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Interview with V.N. Zabelin of the 4th ZAB (Reserve Aviation Brigade)


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#1 Pail

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 16:43

I don't know whether this has been posted before but it fits quite well into being excited about Battle of Kuban...

 

http://www.airforce....chapter2_en.htm

 

"— Cobras had the same engines as Kittyhawks. But most pilots complained that if you flew like was prescribed by the book it would work for 500 hours, but if you flew like you have to in combat it would burn out in 100 hours. "

" When you shoot the 37mm cannon, you can count every round fired. It was a very slow firing weapon. And it felt like the plane was stopping for a moment."

 

"— Here is a question. Did these airplanes have piss tubes?

On American planes there were, even on fighters. I even “tested” it. "   I hope these are modeled in game...  ;) 


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#2 -=PHX=-SuperEtendard

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 00:58

" When you shoot the 37mm cannon, you can count every round fired. It was a very slow firing weapon. And it felt like the plane was stopping for a moment."

 

Yep, at 150 rpm the gun firing would sound like this:

 

youtube.com/watch?v=t-JOTgBwQgY


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#3 303_Kwiatek

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 10:23

— Could you compare the Cobra with the Yak or LaGG?

There is no sense in comparing the Cobra with the LaGG, because it was vastly superior. There is no sense to compare the Yak-3 with the Cobra for the same reason. But all other Yaks were worse than the Cobra.

 

Yak1s wasnt such good like some thinks here :)


Edited by 303_Kwiatek, 15 February 2017 - 10:23.

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#4 Cpt_Branko

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 14:23

He isn't unique in his assesment. Same opinion is echoed by German ace Helmut Lipfert (203 victories) who wrote in his diary that the Airacobra was the best airplane the Soviets had and nearly a match to their own; he had faced various Yaks, Las and Laggs in combat by then (from memory this was written somewhere in late 1943).

 

Really, comparison between the most numerous and modern types of Cobras - the -Ns and -Qs, and various Yaks (1,7,9), the Cobra has an advantage. Of course, Yak-3 is a considerable improvement in performance.

 

I think that's why they opted for modeling the best Yak (the -1b) they could and one of the worse Cobras (the P-39L). It makes more sense gameplay wise.


Edited by Cpt_Branko, 15 February 2017 - 14:24.

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#5 -=PHX=-SuperEtendard

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 15:37

I think that's why they opted for modeling the best Yak (the -1b) they could and one of the worse Cobras (the P-39L). It makes more sense gameplay wise.

 

I think the current Yak-1b fits well the Kuban scenario becuase from what I read here it's an early 1943 variant. They could have chosen one of the initial variants (October 1942?) which wouldn't have some of the aerodynamic improvements but at the same time would fit in the late Stalingrad campaign.

 

About the P-39L, I don't think it's one of the worse variants, you have other more numerous earlier ones like the Airacobra mk I (P-400) without armor and self-sealing fuel tanks, or the first main variant the P-39D (which had a worse engine?) The L version is basically a K with a different propeller (Don't know if better or worse though). Someone posted here that the P-39L was the most numerous at the Battle of Kuban so for me it's ok.

 

About the Yak... they chose the Yak-7b which is a sidegrade compared to the Yak-1 (more guns yet more weight and less agility I would expect) and a downgrade compared to the Yak-1b. They could have made a Yak-9 which would have been comparable to the 1b.


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#6 303_Kwiatek

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 16:31

Yak1s in game are ideal planes which never were in real world. Yak1s got several problems with overheating m105pf engines which need high radiator settings and seriously impact performance, also in dive there were problems with wing skin damages which was known even in Yak3. Irl Yak1 69 serie need full radiator open during climb which gave it only 15 m/s max climb rate not like BOS which climb at 17 m/s also lower radiator settings in level flight allow in game to reach speed expecially at higher alts which irl were never possible to achive
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#7 Cpt_Branko

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 16:35

I think the current Yak-1b fits well the Kuban scenario becuase from what I read here it's an early 1943 variant. They could have chosen one of the initial variants (October 1942?) which wouldn't have some of the aerodynamic improvements but at the same time would fit in the late Stalingrad campaign.

 

Absolutely

 

About the P-39L, I don't think it's one of the worse variants, you have other more numerous earlier ones like the Airacobra mk I (P-400) without armor and self-sealing fuel tanks, or the first main variant the P-39D (which had a worse engine?) The L version is basically a K with a different propeller (Don't know if better or worse though). Someone posted here that the P-39L was the most numerous at the Battle of Kuban so for me it's ok.

 

Use of Airacobra Is (some 150-160 received by Soviets) mostly happened in the North. At the outset of Kuban battle the first regiments to fly the Cobra flew the P-39D-2 and P-39K models, with some P-39Ls also.

 

Differences between P-39D-2, K and L are minor, with the L being slightly heavier. P-39D-2 actually has the same engine as -K and -L versions. 

 

When I say most numerous - well. Soviets received 158 Airacobra Is from the British, and from the US, they got 108 P-39Ds (mostly D-2), 40 P-39Ks, 137 P-39Ls, 157 P-39Ms, 1113 P-39Ns and 3041 P-39Qs.

