Tirpitz and Graf Zeppelin 1941

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Re: Tirpitz and Graf Zeppelin 1941

Post by dunmunro » Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:51 pm

Additionally, there are several squadrons of FAA/RAF strike aircraft in Iceland, and some fighter aircraft as well. These numbers would, undoubtedly, be strengthened if the KM had an operational CV.

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Re: Tirpitz and Graf Zeppelin 1941

Post by srgt rock » Sat Dec 03, 2011 9:43 pm

dunmunro wrote:RN counter forces:

Northern Group (Scapa Flow):

Victorious (20 Albacores, 15 Fulmars, + spares)
Furious (9 Albacores, 9 Swordfish, 6 Fulmars, 4 Sea Hurricanes + spares)
KGV
POW
Several Cruisers
DD flotilla

Atlantic Group (Gibraltar):
Ark Royal (36 Swordfish, 18 Fulmars)
Renown
Repulse
Several Cruisers
DD flotilla
1. POW sortied for the Indian Ocean 25 OCT 41.

2. The Fulmar fighters would have been no match for the ME 109Ts. The Albacores and Swordfish would have fared even worse. The results of the attempted attack against the Nagumo's Carrier Task Force in APR 42 or the German ships during the channel dash in FEB 42 provide concrete examples.

3. During the air attack phase of operation, the Northern Battle Carrier Task Force and the Surface Strike Force would operate as a joint group force.

4. The Germans would not even needed to have attacked the British carriers to take them out of the equation. All they needed to do is shoot down enough of the embarked aircraft they carried.

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Re: Tirpitz and Graf Zeppelin 1941

Post by srgt rock » Sat Dec 03, 2011 10:12 pm

lwd wrote:
srgt rock wrote:...The battle plan would have the Northern Battle top off fuel in the Artic Ocean and then breaking through the ICELAND-FAROES gap in GOOD WEATHER. (In order to best utilize thier air assets) ....
That virtually guarantees the British pick them up before they get far from Norway. Given how fragil carriers were and the number of planes in the area that doesn't sound good for the GS. Furthermore there's a good chance that cruisers can be vectored to intercept this forces as well. The battleships can be kept back to deal with the Tirpitz group.
The Arctic Ocean is not an easy place to locate enemy ships. (See the summary of the attempted attack against PQ 12)

The refueling would be conducted under the cover of bad weather. The approach to the Iceland-Faroes gap would also be under the cover of bad weather. (As Halsey's approach was during the attack against the Marshall and Gilbert Islands FEB 42) Good weather would only be required during the area of the Iceland-Faroes gap.

The British fleet was not able to conduct unrep at this time. They had a limited amount of time on station before they had to retire to refuel. I would call it the 7 day rule. If I was the Northern Battle Group commander, I would retire to the north if my fighters could not drive of shadowing aircraft or my recon aircraft located a British surface battle group that could not be easily kept at bay with my bombers. I would head back south 6 days later.

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Re: Tirpitz and Graf Zeppelin 1941

Post by dunmunro » Sat Dec 03, 2011 10:39 pm

srgt rock wrote:
dunmunro wrote:RN counter forces:

Northern Group (Scapa Flow):

Victorious (20 Albacores, 15 Fulmars, + spares)
Furious (9 Albacores, 9 Swordfish, 6 Fulmars, 4 Sea Hurricanes + spares)
KGV
POW
Several Cruisers
DD flotilla

Atlantic Group (Gibraltar):
Ark Royal (36 Swordfish, 18 Fulmars)
Renown
Repulse
Several Cruisers
DD flotilla
1. POW sortied for the Indian Ocean 25 OCT 41.

2. The Fulmar fighters would have been no match for the ME 109Ts. The Albacores and Swordfish would have fared even worse. The results of the attempted attack against the Nagumo's Carrier Task Force in APR 42 or the German ships during the channel dash in FEB 42 provide concrete examples.

3. During the air attack phase of operation, the Northern Battle Carrier Task Force and the Surface Strike Force would operate as a joint group force.

