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109 elevator effectiveness

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I wanted to open the topic of the 109 elevator effectiveness at high speeds. Currently, if you go beyond a certain speed, the elevator stiffens up. While this is correct, the issue that I have is that it stiffens to such a degree anything beyond basic control of the aircraft becomes very difficult. Since one of the main advantages that the 109 has is speed over most opponents, it seems odd that you would lose effectiveness to such a degree on your elevator making it hard to pull lead on a target. Also, all accounts I can recall - admittedly not something I have researched extensively - note the 109 suffered adversely in roll, while not really mentioning the elevator. As it is now, it's somewhat hard to understand because it logically would have been noted as a design deficiency and corrected at some point, like the P-38's roll rate. 

 

Perhaps it's overdone? Is there data anywhere that shows what is accurate? Is there a way to check?

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I'm not an expert in WW2 aircraft, but I've found so many sources where this pronounced stiffness is mentioned that I believe IL-2 does a remarkable job in this particular aspect.

 

Example:

 

 https://books.google.pt/books?id=NFTEPiyEiSsC&pg=PA97&lpg=PA97&dq=bf+109+elevator+effectiveness&source=bl&ots=ROPvmkHNR0&sig=UE-Ri83i8ssn8ewIMZ_E5duUwrQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiTrMmflJTXAhVnKcAKHYxTAJQQ6AEISTAG#v=onepage&q=bf%20109%20elevator%20effectiveness&f=false

Edited by jcomm
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I actually think the stick forces we have now are pretty realistic.

 

You have to keep in mind, that in the sim we often fly at speeds and do maneuvers that would have been considered madness in an actual WW2 combat scenario. We routinely drop our planes down from orbit in very long and very steep dives taking our planes to the very limit of their dive speed. IRL you’d almost never do this and if you did, it would be under extreme circumstances to escape a pursuer, not to make an attack. In WW2 dives were generally shorter and much more controlled, not simply hurtling down through several kilometers approaching the speed of sound on the way down.

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I'm not an expert in WW2 aircraft, but I've found so many sources where this pronounced stiffness is mentioned that I believe IL-2 does a remarkable job in this particular aspect.

 

Example:

 

 https://books.google.pt/books?id=NFTEPiyEiSsC&pg=PA97&lpg=PA97&dq=bf+109+elevator+effectiveness&source=bl&ots=ROPvmkHNR0&sig=UE-Ri83i8ssn8ewIMZ_E5duUwrQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiTrMmflJTXAhVnKcAKHYxTAJQQ6AEISTAG#v=onepage&q=bf%20109%20elevator%20effectiveness&f=false

 

Unfortunately for whatever reason I can't read the linked source. 

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Unfortunately for whatever reason I can't read the linked source. 

 

Search Google for

 

"Flying to the Limit: Testing WW II Single-engined Fighters"

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I'm not an expert in WW2 aircraft, but I've found so many sources where this pronounced stiffness is mentioned that I believe IL-2 does a remarkable job in this particular aspect.

 

Example:

 

 https://books.google.pt/books?id=NFTEPiyEiSsC&pg=PA97&lpg=PA97&dq=bf+109+elevator+effectiveness&source=bl&ots=ROPvmkHNR0&sig=UE-Ri83i8ssn8ewIMZ_E5duUwrQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiTrMmflJTXAhVnKcAKHYxTAJQQ6AEISTAG#v=onepage&q=bf%20109%20elevator%20effectiveness&f=false

There are many interesting comments in this book about the Bf-109 controls behaviour..
In Page 96 He said; about the Bf-109E; "Aileron response is excellent up to 200 mph IAS (320 km/h)"
in page 97 He said, about the Bf-109E; "The controls are pleasantly light at all speeds up to 250 mph IAS (400 km/h)"" ,,

In page 98 he said about the Bf-109E; "controls become heavy at 400 mph IAS (640 km/h)"

In page 100 He said about the Bf-109G6; some references about  the elevator and ailerons become heavy above 350 mph (560 km/h)  

 
I´am afraid that, we suffer in the Bf-109 the controls stiffness in game, at lower speeds that this book say.  :rolleyes:  

 

Edited by III/JG52_Otto_-I-
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I think so too. Too stiff too early. Elevator AND roll. And acceleration and the missing one notch nose down stabilizer setting. Atleast when using MSFF2.

