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dkoor

So who else is looking forward to P-38 ?

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There were experiments done as well if I recall, as to pressurising the P-38's cockpit, which I'm sure the pilots would have been grateful for but for one reason or another were never adopted. 

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On 6/5/2018 at 12:53 PM, AeroAce said:

 

Strange that Americans were using 109 f4s in Vietnam. 🙂

 

You joke but props can be pretty deadly to jets. iirc a few Skyraider pilots downed some MiGs

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4 fifties with insane ammocount and a 20 mil, all closely packed in a nose, on a twin engined platform with contra rotating props... a marksman dream!

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To be fair, workload in P-38 was basically the same as in Mustang or Thunderbolt. When you are "bounced" flying P-51 or P-47, you need to do same things as in Lightning.

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2 minutes ago, Farky said:

To be fair, workload in P-38 was basically the same as in Mustang or Thunderbolt. When you are "bounced" flying P-51 or P-47, you need to do same things as in Lightning.

 

Sure about that?

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56 minutes ago, Gambit21 said:

 

 Sure about that?

Yes.
Going from economy cruise with drop tanks to combat conditions
1. Set fuel select from drop tank to inboard fuel tanks

2. Drop external tanks

3. Turn on gun heaters, guns & camera to on and gunsight on

4. Increase mixture from auto lean to auto rich

4. Increase RPM from cruise setting to maximum
5. Increase MP from cruise to Military or go through the wire and go War Emergency.

 

In the P-38L, the throttle and RPM controls were linked together so the pilot wouldn't destroy his engine by advancing throttles to full while at low RPM.

 

Ingame, we wont have these issues due to missions distance, we will only have to do steps 4 and 5 whether it is Lightning, Mustang, Spitfire etc.

Edited by RoflSeal

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By my math and interpretation, the workload is still higher in the P-38. 

It’s not only the number of operations, but the ease/difficulty of those operations in the Mustang vs the P-38.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Farky said:

To be fair, workload in P-38 was basically the same as in Mustang or Thunderbolt. When you are "bounced" flying P-51 or P-47, you need to do same things as in Lightning.

Wrong, Farky, wrong. I'm the one who originally posted that P-38 write up by Col. Rau. He was an experienced fighter pilot and had flown both the P-51 and the P-47 besides the P-38. He says you're wrong. So does Gen. Robin Olds in an earlier post. I'm gonna have to go with the men who flew these machines in combat. A lot of people were glad to see the Lightning leave the ranks of the Eighth Air Force. 

Now, that said....I can't wait for it!

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4 minutes ago, Poochnboo said:

Wrong, Farky, wrong. I'm the one who originally posted that P-38 write up by Col. Rau. He was an experienced fighter pilot and had flown both the P-51 and the P-47 besides the P-38. He says you're wrong. So does Gen. Robin Olds in an earlier post. I'm gonna have to go with the men who flew these machines in combat. A lot of people were glad to see the Lightning leave the ranks of the Eighth Air Force. 

Now, that said....I can't wait for it!

As far as I know, Col. Rau does not compare workload of P-38 with P-51 or P-47.

 

Ok, you are "bounced" in Mustang or Thunderbolt flying at economy cruising with drop tanks. What exactly do you do differently in comparison with P-38?

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16 minutes ago, Farky said:

Ok, you are "bounced" in Mustang or Thunderbolt flying at economy cruising with drop tanks. What exactly do you do differently in comparison with P-38?

 

In the principle not much, however..:

  • some switches/levers were difficult to handle in the P-38
  • the cockpit had insufficient heating (important in the ETO) thus pilots had to use gloves exacerbating handling issues
  • turbos were fragile... a mistake could result in an engine seizure much quicker than in the P-51
  • available time to react was shortened due to Lighting's larger frame which could be seen/id and hit from longer distance
Edited by Ehret

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36 minutes ago, Ehret said:

 

In the principle not much, however..:

  • some switches/levers were difficult to handle in the P-38
  • the cockpit had insufficient heating (important in the ETO) thus pilots had to use gloves exacerbating handling issues
  • turbos were fragile... a small mistake could result in an engine seizure much quicker than in the P-51
  • available time to react was shortened due to Lighting's larger frame which could be seen/id and hit from longer distance

I don't buy the gloves argument, it is sub-zero at 20-30,000ft wherever you are in the world.

