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Air combat - 3/9/2012 8:19:07 AM   
CT Grognard

 

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There have been a lot of discussions lately regarding the air model in WITP-AE, people complaining about the model breaking down when you have large numbers of aircraft, but have a look at this crazy result, it even seems to be borked for small numbers!

How on earth did my 15 Hellcats not manage to shoot down one single, solitary A6M5c???? BORKED in favour of Japan!

AFTER ACTION REPORTS FOR Jun 24, 44
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Morning Air attack on Iwo-jima , at 108,77

Weather in hex: Light cloud

Raid spotted at 17 NM, estimated altitude 33,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 5 minutes

Japanese aircraft
A6M5c Zero x 1



Allied aircraft
F6F-3 Hellcat x 15


No Japanese losses

No Allied losses



Aircraft Attacking:
15 x F6F-3 Hellcat sweeping at 30000 feet

CAP engaged:
Yokosuka Ku-3 with A6M5c Zero (1 airborne, 0 on standby, 0 scrambling)
1 plane(s) intercepting now.
Group patrol altitude is 20000
Raid is overhead
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RE: Air combat - 3/9/2012 8:21:53 AM   
CT Grognard

 

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They did not even damage the Zero! Not a single hit!

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RE: Air combat - 3/9/2012 9:44:52 AM   
Puhis

 

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Piloted by S.Sakai, I presume?

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RE: Air combat - 3/9/2012 10:18:07 AM   
Itdepends

 

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I've seen that before where the defending CAP or attacking sweep had only 1 or 2 planes. I rationale it with a Sir Robin on the part of the 1 or 2 plane unit.

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RE: Air combat - 3/9/2012 10:38:18 AM   
Reg


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The sky is a big place when you are on your own!!

Maybe they didn't even make contact....



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RE: Air combat - 3/9/2012 10:47:02 AM   
CT Grognard

 

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Yes!

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RE: Air combat - 3/9/2012 11:12:49 AM   
LoBaron


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Reg


The sky is a big place when you are on your own!!

Maybe they didn't even make contact....




Oh they did make contact, the F6F-3 pilots wasted a whole lot of ammo on the lone Zero.
I guess the def skill of the IJN pilot was extremely high...

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RE: Air combat - 3/9/2012 11:17:07 AM   
CT Grognard

 

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The Japanese pilot in question, Sakai, S., has 95 Exp and Def 99.

Go figure.

< Message edited by CT Grognard -- 3/9/2012 11:34:17 AM >

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RE: Air combat - 3/9/2012 11:18:28 AM   
Puhis

 

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On 24 June 1944, Sakai approached a formation of 15 U.S. Navy Grumman F6F Hellcat fighters which he mistakenly assumed were friendly Japanese aircraft. In a chase that has become legendary, Sakai demonstrated his skill and experience. Despite his loss of one eye and facing superior enemy aircraft, Sakai eluded attacks by the Hellcats for more than 20 minutes, returning to his airfield untouched.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabur%C5%8D_Sakai#Recovery_and_Return

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RE: Air combat - 3/9/2012 11:31:56 AM   
Sardaukar


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IIRC, they didn't achieve a single bullet hit on his plane.

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RE: Air combat - 3/9/2012 11:37:10 AM   
Puhis

 

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If that story is true, then reality must be broken.

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RE: Air combat - 3/9/2012 11:39:19 AM   
CT Grognard

 

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Reality is BROKEN!

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RE: Air combat - 3/9/2012 4:10:28 PM   
Commander Stormwolf

 

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Pilot exp is a big part of the puzzle...
a good pilot who can immelman and split-s
will avoid getting hit

pilot who sits there in panic will get hit plenty

< Message edited by Commander Stormwolf -- 3/9/2012 4:11:24 PM >


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RE: Air combat - 3/9/2012 4:20:40 PM   
Shark7


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Well Sakai, Saburo was one of the best of the Japanese Aces.

In WiTP:AE....his inferior aircraft would have doomed him. In real life his skill, experience and determination saved him.

Just another way the game can't emulate real life.

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RE: Air combat - 3/9/2012 4:46:41 PM   
crsutton


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Well, I think the point is that in a obsolete plane an excellent pilot has a chance to survive. However, that plane does not present much of a threat to a superior plane-even if piloted by an average pilots if the superior plane maintains situational awareness.

