First of all, we do not base the modeling of the aircraft on anecdotes... we base it on the actual aircraft technical specifications and test data.
However, for your interest, here is a series of accounts of various nationalities regarding the D.520... including one German Ace who had exactly the opposite opinion of Wolfgang Fischer:
(please excuse in some cases, the poor translations... but I think you can get the idea)
The relatively disappointing career of the group II / 5 in Tunisia in 1943 (passed from Curtiss P 36 to Curtiss P 40) confirms, in another way, the very low operational value of the French pilots from the Vichy forces of 1942-43.
The Training Center at the Meknes Hunt, in 1943, was created to overcome these weaknesses, and succeeded at the cost of long months of training, at a rate of 25 hours per month at least (300 hours / year). Essentially D 520).
Danel and Cuny, in their bible of D 520, insist on the possible misunderstanding of stall warning phenomena as a cause of a pronounced tendency to stall in turns.
This hypothesis, plausible, is illustrated by the opinion of Jacques André (GC 3 / Normandie - Niemen):
"Three months ago, we drove the Dewoitine, very good aircraft, but too weak in power, a little over 900 Cv, which made it difficult to drive in combat, while with the Yak 9 [1260 Cv! ], we realized immediately: it was almost impossible to trigger, it sounded completely but it did not trigger.
The attrition rate of the D 520s in the French formations after the Armistice (despite minimal training) is reasonable for the time, which does not go in the direction of a plane difficult to fly.
It may be thought that the early signs of the D 520 stall were of the kind that any normally trained fighter pilot of the day felt instinctively.
But in 1942, two years later, the lack of practice of these maneuvers by the French pilots forbade them sharp turns to the limit of dropping out.
An insecure pilot always exaggerates his safety margins and gives his hand at the slightest signal, even if it is a small turbulence.
The sailors kept their confidence in the plane as said the 2nd M. Bédard (2 AC - Port Lyautey 1942 - source: the Vichy Aviation Combat - the forgotten campaigns, JC Ehrengardt & CF Shores), holder of a victory and a damaged aircraft on Wildcat:
"I read somewhere that the Dewoitine was outclassed by the Wildcat, I do not agree, the D.520 was a robust, safe and well-armed aircraft, I had complete confidence in this aircraft. "The Wildcat was more maneuverable because it was slower and had more load-bearing surface - just do not get caught up in it."
The rather complex testimony of André Deniau (grp II / 6) where he compares the Spitfire V and the
D.520 brings me to other thoughts:
"The Spitfire was very different from the Dewoitine, about as fast [reminder: the Spitfire V is much faster - 615 km / h - the D 520 with 535 km / h!], Less pleasant but also less difficult to steer ".
"The Dewoitine, when it turned very dry, gave two shots in the neck, toc-toc, so we did not have to wait for the third shot, but immediately hand it back, or we'd pick up it suddenly, upside down, and make a double barrel, which is how many guys got killed. "
Gal Henri Hugo confirms that it was not piloting problems that caused a problem during the transformation of the I / 3 Hunting Group:
"The opportunities did not fail to appreciate the beautiful qualities of the D 520's fighter and I am convinced that we did not know how to make the most of it, because we did not know him enough: some pilots had to fight against the Bf 109 on their first flight on this type of plane!
As far as I'm concerned, I can confess that twice in the same fight, a few minutes apart, I found myself in an excellent shooting position, within 100m in the tail of a Bf 109 without power. to fire a single shell or cartridge, simply because, having forgotten the dual fire safety system, I had removed only one of them. "
Never, before 1943, the French pilots will have had several hundred flights per year on D 520.
The D 520 conversion of Morane 406 pilots - whose piloting ability and maneuverability were legendary - in the middle of the French countryside (so when these pilots are highly trained - from 30 to 35 hours per month) was almost instantaneous, without stopping the fight, with even a decreased rate of combat loss and a greatly increased success rate.
Thus, Pierre Boillot, who obtained his first victory with a Morane 406 against the Bf 109 E in April 1940, evokes the re-equipment of grp II / 7 in Dewoitine 520 and testifies on three different levels:
"Only a breathtaking demonstration, aerobatic flight at very low altitude, made by AC Goussin, military test pilot of an exceptional class, we balm in the heart.
He just showed us everything that we will be able to draw from our Dewoitine in the fighting.
The plane is really manoeuvrable, since it allows daring figures to 100 m of the ground - one will also evoke, at this time, a quintuple triggered at this same altitude.
He finds, however, that his group commander is too timid with his young pilots:
"We only have a few hours on the D 520 and for the young drivers that I am, it's a handicap, we would have to fly too much, even in a more hostile sky, so soon we would have our plane do everything. that we want as a reflex.That's how we fight with a fighter plane "
Pierre Boillot comes to the fight with Bf 109 when he must have a dozen hours of flight on D.520:
"We made several full laps trying each one to turn tighter than the others, them to shoot, me to avoid blows [...] Now, to my surprise, I find myself above them [. ..] in combat, we always go down, but they came down more than me in our turns. "
The one who comes down the most is the one who gets the better of the two: He goes down to keep enough badin to continue controlling his flight.
What is described suggests that, at low speed, the two planes had quite similar swirling abilities, with a slight advantage for the Dewoitine, which went down a little less than all the Messerschmitt who oppose it.
Pierre Boillot escaped because his plane ended up spinning and the Germans lost interest in him.