4. The Germans would not even needed to have attacked the British carriers to take them out of the equation. All they needed to do is shoot down enough of the embarked aircraft they carried.
1) You didn't specify a date for your scenario, but the RN will not denude the home fleet/Force H when a KM carrier and both Scharnhorsts are available to the KM. I used the historical aircraft complement as per July 30 1941.

2) The Fulmar acquitted itself well against SE fighters (and the Me110) but if pure performance was the only issue then the USN's F4F-4 would have been slaughtered by the Zero, but this didn't happen - air combat is much more than simple performance, and the tactical situation plays a greater part then simple stats. The Fulmar has superior range compared to the 109T, the observer means that it is less likely to be bounced and more likely to spot its opponent first, and it is somewhat more rugged. A Fulmar pilot is more likely to use full throttle than a 109T pilot, flying with rapidly depleting fuel, far from his carrier. If the Fulmars can gain firing position they can easily down a 109T and a combined Fulmar/Sea Hurricane CAP would quickly decimate any KM strike. The 109T does outperform the Fulmar but is heavier and slower than the comparable 109e. Additionally the FAA has Sea Hurricanes available from mid 1941 onward, and these could have replaced all of the Fulmars on Furious and some of the Fulmars on the other RN CVs. The Fulmar can also be configured as a strike fighter with 2 x 250lb bombs. The Martlet is also coming into service on the RN CVs by mid-late 1941. Against Nagumo, FAA Albacores were detected vusually and one of 2 were downed by Zeros but the excellent weather in the IO certainly played a part. The 2nd Albacore was damaged and lost contact only minutes before sunset, when it would have been safe from interception and could have guided a night strike onto the IJN CVs. During the channel dash 6 Swordfish were intercepted by an overwhelming number of Fw190s yet some of these Swordfish still managed to release their torpedoes within striking range. GZ will have fewer ships, no land based air and little likelihood of detecting the strike in time to launch a full CAP, and the strike will have a Fulmar escort, that may or may not also attempt a DB strike. The FAA Albacores will also likely be armed with bombs for the initial strike to knock out GZ, making interception even less likely during the dive phase of the bomb run.

3) assuming they can achieve a rendezvous.

4) The FAA can find and attack the KM force at night, through cloud and in much worse weather than any other naval airforce by using ASV radar. RN AW radar can vector its fighters onto recon and incoming strike forces long before they reach visual range of the RN forces. The FAA only needs a single bomber to get through for GZ to be placed out of action and the short endurance of the 109T and poor (or non existent) KM AW radar means that intercepting FAA strikes is quite unlikely, as would be successful KM recon against RN CV task forces. Tirpitz in March 1942 only spotted Albacore recon aircraft visually - no AW radar warning!

BTW, Tovey's carriers did refuel at sea in July 1941 from RFA Ranger for the raid on Kirkenes.

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Re: Tirpitz and Graf Zeppelin 1941

Post by dunmunro » Sat Dec 03, 2011 11:48 pm

The RN could and did refuel at sea in mid 1941:

http://www.historicalrfa.org/rfa-black-ranger

It was RFA Black Ranger that supported Tovey.

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Re: Tirpitz and Graf Zeppelin 1941

Post by srgt rock » Sun Dec 04, 2011 5:57 pm

dunmunro wrote:The RN could and did refuel at sea in mid 1941:

http://www.historicalrfa.org/rfa-black-ranger

It was RFA Black Ranger that supported Tovey.
Thank you for that information. I have found that as you research more of the details of WW II, you learn that more was being done sooner than is commonly stated in most publications.

The relative merits of the Fulmar vs 109T in range are favoring the Fulmar. As far as combat experience, the 109Ts were being actively being used in JG 77 and would therefore the pilots would be experienced in air combat. I give the air combat experience to the Germans.

Rendezvous between the elements of the Northern Battle Group would be: The supply group would have already been positioned either in Trondheim or Narvik. The supply group would sortie once the other elements of the Northern Battle Group completed the first phase of their breakout.

I just finished reading Burke's book Without wings; Hitler's aircraft carrier, and it appears GZ had air search radars that Tirpitz did not carry. German radar wasn't as good as the British but they still had it.

I don't see the breakout through the Iceland-Faroes gap to be without a battle. Even giving the 1in 3 odds of success, it would have been acceptable odds if your goal as the KM was to throw everything you had at the British before further entry of the US Navy into the conflict. The winner of the initial air battle determines whether break out is successful.

