Monday, March 2, 2015

Flight characteristics - Speed calculation and Actual

Indeed speed comparisons are very tricky. Many still thinks that Bf110 was slower than a Hurricane, in fact it was faster at some altitudes and rarely British Fighters made their claim top speed.

For example, during test in 1940 Hurricane Mk I's averaged 315mph as opposed to 340mph advertised and Spitfire about less than 360 as opposed to 369mph advertised.

Many German Pilots swore that Me109E was faster than Spit Mk I (on paper about 10mph or so slower).

The difference lie in acceleration. Bf110 was faster than a Hurricane but took a lot of time to get there where as British fighters has good acceleration. And when you are turning and looping you can't make the level top speed. The best way to get faster is to dive and it is another virtue not much relating to level speed.

Perhaps max. level speed does not matter that much what matters is acceleration, drag to lift ratio, diving and climbing. Even still valid today. New generation aircraft are all have slower top speed. (F22 Mach1.7, JSF about 1.5, F18E/F Mach 1.7 however good old Mig23 do well over Mach 2... for a few minutes so it has no operational value)

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