Comparing patch 3.001’s new aircraft

Thanks to the release of Flight and Technical Specifications for the series newest aircraft we can now compare the developers notes on the newest aircraft to be added to the series to see how they stack up. This will be just one of several comments on patch 3.001’s new content.

Let’s have a look at just how the Yak-7B, A-20B, P-39L, La-5FN and Bf109G-6 stack up!

Doing some basic comparisons

The point here is not to do a full overview but I do want to compare a few key stats across the newest aircraft. These are comparisons to see just how different they are from other aircraft you might also be flying.

Yak-7B Series 36

yak7b-skins-01

The Yak-7B is a workhorse fighter developed from the same initial prototype that gave life to the Yak-1. The late Series 36 has many refinements over earlier versions and is more of an early 1943 fighter than the earlier 1941 and 1942 Yak-7.

For this comparison I will look closely at its cousin: The Yak-1. This should give you a good idea how it compares to two well known fighters in combat ability.

Top speed of the Yak-7B Series 36

Maximum true air speed at sea level, engine mode – Nominal, 2700 RPM: 526 km/h
Maximum true air speed at 2000 m, engine mode – Nominal, 2700 RPM: 565 km/h
Maximum true air speed at 4000 m, engine mode – Nominal, 2700 RPM: 586 km/h

Top speed of the Yak-1B Series 127

Maximum true air speed at sea level, engine mode – Nominal, 2550 RPM: 530 km/h
Maximum true air speed at 2000 m, engine mode – Nominal, 2700 RPM: 567 km/h
Maximum true air speed at 4500 m, engine mode – Nominal, 2700 RPM: 600 km/h

Top speed of the Yak-1 Series 69

Maximum true air speed at sea level, engine mode – Nominal, 2550 RPM: 514 km/h
Maximum true air speed at 2000 m, engine mode – Nominal, 2700 RPM: 549 km/h
Maximum true air speed at 4000 m, engine mode – Nominal, 2700 RPM: 582 km/h

Faster than the Yak-1 Series 69 at all heights, the Yak-7B Series 36 is just a few kilometers per hour slower than the Yak-1B Series 127. An impressive performance.

Maximum performance turn times (at sea level):

Yak-7B Series 36: 19.2 s, at 310 km/h IAS
Yak-1B Series 127: 19.0 s, at 270 km/h IAS
Yak-1 Series 69 19.2 s, at 270 km/h IAS

The Yak-1B Series 127 is still the best here but the Yak-7B turns only marginally slower – albeit at a higher speed. You’ll want to bleed speed less while attempting tight turns with the 7B.

Climb rate of the Yak-7B Series 36

Climb rate at sea level: 16.9 m/s
Climb rate at 3000 m: 14.3 m/s
Climb rate at 6000 m: 8.6 m/s

Climb rate of the Yak-1B Series 127

Climb rate at sea level: 17.0 m/s
Climb rate at 3000 m: 15.0 m/s
Climb rate at 6000 m: 9.5 m/s

Climb rate of the Yak-1 Series 69

Climb rate at sea level: 16.9 m/s
Climb rate at 3000 m: 15.0 m/s
Climb rate at 6000 m: 9.4 m/s

The Yak-7B is the slowest climbing of the Yak series of fighters available in IL-2 Great Battles but that shouldn’t be a major issue as all of the Yak fighters climb well and the Yak-7B is once again only marginally slower in the climb.

Overall the Yak-7B pays a small penalty for being slightly more robust and carrying around an extra machine gun. Ignore the less flashy looks – the Yak-7B can perform well!

P-39L-1

P-39-1CGS-01

A slightly troubled fighter in American and British service but finding itself a home with the Soviet pilots, the P-39 was well suited to battle on the Eastern Front and constant upgrades from Bell Aircraft turned the P-39 into an even more capable fighter. Well armed and well equipped, the P-39 made its mark during the Kuban battles.

For this comparison I will look one of its closest competitors in battle: The Bf109G-4.

Top speed of the P-39L-1

Maximum true air speed at sea level, engine mode – Take-off: 539 km/h
Maximum true air speed at 2850 m, engine mode – Take-off: 600 km/h
Maximum true air speed at 4600 m, engine mode – Military: 596 km/h

Top speed of the Bf109G-4

Maximum true air speed at sea level, engine mode – Emergency: 540 km/h
Maximum true air speed at sea level, engine mode – Combat: 517 km/h
Maximum true air speed at 2000 m, engine mode – Combat: 564 km/h
Maximum true air speed at 7000 m, engine mode – Combat: 640 km/h

At high altitudes, the Bf109G-4 reigns supreme over the P-39 but once you get down into the thicker air at lower altitudes the P-39 becomes surprisingly competitive. Around 2-3000 meters the P-39L-1 pulls slightly ahead and matches the Bf109G-4 at sea level with Take-off engine power (a 5 minute limit) versus the G-4s emergency power (a 1 minute limit). At lower engine settings it remains to be seen which is faster though there is no question the P-39 is extremely competitive at lower altitudes.