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Re: Tirpitz and Graf Zeppelin 1941

Post by delcyros » Mon Dec 05, 2011 2:03 pm

dunmunro wrote: 2) The Fulmar acquitted itself well against SE fighters (and the Me110) but if pure performance was the only issue then the USN's F4F-4 would have been slaughtered by the Zero, but this didn't happen - air combat is much more than simple performance, and the tactical situation plays a greater part then simple stats. The Fulmar has superior range compared to the 109T, the observer means that it is less likely to be bounced and more likely to spot its opponent first, and it is somewhat more rugged. A Fulmar pilot is more likely to use full throttle than a 109T pilot, flying with rapidly depleting fuel, far from his carrier. If the Fulmars can gain firing position they can easily down a 109T and a combined Fulmar/Sea Hurricane CAP would quickly decimate any KM strike. The 109T does outperform the Fulmar but is heavier and slower than the comparable 109e. Additionally the FAA has Sea Hurricanes available from mid 1941 onward, and these could have replaced all of the Fulmars on Furious and some of the Fulmars on the other RN CVs. The Fulmar can also be configured as a strike fighter with 2 x 250lb bombs.
Without intending to sidetrack the discussion I would like to point out that I have seen no evidence for the claim that the Fulmar has superior range to the Bf-109T. Please note, and that´s important, that the conditions at which range figures are cited by both sides differ greatly. In the UK, range is given under the condition of most economical speed for agiven gross weight while in Germany, preference was to state range under the condition of maximum permissable cruise speed. When comparing range figures, this needs to be paid attention to before attempting comparative conclusions.

The bf-109T is heavier but not slower than the bf-109E. "heavier" as a term may be misleading because weight is not a very determining factor in aerial combat.
Weight needs to be taken in relative terms, relative to lift generating forces for questions of service ceiling, stall speed and relative to power generation for questions of climb, acceleration and turning envelope. The wingload is lighter on the bf-109T (thanks to it´s larger wingarea) and the weight is countered by a more powerful and more economical engine (Db-601N, running on C3 fuels instead of Db-601A, running on B4 fuels). The adoption of the Db-601N meant hat the speed didn´t dropped compared to the Bf-109E, nor did the acceleration changed (power/weight ratio identical). The combination of larger wingarea and identic power/weight resulted in an even more maneuverable fighter, except for the roll rate, which dropped owing to the larger span.
The bf-109T is really fast for a naval fighter. 357mph or 575km/h acc to the Datenblatt, a good 40mph faster than the Sea-Hurricane, climb and cruise speed is better, too. By all likelyhood, the bf-109T would be expected to utilise it´s advantages as an energy fighter in aerial combat, which would be very difficult to counter for planes with so much less acceleration. A Fulmar vs a Bf-109T is not a fair fight but that beeing said, it can go the other way, too, depending on the tactical situation

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Re: Tirpitz and Graf Zeppelin 1941

Post by Byron Angel » Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:15 pm

The aerobatic performance relationship between the F4F Wildcat and the A6M2 Zero was complicated. The Zero was faster than and out-climbed the Wildcat in just about all speed and altitude regimes. The Zero also handily out-maneuvered the Wildcat at speeds (IIRC) </= 250 kts. However, at speeds > 250 kts, the Zero's controls grew increasingly heavy, to the point of immobility at 350+ kts (working from memory here). As speed increased, the Wildcat therefore enjoyed a progressively growing advantage in roll rate and, by inference, overall maneuvarability. This control stiffness problem of the Zero also meant that the Wildcat could easily disengage by means of an extended high speed dive (altitude permitting). To make use of these advantages of the Wildcat, it was highly desirable to enter combat with altitude advantage and for the pilot to resist the temptation of being drawn into a turning fight. The Zero was not an opponent to by any means be trifled with, but there were certain performance differences which, if carefully employed, permitted the Wildcat to survive in a fight.

See Lundstrom's book "The First Team" for an interesting examination of this topic.