P-51D_44-11280_Pilot_Lt_Col_Edward_Mccom<P-51 ace, McComas in the CBI theatre

 

f0ab3d8e2d2c7f2b780ede9537d25255.jpg<Marseille in Africa

 

or a modern  F-16 pilot in Nevada (those this one is probably personal preference since modern jets have far better climate control)

SEW1213.jpg

 

Edited by RoflSeal

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P-38 in combat certainly wasn't a dog by any means when compared to other contemporary U.S. fighters... U.S. airmen did quite remarkable job in PTO with this type against IJN(A) uber agile fighters, so that potential drawback -more workload to do- (comparing to other popular U.S. fighters of the time) when engaging in action doesn't really hold some firm ground in my eyes.

It really seems to me if you knew what you are doing in combat, the Lightning would respond accordingly and deadly to the enemy.

The biggest possible ETO drawback may be the lack of proper heating.

Edited by dkoor

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21 minutes ago, Farky said:

As far as I know, Col. Rau does not compare workload of P-38 with P-51 or P-47.

 

Ok, you are "bounced" in Mustang or Thunderbolt flying at economy cruising with drop tanks. What exactly do you do differently in comparison with P-38?

Some of it may not be from additional steps, but rather the location in the cockpit you need to reach for to do each one. The memo specifically mentions that the gun heater switch is out of sight and difficult to reach. I'm not familiar enough with the cockpits of each to say that's definitively true though.

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20 minutes ago, RoflSeal said:

I don't buy the gloves argument, it is sub-zero at 20-30,000ft wherever you are in the world.

 

Not all sub-zero temperatures are equal... There is not heat generating engine anywhere near the pilot in the P-38 like it would be in a single engine fighter. The difference between, lets say -5°C and -25°C is huge. It was so cold that some pilots were frost-bitten.

 

There is a bit more info about P-38's problems in the ETO.

Edited by Ehret

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11 minutes ago, Ehret said:

 

Not all sub-zero temperatures are equal... There is not heat generating engine anywhere near the pilot in the P-38 like it would be in a single engine fighter. The difference between, lets say -5°C and -25°C is huge. It was so cold that some pilots were frost-bitten.

 

There is a bit more info about P-38's problems in the ETO.

 

P-38 engine management is not my area of expertise...and for that matter same with the Mustang.

I will say this, I never had a WWII P-51 pilot tell me during an interview of any issues dealing with the Mustang/getting it ready for combat at a moments' notice.

They all say it was a lovely bird to fly under all circumstances. I've listened to them tell stories and talk in detail, and not a one has ever mentioned the difficulty in reaching/flipping any switches. Nor do they say this about the Jug, the only negative comment I received was from Don Bryan "best ground attack aircraft until the A-10 came along, but wasn't worth a damn down low turning with 109's" which isn't related to readying the aircraft for combat, rather it's performance once engaged. :)

 

I've never had the pleasure of interviewing a P-38 pilot.

I'm wondering though...2 engines on the P-38...didn't this in and of itself require a few extra switch flips vs one engine or no?

 

 

 

 

 

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The P38's cockpit, like the rest of the aircraft, is a design from an older era.  Much like the P40 it is very much a late 1930s aircraft.  The P51 is far more modern in layout, especially in the cockpit and controls., and frankly even in such superficial things as it's aesthetics.

 

The P38 looks like a prop from a 1930's Buck Rodgers matinee.  The Mustang looks much more modern.

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25 minutes ago, BlitzPig_EL said:

The P38 looks like a prop from a 1930's Buck Rodgers matinee.  The Mustang looks much more modern.

38 has that old school sci-fi aura, while it takes one look at the 51 to realize that piston fighter was ahead of its time, looks truly advanced and like nothing else with prop in WW2.

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I love the instrument layout in the Mustang, plus being an American it's far easier to read everything and know what I need to know. That said, I think the Fw-190 has one of the best pit layouts of any WW2 bird I fly in sim. It's very neat, organized, and visible. Not to mention, engine control units on both the 109 and 190 are streets ahead of anyone else IMO. And this is obviously the end of much trial and error, since flying kites designed earlier (except the older 109s) like the He111, Bf 110, and Ju 88 all seem much more archaic by comparison. 

