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F4F/FM2 and P-40 after 1943

 
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F4F/FM2 and P-40 after 1943 - 1/26/2009 8:12:00 PM   
Long Lance


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For a long time, I was under the impression that those planes phased out during late 43/early 44, at least from the USN, USAAF and USMC, perhaps except of some F4F/FM2 on CVEs in the Atlantic

The good old War im the Pacific showed me this was not true for the F4F/FM2.

WitP teaches me that is also not true for P40.

Was the output on F6F so small that he CVE's had to be equipped with F4F/FM2? I know this was also a question of weight, and I don't know the exact figures, but I'd bet that TBFs were much heavier than F6Fs, and were based on CVEs too.

The F6F was by far a better plane than the Wildcat. This wouldn't matter in a ASW-role in the Atlantic, but versus Georges, Tonys, Tojos fighting desperately around the Philippines, I wanted to have the best planes I can get. Why did they still fight with Wildcats?

But the P40 was only insecond line duties from late 43 onward, right? PNG were their last front line duties, except for China, or is this wrong?

Thanks for your replies

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RE: F4F/FM2 and P-40 after 1943 - 1/26/2009 8:40:04 PM   
anarchyintheuk

 

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Escort carrier tfs never had to face many Georges, Tonys or Tojos so the FM-2s weren't that much of a liability. The stock production rate for the hellcats is too low for the day model and too high for the night fighter. Only about 5k day models are produced in the game (plus reinforcements) about 12k were produced during the war. Production also starts late, it should start on 2/43 when first produced or 3/43 when first in operational service, not 7/43 as it is in the game.

< Message edited by anarchyintheuk -- 1/26/2009 9:12:45 PM >

(in reply to Long Lance)
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RE: F4F/FM2 and P-40 after 1943 - 1/26/2009 9:06:20 PM   
mdiehl

 

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quote:

Was the output on F6F so small that he CVE's had to be equipped with F4F/FM2?


GM had the contract for FM2s (Grumman's F4F-4 block 8) to permit Grumman to mazimize production of F6s. The FM2 turned out to be a very good plane with better performance than the F4F-4 earlier types, owing in part to lighter deadweight and more power. As such, it had a better climb rate, better maneuverability, and greater maximum level flight airspeed than the F4F-4 earlier types. The FM2 was also very well suited to the relatively shorter decks and limited deck space of escort carriers. Against late war Japanese strike a.c. it was more than powerful enough. The CVEs also were used extensively in invasion support, which meant that the FM-2 was frequently used in the fighter-bomber role.

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RE: F4F/FM2 and P-40 after 1943 - 1/26/2009 9:08:47 PM   
anarchyintheuk

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: mdiehl

[The FM2 turned out to be a very good plane with better performance than the F4F-4 earlier types, owing in part to lighter deadweight and more power. As such, it had a better climb rate, better maneuverability, and greater maximum level flight airspeed than the F4F-4 earlier types.


That would be the opposite of stock. IIRC they're one point lower in mv.

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RE: F4F/FM2 and P-40 after 1943 - 1/26/2009 9:22:41 PM   
mdiehl

 

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quote:

That would be the opposite of stock.


I'm shocked.

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RE: F4F/FM2 and P-40 after 1943 - 1/26/2009 10:21:30 PM   
Sauvequipeut

 

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IIRC only the four Sangamon class CVE's (which were built on large tanker hulls) could safely operate the Hellcat. The others were all built on smaller merchie hulls and the F4F/FM2 was all the deck length could handle.

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RE: F4F/FM2 and P-40 after 1943 - 1/26/2009 10:37:00 PM   
niceguy2005


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IIRC the FM-2 and F4F both continued to have good kill to loss ratios even late into the war.  The P-40N also proved valuable; a pilot climbing into one could be relatively sure that if he did his job right he had a good chance of coming home.

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RE: F4F/FM2 and P-40 after 1943 - 1/27/2009 4:40:33 PM   
Howard Mitchell


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The FM-2 was able to operate from smaller carriers than the F6F or F4U and was a surprisingly sprightly little fighter. Remember that its main prey was not other fighters but bombers, and it was quite capable of dealing with those even with its reduced armament. Additionally, the escort carriers it operated from were rarely if ever tasked with achieving air superiority, rather just maintaining it once the larger carriers with their F6Fs and F4Us had won it.

I have just finished reading William Wolf’s history of the 13 Fighter Command in the Guadalcanal and Solomons campaign, and was surprised by how late P-40s operated there – 44 FS only converted to P-38s at the end of 1943, and the RNZAF still flew them after that date. One reason for this is that USAAF fighters such as the P-38, P-47 and P-51 were optimised for high-altitude performance, whereas the Solomons campaign saw many bombers operating at medium to low altitude. P-38 drivers hated flying low escort missions for SBDs, TBFs and B-25s as their aircraft lost much of their advantage over the opposition as low altitudes, whereas the P-40 was much happier there.

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RE: F4F/FM2 and P-40 after 1943 - 1/27/2009 6:14:41 PM   
vettim89


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Sauvequipeut

IIRC only the four Sangamon class CVE's (which were built on large tanker hulls) could safely operate the Hellcat. The others were all built on smaller merchie hulls and the F4F/FM2 was all the deck length could handle.