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That is what came to my mind after my first flight with the new FM, to stiff to early!

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How many G's does it allow you to load up the wings @ those speeds you getting stiffening??
if its 4-6G then thats fine amount of control.

Considering 109 stall speed in a 6G pullout is about 580Kph if you can pull enough elevator.

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How many G's does it allow you to load up the wings @ those speeds you getting stiffening??

if its 4-6G then thats fine amount of control.

 

Considering 109 stall speed in a 6G pullout is about 580Kph if you can pull enough elevator.

 

I honestly dont know. Could you tell what are your thoughts about it. How about other planes in that same matter. Spit can load lots of G´s

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I think so too. Too stiff too early. Elevator AND roll. And acceleration and the missing one notch nose down stabilizer setting. Atleast when using MSFF2.

 

Thinking is pretty useless. Anyone got actual flight data tests that lists what it really is?

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I find its balanced pretty well. The stiffness negates the airplanes strengths pretty good. I think the devs reached just what was intended.

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Case is not such simple to simulate as many thinks ;)

 

Well, then explain why.

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 We cant prove anything. This simulation will always be more or less incorrect. Im sure it is not 100% accurate right now. I dont believe this version is finally absolutely spot on. Nothing to correct anymore like some are always claiming. And those who are allways saing its good now are allways the same people, for some reason. I have heard, that there are two groups of people. Glass brains and plasticine brains. Glass brains think that world is ready, and nothing should change. Infact the changes make them feel very inconvenient and they can break into fragments. The plasticine brains think world is not ready and they enjoy if they find something to change for the better. They are constantly adjusting their understanding how things are. Its not that black or white but more or less so.

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How many G's does it allow you to load up the wings @ those speeds you getting stiffening??

if its 4-6G then thats fine amount of control.

Considering 109 stall speed in a 6G pullout is about 580Kph if you can pull enough elevator.

At level flight trim the stick freezes a bit above 600 kmh IAS on the Friedrich, the only way to pull anything to recover from dive is by stab. trim. The aelerons fall off a bit over 700 IAS if you try to roll.

 

PS For the Friedrich in clean configuration at 500 kmh IAS the stab. trim is at around -90% to maintain level flight. To pull out after the stick freezes you'd need something like  -40% trim, so about 5 seconds of holding the trim button until the elevator starts acting. For me it is a flying brick at speeds above 500, and at lower speeds the soviet planes have the edge. I stopped flying Friedrich although it used to be my favorite plane. FW-190 is now the only German fighter that behaves well at speed.

Edited by OpticFlow

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There are many interesting comments in this book about the Bf-109 controls behaviour..
In Page 96 He said; about the Bf-109E; "Aileron response is excellent up to 200 mph IAS (320 km/h)"
in page 97 He said, about the Bf-109E; "The controls are pleasantly light at all speeds up to 250 mph IAS (400 km/h)"" ,,

In page 98 he said about the Bf-109E; "controls become heavy at 400 mph IAS (640 km/h)"

In page 100 He said about the Bf-109G6; some references about  the elevator and ailerons become heavy above 350 mph (560 km/h)  

 
I´am afraid that, we suffer in the Bf-109 the controls stiffness in game, at lower speeds that this book say.  :rolleyes: 

 

Heavy compared to what? I guess to what they are at lower speed... It's not like he compared two different aircraft's controls at the same speed values...

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Heavy compared to what? I guess to what they are at lower speed... It's not like he compared two different aircraft's controls at the same speed values...

This is the most funny, because in according with a 1940 RAF comparation test, The Spitfire required more force than the Bf-109, for moving 1/5 of aileron travel.

