So realistically, what would be the odds of a WW1 fighter going up against a WW2 fighter and winning? Obviously the WW2 fighter has the advantage but if the WW1 fighter had a numerical advantage would it be able to pull it off? Or was the gap in technology so big that it wouldn't even matter how many planes were fighting?
For the sake of discussion, let's use the Spad XIII and the P38 Lightning.
WWI and WWII fighters are worlds apart in terms of performance. There was a huge leap in airplane technology in the 30's, planes build during WWI were way outclassed by biplanes built even 15 years later. the 38's would be traveling so fast comparatively that the spads would need a hail Mary of a shot to even moderately damage them with their two machine guns
The only way I can think of that would allow the biplanes to win is if both started off from close airfields (say, 20 miles apart) with an arbitrarily large numerical advantage to the Spads, and some of the the Spads sneak past the P-38 while it's busy shooting others down, then deliberately crashed on the P-38's runway to deny it anywhere to land once it runs low on fuel. P-38 pilot will be forced to bail out, and whatever surviving Spads have much shorter landing distance capabilities and can set down pretty much anywhere if they have to.
Quite unrealistic for a WW1 fighter to shoot down anything from WW2.
For one WW2 fighters have a lot more power, more armament, are generally built sturdier and a lot of them have armor.
Also from a tactics perspective the WW2 airplanes, and especially the P38, are miles ahead of WW1 airplanes. WW2 airplanes are just way too fast to even be touched by a biplane and will always be able to fighter on their terms.
At the beginning of WW2, biplanes weren't quite totally obsolete yet. Only 6 years later in 1945, there were operational jet fighters.
Comparing WW1 fighters to WW2 fighters is ~3 times as big of a tech gap.
>implying biplanes were ever totally obsolete during WWII
No, since we can have an arbitrary number of them, we instead bring tens of thousands of Spads to the fight. They fly wingtip to wingtip and form a giant wall of planes that will block the P-38 and slowly push it away from its airfield. In fact, we could have so many Spads that they're able to slowly envelope the P-38 if it doesn't fly straight away, and then press inward, denying it anywhere to fly but into a Spad, crashing them both.
>Just ask yourself why there weren't any biplanes in WW2 (aside of some scout planes and naval planes).
but there were some - (czecho)slovak avias, russian polikarpovs, also i am fairly sure dutch or french planes used by the finns and possibly some italian models
Then the Spads just create a swirling dome around the P-38's airfield, so that when it finally runs low on fuel and has to descend and land, it's forced to shoot it's way through the swarm (unlikely to succeed), bail out or crash.
Italians got the FIAT CR.42 Falco as fighter biplane
Germans got the Henschel HS 123 who was a fighter converted for ground attacks
Norway and UK used the Gladiator in the early days of WWII too
No. We're looking at free kills for the P-38 until it runs out of ammo and leaves.
>what is the Spanish Civil War
I-15 and I-153 are nothing like WW1 biplanes. They have 4-5x the engine power and much better aerodynamics.
Twice the lift for twice the drag. It's an acceptable tradeoff sometimes, even today.
Even with ten thousand Spads, the P-38 can simply egress to a runway they can't reach. We're talking about a plane with a cruise speed nearly double the top speed of the Spad, with a combat range a thousand miles greater. The P-38 would be able to fly to Hawaii and the Spads would have to make the journey by boat, which the P-38 would be able to sink.
I'm not going to go into the sturdyness/armor/armament/... issue except for saying that during all of ww1, a pilot's job primarily was keeping the plane in the air at all and not spontaneously breaking apart or whatever, while with (especially later models) ww2 planes the limiting factor was in fact the pilot and not the airframe when it came to aerobatics...
I will ask you to consider this:
the p38 (and basically all the american planes at that point, as well as the germans') were "boom and zoom" fighters, i.e. they could go very fast, in a straight line, and would potentially kill an e/a in one pass. they were however (comparably) bad at the "classic" dogfighting, i.e. going around in circles trying to point your nose (or with very early ww1 planes, your dorsal gunner) at the enemy. their turning radius is proportional to their speed advantage (something about the power of 2 to their speed, for constant g load, OR powers of the g load for smaller radii if I recall correctly) and (again comparably) MASSIVE in comparison to that of a ww1 biplane, which could almost literally turn on a dime.
which results in the following: as the p38 comes out of its 3-mile-wide turn to line up on the spads from miles away (the spads being like 400mph slower, they are basically stationary targets) provided the spad see the p38 too, they have plenty of time to turn around.
hence, every attack it a head-on pass. which theoretically in a 1v1 the p38 should win every time of course, but head-on passes are never really a situation you want to be in, because you're still facing two machine guns per spad, and one of them will eventually spit out the "golden bullet" that will go in the half inch slit between your armor plates and bite you in the arse.
