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P-47 vs P-51

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Old 07-05-2010, 10:58 AM
  #1
G-Pete
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Default P-47 vs P-51

Many people think the P-51 Mustang saved the day in World War II. Spring 1944 the P-51B relived many of the P-47D from their role as escort airplanes for the longer and longer flights of the bombers later on these got reinforced by P-51D's. The Jug reached limits even with the auxiliary tanks.
The P-47 was not retired, assigned to different squadrons the P-47 played THE role to win the airspace back over Europe and other theaters.

Here is an statement of Lt. Rip Collins, he flew both of them and ask to compare the two:

For sure, fighter pilots are a different cut of guys. I guess we got spoiled because we were considered the "cream of the crop." In most cases, not all, but most, if you were going into the USAAC, USAAF, USAF, or whatever name it was called at the time, the majority of us young bucks wanted fighters (1055) and not multiengine (bombers, transports, surveillance, rescue, etc.). I've seen the disappointment at "wash out" time, when the primary and basic flight instruction group was split up prior to advanced training. The men that couldn't cut it went on to multiengine advanced training bases, while the "cream" went on to single engine bases to fly the AT-6 Texan (advanced fighter trainer).

It is not unusual to favor your own aircraft. In fact, it is a bit common. We probably all look at this in a different way, and in a different light. And if you didn't get to fly both the Jug and the Mustang, you were at a decided disadvantage. Here are my dozen reasons why the T-bolt was the superior fighter of the two.

1. The Republic Thunderbolt had a radial engine that could take hits and keep on running. I know of an actual case where a Jug brought a pilot back from Borneo after 8 hours in the air. The pilot landed with the master cylinder and three other cylinders blown out of commission. But the Jug kept chugging along, running well enough to bring its pilot back safely to his base at Morotai. I was there.

2. The Jug's radial engine was air cooled, instead of liquid cooled with a radiator system, like the Mustang's V-12. This is significant because one small caliber hit on an aluminum cooling line in a Mustang would let the coolant leak out, and when the coolant was gone, the engine seized, and the show was over.

I took a small caliber hit in a coolant tube over Formosa (Taiwan). When I landed back at base, my crew chief said, "Lieutenant, did you know you got hit?" I replied, "No." He continued, "You took a small caliber shell in the coolant tube on the right side of the engine. I'd give you between 10 and 15 minutes flying time remaining." I had just flown from Formosa, over nothing but the Pacific Ocean, to our fighter strip on Okinawa.

3. The P-47 could fly higher than the P-51. With its huge turbocharger, it could climb to over 40,000 feet. You could just look down at your enemy in a stall and smile.

4. The Jug could out dive the Mustang. As a matter of fact, it could out dive any enemy fighter, and at 7.5 tons loaded, it dove fast! I have personally been in a dive at what we called the "state of compressibility," at nearly 700 mph indicated air speed. I was scared to death, but with a tiny bit of throttle, I pulled it out at about 2,000-foot altitude, literally screaming through the sky.

5. The Thunderbolt had eight .50's. The Mustang had six. That's 33 1/3% more firepower. This made a major difference.

6. The later model Thunderbolt's could carry and deliver 2,500 pounds of bombs. (One 1,000-lb. bomb on each wing, and one 500 lb. bomb under the belly.) This was a maximum load and you had to use water injection to get airborne. But it would do this with sufficient runway. I have done this myself.

In addition to being a first class fighter, it was also a superb fighter-bomber and ground level strafer. Jugs practically wiped out the German and Italian railroads. I have strafed Japanese trains, troops, ships, gunboats, warships, airfields, ammo dumps, hangers, antiaircraft installations, you name it. I felt secure in my P-47.

7. The P-47 was larger and much stronger, in case of a crash landing. The Jug was built like a machined tool. Mustangs had a lot of sheet metal stamped out parts, and were more lightweight in construction. One example was the throttle arm. You can see the difference. What does all this mean? The safety of the fighter pilot.

8. The Thunderbolt had no "scoop" under the bottom. You can imagine what happens during a crash landing if your wheels would not come down (due to damage or mechanical trouble). On landing, it could make the P-51 nose over in the dirt as the scoop drags into the earth. In water (and I flew over the Pacific Ocean most of my 92 combat missions), it could cause trouble in a crash landing because the air scoop would be the first part of the aircraft to hit the water. Instead of a smooth belly landing, anything might happen.