With the zero in 1944 it was sort of like fielding a soccer team that can only play defence. It does not matter how good they are if they can't score then they will lose sooner or later. This is a simplistic analogy, but you get my drift.

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RE: Air combat - 3/9/2012 6:18:50 PM   
Chickenboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Sardaukar

IIRC, they didn't achieve a single bullet hit on his plane.

Eh? They hit his plane. He was shot through the cockpit, with the bullet narrowly missing braining him.

Ah- you must be referring to a different engagement, not the one in which he was wounded. Never mind.

< Message edited by Chickenboy -- 3/9/2012 6:19:49 PM >


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RE: Air combat - 3/10/2012 10:20:52 AM   
LoBaron


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Shark7

Well Sakai, Saburo was one of the best of the Japanese Aces.

In WiTP:AE....his inferior aircraft would have doomed him. In real life his skill, experience and determination saved him.

Just another way the game can't emulate real life.


It was not skill. Not alone, and not as a primary attribute.
Saburo Sakai was one of those guys in WWII who combined high skill with an unbelievable, immense, ammount of luck. Such guys
were few on the side of Axis powers, because they usually needed to luck out several times in very critical situations
to be able to survive the war.

Erich "Bubi" Hartmann is another good example. The top scoring ace of all times, 350 kills on the list. Many guys as good as himself fell
to their death after few combat missions. Hartmann had his first encounter with death in March ´42, before he even shot down his first
enemy fighter:
"I was showing off, buzzing the airfield and was sentenced to house arrest. Ironically my roommate flew the same aircraft I had
been in and it developed a technical problem, and he was killed in the crash. That was ironic."


To get this clear: had it been Hartmann in this plane, no person alive in the 21st century would have ever known this guy.
He would be a number of all German pilots killed from 1939-1945.

Hartmann was shot down several times, often in situations where veterans died the same way geen pilots did, he always survived.

The same is true for Sakai. He stated himself several times - because of his mentality and Japanese codex of honour or because
it was really true I don´t know - that he personally knew pilots much more skilled than himself, who all died in the war. In inferior planes against a
numerous enemy. He caught the bullet with his name on it just inches away from death, he survived an unreal flight home, he fought successfully
against 15 Hellcats piloted by USN flyers who probably had not seen an experienced Japanese opponent in their whole life, until that very moment.

He was very very very lucky.

WitP AE displayes this well. You simply cannot choose a pilot and say: this will be a lucky pilot who will survive the war and become an ace.
Thats not how AE or reality works.
But if you go through your squads and tracom in ´45, there is a high chance you will find one or the other pilot who raked a high number
of kills and is not KIA/MIA. These pilots are the Saburo Sakais of hindsight.



< Message edited by LoBaron -- 3/10/2012 10:32:38 AM >


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RE: Air combat - 3/10/2012 12:12:24 PM   
Sardaukar


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Like in my game vs. AI, Pappy Boyington was killed in Rangoon without scoring single kill...that was annoying.

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RE: Air combat - 3/10/2012 3:51:11 PM   
Shark7


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quote:

ORIGINAL: LoBaron

quote:

ORIGINAL: Shark7

Well Sakai, Saburo was one of the best of the Japanese Aces.

In WiTP:AE....his inferior aircraft would have doomed him. In real life his skill, experience and determination saved him.

Just another way the game can't emulate real life.


It was not skill. Not alone, and not as a primary attribute.
Saburo Sakai was one of those guys in WWII who combined high skill with an unbelievable, immense, ammount of luck. Such guys
were few on the side of Axis powers, because they usually needed to luck out several times in very critical situations
to be able to survive the war.

Erich "Bubi" Hartmann is another good example. The top scoring ace of all times, 350 kills on the list. Many guys as good as himself fell
to their death after few combat missions. Hartmann had his first encounter with death in March ´42, before he even shot down his first
enemy fighter:
"I was showing off, buzzing the airfield and was sentenced to house arrest. Ironically my roommate flew the same aircraft I had
been in and it developed a technical problem, and he was killed in the crash. That was ironic."


To get this clear: had it been Hartmann in this plane, no person alive in the 21st century would have ever known this guy.
He would be a number of all German pilots killed from 1939-1945.

Hartmann was shot down several times, often in situations where veterans died the same way geen pilots did, he always survived.

