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Why P51 was Faster than the BF 109

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Hippycrowe
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Why P51 was Faster than the BF 109

#1 Post by Hippycrowe » Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:14 pm

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=sTD7DqXfRno

I am surprised the Germans didn't produce an engine as good as the Merlin sooner. I have read the Merlin was the best water cooled WW2 air craft engine made. I know German had fuel injection Merlin was not but which engine was easier to do maintenance on.

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Re: Why P51 was Faster than the BF 109

#2 Post by DaleH » Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:28 pm

Good analysis of it all (design, engine, amrament & use) here, but compared to the superior Focke-Wulf. It correlates with what I remember my Dad telling me (335 Squadron - 4th Fighter Group - Debden, England; an ‘Eagle Squadron’ volunteer, volunteered for the Brits before the US entered the war & finally ended up on Mustangs):

https://www.quora.com/Which-is-the-bett ... ng-the-war

“This is why I say it would come down to variant and who has the first strike advantage. A P-51A will lose to the Focke-Wulf 190D 9 out of 10 times, but a Focke-Wulf 190A/F would get curve stomped 9 out of 10 times by a P-51D. In an even Fw 190D vs P-51D it would come down to who has the advantage in altitude, speed, and who has the surprise factor. Neither plane would be able to out-dive the other, neither would be able to out-run each other, and while I give the edge to the Mustang when it comes to agility and maneuvers, once it drains it's airspeed doing these maneuvers it'll become dead meat for the Fw-190.

All in all, I'd say it's even and, again, it depends on first strike advantages and who holds the initiative.

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Re: Why P51 was Faster than the BF 109

#3 Post by Tommy Atkins » Thu Sep 13, 2018 4:56 pm

It was a game of leapfrog.
The B109 was a pre-war design & was about maxed out for development by the time they got to the "Gustav". A bit like the P-40, awesome during the pre WW2 "Flying Tigers" era, but out classed by the newer stuff during WW2.

Both the FW 190 & the P-51 were later designs & able to handle the upgrades better.

The early Allison-engined P 51 A, B, & C were actually a bit lackluster, but the magic happened with the Merlin engine & the Mustang air-frame were combined. The Brits are past masters at this "Mix .n match technology". Just look at the Brit racing motorcycles the TriBsa (Triumph engine & Beezer frame), The Triton (Triumph engine /gearbox & the Norton "feather bed frame"), & the NorVin (Norton Atlas engine & Vincent frame).
A long time ago I had the opportunity to sit & chinwag with Adolph (Dolfo) Galland, & his viewpoint was interesting.
The FW 190 had a mechanical/hydraulic/pneumatic engine control computer, "the kommandogerat" (Literally "commanding machine" as it did 90% of the "donkey work" out of operating a fighting aircraft engine), The Bf 109 did not. He said you spent as much time & effort "energy managing" the engine as you did flying or fighting!
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That was another reason he absolutely loved the Me 262, jets don't have the manual control complexities of ICE's.

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Re: Why P51 was Faster than the BF 109

#4 Post by Hippycrowe » Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:38 pm

Didn't the FW 190 originally have a radial engine and later ones had a water cooled. One big advantage of the radial was it could have pistons shot out and keep going The P 47 had cases were German planes would shoot all the ammo up trying to down one. P51 it took one bullet to knock out the engine

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Re: Why P51 was Faster than the BF 109

#5 Post by SWIHARTMARK » Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:16 pm

The best thing about the P-51D was its range, make no mistake about it. Without that, the bombers had to fight their way into Germany on their own. No German plane had that capability. Several shifts of mustangs had to still escort the bombers in due to speed differences between the P-51s and the bombers, so only a fraction of the ones sent out were actually with the bombers. Luckily for the P-51D, in order to take down a bomber, you needed increased firepower and once you added that to a FW-190 or Me-109, performance degraded tremendously. Twin engine fighters able to carry increased armaments to take down bombers were also fresh meat for any single engine fighter.

Differences between the A and D models of the FW-190 make it almost two different aircraft due to the differences in engines they had, especially varied at high and low altitudes. The Me-190 models span the full spectrum of the field as the original airframe was meant to take the then largest engine engineers could find. Improvements to the engine allowed improvements to the aircraft, but it was limited to the actual size of the engine in the airframe. Again, you can either see improved performance or carry more guns and ammo with each upgrade.

I have read where the P-51D was a terrible ground support plane during the Korean war since its oil cooler was underneath it and once it got hit, the engine seized up. The P-47D took advantage of its 2000 HP radial engine which could accommodate a good bomb load and take punishment no inline engine could dream of.

I also believe that the wing on the P-51 was an extremely low drag design neither the Me-109 or FW-190 could match. The decreased drag increased performance and range.

While the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine is good, the Pratt and Whitney radial with 2000 HP not only powered fighters like the corsair and the thunderbolt, but also medium bombers and later the B-29. That thing was a multi-tasked beast of a power plant. I believe it was later upgraded to 3450 HP on Corsairs that flew in Korea during the 1950's.

Best Regards,

Mark

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Re: Why P51 was Faster than the BF 109

#6 Post by Hippycrowe » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:36 am

The P51 should never been used as a ground attack fighter The P38 the P 47 were so much better and safer The P38 had the cannon and 2 engines just not a great dog fighter better hit and run.