(char limit, con't.)
1v1, p38 got massive advantages, yes, but there's always the small probability of the spad sneaking in a lucky hit in the head-on pass.
lots of those 1v1s in a row, those odds will of course mount until you dont like them no more.
1v4 or 1v8 fights, as a cautious person even in such a massively advantaged plane as the p38, i would avoid.
you know the not-so-old saying
>the more advanced a fighter plane is, the more it sucks at killing something that is low and slow.
thats why i would feel comparably safe in, say, a cargo plane, at night, in hilly terrain, with enemy air superiority - provided the driver is a decent stick and got issued a pair of nvgs and brass balls.
trundling around at 10k ft, 300kias, fuck that.
hiding in the grass at 0 ft, 250kias, much better:
>Major T. J. "King" Kong: Well, boys, we got three engines out, we got more holes in us than a horse trader's mule, the radio is gone and we're leaking fuel and if we was flying any lower why we'd need sleigh bells on this thing... but we got one little budge on them Rooskies. At this height why they might harpoon us but they dang sure ain't gonna spot us on no radar screen!
Let's compare specs, Sopwith Camel vs Supermarine Spitfire
- Top speed 182 km/h
- Max range (one-way) 485 km
- Service ceiling 5.7km
- Rate of climb 5.5 m/s
- Armament 2x0.303 machine guns
Spitfire (MK IIA)
- Top speed 570 km/h
- Max range (one-way) 651 km
- Service ceiling 11.4km
- Rate of climb 15 m/s
- Armament 8x0.303 machine guns
So basically the Spitfire can stay about twice as high up as the Camel and dive down at its leisure, to obliterate it (or them). When it does so, it can climb back up out of any other Camel's reach three times faster than they can catch it. There's no contest. The Spitfire should be able to smash Camels all day long until it runs out of ammo or fuel. And the Camels will probably run out of fuel first.
That said, the guns on the Camel were still a decent calibre and the Spitfire was not really armoured. If the biplane(s) managed to hit a Spitfire, they would do damage.
A German Fi 167 also shot down a Mustang and the 167 wasn't meant as a fighter at all.
But anything can happen with idiots behind a stick.
Against WW1 planes only a moron would lose in a P-38.
P-38 has a much lower stallspeed than the F-94 and will most likely not crash from going a little slower.
It only depends on 1 man, the man behind stick of a WW2 fighter.
If the WW2 fighter is not an utter moron he will not lose, doesn't matter who's flying the Camel.
yall may laugh at this, but i think if I were a ww1 pilot, I'd rather fight the lightning.
lets simplify for a little thought experiment:
a typical frog escadrille with 32 spads. due to the whole war thing and all, 20 of those are in flying condition, and lets say 16 of those are committed into action every day.
lets further say there is only one battle fought every day, each side gathers their forces on their side of the "line", and at noon they both head over to the other side to see what they can see.
lets also say somewhat ample reinforcements (pilots, planes, repairs) are brought in everyday (and there goes the realism, but whatever)
now if I were to choose between having to fight
a) one lightning, every day, which kills like 2-4 of my squaddies every day, with the chance of us killing it being fairly slim (but existing nonetheless!), or
b) a german staffel of 32 fokkers in similar condition as "our" spads, resulting in 30 1v1 fights all over the sky each day
What would you chose?
fock (haha) man, I'd take the yank time traveller over the huns any day of the week.
sure we'd be playing russian roulette with the lightening everyday ("whom will he get today?"), but so is he, and we are 16 guys gunning for him while he is alone, albeit in a superior machine. I like those odds much more than the (completely unrealistic) chance of 50:50 kill-or-get-killed I get with the fokkers, thank you very much.
Back in the day when I was playing IL-2 '46, one day, I accidentally the wrong time period for the enemy.
I was all set up in my ww2-era Me110, while the enemy was from the "jet era" modpack and hence defaulted to F-4 Phantom II, each with 4 sparrows and 2 sidewinders or something along those lines.
