Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
441Sqn_Twang

P-51D Ammunition loadout

Recommended Posts

It appears that the ammunition loadout for the P-51D (Battle of Bodenplatte) is limited only to ball or AP ammunition only. Chuck Yeager spoke of the explosive incendiary .50 cal shells used in his P-51s (B and D). Why are these not modeled in the game?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, 441Sqn_Twang said:

It appears that the ammunition loadout for the P-51D (Battle of Bodenplatte) is limited only to ball or AP ammunition only. Chuck Yeager spoke of the explosive incendiary .50 cal shells used in his P-51s (B and D). Why are these not modeled in the game?

They were not explosive in the way the Russian 12.7mm is - it was not an explosive charge but an incendiary one - a subtle difference.

I don't know for sure why the API ammunition is not modeled. Its possible that the damage system is not sophisticated enough to accurately model the damage that incendiary ammunition does and how different it might be from straight AP. All damage dealt by ammo in game to planes right now is through HE (blast and fragments) or AP (punching holes.)

Nevertheless it is possible in game to cause fuel fires with the AP ammo we have, as well as engine fires. Engine fires are not too hard to start, fuel fires more so. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Number one priority,  Incendiary Ammo for the Usaaf Birds.  Hope it happens along with the beautiful flash of the API round hitting metal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just hope people don't think that API is going to turn .50 cals into a wonder weapon that vaporizes anything they see. This is an account from a Fw 190 D-9 pilot on 15 October 1944:

 

At the same instant my machine was hit. Holes appeared in both wings and the canopy flew away. I hauled my machine around to the right. Why, I can no longer say. Instinct? Perhaps! But one has not time to think about it, for it all took only fractions of a second. And so I broke away in a tight turn to the right. While in the turn I saw a P-47 about 100 meters above me in a left turn. As we passed, the enemy pilot looked down and I looked up. I don't know why he didn't keep pursuing me. Perhaps he couldn't turn as tight as I. I also recall that the P-47 had a checkerboard design in front.I subsequently flew very low and and purely by chance came straight to Hesepe airfield.

 

After landing I surveyed the damage. I had taken 25 hits. Right and left in the wings, in the fuselage, and two hits on the armor plate at my back. As well the canopy was shot away and even two propeller blades had three holes.

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, LukeFF said:

As we passed, the enemy pilot looked down and I looked up. I don't know why he didn't keep pursuing me

Nice story. I read that in reflex pilot tend to turn left since it is easier to pull left for right handed people. It was mentioned in a book I read by a pilot. Maybe that was what the jug pilot believed? 
In my perspective 0,50’s works fine if hit in cockpit engine department. But I am notorious wasting cannon shells, so I prefer large numbers of 50 cal rather than the few cannon rounds

Edited by 216th_LuseKofte

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
58 minutes ago, LukeFF said:

I just hope people don't think that API is going to turn .50 cals into a wonder weapon that vaporizes anything they see. This is an account from a Fw 190 D-9 pilot on 15 October 1944:

 

At the same instant my machine was hit. Holes appeared in both wings and the canopy flew away. I hauled my machine around to the right. Why, I can no longer say. Instinct? Perhaps! But one has not time to think about it, for it all took only fractions of a second. And so I broke away in a tight turn to the right. While in the turn I saw a P-47 about 100 meters above me in a left turn. As we passed, the enemy pilot looked down and I looked up. I don't know why he didn't keep pursuing me. Perhaps he couldn't turn as tight as I. I also recall that the P-47 had a checkerboard design in front.I subsequently flew very low and and purely by chance came straight to Hesepe airfield.

 

After landing I surveyed the damage. I had taken 25 hits. Right and left in the wings, in the fuselage, and two hits on the armor plate at my back. As well the canopy was shot away and even two propeller blades had three holes.

Realistically we can only really expect API to cause somewhat more fuel and engine fires. The fifties will still rely heavily on hitting vital components and not on damage to aircraft skin and structure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@LukeFF

No one with more than 2 brain cells to rub together is going to expect .50's to some how do more fragmentation damage just because the round has a bit of heat to it. I certainly expect a 40 round burst exactly on my convergence to set a 109's fuel tank fire instead of just make him leak from both rads, and gush from a basket ball shaped hole in his fuselage tank and limp away. I do look forward to that being modeled more reasonably. 

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/13/2020 at 8:11 PM, MercCrom175 said:

Number one priority,  Incendiary Ammo for the Usaaf Birds.  Hope it happens along with the beautiful flash of the API round hitting metal.

 

It's probably closer to priority 27,032 or 27,033

  • Haha 3
  • Confused 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, LukeFF said:

I just hope people don't think that API is going to turn .50 cals into a wonder weapon that vaporizes anything they see. This is an account from a Fw 190 D-9 pilot on 15 October 1944:

 

At the same instant my machine was hit. Holes appeared in both wings and the canopy flew away. I hauled my machine around to the right. Why, I can no longer say. Instinct? Perhaps! But one has not time to think about it, for it all took only fractions of a second. And so I broke away in a tight turn to the right. While in the turn I saw a P-47 about 100 meters above me in a left turn. As we passed, the enemy pilot looked down and I looked up. I don't know why he didn't keep pursuing me. Perhaps he couldn't turn as tight as I. I also recall that the P-47 had a checkerboard design in front.I subsequently flew very low and and purely by chance came straight to Hesepe airfield.