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1 hour ago, RoflSeal said:

 

or a modern  F-16 pilot in Nevada (those this one is probably personal preference since modern jets have far better climate control)

SEW1213.jpg

 

That probably has more to do with OSHA/health and safety regulations. PPE

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1 hour ago, dkoor said:

U.S. airmen did quite remarkable job in PTO with this type against IJN(A) uber agile fighters, so that potential drawback -more workload to do- (comparing to other popular U.S. fighters of the time) when engaging in action doesn't really hold some firm ground in my eyes.

Okay, in view of what Rau said in his letter to 8th Fighter Command, I have a feeling why that is true. Notice that most of his problem seems to be concerning getting bounced. It wasn't an airplane that you could get combat worthy, QUICKLY. Yes, most of the same things were in other fighters, but they were more pilot friendly. The P-38 had a marked superiority in speed in the Pacific. 50 to 80 miles an hour faster then most Japanese fighters. So, getting bounced by an Oscar that had a top speed of 320-330 miles per hour wasn't as much of an issue. It was probably the Lightning pilots doing most of the bouncing. They had time to get themselves ready, and then dive in. I'm going to guess that this has a LOT to do with the airplanes success there.

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13 hours ago, dkoor said:

It really seems to me if you knew what you are doing in combat, the Lightning would respond accordingly and deadly to the enemy.

 

But that's exactly the rub that Rau mentions. The Lightning was too much of a handful for inexperienced newcomers.

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13 hours ago, Poochnboo said:

Okay, in view of what Rau said in his letter to 8th Fighter Command, I have a feeling why that is true. Notice that most of his problem seems to be concerning getting bounced. It wasn't an airplane that you could get combat worthy, QUICKLY. Yes, most of the same things were in other fighters, but they were more pilot friendly. The P-38 had a marked superiority in speed in the Pacific. 50 to 80 miles an hour faster then most Japanese fighters. So, getting bounced by an Oscar that had a top speed of 320-330 miles per hour wasn't as much of an issue. It was probably the Lightning pilots doing most of the bouncing. They had time to get themselves ready, and then dive in. I'm going to guess that this has a LOT to do with the airplanes success there.

 

Yep

Kinda hard for an Oscar (or even a Zeke) to bounce a P-38.

The combat over in the PTO was a night and day difference.

 

That's not even considering the massive difference in manual dexterity that a pilot had in the PTO to handle those difficult switches (due to warm temps, no gloves) should he get bounced.

 

 

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20 hours ago, Ehret said:

 

In the principle not much, however..:

  • some switches/levers were difficult to handle in the P-38
  • the cockpit had insufficient heating (important in the ETO) thus pilots had to use gloves exacerbating handling issues
  • turbos were fragile... a mistake could result in an engine seizure much quicker than in the P-51
  • available time to react was shortened due to Lighting's larger frame which could be seen/id and hit from longer distance

 - Colonel Rau is talking about ONE switch - Gun heater switch. On early models up to P-38J-5 was very easy to reach and handle gun heating control, on late models not so much. Take a look were all switches were in cockpit of P-38 and how they actually look. Nothing particularly more difficult in regards to handling them than in Mustang.

- pilots of Mustangs and Thunderbolts in ETO were using gloves too, regularly.

- turbos weren't fragile, issues with P-38 engines in ETO were about using wrong combinations of RPM and MAP and poor fuel distribution (difficulty with vaporization of the
fuel). Wrong combinations of mixture/RPM/MAP was dangerous in P-51, just like in P-38.

- your available time to react was the same. It is about the time you see the enemy, not the time he sees you.

 

20 hours ago, Kawolski_VII said:

Some of it may not be from additional steps, but rather the location in the cockpit you need to reach for to do each one. The memo specifically mentions that the gun heater switch is out of sight and difficult to reach. I'm not familiar enough with the cockpits of each to say that's definitively true though.

It is debatable whether the switches and levers in P-38 were in a worse positions than P-51. Maybe, maybe not. If I take a look on cockpit layout of various models of both airplanes, I think that some switches in P-38 were in better position than in P-51 and vice versa. 

 

20 hours ago, Gambit21 said:

 

I'm wondering though...2 engines on the P-38...didn't this in and of itself require a few extra switch flips vs one engine or no?

 

 

Not in combat, not in case you were "bounced". There is only one exception - in P-38, you have two fuel tank selectors instead of one in P-51. On the other hand, fuel tank selector in Mustang is arguably more difficult to reach than in Lightning.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Gambit21 said:

 

Yep

Kinda hard for an Oscar (or even a Zeke) to bounce a P-38.

