When I remember the manual, the game distinguishes well between speed advantege combat (slashing attacks) and turn&burn combat. So speed shouldnīt be used too much for the actual maneuvrability ratings. Otherwise fast planes will be better in t&b combat and for slashing attacks. I donīt think this was intended my Matrixgames, when they implemented speed combat - well working for example with the P-40 vs. A6M2 in stock WitP. So when considering maneuvrability three things should be respected:
1: Horizontal and vertical maneuvrability, used for t&b combat (A6M2, K-43) and used boom and zoom aircraft (Bf-109, Fw-190, Ki-44). The latter planes not only possesed excellent sustained climb ratings, they also possesed good vertical fighting ability because of relatively light weight to power. This also is true for most japanese planes, which could make very snap turns (break-dancing in the air) without stalling the aircraft or fly very aggressive vertical maneuvres. These abilites are NOT represented by the sustained climb abilitied, i.e. rate of climb (rate of climb is, as far as I know, only used for the calculations, which plane can climb fast enough to intercept) - so they should be respected by the mvr-ratings. In fact the vertical fighting ability (loops, spiral climb, Split S, Zooms) is in fact the most important dogfight concept, so it should be properly represented with high mvr ratings for aircraft which are either maneuvrable in the horizontal or in the vertical manner. Planes which are both (N1K1/2, Ki-84, Spitfire VIII and XIV) should get very high mvr ratings.
2: Speed advanteges in regards of maximum speed should be the primary advantege for the Allied aircraft and not mvr, since the superior speed is used for an attack style of its own - slashing attacks. If the superior speed alone would be the reason for high maneuvrability ratings this would mix up with the dogfighting abilities and would hamper the original intention of matrix by seperating both fighting mehtods.
3: No complex formulas, which donīt hold truth to real values more than sheer historical comparison should be used. 1st - use historical information about the plane, i.e. its t&b abilities, its b&z abilities (i.e. vertical maneuvrability), power to weight, speed to set the relative stregth of different aircraft. 2nd - use modern air simulations, which by now do quite a good job in simulating plenty of the planes available in WitP. For example Il-2 Forgotten Battles/Pacific fighters fields many of the available planes in WitP and gives good hints about the characteristics mentioned abobe (snap turn, sustained turn drag, combat climb, time for 360 turn).
Iīve created scenarios back to the times of PacWar and War in Russia before matrixgames modified them. The good thing about the more modern games is, that they seperate speed and maneuvrability for combat purposes. For example, Iīd give the following mvr values to some known planes of stock WitP. Important are the relative aspects between the aircraft, compared to historical records about combats between these planes and the used fighting method, for instance: F4Uīs would never turn with a Zero! They fly wide turns over the battle area and make ful use of their speed advantege. If someone has any questions, how I argue exactly for any of those values, donīt hesitate:
A6M2 - 35 (taken as first fix point)
A6M3 - 36
A6M5 - 35
F4F3 - 32
F4F4 - 32
F6F3 - 33 or 34 (Hellcat was more mvr than Wildcat in sustained turns, but heavier.... worse snap turns, also couldnīt stand in turn fights vs A6M2/3/5, N1K-J, Ki-61 (Biak!!!!)
F4U1 - 34
Ki-27 - 34 very good horizontal mvr
Ki-43-I- 35 not as good as Ki-27 in horizontal mvr, but better vertical fighting abilities
Ki-43-II- 34 or 35 heavier than original design, worse snap turn abilities
Ki-44- 32,33,34 though good climb, I donīt know about its vertical fighting abilies (propably like 109 - if so higher mvr, poor horizontal mvr. abilies for jap standarts). Itīs propable that this plane would fought in a similar way like the 109 or the P-47. Thatīs why the jap. pilots didnīt like it
Ki-61-I 32 or 33, good horizontal mvr, medium sustained turn drag, medium to good vertical fighting ability (loops & stuff), below average snap turn (stalls easily for jap planes)
Ki-84 36 good vertical and horizontal mvr, mediocre snap turn ability
N1K2-J 37 superb plane in regards of vertical and horizontal mvr, also good snap turn abilites. Her very good mvr characteristics suggested the japs to construct a land fighter version
J2M 32/33/34 similar arguments like Ki-44... this plane propably has some similarities in fighting style to the Fw-190
Ki-45 30 quite good horizontal mvr for 2E-Fighter, sustained turn drag high, though, vertical fighting ability worse than P-38
P-38J/L 32/33 P-38 had good turning characteristics once banked into one direction, later versions added aileron boosters to help solving the banking problem
Hurricane 31 good hor. mvr, poor vert mvr.
Spitfire V 35
Spitfire VIII 36
Spitfire XVIII 36/37 tough plane to fight against, maneuvrable in all regards!
P-47B/C 33 classic boom&zoom aircraft, poor sustained turn drag because of heavy weight, poor acceleration
P-47D 34 added engine booster support boom and zoom fighting abilies of this plane
P-51B/C/D 34 or 35 didnīt have to good turning horizontal turning abilities, even a 109 turns tighter than a P-51 in slow and medium speeds... pacific war turnfights are even with tighter circles, due to the superior turning abilities of jap planes, so her main mvr aspects are her vertical fighting abilities, which are good, despite her mediocre climb rate.
P-51D 34 or 35
These were some examples. The more famous and wide spread a plane is, the more I can tell from my 12 year experience with aircraft simulations and reading, in regards of direct comparison to another aircraft. And Direct comparison is the way maneuvrability values should be generated, as air simulations also rate the flight model of a plane of how well it compares to other aircraft in different regards (a lot more aspects than just 3 or 4 ratings like in WitP).
Bis dat qui cito dat!