 

After landing I surveyed the damage. I had taken 25 hits. Right and left in the wings, in the fuselage, and two hits on the armor plate at my back. As well the canopy was shot away and even two propeller blades had three holes.

 

This is presumably from Willi Heilmann of 9./JG54.  It's worth noting that 6 of his staffel mates were shot down (5 killed, 1 wounded) in this engagement with the 78th Fighter Group's P-47s.  Here are the AARs from the Americans involved in this fight:

 

http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/er/78-eadline-15oct44.jpg

http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/er/78-green-15oct44.jpg

http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/er/78-reems-15oct44.jpg

 

78th FG claims for this encounter were 6 destroyed and 1 damaged, exactly matching the German losses.  I bring this all up to advise some caution on using late war Luftwaffe pilot accounts alone to try to understand what took place - the mass casaulties they suffered(90% or so) result in a pretty severe case of survivorship bias.  I'm not implying that the stories themselves are incorrect - in the case above we can see Heilmann's account meshes exactly with the Americans - just that you must remember that the individuals involved were VERY lucky to have survived to tell their stories and their experience isn't necessarily representative of the norm.

 

Just to add one more example that brings us back to the .50s and API, here's George Preddy's account from August 6th 1944: http://www.spitfireperformance.com/mustang/combat-reports/352-preddy-6aug44.jpg

While this is certainly another highly unusual example (6 victories in one mission!), what's interesting is that 4 of the 6 were on fire, and the ammunition expended.  832 rounds of API - roughly 132 rounds fired per kill or 1.7 seconds of fire from the 6 x .50s.  This really illustrates what was possible with some good gunnery.  And before someone jumps in with "But overclaiming!", 8th Fighter Command's claims for the day were actually less than losses of the units sent to intercept them.

 

  • Upvote 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, LukeFF said:

I just hope people don't think that API is going to turn .50 cals into a wonder weapon that vaporizes anything they see.

No it's not an MG 151/20 after all 😁

 

11 hours ago, LukeFF said:

This is an account from a Fw 190 D-9 pilot on 15 October 1944:

Nice.
Also nice to see that people who otherwise are so utterly sensible about "anecdotal" stories have upvoted this.
Could be a good sign, let's hope for the best.

 

11 hours ago, LukeFF said:

even two propeller blades had three holes.

That part however makes me want to get my "I want to believe!" shirt off the shelf again.
Sounds a bit like a circus trick.

 

:drinks:

Mike

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, QB.Shallot said:

@LukeFF

No one with more than 2 brain cells to rub together is going to expect .50's to some how do more fragmentation damage just because the round has a bit of heat to it. I certainly expect a 40 round burst exactly on my convergence to set a 109's fuel tank fire instead of just make him leak from both rads, and gush from a basket ball shaped hole in his fuselage tank and limp away. I do look forward to that being modeled more reasonably. 

 

Yes, and I expect that to be the case...amongst sensible people. It's just that I recall both from recent and more long-term memory the posts of many people who think that .50 cal MGs should be way more powerful than they were in reality. It was/is a good gun, but it requires getting all those guns to hit at the right range.

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, LukeFF said:

I expect that to be the case...amongst sensible people.

 

Well as a tester you probably know better/sooner whether this will be the case than us ordinary mortals.

 

Personally I agree that the .50s of course will not cause damage similar to large HE rounds, and the "I" in API won't change that.

What I'd expect a .50 to do is that significant damage if lots of rounds hit at convergence spot and of not set on right on convergence distance, I would expect a well distributed prolonged burst across the surface of a target plane armoured less than a tank to cause a "random" critical damage to some part at a pretty good chance.

Both is currently extremely rare. Chances do exist and they do get depicted endlessly to support the currently prevalent opinion, but that's not necessarily solely driven by factual considerations.

 

:drinks:

Mike

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/15/2020 at 6:20 AM, KW_1979 said:

 

This is presumably from Willi Heilmann of 9./JG54.  ...]

 

 

What an awesome pair of sources! Thankyou.

 

To see one pilot say he blew the enemy canopy off, the enemy broke right and later crashed in flames and to know that in fact both planes landed is a great example of how combat reports, especially will kill claims, can not be trusted.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well that claim may have been for a different aircraft than Heilmann's - or perhaps it was made in error, and the damaged claim from Lt. Harrington was actually a kill.  Sadly I don't have Harrington's claim report so it's hard to draw any conclusions on that, other than knowing that the claims and actual losses were equal in this case.  Either way - it's really interesting when you can find cases like this where we have some information from both sides of the same engagement.  Fortunately, the Western front was documented quite well by all parties, and a lot of that has been researched and published, and so there are actually a lot of cases like this where its possible to put most of the pieces together.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

With regards to M1 Incendiary, M8 API and the M20 API-T rounds it should take 1-2 rounds of a direct hit to ignite a German style fuel tank according to US testing.
unknown.png
image.png.9b36272e7492f565690e9d0fb5538ea5.png