The combat over in the PTO was a night and day difference.

 

That's not even considering the massive difference in manual dexterity that a pilot had in the PTO to handle those difficult switches (due to warm temps, no gloves) should he get bounced.

 

 

Would the temps be warm enough to go gloveless at altitude (say, 10000 ft plus?) 

The late war Japanese fighters would have been able to catch a P-38 if they had a height advantage. The Ki-84 would have been pretty competitive in speed at similar altitudes.

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Yes but Ki-84’s were not deployed in any significant numbers. It, along with the Ki-61 were non-factors in the war.

 

Although there were exceptions, the P-38 mostly faced the Oscar and the Zeke.

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17 minutes ago, Farky said:

- pilots of Mustangs and Thunderbolts in ETO were using gloves too, regularly.

- turbos weren't fragile, issues with P-38 engines in ETO were about using wrong combinations of RPM and MAP and poor fuel distribution (difficulty with vaporization of the
fuel). Wrong combinations of mixture/RPM/MAP was dangerous in P-51, just like in P-38.

- your available time to react was the same. It is about the time you see the enemy, not the time he sees you.

 

Yet in the P-38 pilots were freezing  because of insufficient heating in the cockpit, gloves or not.

 

Your available time to evade effectively is not the same when the enemy has a head-start due to the visibility of P-38's bigger and distinct frame. The enemy might be able to gain better position, velocity and angle before Lighting pilot will be able to see him.

 

The turbo-supercharger is more complicated machinery than just supercharger thus may not offer the same level of reliability.

 

Turbos have a lag - superchargers do not - this may delay increase of power in emergency situations.

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23 minutes ago, Ehret said:

Your available time to evade effectively is not the same when the enemy has a head-start due to the visibility of P-38's bigger and distinct frame. The enemy might be able to gain better position, velocity and angle before Lighting pilot will be able to see him.

How so?

Ranges where you initially spot boogie dot vs. sure Lightning identity range differ by much, even for those hawk-eyed ones.

P-38 sure is recognizable plane, yet several posts above you have youtube guncam where a trained guy in his prime years, pretty much cream of the crop opens fire on friendly Mosquito point blank range.

 

I don't know why are we having this conversation, this is turning into a nitpicking and some proving the point thingy which I personally do not like.

 

 

 

C'mon.

Fighterprofile.jpg

Edited by dkoor

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Ki-61 vs P-38 was a fun, classic matchup in the old sim Kestral. I hope to see that again. Although flight modeling if a Ki-61 would have to involve more guesswork than usual. :(

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23 minutes ago, dkoor said:

I don't know why are we having this conversation, this is turning into a nitpicking and some proving the point thingy which I personally do not like.

 

C'mon.

 

Dunno... there is some evidence that the P-38 wasn't newbie friendly - some disagreed and so it started.

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50 minutes ago, Gambit21 said:

Ki-61 vs P-38 was a fun, classic matchup in the old sim Kestral. I hope to see that again. Although flight modeling if a Ki-61 would have to involve more guesswork than usual. :(

Ki 43 "Oscar" vs P-38 in  IL-2 1946 was fun, speed vs maneuverability.

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47 minutes ago, Ehret said:

 

Dunno... there is some evidence that the P-38 wasn't newbie friendly - some disagreed and so it started.

No, because that wasn't my point at all.

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Ki-84 was actually manufactured in a pretty large number (for Japanese industry) of 3400+ specimens. So was Ki-61 with over 3150 models. And they actually were pretty important, with first one being a primary Army workhorse over Philippines and Okinawa, and latter over New Guinea and later on (along with Ki-43). 

But regardles, if you compare P-38 and any Japanese aircraft you cant exactly compare P-38J or L with A6M2. More common situation would be P-38F or early G fighting A6M3, A6M5, Ki-43-II or Ki-61. And difference in speed while visible is not as dramatic as later on. Especially Ki-61 at certain altitudes was only 15 - 20 mph slower.

Besides, bouncing is not as much about speed as it is about spotting. Most pilots never saw what got them and when got them. 

