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KW_1979

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  1. Really, they weren’t. The US used a small number of P-39s mainly in the ground attack role in the MTO in late 42 and 43. P-40s were used in larger numbers in the MTO, but they were using later F (Merlin) and K (Allison) models. The premier US air superiority fighters in the MTO were the P-38 and Spitfire (lend lease Vc’s, VIII’s, and IX’s) in 42 and 43. In late 43 and spring of 44, P-47s and P-51s came on the scene. The Mediterranean was always an under equipped backwater for the Luftwaffe, and Allied forces enjoyed a significant numerical advantage from Torch in late 1942 (when the US involvement really dialed up) onward. P-39s and P-40s never saw any combat in the ETO. P-40s scored about 590 kills and P-39s around 30 in the MTO. Counting both ETO and MTO the P-51, P-47 and P-38 had scores of around 5000, 3000, and 2000 respectively. RAF and Commonwealth forces employed P-40E’s in the Western Desert in late 41 onward. They generally were outclassed by the 109’s they faced, but the Luftwaffe didn’t have many 109’s to spare, and a P-40 definitely beats a Stuka, Ju88 or Ju52.
  2. Yes I understand that G-10s and K-4s started seeing combat in November and December, but they are still in the minority at that point vis a vis the G14. And like I said, anything prior (Aug,Sep, Oct) is generally going to be the 51 vs G14/A8 matchup. Unfortunately we don't have a G-14AS (or G-6AS, G-10, A-9 etc ... hopefully some day), but my understanding is that the relationship is much like that of Spit LF IXs and HF IXs. You trade a bit of low alt performance for a higher critical altitude - the loss of performance coming due to the cost of spinning a bigger supercharger all the time.
  3. Ultimately it depends on what the server goal is. If the admins want something that reflects what actually happened historically, then this stuff definitely matters and we should hammer it out. On the other hand, if they just want to make a "balanced" scenario then I guess it's whatever keeps the matches close. With regard to trying to include 8th AF Mustangs, there is obviously the potential for huge balance issues if you have a scenario with mostly (or entirely prior to November 44) G14s and A8s against mass numbers of 150 octane P-51s. But that's what was really going on in fall and winter of 1944. One possibility that servers could look at is using an air spawn for the 8th AF forces - on the edge of the map a long way from the fights. Lock this with 150 octane, but no bombs etc and near full fuel (75-80% - standard practice was to burn 50 or so gallons off the fuselage tank during climb out to avoid CG issues in combat and then switch to the drop tanks). That way if guys want to play as the 8th AF, you're getting the whole package - long flight times included. Potentially in some scenarios you could actually spawn them behind the axis lines as fighters returning from an escort mission and looking for something to bounce or strafe on the way home - a common activity for 8th AF fighters when they didn't find any opposition during their escort. In that case you've got to fight your way to friendly lines on top of it all. If you were going to use this type of setup, 100 octane P-51s close to the battle should be pretty limited, as the 9th never had many during this time period, and the RAF Mustangs were all based in England as well after summer of 1944. Just an idea, but I think it would capture the flavor - sometimes you wouldn't see many of them and some days they're everywhere just depending on what the players are choosing to do that day.
  4. 5 squadrons (3, 56, 80, 274, 486) of Tempests moved to the continent in late September and early October. 33 and 222 Squadrons joined the mix in January of 1945. It appears that Sabre IIB engines (+11lbs boost model) started being installed from the factory with the 3rd and 4th production batch models (NV and SN serials), based on the production info towards the bottom of Mike Williams page: http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/tempest/tempest-V.html The first evidence I see of these later serials in RAF loss records is on Feb 1st and 2nd with NV681 and NV657 being lost. 3 earlier block (JN and EJ serials) were lost those same days. I recall seeing a post on this a while ago discussing the conversion of Sabre IIAs to IIBs. I don't have any data on that, but I seem to recall them talking about that happening in December/January. So it would seem like January is probably a good cut over point for the availability of the +11 boost option on the Tempest.
  5. For the time frame in question - Dec 16th through Jan 14th I can give a pretty precise number for how many P-51Ds (and P-47Ds) the 8th AF had and were sending out on missions thanks to the works of Roger Freeman and Kent Miller. The full 8th AF fighter command at this time constituted 13 groups of P-51s (plus scouting forces) and 2 groups of P-47s, all using 150 octane fuel. This force amounted to roughly 800 P-51s and 120 P-47s. On December 23rd, they launched 636 fighter sorties. On December 24th, 853 sorties. And on December 25th 460 sorties. Just to give an example of 3 days during the battle. All of these days were sorties supporting bomber operations against rail and communications targets and airfields just behind German lines around the Rhine to support Allied ground forces. Now the 352nd and 361st groups (P-51s) moved to the continent on December 23rd at which point they no longer had access to 150 octane fuel. The 78th FG switched from P-47s to P-51s starting Jan 1 1945.