T28 = M20 API-T
 

Edited by =362nd_FS=RoflSeal
  • Thanks 1
  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, =362nd_FS=RoflSeal said:

With regards to M1 Incendiary, M8 API and the M20 API-T rounds it should take 1-2 rounds of a direct hit to ignite a German style fuel tank according to US testing.
unknown.png
image.png.9b36272e7492f565690e9d0fb5538ea5.png

T28 = M20 API-T
 

 

Man this is gonna feel like flamethrowers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well if incendiary rounds can’t be modeled. What can be done? I feel if more efficient ammo was in use, it is unfair not to get it in a battlefield where opponents mostly fly with effective 30 mm

could they employ a little charge into the ballistic as a surrogate 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, 216th_LuseKofte said:

Well if incendiary rounds can’t be modeled. What can be done? I feel if more efficient ammo was in use, it is unfair not to get it in a battlefield where opponents mostly fly with effective 30 mm

could they employ a little charge into the ballistic as a surrogate 

 

Of course incendiary rounds can be modeled. There are already fuel tank fires happening on a stochastic basis, just like everything else in the DM is down to a probability distribution.

 

Incendiaries just have a different set of tables. 

Edited by unreasonable

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well why have it not been incorporated into the sim then? There should be a reason for a well known and documented ammo is not in this gamme

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/16/2020 at 10:52 AM, KW_1979 said:

Well that claim may have been for a different aircraft than Heilmann's - or perhaps it was made in error, and the damaged claim from Lt. Harrington was actually a kill.  Sadly I don't have Harrington's claim report so it's hard to draw any conclusions on that, other than knowing that the claims and actual losses were equal in this case.  Either way - it's really interesting when you can find cases like this where we have some information from both sides of the same engagement.  Fortunately, the Western front was documented quite well by all parties, and a lot of that has been researched and published, and so there are actually a lot of cases like this where its possible to put most of the pieces together.

 

I think it's a good overall example to show that pilot-accounts can be true in terms of the big picture, yet details might be percieved or observed incorrectly in the haste of battle. The opposite might also occur at times. It's just another example that stories should be taken with a grain of salt and with a good dose of common sense.

 

I think it's a great example to show that the 50s could well be devastating if they'd hit the right spot(s) - while they also could provide delayed or even little damage at all, if minor and/ or non-critical parts of the aircraft were hit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, 216th_LuseKofte said:

Well why have it not been incorporated into the sim then? There should be a reason for a well known and documented ammo is not in this gamme

 

While it would be entertaining to speculate some conspiracy theory about that, I suspect that it is just a case of having such a simplified DM at the start of the project that it seemed unnecessary, perhaps since the  Soviet and German aircraft that the sim modeled initially made less use of this effect than did the Yanks.

 

People should be careful about their expectations - while Talon's data is fine,  to destroy aircraft the fire must not be blown out by the slipstream and needs a constant flow of fuel. These are fires, not explosions.  A fire in a test setting  =/=  a destroyed aircraft.

 

A800394 (US Ballistics Report) assesses the probability of a hit from a 0.50 API-T M20, at random on a P-47 from their test angle, causing an A kill due to Fuel Tank damage at 0.001 for a B kill 0.006

 

While I not 100% sure what the chances of hitting a fuel tank were in these tests, factoring these numbers up by 10 or 20 still gives only a moderate chance of even a B kill due to an API hit on a fuel tank.  API ammunition will not - or should not - turn the 50 cals into flame throwers. ;) 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, 216th_LuseKofte said:

Well why have it not been incorporated into the sim then? There should be a reason for a well known and documented ammo is not in this gamme

 

Knowing the dev team, they don't just want to incorporate an incendiary bullet into the sim. They want to do the research, capture how best to make it work (especially now that we have a revised damage model) and do the research to try and make it something based on the reality of how these rounds work. Not unlike how they went to human trials with G forces to inform the G modeling for pilots with and without G-suits.

 

For all we know they laid the foundation for API bullets with the damage model update.

  • Thanks 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 5/16/2020 at 4:52 AM, KW_1979 said:

Well that claim may have been for a different aircraft than Heilmann's - or perhaps it was made in error, and the damaged claim from Lt. Harrington was actually a kill.  Sadly I don't have Harrington's claim report so it's hard to draw any conclusions on that, other than knowing that the claims and actual losses were equal in this case.  Either way - it's really interesting when you can find cases like this where we have some information from both sides of the same engagement.  Fortunately, the Western front was documented quite well by all parties, and a lot of that has been researched and published, and so there are actually a lot of cases like this where its possible to put most of the pieces together.