 

Anyway, there is a very interesting material providing a relatively objective view on most Allied late war fighters : https://www.amazon.com/Report-Joint-Fighter-Conference-Patuxent/dp/0764304046

During the conference a number of Army, Navy, test and civilian pilots flew and tested aircraft such as: FM-2, F6F-5, F7F-1, XF8F-1, F4U-1C, XF4U-4, FG-1, P-38L, P-47D, P-47M, P-51D, YP-59A, Firefly, Seafire, Mosquito. They also managed to sneak a Zeke 52.

Among those P-38 was trashed universally for cockpit and combat qualities. Since we mostly compare P-51, P-47 and P-38 here is what they had to say.

For 28 pilots, only two said P-38 cockpit is good. 1 said its fair, 11 said its poor and further 13 makred "other". For remarks they left following: Yoke hides instruments - 10 pilots, Complicated - 3 pilots, Controls inaccessible - 1, Crowded - 1 pilot, Instrument pnael and windshyield too far away - 1, many switches could not be reached with harness locked - including auto override switches - 1, position of tabs poor -1, visibility not too good - 1. Only one guy said its comfortable and quiet :)

Overall comfort gave more mixed opinions but for remarks it was still stated that cabin roof was too low, it was crowded.

As for combat qualities 3 pilots said its good, none said its fair, one said its poor, 15 makred other option and 9 left card blank. As for remarks it was stated that machine has bad visibility to sides and down. Would rather have F4U or F6F for Pacific. It was also stated that this should not be considered a modern fighter aircraft due to poor coordination of control forces and effectiveness, combined with weak directional stability which makes it a poor gun platform and maneouverability rating is so low as to preclude its use in modern combat. As a fighter bomber it can be rated as good, as fighter sweep just fair and as escort fighter poor. 

Overall aircraft cockpit was crowded, with too many struts in the way and was seen as complicated.

 

For comparison. P-47D cockpit was rated by 11 pilots as good, by 4 as fair and none rated it poor. 11 filled "other" option. Remarks were as follows: Roomy - 7, Cluttered - 7, Leg room short - 5, Lay-out good - 5, Canopy control good - 4, Good visibility - 2 , several controls are hard to reach and operate - 1, visibility excellent except forward and on beams - 1.

P-51D cockpit was rated by 28 pilots as good, by 2 as fair, by one as poor. Five picked other options. Remarks were as follows: visibility good -1, except over nose - 3, gun sight obscures instruments and forward vision - 15, crampd - 5, long - 3, flap lever poor location - 2, trim tabs poor arrangement poor - 1, fuel gauges hard to see - 2, canopy crash arrangement poor - 1, no rear vision mirror - 1, landing gear lever hard to reach - 1, would like panel nearer pilot - 1. P-51 cockpit was overall seen as very well designed and comfortable. 

 

With HOTAS and key bindings you actually dont get to experience problems with clicking and switching handles. So following instruction as this:

On 6/13/2018 at 9:03 PM, RoflSeal said:

Yes.
Going from economy cruise with drop tanks to combat conditions
1. Set fuel select from drop tank to inboard fuel tanks

2. Drop external tanks

3. Turn on gun heaters, guns & camera to on and gunsight on

4. Increase mixture from auto lean to auto rich

4. Increase RPM from cruise setting to maximum
5. Increase MP from cruise to Military or go through the wire and go War Emergency.

 

In the P-38L, the throttle and RPM controls were linked together so the pilot wouldn't destroy his engine by advancing throttles to full while at low RPM.

may look quick and simple. And similar to other aircraft. 

But then try to compare doing it manually in P-38, P-51 and P-47 - having to reach all handles and selectors, how easy they are to reach, how quick you can do this without taking eyes of horizon, etc. 

My impression coming from P-38 pilots memoirs was that it was a fine and fast aircraft, but cockpit was simply bad. 

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56 minutes ago, =362nd_FS=Hiromachi said:

But then try to compare doing it manually in P-38, P-51 and P-47 - having to reach all handles and selectors, how easy they are to reach, how quick you can do this without taking eyes of horizon, etc.

 

Very good advice. Look at the cockpit layout of these airplanes in manuals and imagine you have been "bounced". Go through all thing you need to do, all switches and levers, step by step. I bet that you don't find P-38 far more complicated than P-51 or P-47 anymore. Cockpit of P-38 was more complicated in general (more gauges etc.) for sure, that is not the point.