At 400 mph (640 km/h) the Bf-109 required 40 lb (18 kp) for moving 1/5 of aileron travel, and the Spitfire required 60 lb (27 kp) for same conditions.

 

image016.jpg

 

After this, I don´t know what means "heavy controls" for a RAF test pilot. 

Edited by III/JG52_Otto_-I-
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How many G's does it allow you to load up the wings @ those speeds you getting stiffening??

if its 4-6G then thats fine amount of control.

 

Considering 109 stall speed in a 6G pullout is about 580Kph if you can pull enough elevator.

As far as I know, ..the G forces is not the proper parameter for determining the stall condition. Usually aircraft engineer use the airspeed and the AoA (Angle of Attack) for this.

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This is the most funny, because in according with a 1940 RAF comparation test, The Spitfire required more force than the Bf-109, for moving 1/5 of aileron travel.

At 400 mph (640 km/h) the Bf-109 required 40 lb (18 kp) for moving 1/5 of aileron travel, and the Spitfire required 60 lb (27 kp) for same conditions.

 

 

After this, I don´t know what means "heavy controls" for a RAF test pilot. 

 

Have to take the different aileron controls into account too, with the Spitfire's control column having a very, very short throw for rolls, while the 109s have a full-length control column. By the simple lever principle that means that the 109-pilots will need less pressure to move their stick, unless the ailerons themselves would experience A LOT more pressure than the Spitfire ones.

 

Question still stands what constitutes as "heavy" controls though.

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The F4 is still the best fighter in the sim. The idea that it's speed advantage should come with 0 consequence(s) just comes off as whining to me imo...

 

If the elevator becomes increasingly less effective after 600, you as a pilot are going to have to take that into account. Don't dive like a madman at 2k. 

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​At its rather disappointing low-level cruising speed of 240 mph (386 km/h) the Gustav was certainly delightful to fly, but the situation changed as speed increased; in a dive at 400 mph (644 km/h) the controls felt as though they had seized! The highest speed that I dived to below 10,000 ft (3048 m) was 440 mph (708 km/h) and the solidity of control was such that this was the limit in my book. However, things were very different at high altitude, and providing the Gustav was kept where it was meant to be (i.e., above 25,000 ft / 7620 m) it performed efficiently in both dogfighting and as an attacker of bomber formations. 


 


-Eric Brown, Wings of the Luftwaffe


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​At its rather disappointing low-level cruising speed of 240 mph (386 km/h) the Gustav was certainly delightful to fly, but the situation changed as speed increased; in a dive at 400 mph (644 km/h) the controls felt as though they had seized! The highest speed that I dived to below 10,000 ft (3048 m) was 440 mph (708 km/h) and the solidity of control was such that this was the limit in my book. However, things were very different at high altitude, and providing the Gustav was kept where it was meant to be (i.e., above 25,000 ft / 7620 m) it performed efficiently in both dogfighting and as an attacker of bomber formations. 

 

-Eric Brown, Wings of the Luftwaffe

 

 

Thanks. He knows better than i for sure. Those numbers are about the same as my guess would have been after reading all i have read now. Above 700kmh it would feel like that, total solidity of control,I assume the stick, but the stabilizer was still working and some said that the control was working too. Slowly and only a little but still.

 

In game, 109´s  yaw is trimmed at about 460kmh cruising speed.  The ball is centered with no rudder. Is that too high speed?

 

This is the most funny, because in according with a 1940 RAF comparation test, The Spitfire required more force than the Bf-109, for moving 1/5 of aileron travel.

At 400 mph (640 km/h) the Bf-109 required 40 lb (18 kp) for moving 1/5 of aileron travel, and the Spitfire required 60 lb (27 kp) for same conditions.

 

 

 

After this, I don´t know what means "heavy controls" for a RAF test pilot. 