The USAF revisited kill claims after WWII as shown in the document below, USAF Historical Study No. 85. There were a few USAAF pilots who lost their Ace status as a result.

https://archive.org/details/DTIC_ADA542272/page/n17/mode/2up

 

https://www.afhra.af.mil/Portals/16/documents/Studies/51-100/AFD-090601-066.pdf

 

 

Edited by Rjel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, ShamrockOneFive said:

They want to do the research, capture how best to make it work (especially now that we have a revised damage model)

Thanks I was not starting a 

51 minutes ago, unreasonable said:

conspiracy theory

Or at least not intentionally 

I myself just believed we had them and they did not have a obvious effect. Reading some documents in this tread I see they should do a bit of harm. 

personally after very long time in this game have grown very confused about many US planes. I read mostly pilots interview and descriptions of the planes. 
I came to realize that  a RAF pilot in N Africa praising his P 40 do it , not because it is the best plane in the world, but he might have transferred from a Gladiator. 
I have obviously not looked to closely on the context of the story about planes and ammo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please correct me if I am wrong, but I thought that explosions from fuel tank vapours was extremely dangerous and perhaps more of a risk than a bullet actually into the fuel itself; an empty or partially full tank being more at risk to explosion than a full fuel tank.

 

As an associated point of interest, I recently read a book explaining that RAF Lancaster bombers, and other RAF aircraft types, purged their empty fuel tanks with nitrogen whilst in flight and that this saved aircraft and crews from disaster.

 

Pity the poor Bf 109 pilots, not only contained in the same cell compartment as the fuel tank, but also sitting on top of their fuel tanks and not separated from them by a bulkhead with some fire/explosion protection like some other fighter aircraft.

 

Happy landings,

 

56RAF_Talisman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Explosions are much rarer than fires, even if the fuel tanks are not purged of air, simply because the fuel-air mixture and temperature range in which an explosion can occur is much narrower than the equivalent range for fires.  a800109 notes in passing that the Russians used purging from the start of WW2.  I would guess that nearly all mid air explosions in WW2 were from ammunition or bombs being hit, rather than fuel tanks, but I am not sure how exactly this could be confirmed/refuted, perhaps some aircraft types were unusually vulnerable.

 

Fuel tank fires will not usually occur inside the tank itself although you could get one if it is holed above the fuel line with a non self sealing hole big enough to admit air.  I think the most common event would be there is enough damage to the fuel tank walls that fuel can escape, mix with air outside the tank and be ignited.  Then they have be be not blown out by slipstream and continue to receive a flow of fuel and air - ie the tank must not self seal and put out the initial fire.  Fuel lines are perhaps more vulnerable than the tanks themselves.

 

BTW a800109 is well worth reading for anyone interested in this topic.

Edited by unreasonable

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, 56RAF_Talisman said:

Please correct me if I am wrong, but I thought that explosions from fuel tank vapours was extremely dangerous and perhaps more of a risk than a bullet actually into the fuel itself; an empty or partially full tank being more at risk to explosion than a full fuel tank.

 

As an associated point of interest, I recently read a book explaining that RAF Lancaster bombers, and other RAF aircraft types, purged their empty fuel tanks with nitrogen whilst in flight and that this saved aircraft and crews from disaster.

 

Pity the poor Bf 109 pilots, not only contained in the same cell compartment as the fuel tank, but also sitting on top of their fuel tanks and not separated from them by a bulkhead with some fire/explosion protection like some other fighter aircraft.

 

Happy landings,

 

56RAF_Talisman

I think the only nations who practised purging tanks were the Russians, who directed cooled exhaust gasses into the fuel tanks in pretty much every fighter and bomber model they made and the British with their bombers from 1944 onwards.
I personally think the Bf-109 pilots were in an okay position with regards to their fuel tanks location. Their bulkhead was afterall, the seat and armor and fire tends to lag opposite the direction of travel, so it will travel away from the pilot. Spitfire and Hurricane pilots were in a far worse position with the fuel tanks situated right in front of their instrument panel, with no armoured bulkhead seperating them. Add in the fact that the fuel tank is in front, any flames or fuel, will go directly towards and hit the pilot.

I think extracts from this document could help get more info about this.
https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a800109.pdf

Spoiler

unknown.png

Spoiler

unknown.png


 

Spoiler

 

unknown.png

unknown.png?width=657&height=670

 

Key take aways
Self sealing fuel tanks work if the material is pushed aside by the penetrating round/fragment causing it to petal, after penetration, it will go back to nearly its original shape, and since little if no material has been lost, the self sealing action can take place. Incendiary rounds instead tend to destroy material of the tank by burning and, being a poor penetrator, causes a jagged penetration that makes it even more difficult to seal.


Hits to the fuel tank above the fuel line will either cause a low order (subsonic) explosion that causes little damage if the hole is small, if the hole is large, enough air will come in from outside to sustain a fire.

Hits to the fuel tank below the fuel line get started by fuel vapours that have seeped out into the structure. So the incendiary needs to activate after it pierces the aircraft skin in the gap between it and the fuel tank and burn for at least 7ms after it penetrates the tank to maintain the temperatures until enough fuel has sprayed out of the tank to sustain a fire.

 

If the source of the fire is open to the air stream, flying above 110mph is the magic speed to put it out apparently, so if we apply this to the P-51s wing tanks (simply because it is the first cutaway I could find)
unknown.png?width=1243&height=308
The green areas of the wing fuel tank would be exposed to the airstream and hits there would likely snuff out fires. the red areas would have limited exposure and so would be more likely to maintain a fire.

