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RE: 2-engine fighters, hit or miss?

 
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RE: 2-engine fighters, hit or miss? - 7/12/2012 10:53:36 AM   
21pzr

 

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icepharmy;

The dive problem of the early P-38's was that they actually dived too well. If you tipped one over at high speed and altitude, you actually went supersonic (I believe I read where this was the first plane to do so, and why it took quite a while to figure out what was happening and what to do) and the turbulence over the wings forced the flaps down, causing you to lose control and auger into the ground. Several test pilots were lost during early testing. This was fixed by adding dive brakes.

Bill

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RE: 2-engine fighters, hit or miss? - 7/12/2012 11:05:35 AM   
YankeeAirRat


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Lets see the the P-38 was removed from service in Europe because it was expensive to maintain and the mean hours between failure for the Engines and some of the other components that made it hard to maintain in England. Add in that the P-47, P-40, P-51 and the Beaufighter were already in the USAAF supply stream for Europe, so to simplify as the P-38 wasn't the end all in fighters against the Me-109 and FW-190's. So they were slowly removed from service in places like England. It was still used for a while in the Italian area of operations before it too was replaced by the P-47 and P-51 for the most part. That was one of the reasons it thrived over in the Pacific, is that most of the supply streams were still being developed so it was easier to start one going from San Fran to Hawaii to Oz to NG or the 'Canal was because there weren't already a number of competing supply streams as it was. Add in the fact that for a number of the units that were in the Pacific for the first 18 months were units trying to hold the line (the P-400, P-39, P-40) it was easier to phase those units as and start up the P-38.

As to the Bf-110, remember for a while there was in everyone's thinking two (or even three) different types of fighters in the air force inventory. Pursit planes which would engage other fighters and light bombers, heavy fighters/interceptors which would engage the bombers and then was the question of should interceptors be a seperate category by themselves. Anyhow, the Bf-110 when bought was going to be something like the Boulton Paul Defiant was thought of, in that a plane which would be able to have the range to intercept enemy bombers far enough from the target to allow most of them to be downed by both the forwrad firing guns and if needed the rear gun. However, during the build process like a number of aircraft have seen, the German high command of the Luftwaffe changed the specs from just being a fighter to being a fighter bomber with certain other aspects to it the contract change. Which adding the equipment to give the airplane the ability to deliver bombs and perform dive bombing adversely affected its weight and adversely affected its manuverability and speed.

The Mosquito was adapted to a fighter from the successful bomber and did well in this course. Its ultimate evolution was the Hornet aircraft which very successful in the post war period between the demise of the prop engine and the introduction of reliable jet engines. Beyond that I really think that the Beaufighter was a successful twin engine fighter in the Commonwealth Air Forces. It did yeoman's duty in all theaters and did it well, whether it was battling German patrol aircraft over the Norwegian seas or down along the Channel protecting the various inter-coastal supply convoys from both surface and air attack. In the Pacific, it did wonders in SE Asia and when introduced in the SWPAC region they finally had a fighter which could escort all the way from PM to Rabual and back or further in some cases.

The US had the P-38 already talked about, but then we had the XF5F which didn't provide the performance promised. Then there was the YFM-1 which sucked The P-61, P-70, Beaufighter, P-82, F7F as it for twin engine fighters before the whole idea was dropped with the arrival of Jet engines and the early ones having the requirement of twin engines due to questions about reliability.

A lot of what killed the early twin engine fighters was the engines and the mission creep that was added to the aircraft. The pre-war engines were just not being successful and delievery of the performance as envisioned by the engineers designing some of these aircraft. If we again add in mission creep, that is an aircraft is designed for one mission but someone wants to add another mission. Whether that is being a level bomber or a search asset or what. To add some of the extra equipment, even if it isn't installed all the time, adds weight and puts a drain on the performance of the engine. Bad Performance of the engine leads to bad aircraft in certain situations.

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RE: 2-engine fighters, hit or miss? - 7/12/2012 12:06:22 PM   
Historiker


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Nikademus

i've always had a soft spot for the Zerstorer......probably in part because the word Zerstorer sounds so cool. Like wearing a Fez and traveling in a Blue Box. I also fly one better in EAW. 109's i'm always Lawn Darting.