9. The Thunderbolt had a much larger, roomier cockpit. You were comfortable in the big Jug cockpit. In my Mustang, my shoulders almost scraped the sides on the right and left. I was cramped in with all my "gear." I could not move around like I could in the P-47. I found the ability to move a little bit very desirable, especially on seven and eight hour missions.

10. The Mustang went from 1,150-horse power Allison engines to the Packard built Rolls-Royce Merlin engine that had 1,590 hp. The Thunderbolt started out with a 2,000 hp Pratt & Whitney engine, and ended up with 2,800 war emergency hp with water injection. That's close to twice the power.

11. The Jug had a very wide landing gear. This made it easy to land just about anywhere, with no tendency to ground loop. Many times we had to land on rice paddies and irregular ground. When you set the Thunderbolt down, it was down. In the Far East, England, Africa, and Italy, this helped you get down and walk away from it. To me, that was very important for the safety of the pilot.

12. The Jug's record against all opposing aircraft is remarkable. The ratio of kills to losses was unmistakably a winner. Thunderbolt pilots destroyed a total of 11,874 enemy aircraft, over 9,000 trains, and 160,000 vehicles.

But, the big factor, above all else, it saved pilots in great numbers. Ask most fighter pilots who flew both in active combat and they will tell you that, given a choice to fly either one in combat, it would be the Juggernaut hands down.

Now one last thing: the P-51 Mustang was a superb fighter. I am fully aware of that! But, considering that I flew about every kind of mission the Pentagon could dream up, and a few they didn't know about, I will rate that 8 tons of destruction first as long as I live, and no one can change my mind. I was there. Simply walk up to one of them and see for yourself.

The dictionary defines "juggernaut" as: "any large, overpowering, destructive force or object." That was the P-47 of World War II.



I got the feeling this will be a good discussion
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Old 07-05-2010, 11:13 AM
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Default RE: P-47 vs P-51

good stuff Pete!
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Old 07-05-2010, 11:13 AM
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Default RE: P-47 vs P-51

You can debate flight performance and kills numbers all day long, but the bombers safely reaching deep into Germany was the beginning of the end for the Nazis
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Old 07-05-2010, 11:33 AM
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Default RE: P-47 vs P-51

This good information.
Still I am going to get some pop corn because threads like these usually devolve into crybaby *****fests before too long.
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Old 07-05-2010, 11:34 AM
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Default RE: P-47 vs P-51

Pete how can you argue with one of the great generation.I have video's and have read many books about these pilots and they almost all fell in love with what they flew.One video in particulare [sp] was about the history of the P51.And they had the original pilots making comments about flying over europe and they flew both the P47 and P51 and they felt it was hands down the P51.
I have two TFGS P51's and a GSP47 and I love to fly all.BUT,I love my "Stangs".The 47 was a "Dick Butkus" or smash mouth plane.The 51 was a " Muhamed Alli" plane.Both very formidable and powerful and doing more than what they were designed to do.I've shown these before but they are my favorite.Tom
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Old 07-05-2010, 12:22 PM
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Default RE: P-47 vs P-51

We had a member of my church who flew in WWII in both planes and he felt the P-47 was the better of two - many for the same reasons stated.
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Old 07-05-2010, 12:40 PM
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Default RE: P-47 vs P-51


Quote:
ORIGINAL: G-Pete

Many people think the P-51 Mustang saved the day in World War II. Spring 1944 the P-51B relived many of the P-47D from their role as escort airplanes for the longer and longer flights of the bombers later on these got reinforced by P-51D's. The Jug reached limits even with the auxiliary tanks.
The P-47 was not retired, assigned to different squadrons the P-47 played THE role to win the airspace back over Europe and other theaters.

Here is an statement of Lt. Rip Collins, he flew both of them and ask to compare the two:

For sure, fighter pilots are a different cut of guys. I guess we got spoiled because we were considered the ''cream of the crop.'' In most cases, not all, but most, if you were going into the USAAC, USAAF, USAF, or whatever name it was called at the time, the majority of us young bucks wanted fighters (1055) and not multiengine (bombers, transports, surveillance, rescue, etc.). I've seen the disappointment at ''wash out'' time, when the primary and basic flight instruction group was split up prior to advanced training. The men that couldn't cut it went on to multiengine advanced training bases, while the ''cream'' went on to single engine bases to fly the AT-6 Texan (advanced fighter trainer).