Edited by =362nd_FS=RoflSeal
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Since self sealing tanks aren't modelled, I don't think the addition of incendiary ammunition will be any more effective than the tracers we have in game. I do believe that outside of the lack of modelling of self sealing tanks, fuel spray and associated fires are modelled very well. The coolest thing I've seen is when I was once strafing a train while I was leaking fuel from multiple holes. The train exploded and as I passed through the fireball, my fuel leaks ignited and my entire plane was instantly engulfed.

Edited by II./SG.1-MarkWilhelmsson
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Don't think there is much doubt that having API (Incendiary) ammunition will be useful for (especially) the USAAF pilots but it will come as another trade-off no doubt, with perhaps slightly lower penetration against other elements of the aircraft equipment and structure that are protected versus normal AP rounds due to the filling. This might be considered an acceptable compromise against lightly built fighters.

 

 

22 hours ago, 216th_LuseKofte said:

Thanks I was not starting a 

Or at least not intentionally 

I myself just believed we had them and they did not have a obvious effect. Reading some documents in this tread I see they should do a bit of harm. 

personally after very long time in this game have grown very confused about many US planes. I read mostly pilots interview and descriptions of the planes. 
I came to realize that  a RAF pilot in N Africa praising his P 40 do it , not because it is the best plane in the world, but he might have transferred from a Gladiator. 
I have obviously not looked to closely on the context of the story about planes and ammo

 

@216th_LuseKofte

 

Interesting about the P-40 comment.. people's experience is relative.. another good example is with the US, many of its pilots thought the P-51 was very 'maneuverable' for its time (partially correct).. but compared to? what? other USAAF aircraft which were.. known for having fairly average maneuverability.

 

"The airplane is very maneuverable with good controllability at indicated speeds up to 400 MPH. The stability about all axes is good and the rate of roll is excellent; however, the radius of turn is fairly large for a fighter." - U.S. Air Forces, Flight Test Engineering, Mustang B, 24 April 1944

 

"We would out-turn the P-51 and the other American fighters, with the Bf 109 or the Fw 190. Their turn rate was about the same. The P-51 was faster than us, but our munitions and cannon were better." Kurt Bühligen

 

Above you'll notice Kurt say the Fw 190 can pull "about the same" turn to a Bf 109. It depends on speed but.. not really nope - this was quantified specifically on a Luftwaffe report. Its the control feel which is giving the illusion of this, the stick forces are far lighter on the Fw 190.. if you were to actually perform the same maneuver side-by-side it may come as a surprise to see a significant difference. But it is relative, and clearly there was a big difference between these and the P-51. Context.

 

Its often the context of the situation that you need to interpret these comments accurately e.g. what altitude was combat typically at? were high Mach numbers often reached? was there a ground battle to support? do you need very good handling qualities to assist the harsh combat conditions? had these pilots access to captured aircraft or comparative test reports? were their opponents experienced or poorly trained? does the aircraft have light stick forces and easy recovery etc

 

On 5/13/2020 at 6:11 PM, 441Sqn_Twang said:

It appears that the ammunition loadout for the P-51D (Battle of Bodenplatte) is limited only to ball or AP ammunition only. Chuck Yeager spoke of the explosive incendiary .50 cal shells used in his P-51s (B and D). Why are these not modeled in the game?

 

@441Sqn_Twang

 

The .50 cal API round did not contain explosive, it could however easily been perceived that way from seeing a huge flash as the vapour ignited or an MW50 tank vaporize on the back of a fighter for example. However - this effect did relate somewhat to later rounds introduced after the war. Believe these were HEPI rounds which were a later development, some of which was directly learnt from what the Germans did with their HE rounds. FN Herstal was one company that developed them for example.

 

21 hours ago, 56RAF_Talisman said:

Please correct me if I am wrong, but I thought that explosions from fuel tank vapours was extremely dangerous and perhaps more of a risk than a bullet actually into the fuel itself; an empty or partially full tank being more at risk to explosion than a full fuel tank.

 

As an associated point of interest, I recently read a book explaining that RAF Lancaster bombers, and other RAF aircraft types, purged their empty fuel tanks with nitrogen whilst in flight and that this saved aircraft and crews from disaster.

 

Pity the poor Bf 109 pilots, not only contained in the same cell compartment as the fuel tank, but also sitting on top of their fuel tanks and not separated from them by a bulkhead with some fire/explosion protection like some other fighter aircraft.

 

Happy landings,

 

56RAF_Talisman

 

@56RAF_Talisman

 

I wouldn't pity the '109 pilots.. I'd give that to the 'guineapigs' who suffered terrible burns and had to undergo facial surgery.. the RAF fighters had poorly protected fuel tanks which the pilots were sitting behind. The 1969 film Battle of Britain also dramatically shows a Bf 109 fuel tank explode due to excessive fire.. you'll note that the cockpit is pushed forward and clear.

 

When it did rarely happen.. any explosion would be drafted quickly behind (don't forget the fuel tank is still contained within fuselage walls behind a well covered aluminium cockpit panel and a seat which was often with an armoured backrest/headrest also). The momentum of the aircraft would quickly push the pilot away - you're going to be moving at over 200 mph likely. In the extreme cases this happened the pilot was simply released from the cockpit (your parachute is already attached), so pilot survivability was far better than in comparable types. Better to have the explosion/fire a few feet behind you while you're still tumbling forwards and away.. than slowly burning or exploding in your face.