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Re: Why P51 was Faster than the BF 109

#7 Post by Tommy Atkins » Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:19 am

Yes the Early A series used a BMW 801 14 cylinder radial, the later Dora's used a "Power Egg" with an Junkers Jumo 213 inverted V-12 with an annular radiator in front. The power-egg was a completely "unitized" modular engine installation, consisting of engine and all ancillary equipment, which could be swapped between suitably designed aircraft, with standardized quick-changing attachment points and connectors. In aircraft so designed the power-egg was removed before mean time to failure was reached and a fresh one installed, the removed engine would then be sent for maintenance. In ideal conditions spare engines were placed in sealed containers protected from damage and the elements, to be opened when needed. These existed in two differing formats — the initial Motoranlage format which used some specialized added components depending on what airframe it was meant for use on, and the Triebwerksanlage format, a more complete unitization format usually including exhaust and oil cooling systems.
Typical Power egg in its movement frame, this is a Daimler-Benz DB 603 though, but it shows the annular radiator & the inverted V design off well. You can see the bundle of QD connectors at the bottom right.
DSCF6731.JPG

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Re: Why P51 was Faster than the BF 109

#8 Post by SWIHARTMARK » Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:43 pm

Nice picture! I live real close to the USAF Museum and I even don't get to see these. You read where the Jumo was an inverted V-12, but you only see the cowling which looks like a radial engine. I've read where they were on loads of two engine planes as well, much like the 2000 HP Pratt-Whitney radial. Another multi-tasking brute from our enemy. Didn't Doolittle pioneer the use of the radial engine in racing those Gee-Bee racers with those huge cowlings and stubby frames? I know the Soviets copied that concept in both monoplane and biplane versions. Unfortunately for them, they needed a more powerful power plant to take on a DB 603.

The more you read about aircraft, the more you realize they often just took advantage of what power plant was available for use and slapped an airframe around it. The Mustang's design practically got every ounce out of the Rolls Royce Merlin. Have you ever looked at how improved many Italian airframes became once they were matched up with a DB 603? Man, those sleek Italian designs soared with more horsepower. The Jumo would have been even better.

On another note, I think the Mustang was used for ground support in Korea since many were just laying around without a job. The P-47's might have been scrapped by then. I don't think the USAF was that stupid, but might have really underestimated North Korea's and China's anti-aircraft capabilities. I would call that pure arrogance instead, not exactly a commodity in short supply then fighting in asia. i've been to the Korean Military Museum and there are several memorials to Korean P-51 pilots who dove their planes into North Korean tanks to stop them. The US didn't supply ROK forces with adequate artillery and its proper training until later in the war. This is one of the reasons ROK divisions were targeted by their NK and PRC adversaries instead of a US division. Arliegh Burke's USN naval unit on the Korean east coast literally buttressed ROK divisions with its support fire and without it, the north had a clear shot all the way to Pusan/Busan.

Best Regards,

Mark

BTW, I actually remember what a Jumo looks like from building old plastic models when I was a kid. Thanks for the memory.

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Re: Why P51 was Faster than the BF 109

#9 Post by Tommy Atkins » Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:13 pm

Yep the JU 88,188 & so on & the "Amerika Bomber" among others.
It was interesting that Kurt Tank stuffed a bomber engine & propeller into a fighter & improved it substantially, but when the Israelis tried the same thing with a license-built Me 109 from Spain it was a horror story.
I live near The Smithsonian Air & Space museum in Dulles, & I envy you as I don't see me getting to Wright Patterson any time soon.
These Power Eggs are actually from the Smithsonian's He 219 "Uhu".
http://warbirdsnews.com/uncategorized/n ... pdate.html

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Re: Why P51 was Faster than the BF 109

#10 Post by Hippycrowe » Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:29 pm

I know the mustang had 1 fatal flaw,you had to use the tank behind the pilot 1st if not it threw of the balance of the fighter and several crashes happened because of it. A WW2 black pilot told of the senior pilot flew a P51 before him and was not told what tank to burn off 1st and crashed and was killed.

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Re: Why P51 was Faster than the BF 109

#11 Post by Tommy Atkins » Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:15 am

I'm not sure I understand.
The early P-51s only had wing tanks, & the later ones (C & higher) had a single 85 gal fuselage tank added behind the cockpit!

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Re: Why P51 was Faster than the BF 109

#12 Post by SWIHARTMARK » Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:57 am

That He 219 is perhaps the only one left. I've seen it mentioned in several articles and short videos. That two engine fighter had rather good performance, no doubt due to the engines and perhaps its sleek fuselage. The P-38 with super charged Allisons wasn't too bad, especially in the Pacific. Lindbergh reportedly shot down 5 planes in one in one mission that he wasn't supposed to be on, so it wasn't official. I don't think the P-40 ever got the super charged Allison, hence the below average performance.

I've read where the Me 109 airframe could only take so many ungrades/"engines", so perhaps putting a Jumo in it is what they meant. Nice info on that.

The USAF Museum is worth the trip.... I think it was rated the 19th best museum in the US recently. Oh, its also free except for the IMAX movies and some rides inside. The Memphis Belle is now on display hanging about ten feet off the ground. I get out there several times a year, even without visitors from out of state or country. Nobody has said an unkind word about it, but are usually amazed by it. My nephew picked a day of shooting over seeing the museum recently. Can't blame the kid, he is from LA and opportunities to shoot are rare there. Let me know if you show up, I know the place pretty well and the best pizza in Dayton isn't too far away.

Best Regards,

Mark

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Re: Why P51 was Faster than the BF 109

#13 Post by Tommy Atkins » Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:05 am

AFAIK it is the only surviving Uhu.

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Re: Why P51 was Faster than the BF 109

#14 Post by Hippycrowe » Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:44 pm

I live north of The Dayton Airforce museum nice place.
P38 performed better in Europe as a photo plane fast and it could carry a very big camera in place of the guns. Didn't the P38 have mufflers on it making it more quiet.

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Re: Why P51 was Faster than the BF 109

#15 Post by Tommy Atkins » Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:27 pm

I don't think so, but the Turbochargers were at the end of a long tailpipe so that combination may have acted as one?
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