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3 hours ago, Farky said:

 

Very good advice. Look at the cockpit layout of these airplanes in manuals and imagine you have been "bounced". Go through all thing you need to do, all switches and levers, step by step. I bet that you don't find P-38 far more complicated than P-51 or P-47 anymore. Cockpit of P-38 was more complicated in general (more gauges etc.) for sure, that is not the point.

 

I take your point about the list of things to do being essentially the same: but when you read the comments by Rau he certainly seems to be comparing the P-38 with other aircraft.  Are you saying that he was simply wrong? I do not know if he had combat experience in planes other than P-38s but he certainly flew a P-51 as well at some point. 

 

It would be possible to see some of his comments as having wider applicability: for instance a single integrated control for boost,rpm and mix would be  beneficial for any fighter. Which is why the late Spitfire Mk IXs had it (but not in game for some reason).  Did any later P-51s have this feature? The only manual I have looked at suggest not, but that might be just because it is April 44.

 

 

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1 hour ago, unreasonable said:

 

I take your point about the list of things to do being essentially the same: but when you read the comments by Rau he certainly seems to be comparing the P-38 with other aircraft.  Are you saying that he was simply wrong? I do not know if he had combat experience in planes other than P-38s but he certainly flew a P-51 as well at some point. 

 

It would be possible to see some of his comments as having wider applicability: for instance a single integrated control for boost,rpm and mix would be  beneficial for any fighter. Which is why the late Spitfire Mk IXs had it (but not in game for some reason).  Did any later P-51s have this feature? The only manual I have looked at suggest not, but that might be just because it is April 44.

 

 

P47 throttle and rpm could be interlinked on late models, not sure about others.

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7 hours ago, Farky said:

 

Very good advice. Look at the cockpit layout of these airplanes in manuals and imagine you have been "bounced". Go through all thing you need to do, all switches and levers, step by step. I bet that you don't find P-38 far more complicated than P-51 or P-47 anymore. Cockpit of P-38 was more complicated in general (more gauges etc.) for sure, that is not the point.

See, but thats the thing. By comparing pictures (where stick, or especially yoke is often taken out of the way of camera) you are not going to experience what actual pilots did. Probably closest to reality would be trying that in VR. With clickpits in DCS I can somehow relate to some of the actions you have to do (and dropping tanks, along with turning fuel tank selector is very easy) but its not the same as sitting in actual pit, with harness restricting your movements and yoke/stick in your way.

That's why I value the evaluations above. Because they were done by a number of pilots with various experiences and background, who could give their input based on actual testing.

 

And yes, cockpit is more complicated. But that is not the thing, I was primarily referring to opinions that it wasn't comfortable and felt cramped.

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7 hours ago, Farky said:

 

Very good advice. Look at the cockpit layout of these airplanes in manuals and imagine you have been "bounced". Go through all thing you need to do, all switches and levers, step by step. I bet that you don't find P-38 far more complicated than P-51 or P-47 anymore. Cockpit of P-38 was more complicated in general (more gauges etc.) for sure, that is not the point.

Just sit in an actual cockpit and go through the procedure and take time. You will see, there can be drastic differences. Especially under the condition „bounced“: can you do these things while checking your 6? The Mustang has a rather pilot friendly cockpit with all switches and levers within easy reach. It has a very modern cockpit IMHO, in contrast to the Spitfire that still seen to have gotten the arrangements made by the notion that „if a gauge or lever is somewhere in there, it is all fine.“ In the Spit it helps that there are few levers to operate, but most gauges (especially engine related) are placed somewhere down in the dark and seem to let you rely on smoke signs.

 

The P47 on the other hand is a very challenging working environment, so I wouldn’t take it as a „positive control“ for the P38. It has all the tech of a turbocharged aircraft, but everything has to be done manually. The P38 has at least an automatic turbocharger governor that is set by the throttle lever. Being all manual controll makes the P47 so much fun to fly because there‘s lots to do for milking the best mileage from your aircraft.

 

Imagine all levers required to set a combat flight configuration from economic cruise configuration in front of you next to each other, it would never have been an issue at all. Thus, cockpit arrangements are very much the point as well.

 

Also just try to imagine yourself in the cockpit and you‘re bounced. Count seconds for the procedures to drop the tanks. Think of WoL. Would you still be flying after getting bounced and doing all this, and if so, how cool would you be to reach under the dash for the gun heater, wearing thick gloves, reaching for a switch you can‘t really see?