 

How heavy is 40lb / 18kp? At 640kmh i guess the control would became heavy, maybe even very heavy, but not too heavy. At 700 kmh many said the control was like that solid. But who knows.

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concerning this so called realistic bf109 elevator high speed control, will not buy any more 109 types after G6. You can image what will happen on G10 or K4 with such poor authority. On the other hand MiG3 's elevator has more problem than 109 in real world, but it is contrary in this game.

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Thanks. He knows better than i for sure. Those numbers are about the same as my guess would have been after reading all i have read now. Above 700kmh it would feel like that, total solidity of control,I assume the stick, but the stabilizer was still working and some said that the control was working too. Slowly and only a little but still.

 

In game, 109´s  yaw is trimmed at about 460kmh cruising speed.  The ball is centered with no rudder. Is that too high speed?

 

 

How heavy is 40lb / 18kp? At 640kmh i guess the control would became heavy, maybe even very heavy, but not too heavy. At 700 kmh many said the control was like that solid. But who knows.

 

18 kg is not heavy, I used to do multiple series of 10 repetitions with 80 kg on the seated cable row machine, I now do 50 to 100 pull-ups and I'm not a light person. A muscular soldier who flew or exercised every day should be able to pull 1.3 times his body weight easily and even more when he is pulling to save his life.

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This is the most funny, because in according with a 1940 RAF comparation test, The Spitfire required more force than the Bf-109, for moving 1/5 of aileron travel.

At 400 mph (640 km/h) the Bf-109 required 40 lb (18 kp) for moving 1/5 of aileron travel, and the Spitfire required 60 lb (27 kp) for same conditions.

 

image016.jpg

 

After this, I don´t know what means "heavy controls" for a RAF test pilot. 

 

Yes, thank you for that reference, there are many revealing quotes in it.

 

 

As mentioned in section 5.1, the Me.109 pilot succeeded in keeping on the tail of the Spitfire in many cases, despite the latter aircraft's superior turning performance, because a number of the Spitfire pilots failed to tighten up the turn sufficiently. If the stick is pulled back too far on the Spitfire in a tight turn, the aircraft may stall rather violently, flick over on to its back, and spin. Knowledge of this undoubtedly deters the pilot from tightening his turn when being chased, particularly if he is not very experienced.

 

 

The most serious defect of the Me. 109 is its inability to roll fast in a high-speed dive because of its heavy ailerons. Some of our own fighters are not free from this defect, the Spitfire being about as bad as the Me.109 in this respect

 

In the end of the article is table B with calculated aileron forces; at full aileron at 400 mph, the calculated force is 147 lbs for the Emil and 241 lbs for the Spitfire...

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concerning this so called realistic bf109 elevator high speed control, will not buy any more 109 types after G6. You can image what will happen on G10 or K4 with such poor authority. On the other hand MiG3 's elevator has more problem than 109 in real world, but it is contrary in this game.

 

So if the MiG is too light, then the 109 has to be too light as well?

 

After this, I don´t know what means "heavy controls" for a RAF test pilot.

 

This means when you're talking about elevator effectiveness, you should be looking for elevator forces, not aileron forces. Besides, the way the stick is laid out, your chart states that you can apply more force on the stick in the Spitfire than in the 109 which makes net aileron effectivity comparable. For fabric covered ailerons of the Spit I and the Bf-109E. Metal ailerons on the Spit eased a lot there.

 

It may well be that if you flew mostly 109, then you get yourself adjusted to what you have, even the downsides. In all, it still givs you a pretty good package in a 1 on 1 fight.

 

And for everyone "not buying 109 anymore", well, guess what, neither did the Germans who wanted to shop for the 190 instead. Well, if they have had the choice. But you have the choice. If you don't like your ride for an issue the 109G undoubtedly had, then go for an aircraft that, besides much superior firepower, mends precisely that issue. Ease of control. The Fw-190.

