Allied Fighter Aces: The Air Combat Tactics and Techniques by Mike Spick

By Mike Spick

Many millions of fighter pilots of many nations--British, American, Australian, Canadian, Polish, and plenty of more--flew, fought, and died in Allied plane. a couple of grew to become recognized. approximately 5 percentage of fighter pilots accounted for a few 40 percentage of all air victories, and those have been the aces.

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Extra resources for Allied Fighter Aces: The Air Combat Tactics and Techniques of World War II

Sample text

As in other fields, fashion had held sway, and fashion had dictated the need for a long-range fighter. The degree to which this fad had taken hold is illustrated by the fact that Zerstörer units were regarded as an elite by the Luftwaffe. The Bf 110C was a large and heavy twin-engined two-seater. Its performance was decidedly inferior to that of the Bf 109; its dogfighting capability was poor, yet it was expected to be the spearhead of the Jagdwaffe. Although far more docile than its single-seater stable-mate, and described by one British pilot who flew a captured example as a 'twinengined Tiger Moth', it proved to be extremely vulnerable when pitted against the Hurricane, even though it was rather faster and more heavily armed.

What really matters is combat radius, which necessarily includes combat time at full throttle, and a margin for delay in landing. Effective combat radius is generally rather less than one-third of the stated range. In comparing the above figures, rate of climb is generally in direct proportion to acceleration, while maximum speed divided by power loading gives a vague indication of aerodynamic drag. Wing loading gives an indication of comparative turning ability once the fighter is established in the turn, although acceleration into the roll, allowing the turn to be established quickly, is rather more important.

Steady, now; get your sights on before you fire. Rat tat tat, rat tat tat. Hell! you can hear their cannons firing. Blast it! I am going too fast; they are past me, on either side—so close that I thought we would hit. Inexperienced in combat as Widge Gleed was at this time, it was a trifle optimistic to expect that the rearward-facing gunners of the 110s had not seen his formation, especially after the time consumed in manoeuvring from Vic to line astern, then into echelon prior to the attack, which 37 ALLIED FIGHTER ACES was launched from sufficiently far away to give the German fighters time to reverse into it, making it a head-on pass.

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