The same is true for Sakai. He stated himself several times - because of his mentality and Japanese codex of honour or because
it was really true I don´t know - that he personally knew pilots much more skilled than himself, who all died in the war. In inferior planes against a
numerous enemy. He caught the bullet with his name on it just inches away from death, he survived an unreal flight home, he fought successfully
against 15 Hellcats piloted by USN flyers who probably had not seen an experienced Japanese opponent in their whole life, until that very moment.

He was very very very lucky.

WitP AE displayes this well. You simply cannot choose a pilot and say: this will be a lucky pilot who will survive the war and become an ace.
Thats not how AE or reality works.
But if you go through your squads and tracom in ´45, there is a high chance you will find one or the other pilot who raked a high number
of kills and is not KIA/MIA. These pilots are the Saburo Sakais of hindsight.




I will certainly agree that he had some luck. That is not a bad thing, but he also had something inside of him that simply wouldn't let him give up...that is what got him back to Rabual after being injured over the Solomons. Call it determination, call it tenacity...whatever you call it, Sakai (and I would bet Hartmann as well) had it in abundance.

And luck does run out. Without the skill and the determination, luck is just another factor that may or may not influence the outcome. It takes a combination.

I would present to you that there were lots of pilots that were lucky that still didn't make it home. You need the whole package to go from day 1 to the final day.

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RE: Air combat - 3/11/2012 11:30:45 AM   
LoBaron


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I think we have a disagreement on what luck means. For me luck is a factor you do not have any control over.

You may be able create a situation where you do not require - or only require a small ammount of - luck, but as soon as the
dice rolls you are helpless as an infant.

I am aware that every professional soldier needs to rely on the thought that he is master of his own fate. He needs to
believe this is the case, because the thought of not being in control is a frightening thought. It reduces the trust in personal
professionalism and training and skill.

In every military profession there is a certain percentage of determined and skilled individuals, where the individual differences in skill and
determination are smaller than the individual differences in fate. Many dead soldiers were as skilled and determined as surviving soldiers,
at least I would not attempt to compare the skill and determination of a Hans-Joachim Marseille with that of an Erich Hartmann.

The Guadalcanal story you cite on Sakai is very fitting, as I agree with you that he was probably one of very few pilots to survive such
an ordeal while remaining in control of his plane.

But there, for example, are two things which have nothing to do with determination, and both exclusively to do with luck:

First, he had absolutely no control over where the bullet would hit him. It was pure luck that it did not hit him where determination
is not a factor anymore.

And second, he lucked out on pilot selection for the IJN´s Midway adventure, where many of his friends died, and he did not
fly against odds later in the Guadalcanal campaingn where most of his other friends died - simply because he WIA´nd out of one of
the worst meatgrinders for IJN pilots.

So, if I want to nitpick I´d say with enough luck you can overcome lack of skill or determination, with skill and determination you cannot
overcome a situation where you luck runs out, at least using the definition of luck I attempted above. You can only try to minimize the situations
where you solely need to rely on luck, you wont be able to avoid those situations completely though.


So, no, those pilots who did not make it home were not lucky. If they were, they would have made it home.

< Message edited by LoBaron -- 3/11/2012 11:31:14 AM >


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RE: Air combat - 3/11/2012 4:41:00 PM   
Shark7


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With enough skill and determination you may not need luck.

Also luck runs both ways...good and bad.

I think of it this way: Just because you are the guy that never loses at cards (luck) doesn't mean that same luck applies with skies full of flak.

If you are going to get the lucky break and it breaks your way, true you have no control over it. However, with proper skill and determination, you can influence events (to a point) where when that lucky break occurs, it occurs your way, not the other guys way. You increase your odds so to speak.

And lets face it, Sakai had bad luck over the Solomons, he took a MG hit to the head from the tail-gunner of a Dauntless (IIRC). He overcame his bad luck with his skill and determination to make it back to Rabaul (a flight of over 4 hours) with a serious wound and blinded in one eye. He overcame his bad luck in that case.

Again, the complete package increases your odds of survival. That is all I am saying.

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RE: Air combat - 3/11/2012 4:52:10 PM   
mike scholl 1

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Puhis

On 24 June 1944, Sakai approached a formation of 15 U.S. Navy Grumman F6F Hellcat fighters which he mistakenly assumed were friendly Japanese aircraft. In a chase that has become legendary, Sakai demonstrated his skill and experience. Despite his loss of one eye and facing superior enemy aircraft, Sakai eluded attacks by the Hellcats for more than 20 minutes, returning to his airfield untouched.



