Impact of the R4M if it was ready earlier?

Discussions on alternate history, including events up to 20 years before today. Hosted by Terry Duncan.
Sid Guttridge
Member
Posts: 10157
Joined: 12 Jun 2008 11:19

Re: Impact of the R4M if it was ready earlier?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 01 Sep 2021 11:22

Hi Danebrog,

Thanks. These are probably the most informed posts on the thread as yet.

Cheers,

Sid

User avatar
T. A. Gardner
Member
Posts: 3522
Joined: 02 Feb 2006 00:23
Location: Arizona

Re: Impact of the R4M if it was ready earlier?

Post by T. A. Gardner » 03 Sep 2021 03:27

danebrog wrote:
29 Aug 2021 23:10
This is the part that seems completely obvious long before the Mustang showed up.
In retrospect, of course...but it's the same with radar, for example: Germany had it very early on, but didn't really know what to do with it at first.
In 1943, they had to reconstruct debris to keep up with the British (Rotterdam device).
Nowadays, it is extremely difficult for us to understand the decision-making processes of that time, because we know the historical development and are correspondingly smarter. 8-)
What's interesting here is that the Japanese had a working 10 cm prototype radar before the British did using a cavity magnetron they developed. Their problem was turning that prototype into a production model. The Germans never took notice of the Japanese development in radar. The Japanese on the other hand, bought copies of most German radars, or at least the manuals and plans, and integrated those into their development program.

Tom from Cornwall
Member
Posts: 3169
Joined: 01 May 2006 19:52
Location: UK

Re: Impact of the R4M if it was ready earlier?

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 03 Sep 2021 19:55

Sid Guttridge wrote:
30 Aug 2021 15:34
Fighters tended not to attack the bombers in heavily AA defended zones for obvious reasons.
Although there is evidence in the ORB of 429 Sqn RCAF that both flak and fighters were encountered at roughly the same time over the target area in Hamburg on 31 March 1945.

Regards

Tom

User avatar
stg 44
Member
Posts: 3376
Joined: 03 Dec 2002 01:42
Location: illinois

Re: Impact of the R4M if it was ready earlier?

Post by stg 44 » 04 Sep 2021 08:51

T. A. Gardner wrote:
03 Sep 2021 03:27
danebrog wrote:
29 Aug 2021 23:10
This is the part that seems completely obvious long before the Mustang showed up.
In retrospect, of course...but it's the same with radar, for example: Germany had it very early on, but didn't really know what to do with it at first.
In 1943, they had to reconstruct debris to keep up with the British (Rotterdam device).
Nowadays, it is extremely difficult for us to understand the decision-making processes of that time, because we know the historical development and are correspondingly smarter. 8-)
What's interesting here is that the Japanese had a working 10 cm prototype radar before the British did using a cavity magnetron they developed. Their problem was turning that prototype into a production model. The Germans never took notice of the Japanese development in radar. The Japanese on the other hand, bought copies of most German radars, or at least the manuals and plans, and integrated those into their development program.
Wasn't that because the Japanese basically never shared their developments?

User avatar
T. A. Gardner
Member
Posts: 3522
Joined: 02 Feb 2006 00:23
Location: Arizona

Re: Impact of the R4M if it was ready earlier?

Post by T. A. Gardner » 04 Sep 2021 14:19

I'd say it's as much the Germans had no interest in what Japan was doing technologically. For example, look at aircraft carriers...

Sid Guttridge
Member
Posts: 10157
Joined: 12 Jun 2008 11:19

Re: Impact of the R4M if it was ready earlier?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 04 Sep 2021 22:22

Hi Tom,

It is because it was not a univesal given that I wrote, "fighters tended not to attack the bombers in heavily AA defended zones". As I understand it, ideally the Germans tried to use their fighters to attack the bombers twice, using the time the bombers were facing flak over the target to refuel and rearm so that they could put in a second attack on their return.

Cheers,

Sid.

