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F4U Corsair vs. P-51 Mustang

Discussion in 'Aircraft' started by Nathan S., Jun 4, 2003.

  1. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    Yeah, I posted a .pdf of that report under another thread. I'll try and find it again.
     
  2. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    Another thing I ran across, along the same lines of what you mention here, are some speeds are without basic weapons and ammunition, some even with the weapons ports masked over. Well six .50 cals and 2400 or so rounds can be a significant weight difference.
     
  3. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    Found the report ickysdad. The test was between an F4U-1D, an F6f-3 and a FW-190. You are correct about the 391mph speed reached by the Hellcat.

    The tests were conducted at "standard fighter overload" weight and all airspeed indicators were properly calibrated (per the report). The German aircrafts test weight was determined from captured German operation documents. The tests were conducted in February 1944.

    Altitude-----FW-190-----F4U-1D-----F6F-3
    200ft-------334mph-----363mph-----334mph
    5000ft------357---------362-------- 351
    10000ft-----357---------369--------348
    15000ft-----386---------386--------369
    20000ft-----401---------395--------381
    25000ft-----410---------403--------391

    The report also noted that these were not necessarily max speeds, but full power runs for two minutes.

    RATE OF ROLL
    -the FW-190 and F4U were considered equal both being superior to the F6F.

    TUNING ABILITY-F4U and F6F considered equal, both considered far superior to the FW-190.

    MANEUVERABILITY-Both the F4U and F6F were found to be much more maneuverable than the FW-190. Both required a much smaller radius to loop and the FW-190 tended to stall sharply when it attempted to follow either of the Navy aircraft through a loop. All three were considered comparable when zooming away from a dive.

    It was noted in the report that the Corsair was not running properly and was overheating at highpower output. The suspected cause was a too lean fuel mixture. The Corsair was also scheduled to have the propeller changed to the upgraded 6501A-0 type blades that were mounted on the F6F and would have further increased it's performance. It was also noted that the FW-190 had experienced some rough running at low rpms, attributed to spark plug fouling. The only two areas where the German aircraft showed advantages was in rate of climb at over 160kts (less advantage over the Corsair than over the F6F) and rearward cockpit visability.
     
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  4. ickysdad

    ickysdad Member

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    [HR][/HR]
    Yes very very true but then again US fighters tended to carry far heavier ammo loadouts as per minutes of firing then their contemporaries. Also US fighters tended to carry more fuel which enabled longer range but would also wiegh down on their climb & speed. I think it really only fair to compare fighters being tested with the same range & minutes of firing.

    I know at around 11,4220 lbs(fighter loadout) a F6F 360 lbs of ammo(200 rds per gun or about 20 seconds of firing???) plus 182 gallons of fuel. However in service it used mostly Overload fighter mode (12,213 lbs) carrying 720 lbs of ammo(400 rds per gun or about 40 seconds of firing???) & 250 gallons of fuel. Dean goes onto list climb at 12,740 lbs at 11.2 to 20K at Military Power & 7.7 to 20K on Combat Power ,of course using it as an interceptor(Basic Fighter loadout at 11,400 lbs) would see a considerable increase in climb rate & time to climbs. Now in his book Dean states that at 12,483 lbs it climbed at 3200 FPM at Military Power according to Grumman's tests whilst the USN stated that at 12,740 lbs it hit 2800 FPM at Military Power.

    On speed at Military Power the -5 was shown by Grumman to hit 390 MPH at about 24,000' while the USN showed it at 380 MPH at 23,000' though it was 257 lbs heavier then at Grumman's test. Of course at WEP it would be faster. Now in Barrett Tillman's book "Hellcat, The F6F in World War Two" on page 240 lists a comparison between the Zero 52 and the -5 states the best speed obtained for the -5 model was 409 MPH at 21,000' and at a wieght of 12,285 lbs..
     