Edited by Aurora_Stealth
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Aurora_Stealth said:

 

@56RAF_Talisman

 

I wouldn't pity the '109 pilots.. I'd give that to the 'guineapigs' who suffered terrible burns and had to undergo facial surgery.. the RAF fighters had poorly protected fuel tanks which the pilots were sitting behind. The 1969 film Battle of Britain also dramatically shows a Bf 109 fuel tank explode due to excessive fire.. you'll note that the cockpit is pushed forward and clear.

 

When it did rarely happen.. any explosion would be drafted quickly behind (don't forget the fuel tank is still contained within fuselage walls behind a well covered aluminium cockpit panel and a seat which was often with an armoured backrest/headrest also). The momentum of the aircraft would quickly push the pilot away - you're going to be moving at over 200 mph likely. In the extreme cases this happened the pilot was simply released from the cockpit (your parachute is already attached), so pilot survivability was far better than in comparable types. Better to have the explosion/fire a few feet behind you while you're still tumbling forwards and away.. than slowly burning or exploding in your face.

 

I think that the RAF fighter fuel tank issue when compared to the Bf 109 is not always thought through enough and people can fall into the trap of just repeating a stock response that bears closer examination.  Yes, many RAF pilots got burnt and many survived.  The Hurricane was the fighter that was the worst in terms of fire (the main problem being the wing tanks), not the Spitfire, and the Bf 109 was worse then the Spitfire.  Although, even the Hurricane could be survived and a pilot won a VC for climbing back into his burning Hurricane cockpit with a fuel tank fire to shoot the enemy down and he survived.   The RAF pilots that survived with terrible burns were very visible to us all and it is shocking to see and people always remember it because it makes a big impression, as it should.  Members of the 'Guinea Pig Club' were shockingly visible in this respect, but they did survive and some flew again.  But ask yourself this question, how many Bf 109 pilots were seen having survived a fuel tank fire or explosion?

 

Combat reports of Bf 109 fighters shot down in flames are very common, so we know it happened.  German pilots shot down over the UK were treated for their wounds the same as anyone else, but I don't believe there were any German pilots in the 'Guinea Pig Club'.  Could it be that none survived to join the club?  I submit that sitting on top of a fire or explosion in a confined Bf 109 cockpit is definately not the place to be and most unlikely to be survived.  I have read that RAF pilots had some sympathy for the Bf 109 pilots when they realised that they were sitting on their fuel tanks.

 

Another point to consider is that a pilot needs a parachute to survive bailing out in mid air and the RAF fighter parachute is further away from the fuel tank in front.  However, with the Bf 109 the pilots parachute is rather more exposed sitting on the seat on top of the fuel tank. 

 

The Bf 109 pilot and his parachute is literally sitting at the seat of the fire and any explosion.

 

In short, I would rather not sit on a potential fire bomb like this!

 

31217983156_3b7dd75e2e_c.jpg

 

Finally, I would not put too much stock in an entertainment movie from 1969 as evidence of a fuel tank explosion; the special effects on that film were not very good, LOL.

 

Happy landings,

 

56RAF_Talisman

Edited by 56RAF_Talisman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, 56RAF_Talisman said:

 

 

I think you are forgetting that the Bf-109 pilot isn't actually sitting on a fuel tank. He is sitting on a bucket seat  that is 8mm thick steel, though , if we are talking about BoB, we also need to take regards of the Bf-109E-1 and E-3s that weren't retrofitted with armour protection.

 

Also, I don't think you realise how often even the Luftwaffe uber aces were shot down and survived.

Eric Hartmann, 352 kills, shot down 16 times
In fact, he was shot down on the occasion of his first kill by a LaGG-3 after shooting down an Il-2. 


Gunther Rall - 275 kills, shot down 8 times

Erich Rudorffer - 222 kills, shot down 16 times

Heinz Bär - 220 kills, shot down 18 times

Walter Krupinski - 197 kills, shot down 4 times.
Erich Hartman's introduction to Krupinski illustrates how quickly one of these guys could be back plying his trade. From Toliver’s The Blond Knight of Germany, p. 51 “Krupinski arrived at Taman Kuban, introduced himself as the new squadron commander, asked immediately for a serviceable fighter. He went up, was promptly shot down and bailed out. Brought back to the field by car he demanded another Me-109, took off again immediately, and this time scored two kills returning intact to the airfield.”

Herbert Ihlefeld, 130 kills, shot down 8 times

 

 

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, =362nd_FS=RoflSeal said:

I think you are forgetting that the Bf-109 pilot isn't actually sitting on a fuel tank. He is sitting on a bucket seat  that is 8mm thick steel, though , if we are talking about BoB, we also need to take regards of the Bf-109E-1 and E-3s that weren't retrofitted with armour protection.

 

Also, I don't think you realise how often even the Luftwaffe uber aces were shot down and survived.

Eric Hartmann, 352 kills, shot down 16 times
In fact, he was shot down on the occasion of his first kill by a LaGG-3 after shooting down an Il-2. 


