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  #31  
Old 12th January 2007, 11:44
kalender1973 kalender1973 is offline
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Re: Soviet Hurricanes - where, when, ...?

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Originally Posted by yogybär View Post
Interesting discussion, Gents.

Once more, it is not the easy B/W-thing but more complex. So, the Hurri didn't fit well into the circumstances on the Eastern Front (low fights, low-octance fuel).

Maybe we should not forget one thing: Even the RAF used Hurricanes as fighterbombers in 1944 (against V1-bases i.e.). They suffered horrible losses.
Jörg, that Hurri was used in attack roles, didn't show nothing. It was the under this circumstances forced measure. The VVS used as night bomber the Po-2 during the whole war. And I can not say, it was adequate plane for the WW2. Each plane you can use somehow. But in his primary role as fighter, the Hurri was dead in Europe in late 41. The fights against Bf109F show that in Africa even better as in the east front.
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  #32  
Old 12th January 2007, 12:19
Andrey Dikov Andrey Dikov is offline
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Re: Soviet Hurricanes - where, when, ...?

Terve, Kari!

>We are not talking about Wind's claims. You did read what Väinö Pokela told in the intro? "... Someone suggested that one of the
squadron pilots go to Kauhava to lecture on tactics". The lecture was AFAIK collected wisdom, not only Wind's personal experience. It is
a good description of tactics seen from FinnAF Brewster pilot's percpective.

OK, but...


>I tend to think similarly about many of Wind's claims as you seem to do. But the fact that the three Hurricane claims by Wind do not
correspond to losses doesn't change not one thing in Hurricane's power (speed)/altitude curve, does it?

Hmm, honestly I always say that I'm not a 'technical' expert, i.e. I'm not much interested and have not enough exact knowledge about
aviation hardware. Contrary I'm more oriented on real history of combats and tend to look at aircraft performance from this point of
view - real results, pilots and tactics, not from curves etc.

It is banal, but I do think that aircraft performance is complex of different characteristics and features, so no speed curves or
anything similar are enough to make a conclusion about particular model.

Now we just can't estimate for certain the real effect of good
radio, comfortability, technical maintenance and all such small and numerous details. So I think the way to make a conclusion basing on
real combat results and real combats is more accurate.

Back to 3 giap experience - this experience was good. Despite losses and own claims, which can't be confirmed for example by Finnish
losses as well.

Of course curves were not excellent, the main things why they liked Hurry - TR-9D RT and ShVAK cannons.

>Tshukovski's (spelling) book "Baltic Sky" seems to confirm the habit of Hurricane

Chukovskiy was a wartime correspondent, he wrote his nice novel about Leningrad siege and Leningrad pilots, but that's just a novel,
'literature kunststu:ck'.

> (quoting Wind): "It is best to shoot this plane in the forward part of the fuselage when it almost immediately bursts into flames."
...but Hurries didn't "burst into flames immediately" in real.

Neither Soviet pilots (nor me) thoughе that Hurricane was any kind of superb or extremely good or just good, but it wasn't ugly. It was
more or less 'normal'.

>I am eagerly looking forward to be able to read your text about 3 GIAP Hurricane experiences.

I can send it to you in Russian.

To Mirek:

>To much time I have read many ungly claimes of Soviet pilots for terrible Allied Hurricane and much worse British and American weapons
but very seldom, particular before 1990

How about Airacobra, which was praised regularly? I think in 70-80s average American aviation enthusiast knew much less about
Cobra than average Soviet (and Polish) enthusiast. Or at least he knew much less good things about Airacobra.

The main reason why Hurricanes and Tomahawks were criticised hard (and exagerratedly) was the fact that they weren't brilliant really. And that Allies supplied VVS by second-rate planes in period when VVS eagerly needed good ones.

By the way, Mirek, you have ignored my question about archive sources you used for your article about 3 giap Hurries. Could you answer,
please?
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  #33  
Old 12th January 2007, 12:47
Graham Boak Graham Boak is offline
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Re: Soviet Hurricanes - where, when, ...?