But ALL the CVE's flew TBF/TBM which were just a wee bit bigger than an F6F. Catapaults to the rescue. But catapaults take time to spot and hook up. Even though most carriers of the era had them, they were seldom used. I suspect they were hard on the airframes, took too much time, and resulted in too many accidents. The Yorktown class had hangar catapaults - zowee! Take about a ride.

I suspect the FM-2 was chosen becasue it could be flown off and thus allowed a faster scramble.

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RE: F4F/FM2 and P-40 after 1943 - 1/27/2009 8:09:41 PM   
Long Lance


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So to sum up rgrd. Wildcats, they were not the best, but good enough for the job. And the job,operating from CVEs in an area that was cleared already by F6Fs from the CVs for example, or subhunting, could also be considered as 2nd line duty?
Even for the US it would have been very high efforts to build more F6F-'tools' for more F6Fs instead of using all the tools that were there anyway for the Wildcat?

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RE: F4F/FM2 and P-40 after 1943 - 1/27/2009 8:13:02 PM   
vettim89


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Long Lance

So to sum up rgrd. Wildcats, they were not the best, but good enough for the job. And the job,operating from CVEs in an area that was cleared already by F6Fs from the CVs for example, or subhunting, could also be considered as 2nd line duty?
Even for the US it would have been very high efforts to build more F6F-'tools' for more F6Fs instead of using all the tools that were there anyway for the Wildcat?


Of course the WITP game engine doesn't care and you can put Hellcats on your CVE's anyway.

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RE: F4F/FM2 and P-40 after 1943 - 1/27/2009 8:18:36 PM   
Long Lance


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quote:

ORIGINAL: vettim89


quote:

ORIGINAL: Long Lance

So to sum up rgrd. Wildcats, they were not the best, but good enough for the job. And the job,operating from CVEs in an area that was cleared already by F6Fs from the CVs for example, or subhunting, could also be considered as 2nd line duty?
Even for the US it would have been very high efforts to build more F6F-'tools' for more F6Fs instead of using all the tools that were there anyway for the Wildcat?


Of course the WITP game engine doesn't care and you can put Hellcats on your CVE's anyway.


Of course I do
Hellcats for the CVEs, Corsairs for the CVs.
And then sailing Lunga-Rabaul-Truk-Marshalls-Lunga, shooting down 200 Japanese Aircraft, replacing all 7 Hellcats lost (5 operational losses) and repeat.

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RE: F4F/FM2 and P-40 after 1943 - 1/27/2009 9:24:58 PM   
Howard Mitchell


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Long Lance

...And the job,operating from CVEs in an area that was cleared already by F6Fs from the CVs for example, or subhunting, could also be considered as 2nd line duty?


Wildcats were also used in the Atlantic to hunt U-Boats from CVEs, usually operating in a pair with a TBF. Should the U-Boat decide to try and fight it out on the surface, the Wildcat's job was to kill the U-Boat's gun crew while the Avenger followed in to kill the U-Boat itself. They were very effective at it.

_____________________________

While the battles the British fight may differ in the widest possible ways, they invariably have two common characteristics – they are always fought uphill and always at the junction of two or more map sheets.

General Sir William Slim

(in reply to Long Lance)
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RE: F4F/FM2 and P-40 after 1943 - 1/27/2009 9:39:26 PM   
crsutton


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quote:

ORIGINAL: vettim89


quote:

ORIGINAL: Long Lance

So to sum up rgrd. Wildcats, they were not the best, but good enough for the job. And the job,operating from CVEs in an area that was cleared already by F6Fs from the CVs for example, or subhunting, could also be considered as 2nd line duty?
Even for the US it would have been very high efforts to build more F6F-'tools' for more F6Fs instead of using all the tools that were there anyway for the Wildcat?


Of course the WITP game engine doesn't care and you can put Hellcats on your CVE's anyway.



Oh Dear! The cat's out the bag now.......

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RE: F4F/FM2 and P-40 after 1943 - 1/27/2009 11:08:53 PM   
herwin

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: vettim89


quote:

ORIGINAL: Sauvequipeut

IIRC only the four Sangamon class CVE's (which were built on large tanker hulls) could safely operate the Hellcat. The others were all built on smaller merchie hulls and the F4F/FM2 was all the deck length could handle.


But ALL the CVE's flew TBF/TBM which were just a wee bit bigger than an F6F. Catapaults to the rescue. But catapaults take time to spot and hook up. Even though most carriers of the era had them, they were seldom used. I suspect they were hard on the airframes, took too much time, and resulted in too many accidents. The Yorktown class had hangar catapaults - zowee! Take about a ride.

I suspect the FM-2 was chosen becasue it could be flown off and thus allowed a faster scramble.


In ASW operations, the FM-2 provided the rapid response, while the TBMs carried out the kill. The FM-2 could also deal with snoopers. The F8F took over the same missions after the end of the war.

