero, flying from Rabaul to Guadalcanal placed the Zero at the limit of it's range and placed severe limitations upon Zeros in terms of ability to operate at full or emegency power.
  • IJN pilot quality had taken a blow at Midway and the quality of the pilots flying at Guadalacanal had declined.
  • Doctrine of the USN was better developed and more entrenched.
  • Performance characteristics of the Zeros were much better known.


Despite the above tactical disadvantages, the pilots in teh Zeros achieved near parity for the first stages of the Battle for Guadalcanal. In light of that, suggesting that all engagements should follow the same lines is ludicrous to me.

Finally, the myth of superior deflection shooting training is just that, a myth. If you read Saburo Sakai's biography, you will note that he talks about the poor markesmanship of Allied pilots. As late as 1944, a battle between him in a lowly Zero and a bunch (8? 10? I forget) of Hellcats resulted in no bullets hitting his aircraft despite the fact he was disadvantaged by overwhelming odds and being blinded in one eye! The truth is that there is no substantiation that the training was better. It is all assertion. All services taught deflection shooting and both services had good marksmen and bad marksmen. In each case, anecdotal information about how pilots in one or the other service failed to correct for deflection and missed their targets was turned into a generalization that all pilots in the IJN were poorly trained in deflection shooting. The myth was reinforced because IJN deflection shots rarely brought down their targets due to the ruggedness of the target, not due to the quality of the shooting. The reverse was true for the USN.

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RE: HELP ALL YOU AIRCRAFT GURUS - 6/17/2006 1:50:38 AM   
Demosthenes


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Ozy,

After reading your post above, one can't help but to walk away with the impression that you concede the object, but, reject it at the same time because somehow it was all unfair.



< Message edited by Demosthenes -- 6/17/2006 6:15:18 AM >

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RE: HELP ALL YOU AIRCRAFT GURUS - 6/17/2006 1:58:40 AM   
Mogami


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Hi, I think he is saying Allied pilots thought Japanese were bad shots because Allied pilots shot down by good Japanese pilots didn't tell anyone while Japanese pilots thought Allied pilots were bad shots for the same reason. (Any pilot who won A2A battle thought other side bad shots)  Allied marksmanship was aided by fragile Japanese AC while Japanese marksmanship was handicapped by rugged Allied AC.
In the end he concludes both sides were almost equal when considering trained pilots.  (However perception has produced idea Allied marksmanship was better)

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RE: HELP ALL YOU AIRCRAFT GURUS - 6/17/2006 2:16:09 AM   
mdiehl

 

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quote:

At the risk of opening up a debate I do not have time for, the loss figures at Guadalcanal are a poor basis for rating relative performance of the two aircraft in early 1942. The problem with the historical exchange rate is that the battles between F4F's and Zeros occurred over Guadalacanal in late 42. Allied fighters enjoyed significant advantages in those engagements:


Well, they enjoyed some advantages. One problem with this line of reasoning is, however, the consistent willingness to list Allied positional avantages without considering the numerous Japanese advantages.

The US aircraft had the most crude and ill-supplied maintenance facility that was under chronic threat of ground attack, artillery bombardment, and naval shelling. This is to be contrasted with the Japanese base at Rabaul, which was comparatively well supplied and where the aircraft could be maintained without substantial immediate threat and free of sustained, chronic threat.

The airfields at Guadalcanal had the most crude airstrips made of dusty crushed coral that greatly increased wear and tear on the US engines. This is in contrast with the airfields at Rabaul.

The US pilots on Guadalcanal were likewise subject to round the clock combat. After flying a mission they could land on an airfield (subject to taking ground fire on approach), be fed inadequate food, and be the target of snipers, artillery, and naval bombardment, all of which greatly increased US pilot fatigue. Japanese pilots, in contrast, knew that once they were clear of the combat area around Guadalcanal, they were essentially free from immediate threat.

quote:

Zero pilots were escorting, which tied them to the bombers and limited the flexibilty with which they could fight.


Unfortunately this does not necessarily merit the status of an "American advantage." The Zeros best days in the Guadalcanal campaign occurred when they were escorting bombers. The Zeros worst catastrophe was when they attempted a "fighter sweep" effort and were soundly defeated. I'm not sure what conclusions one may draw except that depending on how escort missions are handled it can be as challenging for the interceptor who has to fly a dual mission (evade the enemy fighters, close with enemy bombers).

quote:

Zeros were at long range, even for a Zero, flying from Rabaul to Guadalcanal placed the Zero at the limit of it's range and placed severe limitations upon Zeros in terms of ability to operate at full or emegency power.


Zeros had about 10 minutes of air combat time at full power over Guadalcanal. This would be accurately called an American advantage except of course that most air to air combats lasted less than three minutes. I suspect that the only real penalty here to the Japanese was in the "unexplained loss" of Zeros seen leaving the combat area that never returned to base. A very small percentage of Japanese zeros were lost under these unexplained circumstances. Most of them were shot down directly.

quote:

IJN pilot quality had taken a blow at Midway and the quality of the pilots flying at Guadalacanal had declined.


Not really. The IJN pilot pool at Midway was not terribly depleted (see Tulley and Parshall's Shattered Sword). Most of them survived albeit without their aircraft. In any case Midway would not matter for the Guadalcanal campaign, because none of the Midway air groups were assigned to the campaign. Instead it was the Tainan air group (initially) and a couple others, who represented (arguably) the best pilots that the Japanese had available.

Japanese pilot quality deteriorated largely BECAUSE of the Guadalcanal campaign, not prior to that campaign.