User avatar
TheMarcksPlan
Banned
Posts: 3255
Joined: 15 Jan 2019 22:32
Location: USA

Re: Impact of the R4M if it was ready earlier?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 05 Sep 2021 05:59

T. A. Gardner wrote:
24 Aug 2021 16:48
The P-51 has roughly the same wing loading at normal weight as an Me 109 (43 lbs /sq ft vs 40) and much lower than an FW 190 (43 vs 49 for an A-8 and 53 for a D-9).
Data for P-51D taken from here.

Wing area: 233ft2
Wt max: 11,500lbs ---> 49.4 lbs/ft2
Empty: 7,635lbs ---> 32.8 lbs/ft2

Data for 109G-6 here.

Wing area: 172ft2
Wt max: 7,488lbs ---> 43.6 lbs/ft2
Empty: 4,954 ---> 28.7 lbs/ft2

Mustang had 13-14% higher wing loading. That's not "roughly the same;" it's more than the Mustang's max level speed edge of ~10% (440 mph vs. 400mph).

We don't think the -G6 and Mustang were "roughly the same" in speed, do we?
T.A. Gardner wrote:It also has more effective ailerons at high speed giving it a better roll rate than a 109
...Me109 could use its flaps in maneuver, unlike Mustang, which further separates the two in maneuverability.

Another consideration is Me109's higher aspect ratio (6.2 vs. 5.8). Turning requires lift, which shifts the drag profile from parasitic drag (where 109 was pretty bad) towards lift-induced drag, which higher aspect ratio reduces. This means the Me-109 loses less speed at a given turn rate than the Mustang and should have a higher sustained turn rate (degrees per second). Of course the Mustang starts out faster but we already know that.

Another consideration is the likely tactical situation. A Mustang fighting on its outbound leg will be carrying tons (literally) of fuel; Me-109 is close to home and usually proportionately lighter on fuel. Had LW been able to maintain a forward posture in the Netherlands as Galland wanted, we'd have seen Gustav-Mustang combat with a ~50% wing loading differential on the outbound legs.

btw - Please nobody interject with "durrr the Mustang was better." Yeah I already said that. We're talking solely about maneuverability.

The Mustang had tradeoffs. All aircraft do, even the ones you started idolizing as a boy.

-------------------------------

One thing to consider is whether we're using the same wing area definitions. There are multiple, mostly varying by how much of the "virtual wing" covered by the fuselage is counted. No idea what directional valence that might have.

Does anyone know which wing area definitions were used by Messerschmitt, North American, or other manufacturers? (I know the Boeing definition because it is known as "The Boeing/Wimpress definition").
https://twitter.com/themarcksplan
https://www.reddit.com/r/AxisHistoryForum/
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

User avatar
T. A. Gardner
Member
Posts: 3522
Joined: 02 Feb 2006 00:23
Location: Arizona

Re: Impact of the R4M if it was ready earlier?

Post by T. A. Gardner » 05 Sep 2021 17:46

Blah, blah, blah... I'll let somebody who knows more about this do the discussion...





So, a couple pounds of wing loading makes no real difference.

While not the P-51, this takes about maneuverability and the Me 109...





Bottom line, the P-51 is equal to or superior to both the 109 and 190 for a variety of reasons and that's why, along with it's pilots--ON AVERAGE--having several times the flying hours the German pilots did both total and on the aircraft they were flying in combat. It is likely that advantage in training and flying experience that US pilots had over German ones by the beginning of 1944 that makes the USAAF fighters so deadly.

User avatar
TheMarcksPlan
Banned
Posts: 3255
Joined: 15 Jan 2019 22:32
Location: USA

Re: Impact of the R4M if it was ready earlier?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 05 Sep 2021 22:38

T. A. Gardner wrote:
05 Sep 2021 17:46
Blah, blah, blah...
If you don't understand the basic science, all technical discussions will sound like "blah." We've been through this before, with you stating erroneously:
T.A. Gardner wrote:wing loading alone tells us next to nothing.
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=227341&p=2263842&h ... g#p2263842

At least now you've learned that wing loading is the biggest factor maneuverability, so we're making progress.
T.A. Gardner wrote: I'll let somebody who knows more about this do the discussion...
As you must when you don't have proper grasp of aerodynamic fundamentals. The problem with letting someone else do your thinking is that you won't be able to tell exactly what they're talking about; therefore you'll cite their assertions improperly. Here you've cited videos related to P-51's speed and the maneuverability of other aircraft, but nothing comparing Me-109 and P-51 maneuverability.