PRETTY MUCH DEMONSTRATES THE BASIC DESIGN PHILOSOPHY OF THE ZERO. YOU DON'T NEED ARMOR OR SELF-SEALING TANKS IF YOUR SO MANEUVERABLE YOUR ENEMIES CAN'T HIT YOU. Unfortunately it only works for truely gifted and experianced pilots (and not always for them)...., which Japan soon had a particular lack of.

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RE: Air combat - 3/11/2012 5:35:31 PM   
LoBaron


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Agreed. In truth, we´re talking about the same thing from slightly different perspectives anyway.

That said, I read Saburo Sakai´s biography a couple of times, it always astonishes me how anybody can muster the
will to march through the adverse situations he faced, in war and beyond, and come out victorious. And then become
a valued friend of the same people he fought.

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RE: Air combat - 3/11/2012 7:29:50 PM   
Commander Stormwolf

 

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Sometimes the difference between greatness and doom is a few centimeters..

(bullet that killed man next to hitler.. bullet that almost killed sakai)

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RE: Air combat - 3/11/2012 7:35:15 PM   
Commander Stormwolf

 

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quote:

PRETTY MUCH DEMONSTRATES THE BASIC DESIGN PHILOSOPHY OF THE ZERO. YOU DON'T NEED ARMOR OR SELF-SEALING TANKS IF YOUR SO MANEUVERABLE YOUR ENEMIES CAN'T HIT YOU. Unfortunately it only works for truely gifted and experianced pilots (and not always for them)...., which Japan soon had a particular lack of.


Yep. And if study the design history of the Reisen, the IJN fighter pilots wanted even more of it and
the idea was demanded of Horikoshi at a high level meeting

they wanted to remove the fuel capacity to lower the wing loading even further

...imagine a super light weight short range zero

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RE: Air combat - 3/11/2012 9:34:06 PM   
Erkki


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quote:

ORIGINAL: mike scholl 1


quote:

ORIGINAL: Puhis

On 24 June 1944, Sakai approached a formation of 15 U.S. Navy Grumman F6F Hellcat fighters which he mistakenly assumed were friendly Japanese aircraft. In a chase that has become legendary, Sakai demonstrated his skill and experience. Despite his loss of one eye and facing superior enemy aircraft, Sakai eluded attacks by the Hellcats for more than 20 minutes, returning to his airfield untouched.



PRETTY MUCH DEMONSTRATES THE BASIC DESIGN PHILOSOPHY OF THE ZERO. YOU DON'T NEED ARMOR OR SELF-SEALING TANKS IF YOUR SO MANEUVERABLE YOUR ENEMIES CAN'T HIT YOU. Unfortunately it only works for truely gifted and experianced pilots (and not always for them)...., which Japan soon had a particular lack of.


But the design philosophy itself was flawed - a fighter does not shoot down the enemy by defending only. While agility is good the fighter must be able to catch the enemy, bring its guns on the enemy and shoot it down.

Speed was easily the most important area of performance for a WW2 fighter. It is also the one that was improved the most through the war. Also maneuverability is often confused with just rate and radius of turn as its more than that; ability to change the aircraft's speed vector's direction and length, right? If we go by that definition, the Zero wasnt very maneuverable either, as it had a rather poor rate of roll at other than very low speeds(it was also nothing exceptional at "pulling Gs" at high speeds).

BTW I think Sakai would have been shot down in a minute had the F6F pilots understood to lead their shots... 15 F6Fs have quite a lot of ammo(as in firing time) and if the pilots just keep the trigger down during approaches one would think they'd have hit sooner or later even if they just kept the reticle over the Zero. Or nearby. I wonder who they were as they must have had a lot of hours under the belt as they were, after all, from an operational CV unit.

< Message edited by Erkki -- 3/11/2012 9:35:07 PM >

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RE: Air combat - 3/11/2012 10:31:39 PM   
Commander Stormwolf

 

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Zero's rate of roll --> the models with servo tabs were designed to increase roll at low speed but decreased it at high speed

MVR versus Speed --> it's a long debate, remember if a speed fighter starts turning it is goind to lose energy and slow down
an MVR fighter keept its energy well in a turn and will usually maintain its speed better

if you have both speed and MVR, you will dominate the opponent (like spitfire versus Bf-109E)

if you have less speed but better mvr, you will be okay (hurricane versus Bf-109E)

if you have neither speed nor mvr, you are in trouble (Bf-110)


remember another problem zero had was firepower (Sakai shooting hudreds of rounds into a wildcat to no effect)

both speed and mvr fighters still exist today (the Mig-29 and Mig-31 series), and F-15 and F-16

