Jump to content

Planes you love to hate (do not take offence in this thread).


Recommended Posts

Just a fun thread but I know this will hurt a lot of delicate feelings but I will start by saying...

 

The Spitfire.

 

There, I've said it and I expect a load of people with pitchforks to come hunting me down :)

 

The reason I dislike the Spitfire is nothing about its aesthetics, or it's performance because it was always a very competitive aircraft and it does look kinda nice with it's wings clipped IMHO.  My issue is the mythical beliefs and dewy eyed reverence many people have towards it.  It is seen as the symbol of the plucky British underdog in their darkest hour blah... blah... blah.

 

The truth is it was radar that we can thank for winning the Battle of Britain.  If the Spitfire didn't exist the Hurricane (love that plane) would have continued doing a perfectly good job in it's understated way.  IMHO at no point during WWII was the Spitfire the pinnacle of fighter design, it did some things well and overall was a good fighter, but there was always something that did it better.  If we look at the history of the Spitfire it seemed the most "successful" marks were panic mash-ups in answer to something the Germans did.

 

Spitfire Mk V was an answer to the 109F

Sptfire Mk IX and Mk XII were answers to the Fw190

 

Sorry if I hurt some feeling here but it's all in good fun folks.  😄

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
  • Haha 1
  • Upvote 12
Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, ICDP said:

The truth is it was radar that we can thank for winning the Battle of Britain. 

Well that, and the Royal Navy. And geography (oceanography?).

 

Anyway, my controversial opinion is that, if there was a 'Battle of Britain' (i.e. German sources don't seem to recognize it in the same way that British sources do), then we (i.e. the British) didn't really win it. It was more of a 0-0 draw. All we had to do to 'win' was not lose. And even if the Germans had so reduced our fighter forces that they were fored to pull back from the south coast the 40 destroyers plus capital ships the RN had in Channel ports, plus the other 40 plus capital ships a days sail away in Scapa Flow would have ensured that an invasion was never a serious possibility.

16 minutes ago, ICDP said:

My issue is the mythical beliefs and dewy eyed reverence many people have towards it.

I could not agree with you more on this. The myth has eclipsed the reality in many ways.

 

@ICDP, I suggest we head down to the Anderson shelter as I think this is going to kick off...

Edited by Diggun
  • Upvote 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, Diggun said:

 

 

Anyway, my controversial opinion is that, if there was a 'Battle of Britain' (i.e. German sources don't seem to recognize it in the same way that British sources do), then we (i.e. the British) didn't really win it. It was more of a 0-0 draw. All we had to do to 'win' was not lose. And even if the Germans had so reduced our fighter forces that they were fored to pull back from the south coast the 40 destroyers plus capital ships the RN had in Channel ports, plus the other 40 plus capital ships a days sail away in Scapa Flow would have ensured that an invasion was never a serious possibility.

 


I think that the action that took place over the summer of 1940 was won by the British because they largely achieved their strategic aims (i.e. not lose and stay in the war) and the Germans failed to achieve theirs (knock Britain out of the war). Essentially, if the guy is attacking your castle, and he gives up after wasting a bunch of soldiers on futile attacks, you've won - even though everything is status quo ante bellum. Your relative strategic position has improved compared to his, even though you haven't moved at all, since he spent resources for nothing. I guess it's semantics, but I have always felt that for the defender, a draw is a win. Of course, if you do better than a draw that is an epic win. But of course this is considering it as a zero-sum game which is maybe not the best way to look at it.

The Germans made the critical mistake of picking a strategic goal that was basically unachievable with the resources they had at their disposal. But overconfidence in the ability of air power alone to destroy an enemy isn't unique to the Germans or WWII...

My perhaps less controversial opinion than yours is that the cross-channel raids that the RAF followed up with squandered what advantage was gained from the Battle of Britain and failed to achieve anything of strategic consequence. The Germans 'won' this phase because it cost them very little and tied up substantial resources of the RAF that could have been used in other theatres. 