In fact your expert endorses a comment specifically refuting all your contentions. On the video about P-51 vs. Me-109 drag, commenter Bolt Upright writes:
Another fact that will undoubtedly upset many fan boys is that the 51 was not exceptionally maneuverable (the roll rate being somewhat dismal). It WAS very fast, and great for Boom & Zoom tactics. But in a turn fight, planes like the 109 (especially the agile 109F) could and did give the 51's fits when they met on an equal footing (equal numbers, same speed, altitude, etc.) Unfortunately this seldom happened, the Mustangs routinely enjoying the advantage of numbers, initial speed, and initial altitude.
...to which Greg responds "Thanks, Bolt."

When I wrote this:
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
05 Sep 2021 05:59
btw - Please nobody interject with "durrr the Mustang was better." Yeah I already said that. We're talking solely about maneuverability.
...I didn't expect the person unable to tell the difference between a maneuverability discussion and an overall discussion to be you - the very person who started off discussing maneuverability but has somehow lost the plot and now says:
T.A. Gardner wrote:the P-51 is equal to or superior to both the 109 and 190 for a variety of reasons and that's why, along with it's [sic] pilots
I am disappointed but not entirely surprised. OF COURSE an AHF discussion has to devolve into fanboyism.

------------------------------------

As I've said before, you could probably learn the fundamentals of aircraft performance with a hard day's study. That would be time better spent than mis-citing other people's thoughts and being a fanboy.

Wingloading is the primary determinant of maneuverability, lift-to-drag ratio in turns is also highly relevant and is related to wing aspect ratio.

You can remain a person who can only say "blah" to technical discussions or you can study up and waste less of both our time.
https://twitter.com/themarcksplan
https://www.reddit.com/r/AxisHistoryForum/
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

Richard Anderson
Member
Posts: 6234
Joined: 01 Jan 2016 21:21
Location: Bremerton, Washington

Re: Impact of the R4M if it was ready earlier?

Post by Richard Anderson » 06 Sep 2021 00:43

T. A. Gardner wrote:
05 Sep 2021 17:46
Blah, blah, blah... I'll let somebody who knows more about this do the discussion...

So, a couple pounds of wing loading makes no real difference.
Not quite true. Wing loading makes a great difference when it comes to turning circle, the smaller the wing loading, the tighter the circle. If turning was the paramount characteristic for air combat it would be of paramount performance, but it wasn't, acceleration was for fighters and there the FW 190A and Bf 109G had a slight edge over the Mustang III. However, the tactical evaluation by the users were that against the FW 190 with the BMW 801D, there was "not much to choose. The Mustang [III] is slightly better. When evading an enemy aircraft with a steep turn, a pilot will always out-turn the attacking aircraft initially because of the difference in speeds. It is therefore still a worthwhile manoeuver with the Mustang III when attacked." WRT the Bf 109, "The Mustang III is greatly superior."

Of course, that is the Mustang III, which was the lighter-weight P-51B/C produced for and further modified by the British.

All that too is contingent on the skill of the pilot and some other factors...G force for example limited the actual sustained turning ability of aircraft to what the pilot could endure without blacking out...until the Allies began deploying anti-G suits in large numbers in the early spring of 1944. Pilot training was key also to reacting correctly when forced into a turning fight with aircraft that had a tighter turning circle...the usual Mustang solution was to dive away, since few aircraft matched its dive rate. Then there was the Allied gyro computing gunsight, which gave them an edge in deflection shooting, simply because the Germans had so few of their own gyro gunsights in the field. All those things tended to give Allied pilots an edge, even when the aerodynamic characteristics of their aircraft were inferior to the Germans.