I only noticed my mistake when my squadmate (seemingly) randomly exploded - lol bvr missile kills, I didn't even know the AI could do that - and I saw vapor trails about 10 kilometers above my plane's service ceiling.
In it's infinite wisdom, the AI then decided to go in for a gun kill on poor ole me, and came down from it's high perch at mach 1-point-something. Being warned by my squaddies unfortunate demise, going as fast as I could (maybe 400ish km/h) and jerking around my definitely-not-designed-for-this-kind-of-thing airplane, I managed to dodge his bullets.
What then ensued was probably one of the weirdest dogfights I witnessed, with me pulling the most radical of maneuvers in my slow and sluggish "Zerstorer" to evade the hail of lead from the Phantom's cannon, and ultimately the Phantom itself, narrowly screaming by way beyond the speed of sound, and then firing my puny 3cm cannons, which projectiles would go into ballistic trajectory at no more than 200 meters, after him.
The attached picture is one of such moments.
We don't have too speculate. Inter war period aircraft that where not much better then WWI aircraft were still around. They preformed about as well as you would think, except the swordfish, it killed a battleship.
Except the P-38 would be able to swat the whole Escadrille out of the sky every day. It's got plenty of ammunition (one 20mm round would shred a Spad, so a 1-2 second burst is all it would ever take, never mind the four .50s firing API-T, which in their own right would easily destroy such a flammable craft). The P-38 also has a significantly higher loiter time, and speed (a good 4x on both counts), so it can hang out at the "line" at 7 or 8 thousand feet, bounce half the Escadrille to death, then run down the stragglers. They can't run, and they can't win in the air.
Also your statistical maths are pretty poor. Your squadron is losing 1/4th of its planes every day, that gives you a .75 chance of survival, to the power of how many days you survive. It's like flipping a coin. There's a 50% chance of the desired outcome each time, but to get two head in a row is a 1 in 4 chance now, to get 3 in a row is a 1 in 8 chance. For you to survive a 25% cance of death for a week, that's a 13% chance of survival now. By the end of the month, odds-are that the whole squadron's been killed off twice.
You're wrong about more advanced being worse. Old biplanes have huge radar signatures. A modern fighter could easily beat a huge number by missile spam bvr and go home to reload. Likewise korean war era planes would be able to boom and zoom with impunity because of their massively better gun sights and having enough speed to come in with the sun at their back always.
For all of you referencing WW2 biplanes, remember that they were designed circa 1936, while the WW1 biplanes were designed around 1916. That's a 20 year difference. For comparison, that's comparable to an Me-262 (1945) facing an F-4 Phantom (1960).
>would be able to swat the whole Escadrille out of the sky every day.
well, no. lemme tell you why
>It's got plenty of ammunition (one 20mm round would shred a Spad, so a 1-2 second burst is all it would ever take
well yes. theoretically. one HIT from the 20mm, or a 1 second burst ON TARGET kills a spad. fun fact: thats also true for ANY other combination of opponents.
A one second burst on target from a fokker on a spad kills it dead.
A one second burst on target from a p38 on a spad kills it dead.
A one second burst on target from a p38 on a messerschmidt kills it dead.
A one second burst on target from messerschmidt on a p38 kills it dead.
A one second burst on target from a spad on a p38 kills it dead.
now about the "whole squadron kill" thing, do go ahead and read pilots' diaries from both wars on how stressful air combat is, even if you were only swatting flies, even if the enemy doesn't even see you coming or is unarmed. as outlined here >>28461215, you'd get shot at in every engagement, so engaging the stragglers would be the preferred method of attack - you simply don't attack into a numerical advantage. there's a line between bravery and madness, and your suggestion are clearly over on the madness side.
>Also your statistical maths are pretty poor.
>For you to survive a 25% cance of death for a week, that's a 13% chance of survival now. By the end of the month, odds-are that the whole squadron's been killed off twice.
Actually my statistical maths have arrived at very similar results as yours. What you are missing is the fact that in the actual ww1, a pilots life expectancy (statistically, as in "numbers counted after the fact", not as in "probability") a pilots life expectancy was two weeks. As in, get out of training, get deployed to France, 2 weeks later, people start to look at you funnily because you are not dead yet.
>Old biplanes have huge radar signatures.
>Wood&canvas + radar = ?