To get back on topic:

For me the P-38 is a plane that I should in theory love. Great climb, nose mounted guns, awesome bomb loads for fighter bombing...but I just can't get into it. Survivability doesn't seem that great despite the two engines, cockpit view is not great especially below. I wouldn't say I hate it but I only fly it if everyone else in a given flight is taking one and I have to be able to keep up in the climb.
 

Edited by RedKestrel
  • Upvote 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think I have a plane that I love to hate, they're all unique for the purpose they were built for. 

 

If we are talking in game, I'd say the 109 due its magic AoA ability. 

 

But in terms of IRL, maybe the Defiant I guess if I really had to give an answer. 

 

 

In regards to the BoB, you'd have to be intentionally dismissing the fact Goering stopped bombing airfields and started bombing cities. Regardless of what aircraft and the radar involved.

 

What the British endured and overcame was nothing short of miraculous..

 

 

 

 

Edited by Denum
Link to post
Share on other sites

The plane I love to hate is the P51D.

I like the P51B/C but the  the fact that we only talk of the "D" makes me hate it.

I have more or less the same problem with the F16 compared to the F/A18 for instance

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

The Spitfire is a delicate subject, be sure.  Based on looks alone it is a visual sex object.  Simply beautiful, and in the summer of 1940 it was the best thing going.  After that the poor dear was a dowager empress, constantly playing catch up with it's German adversaries, still keeping up appearances, but clearly the old girl was past her prime.

 

To wit:  The Mk. XIV with a Griffon engine and a notional 2000bhp on tap has a similar top speed to the Mustang with a Merlin and five or six hundred less bhp.

I will always love the early Spits, but in the sim, I'll take a Mustang over it all day, every day.

 

As for aircraft I hate in the sim... well... if pushed to make a call on this, which is hard because I love all aircraft, it would have to be the Bf109.  I just loath the thing.

Edited by BlitzPig_EL
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, ICDP said:

The truth is it was radar that we can thank for winning the Battle of Britain.  If the Spitfire didn't exist the Hurricane (love that plane) would have continued doing a perfectly good job in it's understated way. 


I’ve never been so offended by something I completely agree with.

 

As much as I love the Spitfire, there was simply no way for Germany to win the Battle of Britain when the Royal Navy outnumbered the Kriegsmarine by such a wide margin.

 

Hmm, maybe I should do an alt-history mission for CloD with air battles centred around some RN capital ships bullying German landing craft/supply ships in the Channel...

 

Anyway, for me, the plane I love to hate is the Vickers Wellesley.

 

Vickers_Wellesley_MKI.jpg

 

It looks like the child of the Wellington and the Swordfish if the mother ate meth while pregnant. Apparently those aren’t drop tanks on the wings, those are where the bombs are dropped from.

  • Haha 6
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Cybermat47 said:

 

Anyway, for me, the plane I love to hate is the Vickers Wellesley.

 

Vickers_Wellesley_MKI.jpg

 

It looks like the child of the Wellington and the Swordfish if the mother ate meth while pregnant.

 

tenor.gif

  • Haha 2
  • Upvote 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, BlitzPig_EL said:

Based on looks alone it is a visual sex object.

You ever seen the MIG?:cool:

 

She may perform just *slightly* less great than a Bf109, but she sure looks the part! And once you learn her quirks, she's great to fly! For someone who goes online perhaps once every month, I especially remember the 262 I shot down with the MIG, and a clean kill it was! 🙂

 

Sure, from an objective viewpoint the MIG might not be the greatest, but I love her nonetheless ❤️

  • Upvote 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

There are so many factors that won the Battle of Britain. The Royal Navy and Radar certainly had key roles but also  the simple logistics of having sending an Army across a contested English Channel. But one thing not mentioned here that cannot be overlooked was the morale of the British people.

I remember reading a first hand account of a woman who was a young school teacher in a small village. She was asked to assist the townspeople with the planned defense of the area, telling Mrs. Johnson that we will have to dig up her garden to put a machinegun bunker, etc.. She was told before accepting that the Germans would most likely invade within the week and if they were successful she and the other people who assisted in their defense would be hung from the town square, she agreed without hesitation.