“I’ll never worry about meeting a FW 190 in a 51 since I was able to outturn, outdive and generally out-maneuver him at all altitudes, from 23,000 feet to the deck; I could follow him in anything and do a lot more besides.” 1st Lt. Richard D. Bishop, Encounter Report, 11 September 1944.
Richard C. Anderson Jr.

American Thunder: U.S. Army Tank Design, Development, and Doctrine in World War II
Cracking Hitler's Atlantic Wall
Hitler's Last Gamble
Artillery Hell

User avatar
T. A. Gardner
Member
Posts: 3522
Joined: 02 Feb 2006 00:23
Location: Arizona

Re: Impact of the R4M if it was ready earlier?

Post by T. A. Gardner » 06 Sep 2021 05:47

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
05 Sep 2021 22:38
T. A. Gardner wrote:
05 Sep 2021 17:46
Blah, blah, blah...
If you don't understand the basic science, all technical discussions will sound like "blah." We've been through this before, with you stating erroneously:
T.A. Gardner wrote:wing loading alone tells us next to nothing.
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=227341&p=2263842&h ... g#p2263842

At least now you've learned that wing loading is the biggest factor maneuverability, so we're making progress.
T.A. Gardner wrote: I'll let somebody who knows more about this do the discussion...
As you must when you don't have proper grasp of aerodynamic fundamentals. The problem with letting someone else do your thinking is that you won't be able to tell exactly what they're talking about; therefore you'll cite their assertions improperly. Here you've cited videos related to P-51's speed and the maneuverability of other aircraft, but nothing comparing Me-109 and P-51 maneuverability.

In fact your expert endorses a comment specifically refuting all your contentions. On the video about P-51 vs. Me-109 drag, commenter Bolt Upright writes:
Another fact that will undoubtedly upset many fan boys is that the 51 was not exceptionally maneuverable (the roll rate being somewhat dismal). It WAS very fast, and great for Boom & Zoom tactics. But in a turn fight, planes like the 109 (especially the agile 109F) could and did give the 51's fits when they met on an equal footing (equal numbers, same speed, altitude, etc.) Unfortunately this seldom happened, the Mustangs routinely enjoying the advantage of numbers, initial speed, and initial altitude.
...to which Greg responds "Thanks, Bolt."

When I wrote this:
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
05 Sep 2021 05:59
btw - Please nobody interject with "durrr the Mustang was better." Yeah I already said that. We're talking solely about maneuverability.
...I didn't expect the person unable to tell the difference between a maneuverability discussion and an overall discussion to be you - the very person who started off discussing maneuverability but has somehow lost the plot and now says:
T.A. Gardner wrote:the P-51 is equal to or superior to both the 109 and 190 for a variety of reasons and that's why, along with it's [sic] pilots
I am disappointed but not entirely surprised. OF COURSE an AHF discussion has to devolve into fanboyism.

------------------------------------

As I've said before, you could probably learn the fundamentals of aircraft performance with a hard day's study. That would be time better spent than mis-citing other people's thoughts and being a fanboy.

Wingloading is the primary determinant of maneuverability, lift-to-drag ratio in turns is also highly relevant and is related to wing aspect ratio.

You can remain a person who can only say "blah" to technical discussions or you can study up and waste less of both our time.
Thank you for that lengthy ad hominem. Wing loading isn't the most important factor here, it is just one factor. The most important factor is the pilot by far. A good, experienced and, well trained pilot will beat a low hour, poorly trained pilot every time even in a somewhat inferior plane. But the P-51 isn't inferior. It is the getting long in the tooth Me 109, and the FW 190 that are in part because Germany is in a situation where they don't have the materials and skilled manpower to turn out a better product.
As the Smithsonian's FW 190F shows, the Germans remanufactured crashed or damaged aircraft into "new" planes with a new werk number given throughout the war.

As for "maneuverability" it's more than wing loading. The G force the plane and pilot can take (it's lower for wooden planes--in whole or part-- BTW), drag coefficients, horsepower to weight, and a plethora of other things come into play here.

