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5/28/2020 10:18:12 PM
Posted: 1/11/2005 6:59:23 AM EDT
How did the Mustang compare with the Spitfire and ME-109?
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 7:01:43 AM EDT
Depends on which model of each plane.  Early Spitfires had a carb set-up that would starve in negative-g situations.  The later model Mustangs had Merlin engines instead of the Allison engine.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 7:03:26 AM EDT
My favorite plane. Nice lines.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 7:05:10 AM EDT
www.wwiionline.com

come fly then and see...
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 7:05:31 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/11/2005 7:25:21 AM EDT by vito113]

Originally Posted By blackrifle51:
How did the Mustang compare with the Spitfire and ME-109?



Spitfire…

Mustang had much longer range and was 30mph faster on the same engine, Spitfire would easily out turn and climb a Mustang…

Mustang was the better 'Fighter' …range, firepower, Spitfire was the better 'Interceptor' …climb, turn rate.


ME-109…

Target practice for Mustangs, only advantage they had over a Mustang was in climb… other than that, dead meat

ANdy
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 7:09:02 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/11/2005 7:10:48 AM EDT by NewbHunter]
I love the Mustang!





Did someone say ME-109??? Dead meat!

Link Posted: 1/11/2005 7:17:31 AM EDT
Early in1944 the Air Fighting Development Unit at Duxford flew a Mk XIV Spitfire in a comparative trial against a captured Messerschmitt Bf109G. The 109G was the latest sub-type of this by-then veteran German fighter. The following are extracts from the official report.  

SPITFIRE XIV VERSUS BF109G

Maximum Speed:  The Spitfire XIV is 40 mph [64 km/hr] faster at all heights except near 16,000 feet 
[4878 m]  - where it is only 10 mph [16 km/hr] faster.

Maximum Climb: The same result - at 16,000 feet [4878 m] the two aircraft are virtually identical, otherwise the Spitfire XIV outclimbs the 109.  The zoom climb is practically identical when the climb is made without the throttle open. Climbing at full throttle, the Spitfire XIV draws away from the 109 quite easily. MkXIV Spitfire could climb at @ 5,000ft/min)

Dive: During the initial part of the dive, the 109 draws away slightly, but when a speed of 380 mph [611 km/hr] is reached the Spitfire XIV begins to gain on the 109.

Turning Circle:  The Spitfire XIV easily out-turns the 109 in either direction.

Rate of Roll:  The Spitfire XIV rolls much more quickly.

Conclusion:  The Spitfire XIV is superior in every respect.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 7:25:27 AM EDT
Here's one person's opinion.  I don't have any expertise to argue for or against his points.  In the end, I think it was more of the pilot and his using the strengths of his plane over his enemy's weaknesses that decided which plane was better in the end.

members.shaw.ca/millerww2/ww2/history/p51.html



Q) In your opinion...Mr Miller, was the P51 the greatest fighter on the Allied side or not?

A) In my opinion...

When I was starting my teens in the country east of Edmonton, the local crop-duster actually used a P51 to spray our county for mosquitos, caterpillars and other insects. I fell in love with the plane and it was one of the reasons I got interested in WW2. There was also some fellow who lived further north east who every summer would go with friends back and forth over our skies with P51s and other WW2 fighter planes.

They used to build P51s in Winnipeg here in the West and one of my distant relatives flew what the British called “Mustangs” in the war and Korea.

Here is a great example of “Propoganda” I am always warning you about.

From what I’ve read, the P51 ‘series’ continues to be over-rated. Originally, the British ordered this design, whose fuselage was actually designed by one of the German designers responsible for the famous Me109 by the way, from the Americans. However, the American engines in the P51a series sold to the British greatly disappointed the Commonwealth Airforces. The P51 was relegated to ground attack roles where it continued to suffer.

Despite protests by American Arms Contractors, the British experimented with placing the Rolls Royce engines in these bodies...the same family of engines already having proved themselves in the Spitfire series. The result was the salvation of the P51 series and literally of the Allied Daylight Strategic Bombing Offensive, without which we probably would not have won the war.

The new engine greatly increased speed and performance especially at high altitudes. With an expanded internal self-sealing fuel tank and added extra fuel tanks, the P51 quickly replaced the out-matched (in Europe at least) P38 Lightnings and P47 Thunderbolts presently used as long-range fighter escorts.