My hated plane in game is the P-40E1 just can't stand flying it, love it IRL, find it the most fragile POS in game.  IRL the P61 Black Widow, it was slow and outdated before it ever entered service and yet has some sort of cult following.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, RedKestrel said:

My perhaps less controversial opinion than yours is that the cross-channel raids that the RAF followed up with squandered what advantage was gained from the Battle of Britain and failed to achieve anything of strategic consequence. The Germans 'won' this phase because it cost them very little and tied up substantial resources of the RAF that could have been used in other theatres. 

Absolutely! A return to the wasteful and pointless 'offensive patrol' mindset of ww1! 

Link to post
Share on other sites
43 minutes ago, Cybermat47 said:


I’ve never been so offended by something I completely agree with.

 

As much as I love the Spitfire, there was simply no way for Germany to win the Battle of Britain when the Royal Navy outnumbered the Kriegsmarine by such a wide margin.

 

Hmm, maybe I should do an alt-history mission for CloD with air battles centred around some RN capital ships bullying German landing craft/supply ships in the Channel...

 

Anyway, for me, the plane I love to hate is the Vickers Wellesley.

 

Vickers_Wellesley_MKI.jpg

 

It looks like the child of the Wellington and the Swordfish if the mother ate meth while pregnant. Apparently those aren’t drop tanks on the wings, those are where the bombs are dropped from.

I thought this was photoshopped. Good lord, I like idiosyncratic looks on an aircraft but that is just beastly - and not in a good way.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, RedKestrel said:

I thought this was photoshopped. Good lord, I like idiosyncratic looks on an aircraft but that is just beastly - and not in a good way.

 

It's like they thought, what can we do to make this as unaerodynamic as possible.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe the Mustang? Not because of the plane itself but the fact that so many ignorant fanbois acted like it was the best fighter of WW2 just because. I love to dominate it at low alt and shoot it down and go like : oh thats the best fighter of ww2 right? There goes your american propaganda.

  • Haha 2
  • Upvote 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, ICDP said:

The truth is it was radar that we can thank for winning the Battle of Britain.  If the Spitfire didn't exist the Hurricane (love that plane) would have continued doing a perfectly good job in it's understated way.  IMHO at no point during WWII was the Spitfire the pinnacle of fighter design, it did some things well and overall was a good fighter, but there was always something that did it better.

 

I agree with the general sentiment that the BoB was unwinnable for Germany for a variety of reasons not related to the outcome of the air battle itself. Therefore, the Spitfire didn't single-wingedly win a battle whose outcome had already been decided by Germany's total lack of invasion capacity circa 1940.

 

However. The Spit absolutely was a more capable plane versus the 109 than the Hurricane. The Hurricane would've suffered lopsided losses if it had no Spitfire assistance. The Spitfire was essentially identical in design ethos and performance to the 109; which is why it could fight it to a stalemate.

 

Likewise, the Bf 110 wouldn't have been quite as vulnerable to the Hurricane as it was to the Spitfire. The 110 had a slight speed advantage over the Hurricane, and zero advantage over the Spitfire.

 

So, all told, the Spitfire matched or exceeded Germany's top fighters. The Hurricane did not. Thus, the Spitfire made the BoB easier for Britain by inflicting losses on Germany while taking fewer casualties than the Hurricane would've incurred for the same results. The Spitfire's value was being a force multiplier in a close battle of attrition. That, in turn, gave it immense morale value, which explains the myth that built up around it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
58 minutes ago, oc2209 said:

 

I agree with the general sentiment that the BoB was unwinnable for Germany for a variety of reasons not related to the outcome of the air battle itself. Therefore, the Spitfire didn't single-wingedly win a battle whose outcome had already been decided by Germany's total lack of invasion capacity circa 1940.

 

However. The Spit absolutely was a more capable plane versus the 109 than the Hurricane. The Hurricane would've suffered lopsided losses if it had no Spitfire assistance. The Spitfire was essentially identical in design ethos and performance to the 109; which is why it could fight it to a stalemate.

 

Likewise, the Bf 110 wouldn't have been quite as vulnerable to the Hurricane as it was to the Spitfire. The 110 had a slight speed advantage over the Hurricane, and zero advantage over the Spitfire.