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RE: F4F/FM2 and P-40 after 1943 - 1/28/2009 3:56:24 AM   
Alfred

 

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Gentlemen,

Whenever you wonder why a less capable plane is kept in production when better credentialled planes were being produced around the same time, you should never forget the importance of the unit price paid by Treasury per airframe.  Same principle still applies today.

Alfred

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RE: F4F/FM2 and P-40 after 1943 - 1/30/2009 2:27:43 PM   
wdolson

 

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The FM-2 also had a different engine than the earlier F4Fs and FM-1 (the FM-1 was a licenced built F4F-4).  With the better engine, the FM-2 was more sprightly than the F4F-4. 

The TBF was a larger plane than the F6F, but it also had a lower wing loading, which made handling easier on the small decks of the CVEs.  F6Fs could operate from the smaller CVEs, but there wasn't much margin for error.  Some CVEs did operate Corsairs near the end of the war, but the accident rate was very high.

Only the first couple of Essex class carriers had hanger catapults and they were removed during upgrades.  They just didn't really work out in practice.  WW II era catapults were fired with gun powder.  For every launch, new powder bags had to be loaded and there was the ever present danger of an accident.  Catapults were frequently used to launch loaded TBFs from the CVEs, but rolling launches were preferred whenever possible.

The P-40 stayed into production right up until the last day of the war.  I once talked to a pilot who's job in late 1945 was flying P-40s from the factory directly to the recycling plant. 

The P-40 has a bit of a bad rep because it was overshadowed by the P-47 and P-51.  In reality, it was on par with the P-38 (though the concentrated firepower in the nose of the P-38 gave it better hitting power) in performance.  The P-38 ended up being the preferred mount because of it's range.  The P-38s were able to venture deep into enemy territory and get home again, even with an engine out.  The P-40s was just too short legged.

Some units were equipped with P-40s right up until VJ Day.  The late model P-40s were maybe a tick down on the newest Japanese fighters, but pilot quality more than made up for the difference.

Advantages of the P-40 and Wildcat that aren't reflected all that well in WitP (but are to some degree in AE) is the reliability.  Grumman came up with an ingenious engine replacement system on the Wildcat.  On Wake, the Marines had to patch together damaged Wildcats to keep them flying.  The inexperienced ground crews were able to swap engines in less than a day due to how easy it was to pop out an engine and pop in a new one.  All the wiring and hoses had quick release fittings that allowed the ground crew to simply unplug things, then plug the new engine in.  The toughest part was coming up with the crane apparatus to hold the engine in place during the operation.

The P-40 was a bit more complicated since it had a liquid cooled engine, but for an inline engine, it was very easy to work on. 

Bill


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RE: F4F/FM2 and P-40 after 1943 - 1/30/2009 2:50:54 PM   
Canoerebel


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I don't know about real life, but in WitP (at least Big B mod) avoid the FM-2s like the plague.  In my game with Miller a number of FM-2 equipped CVEs faced Jap bombers and fighters.  They performed very poorly.  I lost scores (literally) of CVEs in that game.  CVEs on routing convoy duty far from the front lines may be another matter, but don't take FM-2-equipped CVEs into harm's way if it can be avoided. 

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RE: F4F/FM2 and P-40 after 1943 - 1/30/2009 4:04:01 PM   
Desertmole


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One other point to remember was that the CVEs were used to perform CAS missions for troops ashore.  Bigger and faster is not always better in the CAS role.  The FM-2 was a pretty good multipurpose aircraft and it did take less resources to make than the F6F.

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RE: F4F/FM2 and P-40 after 1943 - 1/31/2009 5:15:44 PM   
msieving1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: wdolson

The FM-2 also had a different engine than the earlier F4Fs and FM-1 (the FM-1 was a licenced built F4F-4).  With the better engine, the FM-2 was more sprightly than the F4F-4. 


The FM-2 had a turbocharged Wright Cyclone engine with 1,350 hp, compared to the 1,200 hp P&W Twin Wasp in the F4F and FM-1. That was good for about 15-20 more mph, and a significantly better climb rate.

quote:



The TBF was a larger plane than the F6F, but it also had a lower wing loading, which made handling easier on the small decks of the CVEs.  F6Fs could operate from the smaller CVEs, but there wasn't much margin for error.  Some CVEs did operate Corsairs near the end of the war, but the accident rate was very high.


People tend to forget that the F6F was a big airplane. It was heavier than the Corsair, and not that much lighter than the TBF. Maximum takeoff weight of the F6F was nearly double that of the FM-2.

quote:


Only the first couple of Essex class carriers had hanger catapults and they were removed during upgrades.  They just didn't really work out in practice.  WW II era catapults were fired with gun powder.  For every launch, new powder bags had to be loaded and there was the ever present danger of an accident.  Catapults were frequently used to launch loaded TBFs from the CVEs, but rolling launches were preferred whenever possible.


The catapults on cruisers and battleships were gunpowder fired, but the catapults on CVEs were hydraulic. Still, flying off was much faster than a catapult launch. I've got a training film on catapults around somewhere, and the cycle time for catapult launches was reckoned to be about 45 seconds. But for a fully loaded TBF/TBM, there wasn't much of an option; they were too big to fly off.


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