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Thread: Comparisons

  1. #1
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    Default Comparisons

    Having requested a comparison between the Bren and the BAR I have yet another request. So, I thought it better to open a comparisons thread.

    On a recent visit to the States, my cousin was singing the praises of the P38 Lightning. The yanks seem to refer to refer to it as the P38, but we Brits tend o run iwth Lightning.

    Anyway, my aircraft recognition isn't too bad and, so, I new the aircraft he was singing about, if not its level of performance.

    I was wondering if it compared well with the Mosquito? Since being a boy and watching those low-flying, fast action newsreels, the Mosquito has been close to my heart. Add to that the fact that my wife's dear uncle, whom has since become my dear uncle, was a highly decorated Mosquito/Pathfinder pilot it has gained even greater reverence - not to mention that fabulous theme to the film 633 Squadron.

    When recently posting to the 1 Border thread regarding Operation Market Garden, there are references to both the Mosquito and the Lightning in preparing the way for the sky-fleet of the airborne forces. This has re-ignited my curiosity regarding the performance and roles of both aircraft and I consider them both worthy of comparison. Not just the specs, but also the roles and missions inand on which they were employed.

    To get the ball rolling, here is some info re. the Mosquito:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cb6S...D900A&index=13

    http://www.fleetairarmarchive.net/Aircraft/Mosquito.htm


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Comparisons

    Quote Originally Posted by 32Bravo View Post
    On a recent visit to the States, my cousin was singing the praises of the P38 Lightning. yanks seem to refer to refer to it as the P38, but we Brits tend o run with Lightning.

    I was wondering if it compared well with the Mosquito? Since being a boy and watching those low-flying, fast action newsreels, the Mosquito has been close to my heart. Add to that the fact that my wife's dear uncle, whom has since become my dear uncle, was a highly decorated Mosquito/Pathfinder pilot it has gained even greater reverence - not to mention that fabulous theme to the film 633 Squadron.

    When recently posting to the 1 Border thread regarding Operation Market Garden, there are references to both the Mosquito and the Lightning in preparing the way for the sky-fleet of the airborne forces. This has re-ignited my curiosity regarding the performance and roles of both aircraft and I consider them both worthy of comparison. Not just the specs, but also the roles and missions in and on which they were employed.
    This is far more difficult than it seems, because the P-38 was designed as a fighter while the Mosquito was designed as a bomber., but I'll give it a go

    In a day fighter role the P-38 is clearly superior, as it is far more manoeuvrable and would win any dogfight against the Mosquito fighter versions, though the Mosquito tended to be faster depending on the mark. The fastest P-38 had a top speed of 414 mph, while the fastest Mosquito (NF Mk 30) had a top speed of 424 mph.

    However, the P-38 had problems operating at over 25,000ft due to problems with the cold which effected the superchargers, and (due to poor cockpit heating) iced up the cockpit, and made a long time at high altitude very uncomfortable for the pilot (This was a major reason why P-38 was fairly unsuccessful in the escort fighter role in Europe but highly successful in the Pacific where Japanese aircraft operated at a lower height)

    In the night fighter role the Mosquito is clear superior with its two man crew, range, speed, heavy firepower, and ability to operate at high altitude. The larger Mosquito could also carry a wide range of radars and ECM’s with little difficulty.

    In the photo-recon role the P-38 was replaced by both the Spitfire and Mosquito in the 8th USAAF on the more dangerous long range missions, due to its slower top speed and poor high altitude ability.

    In the bomber role both could carry 4,000Ib of bombs, but the Mosquito was faster and had a far longer range with a full bomb load, and its ability to operate at high altitude was again an important advantage.

    In the ground attack role both carried a worthwhile load and had good firepower.
    Last edited by redcoat; 02-18-2009 at 06:03 PM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Comparisons

    Thank you R.C. very interesting. It explains why both aircraft were used to secure the LZ's/DZ's during operation Market garden.

    Here' some info on the Lightning for those who might be interested.

    http://www.acepilots.com/planes/p38_lightning.html


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


    Samuel Butler


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Comparisons

    Ahem; "In the nightfighter role". P38M.

    I'd venture it would be very close indeed compared to the Mosquito, much as I admire the DH aircraft.

    Regards, Uyraell.

    "Honi-Soit Qui Mal'Y Pense." :
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Comparisons

    Quote Originally Posted by Uyraell View Post
    Ahem; "In the nightfighter role". P38M.

    I'd venture it would be very close indeed compared to the Mosquito,
    Only theoretically as the P-38M never saw combat, so one can't say how well it would have actually performed in reality. But as the M was despatched to the Pacific near the end of the war, its opposition would have been the lower quality Japanese pilots that were left by then, so probably would have been quite effective.

    Another comparison would be the two as Pathfinder aircraft. The P-38 Droop-snoots were pretty good too.
    _______________________________________________

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Comparisons

    Quote Originally Posted by Amrit View Post
    Only theoretically as the P-38M never saw combat, so one can't say how well it would have actually performed in reality. But as the M was despatched to the Pacific near the end of the war, its opposition would have been the lower quality Japanese pilots that were left by then, so probably would have been quite effective.

    Another comparison would be the two as Pathfinder aircraft. The P-38 Droop-snoots were pretty good too.
    Inclined to agree with you my friend, though as far as I knew the P38M had been tested in combat, even though not having "officially seen combat".
    As to the Pathfinder role, yes, I can see the Droop-snoots as having been a very viable equivalent to the Mossies.

    Regards, Uyraell.
    Last edited by Uyraell; 03-10-2009 at 02:09 AM.

    "Honi-Soit Qui Mal'Y Pense." :
    "Ill unto he who ill of it thinks."
    Edward III, Rex Britania, AD1348.

    "Wenn Schon, denn schon."
    "Be It Done, Best be It Be Done Well."
    Known German adage.

    "Until you have looked into a veteran's eyes and actually seen it,
    you'll never fully understand."
    ^Uyraell^

    "Aligaes : Amore vel Ira." :
    "^Winged Ones^ : Love or Wrath."

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