 

So, all told, the Spitfire matched or exceeded Germany's top fighters. The Hurricane did not. Thus, the Spitfire made the BoB easier for Britain by inflicting losses on Germany while taking fewer casualties than the Hurricane would've incurred for the same results. The Spitfire's value was being a force multiplier in a close battle of attrition. That, in turn, gave it immense morale value, which explains the myth that built up around it.

 

The thing is the fact the Hurricane was slower than the 109E was not an impairment because the 109E was incapable of staying around to escort the bombers for long.  It was also more than capable of taking on the 110 and holding the advantage, so I don't believe the 110 would have been any more effective as a bomber escort.  It was the fact that radar allowed the RAF to interecpt the bombers so effectively that helped win the BoB.  It was a common tactic to vector intercepts after the escorts had to leave which meant the bombers and their Bf110 "escorts" were essentially left to fend for themselves.

 

The Spitfire was there and was effective, just not significantly more so than the Hurricane when it came to what really mattered, stopping the bombers.  Hence my aversion to the fact the Spitfire has some undeserved mythical status as "the plane that won the Battle of Britain".

Edited by ICDP
Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, ICDP said:

The Spitfire was there and was effective, just not significantly more so than the Hurricane when it came to what really mattered, stopping the bombers.  Hence my aversion to the fact the Spitfire has some undeserved mythical status as "the plane that won the Battle of Britain".

 

Well, this is where it gets complicated.

 

The Germans beat themselves, tactically speaking, as much as British radar did. The constant switching of bombing priorities (sometimes airfields, sometimes radar, sometimes industry, sometimes civilian) and the elimination of free hunts in favor of close escort duties--all served to hamstring the offensive power of the Luftwaffe.

 

Had the Luftwaffe continued its most profitable tactics--free hunts and airfield and radar station attacks--the Spitfire's parity with the 109 would've been much, much more valuable and vitally necessary.

 

The Hurricane could more ably contend with flawed Luftwaffe tactics like 109s wasted on close escort duty. More aggressive and concentrated Luftwaffe tactics would've greatly highlighted the Hurricane's relative weaknesses.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, I./JG52_Woutwocampe said:

Maybe the Mustang? Not because of the plane itself but the fact that so many ignorant fanbois acted like it was the best fighter of WW2 just because. I love to dominate it at low alt and shoot it down and go like : oh thats the best fighter of ww2 right? There goes your american propaganda.

 

Basing any evaluation of actual combat aircraft on results obtained in a video game is just plain stupid methodology, and shows an implied bias on your part.

  • Thanks 1
  • Upvote 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, BlitzPig_EL said:

 

Basing any evaluation of actual combat aircraft on results obtained in a video game is just plain stupid methodology, and shows an implied bias on your part.

 

I think you read far too much into his post, it was more implied from a satirical sense, I hope. :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, ICDP said:

The truth is it was radar that we can thank for winning the Battle of Britain.  If the Spitfire didn't exist the Hurricane (love that plane) would have continued doing a perfectly good job in it's understated way.  IMHO at no point during WWII was the Spitfire the pinnacle of fighter design, it did some things well and overall was a good fighter, but there was always something that did it better.  If we look at the history of the Spitfire it seemed the most "successful" marks were panic mash-ups in answer to something the Germans did.

 

Spitfire Mk V was an answer to the 109F

Sptfire Mk IX and Mk XII were answers to the Fw190

3 hours ago, ICDP said:

 

The Spitfire was there and was effective, just not significantly more so than the Hurricane when it came to what really mattered, stopping the bombers.  Hence my aversion to the fact the Spitfire has some undeserved mythical status as "the plane that won the Battle of Britain".

Couple of things:

1. The 34 Squadrons flying Hurricanes during the BoB accounted for 55% of all claims between July and October, versus 19 Squadrons of Spitfires who accounted for 43%. Claims for Spitfire Squadrons were on average 30% higher per pilot lost than for Hurricane Squadrons. That's a statistically significant enough difference to say that the Spitfire's reputation was not undeserved. (Bungray, The Most Dangerous Enemy, p.708)

2. Chain Home wasn't anything special in 1940, it was how it was used that was significant. Contrast the AdA response to the Luftwaffe's June 3 raid on Paris with that of the RAF to any German raid. 