Also I think you got me wrong there, I said "cargo plane" as in maybe a c130, and I also said "hiding in the grass". Radar is a nice thing to have, but you know what makes it hard for radar to see you? To look like you're a piece of the ground, because looking at the ground screws up the radar picture for most radars. Ever heard of "ground clutter" and/or "hiding in [it]"?
You can bvr missile spam all you want, if you can't see or hit me because I hide behind a ridge, you (you guessed it) cant see or hit me.
Reminds me of a scifi story I read where a way advanced jet fighter and pilot get knocked back to WW1 while observing a nuke blast. He lands at a French field and they don't even think his sleek small-wing craft should be able to fly. He strains paraffin for weeks to refuel his plane in order to assist his hosts against a German ace and wingmen who have shot down quite a few from the French squadron. First sortie, he finds the German aircraft, and volleys a pair of missiles at them... which just fly past and impact on some mountains. Second try, same thing. He lands, now low on fuel again, and realizes that the German biplanes didn't have enough metal or heat or whatever for his missiles to register them as targets. Meanwhile the French pilots are just "hon hon hon see we told you that weird thing you call a plane wouldn't do anything useful". Cue weeks of straining paraffin again, then he goes up on sortie two when he hears about the German pilot being active in the area. This time he doesn't try missiles at all, just flies to the group of German planes and then hits the afterburner to go multi-mach right next to them, tearing their planes apart, with the shockwave causing the cables holding the wings together to rip off. Then he runs out of gas and ejects into Allied trenches.
>A one second burst on target from a spad on a p38 kills it dead.
Highly unlikely. That's only a few rifle-caliber rounds, and a P-38 has two engines, and spread out critical components besides. A one second burst from a Spad would be damaging, but extremely unlikely to cause the aircraft to crash, unless it was somehow lucky enough to dodge the cockpit armor and wound the pilot, but out of a one second burst, that's at best two rounds.
Remember that a Spad is basically a sitting duck with no energy, so even several of them wouldn't be too daunting a task for the Lightning pilot. I'd rather be in this scenario than in a Bf-109 trying to kill 4-5 Il-2s at a time.
While it was rare for a WW1 pilot to live for more than a fortnight, it wasn't that rare for American fighter pilots to survive the entirety of WW2, though that's mostly because Ace=Instructor.
It's good for many many kills though. P-38s were regularly field-modified so that the 20mm could be fired separately from the .50s, which gives you about 50 seconds of fire, so if you fire in 1 second bursts, and half of them hit (hit is pretty much guaranteed a kill against such a fragile target), that's more than 20 kills in one flyout.
>Spad XIII and the P38 Lightning
The Spad had a Vickers machine gun that fired .303, if you had enough of them concentrating their fire on the P38s engines it would disable it. The P38 can easily out run a Spad but it can't outrun .303 going 1800 miles per hour.
>out of a one second burst, that's at best two rounds.
Spad had the "vickers machine gun" which shoots ~500 rounds per minute, thats roughly 8 or 9 per second (10/s being 600/min obviously, leet maths here), times two guns = 15 to 20 rounds in a ~1 sec burst.
also keep in mind that taking ANY hits usually results in a mission kill, i.e. the slightly shot up but otherwise fine aircraft would usually gtfo asap - thats just common sense (in case something vital is hit but you havent noticed yet for instance)
>I'd rather be in this scenario than in a Bf-109 trying to kill 4-5 Il-2s at a time.
>fly below them
>close to less than 100m
>cannon shell to the oil cooler
not saying killing sturmoviks wouldnt be stressful, those are tough little mofos, but...
(I promise I am not a wehraboo)
...five to one were the usual odds the luftwaffel was up against in the east from '43 onwards, sooo...
also, yank bashing:
>it wasn't that rare for American fighter pilots to survive the entirety of WW2, though that's mostly because Ace=Instructor.
and of course ace = 5 kills
and the luftwaffels are like, less than 100 kills, lol not even worth mentioning. 250+ is where the real heros are
but I digress. lets not go there. the wehraboos surely lurk...
>if you had enough
you'd have to define "enough" as an essentially infinite number and it still would be a stupid thought to have.
Sure if 10 billion biplanes were spraying their machine guns, they could probably cover every inch of sky for a mile or two, but that'd take more than every biplane ever made in the history of planet earth and the P38 would see an entire slow moving wall of black dots from 10x that distance and be able to safely turn around and leave before ever entering the effective bullet distance.
>you'd have to define "enough" as an essentially infinite number
I'm guessing "enough" is around 8.
