From: A Sand Road
You're kidding, right? Use a computer game to determine aircraft capabilities?
Not a game, a flight simulator with accurate flight models.
For 6 months the Zero dominated the skies against obsolete aircraft, Buffaloes for 1, and tactics. Hell, once the P-40s were upgunned to 6 .50 cal even they did better against the Zeros. Yes it was a remarkable plane when it was intoduced, but it's fragile construction and lack of self sealing fuel tanks spelled it's doom. Relying on superbly trained pilots without a pilot training program producing decently trained pilots and the failure to introduce better planes sooner spelled doom for the Japanese.
If somebody could find the breakdowns for kill vs loss ratios for the first 12 to 14 months of the Pacific War I feel that it will show what we already suspect.
It´s not so much the planes Todd as the tactics. The Zero can outrun, out climb, and out turn a Wildcat.
A Wildcat dogfighting in a traditional manner against a Zero is going to lose.
The biggest ¨event¨ in the air battles in the first 14 months was the introduction of the ¨Thatch Weave¨
First used at Midway I understand with success but when it became widespread among Allied fighter groups in the South Pacific I don´t know.
As far as the kill rato. The best allied flyers using the ¨Weave¨ Zero vs Wildcat was a little less than...
1 to 1
It had a huge impact.
Saburo Sakai-"For the first time Lt. Commander Tadashi Nakajima encountered what was to become a famous double-team maneuver on the part of the enemy. Two Wildcats jumped on the commander’s plane. He had no trouble in getting on the tail of an enemy fighter, but never had a chance to fire before the Grumman’s team-mate roared at him from the side. Nakajima was raging when he got back to Rabaul; he had been forced to dive and run for safety."