3. Spit V* was designed for high altitude to count

er the threat of high flying German bombers at the end of the BoB, not the Friedrich. 

Spoiler

*V was a stopgap for the VI which was designed for this purpose, so technically it's a panic response to a German plane, just not the one you're thinking of.

 

Thread Tax:

Horten. Flying. Wings. Bonus points if it's spelled incorrectly.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Feathered_IV said:

The Blohm und Voss Bv-141...  yuck!
Such a product of its time too, with everybody sitting happily on the far right wing and thinking nothing of it. 
 

6779C0DA-1369-4B1C-A596-8991B4AAC351.jpeg.70ff7d55b651388c87674cf162dc677c.jpeg

 

I on the other hand love it.  :)

 

get your freak on!

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

Just a fun thread but I know this will hurt a lot of delicate feelings but I will start by saying...

 

The Spitfire.

 

There, I've said it and I expect a load of people with pitchforks to come hunting me down :)

 

The reason I dislike the Spitfire is nothing about its aesthetics, or it's performance because it was always a very competitive aircraft and it does look kinda nice with it's wings clipped IMHO.  My issue is the mythical beliefs and dewy eyed reverence many people have towards it.  It is seen as the symbol of the plucky British underdog in their darkest hour blah... blah... blah.

 

The truth is it was radar that we can thank for winning the Battle of Britain.  If the Spitfire didn't exist the Hurricane (love that plane) would have continued doing a perfectly good job in it's understated way.  IMHO at no point during WWII was the Spitfire the pinnacle of fighter design, it did some things well and overall was a good fighter, but there was always something that did it better.  If we look at the history of the Spitfire it seemed the most "successful" marks were panic mash-ups in answer to something the Germans did.

 

Spitfire Mk V was an answer to the 109F

Sptfire Mk IX and Mk XII were answers to the Fw190

 

Sorry if I hurt some feeling here but it's all in good fun folks.  😄

 

I'm going to have to say the Bf 109

 

There, I said it. All the Luftwhiners can jump on me now too.

 

It was the fastest and most deadly fighter at the beginning of WWII, but someone always came up with something to beat it. Every time the Luftwaffe upgraded the thing and started taking names, along comes another Allied fighter to take it down. Same thing happened throughout the war. 

 

It was a good platform for upgrades, and of course the Germans were highly skilled at getting high performance out of their machinery, but why did they never change that stupid cockpit canopy? Can't see diddly out of that square slab of armored glass. Even the K model with it's cool moulded perspex left the thick square canopy supports to keep visibility down well below almost any other late war fighter. 

 

Don't even get me started on landing the thing with it's narrow spindly main gear that raises up backwards.

 

Sorry for all the feelings I might hurt, but even though it is super easy to fly, and the center mounted cannon is absolutely lethal, I can't stand any of them. They belong in the scrap heaps they would up in.

 

Oh, did I mention I really like the Spitfire?  ;)  

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, =MERCS=One_Called_Kane said:

Couple of things:

1. The 34 Squadrons flying Hurricanes during the BoB accounted for 55% of all claims between July and October, versus 19 Squadrons of Spitfires who accounted for 43%. Claims for Spitfire Squadrons were on average 30% higher per pilot lost than for Hurricane Squadrons. That's a statistically significant enough difference to say that the Spitfire's reputation was not undeserved. (Bungray, The Most Dangerous Enemy, p.708)

2. Chain Home wasn't anything special in 1940, it was how it was used that was significant. Contrast the AdA response to the Luftwaffe's June 3 raid on Paris with that of the RAF to any German raid. 

3. Spit V* was designed for high altitude to count

er the threat of high flying German bombers at the end of the BoB, not the Friedrich. 

  Hide contents

*V was a stopgap for the VI which was designed for this purpose, so technically it's a panic response to a German plane, just not the one you're thinking of.

 

Thread Tax:

Horten. Flying. Wings. Bonus points if it's spelled incorrectly.