  6. This point needs to be expanded on a bit. People love to post the "Mustangs never used 150 Octane based on the continent" statement - and it is a true statement. But it gives a very false impression that Mustangs with 150 octane weren't involved in these battles because they were based in England. To illustrate this, I spent a little time digging through references looking at allied victory claims for the Market-Garden battle (Sept 17-25th) and the Battle of the Bulge (Dec 16th - Jan 14). I've included just claims made over our map area - the exception to this is the US 9th AF. I just don't have detailed enough info for them, just raw numbers with dates and units but no locations. I've included all claims for the 9th, but this likely overstates their involvement, as many 9th AF fighters were deployed well south of our map area - still I don't think this impacts my totals by too much. For the Market-Garden battle (Sept 17-25th 1944), RAF Spitfire Mk. IXs claimed 23, and RAF Mustangs 9. 9th AF P-47s claimed 8 and P-38's 3. 8th AF P-51s and P-47s (all operating out of England and using 150 octane fuel) claimed 79 and 34 respectively! As you can see, the 8th AF (flying out of England using 150 octane fuel) was the main Allied force involved over this battle! For the Battle of the Bulge (Dec 16th 1944 through Jan 14th 1945, which was the date that most of the Jagdwaffe was ordered to the east front and air combat dropped off significantly) the totals are: RAF Spit IX: 131 RAF Spit XIV: 3 RAF Typhoon: 14 RAF Tempest: 53 RAF Mustang: 9 9th AF P-47: 258 9th AF P-38: 56 9th AF P-51: 17 (these were scored by Tac Recon squadrons of the 9th AF) 8th AF P-51 based on the continent (100 octane fuel): 80 8th AF P-47 based in England (150 octane fuel): 81 8th AF P-51 based in England (150 octane fuel): 319 !!! As you can see from the numbers, P-51's using 150 octane fuel were used HEAVILY in combat in western Europe. If people want them removed for balance, that's a fair argument to have. But from a historical perspective they were the most important Allied air superiority fighter.
  7. In May of 1944 the 9th Air Force had 18 Fighter Groups (not including the P-61 night fighters), roughly equal in size to an RAF Wing or Luftwaffe Gruppe. 13 of these FG's flew the P-47 through the end of the war (36th, 48th, 50th, 358th, 362nd, 365th, 366th, 368th, 371st, 373rd, 404th, 405th, and 406th Fighter Groups). The 354th and 363rd Fighter Group both flew P-51s, but in September, the 363rd was converted to a recon unit (which made for a total of 3 recon groups, roughly similar to a fighter group, and flying a mix of P-51s and P-38s in F-6 and F-5 trim). The 354th was converted to the P-47 in November of 44 and then converted back to the P-51 in February of 1945. One additional P-47 group was transferred from the 12th Air Force (based in Italy) in November of 1944, the 324th FG. 3 Fighter Groups operated the P-38, the 367th, 370th and 474th. The 367th converted to P-47s in February of 1945. The 370th converted to P-51s in March of 1945. The 474th kept their Lightnings for the duration of the war. All four of the 8th Air Force groups flying P-38s had converted to P-51s by the middle of September 1944. The 8th AF was actually heavily involved over our Rheinland map, particularly during Market-Garden and the Ardennes battle, but wouldn't have flown any P-38s, and would have been focused on air to air and strafing. I don't have an exact number of fighter bomber missions they flew during the time period, but it was extremely low. So yes, P-47s were by far the majority of US fighter bombers in the ETO. By comparison the RAF 2nd TAF had 5 squadrons of Tempests (3 squadrons being equal to a US group) and 7 of Spit XIVs, vs 22 Typhoon and 23 Spit IX/XVI on Dec 27th 1944. So P-38s were roughly in the ball park of the Tempest and Spit XIV in terms of numbers.
  8. I’m guessing there is some variation from plane to plane, as you can definitely nose over some of the Allied birds if you aren’t careful.
  9. It appears that the server is down. It's on the list, but won't allow a connection and no one is on.
  10. Thanks for the bug report! I haven't seen that one yet in my play testing - I'll try to get it figured out and fixed. With regard to the extra time at the beginning of the mission, that can easily be arranged. I'll work that into future missions and go back and tweak the existing ones as I get a chance. I'll have to experiment with doing some audio - although it might get a little old hearing the same voice over and over. Thanks for trying them out, and thanks for the feedback!
  11. Are the AI planes starting stopped on the ground? I believe you have to tell them to start up and take off before they'll fly anywhere or attack anything.
  12. Did alternate spotting get disabled? I just spent a bit flying around and couldn't find anyone - just occasionally getting shot in the back by unseen enemies.
  13. That's a gorgeous skin. I'd love to see Clairborne Kinnard's "Man O' War" in the late war 355th colors - somewhat similar but with a different shape to the white nose.
  14. New version is up with an additional mission added. The v2 download contains all the content so you can just overwrite the existing version.
  15. I stumbled onto an interesting related bit of info the other day in America's Hundred Thousand by Francis Dean. In the section on Mustang dive handling qualities: "At airspeeds over 450mph IAS longitudinal porpoising often occurred on Merlin powered P-51 airplanes with fabric covered elevators, particularly with some nose up trim. The porpoising resulted from fabric bulging at high speed, resulting in airflow breakdown and elevator oscillation. On the P-51D-30 airplane, and as a modification to other P-51D aircraft metal covered elevators were installed to improve high speed flying qualities. Since the metal covered elevators did not bulge, the normal tendency was for the aircraft to become increasingly nose heavy at very high speeds, and to compensate, the incidence setting of the horizontal stabilizer was decreased from one and a half degrees nose up to only one half degree nose up, done at the same time as the change to metal covered elevators. Without the incidence change of the stabilizer the pilot would have observed a sharp pitch forward of the airplane, and a sharp reversal of control stick forces from push to pull as the high speed placard limits were reached. With these changes the pitch tendency was hardly noticeable ..." The author goes on to discuss changes to level flight trim characteristics that don't really apply to this discussion. But this pretty much perfectly describes how our in game Mustang handles in a dive - like it has metal (or at least non-deforming) elevators but with the original horizontal stabilizer angle of incidence.
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