Tony, that pilot sounds an arrogant pri*** to me. I have no credibility for him for he repats that old BS about "Hiltler´s interference with Me 262. If he can´t get this right, how can he get anything right?Tony Williams wrote:It doesn't read that way to me - he states the pros and cons of the various aircraft in a fairly even-handed way - or do you regard any criticism of the 109 as "trashing"?Huck wrote:What is this, other than the usual trashing fighter pilots give to enemy planes?
His account is evidently the cumulative experience of a number of encounters he and his fellow pilots had, together with discussions with German pilots. He also points out that pilot quality was the key.In a fight, a good pilots that starts with a speed and/or height advantage can dominate a superior plane flown by an inferior pilot. His account does not tell anything about the relative energy states of the planes he met. Then, there are a myriad of variables that can influence a particular engagement: was the enemy plane hit before (by bomber gunners for instance), how old was the airframe/engine of the plane he met? how good was the pilot? etcetera etcetera...
His conclusions are in line with the majority of views I have read from all sides: it was a very close match between the Fw 190D and the contemporary P-51 (and also the Spitfire XIV) but the equivalent Bf 109 trailed behind. With the Bf 109 you had a choice: good performance but poor armament, or (with gunpods) decent armament with reduced performance and handling. And all models seemed to require skill and experience to get the best out of them (particularly as they got heavier), so this exacerbated any problems of inadequate training (which the Luftwaffe certainly suffered from by the end).
To sum up - an effective fighter for experts, a poor choice for a poorly-trained air force.
Tony Williams: Military gun and ammunition website and discussion
The sad thing here is that those bashing the handling of the 109 with the gunpods do not have any numerical figures to prove their comments on "much worse" manoeuvreability. The best pointer might be the Finnish trials of a Fokker D.XXI with two 20 mm MG-FF gunpods. These pods were larger than those of the 109 and relatively heavier (in comparison to aircraft power and weight). Yet, their effect on handling was negligible. I´d certainly prefer a 109K-4 with gunpods to a P-51D.