 

 

14 minutes ago, =362nd_FS=Hiromachi said:

See, but thats the thing. By comparing pictures (where stick, or especially yoke is often taken out of the way of camera) you are not going to experience what actual pilots did. Probably closest to reality would be trying that in VR. With clickpits in DCS I can somehow relate to some of the actions you have to do (and dropping tanks, along with turning fuel tank selector is very easy) but its not the same as sitting in actual pit, with harness restricting your movements and yoke/stick in your way.

That's why I value the evaluations above. Because they were done by a number of pilots with various experiences and background, who could give their input based on actual testing.

 

And yes, cockpit is more complicated. But that is not the thing, I was primarily referring to opinions that it wasn't comfortable and felt cramped.

 

What you also do not get from pictures is how comfortable a cockpit actually is to sit in. The P38 is made for a long flight duration, even at altitude. Your fittness after 4 hours of flight will have significant impact on your performance. Drive a Lada for 500 km on a highway, then do the same in a Mercdes. You will be in much different shape. In aircraft this can be even more pronounced. If a cockpit is sealed well and has proper heating makes a big difference. The P38 in was bad enough in this regard that they stopped it from using it for high altitude flights in Europe. Mid altidudes in the hot Pacific were much more suitable.

 

But Kelly Johnson seemed to be one of the designers that had only aircraft in mind. Putting in a pilot as an afterthought. Not like Kurt Tank who would also fly his aircraft himself to see if how they performed.

 

 

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3 hours ago, =362nd_FS=Hiromachi said:

See, but thats the thing. By comparing pictures (where stick, or especially yoke is often taken out of the way of camera) you are not going to experience what actual pilots did.

 

So you did not even bother to look at the pictures, let alone try imagine doing "from cruising to combat" check list, ok. 

 

7 hours ago, unreasonable said:

 

I take your point about the list of things to do being essentially the same: but when you read the comments by Rau he certainly seems to be comparing the P-38 with other aircraft.  Are you saying that he was simply wrong? I do not know if he had combat experience in planes other than P-38s but he certainly flew a P-51 as well at some point.

 

Rau is not comparing the P-38 with other aircrafts, there is no such thing indicated in his report. He is saying that P-38 is too much complicated for "green" pilots, that's all. And he sees main "cure" for this situations mainly in one lever for mixture/RPM/MAP. Guess what - engines in other US fighters have at that time (June 1944) also seperate levers for mixture, RPM and MAP, just like P-38.

Rau had at the time of his report (June 1944) combat experience in Thunderbolt and Lightning, he was flying on Mustang, but later.

3 hours ago, ZachariasX said:

Also just try to imagine yourself in the cockpit and you‘re bounced. Count seconds for the procedures to drop the tanks.

 

I did, that is what I am trying to say here all the time. If someone is saying that droping tanks was much more complicated P-38 than in P-51 or P-47, he did not try imagine that himself.

 

Let's say I am flying in early J model of P-38 and I need to drop tanks, my hands are on throttle quadrant and control column -

I need select right fuel tank on two fuel selectors on left hand side of cockpit first. I can easily reach them with my left hand, they are behind throttle quadrant, they look like this (figure 8 and 7, their position is indicated by red arrow on next picture ) -

 

86471542_droptanks1.thumb.JPG.ae4882649bfe4e327574183261ec7307.JPG

 

When this is done, i reach for the box right behind the throttle quadrant. I need to engage Master switch ON ( figure 24 on next picture), than i need to flip two Tank selector switches (figure 20) and I can engage both these Tank selector switches together, no doubt. Then I press Tank release button (figure 27) and I am done, drop tanks are gone.

752577818_droptanks2.thumb.JPG.fb4e29abbebccd7378c231a44d1d3ded.JPG

 

Is it really much more complicated to drop tanks in P-38 than in P-51 or P-47? Workload for this operation is significantly higher than in other US fighters?

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16 minutes ago, Farky said:

So you did not even bother to look at the pictures, let alone try imagine doing "from cruising to combat" check list, ok. 

I did. I have a few P-38 manuals  but I dont think imagining should be more important than actual experiences of actual pilot.

Anyway, I believe original point was more related to switching from cruising to combat configuration, which is not only limited to fuel tanks but also advancing rpm, throttle, switching on gunsight and arming machineguns and cannon.

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