From: Bedfordshire UK
However, the Spitfire was more forgiving of inexperienced pilots (as so many of them were), which gave confidence to novice Spitfire pilots to exploit the full turning capabilities of the aircraft, where inexperienced Bf109 pilots would be more hesitant. Hence the endless discussion of which could turn tightest, the Bf109 in the hands of an expert probably could, but a Spitfire flown by an average pilot could out turn the average Bf109 pilot.
So let's see......
1. The 109 climbs faster......check!
2. The 109 dives faster.......check!
3. And when it really comes to it the 109 could turn tighter as well......check!
Is there anything we missed? What does that make the 109?
My argument is the 109 was the more nimble aircraft, the fact that it was a difficult aircraft to fly doesn't change that. The fact that the ones flown by novice pilots were doctored to not turn so tightly doesn't mean they weren't capable of more with the training wheels off.
Please read the post fully, I have said:
Hence the endless discussion of which could turn tightest, the Bf109 in the hands of an expert probably could, but a Spitfire flown by an average pilot could out turn the average Bf109 pilot.
Therefore, in actual wartime conditions most Spitfire pilots were out-turning most Bf109s, Galland says so and he was there (see quote), I am prepared to accept his assessment.
All through the air war one side, or the other, had advantages and disadvantages, as new aircraft and upgraded models came into service. The tactical and strategic situation changed, giving one side, or other, the upper hand.
A large number of pilots never got the chance to take the 'training wheels' off, their aircraft were not 'doctored' during training, if they got it wrong they died. An aircraft that keeps its pilots alive is a big plus, dead pilots don't win wars..
Taking a snapshot of any part of the war will give one, or other, the superior position, but overall, I don't think there is much to choose between the two aircraft.
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