 

 

18 kg is not heavy, I used to do multiple series of 10 repetitions with 80 kg on the seated cable row machine, I now do 50 to 100 pull-ups and I'm not a light person. A muscular soldier who flew or exercised every day should be able to pull 1.3 times his body weight easily and even more when he is pulling to save his life.

 

Well thank you for comparing the cockpit of an aircraft to a gymn. Like Hanna Reitsch who complained that the controls of the Me-321 were such that she could hardly keep controlling them for longer than her 10 minute glide. "But she is no warrior!", Willys diagnosis of the situation. He would have liked your attitude.

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While this is correct, the issue that I have is that it stiffens to such a degree anything beyond basic control of the aircraft becomes very difficult. Since one of the main advantages that the 109 has is speed over most opponents, it seems odd that you would lose effectiveness to such a degree on your elevator making it hard to pull lead on a target.

 

This is reality. It is the tradeoff for the 109. The skill of the pilot is in accounting for it. The current FM seems much improved to me for all aircraft.

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So if the MiG is too light, then the 109 has to be too light as well?

 

 

This means when you're talking about elevator effectiveness, you should be looking for elevator forces, not aileron forces. Besides, the way the stick is laid out, your chart states that you can apply more force on the stick in the Spitfire than in the 109 which makes net aileron effectivity comparable. For fabric covered ailerons of the Spit I and the Bf-109E. Metal ailerons on the Spit eased a lot there.

 

It may well be that if you flew mostly 109, then you get yourself adjusted to what you have, even the downsides. In all, it still givs you a pretty good package in a 1 on 1 fight.

 

And for everyone "not buying 109 anymore", well, guess what, neither did the Germans who wanted to shop for the 190 instead. Well, if they have had the choice. But you have the choice. If you don't like your ride for an issue the 109G undoubtedly had, then go for an aircraft that, besides much superior firepower, mends precisely that issue. Ease of control. The Fw-190.

 

 

 

Well thank you for comparing the cockpit of an aircraft to a gymn. Like Hanna Reitsch who complained that the controls of the Me-321 were such that she could hardly keep controlling them for longer than her 10 minute glide. "But she is no warrior!", Willys diagnosis of the situation. He would have liked your attitude.

 

These are all speculations, we don't know what specific techniques pilots used to help them out with the forces. It's entirely possible that the British who tested the 109E were using Spit-adapted techniques instead of 109-adapted techniques. In the article the British complained about 109's 'too reclined' seating attitude and the rudder pedals being too far and no option to adjust them, its possible they didn't have proper setting of the cockpit for the pilot or used unsuitable type of gear. Under specific techniques I mean leaning over the stick for the roll, bracing oneself against opposite direction, etc. The only hard data shows much lower actual forces at the stick for the 109E against the Spitfire, but somehow the test pilot couldn't make use of that because he was too laid back...

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I found interesting in-cockpit video of restored 109-G4 (pilot Volker Bau) at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jenWQy4Zm-w

 

Its very interesting to watch now that we know more about 109. Both pilots hands and the speedometer are visible most of the time. Few observations:

 

1. It takes about 10 seconds to withdraw the seemingly 50% open flaps (1:09 - 1:19). At 1:32 - 1:34 he adjusts the stab trim for level flight.

 

2. Most of the flight the pilot flies 300 to 400 km/h and has only one hand on the stick.

 

3. At 4:14 speed about 430, using only one hand to pull out of a shallow dive as the needle moves to almost 500 km/h, still one hand on the stick. At 4:24 when in level flight and speed around 500, finally moves left hand on the stick. Then at 4:32 you see he did that to free his right hand to adjust something.

 

4. It takes about 13 seconds to crank down the flaps for landing (4:49 - 5:02).

 

PS Volker Bau (born 1968) has been 46 at the time of the video and not especially strong or 'warrior'-like...

Edited by OpticFlow
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PS Volker Bau (born 1968) has been 46 at the time of the video and not especially strong or 'warrior'-like...

I believe he eats spinach before he fly the 109.

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PS Volker Bau (born 1968) has been 46 at the time of the video and not especially strong or 'warrior'-like...