User avatar
TheMarcksPlan
Banned
Posts: 3255
Joined: 15 Jan 2019 22:32
Location: USA

Re: Impact of the R4M if it was ready earlier?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 06 Sep 2021 09:10

I have again to thank T.A. Gardner for introducing me to Greg's Airplanes and Automobiles, the Youtube channel referenced in this post. It contains great calculations based on aerodynamic fundamentals. Today was a holiday in my lands; I had Greg's channel on in the background of a nice day and bookmarked some relevant passages. You'll be shocked to learn that Greg specifically contradicts even more of the arguments Mr. Gardner puts forth.
T.A. Gardner wrote:It [P-51] also has more effective ailerons at high speed giving it a better roll rate than a 109
In one of the videos you linked, Greg says around 51:55 "I just don't see evidence for that" regarding the Me-109's supposedly poor roll rate.

Part of the perception appears to be a USAAF report stating that the Me-109's ailerons become "heavy" at high speeds. As Greg relates, however, the point at which this occurs is 500kph Indicated Air Speed ("IAS"), which is very near to the 109's maximum IAS.

If you have a sufficient grasp of aerodynamic fundamentals, you would immediately see why this is so: IAS derives from air pressure as indicated by the Pitot Tubes. Holding ambient pressure constant, a higher pressure reading by the Pitot Tubes implies higher true air speed. But at any reasonable fighting altitude, IAS will be far lower than true air speed because the Pitot Tubes are giving a much lower pressure measurement than they would at sea level for similar true air speed.

The dynamic that throws off the Pitot Tube's air speed measurements also impacts aileron function: an aileron that feels heavy when doing 250mph at sea level will not feel as heavy when doing 250mph (true air speed) at altitude because ambient air pressure/density is lower (fewer air molecules are bouncing off a deflected aileron at altitude).

In any event, even a heavy-feeling aileron doesn't imply poor roll rate at low altitude, unless stick-force requirements exceed pilot strength.

It also exemplifies how, if one doesn't really understand something, one can read into it whatever one wants. Here Mr. Gardner wants to believe that the Me-109 had a poor roll rate so, even though Greg specifically states he finds no evidence for that contention, Mr. Gardner remains convinced that Greg supports his case. It's also a reason that cites to long videos shouldn't be credited - we don't know whether the cite-r has even watched the video, let alone understood it.

---------------------------
T. A. Gardner wrote:
24 Aug 2021 16:48
US pilots by 1944 were also being issued partial G-suits, that the Germans didn't have so they could push their aircraft into harder turns at higher G.
Greg also gives a German advantage on G-limits in the P-47 conclusions video but I lost the timestamp. He attributes this advantage to the seating position of German pilots. G-suits may either ameliorate or reverse that advantage later but there's been no evidence of their prevalence or their effect relative to German seating positions.

----------------------------


Greg, being an intelligent person, makes a point that TMP repeatedly hammers here: that the LW's defensive campaign was extremely efficient in loss exchange ratio. At around 35:40 in this video, he states:
Now, to give credit where it's due, the Luftwaffe for a time did an incredible job defending the Reich. They were generally trading single-engine fighters for four-engine bombers with a kill ratio of about one-to-one... Now statistically you'd think this might have looked good for Germany and for a time it at least looked OK... But [...] the Allies could afford the attrition and the Germans simply couldn't.
Greg's caveat about who could afford the attrition is, of course, correct regarding OTL. For any ATL in which Germany can actually focus on the Wallies, however, whether the Wallies can afford to trade 10x-more-expensive heavy bombers for cheap fighters is dubious to anyone considering the case rationally. I.e. Wallied victory in the air war relied on Soviet heroism.
Last edited by TheMarcksPlan on 06 Sep 2021 09:46, edited 3 times in total.
https://twitter.com/themarcksplan
https://www.reddit.com/r/AxisHistoryForum/
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

User avatar
TheMarcksPlan
Banned
Posts: 3255
Joined: 15 Jan 2019 22:32
Location: USA

Re: Impact of the R4M if it was ready earlier?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 06 Sep 2021 09:23