  5. surfersami

    surfersami Member

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    I am glad to see this post continuing as the information being supplied is very interesting. Being a fan of the Corsair, I tend to be a little bias. In the 70's I had the opportunity to talk with Greg Boyington at an airshow in California. He really liked the Corsair, and told me he would have fought anywhere (theater of operation), or anyone (type of aircraft), without fear. Now to qualify this statement, even "Pappy", which by the way, his men didn't call him that, a reporter started that, himself told me he was full of vinegar and was always looking for a fight. He did say that he felt personally, the Corsair was the best airplane in the war. He made that statement saying it did everything the Navy/Marines asked of it, and did it well. The grunts used to love to see a flight of "bent wings" coming in loaded to the gills with rockets and bombs.
    $.02 doesn't buy you much these days, but I have never talked to a pilot who flew the Corsair who didn't like the airplane.
     
  6. Gromit801

    Gromit801 Member

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    Ah, no.

    On 8 August 1952, FAA pilot Lieutenant Peter "Hoagy" Carmichael RN downed a MiG-15 in air to air combat, making the Sea Fury one of the few prop-driven fighter aircraft to shoot down a jet-powered fighter.
     
  7. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    I stand corrected. Now, we know there were two. Carelessness on my part, when I read it, I went to verify it's accuracy and checked the info against USAF, USN, and Marine Corps pilot kills. Never thought to check the FAA. Thanks for the information.
     
  8. redcoat

    redcoat Ace

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    In the Korean war, but in WW2, P-51's, P-47's, Tempests and Spitfires are all credited with multiple Jet kills :)
     
  9. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Stopped reading posts after a while...
    Quick answer: P-51 Handling was far and away better then the corsair...but these are two DIFFERENT aircraft...again, one has to define what role one is talking about. The Corsair had to be far more rigid and stronger than the Mustang, (carrier ops) this gave it weight and size, more drag and a little unweildly in handling was the trade off. Plus (partly due to its design) was given the role of ground attack aircraft...so stores were in mind when designed, as the P-51 was ALWAYS a pure fighter (P-51/Me109/Yak1-9) all pure fighters, any other role and you're showing you're desperate. An american pilot flew an F4U, P-51, FW109-D9 and a late model Spitfire all in one afternoon to see the handling at different altitudes...The D-9 was given the tick, but the P-51 got the gong for best "all round" fighter...The Corsair only won the pilot vision contest. (Pilot also said he could have a picnic in that cockpit! Huge!) The Corsair was an "American" design and a mighty fine one, one to be proud of...but the Mustang has its lineage in Europe...i can see three other fighters in the Mustang...the designers taking the best aspect from each...to make the ultimate piston engined "pure fighter".
    So the answer is the P-51...against all rivals...
     
  10. WWIIafficianado

    WWIIafficianado recruit

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    What is the real comparison here? Is it flyability? good cockpit visibility? fun to fly? 5 knots faster?
    I would think it is based on the results. The planes were built to achieve results.
    I probably made a mistake earlier saying the Japanese fought more different allied aircraft than anyone; well the Germans certainly faced many different types on the eastern front in addition to the western front, giving them a huge total. But I would certainly give the edge to the corsairs and hellcats over the migs, yaks and Lavochkins.
    Anyway, my point was to look at the question posed, from the axis standpoint and according to the highest scoring ace from Japan at the end of WWII, who actually faced many different types during the war and was speaking for the group of Japanese pilots, he said the corsair was their most feared aircraft. Of course he did make reference to the quality of pilots flying them. I think this ace's statement answers the particular question posed....F4U Corsair vs. P51 Mustang.
    I really think that his opinion would weigh so much when compared to the guy who took a flight in four different aircraft in one afternoon and made an apparent final decision based on a few short flights with noone attacking him. Just my 2 cents.
     
  11. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Controversial statement * - Naval pilots are trained to a higher standard...The better pilots are drawn to naval aviation.
     
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  12. Gromit801

    Gromit801 Member

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    Naval pilots are trained to take off and land on carrier decks. That's about the only difference. And more than a few Army pilots took off from carrier decks, and a few even landed back on them (with no training).
     
