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Messerschmitt Bf 109 vs. Supermarine Spitfire

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Poll Question: Which was the superior aircraft?
Poll Choice Votes Poll Statistics
4 [33.33%]
8 [66.67%]
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Birddog View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Birddog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Mar 2011 at 20:33
The more numerous aircraft got the most kills?Shocked I'm shocked.
Speically since a major RAF tactic during the battle was for the Hurricans to go after the bombers while the Spitfires attacked the fighters. (It's a bit harder to shoot down a fighter. There a bit smaller and move around alot).
 
The Hurricane had the same aramement as the Spitfire. It was a good killer but had more difficulty getting into the position for the kill than the Spitfire. Hurricanes were not supercharged, could not go as fast, could not climb as high or as fast. It was tough and fairly manouverable, but was not as good an aircraft as the Spitfire. That is why later in the war Hurricanes were sent to all corners of the British Empire and Spitfires were mostly kept at home in Britian. Later in the war Hurricanes were used for ground attack, but all the heavy armour made them less manouverable than before. I am a fan of the Hurricane. But you were talking fame, and making fame a matter of numbers. That is not the case.
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opuslola View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Mar 2011 at 20:44
I was not comparing the best of the Hurricanes variants with the Supersubmarine Spitfire, as I would not compare the best P-40 variant with the P-51 or P-38, but the P-40 was a great aircraft, and one of the best that Australia used in the war.
 
A very nice post by you!
 
Thanks,
 
Ron
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Birddog View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Birddog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Mar 2011 at 20:57
Then what are you saying? You said that by looking at the numbers the most famous fighter in Great Britian was the Hawker Hurricane. It won the battle and battle and no other.
 
I'm saying it is true it was the most numerous fighter at the time of the battle. That still didn't make it the best aircraft in Great Britian or the most famous and popular with the public, now or then. 
 
If you were the British in 1940 which plane would you advertise to the rest of the world? The best in your airforce, or the older aircraft? 
 
If you want to have an arguement over who won the Battle of Britian open another thread and I'll give you my views on that.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Mar 2011 at 21:09
Say, old man, I did not want to ruffle your feathers!  But, I will stand by the numbers/ kills, since that is how victories are acheived most of the time.
 
Regards,'
 
Ron
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Panther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Mar 2011 at 21:53
The thread title is about the Supermarine spitfire versus the Messerschmitt Bf 109. If anyone wants to discuss why they think the Hurricane was the more important British fighter out of all the rest, then please by all means, open a new thread on it.

Thank you
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ikaros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Nov 2013 at 16:04
Nice poll, though I've discoverd it a bit too late. Anyway, I think Bf 109 was superior, for the simple fact it was in service more than 30 years. It underwent constant improvements and it carried out its duties honorably throughout the war and even after it ended. The same is valid for the Spitfire, but I think Messerschmitt Bf was somehow better. For those interested, some scale model blueprints for the two warbirds can be found here Messerschmitt Bf 109 scale model drawings and Supermarine Spitfire scale model drawings

Edited by Ikaros - 14 Nov 2013 at 16:10
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Oswald Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Dec 2013 at 05:30
The Me109 & Spitfire both had faults, and they improved as newer models were introduced, both to the airframe/armament & the motor. There are so many variables that it is well nigh impossible to say one was better than the other although you could say they were well matched. As the war progressed the calibre of Luftwaffe pilots dropped due to continuous service without break and abbreviated training due to shortages of fuel. I don't agree that the 109 was superior because of time in service, it was outclassed by jet aircraft just like the Spitfire was. As an aside both the Spitfire & the Hurricane were powered by the Rolls Royce Merlin and all were supercharged. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jan 2014 at 12:50
Spitfire Vs Messerschmitt? Ye gods, I was having that debate forty odd years ago :D

Spitfire: An inspired design, efficient, good handlng generally, though suffered from nose heaviness both on the ground and in aerial manoevers and a tendency to tighten up in turns (thus risking stress damage). Not suitable for combat at long range (full fuel loads caused C0G problems), and not the easiest aeroplane to repair. Also the nose fuel tank caused severe burns after battle damage in some cases. Spitfires were adapted to photo-reconnaisance and tactical bombing, although the latter was never a forte of the aircraft.

Hurricane: Numerically the most important, slightly more agile and slightly slower than the 109, easily repaired, and for the early part of the war a useful asset, although it was a transitional design and lacked development potential. An ATA pilot tried one out to the dismay of macho male pilots and pronounced "What a lovely little aeroplane, darling". A very adaptable design too - the Russians made good use of them although they too phased them out of service by the mid war.  Tank-busting and tactical bombing were uses for the Hurricane prospered. Known to be a stable gun platform and some RAF pilots preferred it to the Spitfire.

109: Almost brilliant, but suffering tricky handling close or on the ground, high control forces at speed, and poor cockpit visibility. Actually the 109 was quite good as a warplane despite a high accident rate and certainly represented state of the art German warplane design at the wars beginning. Statistically half the airframes written off were due to heavy landings.  An american naval pilot tried one out prior to the  war and declared it better than either the Spitfire or Hurricane (neither of which he'd flown). The Spanish version of the 109G (the Hispano Buchon, powered by a RR Merlin) is a faster aeroplane than Spitfires of comparable power. Possibly less adaptable than the Spitfire though necessity ensured that similar roles were given to the aeroplane.

Tactics: The British began with relatively rigid 'V' formations whereas combat experience in Spain had taught the Germans to use a looser 'Finger Four' formation which benefitted their attacks. German pilots were taught to use speed and suprise to good effect. However, large aero-engines use a lot of fuel at high power settings (the RR Merlin was 28 litres capacity for instance and drinks fuel for breakfast when you open the throttle) thus the 109 had restricted range over England, and in the later stage of the Battle of Britain, ten minutes combat flying before they had to consider heading home. the restrictions of close escort came later for the Germans, but by that time the casuality rate was already beginning to tell.

Conclusion?: As it happens, the capabilities of these aeroplanes were pretty much in the same ball park to begin with, with one design having a slight advantage in some respect or other over the other. However, the British were fighting on home turf across a significant water boundary with an organised defence aided by radar, which was a step above what the Luftwaffe had encountered in Europe.

The Hurricane faded away. Lacking development potential it couldn't keep pace with new models of other types, and was used more often for secondary roles. Both the Spitfire and 109 became heavier, faster, and less pleasing to fly - note that the Spitfire V and the 109F were both regarded as the best handling versions. The Avia S.199, a post-war czech version of the 109 with a Jumo engine and big paddle airscrews, was hated for its very poor handling qualities.


Edited by caldrail - 26 Jan 2014 at 12:53
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