T. A. Gardner wrote:
06 Sep 2021 05:47
Wing loading isn't the most important factor here
That's your opinion on aerodynamic science, here's the Smithsonian Institute's:
Higher wing loading will also decrease the maneuverability of the airplane.
From another source on the F-35:
This creates the highest wing loading (weight per square foot of wing) of any contemporary fighter, significant because the higher that measure, the poorer the plane’s maneuverability.
--------------------------------
T.A. Gardner wrote:As for "maneuverability" it's more than wing loading.
Obviously that's true; obviously few traits involve single-factor analysis.
T.A. Gardner wrote:Thank you for that lengthy ad hominem.
Laughable. I used your own expert's statements to specifically rebut virtually all your arguments. Along the way, it was useful to explain why you disagree with your expert: you don't have the background knowledge properly to contextualize/understand Greg's statements. This is an entirely relevant reminder that any statements on aerodynamics must be evaluated in proper context, which requires proper understanding. The myths exposed in Greg's videos must be called out here too.
T.A. Gardner wrote:The most important factor is the pilot by far.
Now you're just changing the subject. You can't defend your contentions on maneuverability because they're indefensible.
https://twitter.com/themarcksplan
https://www.reddit.com/r/AxisHistoryForum/
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

User avatar
TheMarcksPlan
Banned
Posts: 3255
Joined: 15 Jan 2019 22:32
Location: USA

Re: Impact of the R4M if it was ready earlier?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 06 Sep 2021 10:08

Richard Anderson wrote:
06 Sep 2021 00:43
Not quite true. Wing loading makes a great difference when it comes to turning circle, the smaller the wing loading, the tighter the circle.
Truth.
Richard Anderson wrote: If turning was the paramount characteristic for air combat it would be of paramount performance, but it wasn't
True. The Sopwith Camel could out-turn any WW2 or contemporary fighter. Mustang was probably the best fighter of the war (definitely the best Allied), particularly because it cost ~half of the P-38/47. Nonetheless, all aircraft have tradeoffs and for the Mustang maneuverability was (wisely) one of them.

Mustang's only rival is the Me-109. Not because it was better 1-for-1 against the Mustang (it definitely wasn't), but because it was even cheaper.
Richard Anderson wrote:“I’ll never worry about meeting a FW 190 in a 51 since I was able to outturn, outdive and generally out-maneuver him at all altitudes, from 23,000 feet to the deck; I could follow him in anything and do a lot more besides.” 1st Lt. Richard D. Bishop, Encounter Report, 11 September 1944.
Quoting pilots is the least illuminating way to evaluate aircraft. These guys generally weren't intellectuals; that's not what made them special. For every kid who thought his plane was the best there's another who thought the opposite.
https://twitter.com/themarcksplan
https://www.reddit.com/r/AxisHistoryForum/
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

User avatar
EKB
Member
Posts: 712
Joined: 20 Jul 2005 17:21
Location: United States

Re: Impact of the R4M if it was ready earlier?

Post by EKB » 06 Sep 2021 10:43

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
06 Sep 2021 09:10
Part of the perception appears to be a USAAF report stating that the Me-109's ailerons become "heavy" at high speeds.

The same theory was floated on this board 15 years ago and probably several times since. The Hungarian air force used the Bf 109 during World War II and one of its pilots said this about the controls and handling qualities:

“I considered myself an experienced pilot, with some 300 hours on the Fiat CR32, Fiat CR42, and the Heja (Hungarian-built version of the Italian Reggiane Re 2000). The controls of the 109 were not as light as those of the Italian machines. An Italian fighter moved like a pencil – you had an immediate reaction. In the 109 you had to use some force – the reaction was there but it was heavy. The German aircraft were hard, heavy, coarse, more difficult to fly but they were much faster. The 109 had a very narrow track and during take-off and landing you had to work hard to keep it straight, as opposed to the Heja whose undercarriage was very wide and therefore easy to keep straight. Suddenly we jumped from 800 to 1,200hp – that was a lot of horsepower in those days.”

http://www.chingchic.com/dan-holeczy.html

Return to “What if”