Kalendar: By late 1941 the Hurricane was outclassed by the Bf 109F, that is clearly true. But not every opposing fighter was a 109F, not every combat was fighter vs fighter, and not every mission involved aerial combat. "Dead" is too much an overstatement. By the same standard so was the Brewster Buffalo, if not more so, yet the Finns gained much success, even later than 1941. This is because of what Andrei says above, that combat involves much more than just the comparative performance of the most capable types on each side.

It is worth adding that the RAF underwent immense expansion during 1941, so the average experience of its pilots in the Middle East was well below the average of the Germans facing them. Pilot experience is one of the prime ingredients of success. The Russian air force in 1942-43 found itself in a similar position, and paid the same penalty. In both campaigns the Germans failed to convert the ability to gain local air superiority into overall success - but that would open a much wider discussion!

Franek; More thought about the Hurricane canopy. It was one of the first successful enclosed canopies, but one reason for its success was its flexibility - as it slid back it widened. The Spitfire improved its visibility by moving to a blown canopy with improving technologies: I'm sure that this required thicker material which would be less flexible and thus a more significant redesign for the Hurricane. Plus removing the "hump" would have required an enlarged fin to compensate for the reduced side area (as on the P-51D and P-47D after similar redesigns. Teardrop canopies are also draggier than their faired equivalents - the Hurricane didn't need extra drag.

I did model a late-war Hurricane with a Typhoon canopy some years ago - "Oscar killer" I called it. So I am sympathetic to your idea, but can see reasons why it didn't happen. I'm sure the core reason is that Hawkers did not expect to be producing Hurricanes well into 1944, so would not "waste" rare design resources on an outdated design, thought to be out of service soon.

Malcom did produce a blown design for the Hurricane: it was tested but not adopted for production. It would be interesting to read the reasons why.
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  #34  
Old 12th January 2007, 17:52
kalender1973 kalender1973 is offline
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Re: Soviet Hurricanes - where, when, ...?

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Originally Posted by Graham Boak View Post
Kalendar: By late 1941 the Hurricane was outclassed by the Bf 109F, that is clearly true. But not every opposing fighter was a 109F, not every combat was fighter vs fighter, and not every mission involved aerial combat. "Dead" is too much an overstatement. By the same standard so was the Brewster Buffalo, if not more so, yet the Finns gained much success, even later than 1941. This is because of what Andrei says above, that combat involves much more than just the comparative performance of the most capable types on each side.
First, the success of Fins is not so high, if you compare it with e.g. succeses of JG54, that claims at least 5 time more soviet planes as Finns and work in the similar area under similar condition. We can only speculate, what reach the Finns fighter, if they have not the Brewster but Bf109 in 1941.

Second, the case with Finns is very nice. They have also Hurri in there inventory and ??? Did you heard that they preffer it ?? I'm not. Any succeses of Finns Hurri ? I have never heard. And please, didn't say, that they have too few Hurri: the ARR(Rumanian) has also only one squadron but it use it widely in 1941, because they have nothing else. And Finns didn't because they have better Brewster.
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  #35  
Old 12th January 2007, 23:34
Dénes Bernád Dénes Bernád is offline
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Re: Soviet Hurricanes - where, when, ...?

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Originally Posted by kalender1973 View Post
the ARR(Rumanian) has also only one squadron but it use it widely in 1941, because they have nothing else.
The ARR squadron equipped with Hurricanes was indeed very successful in 1941.
However, the Rumanians did have other fighters types, too, equal or superior to the Hurricane, e.g., the Bf 109E or the He 112B.
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  #36  
Old 12th January 2007, 23:35
Graham Boak Graham Boak is offline
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Re: Soviet Hurricanes - where, when, ...?