It is not unusual to favor your own aircraft. In fact, it is a bit common. We probably all look at this in a different way, and in a different light. And if you didn't get to fly both the Jug and the Mustang, you were at a decided disadvantage. Here are my dozen reasons why the T-bolt was the superior fighter of the two.

1. The Republic Thunderbolt had a radial engine that could take hits and keep on running. I know of an actual case where a Jug brought a pilot back from Borneo after 8 hours in the air. The pilot landed with the master cylinder and three other cylinders blown out of commission. But the Jug kept chugging along, running well enough to bring its pilot back safely to his base at Morotai. I was there.

2. The Jug's radial engine was air cooled, instead of liquid cooled with a radiator system, like the Mustang's V-12. This is significant because one small caliber hit on an aluminum cooling line in a Mustang would let the coolant leak out, and when the coolant was gone, the engine seized, and the show was over.

I took a small caliber hit in a coolant tube over Formosa (Taiwan). When I landed back at base, my crew chief said, ''Lieutenant, did you know you got hit?'' I replied, ''No.'' He continued, ''You took a small caliber shell in the coolant tube on the right side of the engine. I'd give you between 10 and 15 minutes flying time remaining.'' I had just flown from Formosa, over nothing but the Pacific Ocean, to our fighter strip on Okinawa.

3. The P-47 could fly higher than the P-51. With its huge turbocharger, it could climb to over 40,000 feet. You could just look down at your enemy in a stall and smile.

4. The Jug could out dive the Mustang. As a matter of fact, it could out dive any enemy fighter, and at 7.5 tons loaded, it dove fast! I have personally been in a dive at what we called the ''state of compressibility,'' at nearly 700 mph indicated air speed. I was scared to death, but with a tiny bit of throttle, I pulled it out at about 2,000-foot altitude, literally screaming through the sky.

5. The Thunderbolt had eight .50's. The Mustang had six. That's 33 1/3% more firepower. This made a major difference.

6. The later model Thunderbolt's could carry and deliver 2,500 pounds of bombs. (One 1,000-lb. bomb on each wing, and one 500 lb. bomb under the belly.) This was a maximum load and you had to use water injection to get airborne. But it would do this with sufficient runway. I have done this myself.

In addition to being a first class fighter, it was also a superb fighter-bomber and ground level strafer. Jugs practically wiped out the German and Italian railroads. I have strafed Japanese trains, troops, ships, gunboats, warships, airfields, ammo dumps, hangers, antiaircraft installations, you name it. I felt secure in my P-47.

7. The P-47 was larger and much stronger, in case of a crash landing. The Jug was built like a machined tool. Mustangs had a lot of sheet metal stamped out parts, and were more lightweight in construction. One example was the throttle arm. You can see the difference. What does all this mean? The safety of the fighter pilot.

8. The Thunderbolt had no ''scoop'' under the bottom. You can imagine what happens during a crash landing if your wheels would not come down (due to damage or mechanical trouble). On landing, it could make the P-51 nose over in the dirt as the scoop drags into the earth. In water (and I flew over the Pacific Ocean most of my 92 combat missions), it could cause trouble in a crash landing because the air scoop would be the first part of the aircraft to hit the water. Instead of a smooth belly landing, anything might happen.

9. The Thunderbolt had a much larger, roomier cockpit. You were comfortable in the big Jug cockpit. In my Mustang, my shoulders almost scraped the sides on the right and left. I was cramped in with all my ''gear.'' I could not move around like I could in the P-47. I found the ability to move a little bit very desirable, especially on seven and eight hour missions.

10. The Mustang went from 1,150-horse power Allison engines to the Packard built Rolls-Royce Merlin engine that had 1,590 hp. The Thunderbolt started out with a 2,000 hp Pratt & Whitney engine, and ended up with 2,800 war emergency hp with water injection. That's close to twice the power.

11. The Jug had a very wide landing gear. This made it easy to land just about anywhere, with no tendency to ground loop. Many times we had to land on rice paddies and irregular ground. When you set the Thunderbolt down, it was down. In the Far East, England, Africa, and Italy, this helped you get down and walk away from it. To me, that was very important for the safety of the pilot.

12. The Jug's record against all opposing aircraft is remarkable. The ratio of kills to losses was unmistakably a winner. Thunderbolt pilots destroyed a total of 11,874 enemy aircraft, over 9,000 trains, and 160,000 vehicles.

But, the big factor, above all else, it saved pilots in great numbers. Ask most fighter pilots who flew both in active combat and they will tell you that, given a choice to fly either one in combat, it would be the Juggernaut hands down.

