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stinkweed007
01-23-2007, 11:41 AM
Ok... Full scale Question

It is a mild day over the Nevada Desert... Not a cloud in the sky.. a light rumble is heard over the desert wind...

Suddenly.. appearing out of the desert mirage.. 3200 total horsepower takes shape... racing along the desert floor at over 410 mph... searching for its next victim...

Over the ridge to the north... a shiny figure is seen rolling towards the heavens.. at 430 mph... a predator scanning for its prey...

The most debated bet in American military airpower.. Pitted head to head.. the Powerfull P-38J Lightning vs the Deadly P-51D Mustang..

No bombs... no drop tanks.. no draws...

Only one will leave the desert alive..

Who will win???

stinkweed007
01-23-2007, 09:31 PM
ok... maybe not that interesting

MacMyers
01-23-2007, 10:09 PM
Ok... Full scale Question

It is a mild day over the Nevada Desert... Not a cloud in the sky.. a light rumble is heard over the desert wind...

Suddenly.. appearing out of the desert mirage.. 3200 total horsepower takes shape... racing along the desert floor at over 410 mph... searching for its next victim...

Over the ridge to the north... a shiny figure is seen rolling towards the heavens.. at 430 mph... a predator scanning for its prey...

The most debated bet in American military airpower.. Pitted head to head.. the Powerfull P-38J Lightning vs the Deadly P-51D Mustang..

No bombs... no drop tanks.. no draws...

Only one will leave the desert alive..

Who will win???Depends on the Pilots skill and whether or not they engage in E fighting or a turn and burn.

stinkweed007
01-24-2007, 07:21 AM
straight up full scale dogfight... pilots are aces...

Tinman
01-24-2007, 06:28 PM
Oh wow this is fun!

I'll have to go with the P-51 on this one!!! Especially if its Chuck Yeager flying it :)

The P-38 does have two engines.... however that doubles your chances of an engine out! haha

stinkweed007
01-24-2007, 06:39 PM
but halves your chances of being dead stick in a combat zone...

Tinman
01-24-2007, 06:41 PM
True true!

I have my multi engine rating and I was told that once you lose an engine never to fear because your second engine will fly you to the crash scene...

hehe I guess im just biased towards twin engine planes, to many levers.. :)

But the P-38 is in a class all to its own. I would kill to be able to go flying in one of the few that are still flying!!!

MacMyers
01-24-2007, 07:11 PM
Well... it still depends on the pilots. One is always better/luckier. That said.....assuming that the "same person" could pilot both aircraft..... I would rather bounce people in a 51 a la Yeager (whom I got to meet in Lakeland Fl back in the mid 90's) than use the P38 for a turn fight. Speed is life and energy is burned quickly in a turning dogfight and is only slowly replenished without giving up a height advantage. It also comes down to model designations. Early P-38's were plagued with problems... most of which didn't get fully worked out until the G, H, and J models.
Merlin engined P-51's are considered by many to be the finest Propeller Driven combat aircraft of the war. Again the D and above models improved on many things.... not the least of which was visibility.
Dick Bong was America's highest scoring ace (Ace of Aces) in the P-38...but that was the Pacific Theater, where it was better suited than it had been in Europe (although it still garnered respect from German Pilots). I think that he flew many different models and scored most of his kills in a G or above.
I guess the gist of all of this blathering is that each airplane has it's strengths and weaknesses and it would depend on which pilot could force the other to fight HIS fight.
The P-38 was interesting, but overall not as good a fighter as the P51... so it gets my vote. I like the idea of bouncing people and shooting them down from close range before they even realize that you are there better than a turn and burn....which could frequently (especially in the Pacific) lead to a fight of the other pilot's fight.

Tinman
01-24-2007, 07:25 PM
Wow you really know your stuff Mac! I enjoyed your reply, very interesting..... I totally agree with you.

I also had the pleasure of meeting Chuck Yeager a few years ago, I got him to sign my log book :)

MacMyers
01-24-2007, 07:49 PM
I also had the pleasure of meeting Chuck Yeager a few years ago, I got him to sign my log book :)

That's really cool. He's a pretty impressive and amazingly humble man and it was a great experience. I was walking down a line of P-51D's at the Fun and Sun taking pictures... and there he was... sitting on the wing of one of the Glamorous Glennis schemed aircraft. Got to talk about 5 minutes...peek into the cockpit...(probably) sound like a star struck dork, and then we were overun with Camera Crews, Air Scouts (?), other attendees, and a mean old lady who said "I can't see... get the (F-Bomb) out of my way". He then walked over to a DC-3... boarded with the Air Scouts, and flew away. But he was MINE for the 5 baby!

Tinman
01-24-2007, 07:53 PM
WOW you actually got to talk to him haha! What an experience!!

I saw him at Cabelas he was signing stuff. Not nearly as cool as seeing him on the flight line!!!

I've been to Sun in Fun, thats a GREAT time!!! I could spend days looking at all the warbirds and such.

MacMyers
01-24-2007, 09:33 PM
I saw him at Cabelas he was signing stuff. Not nearly as cool as seeing him on the flight line!!!
Still quite a bit more than most ever get!