A good plane is good when it does a good job in a good role

The Me-110 was a good plane, but not in dogfighting. Like all planes, 2e fighters are a compromise and unless it isn't a misconstruction from the beginning, it can be really successfull in a proper role. A2A dogfighting never was the perfect use. But imagine a Me-109Z with 5 3cm guns used against 4es - especially when they come without cover. But you propably don't want to sit in it when you are supposed to dogfight against enemy P-51 in an escort role.

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RE: 2-engine fighters, hit or miss? - 7/12/2012 4:54:58 PM   
Commander Stormwolf

 

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P-38 was bad in RAF service since they were delivered without their turbo system

flew about 340 mph

they were called "castrated lightnings"

once the USAAF brought their own P-38s, they did better


but in terms of materials and production time, what is better

1 x 2E fighter

or

2 x 1E fighter



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RE: 2-engine fighters, hit or miss? - 7/12/2012 5:26:53 PM   
oldman45


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I too always had a soft spot for the 110. If they had better engines for it, it would have done better. As was pointed out earlier, mission creep killed many of the 2E planes as they expected more out of it then it could ever deliver.

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RE: 2-engine fighters, hit or miss? - 7/12/2012 7:15:02 PM   
frank1970


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The Me110 was a beast of a nightfighter, maybe the bes used in WW2.
Just for light reading:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heinz-Wolfgang_Schnaufer


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RE: 2-engine fighters, hit or miss? - 7/12/2012 8:04:34 PM   
YankeeAirRat


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Commander Stormwolf

but in terms of materials and production time, what is better

1 x 2E fighter

or

2 x 1E fighter




If they are both being produced at the same rate for the same costs then they are equivalent and there isn't a different there. From there it breaks down to which is more valuable to the fight in performance and most bang for the buck.

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RE: 2-engine fighters, hit or miss? - 7/13/2012 12:54:41 AM   
Commander Stormwolf

 

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2E took at least 2x as long to build and 2x as many materials

in some cases it was even more,

A6M was 1.7 tons while G4M was 6.7 tons (betty cost 3.5x that of a zero)


during the battle of britain, 2E fighters seemed to be "twice as expensive, and half as good"
as single engined fighters

but for confronting unescorted 2E or 4E strikes,

it helps to have some heavy firepower (and be able to withstand some 12.7mm shells)

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RE: 2-engine fighters, hit or miss? - 7/13/2012 4:33:34 AM   
Dili

 

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What killed the 2E fighter is that engines keep improving and that gave a big margin for fuel and weapons for 1 engine fighters. After a certain threshold of engine power the 1 engine fighter starts to be the much better configuration with advantages in almost everything.
While at start of war it could be said that 2E could give big advantage in range and weapons and almost a tie in speed, in 1944 that advantage if existed was marginal and the tie in speed was lost.
We most remember that a 1E fighter at end of war had almost double of max weight of a 1E at begin of war. That is how things changed.

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RE: 2-engine fighters, hit or miss? - 7/13/2012 4:46:17 AM   
Commander Stormwolf

 

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P-47 is a good example

the weight and price of a 2E fighter (and the same poor climb and turn performance of a 2E)


the classic 2E config (Bf-110 or Ki-45) style did seem a big superfluous by 1944

but other designs were beginning to emerge that were quite promising (Ki-64, Do335, Me262, etc)


think luftwaffe had it backwards,

supposed to use their Bf-110 for defense (it really tore apart allied bmbr strikes during the battle of france)

need a good 1E fighter for escort


japanese got the second part right, always had enough fuel (they could escort their long range strikes)
but didn't quite understand the concept of a point defence fighter (they couldn't shoot down masses of 4E very well)

USAAF started with jack-of-all trade type fighters (like the P-40) that didn't quite have enough range to escort, or enough climb to intercept

later they packed as much fuel as possible into their designs (and mitigated the performance hit due to their good engines and fuel)



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