B

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Re: Tirpitz and Graf Zeppelin 1941

Post by dunmunro » Mon Dec 05, 2011 8:48 pm

delcyros wrote:
Without intending to sidetrack the discussion I would like to point out that I have seen no evidence for the claim that the Fulmar has superior range to the Bf-109T. Please note, and that´s important, that the conditions at which range figures are cited by both sides differ greatly. In the UK, range is given under the condition of most economical speed for agiven gross weight while in Germany, preference was to state range under the condition of maximum permissable cruise speed. When comparing range figures, this needs to be paid attention to before attempting comparative conclusions.

The bf-109T is heavier but not slower than the bf-109E. "heavier" as a term may be misleading because weight is not a very determining factor in aerial combat.
Weight needs to be taken in relative terms, relative to lift generating forces for questions of service ceiling, stall speed and relative to power generation for questions of climb, acceleration and turning envelope. The wingload is lighter on the bf-109T (thanks to it´s larger wingarea) and the weight is countered by a more powerful and more economical engine (Db-601N, running on C3 fuels instead of Db-601A, running on B4 fuels). The adoption of the Db-601N meant hat the speed didn´t dropped compared to the Bf-109E, nor did the acceleration changed (power/weight ratio identical). The combination of larger wingarea and identic power/weight resulted in an even more maneuverable fighter, except for the roll rate, which dropped owing to the larger span.
The bf-109T is really fast for a naval fighter. 357mph or 575km/h acc to the Datenblatt, a good 40mph faster than the Sea-Hurricane, climb and cruise speed is better, too. By all likelyhood, the bf-109T would be expected to utilise it´s advantages as an energy fighter in aerial combat, which would be very difficult to counter for planes with so much less acceleration. A Fulmar vs a Bf-109T is not a fair fight but that beeing said, it can go the other way, too, depending on the tactical situation
The 109T was undoubtedly much faster at its rated altitude ( Whitely states 568km/hr at 20000ft), but naval combat is typically conducted at low altitude, and at low altitude the gap would narrow considerably, as the Fulmar was optimized for low altitude performance. The 109T being heavier and with greater frontal area will also be slower at low altitude than an equivalent 109E-7n. The 109T only carried 88 igals of fuel versus 155 igals in the Fulmar. The 109t/DB601n was more efficient at cruise, but there's still no way it can match a Fulmar in range which was 980 miles (1580km, 5.9 hrs at 27 ig/hr). For naval combat the range at econ cruising is very important since an escort fighter will have accompany the much slower strike bombers, and when flying CAP endurance is also critical. The Sea Hurricane had an endurance of about 3.3 hrs with a range of about 700 miles. The performance difference between the Sea Hurricane and 109T will be pretty minimal under 10000ft with the Sea Hurricane using the 5min combat rating.

However, as I stated before naval air combat is far more about the tactical situation than the simple performance stats of the aircraft, and the longer strike range of FAA aircraft combined with ASV and AW radars gave them a considerable tactical advantage. Most WW2 aircraft that were shot down never saw their assailant. If a Fulmar sights a 109T first, it has just as much chance of downing it as when the situation is reversed and the two seat Fulmar has more chance of making the initial sighting, especially when vectored by AW radar.

I have no doubt that the KM developed AW radars, but I see no evidence for their use prior to 1942.

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Re: Tirpitz and Graf Zeppelin 1941

Post by Pandora » Mon Dec 05, 2011 10:10 pm

Fulmar vs 109T? no chance for Fulmar. not even in the same league.

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Re: Tirpitz and Graf Zeppelin 1941