The vast majority of American sources will say that the P51c/d/e series were the best Allied if not best piston-engined fighter of the war on either side. They use deceiving statistics and selective quotes from pilots on both sides. For example, when it is reported that the P51 Mustang was responsible for most of the Luftwaffe figher losses in the last 2 years of the war, they fail to mention that 75% of Mustang kills were of planes either on the ground, just taking off or just landing. They even quote Luftwaffe Aces such as Adolf Galland to support their claim, however they ignore his other quotes where he and all other Luftwaffe and Italian Aces state that in their experience, the Spitfire was a more dangerous dogfighter to deal with.

Enemy pilots would all admit that it was the range and vast numbers of P51s appearing over Europe that was the biggest difference in the last 2 years of the war. German and Italian experience waned due to losses, numbers and incompetence in High Command Planning. Experience and training cannot be under-estimated. The Germans and even Italians were always outnumbered in all 3 fronts combined at least 3 to one and by late in the war the hours a pilot had in the air decreased from hundreds to dozens. The British, after the Battle of Britain of course, were able to gain some breathing space with all their Commonwealth Allies and untouchable airfields to increase the hours of training again. The Americans were by far the best and most fortunate having this luxury from day one to VE day.

Numbers can be deceiving. Another example is the claim that the Hellcat was the best American fighter in the Pacific War. After all, it is noted, Hellcats claimed more kills that Corsairs for example. However, like the P51 myth, there is a catch here. Because the Corsairs, although designed specifically for carrier use, was found to be too dangerous to operate from carriers so was replaced by the Hellcat. The Hellcat, therefore engaged far more enemy planes than the land-based Corsairs. Although even the Corsair could not outmaneuver the Zeros or later Japanese fighters, it was more agile than the Hellcat. So again, numbers and claims can be deceiving.

Famous American Ace Chuck Yeager is also often quoted. Yet even he is quoted as saying that the more experienced and talented a pilot, the more he preferred the Spitfire over the Mustang. The Spitfire, in the same vein is also over-blown in history as the ‘saviour of the Battle of Britain’. In reality, the Hurricanes shot down more planes, even for their numbers, than the Spitfires did. It should also be taken into consideration which units were on which missions mostly and engaged which planes mostly. As series goes, upgrade for upgrade, the Spitfire was a better dogfighter than the Mustang. However, the Spitfire was limited in range, and designers unwilling to expand the fuselage for fuel tanks to increase its range. Both were comparable in other areas such as speed, agility and rate of climb. Ok, let’s compare these two series in generalities after the British engine in the P51.

Take-off/landings...definately the P51 was the safest here with its wider spaced landing gear and greater base of support. It should be mentioned, however, that the extra-fuel tanks and space the P51 required for its range advantage did require pilots to learn to use the drop-tanks first and take more care when loaded with them, nonetheless, the Spitfire was the more difficult to take-off with and land, not good for training or inexperienced pilots.

Rate of climb...well the Spitfires edge out the P51s here but not significantly.

Durability...the Spitfires were not as durable as the Hurricane for example, and comparison with the Mustang takes some explanation. The Spitfires and Mustangs were better armoured than the early Zeros for example but more vulnerable than Thunderbolts or even Me109s for example. The Mustang suffered for exactly the same reason it was invaluable, extra fuel capacity. Hits on even self-sealing fuel tanks are still dangerous and often force a pilot to flee. The P51 was further hampered by its huge ventral air-intake and the P51 was particularily vulnerable to even small arms fire on its belly, thus it had to avoid operations at lower altitudes and ground support.

Firepower...comparable, some Spitfire versions had more powerful guns but less ammo, but comparable.

Agility...the Spitfire was better in turns and loops, the P51 in rolls and therefore Immelmans, both were exceptionally agile and maneuverable.

Range...the P51 Mustangs were undoubtedly superior here even without extra exterior drop tanks. It should be mentioned that planes’ performance increased the less fuel weight it holds. It cannot be overstated how invaluable the range of the P51 Mustang was to the Allied war effort.

Cost...considering both had to use the expensive superior British engines, the Spitfire was cheaper to build, maintain and repair, but barely signficant.