Capt. Eric Brown, commanding officer of the RAE in the test service of enemy planes (sic) captured, tried the D.520 at Farnborough, and that's what he said between 1943 and 1945 (so long after our May 1940 fighter has lost its effectiveness), and you find on some Anglo-Saxon sites Warbirds:
"It was a dirty little brute, pretty to look at, not to fly.
After landing, I was warned not to let my attention go to the controls until the hangar was completely shut down.
You rolled toward the hangar, relaxed, and suddenly the "thing" went off at right angles, anywhere. "
Less than a year later, the military pilots were still of the same opinion.
Thus, Gal R. Clausse (grp II / 3) - in his preface to R. Danel's monograph, Dewoitine 520, sums up his perception of the aircraft: "Meeting plane?" No, but a remarkable fighter, a maneuverer Extraordinary, as fast as anyone (in May 40, of course), excellent high ceiling climber, puncturing at fantastic speeds, equipped with an efficient and balanced armament, excellent shooting platform! etc ... "
Similarly, Joel Pape (grp I / 3) says: "the flights of handling of the aircraft allowed us to note that it was indeed very manageable, pleasant to pilot, the transformation of the pilots not posing any particular problem we thought we could be reengaged fairly quickly [... but] we had to undergo more than 100 changes.
In fact the design of the device was not in question. He had real qualities and, once developed, he proved excellent.
Unfortunately, it was not submitted in time to a real experimentation. "
This last remark concerns the CEMA and, as I said in a previous post, those who imposed the engine 12 Y 45 rather than 12 Y 29.
After November 1942 and until the liberation of France, the Germans continued to build and use intensively this aircraft to train their young hunters, which seems to indicate that it seemed relatively easy in flight and particularly manageable.
This is the point of view of the German ace Ernst Schröder, who complains of his handling on the ground and reliability problem (because of sabotage), but who recognizes:
"But what a plane!" Very fine pressure on the controls was enough to pass all the acrobatics and we turned a looping two fingers.
No German fighter of the time offered such finesse, such elegance of piloting.
After spotting the delicate points of this thoroughbred, we had more than to deliver to the joys of flying a fine plane, performance still very honest.
Moreover, the Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6, with its armor and armament, which I flew briefly in the late spring of 1944, was hardly more powerful and, in any case, less manageable. [...]
It is undoubtedly on Dewoitine D 520 that I knew my greatest joys of pilot.
A few months later, as I faced the fearsome American fighters aboard an FW 190 over Germany, I often thought with a certain nostalgia for this agile little French fighter. "
In 1943, Italians used dozens of D 520 salvage to attack American four-engine bombers.
Their tail wheel was blocked to avoid the tendency of the wooden horse landing (as it would have been possible to develop this aircraft with simple solutions).
Two opinions are present, one reported by Raymond Danel, where they would have deplored the lightness of his orders.
These Italian pilots did not like it at all, which can be explained in several ways: first, no French warned them that combat maneuvers should not be practiced with gasoline in the air. wing tanks (which served only for conveying and caused serious anomalies in behavior in thwarted brutal turns), on the other hand, it was about 250 Cv this aircraft to be "in the know" in terms of combat in Finally, in 1943, he demanded, like any fighter jet, a time of adaptation that the Italians would not be able to acquire (the first D 520 arriving in April 1943 and the armistice intervening in August of the same year).
Ace Luigi Gorrini, formerly of the Spanish Civil War and pilot of Macchi 202, expresses a very different opinion.
In 1943, when he was forced to fly on D 520 to set the flight instructions, he was first warned by the Germans that the French will not provide any explanation or help, too happy if they find themselves crushed on the ground.
He then relates his experience:
"When he was in the air, he returned the landing gear and flaps and started to climb, and suddenly he saw that he was dealing with a well-balanced" Lord of the Sky "with a powerful engine. , orders responding with gentleness and speedily.It tested the holding of the aircraft at minimum speed and found the perfect machine and extremely manageable, as indeed he had been aware during the fight on the Cannet des Maures, the June 15, 1940 "- fight during which P. The Gloan shot down four CR 42 and one BR 20. In another interview, he explained that the relationship between a Dewoitine and a Fiat CR 42 was of the same nature as between a tricycle and a Ferrari.
The pilots of the Italian night hunt, too, will prefer the Dewoitine to the CR 42. In short, experienced pilots and aerobatic enthusiasts, of whatever nationality they are, will always be at ease in this plane and the others , no.
As was mentioned in the comments about the Italian pilot experiences.... the D.520 had two permanent wing tanks for Ferry purposes... but these were not to be filled for normal flight or combat... because they greatly overloaded the aircraft and reduced its maneuverability. These tanks were also not self sealing, so vulnerable to fire. (by the way, the 109E did not have self sealing tanks... the D.520 was ahead in this safety feature... having these in the main fuselage tanks as well, having pilot armour)
The D.520 had approx the same wing loading as the 109E, but without the slats.... so its stall was far more abrupt... the pilot had to be careful in low speed turns. It was at a disadvantage in low speed combat to the 109s. But in high speed turns and the use of the ailerons, it was quite a bit superior. It also had a lower drag coefficient, much cleaner airframe... it conserved energy in low G turns much better. It also had a higher terminal dive speed. Over all this pointed to an aircraft which should be flown at high speed and at higher altitudes using dive and zoom tactics. It would be easily able to outmaneuver a 109 in a dive.
Ground handling was problematic... taxing was an adventure... this will be replicated in the game aircraft.