Gunther Rall - 275 kills, shot down 8 times

Erich Rudorffer - 222 kills, shot down 16 times

Heinz Bär - 220 kills, shot down 18 times

Walter Krupinski - 197 kills, shot down 4 times.
Erich Hartman's introduction to Krupinski illustrates how quickly one of these guys could be back plying his trade. From Toliver’s The Blond Knight of Germany, p. 51 “Krupinski arrived at Taman Kuban, introduced himself as the new squadron commander, asked immediately for a serviceable fighter. He went up, was promptly shot down and bailed out. Brought back to the field by car he demanded another Me-109, took off again immediately, and this time scored two kills returning intact to the airfield.”

Herbert Ihlefeld, 130 kills, shot down 8 times

 

 

 

 

You cant get away from the fact that the seat is on top of the fuel tank so he is sitting on top of it and the fuel tank shares the cockpit cell space with the pilot.  As for the shooting down information you have provided, it is very interesting, but I can't see how it is relevant to this discussion unless the fuel tanks exploded or were on fire.  I have read a number of books covering Hartman, Krupinski and Rall, etc, but can't remember them saying they escaped from a burning or exploding cockpit.  They did see many colleagues who did not make it though.

 

Just looking at the picture I posted above makes it is clear how much fire and explosion risk there was for Bf 109 pilots.  I believe it is wishful thinking to believe sitting on top of the fuel tank is somehow 'OK'.  Especially with the central drop tank too!  

 

P.S.  I have a signed copy of Gunther Ralls book, 'My Logbook' and have met and spoken to him.  I enjoyed meeting him and would have liked to have asked him so many questions, but I somehow felt it would not be appropriate of me to ask too many questions as a matter of politeness.  There have been other missed opportunities, from my youth, when I could have learnt things from an ex Spitfire pilot that was once in my work area and an old boss who was bomber aircrew.  

 

Anyway, happy landings to you RoflSeal and I hope that we can perhaps agree to disagree with no hard feelings.

 

56RAF_Talisman  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, 56RAF_Talisman said:

 

I think that the RAF fighter fuel tank issue when compared to the Bf 109 is not always thought through enough and people can fall into the trap of just repeating a stock response that bears closer examination.  Yes, many RAF pilots got burnt and many survived.  The Hurricane was the fighter that was the worst in terms of fire (the main problem being the wing tanks), not the Spitfire, and the Bf 109 was worse then the Spitfire.  Although, even the Hurricane could be survived and a pilot won a VC for climbing back into his burning Hurricane cockpit with a fuel tank fire to shoot the enemy down and he survived.   The RAF pilots that survived with terrible burns were very visible to us all and it is shocking to see and people always remember it because it makes a big impression, as it should.  Members of the 'Guinea Pig Club' were shockingly visible in this respect, but they did survive and some flew again.  But ask yourself this question, how many Bf 109 pilots were seen having survived a fuel tank fire or explosion?

 

Combat reports of Bf 109 fighters shot down in flames are very common, so we know it happened.  German pilots shot down over the UK were treated for their wounds the same as anyone else, but I don't believe there were any German pilots in the 'Guinea Pig Club'.  Could it be that none survived to join the club?  I submit that sitting on top of a fire or explosion in a confined Bf 109 cockpit is definately not the place to be and most unlikely to be survived.  I have read that RAF pilots had some sympathy for the Bf 109 pilots when they realised that they were sitting on their fuel tanks.

 

Another point to consider is that a pilot needs a parachute to survive bailing out in mid air and the RAF fighter parachute is further away from the fuel tank in front.  However, with the Bf 109 the pilots parachute is rather more exposed sitting on the seat on top of the fuel tank. 

 

The Bf 109 pilot and his parachute is literally sitting at the seat of the fire and any explosion.

 

In short, I would rather not sit on a potential fire bomb like this!

 

31217983156_3b7dd75e2e_c.jpg

 

Finally, I would not put too much stock in an entertainment movie from 1969 as evidence of a fuel tank explosion; the special effects on that film were not very good, LOL.

 

Happy landings,

 

56RAF_Talisman

 

@56RAF_Talisman

 

Nice try... but I was not using the film as evidence per se - it was a popular reference for those who are not familiar with the design elements (but you already knew that).

 

I was stating that popular myths like the one's you're perpetuating... that originate from popular media and films showing Luftwaffe pilots being "blown up" by their own fuel tanks... as not being common place and were very rare. That's not to state it never happened, but it was a rare occurrence indeed with regards to the Bf 109 - that's why its not documented as a flaw, and yet the RAF fighters for some reason... starkly were documented as such.

 

2 hours ago, 56RAF_Talisman said:

 

You cant get away from the fact that the seat is on top of the fuel tank so he is sitting on top of it and the fuel tank shares the cockpit cell space with the pilot.  As for the shooting down information you have provided, it is very interesting, but I can't see how it is relevant to this discussion unless the fuel tanks exploded or were on fire.  I have read a number of books covering Hartman, Krupinski and Rall, etc, but can't remember them saying they escaped from a burning or exploding cockpit.  They did see many colleagues who did not make it though.

