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staib

P40 roll characteristics

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Having enjoyed (in an excited, small boy sort of way) the movie Tora! Tora! Tora! in the late 60's and seeing those P40s surprised by the enemy and doing their best to scramble to provide air-cover for the battleships in Pearl Harbour, I have been tempted by Flights P40 (despite the lack of a working interior)...

 

So I downloaded it this evening and have been flying it around rather awkwardly from outside (not the easiest way to fly a plane!). I do like the aggressive looks and stance, and was surprised at the sheer size of it. That only became apparent after I had parked up next to a Maule. The extra hundred or so knots are handy, but am surprised by the handling, and wondering if this is characteristic of this plane, or this genre.

 

Specifically, when you begin to bank it feels like it reaches a tipping point after say 30 degrees and then just wants to roll over - requiring opposite aileron to control - I noticed this banking to starboard on a right hand circuit, but it could be both ways...

 

The good news is that it feels very different to both the Maule and RV, so for the price and those schoolboy memories was worth it :)

 

 

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Sorry to say, the P-40 is a real dog compared to the P-51A. Mainly because there is a couple generations of improvements between the two aircraft. I will stick to the Vans RV6-A for extreme yanking and banking on the deck. The P-40 will loose a ton of lift in a tight turn and you have to decrease your bank angle to avoid the ground.

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So I downloaded it this evening and have been flying it around rather awkwardly from outside (not the easiest way to fly a plane!).

 

Are you aware you can move that eyepoint back till you are at least at a point it appears you are flying from within the cockpit?

It is just a shell of a cockpit, and a bit of a pain at first as it takes a while to move the eyepoint back there.

 

That is what I did with the P51, once I got it where I wanted it I saved the flight so I can always start a flight with the P51 with the eyepoint set that way. Nothing like having a virtual cockpit, but at least it gives that feel of flying from within the cockpit, rather than outside the plane.

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To put it simply, the P-40 is the aircraft equivalent of a car hot-rod. They put the biggest and most powerful engine (at the time) into the smallest possible airframe and gave it enough wings to get it off the runway. Most pre-war US aircraft are born as "interceptors" (P stands for Pursuit, not Phiter) in the idea that what will be attacking the US will be big fast bombers. They were not designed as dogfighters. Look at the P-38 and P-39, both designed with a 37mm cannon!!! P-40 was designed to go FAST, and it was one of the fastest aircraft of its time, but that did not last very long at all.

 

Vs the Zero (and Ki-43) there was a saying in the AVG. "If you turn, you burn". Meaning the last thing you wanted to do against the Japanese aircraft is turn with them. That should give you an indication of what to expect. As for it dropping into a turn, im not sure. But dont expect anything with that big of an engine and small of a body (in relative terms) to be a graceful aircraft in the sky. The P-51 is a pure race car, not a hot rod.

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I haven't flown the p-40 quite that often, but made some tests with the p-51, namely propwash on ground with parking brake/full brakin power... It looks very realistic to me.

 

Regarding roll performance it is quite noticeable that it rolls faster to the right than to the left :-), and that's correct!!!

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Are you aware you can move that eyepoint back till you are at least at a point it appears you are flying from within the cockpit?

Yeah, this was just a quick first circuit to check out the plane. But thanks for the reminder to save the flight - I might well have forgotten THAT bit... :)

 

Most pre-war US aircraft are born as "interceptors" (P stands for Pursuit, not Phiter) in the idea that what will be attacking the US will be big fast bombers. They were not designed as dogfighters. Look at the P-38 and P-39, both designed with a 37mm cannon!!! P-40 was designed to go FAST...

 

Many thanks for those insights... Makes sense too. You know, Flight is proving more educational than I ever thought it would :)

 

Regarding roll performance it is quite noticeable that it rolls faster to the right than to the left :-), and that's correct!!!

That's pretty impressive... Cheers for that!

 

The P-40 will loose a ton of lift in a tight turn and you have to decrease your bank angle to avoid the ground.

Yep, that seems in line with the 'turn and burn' warning... OK - better focus on straight line interception flights ;)

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Yes, that is what did in the 2nd hightest P-38 ace of the Pacific theater, Major Tommy McGuire, 38 kills. A case of too low, too slow and too heavy. He chose to turn with a Ki-84 "Frank" at low altitude while retaining his auxiliary fuel tanks. But he was in a "ace race" with Major Ira Bong, 40 kills and was pushing his luck you might say.

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