Post by delcyros » Mon Dec 05, 2011 11:32 pm

Dear Dunmonro,

are You aware how fast the Bf-109T with 100oct fuel and Db-601N was on the deck? It could do 475 km/h (295 mp/h) with Db-601N and 2600rpm take off power (5 min boost). Using 2800 rpm (1 minute boost, allowed only under 1000m altitude) emergancy rating would add 10 mp/h to that figure. It´s slower than the Bf-109E3 at the deck but not by much. That´s 70 to 80 mp/h faster than the Fulmar mk1 (=230mp/h at sea level) and 20 to 30 mp/h faster than the Hurricane with 12lbs boost at sea level (=275 mp/h). Acceleration, initial and sustained climb are much better too. I rate acceleration much more important than top speed.
power/weight:
Bf109T: MTOW 3080kg power 1175hp = 0.38
Hurricane mk2:
Fulmar mk2: weight: 4652kg, power 1300hp = 0.28
The Fulmar may be more rugged by benefit of sheer size but it´s going to receive 20mm mine rounds in addition to the usual 7.9mm hits, which makes me wonder whether or not the disadvantage of the significantly larger target area really makes up for the advantage to absorb damage (size helps doing that). It´s neither as maneuverable, nor as fast, nor as good in climb, dive roll or acceleration,
Operating off Norway, the FAA Fulmar´s were unable to cope with Bf-109T and Bf-110d there, which often left the planes escorted by them open to attack.

With regard to range, most Bf-109T2 had center rack for either a 300ltr drop tank or a 250kg bomb. Added to the 302kg internal fuel volume this equals to 513kg.
Most economical cruise speed would be at 310 to 360 km/h (the former with drop tank, the latter 236 mp/h without) at sea level, slightly faster than the Fulmar´s max speed at this altitude raising to 380 to 450 km/h (the former again with drop tank) at 5000m altitude for which 600hp are required each. Fuel consumption according to Datenblatt Db601N is 123kg/h for this power, allowing for 4 hours sustained cruise with a resulting theoretical range in excess of 1000mls according to british range taking specification. In german practice, using max. permissable sustained speed (950hp without time limit, making 440km/h at sea level and 525km/h at altitude) a fuel of 205kg/h was consumed, while the tank volume allowed for range calculation was 80% instead of 100%, resulting in only 2 hours total endurance with a range of ca. 965km or 600mls with drop tanks.
Last edited by delcyros on Mon Dec 05, 2011 11:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Tirpitz and Graf Zeppelin 1941

Post by dunmunro » Mon Dec 05, 2011 11:35 pm

Pandora wrote:Fulmar vs 109T? no chance for Fulmar. not even in the same league.
Fulmar kill claims, as of 28 Nov 1941:

Admiralty figures from 28 Nov '41.



Fulmar Kills
3 x Cant 501
10 x Cant 506
1 x Cant 1007
1 x Cant ?
22 x Sm 79
2 x SM 83
1 x Do 18
1 x Do 24
3 x He 111
6 x Ju 88
5 x Ju 52
6 x Ju 87
1 x BR 20
1 x Cap 133
2 x Me 110
1 x Me 109
2 x CR 42

summary:
73 kills
10 probables
37 damaged



Fulmar losses:
2 x Me 109
5 x SM 79
1 x SM 83
1 x Cant 506
1 x Cant 1007
1 x Ju88
1 x Ju52
1 x Ju87
1 x CR 42
1 x unknown (CR42 or Ju 87)
1 x unknown

Summary:
16 fulmars shot down
5 fulmars damaged
11 fulmars slightly damaged

(pulled this data from another forum)

I know that over Kirkenes 9 Fulmars engaged 6 Me110s and 3 Me109s; 2 Fulmars were lost in exchange for one Me110. The Fulmars claimed 2 Me110s and a 109 and damage to several more.

During Operation Tiger, the Fulmar had already clashed with Me110s and also made kill claims for no losses (the Luftwaffe strike force could not find the convoy due to cloud) as RN AW radar allowed the Fulmars to intercept the attacking force.

During Harpoon and Pedestal the Fulmar had the following record as recorded by Shores:

Fulmar (1942) Malta related operations:
2 x CR-42
1 x D-520
2 x S-79
2 x S-84
5 x Z-1007bis

losses:

1 to CR-42
1 to Re-2001
1 to S-79
1 to Z-1007bis
1 to D-520
9 operational losses
1 to 'Friendly' AA

A high number of operational losses can be expected with CV based aircraft, and I suspect that the 109T would be no exception.