Muscle alone doesn't cut it, size and body flexibility is also required for a pilot. A muscular giant cramped in a cockpit has equally bad chances of controlling the aircraft as a midget.

 

The extract I posted above is from a test report documenting a series of high speed dives in the 109 to deal with the issue of increasing accidents with the airplane under such conditions where pilots couldn't pull up anymore or the aircraft desintegrated. As they found out pilots tendet to trim it nose heavy to enter a dive rather than pushing the stick forward which made it impossible to pull it up once speed reaches 700km/h by muscle force alone. Hence why the nose heavy trim range on the G2 has been reduced.

 

PS: Check out Walter Eichhorn, he's 80 and still pulling impressive stunts with his T6 Texan.

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These are all speculations, we don't know what specific techniques pilots used to help them out with the forces.

I trust Eric Brown to know how to sit in an aircraft.


 

 

I believe he eats spinach before he fly the 109.

And he doesn't fly it at 700 km/h and 1.4 ata.

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In game, 109´s yaw is trimmed at about 460kmh cruising speed. The ball is centered with no rudder. Is that too high speed?

 

It is pretty much correct. The speed varied a bit between different models, but at least for the F-series and the early Gs it should be around 450-460 kph. Not sure about G-6 and later.

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And he doesn't fly it at 700 km/h and 1.4 ata.

No he doesn't, but ingame, the 109 controls feels too early to heavy.

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No he doesn't, but ingame, the 109 controls feels too early to heavy.

Feeling is one thing. Reality another. Most of our feelings comes from moving wobbly chinese plastic in an armchair.

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Most of our feelings comes from moving wobbly chinese plastic in an armchair.

Ja klar.

 

The general to high dive acceleration, let the planes reach high speeds to fast. In the case of the 109, the plane operate in a speed window, with stiff controls.

Edited by L3Pl4K

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I would have no problems believing that at 640kph the elevator starts to stiffen up to a point at 700kph+ where it is nearly impossible to pull out without trimming. I just dont believe that the elevator becomes so stiff before 600kph that you cant pull enough Gs to get your nose where you want it in time. A fighterplane that cant pull Gs is a bad fighterplane in my opinion and contradicts the good reputation the 109 got as a fighterplane in real life. Especially when the main tactic was to dive down on enemy planes with high speed till you are close enough to open fire. There are other planes where i think the same but its no issue because you can pull nearly enough to get your nose moving at higher speeds.

 

The Mig3 for example is the same, it feels much to stiff way to early. And no, you dont need to be a muscular bulky guy to be strong. I worked as a scaffolder (dont know if thats the correct translation) and i never was a big bulky guy but i was able to lift and pull heavy stuff like the big guys did. I nkow it is not the same as sitting in a plane and push or pull a stick but you get my point.

 

I also think that BoX is bad at modeling the effects of Gs where it seems impossible to blackout in lower and at higher speeds. Maybe the problem is that we just cant pull enough Gs before snapstalling and to stiff controls at high speeds overall and not just in the 109/Mig3. There is just a thin band of speeds where you can blackout. When i tested TacView it seemed that the data for gforces where not correct, relatively low while pulling hard and blacking out. Maybe it was buggy and has changed now? I should test it again but on the other hand, i dont really know when a trained fighterpilot blacks out without a gsuit. I just know that other games modeled the effects of gforce different and more believable for me!

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I would have no problems believing that at 640kph the elevator starts to stiffen up to a point at 700kph+ where it is nearly impossible to pull out without trimming.

You be surprised how stiff controls can get much before that speed. To paraphrase Eric Brown, at 240 mph the 109 is a joy to maneuver. From then on it starts to get harder to the point at 400 mph (at low altitude!) where you are significantly restricted in maneuvering the plane.

 

That is what makes a Tempest such a fine plane. 400 mph cruise on the deck and docile, respionsive controls at that speed. At 250 mph, however, well, you're a victim.

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