As outlined above (cant be arsed to quote myself again) the p38 would always (well at least after the first kill) fight disadvantageous head-on passes (max 1 kill per pass for the p38 due to massive speed overhang), and while having the higher probability of a kill during a pass (assuming more guns = more shots hit (*) = more likely to kill the spad than vice versa) there's still 7, then 6, then 5 (and so on) guys each firing 2 machine guns in the p38's general direction, and assuming the pilot is going to take the risk (or rather likelyhood) of getting hit more than once (**), the probability of NOT having been hit after a few passes is disappearingly slim, resulting in a mission kill and the pilot RTBing (unless he's suicidal).
(*) in practice its been proven that more guns do not in fact mean more kills, but more ammo does for some reason.
(**) attacking an unsuspecting foe is one thing, and looked upon very favourably by most pilots. attacking the same group of foes AGAIN, from a fairly predictable direction (above and/or the sun, predictable because everyone does that) is NOT. its pretty dumb tbqh.
Yes, taking hits means GTFO, but it's highly unlikely the Spads even score hits at all, and if they do, it's highly unlikely they actually kill the P-38, instead just force it to leave for repairs. The WW1 planes were basically unable to fight in the vertical, meaning the P-38 has an extra dimension of combat to use against the Spads.
The fight itself would be the P-38 repeatedly 'bouncing' the biplanes, while the biplanes framtically try to dodge shots. When facing superior forces, it's very very hard to fly offensively, especially against an enemy who's not tempted to get mired into a turn and burn dogfight. If however, the P-38 did try to outmaneuvre the Spads, they'd still have trouble getting a good deflection shot because of the speed differences between a plane that turns best at ~250 to 300 miles per hour, and planes with a 140mph top speed, not to mention the fact that the Spads have next to no energy, so engaging in a long drawn out turn and burn fight would still favor the more powerful, lower drag P-38.
Also I'm not a Wehraboo or yank bashing. Ace=Instructor was the best decision an Air Force could make. It means thousands of very well trained pilots instead of a few dozen supermen with their own tactics and methods that aren't taught to the newbies, who'll likely die green.
Except the head-ons would be exceedingly unlikely. A WW1 fighter is slow and underpowered, a recipe for absolutely horrible energy fighting. All the P-38 has to do is stay in the vertical. There's a very good reason energy tactics were developed only around the dawn of WW2, things like the Immelmann and Rolling Scissors are next to impossible in something like a Spad, while they're perfectly doable in a P-38. Your mistake is thinking the P-38 will always try to come from behind, and not from above. Even if the Spad sees the P-38 coming 9 times out of 10, the P-38 has the energy and loiter time to bounce the Spads until either they're all shot down or he runs out of ammo.
>but it's highly unlikely the Spads even score hits at all
this is where we disagree
>all of which are my posts
Here's how I see it going down.
>p38's first attack pass. some poor fuck dies without knowing what hit him
>p38's second (third,...) pass. the spads know he's coming and can turn to face him well before he gets within range. now there's a bunch of angry spads shooting at the lone p38, which in turn can only concentrate on one spad.
I don't want to be that p38 pilot, and if I was, I'd call it a day and get back home after one kill (especially in a ww1 fighting environment).
>and if they do, it's highly unlikely they actually kill the P-38, instead just force it to leave for repairs
if there is only one p38 in all of continental europe (thats what I understood was what OP asked) that is a massive success, is it not?
leaving for repairs means it's out of the fight for at least the rest of the day, maybe a few days...
>The WW1 planes were basically unable to fight in the vertical,
partly true - they are bad at fighting upwards, but so are most prop-driven fighter planes.
>meaning the P-38 has an extra dimension of combat to use against the Spads.
which is not such a great advantage - shooting a target thats flying level from straight above is just another 90° deflection shot (which sucks) with the difference that you're heading right at mother earth at whatever your airspeed is at that time (which tends to make you nervous).
now you could just take a flatter angle when diving the spads, but the flatter you go, the easier it is for them to point their guns at you.
>the Spads [would] still have trouble getting a good deflection shot because of the speed differences
dont I know that >>28461867
>Also I'm not a Wehraboo or yank bashing.
No, and I was not trying to say that. I was referring to myself.
no one else is posting it because only a retard thinks you can always get head-ons versus a plane with a hundred times better power generation.