Maximum performance turn times (at sea level):

P-39L-1: 21.5 s, at 270 km/h IAS
Bf109G-4: 21.2 s, at 270 km/h IAS

Bested by just .3 of a second, in reality there is almost no difference in maximum performance turn times at sea level. Handling between the two fighters and the challenge presented by the P-39s center of gravity will probably be the deciding factor. Further testing and flying will be needed to get a better sense here.

Climb rate of the P-39L-1

Climb rate at sea level: 16.7 m/s
Climb rate at 3000 m: 13.5 m/s
Climb rate at 6000 m: 7.2 m/s

Climb rate of the Bf109G-4

Climb rate at sea level: 20.1 m/s
Climb rate at 3000 m: 18.9 m/s
Climb rate at 6000 m: 15.4 m/s

The P-39 and Bf109G-4 will likely see a lot of combat against each other. While the Bf109s climb rate remains better than the P-39s it is closely challenged by the P-39 in speed and turn times. Handling and firepower further distinguishes these fighters but it is a surprise to me how remarkably close they are – at lower altitudes.

A-20B

A-20B-REDSTAR

Douglas’ excellent A-20 design was flown in all theatres of WWII including in the East where the VVS operated thousands of these bombers. The A-20B was one of the earlier versions to arrive in the East. Let’s see how it compares with the Pe-2 Series 87 and the He111H-16 – two other bombers.

Top speed of the A-20B

Maximum true air speed at sea level, engine mode – Combat: 505 km/h (314 mph)
Maximum true air speed at 1000 m, engine mode – Combat: 524 km/h (326 mph)
Maximum true air speed at 5000 m, engine mode – Combat: 544 km/h (338 mph)

Top speed of the Pe-2 Series 87

Maximum true air speed at sea level, engine mode – Nominal: 446 km/h
Maximum true air speed at 2000 m, engine mode – Nominal: 476 km/h
Maximum true air speed at 5000 m, engine mode – Nominal: 498 km/h

Top speed of the He111H-16

Maximum true air speed at sea level, engine mode – Climb: 370 km/h
Maximum true air speed at 2000 m, engine mode – Climb: 399 km/h
Maximum true air speed at 5000 m, engine mode – Climb: 410 km/h

In speed the A-20B shines. Faster than the Pe-2 Series 87 at all altitudes and that remains true even when the A-20B is operating at Nominal engine levels rather than the 5-minute limited Combat mode. The He111H-16 is quite a bit slower.

Maximum bomb load

A-20B: 2080 kg
Pe2 Series 87: 1040 kg
He111H-16: 3560 kg

There’s no question that the He111H-16 can carry a more massive loadout although more typical configurations see it carrying 1,500 kg. The A-20B can carry double the payload of the Pe-2 though only in the 20x FAB-100 configuration. It is otherwise limited to approximately 1000 kg of bombs.

La-5FN Series 2

La5FN-Scheme3

A fearsome update of the earlier La-5 series, the FN version featured an improved engine, improved rearward visibility, and incorporated overall refinements to the design including weight reduction. The result was one of the best fighters of WWII.

For this comparison I put the La-5FN up against the FW190A-5 and the earlier La-5 Series 8. How does it compare?

Top speed of the La-5FN Series 2

Maximum true air speed at sea level, engine mode – Boosted: 583 km/h
Maximum true air speed at sea level, engine mode – Nominal: 552 km/h
Maximum true air speed at 2500 m, engine mode – Nominal: 605 km/h
Maximum true air speed at 6000 m, engine mode – Nominal: 646 km/h

Top speed of the La-5 Series 8

Maximum true air speed at sea level, engine mode – Boosted: 544 km/h
Maximum true air speed at 3000 m, engine mode – Nominal: 571 km/h
Maximum true air speed at 6500 m, engine mode – Nominal: 603 km/h

Top speed of the FW190A-5

Maximum true air speed at sea level, engine mode – Emergency: 558 km/h
Maximum true air speed at 3000 m, engine mode – Emergency: 578 km/h
Maximum true air speed at 6400 m, engine mode – Emergency: 658 km/h

Maximum true air speed at sea level, engine mode – Combat: 533 km/h
Maximum true air speed at 3000 m, engine mode – Combat: 558 km/h
Maximum true air speed at 6000 m, engine mode – Combat: 622 km/h

At sea level the La-5FN Series 2 is superior to its predecessor and to the FW190A-5. Even at unlimited Nominal power, the La-5FN can reach 552 km/h while the FW190A-5 can only do 533 km/h. Under boost the FW190A-5 reaches 558 km/h and the La-5FN surges ahead with 583 km/h.