Sea Hurricanes added:

2 x Ju-87 and
9 x Ju-88's
1 x 110.
1x Z-506B
3 x Cr-42
1 x MC-200
5 x S-79
3 x S-84
2 x Z-1007bis
1 x Ju-87(Ita)

Sea Hurricanes lost in air:

1 to 110
1 to MC-200
3 to Re-2001
2 to Ju-88
1 to He-111
1 to "Friendly" AA

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Re: Tirpitz and Graf Zeppelin 1941

Post by dunmunro » Mon Dec 05, 2011 11:55 pm

delcyros wrote:Dear Dunmonro,

are You aware how fast the Bf-109T with 100oct fuel and Db-601N was on the deck? It could do 475 km/h (295 mp/h) with Db-601N and 2600rpm take off power (5 min boost). Using 2800 rpm (1 minute boost, allowed only under 1000m altitude) emergancy rating would add 10 mp/h to that figure. It´s slower than the Bf-109E3 at the deck but not by much. That´s 70 to 80 mp/h faster than the Fulmar mk1 (=230mp/h at sea level) and 20 to 30 mp/h faster than the Hurricane with 12lbs boost at sea level (=275 mp/h). Acceleration, initial and sustained climb are much better too. I rate acceleration much more important than top speed.
power/weight:
Bf109T: MTOW 3080kg power 1175hp = 0.38
Hurricane mk2:
Fulmar mk2: weight: 4652kg, power 1300hp = 0.28
The Fulmar may be more rugged by benefit of sheer size but it´s going to receive 20mm mine rounds in addition to the usual 7.9mm hits, which makes me wonder whether or not the disadvantage of the significantly larger target area really makes up for the advantage to absorb damage (size helps doing that). It´s neither as maneuverable, nor as fast, nor as good in climb, dive roll or acceleration,
Operating off Norway, the FAA Fulmar´s were unable to cope with Bf-109T and Bf-110d there, which often left the planes escorted by them open to attack.

With regard to range, most Bf-109T2 had center rack for either a 300ltr drop tank or a 250kg bomb. Added to the 302kg internal fuel volume this equals to 513kg.
Most economical cruise speed would be at 310 to 360 km/h (the former with drop tank, the latter 236 mp/h without) at sea level, slightly faster than the Fulmar´s max speed at this altitude raising to 380 to 450 km/h (the former again with drop tank) at 5000m altitude for which 600hp are required each. Fuel consumption according to Datenblatt Db601N is 123kg/h for this power, allowing for 4 hours sustained cruise with a resulting range in excess of 1000mls according to british range taking specification.
Fulmar II max speed at SL was ~250mph. Max speed of a Sea Hurricane I was ~285mph at SL with 12lb boost(~265mph at 6lb boost), and the Sea Hurricane I was cleared for 16lb boost with would add another ~15 mph at SL.

Again, you argue that the Zero should have wiped out the F4F...but this just isn't how combat works.

Off Kirkenes the Fulmars did not rendezvous with the Albacores, but fought their own action with an equal number of Me110 and 109s and shot down a 110 in exchange for 2 Fulmars. The Albacores that were shot down had no fighter escort and of course, some of these were lost due to flak, and the Fulmars also reported encounter heavy flak.

The Fulmar II could also carry a 60 igal DT as could the Sea Hurricane II (2 x 45igal) but there's no indication that I can find that carrier certified 109Ts could carry DTs, but this is always the problem with hypothetical scenarios as it it hard to discuss the performance of aircraft that didn't exist versus those that did. The vast majority of 109T variants were not carrier equipped and their performance stats would suffer when operating from CVs.

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Re: Tirpitz and Graf Zeppelin 1941

Post by dunmunro » Tue Dec 06, 2011 2:14 am

WINGS OF THE NAVY

Fairey Fulmar I Specification

Power Plant: One Rolls-Royce Merlin VIII 1 -cylinder 60 degree liquid-cooled engine rated at 1,080) hp at 3000 rpm for take-off and 103 5 hp at 3,000 rpm at 7,750 ft (a 2370 m) driving three-bladed constant-speed fully-featheing propeller of 11 ft 6 in (3,50 m). Fuel capacity, 155 Imp gal (705 1) in fuselage and provision for 60-gal (273 l) flush-fitting ventral tank

Performance: (At 9,800 lb 4445 kg with 100 octane fuel and 9.5lb boost) Max speed, 246 mph (396 kmfh) at sea level, 256mph (412 krn/h) at 2,400 ft, 246 mph at 9,000 ft, 220 mph at 20,000 It (6 095 m), (with 87 octane fuel and 4 lb boost), 213 mph (343 km/h) at sea level, 246 mph at 9,000 ft; initial climb, 1,105 ft/min , at 7,000 ft, 1,210 ft/min (note that the climb rate is at 4lb boost and 2600rpm!)