 

Just looking at the picture I posted above makes it is clear how much fire and explosion risk there was for Bf 109 pilots.  I believe it is wishful thinking to believe sitting on top of the fuel tank is somehow 'OK'.  Especially with the central drop tank too!  

 

P.S.  I have a signed copy of Gunther Ralls book, 'My Logbook' and have met and spoken to him.  I enjoyed meeting him and would have liked to have asked him so many questions, but I somehow felt it would not be appropriate of me to ask too many questions as a matter of politeness.  There have been other missed opportunities, from my youth, when I could have learnt things from an ex Spitfire pilot that was once in my work area and an old boss who was bomber aircrew.  

 

Anyway, happy landings to you RoflSeal and I hope that we can perhaps agree to disagree with no hard feelings.

 

56RAF_Talisman  

 

Can you please provide some factual evidence that is not just a few anecdotal accounts, I've not read this being reported or mentioned consistently in all of twenty years researching this aircraft and I do not believe it would have gone unanswered if there was... as you imply - a serious design flaw. I'm not saying Luftwaffe pilots didn't get burned or killed, they obviously did... but by comparison - a pilot in a Bf 109 was better off in all accounts on pilot survivability by a significant margin.

 

The Germans went to enormous lengths to seal up vulnerabilities in their aircraft, including using self-sealing tanks and by comparison the Linatex (fire retardent material) used on RAF fighters was woefully inadequate. The upper fuel tank of the Spitfire did not have even this protection, as there was apparently inadequate space and not enough time to re-design or install actual self-sealing fuel tanks during mid 1940. Also the fuel can flood into the pilots cockpit when pierced in those tanks in the RAF fighters, which is what happens when you situate a fuel tank in front of the pilot with only an instrument panel to separate it.

 

No, in the Bf 109 he does not share the same "cockpit space". Your image only shows the fuel system which is a reference image out of the Messerschmitt operating manual, it does not show any of the other internal structures or equipment which were present. Please see attached below the full aircraft breakdown, which highlights marked elements of structure that separates the cockpit from the fuel tank including the bulkhead.

 

Bf 109E-4 - Highlights.jpg

 

The fuel tank is indeed very close, but layers of aluminium and steel separate them (look in a Bf109 fuselage in an Airfix kit) hence why I stated any explosion would be behind and away from the pilot in almost all circumstances. I don't deny its unnerving to look at the proximity, but this was largely designed out as a potential issue.

 

To summarise some key survivability points for the Bf 109 E pilot:

 

  • Aluminium cockpit floor
  • Aluminium cockpit rear wall/bulkhead
  • 8mm thick steel bucket seat with parachute embedded which the pilot sits on
  • Late E-3 and E-4 variants June - July 1940 included additional thick, laminated armoured plating behind the fuel tank
  • Thick armoured glass on canopy sides
  • Additional thicker armoured frontal glass on canopy windshield were optionally added
  • Jettison-able canopy
  • Self-inflatable dinghy behind the seat
  • Chemical spray in pilot's sachet that alerted rescue planes over water
  • Medical / ration pack

 

They even added a K98k hunting rifle in the rear fuselage later in the war, plus a hole for firing a flare gun from the cockpit and an attachment for an umbrella to protect from sunburn in North Africa although those bits were later..

 

Anyway, all the best - thanks.

 

Edited by Aurora_Stealth
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Aurora_Stealth said:

The fuel tank is indeed very close, but layers of aluminium and steel separate them (look in a Bf109 fuselage in an Airfix kit) hence why I stated any explosion would be behind and away from the pilot in almost all circumstances. I don't deny its unnerving to look at the proximity, but this was largely designed out as a potential issue.

 

That was just meant to be a joke, wasn't it?

But it's a good one if that kidding was intentional 😂

 

:drinks:

Mike

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, SAS_Storebror said:

That was just meant to be a joke, wasn't it?

It certainly was a good one. :biggrin:

 

  • Thanks 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Well I rather sit on the front of a tank instead of having a tank right in front of my face. Or like gunners in IL2 on top behind a tank

Edited by 216th_LuseKofte
  • Thanks 1
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, =362nd_FS=RoflSeal said:

I think you are forgetting that the Bf-109 pilot isn't actually sitting on a fuel tank. He is sitting on a bucket seat  that is 8mm thick steel, though , if we are talking about BoB, we also need to take regards of the Bf-109E-1 and E-3s that weren't retrofitted with armour protection.

 

Also, I don't think you realise how often even the Luftwaffe uber aces were shot down and survived.

Eric Hartmann, 352 kills, shot down 16 times
In fact, he was shot down on the occasion of his first kill by a LaGG-3 after shooting down an Il-2.   

[etc]

 

I do not doubt these numbers: the uber aces were indeed the lucky ones, who not only survived the shootdowns but were able to make it back to their own side. What you need, to put this into perspective, is the number of times 109 pilots were shot down, with a breakdown of how many were killed in the process and survived each events. Plus the same numbers for comparable allied types.  Otherwise, all you are showing is that many GAF uberaces fought a lot near or over their own lines.

 

Not sure I have ever seen such an analysis, but it would be interesting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...