 

Assume the Spitfire didn't exist in 1940 and RAF fighter squadrons were fully supplied by Hurricanes.  Simple question, would the LW had won BoB and invaded the UK?  All things considered I would say no and that is why I feel the Spitfire myth is massively exaggerated.  It is made all about about the "Spitfire" and not the complete picture.

Edited by ICDP
  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, ICDP said:

 

Assume the Spitfire didn't exist in 1940 and RAF fighter squadrons were fully supplied by Hurricanes.  Simple question, would the LW had won BoB and invaded the UK?  All things considered I would say no and that is why I feel the Spitfire myth is massively exaggerated.  It is made all about about the "Spitfire" and not the complete picture.

Oh I agree with you 100%. Sometimes though, it becomes vogue to be contrarian and people like to take it too far in the other direction. Just because something wasn't needed doesn't mean it was insignificant.

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, ICDP said:

 

 Simple question, would the LW had won BoB and invaded the UK?  

No to the first ( winning BoB) and emphatically no to the second ( invasion). For the simple reason, there was never any plan to invade. Look at the preparation to the 1944 invasion and compare it to the german efforts in 1940. ( a few barges and vacationing troops) No, in my ( and not only my) opinion,  winning BoB meant signing a peace treaty with Great Britain and having a back protected for USSR campaign

 

PS. For those who still think RAF saved the Britain I really recomend Derek Robinson's "Invasion 1940" book

 

BTW Whatever you think about it Spitfire is a really beautifull plane  :)

  • Upvote 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, BlitzPig_EL said:

The Spitfire is a delicate subject, be sure.  Based on looks alone it is a visual sex object.  Simply beautiful, and in the summer of 1940 it was the best thing going.  After that the poor dear was a dowager empress, constantly playing catch up with it's German adversaries, still keeping up appearances, but clearly the old girl was past her prime.

I have to take umbrage with this assessment. The Spitfire's big lull period was certainly between mid-1941 until mid-1942, when the Spit V had fallen behind. However by the end when the Merlin 61 Spit IX appeared, which was the equal of the Fw 190 A (and by 1943, with the Merlin 66, had more or less surpassed it), demonstrably superior to the Bf 109 G, and still competitive even by VE Day despite the appearance of Doras and Kurfürsts. It took the Luftwaffe until mid-1944 to field a fighter in numbers which could actually equal or better the IX, which was by then the foremost fighter in the RAF. That's not withstanding subsequent improved variants, i.e Mk VII/VIII, Mk XII, and Mk XIV, which were hugely potent.

 

There's a lot of rose-tinted nostalgia surrounding the Spit but I feel as though its legacy is ultimately fairly justified. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Lythronax said:

I have to take umbrage with this assessment. The Spitfire's big lull period was certainly between mid-1941 until mid-1942, when the Spit V had fallen behind. However by the end when the Merlin 61 Spit IX appeared, which was the equal of the Fw 190 A (and by 1943, with the Merlin 66, had more or less surpassed it), demonstrably superior to the Bf 109 G, and still competitive even by VE Day despite the appearance of Doras and Kurfürsts. It took the Luftwaffe until mid-1944 to field a fighter in numbers which could actually equal or better the IX, which was by then the foremost fighter in the RAF. That's not withstanding subsequent improved variants, i.e Mk VII/VIII, Mk XII, and Mk XIV, which were hugely potent.

 

There's a lot of rose-tinted nostalgia surrounding the Spit but I feel as though its legacy is ultimately fairly justified. 

 

I know this was aimed an Blit\Pig_EL's post but if we look objectively at the Sptfire against it's contempories (not just the German fighters), then at no point was it the pinnacle of fighter design.  As an overall package it stood up well but it was never demonstrably "the best" as there was always something that did it at least as well or even better.

  • Late 1939 - mid 1940 the lack of CSP meant it was worse than a contemporary 109E
  • Mid 1940 with 100 Octane and the CSP prop is as close as it came to being overall better than its contempories.  Yet even then it wasn't any sigfnificant margin and it still had the negative G cutout problem.
  • Late 1940 the 109F was overall a better aicraft
  • Early 1941 it was roughly the equal of the 109F
  • Mid 1941 to mid 1942 it was easily bested overall as a fighter by a wide margin against the Fw190A (or USAAF P-38)
  • Mid 1942 - end of the war it was roughly the equal of it's contemporary types from pretty much all major nations.

