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Thread: WWII Fighter Comparison II Corsair v Mustang.

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    WWII Fighter Comparison II Corsair v Mustang.

    The P-51D Mustang and F4U-4 Corsair are often top of the list examples of American fighters in WWII. One has an elegance provided by its in-line engine that is undeniable. The other has a shape unlike any other. So which was the best example of the piston engined American fighter to see widespread service in WWII?

    Rough comparison (M/C)

    max speed in mph 437/446
    rate of climb in feet per minute 3200/3870
    range in miles 1650/1005
    armament 6x .50cal with 1880 rounds/6x .50cal with 2400 rounds
    power v12 1720hp/ r18 2450hp
    wing loading in pounds per square inch 39lbs/ 46lbs
    empty weight in pounds 7635/8982
    wing area in square feet 235/314

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    What about the bubble top jug compared with the F4? Just would be interested. Thanks.

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    Senior Contributor 1979's Avatar
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    With a stall speed of just 81 knots the corsair would outfight the mustang in every way.
    http://www.history.navy.mil/branches/hist-ac/f4u-4.pdf

    On the other hand the Mustang had better range which gave it more staying power over Berlin.
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    Between the Mustang and the Corsair, I think the Corsair edges it out.
    The Corsair could operate from a carrier, made an excellent fighter-bomber, and stayed in production after WW2.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tzimisces View Post
    Between the Mustang and the Corsair, I think the Corsair edges it out.
    The Corsair could operate from a carrier, made an excellent fighter-bomber, and stayed in production after WW2.
    But the Mustang was the only piston engiend figther the US retired and then brought back into service. It was also prodiced for the US military as late as 1968.

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    FreeGeneral Senior Contributor Big K's Avatar
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    what missions that F4 can do and P51 cant?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big K View Post
    what missions that F4 can do and P51 cant?
    carrier ops.....


    F4 is also much better at ground attack with its radial engine and bigger bomb load.

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    FreeGeneral Senior Contributor Big K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    carrier ops.....


    F4 is also much better at ground attack with its radial engine and bigger bomb load.
    i think it is also more sturdy and can hold one piece to higher g levels and more maneuvrable?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big K View Post
    i think it is also more sturdy and can hold one piece to higher g levels and more maneuvrable?
    Agility is one of those well kinda questions. The Corsair was superior in the low speed turnign fight, but i don't know which one was better able to execute turns and keep energy.

    At 400mpoh the P-51 had a roll rate of 4.67 seconds (NACA- P-51B 77 deg/sec) the best of any American fighter. At 300mph plus in a sustained 3g turn to stall the Mustang would turn inside the Corsair by a wide margin. So it appears the Mustang could turn tighter, but bled energy faster. This should give the Mustang an initial edge and long term handicap.

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    FreeGeneral Senior Contributor Big K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Agility is one of those well kinda questions. The Corsair was superior in the low speed turnign fight, but i don't know which one was better able to execute turns and keep energy.

    At 400mpoh the P-51 had a roll rate of 4.67 seconds (NACA- P-51B 77 deg/sec) the best of any American fighter. At 300mph plus in a sustained 3g turn to stall the Mustang would turn inside the Corsair by a wide margin. So it appears the Mustang could turn tighter, but bled energy faster. This should give the Mustang an initial edge and long term handicap.


    what is their power to weight ratios?

    and maybe a bit off topic but can you explain me the differences between the propellers? (like German 3 blade vs American 4 blade?)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big K View Post
    what is their power to weight ratios?
    P-51D 9200lbs, 1720hp, zlcd .0613
    F4U-4 14699lbs, 2450hp, .0267

    and maybe a bit off topic but can you explain me the differences between the propellers? (like German 3 blade vs American 4 blade?)
    Not really, I know as a rule of thumb the more blades the more area to bite the air, and the bigger the props radius the slower the revolutions. So a big plane like the Corsair probalby needs a big slow spining prop to generate the same thrust as a smaller but faster three bladed design.

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    Z,

    thanks for infos, but i am afraid that i'll continue asking

    what can you say about the structural differences between naval planes & land based ones? i know that naval ones should be stronger in order to absorb carrier landings shock?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big K View Post
    Z,

    thanks for infos, but i am afraid that i'll continue asking

    what can you say about the structural differences between naval planes & land based ones? i know that naval ones should be stronger in order to absorb carrier landings shock?
    Not always, look at the fairy Swordfish or the Zero, bith very light weight construction with little reserves of structural strength. I am guessing the higher the landing speed, the more strength the air frame needs.

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    The corsair had a higher maximum lift coefficient than the mustang.
    2.10 vs 1.55
    you can tell by rearranging the stall speed equation.In level flight lift=weight.

    Vstall=square root of [ 2*weight/( air density*maximum lift coefficient*wing area)]
    Weight/wing area= wing loading
    Despite the higher wing loading,the Corsair was able to generate more lift for any given velocity, allowing it to bleed less energy in the turn.
    Last edited by 1979; 20 Mar 11, at 09:52.
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    One need also remember the fuel advantage of the Mustang... fuel burn, and the inherent advantage of the Mustang in this regard, would be telling overall given a large sample of fights. In some, there wouldn't be an issue. In others, Corsairs would be lost due to low fuel/inability to bugout situations.

    The radial vs. water-cooled is more applicable to ground attack, but also applies air to air. One lucky shot to the coolant system will bring down the Mustang.

    The standard internet numbers don't tell the whole story, IMO. We need to delve deeply into agility, energy, and also the ability of one (or the other) to enter a regime where combat can be accepted, or declined. This is a powerful tool, most obvious in the jets (Me-262) vs. prop debates. The jets can elect to disengage by simply flying level and pushing the throttle up. And they can choose when, where, and how to attack.

    For the two prop fighters, it isn't as clear, but it may be something as simple as outstanding service ceiling, the ability to smartly out-climb (and thus escape), the ability to dive into a transonic regime and use speed to get away, etc.

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