 

As for what was most numerous in Kuban, well, there I don't know for sure. I know at the outset of the Kuban battle the first regiments to fly the Cobra flew a mix of P-39D-2s, P-39Ks and P-39Ls. Introduction of P-39M/N in some regiments started in May 1943. By the end of the battle of Kuban, they were by all indication common.

 

Both Soviet and American P-39D-2 manuals are interesting to read; from them we can surmise that a significant number of aircraft were apparently refit with automatic boost control, which is not the case with P-39K/L manual, and which would for purposes of the game be a very significant difference.

 

About the Yak... they chose the Yak-7b which is a sidegrade compared to the Yak-1 (more guns yet more weight and less agility I would expect) and a downgrade compared to the Yak-1b. They could have made a Yak-9 which would have been comparable to the 1b.

 

True, but out of possible Yaks, I would rate the -1b to be the best for our purposes.

 

I have to agree with the poster above that the Yak is somewhat optimistic, also.


Edited by Cpt_Branko, 15 February 2017 - 22:10.

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#8 Dakpilot

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 10:29

There were some production issues with skin damage, but these were isolated cases of certain batches from certain factories, the incident was seriously looked into and the production issue was fixed..

 

should every Yak-1 of 30,000 or so produced be portrayed with this flaw?

 

Russian aircraft production problems is a hard one to pin down, with the multiple factories producing an aircraft type and the huge upheaval of movement of them to behind the Urals with new workers needing to be trained there were many issues with certain batch numbers at various times

 

It is a difficult road to go down, there were many other aircraft that had an issue or two at some certain stage in their production life..

 

Cheers Dakpilot


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#9 Cpt_Branko

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 11:10

Oh, I agree that it's most sensible to model a factory fresh airplane made to standard.

The caveat is that you necessarily get an aircraft which performs differently than some tests indicate, especially which were done on planes which saw a good bit of use. Sometimes documents have problems of their own. So you have to justify the figures you get and explain how you got there (else people will say it underperforms/overperforms/etc).

Production errors or performance of worn out aircraft shouldn't imo be modelled, but things which are a product of the design should - and eg. radiator sufficiency which Kwaitek mentioned is a design property of the plane.
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#10 Dakpilot

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 12:30

Oh, I agree that it's most sensible to model a factory fresh airplane made to standard.

The caveat is that you necessarily get an aircraft which performs differently than some tests indicate, especially which were done on planes which saw a good bit of use. Sometimes documents have problems of their own. So you have to justify the figures you get and explain how you got there (else people will say it underperforms/overperforms/etc).

Production errors or performance of worn out aircraft shouldn't imo be modelled, but things which are a product of the design should - and eg. radiator sufficiency which Kwaitek mentioned is a design property of the plane.

 

Very true, but cooling issues on Yak-1 were also a developing issue over different prototype and production batches, again it is a hard thing to pin down some specific info from a certain reference to every series batch

 

Cheers Dakpilot


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#11 Cpt_Branko

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 12:35

Well, yes.

However, to get back on topic. Looking at the TSAGI book, the performance of Yak-1 with PF engine is quoted to be 531 km/h at sea level and 592 km/h at 4100 metres, and of Yak-7b it is quoted to be 531 km/h at sea level and 588 km/h at 3860 metres, and of Yak-9 to be 520 km/h at sea level and 599 at 4300 metres.

The P-39D-2, K and L versions are slightly faster at altitudes of and below 3km where it can operate the engine at 51" Hg (which all of the above were cleared to do), and were about as fast as the Yaks on military power at 4km. Overall I would rate it as somewhat superior, especially given it was superior in the dive, which is quite important, and had better visibility to the rear until the advent of bubble type canopies on Yak series.

When we compare the P-39M/N (and also later Q version), there the Yak is inferior. Both are quite clean airframes but the Cobra has simply an advantage in engine power. Top speeds on WEP are around 540 km/h at sea level (not much of an improvement there, if any, over previous versions) and around 620-630 km/h at 3km, and on military rating top speed is 610-620 km/h at circa 4700 metres. In addition it will outclimb the Yak at low altitudes (margin depends on respective versions and is not large, but it exists) when they are both climbed with radiator open. By the way, Kwiatek is right regarding the necessity of keeping radiator open in climb.

Yak-3 received a stronger engine and more aerodynamic improvements, while the P-39N saw no further engine improvements, and essentially reached it's peak with the early P-39Q series.

So his comments are entirely understandable.


Edited by Cpt_Branko, 22 February 2017 - 15:01.

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#12 303_Kwiatek

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 12:56

Very true, but cooling issues on Yak-1 were also a developing issue over different prototype and production batches, again it is a hard thing to pin down some specific info from a certain reference to every series batch

 

Cheers Dakpilot

 

Yaks-1 with PF engine needed full open radiator during climbs which restrict climb rate to 15 m/s. Also in our game Yak-1 allow to use minimum radiator settings and reach such maximum speed at high alts which IRL no even factory fresh Yak1 cant reached ever. So in game we have just ideal Yak-1 plane which never be IRL with 17 m/s climb rate and overspeed at high alts.

 

Thats why i suppose V.N Zabelin mention that Cobra was better plane then any Yak-1, Yak-7 series.


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