At higher altitudes the La-5FN once again bests the FW190 with higher top speeds at medium and higher altitudes.

Maximum performance turn times (at sea level):

La-5FN Series 2: 21.0 s, at 320 km/h IAS
La-5 Series 8: 23.4 s, at 270 km/h IAS
FW190A-5: 23.5 s, at 280 km/h IAS

The La-5FN represents a marked improvement over the earlier version with a 2 second turn time improvement. It’s also faster than the FW190 by a similar time.

Climb rate of the La-5FN Series 2

Climb rate at sea level: 20 m/s
Climb rate at 3000 m: 16.7 m/s
Climb rate at 6000 m: 12.5 m/s

Climb rate of the La-5 Series 8

Climb rate at sea level: 18 m/s
Climb rate at 3000 m: 13.3 m/s
Climb rate at 6000 m: 8.2 m/s

Climb rate of the FW190A-5

Climb rate at sea level: 15.4 m/s
Climb rate at 3000 m: 11.9 m/s
Climb rate at 6000 m: 9.7 m/s

Perhaps the biggest improvement of all is the La-5FN’s climb rate besting the earlier version by a few meters a second easily and out performing the FW190 by at least 4 meters a second or more. This, surprisingly, translates into high altitude climb performance as well.

Initial impressions looking at the figures is that the La-5FN is a seriously dangerous fighter to fly against. Its reputation as a top level fighter is earned here shedding the refined prototype roots of the La-5 Series 8 and emerging as probably the best fighter presently available in the series.

Bf109G-6

Bf109G-6-skins01

The Bf109G-6 followed on from the earlier G-2 and G-4 versions with the goal of improving the fighters ability to take on bombers at high altitudes. While the G-6 was meant to be a universal fighter type with anti-bomber kits available, it did sacrifice some of its performance to hit harder.

Let’s compare the G-6 to its two predecessors. The G-4 and the G-2 and see how performance shapes up. How much is lost in pursuit of heavier firepower?

Top speed of the Bf109G-6

Maximum true air speed at sea level, engine mode – Emergency: 529 km/h
Maximum true air speed at sea level, engine mode – Combat: 505 km/h
Maximum true air speed at 2000 m, engine mode – Combat: 547 km/h
Maximum true air speed at 7000 m, engine mode – Combat: 632 km/h

Top speed of the Bf109G-4

Maximum true air speed at sea level, engine mode – Emergency: 540 km/h
Maximum true air speed at sea level, engine mode – Combat: 517 km/h
Maximum true air speed at 2000 m, engine mode – Combat: 564 km/h
Maximum true air speed at 7000 m, engine mode – Combat: 640 km/h

Top speed of the Bf109G-2

Maximum true air speed at sea level, engine mode – Combat: 530 km/h
Maximum true air speed at 2000 m, engine mode – Combat: 577 km/h
Maximum true air speed at 7000 m, engine mode – Combat: 656 km/h

The Bf109G-6 is slower than its immediate predecessors with its performance dropping back to somewhere between the Bf109F-2 and F-4 levels of performance except at very high altitudes. Its bested by both G-2 and G-4 at higher altitudes as well unfortunately.

Maximum performance turn times (at sea level):

Bf109G-6: 21.5 s, at 270 km/h IAS
Bf109G-4: 21.2 s, at 270 km/h IAS
Bf109G-2: 22.2 s, at 270 km/h IAS

Thanks to added engine power, both Bf109G-4 and G-6 have slightly better turn times than the Bf109G-2. This is, however, a bit of a misnomer as when not operating on Emergency power modes the other two fighters will likely behave similarly to the G-2 or even slightly worse.

Climb rate of the Bf109G-6

Climb rate at sea level: 20.1 m/s
Climb rate at 3000 m: 18.8 m/s
Climb rate at 6000 m: 15.2 m/s

Climb rate of the Bf109G-4

Climb rate at sea level: 20.1 m/s
Climb rate at 3000 m: 18.9 m/s
Climb rate at 6000 m: 15.4 m/s

Climb rate of the Bf109G-2

Climb rate at sea level: 21.0 m/s
Climb rate at 3000 m: 19.5 m/s
Climb rate at 6000 m: 16.5 m/s

The Bf109G-6 is only slightly slower than the G-4 in overall climb rate and slightly slower still than the G-2.