Now one last thing: the P-51 Mustang was a superb fighter. I am fully aware of that! But, considering that I flew about every kind of mission the Pentagon could dream up, and a few they didn't know about, I will rate that 8 tons of destruction first as long as I live, and no one can change my mind. I was there. Simply walk up to one of them and see for yourself.

The dictionary defines ''juggernaut'' as: ''any large, overpowering, destructive force or object.'' That was the P-47 of World War II.



I got the feeling this will be a good discussion
NOW PETE....... WE all know that the P-38, (Forktailed Devil) Lightning, won the War!!!!! What can of worms are you trying to open here????
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Old 07-05-2010, 12:59 PM
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Default RE: P-47 vs P-51

My Great Uncle was assigned to the 56th just before VE day. So he never fought with the P47 but he considered the Mustang a better balenced fighter overall with its only overiding weakness being the coolent system... When the callup for Korea came he was surprised though to see that F51's were asked to do ground support and not F47's.

Oh and on range... The 56th was flying to Berlin from Boxted with the P47M with giant drop tanks so outfitted correctly the later marks of P47 could be long legged if needed. And there was simply nothing faster above 30K with a prop than a P47D/M on 150 octane... :-)

Well that is the last of the rememberances I have as he past away not long ago... And he only started talking about his contribution to WWII very late in life...

Ed

(Oh and I really like the Jug!)
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Old 07-05-2010, 01:04 PM
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Default RE: P-47 vs P-51

My Grandfather flew both aircraft, and his opinion was that the P-51 was the better fighter aircraft. For what it's worth, he hesitated before answering the question

People have and will continue to have this debate for decades. In the end, I think it boils down to pilot preference. They were both EXCELLENT aircraft, and the US was lucky twice when both arrived on the scene.
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Old 07-05-2010, 01:37 PM
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Default RE: P-47 vs P-51

the p-51 was the best at altitude and had much better range. ruggedness goes to the jug, firepower, jug. for a
really heavy plane it was also fast. range was really the big thing , the 47 just ate to much fuel. i dont think anything could outdive it. boom and zoom was the best thing to do with the bolt.
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Old 07-05-2010, 01:53 PM
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Default RE: P-47 vs P-51

Reason #10.
That just goes to show that you can fly the same speed with less horsepower That meant better fuel eff.

I love both planes I would hate to choose between the two.



Hey Pete, Was there ever a mustang that had the 2100 hp Griffin like the later spitfires? That would have been intresting
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Old 07-05-2010, 02:06 PM
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Default RE: P-47 vs P-51

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ORIGINAL: Thunderbolt47
Hey Pete, Was there ever a mustang that had the 2100 hp Griffin like the later spitfires? That would have been intresting
P-51H. Grandpa had the priveledge of flying those too. Only 500 built.

Must have been a real screamer at 2200 HP WEP
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Old 07-05-2010, 02:13 PM
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Default RE: P-47 vs P-51

here we go again, how we won the war but if we must play this game, it was with the 47, not the 51,
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Old 07-05-2010, 02:33 PM
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Default RE: P-47 vs P-51

Quote:
ORIGINAL: IL2windhawk
Quote:
ORIGINAL: Thunderbolt47
Hey Pete, Was there ever a mustang that had the 2100 hp Griffin like the later spitfires? That would have been intresting
P-51H. Grandpa had the priveledge of flying those too. Only 500 built.
Must have been a real screamer at 2200 HP WEP
Like IL2windhawk answered, only 555 were build. The power plant was a modified Merlin V-1658-9. The fuse was longer by 2 feet, the rudder was taller. First flight was February 1945 - the plan was to use these airplanes to invade Japan side by side with the N model. The program was canceled - for Korea the air force preferred the D model. This muscle Mustang never saw combat.

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Old 07-05-2010, 03:06 PM
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Default RE: P-47 vs P-51

A quote by a fighter pilot who flew both that sorta says it "cooler".......

Quote:
If you want to take a picture for your girlfriend back home, stand in front of a P51.
If you want to get back home to your girlfriend, climb in a P47.
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Old 07-05-2010, 03:13 PM
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Default RE: P-47 vs P-51

our local show had one there several noticable differences between the H and the D models
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Old 07-05-2010, 03:16 PM
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Default RE: P-47 vs P-51

They were making more P47s than P51s in the last year of the war. And more P47s were made than any other US fighter.