In reality, p38 can do vertical looping maneuvers all day and the biplanes can't follow it vertically at all, if they try they'll fall out of the air.
The same vertical tricks were done by biplanes versus other biplanes that had 10% or 20% less power, now do it with a plane that has a thousand extra horsepower or more and it's not even close.
lol char limit, getting to you asap
>>all of which are my posts
posted before I read you, sry.
>Except the head-ons would be exceedingly unlikely.
see my other posts, and
>A WW1 fighter is slow and underpowered, a recipe for absolutely horrible energy fighting
but also means that it can turn to any direction (except of course "up") fairly quickly - hence why I think head-ons are likely.
>All the P-38 has to do is stay in the vertical.
please refer to >>28464523.
Also this makes his attacks very predictable, where have I used that word before?
Its not about power generation - its about the turn rate
>attack from above, your angle sucks
>attack from level, they turn to face you
>In reality, p38 can do vertical looping maneuvers all day
uh, yeah, like once. then its kinda out of energy and needs to speed up again (which admittedly it will do quite fast).
>The same vertical tricks were done by biplanes versus other biplanes that had 10% or 20% less power,
and yet they killed each other quite nicely, so this means nothing.
>all of which are you posts
Lmao the rest are probably mine then :^)
It can turn any dircetion except up very quickly, but it's very possible for the P-38 to attack from up exclusively, when the target is so slow, there's no need to lead pursuit, so a vertical lag pursuit dive and pull-up into a zoom climb before you drop below the target is the best way to attack the Spads. And like I said, even if they see it and dodge 9/10 times, the lightning can wait them out until they make a mistake. If the Lightning pilot makes a mistake, his plane is so superior it would still be next to impossible to punish him for it.
You make yourself look even more stupid by not understanding the meaning of ad hominem.
"You're a retard because of these _facts that destroyed you" = no fallacy committed
"you're wrong because _no facts_" = fallacy committed.
Being as stupid as you are, you were unable to differentiate the two.
>90 degree deflection shot sucks
It's literally ideal. It means your target is as close to unmoving as you'll get, he's as big a target as you'll get, and all his vital surfaces are laid out for you to hit. High deflection shots are the undisputed best way to kill a plane in a gunfight.
>vertical lag pursuit dive and pull-up into a zoom climb
Well they cant follow that, thats true. If they're up to speed (if you pardon the pun) they could still shoot it during the pull-up, shooting, and zooming out - at the risk of friendly fire though, the way I see it.
>wait them out
so if they were really good (impossible, but lets assume they were) and made no mistake, let them do their thing? I'm no great strategist, but that seems pointless... why even be there, then?
>all of this post
>High deflection shots are the undisputed best way to kill a plane in a gunfight.
no. no. no. no.
The best way to gun-kill a plane is by not being seen until your bullets have hit. (The Hartmann doctrine)
The second best way is directly from behind, because then and only then your target is
>as close to unmoving as you'll get
but this might suck because
a) your target may have guns facing that direction
b) your target may be manouvering which tends to make it difficult to get into that position
In a perpendicular deflection shot, the e/a is moving as FAST as it ever will (because sine and cosine and stuff) relative to your direction of travel (and hence aim).
Deflection shooting is REALLY hard (unless your name happens to be Marseille) and should be avoided (for instance, by getting really close (Hartmann doctrine) or attacking from the 6 or the 12 - the latter taking more balls obviously).
anyway. its late over here, I am out. peace
>vertical looping maneuvers
>out of energy
Yeah. No. Going vertical plays into the Lightnings strengths, and while I would agree that it couldn't do it "all day"(which seems to imply continuously), it can certainly perform multiple vertical movements if the acquisition dive if half decent in duration. Which it will be against the sort that climbs at glacial rates.
In short, you'd need more SPADs than the P-38 has ammunition to kill. If you're forcing the P-38 to operate from a single known runway that is within SPAD range, then they just mosey on over to it at leisure.
>Its not about power generation - its about the turn rate
Specific excess power is pretty much the central measure of performance to the entire E-M model of ACM.
>attack from above, your angle sucks
It's still the safest way to attack a target if you know how to perform deflection shooting (or have a fancy gunsight to do all the hard work for you).
>uh, yeah, like once.
No, like until it runs out of gas. Obviously a minimum-radius, maximum-G loop is going to burn a ton of energy, but the P-38 had more than enough power to sustain an average of up to 3 Gs all day long, which is enough for a basic loop.