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RE: Air combat - 3/11/2012 10:40:28 PM   
mike scholl 1

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erkki

quote:

ORIGINAL: mike scholl 1

PRETTY MUCH DEMONSTRATES THE BASIC DESIGN PHILOSOPHY OF THE ZERO. YOU DON'T NEED ARMOR OR SELF-SEALING TANKS IF YOUR SO MANEUVERABLE YOUR ENEMIES CAN'T HIT YOU. Unfortunately it only works for truely gifted and experianced pilots (and not always for them)...., which Japan soon had a particular lack of.


But the design philosophy itself was flawed - a fighter does not shoot down the enemy by defending only. While agility is good the fighter must be able to catch the enemy, bring its guns on the enemy and shoot it down.




You are correct overall, but at the time the Zero was designed virtually every fighter pilot thought in terms of "Dogfighting"---at which the Zero was superb. And at that time, quite fast and well-armed as well. It was perhaps the major cause for the development of all "run and gun" tactics. So the Zero design cannot be considered "flawed" (witness it's success in the opening months of the war)..., but the answer to the Zero was a change in tactics rather than the need for an entirely new airframe. When the Allies proved able to develope not only new tactics, but superior airframes as well, the Zero was left behind. But as Sakai proved, it still wasn't helpless in the hands of a superb pilot.

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Post #: 28
RE: Air combat - 3/11/2012 10:50:47 PM   
Commander Stormwolf

 

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remember one last piece of the zero puzzle,
the insistence of the IJN command to include long-range capability

while other fighters have a range of 4 (spitfire V)
the A6M2 with a drop tank has a range of 14

pilots on the front line in china didn't want this

--> they complained the Reisen was less maneouverable than the Type 96
--> they also didn't like the wing guns and wanted larger caliber guns on the nose

if the range was small you could have less wing loading and higher speed

something like this




Attachment (1)

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Post #: 29
RE: Air combat - 3/11/2012 11:06:49 PM   
Erkki


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quote:

ORIGINAL: mike scholl 1


quote:

ORIGINAL: Erkki

quote:

ORIGINAL: mike scholl 1

PRETTY MUCH DEMONSTRATES THE BASIC DESIGN PHILOSOPHY OF THE ZERO. YOU DON'T NEED ARMOR OR SELF-SEALING TANKS IF YOUR SO MANEUVERABLE YOUR ENEMIES CAN'T HIT YOU. Unfortunately it only works for truely gifted and experianced pilots (and not always for them)...., which Japan soon had a particular lack of.


But the design philosophy itself was flawed - a fighter does not shoot down the enemy by defending only. While agility is good the fighter must be able to catch the enemy, bring its guns on the enemy and shoot it down.




You are correct overall, but at the time the Zero was designed virtually every fighter pilot thought in terms of "Dogfighting"---at which the Zero was superb. And at that time, quite fast and well-armed as well. It was perhaps the major cause for the development of all "run and gun" tactics. So the Zero design cannot be considered "flawed" (witness it's success in the opening months of the war)..., but the answer to the Zero was a change in tactics rather than the need for an entirely new airframe. When the Allies proved able to develope not only new tactics, but superior airframes as well, the Zero was left behind. But as Sakai proved, it still wasn't helpless in the hands of a superb pilot.




Agreed, with a but: had Zeros faced state-of-the-art machines and tactics in early/mid 1942(ie. been used vs. RAF or especially the Luftwaffe, or really, even the V-VS...) instead of mostly obsolescent designs, tactics and not that great pilots the western powers had in their backyard. Luftwaffe and FiAF had left the turn fighting mindset and doctrines behind and begun using the "run n gun" speed & vertical tactics and used finger four formation 4 years + before PH attacks, and the Germans had been designing their fighters with highest possible speed in mind for long already.

However I believe Japan was as much behind as it was because of the inflexibility of its military and lack of actual combat experience and later resources to actually design, test and put new types into production. I'm sure the experienced Japanese pilots(as well as many of the aircraft engineers) knew exactly where and how their machines were limited and what to improve in them. I believe that this has been discussed before, in a thread with a Jori Horikoshi interview? Ki-84 was already a good machine, built with speed and roll in mind and not just the low speed rate of turn. But "too late, too few".

(in reply to mike scholl 1)
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