Visibility...both had excellent visibility, unlike the Me109 for example. Some pilots would criticize this as making the cockpit too vulnerable, but most appreciated the ability to hopefully see the enemy before it became an issue in the first place.

Altitude Performance...here is the greatest disparity. The British invented something called the “Universal Wing”. This permitted the same version of the Spitfire to change wings impressively quickly complete with differing armament to optimize performance at low, medium and high altitudes for operations against ground, naval, bomber or fighter opponents. The P51’s best performance was at high altitudes, at medium and especially low altitudes it was inferior to the Spitfires even without the “Universal Wings”.

The P51s were ideally suited to high level long range strategic bomber escorts. The Luftwaffe’s Fw190s had the firepower to deal with the heaviest Allied bombers, but their performance waned at higher altitudes. The Me109s excelled at high altitudes and could dogfight better with the P51s, but lacked the Fw190s firepower to bring down the heavy bombers. As long as the P51s were operating at high altitudes, they were at their best.

In summary, despite my enduring love of the P51 Mustang, I have come to learn that it was not the best dogfighter series our side had. It was, in my opinion, the best escort fighter our side had and was crucial to the outcome of the war. I have always wondered why it couldn’t be made into a carrier version like the Spitfire was.
That’s my opinion,

Leigh Miller
President Miller Systems

Link Posted: 1/11/2005 8:22:54 AM EDT
The best description I ever heard was that the Mustang will do everything the Spitfire will do.

But it will do it after being airborne for seven hours.  The Spit can only do it for thirty minutes.

Both aircraft were superior to the Me109.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 8:28:14 AM EDT
you could put a man in the best plane in the world but in the end it comes down to the man in the pilots seat
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 8:29:10 AM EDT
"P-51 Mustang!! Cadillac of the sky!!"
- Jim, "Empire of the Sun"
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 8:46:25 AM EDT

Originally Posted By russr:
www.wwiionline.com

come fly then and see...



That's cool.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 8:49:08 AM EDT
How about we compare the P-51 with the F-15?

Link Posted: 1/11/2005 8:59:21 AM EDT
IMO, the Mustang got its glory because the B-17s were making history, and the Mustangs were literally along for the ride.  The Mustang (and the much more expensive P-38) was the ideal bomber escort because of its range.  In a dogfight, there was nothing exceptional about it except that it was doing whatever it was doing over Germany.

In the long-range bomber escort role, the P-51 is singular among your choices.  In the short range interceptor role, it will do.  

Just looking at the numbers, and just considering a pure dogfight, the Spitfire should be all over the Mustang and superior to the BF-109G.  Also looking at the numbers, I'd rather dogfight a Spitfire with a Bf-109G than with a Mustang.  
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 9:06:22 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/11/2005 9:07:03 AM EDT by motopix]

Originally Posted By DzlBenz:
"P-51 Mustang!! Cadillac of the sky!!"
- Jim, "Empire of the Sun"



Damn, beat me to it Basie.
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 9:30:42 AM EDT

Originally Posted By injun-ear:
IMO, the Mustang got its glory because the B-17s were making history, and the Mustangs were literally along for the ride.  The Mustang (and the much more expensive P-38) was the ideal bomber escort because of its range.  In a dogfight, there was nothing exceptional about it except that it was doing whatever it was doing over Germany.

In the long-range bomber escort role, the P-51 is singular among your choices.  In the short range interceptor role, it will do.  

Just looking at the numbers, and just considering a pure dogfight, the Spitfire should be all over the Mustang and superior to the BF-109G.  Also looking at the numbers, I'd rather dogfight a Spitfire with a Bf-109G than with a Mustang.  



Yep……

Interestingly the British Air Fighting Development Unit took all the best of the Allied and Axis fighters and flew them with top test pilots against each other in late 1945/46… Spitfire v Corsair, Corsair v ME-109, that sort of stuff. It made for some very interesting results.

Pretty much nothing could outdogfight a well flown Spitfire, even a Zero was dead meat…  The best all-rounder they found was the F4U Corsair… and that finding was pretty much proven by the Corsairs long post war production and service record.

ANdy
Link Posted: 1/11/2005 10:27:08 AM EDT
I got to ride in a Mustang at an airshow in CA.   I couldn't get the grin off my face for a week.  

Incredibly smooth ride.
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