The Thunderbolt was the 2nd best at ground attack. The Corsair was better.
It was probably better than most any fighter in the war (that appeared in volume) at high altitudes thanks to it's turbo charger. The La-5, FW190, P51, Spit, 109 probably won based on the pilot skill. (And there are some who say the Corsair would have punched all those clocks with time to spare.)

Keep in mind that the Hurricane shot down more a/c than all the other British fighters, so the numbers don't tell the story.
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Old 07-05-2010, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: STUKA BARRY
NOW PETE....... WE all know that the P-38, (Forktailed Devil) Lightning, won the War!!!!! What can of worms are you trying to open here????

Which brings up another point when determining 'which is best:
The P-38 was expensive, VERY expensive, to purchase AND to fly. Had Lockheed been able to somehow reduce the cost by a third or so, the AAF would have without a doubt bought more of them and ordered fewer Mustangs and Thunderbolts.
Likewise, the P-47 was expensive to purchase, and expensive to fly (poor gas milage).
The Mustangs were less expensive to purchase, and had better fuel economy.
All other things being equal, the AAF had only so much money to spend on fighter planes, and wanted to get the most bang fo the buck.
IMO, the P-47 was the better of the 2 to fly into enemy territory, destroy something that will hurt the enemy, and return home safely.
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Old 07-05-2010, 03:21 PM
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Default RE: P-47 vs P-51

Which one would you have wanted to fly?

I'd have told 'em to keep both of them shiney things and give me a Corsair.

But if they wouldn't, I'd have taken the Thunderbolt. Radial engine with better'n 2000 horses and 8 fifties, what's not to love.
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Old 07-05-2010, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: da Rock

Which one would you have wanted to fly?

I'd have told 'em to keep both of them shiney things and give me a Corsair.

But if they wouldn't, I'd have taken the Thunderbolt. Radial engine with better'n 2000 horses and 8 fifties, what's not to love.
Not a bad choice, in 1944.

The war began in December, '41, when the P-39, P-40 and F4F were available. P-38's were almost ready. I believe the F4U, F6F, P=51 and P-47 were first deployed later in 1943, full deployment in '44.

I'm real glad the P-38's and F4F's were available in '42. And the PBY's, and the heavy bombers that addressed the submarine war in the Atlantic.

Best wishes,
Dave Olson
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Old 07-05-2010, 04:06 PM
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Default RE: P-47 vs P-51

I really think it is a Ford vs Chevy thing.......I'll take the Bow Tie
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Old 07-05-2010, 04:28 PM
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ORIGINAL: tailskid

I really think it is a Ford vs Chevy thing.......I'll take the Bow Tie

Spot on, mate.

The planes that encountered each other in numbers often got the edge one way or the other based first on pilot skill. Next came which pilot had seen the other first and which had the altitude advantage. Then on how well maintained the airplane was.

There really wasn't much to choose from between the fighters that most often fought in the ETO. In the Pacific on the other hand.....
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Old 07-05-2010, 04:40 PM
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: tailskid

I really think it is a Ford vs Chevy thing.......I'll take the Bow Tie
Good stuff Pete, as usual. I can't agree this is "Ford Vs Chevy". This is NOT apples to apples. Two different planes. Very different. The 51 could go fast and far, but the 47 could go high, low, fast, out dive, and survive. Although I think the Mustang is one of the best looking prop fighters ever produced, I agree with the 47s superiority.
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Old 07-05-2010, 06:19 PM
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Default RE: P-47 vs P-51

G-Pete, before I even read your thread......Your A frickin trouble maker.....Just when things have calmed down you go abd throw this thread up. Now if Mr. p40 sees this , your gona have to revise your thread and throw the p40 in and then there are the Bundewher....or what ever they call themselves. You know they gott a say something like woulda coulda shoulda Why dont you pay nice? OK, now I will read your posting .
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Old 07-05-2010, 06:28 PM
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BobH
 
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Default RE: P-47 vs P-51

I really think its depends on the role the fighter is given. The P47 was great as a ground attack fighter. The P-51 was the best as an escort, higher altitude fighter. 78th FG (checkered nose planes) turned all their Jugs in and got P-51's. They were an escort group. The 56th FG (Gabby Gabreski etc.) kept their P-47's for their job as ground attack planes.

The performance numbers for the P-51 speak for them selves. On average they are superior. But different roles dictate different planes.

Both fighters were outstanding.
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