But the Finns were the only nation, apart from one NZ pilot, to actually prefer the Brewster. To anything, almost. The aircraft was a near-complete failure in every other theatre. It was rejected by the RAF in Western Europe, including American pilots in the RAF Eagle squadrons, in favour of the Hurricane. It was rejected by the FAA in the Middle East in favour of the Martlet and the Hurricane. It was disliked by RAF/RNZAF/RAAF pilots in the Far East who preferred the Hurricane, with, as I said, one pilot's comment as an exception. It was rejected by the USN and USMC in favour of the Wildcat. I don't recall ever seeing any comment from any of the few Dutch pilots how actually flew both types, if briefly.

Clearly the matter was more complex than simple Brewster good: Hurricane bad. Part of it was a matter of the different variants of the Brewster fighter, the Finns having lighter aircraft and the Dutch more powerful ones, the RAF having heavier aircraft than the Finns but less power than the Dutch. It is also arguable that the Finns faced weaker opposition, with generally better trained pilots. Their Hurricanes didn't have 100 octane fuel either.
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  #37  
Old 13th January 2007, 00:06
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Re: Soviet Hurricanes - where, when, ...?

Andrey
do you know if Rybin has any plans to try to find a British publisher to his book? A good book in English on Soviet Hurricanes should have some market in GB and elsewhere, for ex. here in Finland. If not have you give any thoughts of offering your part, the history of Hurricanes of 3 giap KBF, as an article to some British aviation magazines?

Kalender1973. Finns claimed 5˝ victories while flying in Hurricane of which to 3 there seems to be a match in Soviet losses (1 SB, 2 I-153s)
IIRC at first Finns were rather pleased with Hurricanes but later their attitude became more negative. Maybe one reason was the lack of 100 octane fuel. And Merlin was also one more complex engine to be worried about.

Graham
IIRC some Dutch pilots said that they prefer Buffalo over Hurricane. I agree with you that one ought to take account the variant used, for ex the tropical filter had certain negative influence on Hurricane's performance. IIRC some US fliers claimed that F2A-1 wasn't bad plane, being equal to F4F-3 but that F2A-3 was a dog
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  #38  
Old 13th January 2007, 02:14
Franek Grabowski Franek Grabowski is offline
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Re: Soviet Hurricanes - where, when, ...?

Graham
I agree that both Spitfire and Hurricane were extremities. I assume Camm believed the thicker airfoil will allow to hide armament, thus reduce drag, otherwise the goal was climbing and not horizontal speed. Whatever, it did not turn to be good idea.
My point is that any modifications to the fuselage area were much simplier than in any other semi-monocoque aircraft and no structure modifications were needed. Despite that, nothing has been done in that direction up to the end of production in 1944. Malcolm Hood, Fw 190-like canopy, there were many possibilities that could substantially improve visibility. Note, that teardop canopy was proposed by Quill already in 1940 and only because of fear of production stoppages it was introduced in 1944. The same with Mustang, new canopy was introduced when need of other major modifications arose. In contrast, Hurricanes could have been converted in a Maintenance Unit.
Tornado or Mustang were indeed later designs, but please note the design started before the experience was gained. Despite that, there were several aircraft of the period, like Airacobra, Fw 190 or Zero, that had pseudo-teardrop canopies with much improved vision.
The idea was around but I do not see even attempts to implement it. While I can understand your arguments, I am still surprised, that is all.
Concerning fabric cover of the rear fuelage, my understanding is that turbulent airflow caused quality of the finish less important, but it does not mean it is not important at all. Thus perhaps no major gain in speed, but still some improvement, also in maintenance.
Finally about Spitfire vs Yak. Yugoslavs did a direct comparison of a Yak-3 against Spitfire VC Trop., and found them just equal oponnents, Yak being better in vertical and Spitfire in horizontal manouvers. Similar conclusions were drawn after a combat between Lightnings and Yak-9s over Yugoslavia in 1944, the outcome being unfavourable for Yaks in ratio 3:1 I think. Also Mustangs fared extremelly well against Yak-9s in March 1945, downing several of them with no losses. I know Polish top scorer, Skalski, who flew most of the fighter Merlin Spitfire variants, as well as Mustangs, had a veeery reasonable opinion about Yaks. Unfortunatelly, as yet I was unable to find any detailed description which would point out weak points.