I've been to Sun in Fun, thats a GREAT time!!! I could spend days looking at all the warbirds and such.

I have! I went 4 days in a row one year. Gotta cover the spread cause lots of the aircraft come and go. You ever hit the Fantasy of Flight just up the road in Polk City?

Tinman
01-24-2007, 09:40 PM
Nope never hit that. I've only been to Sun N Fun once. And it was only or a few hours. I live Near Pittsburgh PA and worked at the local flight school, we also have a flight school in Ft Myers Florida. We had to ferry 2 Piper Tomahawks and a Cessna 152 from Pittsburgh to Ft Myers, on the way down there we relized Sun N Fun was going on so we stopped in. haha It was a PAIN flying in, we were a flight of three. I think everyone laughed at us. Oh well!!

Tinman
01-24-2007, 09:47 PM
sorry we hijacked your thread Stinkweed :(

BUT I think the P-51 would smoke the P-38 :) IMHO

stinkweed007
01-24-2007, 11:49 PM
well... to have a speed bump in the thread with Mr Yeagers name on it aint so bad.

But we all forget the details...

Yes... the popularity of the snazzy Mustang will win in the favorites fight.. the Lightning's top speed was only a bit slower than it.. but the combined horsepower of the Lightnings twin engines far out shined the little mare.. which means if we were to go vertical... the Lightning would bet up there first for the above and behind kill..

speeking of kill.. Lets talk gun platform.. while calibur and rounds stock on both planes were compareable.. aiming and accuracy play a different roll..

Ya see... The 38 has a compliment of 4 12.7mm machine guns and a big 20mm cannon for bringing down its prey.. but the little Mustang had to have 6 50cal's.. but why? if the Mustang could do so much more aerial whoop-de-do then why so many big guns?? The reason is that the mustang had an X fire zeroing.. which means that the firing of the guns were not actually straight.. 3 guns on each wing... the streams of bullets crossed about 200 meters in front of the plane to align with the pilots sights which means that targets needed to be in the right place at the right time to get the right hit... the rest is just 'spray and pray'.. behind the logic... fire 6 guns... he's bound to hit something..

The lightning's 12.7mm guns guns had a slightly shorter range (except the cannon) for maximum effective range but the pilot has a straight shot so range accuracy was much much greater.. which far exceeded the cross point of the Mustang's 50cals to which the sights were fixed.. Kind of an Uzi vs a Sniper.

So... the P-51D might beat the P-38J to the curves... but he's dead when the P-38J gets there..

P-38J wins.

Tinman
01-24-2007, 11:55 PM
Sweet the P-38 wins! Whats the next dogfight?

this is fun!!

MacMyers
01-26-2007, 06:20 AM
But we all forget the details...

Yes... the popularity of the snazzy Mustang will win in the favorites fight.. the Lightning's top speed was only a bit slower than it.. but the combined horsepower of the Lightnings twin engines far out shined the little mare.. which means if we were to go vertical... the Lightning would bet up there first for the above and behind kill..
But don't forget... the twin engines created a more complicated aircraft that was harder to maintain. The reliability of the Merlin engine was better than the Allison engine as well. Even more so with the 38's two. The 51 also had better acceleration. The 38 did have an advantage in the vertical and with the maneuvering flaps deployed was reputed to turn with anything at slower speeds....which was not the case with the Mustang. The trick is always energy management and "speed is life" with the pony. If you've allowed your energy to be depleted and ended up in a turn fight (in the P-51)...you better drop the nose and get the heck outta' dodge before you end up with an unpleasant surprise at 6:00. If you have depleted your energy to the point where you no longer have the advantage... then you have messed up. The visibility from the cockpit was also more limited in the 38. Much better in the D model Pony. The 38 also did not suffer torque problems on take off due to the counter rotating props.

speeking of kill.. Lets talk gun platform.. while calibur and rounds stock on both planes were compareable.. aiming and accuracy play a different roll..

Ya see... The 38 has a compliment of 4 12.7mm machine guns and a big 20mm cannon for bringing down its prey. It actually had 4 50 cals and a 20mm cannon. Powerful