Weights: Empty, 6,915 lb ~3 137 kg); empty equipped, 7,384 lb (3 349 kg; normal loaded, 9.672 lb a); max take-off, 9,800 lb (4 445 kg.)
max output of the Merlin VIII was 1300hp/3000rpm at 9.75lb boost at SL (compare to climb rate boost and RPM - combat climb will be far higher!)
max output of the Merlin XXX was 1360hp/3000rpm at 12lb boost at 6000ft. (data from Merlin in Perspective, p161-2)

Note also that performance is at Max TO weight. The Fulmar II was 350 lbs lighter, empty, than the Fulmar I but carried more ammo for a TO weight of 9850lb (Secret Years states 9800/9980 for I/II) with full fuel and 10350lb with a 60igal DT or 10900lb with a DT and 2 x 250lb bombs. Almost all sources get the max weight figures wrong, but The Secret Years by Mason and Wings of the Navy.

British Carrier Aviation states 230/231 knots at 1750/9600ft for the Fulmar II.

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Re: Tirpitz and Graf Zeppelin 1941

Post by José M. Rico » Tue Dec 06, 2011 7:37 am

This is the report from the observer of Arado 196 T3 + BH Oberleutnant Gottschalk of the battleshp Tirpitz, dated 9 March 1942. I'm sure you guys will find it interesting. :wink:
"Shortly before take-off from the Tirpitz, 2 enemy surveillance aircraft were detected. Ar 196 T3 + BH is started at 0932 hours with orders to chase away the surveillance aircraft. Weather conditions: ceiling 700-900 meters, with breaks 200 meters in width, wind NE, 40 km/hr, visibility more than 50 km, seas 4.

40 km behind the ship is the first surveillance plane, a “Farey Albacore”. At the sighting we are in a position of disadvantage, lower than the enemy plane. Enemy plane turns for the approach, but flies past my tail assembly from right to left 50 meters higher due to underestimating my speed. Therefore, I have the position of advantage and obtain several hits with the observer’s machine gun.

During 2 further approaches from the side, aircraft commander Feldwebel Schmitt scores several more hits with the cannon and machine gun. After the 3rd approach, during which the observer’s machine gun also got off some shots, the enemy plane at first gave off a white and then increasingly blacker smoke trail. It then withdrew into the clouds. During my pursuit I noticed 200 meters behind me another “Farey Albacore” break through the clouds. The aircraft commander veers off and flies toward the new aircraft with a side approach and he achieves several hits with the cannon and machine gun from the middle of the fuselage to the tail section. While turning away I scored some further hits with the observer’s machine gun. The enemy plane pulls away into the clouds, reappears several more times out of the clouds; we attack immediately. But the aircraft always breaks off the fight and pulls back up into the clouds.

Most of the time we do not get into a firing position and we could give short burst only twice, and then each time they withdrew into the clouds. The enemy observer does not fire during these attacks anymore; he must have been disabled during the first approach. Shortly after 1000 hours the enemy aircraft pops out from the clouds and flies away in a northern direction. We pursued and the aircraft commander is able to fire into the tail scoring several observed hits. During the pursuit we encounter approximately 20 enemy aircraft (Swordfish), but we must pull up into the clouds due to ammunition shortage, then we fly into the vicinity of the ship which is engaged in the defense against aerial torpedo attacks. Above the ship – approximate time 1025 – we encounter 6 more Swordfish in the clouds at 1,000-1,200 meters altitude which intend to attack us on sight. We pull back into the clouds and fly to the Norwegian coast due to ammunition shortage, ignorance of exact position, and heavy consumption of fuel during the aerial fights. We landed in Bodö.

The English aircraft are clearly inferior in speed, maneuverability and firepower compared to our ship’s Arado 196 aircraft. Our own aircraft sustained no hits.

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