The G-6 version of the Messerschmidt fighter brings with it some performance losses but it also gains in firepower. A pair of heavy MG131 machine guns and an optional MK108 hub mounted cannon allow this Bf109 to hit harder than ever before. The Bf109 remains one of the fastest climbing fighters currently available and that plus its high altitude speed make the Bf109 one of the best fighters to fly at medium and higher altitudes easily out performing most enemy fighters (except the La-5FN).

Overall thoughts

This patch brings with it some of the highest performing aircraft yet available to the series.

While some may interpret the Bf109G-6 as a bit disappointing, it does fit the historical narrative of the Bf109 series which was slowly catering towards the need in the West to counter heavy bombers like the B-17 and B-24 while still being a capable fighter in the East. It’s heavy firepower should entice many while the higher performing G-2 and G-4 versions will no doubt be popular with others.

Meanwhile the Allied side makes some tremendous gains with the P-39L-1 offering up an extremely capable contender to the Bf109G series. The Yak-7B offers a heavier hitting Yak variant with handling and speed near that of the excellent Yak-1B Series 127. Expect to see many of these fighters flying around.

A new performance crown goes to the La-5FN besting both other Allied fighters and Axis fighters in most performance attributes. There’s more to this than just some of these key stats and the La-5FN doesn’t have the flexibility of some of the other fighters but in what it does do, it does extremely well.

Finally, the A-20B is something to be excited about. Though it does bring some added firepower to the table, what it really offers is a very fast and flexible bomber well suited to most altitudes and able to out run even the already fast Pe-2. It does this while offering a capable selection of munitions and defensive armaments.

 

Advertisements

12 Comments Add yours

  1. schurem says:

    … But not today 😦

    Like

  2. 1_Robert_ says:

    Good recap Shamrock. As a mainly Axis flyer, I’m looking forward to the guns in the G6 but I’m a little afraid of the FN. That thing is going to be a beast..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      It will be a bit of a beast. I think we’re going to see a lot of people trying it out but not everyone will stick with it. The more complex engine management will help to even the score with the FW190A-5 and Bf109Gs.

      Despite the performance loss. I think the G-6s enhanced firepower is going to be very appealing to many.

      Like

  3. Stephen L Parker says:

    Great article. I wish you’d mentioned how the P-39 cannon functions. The first Soviet P-39’s were 20mm armed and the later ones had a 37mm. Are rate or fire, ammunition amount and cannon malfunction problems? The Soviets removed many wing guns to increase agility. Are the BoKuban 39’s wing gun equipped? Are your article’s performance figures based on a P-39 with 37mm or 20mm, wing guns or not?

    Outstanding article. I enjoyed it. Thanks.

    Like

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Good questions Stephen. I hadn’t thought to include some of these details in this overview but I certainly will when the plane arrives.

      The P-39L-1 is a later build. It was equipped with a more powerful Alison engine, revised propeller, and only came with the 37mm equipped. The Airacobra Mark I ordered by the RAF (also designated P-400) had the Hispano 20mm and so did the USAAF spec P-39D-1. After that they are all M4 37mm cannon.

      Muzzle velocity is low as is the fire rate though I’ve not read of any significant reliability issues.

      Wing guns are default equipped but there are modifications to remove the wing guns and the rear armor plate for weight savings. Will be interesting to see how it performs.

      Like

  4. Charles says:

    These four days without the forum are going to be hell.

    Like

  5. Habsburger says:

    The La-5FN has certainly caused some drama in the forums, even though it’s not even out yet! Come release day, I recommend everyone stock up on popcorn and enjoy the free entertainment.

    My guess for patch day proved wrong, unfortunately. But we can’t be too far away from BoK’s launch at this point, can we?

    “This will be just one of several comments on patch 3.001’s new content.” Glad to hear it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Quite a stir! I honestly think it will not be quite as good as the numbers (and hype machine) suggests. Manual engine controls will still mean that only the best (or most attentive) pilots will get peak performance.

      Like

  6. superetendard3 says:

    It should be noted that the Fw 190 A-5 speeds are listed with the extra guns and cowling shutters fairly open. Players which aim for more perfomance usually dont take the outer wing guns and close the shutters up to the verge of overheating. In these conditions the A-5 can reach up to around 570 km/h at sea level in Emergency Power, so it may give a surprise or two to distracted or overconfident La-5FN pilots.

    Like

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      I hadn’t thought of that point. Makes me consider that because of the way the cooling system is on the A-3 (stuck open) and A-5 (open by default) that may put the La-5FN (needing to open the cooling systems) much closer in realistic conditions.

      Something to test when 3.001 comes out.

      Like

  7. diggun says:

    Ok so does anyone get the feeling that SOMETHING is happening? Website update time elapsed & website still down…. ditto forums…. Is it time to get excited yet??

    Like

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Nearly! Have you checked out the new forums?

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s