There is the rub and why I feel it's mythical reputation is unwarranted.  If we remain objective we can see it was never demonstrably the best at any given period during the war.

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, ICDP said:

 

I know this was aimed an Blit\Pig_EL's post but if we look objectively at the Sptfire against it's contempories (not just the German fighters), then at no point was it the pinnacle of fighter design.  As an overall package it stood up well but it was never demonstrably "the best" as there was always something that did it at least as well or even better.

  • Late 1939 - mid 1940 the lack of CSP meant it was worse than a contemporary 109E
  • Mid 1940 with 100 Octane and the CSP prop is as close as it came to being overall better than its contempories.  Yet even then it wasn't any sigfnificant margin and it still had the negative G cutout problem.
  • Late 1940 the 109F was overall a better aicraft
  • Early 1941 it was roughly the equal of the 109F
  • Mid 1941 to mid 1942 it was easily bested overall as a fighter by a wide margin against the Fw190A (or USAAF P-38)
  • Mid 1942 - end of the war it was roughly the equal of it's contemporary types from pretty much all major nations.

There is the rub and why I feel it's mythical reputation is unwarranted.  If we remain objective we can see it was never demonstrably the best at any given period during the war.

 

Yep that's a very fair assessment of it. I don't feel I'd ever suggest it was the "pinnacle" of development after 1940 (though there may be something to be said about the postwar 22/24 with the improved wing), seeing as in essence it's a 1935 design. Certainly it and the 109 were quite prudently designed though for their times though. 

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

 

Yep that's a very fair assessment of it. I don't feel I'd ever suggest it was the "pinnacle" of development after 1940 (though there may be something to be said about the postwar 22/24 with the improved wing), seeing as in essence it's a 1935 design. Certainly it and the 109 were quite prudently designed though for their times though. 

 

Apologies if I gave the impression you said it was the pinnacle.  I was referring back to my original post where the myth of the Spitfire here in the UK is that it "won the Battle of Britain" and as a result it is seen through the eyes of the public with unwarranted dewy-eyed reverence.

 

I remember reading a book of various pilot memoires on the Spitfire and the majority of them that proclaimed it the best there was and a perfect plane.  I understand and accept why the Spitfire was certainly an iconic aircraft (much like the Bf109 or Mustang).  It is more the fact that over the years that myth has become massively exaggerated IMHO.

Edited by ICDP
Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, ICDP said:

 

I know this was aimed an Blit\Pig_EL's post but if we look objectively at the Sptfire against it's contempories (not just the German fighters), then at no point was it the pinnacle of fighter design.  As an overall package it stood up well but it was never demonstrably "the best" as there was always something that did it at least as well or even better.

  • Late 1939 - mid 1940 the lack of CSP meant it was worse than a contemporary 109E
  • Mid 1940 with 100 Octane and the CSP prop is as close as it came to being overall better than its contempories.  Yet even then it wasn't any sigfnificant margin and it still had the negative G cutout problem.
  • Late 1940 the 109F was overall a better aicraft
  • Early 1941 it was roughly the equal of the 109F
  • Mid 1941 to mid 1942 it was easily bested overall as a fighter by a wide margin against the Fw190A (or USAAF P-38)
  • Mid 1942 - end of the war it was roughly the equal of it's contemporary types from pretty much all major nations.

There is the rub and why I feel it's mythical reputation is unwarranted.  If we remain objective we can see it was never demonstrably the best at any given period during the war.


I agree with your assessment for the most part (I’m a little dubious about the early P-38s that didn’t have maneuvering flaps and were slower than a 190A at almost any altitude).  But I think the most interesting period for the “best fighter” debate is 1943. When the Merlin Mustang shows up at the end of 1943 it’s clearly ahead of everything out there, and viable competitors don’t show up in any quantity until 1945.
 