. but the little Mustang had to have 6 50cal's.. but why? if the Mustang could do so much more aerial whoop-de-do then why so many big guns?? The reason is that the mustang had an X fire zeroing.. which means that the firing of the guns were not actually straight.. 3 guns on each wing... the streams of bullets crossed about 200 meters in front of the plane to align with the pilots sights which means that targets needed to be in the right place at the right time to get the right hit... the rest is just 'spray and pray'.. behind the logic... fire 6 guns... he's bound to hit something The 6 fifties on the pony were added to make the beast more lethal than the B model and were the standard armament for all US Single engine Combat aircraft.
I've not heard the term X fire. I believe it was more commonly referred to as "convergence". All fighters with wing mounted guns had the same problem/advantage. You had to set the convergence at a set number of yards (could be from about 90 to 800... though you'd have to be an idiot to set them past 400 or so). So if you set it at let's say, 250, then that's where the rounds converged. At this point the 50 cals had a devastating effect due to the size, weight, velocity, and mixed load incendiary rounds, not to mention the sheer volume of the rounds. The convergence point was the "ideal" firing point and most guys tried to fire there if at all possible. However... you did NOT want to be at 200 or 300 yards because you is gonna be shredded.
The lightning's 12.7mm guns guns had a slightly shorter range (except the cannon) for maximum effective range but the pilot has a straight shot so range accuracy was much much greater.. which far exceeded the cross point of the Mustang's 50cals to which the sights were fixed.. Kind of an Uzi vs a Sniper. True. Convergence was not much of an issue with the nose mounted 50's on the P38. The P-51 had about 400 (?) rounds on the two inside 50's and "about" 250 in the remaining 4 guns. The P-38 had more like 4-500 rounds in each 50 cal and somewhere around 180 20mm cannon rounds. It's firepower was much better as was it's load carrying ability.

So... the P-51D might beat the P-38J to the curves... but he's dead when the P-38J gets there..

P-38J wins. I dunno about that. Many times the P38's vertical advantage was a non-starter as most pilots preferred to "bounce" their prey or chase behind. You'd better not engage in a head to head unless your E management skills were way up there. I'm not sure of the reasons... but in the European Theatre the P51 proved to be the better fighter even though it's range was a bit Shorter.....and it's kill ratio was much higher than the 38 as well. The 38 really kicked keester in the Pacific as the turn and burn dogfights were more prevalent Plus the P-51 is prettier.

stinkweed007
01-26-2007, 08:50 AM
...The visibility from the cockpit was also more limited in the 38.

...It actually had 4 50 cals and a 20mm cannon.

...I've not heard the term X fire. I believe it was more commonly referred to as "convergence". All fighters with wing mounted guns had the same problem/advantage.

...Plus the P-51 is prettier.

--Visiblilty was quite a bit more obscured ... having 2 fuselages and props on your shoulders does take up alot of view..

--the gun compliment... I have read the setup on many sites (cause I wanted to be sure) (oh, 12.7 mm IS 50Cal)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P-38J_Lightning
1x Hispano M2(C) 20 mm cannon with 150 rounds (2 AP, 2 tracer and 2 HE ammo belt composition)
4x Colt-Browning MG53-2 0.50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns with 500 rounds per gun.

The rate of fire was about 650 rounds per minute for the 20x110 mm cannon round (130 g shell) at a muzzle velocity of about 880 m/s, and for the 12.7x99 mm MGs (43-48 g), about 850 rpm at 840 m/s velocity.

--X fire was just something I said to explain the allignment of the guns.

--PRETTIER??? if pretty won fights.. then maybe Jessica Simpson would be Defense Secretary and all planes would be designed by Ferrari or Porsche..
Attractive is a matter of taste.. Just ask my gal when I tell her "what about those shoes?? they look nice..." shortly after that she hits me with something because she definately dont agee..

"The HMMWV (Hummer) M-1025 is one of the ugliest vehicles ever produced but the most feared 4 wheel vehicle on the battlefield" 4 Wheeler Magazine.

P-38J wins..

MacMyers
01-26-2007, 01:56 PM
--PRETTIER??? if pretty won fights.. then maybe Jessica Simpson would be Defense Secretary and all planes would be designed by Ferrari or Porsche..
Attractive is a matter of taste.. Just ask my gal when I tell her "what about those shoes?? they look nice..." shortly after that she hits me with something because she definately dont agee..


The prettier bit was supposed to be a joke. I mean to put a :D at the end.
Plus Tom Cruise has one so it must be better.
I'd rather have the P-51 in Europe and the P-38 in the Pacific.
I'd rather SEE a P-38 at an airshow. They are very scarce and there are usually many P-51's.

Grasshopper
01-26-2007, 03:03 PM
The prettier bit was supposed to be a joke. I mean to put a :D at the end.
Plus Tom Cruise has one so it must be better.
I'd rather have the P-51 in Europe and the P-38 in the Pacific.
I'd rather SEE a P-38 at an airshow. They are very scarce and there are usually many P-51's.



Although I love warbirds. If I had to go into battle, I'm thinking more like and F22 Raptor :D Since we're being theoretical here. There's nothing in the sky that can beat it. And I'm not really even a jet fan. :eek:

stinkweed007
01-26-2007, 03:47 PM
now now hopper... we're talking props here ;)

Grasshopper
01-26-2007, 03:57 PM
I know. Just being silly. Realistically, I'd take the P-51. I'd also be wondering why a P-38 is shooting at me anyway.

MacMyers
01-26-2007, 04:04 PM
I know. Just being silly. Realistically, I'd take the P-51. I'd also be wondering why a P-38 is shooting at me anyway.
Heh....good point! Go fly Aces High II online. You'll find all sorts of goofy matchups.

Tinman
01-26-2007, 05:25 PM
I know. Just being silly. Realistically, I'd take the P-51. I'd also be wondering why a P-38 is shooting at me anyway.

Thats hilarious Tom, I think that would cross my mind too!!