Another problem with viewing the Guadalcanal campaign results as atypically "bad" for the Japanese is that the Guadalcanal results were actually the high point of Zero performance vs Wildcats in WW2. In ALL previous campaigns (Midway, Coral Sea, and Midway VMF component), where the Japanese had no disadvantages vis a vis range and air time, and where they were often flying defensive CAP (with American fighters acting as bombing escorts) in direct head to head encounters between F4Fs and A6Ms, the F4Fs achieved about a 1.5:1 favorable kill ratio.

Repeat: At ranges that represented the comfortable window for A6Ms and long ranges for F4Fs, where F4Fs flew bomber escort, they shot down about 1.5 Zeroes for every F4F lost. That the F4F drivers emerged victorious on ground manifestly favorable to the Japanese obviates any claim that Japanese defeats in A2A only occurred where operational circumstances favored the Allies.

quote:

Despite the above tactical disadvantages, the pilots in teh Zeros achieved near parity for the first stages of the Battle for Guadalcanal. In light of that, suggesting that all engagements should follow the same lines is ludicrous to me.


Actually, in the Guadalcanal campaign, they largely beat the USN/USMC pilots. About a 1.1-1.2:1 kill ratio vs F4Fs. I attrbute this to the severe logistical, maintenance, fuel supply, and sleep-loss handicaps affecting Allied pilots.

quote:

Finally, the myth of superior deflection shooting training is just that, a myth.


That is incorrect. If you read Lundstrom's The First Team at Guadalcanal you will note that he and others, including USN and USMC pilots of the time, note that Japanese pilots were generally poor at deflection shooting while USN and USMC doctrine and training in deflecton shooting was substantial. Many of Japan's best pilots were killed because they would make a firing pass at an F4F and zoom climb in front of the F4F in order to lure it into an energy burning turning engagement. Often that was the last maneuver that the Zero pilot lived to attempt.

quote:

If you read Saburo Sakai's biography, you will note that he talks about the poor markesmanship of Allied pilots. As late as 1944, a battle between him in a lowly Zero and a bunch (8? 10? I forget) of Hellcats resulted in no bullets hitting his aircraft despite the fact he was disadvantaged by overwhelming odds and being blinded in one eye!


Sakai had no expertise either on US deflection shooting training nor doctrine. Beyond that, much of what he claims occurred is quiet subject to doubt. If you are referring to Martin Caiden's tome, it is scarcely better than fiction, since many of the events in that book are events that Sakai subsequently and flatly stated never happened.

I think you have to view Sakai's perspective in light of the noble lost cause mentality that permeates much of the Japanese historial perspective from 1950-1990. Moreover, you should view Sakai's point of view as rather atypical, because the typical Japanese pilot discovered, to his mortal cost, that Allied gunnery was very good.

< Message edited by mdiehl -- 6/17/2006 2:21:25 AM >


_____________________________

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Didn't we have this conversation already?

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Post #: 74
RE: HELP ALL YOU AIRCRAFT GURUS - 6/17/2006 2:56:14 AM   
Big B

 

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Just an observation here about the relative importance of this topic,

There are several other threads currently on the forum which deal with the subject of "how far have you gotten in WitP".
I was strcuk by the sheer number that never got past 1942. It seems to me that most players (most that is - not all) spend most of their WitP careeer in the first year and a half of the war(1941-1943). This is preciesly the era that the F4F vs A6M contest is of cornerstone importance.
Therefore I feel that this is a valid concern for WitP players - regardless of how one views the subject.

Just my thoughts...and by all means - continue to discuss.

B

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Post #: 75
RE: HELP ALL YOU AIRCRAFT GURUS - 6/17/2006 4:19:55 AM   
m10bob


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quote:

IJN pilot quality had taken a blow at Midway and the quality of the pilots flying at Guadalacanal had declined.


None of the Japanese air units over Guadalcanal,flying from Rabaul were ever involved in the Midway campaign. These were "land based" Naval flyers.


" Allied pilots benefitted from radar warnings and were often in prime position to attack the Zeros "


This "benefit" might have been negated to some extent from the Kongo class BB bombardments which tended to damage the aircraft and personell a bit.Too, the Cactus air force could not rely on radar much till they actually acquired it, and learned (over a long time) how to "trust it".(Early radar could detect flights, but could not give altitudes nor an accurate direction, only approximate..)
The defenders of Henderson field had to even use SBD's to provide air cover at times, just to try to cover all altitudes, till sufficient planes could be made airworthy....This was not accomplished till into 1943!

< Message edited by m10bob -- 6/17/2006 4:28:46 AM >


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Post #: 76
RE: HELP ALL YOU AIRCRAFT GURUS - 6/17/2006 8:17:50 AM   
Mogami


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From: You can't get here from there
Status: offline
Hi, It is very important to note overall IJN pilot quality decreased as a result of the 1-1 loss sustained in Solomon campaign. Never forget just how small and fragile the IJN land component was and is in WITP.
Off the top of my head I think IJN land airunits susstained over 1000 aircrew lost from Aug 42 to Feb 43 and they were never able to replace them in numbers enough to offset this loss.

I have 3 PBEM as Japan into 1943 and this 1000 aircrew loss is enough to effect overall abilty of bulk of IJN air units. I still have a great many skilled pilots but my overall experiance level has taken a sharp decline. My PBEM are not the blood baths many post about and yet I see the impact resulting from a slow but steady loss of my experianced pilots. I do not employ any method of training aside from the one I first advocated prior to games release (and the one that by design exists) So my results are very close to historic.  (in number of enemy ac shot down, ratios, and impact on future Japanese air Ops)

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(in reply to m10bob)
Post #: 77
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