In 1943 the Spitfire Mk IX received the Merlin 63 and 66 which were a big step up from the 61.  The Typhoon was seeing use in large numbers and had it’s issues mostly sorted.  The Fw190A4/5 were still very good.  The P-38G had added maneuvering flaps.  The P-47C/D entered combat and had revolutionary performance up high.  The Macchi C205, La5fn, Ki-61 all were seeing combat as well.  I have a hard time picking a clear “best” out of that group - they all have their various strengths but most are fairly close.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, VBF-12_KW said:


I agree with your assessment for the most part (I’m a little dubious about the early P-38s that didn’t have maneuvering flaps and were slower than a 190A at almost any altitude).  But I think the most interesting period for the “best fighter” debate is 1943. When the Merlin Mustang shows up at the end of 1943 it’s clearly ahead of everything out there, and viable competitors don’t show up in any quantity until 1945.
 

In 1943 the Spitfire Mk IX received the Merlin 63 and 66 which were a big step up from the 61.  The Typhoon was seeing use in large numbers and had it’s issues mostly sorted.  The Fw190A4/5 were still very good.  The P-38G had added maneuvering flaps.  The P-47C/D entered combat and had revolutionary performance up high.  The Macchi C205, La5fn, Ki-61 all were seeing combat as well.  I have a hard time picking a clear “best” out of that group - they all have their various strengths but most are fairly close.

 

Just for clarity, I was referring to the P-38F that began production Feb 1942 and it was a ~400mph aircraft.  It did have maneuvering flaps introduced very early in the production run.

 

Edited by ICDP
Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, ICDP said:

 

Assume the Spitfire didn't exist in 1940 and RAF fighter squadrons were fully supplied by Hurricanes.  Simple question, would the LW had won BoB and invaded the UK?  All things considered I would say no and that is why I feel the Spitfire myth is massively exaggerated.  It is made all about about the "Spitfire" and not the complete picture.

 

3 hours ago, ICDP said:

 

Apologies if I gave the impression you said it was the pinnacle.  I was referring back to my original post where the myth of the Spitfire here in the UK is that it "won the Battle of Britain" and as a result it is seen through the eyes of the public with unwarranted dewy-eyed reverence.

 

I remember reading a book of various pilot memoires on the Spitfire and the majority of them that proclaimed it the best there was and a perfect plane.  I understand and accept why the Spitfire was certainly an iconic aircraft (much like the Bf109 or Mustang).  It is more the fact that over the years that myth has become massively exaggerated IMHO.

 

You can't really ignore the significance of morale victories. If you've ever watched baseball (or other sports) and seen huge momentum shifts, the power of morale becomes very obvious in a very short amount of time.

 

The Spitfire takes the lion's share of the credit for the BoB because it was the first plane to make the Luftwaffe look weak. The Hurricane wouldn't have done so. If Hurricanes had been Britain's sole fighter during the German Blitz, RAF casualties would be much higher; German pilots would know of the absolute advantages they had over the Hurricane, and could afford to be more aggressive. Of course the invasion still wouldn't have happened. But that's not the point at all. 

 

The point is that the Spit shattered the illusion of Luftwaffe invincibility. It could fight the Luftwaffe's best on equal terms. Not on wildly superior terms, but dead-on equal terms nonetheless. No other Allied plane managed to do that up to then, and several Allied fighters failed to do so afterwards. 

 

As morale goes, the Spitfire's performance in the BoB was as vitally important as the American Doolittle raid on Japan, or the Battle of the Coral Sea as a prelude to Midway. The Hurricane would've 'won' the battle all the same, but with much less decisiveness, much less glamor, and correspondingly less of a morale boost to both the general public and the fighting men themselves.

 

As for pilots saying it was such a great plane, that was also necessary and productive for morale. Much like the Yak was revered for its simplicity to learn and fly, so was the Spitfire revered for its handling qualities in the air (not on the ground, naturally). If soldiers/pilots like their equipment, respect it, have faith in its abilities--again, this is huge for morale. Incalculably so.

 

Thus the Spitfire was a good plane, overall, objectively. But to the people whose lives depended on it, it became a great plane, something to idolize and be thankful for. The psychology of how it all came to be is very clear and logical, predictable, from my perspective. I wouldn't call the legend exaggerated as much as necessary and fitting for the circumstances.

  • Upvote 1
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
×
×
  • Create New...