Kari
Take it easy! My point is that we should have some marigin for possible error in identification. It may turn out that some of the sluggish Hurricanes were Yaks actually.

Igor
Remember about logistics. Both Finns and Rumanians had quite limited number of aircraft available and limited spares' supplies. This seriously limits possibility of extended opartions with such aircraft, with rather sophisticated water cooled engines.
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  #39  
Old 13th January 2007, 14:32
Andrey Dikov Andrey Dikov is offline
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Re: Soviet Hurricanes - where, when, ...?

to Graham:

>But the Finns were the only nation, apart from one NZ pilot, to actually prefer the Brewster.
>It is also arguable that the Finns faced weaker opposition, with generally better trained pilots.

This question has two main sides.

Firstly, the success of Finnish Brewsters is extremely overestimated. It's true myth, although I really respect Finnish pilots and even sympathize, despite they opposed Russian pilots. Starting from 1942 (at least) FAF had a very high rate of overclaims - very similar to Soviet rate. And 42-43 was the most successful period of Finnish Brewsters. In fact I like to research combats between Finnish and Russian pilots, because these combats were bloodless generally.

To illustrate it by some figures, I would remind August, 1942 which is regarded as triumphal for LeLv 24 - they claimed more than 50 kills (I have no exact figure by hand, correct me if I'm wrong) for one loss in combats with VVS KBF navy pilots. For ex.:

Combat of Aug 14 (Finnish/Soviet): claims 6/1, losses - 0/1.
Combat of Aug 16: claims - 11/3, losses - 0/1.
Combat of Aug 18: claims 16/3, losses - 1/1.

Second, yes, it seems Finns really prefer Brewster, but they had not much options.


to Juha:

>do you know if Rybin has any plans to try to find a British publisher to his book?

I don't know, I never asked, he never said.

>the history of Hurricanes of 3 giap KBF, as an article to some British aviation magazines?

Good idea, but I have no contacts with any western magazine.



to Franek:

>Similar conclusions were drawn after a combat between Lightnings and Yak-9s over Yugoslavia in 1944, the outcome being unfavourable for Yaks in ratio 3:1 I think. Also Mustangs fared extremelly well against Yak-9s in March 1945, downing several of them with no losses.

Don't you think that these clashes can't illustrate anything as far Americans really and suddenly attacked what they suspected to be an enemy, and Soviets defended of their allies?


>It may turn out that some of the sluggish Hurricanes were Yaks actually.

Nice shot, Franek! In 1942 the Finns claimed Spitfires and they actually were... Yak-1s. And again - 9 'spitfires' were claimed for no actual loss on Soviet side.
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  #40  
Old 13th January 2007, 18:10
Franek Grabowski Franek Grabowski is offline
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Re: Soviet Hurricanes - where, when, ...?

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Originally Posted by Andrey Dikov View Post
Good idea, but I have no contacts with any western magazine.
That should not have been that much problem.
Quote:
Don't you think that these clashes can't illustrate anything as far Americans really and suddenly attacked what they suspected to be an enemy, and Soviets defended of their allies?
In both cases both sides claim they were suddenly attacked. The reports of both sides are a very interesting reading and it is extremelly hard if not impossible to find out what really had happenned, but the fact is - the Yaks were decimated.
BTW
Frankly, it is interesting, that while there are many accounts of Allied aircraft bounced by Soviets, there are indeed very few on the opposite.
Quote:
Nice shot, Franek! In 1942 the Finns claimed Spitfires and they actually were... Yak-1s. And again - 9 'spitfires' were claimed for no actual loss on Soviet side.
Perhaps those were Finnish Spitfires. So, what about Hurricanes?
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