  13. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Hmmmm...
     
  14. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Is that rumble I hear all the dead Naval pilots turning over in thier graves?:)
     
  15. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Yeah...i think so mate...i cant be bothered and they have too much class to say anything.
     
  16. surfersami

    surfersami Member

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    I think what it really boils down to is that who is sitting in the pilot seat. If there is a young ensign in the Corsair, and a capt in the P-51, it will probably go toward the P-51. Like wise should we reverse the senario.
    They were both excelent aircraft, but, I would not agree with the statement that the P-51 was far and away more manueverable. The Corsair was one of the best handling fighters of the war. It was in the later versions it was stressed for a huge war load, surpassing even the P-47. Clean with no ordanance it could really pull some G's leaving alot of aircraft stalled and spinning out. The P-51 was best at high speeds, the Corsair was designed to handle well at all speeds, you have to go slow to land on a carrier. The main problem you hear about the Corsair and ill handling had to do with missing a wire on landing. The engine had so much torque it could roll the aircraft if too much power was applied for a go-around. The P-51 had a nasty habit of spinning out of low speed high G turns. Now, put a good pilot that knows the aircraft in the cockpit and he stays away from those situations and fights to the aircrafts strengths.
    I guess what I am saying is under the circumstances of war I would not have wanted to fight against either plane with a good pilot at the controls. This type of comparrison will go on for eternity given the complexities of trying to get two of these aircraft together with equal pilots in todays world. It would make a great TV show though!!!
     
  17. mcoffee

    mcoffee Son-of-a-Gun(ner)

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    A minor quibble - there was no going around if a wire was missed on a WWII carrier. If the wires were missed, a barrier crash was the result. The torque roll issue manifested itself if a go around was initiated in the groove - i.e. a wave off. At close to stall speed, the Corsair would turn turtle on the uninitiated with improper power application.

    It is correct to say that the pilot is the most important aspect. As long as the two aircraft are relatively comparable, the better pilot prevails. One of the 15th AF P-51 groups (I think the 325th) had a P-40 that they used as a hack and a trainer. When new replacement pilots would report full of vinegar, one of the old hands would take the P-40 up (at relatively low altitude) and teach the newbie some humility. After being bested by the old P-40, the newbies would be ready to listen.
     
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  18. DogFather

    DogFather Member

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    "The P-51 had the advantage in maneuverability at higher speeds and, did not suffer from a mixed bag of control surface performance. The Corsair had heavy elevators, light ailerons and, so-so rudder control while the P-51 was smooth and coordinated".

    This info posted by T A Gardner is what I have also read on other forums. The P-51 was smaller and lighter in weight.
    That's why it was more maneuverable at higher speeds. It was a pure fighter and not a compromise design.

    The Corsair could take more punishement and that's one reason it was heavier. The Japanese may have feared the
    Corsair more, because it could carry more types of offence weapons.
     
  19. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Yeah mate...even many aircraft (semi) experts dont appreciate the value of the pilot...too much is made of the technology. But when i come across this, i use the same Ford racing car example to illustrate my point. You have two identical race cars, one has MR Joe Schmoe off the streets...drives his car on the roads, and thinks he is pretty good...but pit him then against a pro race car driver whos been in the championship for 2 years or more and who do you think will win? The Race driver will be opening his second beer by the time Joe crosses the line...easy to see in this scenerio...the very same applies to pilots in WW2...
    Ive stated before Australian and Dutch pilots made the Brewster Buffalo look like a half decent fighter aircraft...ALL the pilots doing...NOTHING to do with the Buffalo...
    Personally im not in the least surprised the Japanese feared the Corsair...A Japanese kid seeing a seasoned angry pro swooping down on him...Good luck.
     
  20. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Before making such an absolute statement, you should research it first. I believe that differences between the Buffaloes of the two nations would most certainly give the Dutch pilots the advantage in combat.

    You can start by going through this website: Annals of the Brewster Buffalo
     

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