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P51 Mustang Vs. Japanese Zero

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Mustang Vs. Zero, who'd win it?

P51 Mustang
53
73%
Japanese Zero
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27%
 
Total votes : 73

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Wilgrove
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P51 Mustang Vs. Japanese Zero

Postby Wilgrove » Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:11 pm

Two of the most infamous aircraft of World War II, the American P-51 Mustang vs. The Japanese Zero.

First some notes on the two legendary Aircraft.

Japanese Zero wrote:When it was introduced early in World War II, the Zero was the best carrier-based fighter in the world, combining excellent maneuverability and very long range.[1] In early combat operations, the Zero gained a legendary reputation as a "dogfighter", achieving the outstanding kill ratio of 12 to 1.


P51-Mustang wrote:The North American Aviation P-51 Mustang was an American long-range single-seat World War II fighter aircraft. Designed and built in just 117 days to a specification issued to NAA by the British Purchasing Commission, the Mustang first flew in Royal Air Force (RAF) service as a fighter-bomber and reconnaissance aircraft before conversion to a bomber escort, employed in raids over Germany, helping ensure Allied air superiority from early 1944.


The scenario, a Summer morning in the Pacific Ocean, 1944, both aircrafts are launched from carriers and meet in the skies above. Who will win?

Honestly, I can see how either aircraft would win. The Japanese Zero had a larger barrel size on it's gun (20mm as opposed to the Mustang's 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine guns, and while the Mustangs were excellent fighter aircraft (found great use as an escort), the Japanese Zero were designed to BE dog fighters. However, the Mustang did have a better engine and better aerodynamics, which would give it an advantage.

I'd have to say, in a knock out drag out dogfight, the Mustang would win, mainly because it did have a better engine and fuselage design. The 20mm cannon won't do you any good if you can't swing your aircraft around fast enough to aim.
Last edited by Wilgrove on Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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The Black Forrest
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Postby The Black Forrest » Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:41 pm

Well you to consider the timing for the P-51's entrance in the pacific. Much of the Japanese air core was gone.

They racked up a reasonable number of fighter kills.

I had a great-uncle who flew one in the Pacific. He was in the 426th I think. Escapes me at the moment.

A book you can read about this topic is:

Very long range P-51 Mustang units of the Pacific War By Carl Molesworth
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Lacadaemon
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Postby Lacadaemon » Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:49 pm

Teh P-51 was a british designed escort fighter/ground attack plane. And the zero was a total rip off of the pre-war hughes. Neither of them are particularly good examples of a pure fighter, so it isn't a fair comparison (given the different mission types).

A far better thread would be Gloster Meteor v. Messerschmitt Me 262.

Probably the Me 262 would win that one. But its engines were considerably crapper than the Gloster.
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Imperial isa
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Postby Imperial isa » Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:57 pm

whats a P51 doing on a carrier ?
Last edited by Imperial isa on Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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The Black Forrest
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Postby The Black Forrest » Sat Mar 26, 2011 12:01 am

Imperial isa wrote:whats a P51 doing on a carrier ?


They weren't. Long range escort for the B-29s......
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Harata
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Postby Harata » Sat Mar 26, 2011 12:05 am

This depends on what type of Zero you mean. The A6M1's were considerably inferior to the P51, but the A6M5's were a lot closer to being on par with the P51. Though by the time the A6M5's were introduced most of the experienced Japanese pilots were dead.
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Imperial isa
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Postby Imperial isa » Sat Mar 26, 2011 12:06 am

The Black Forrest wrote:
Imperial isa wrote:whats a P51 doing on a carrier ?


They weren't. Long range escort for the B-29s......

Read the OP post again
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Postby Arkinesia » Sat Mar 26, 2011 12:06 am

It depends on a lot of factors. Ultimately I'd pick the Mustang, honestly. Its advantages outweigh its cons.
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Postby Lacadaemon » Sat Mar 26, 2011 12:10 am

Though if we go in the 4square of the competition, the p51 had a much faster climb I think, so it would normally win.

(TEH RR engines FTW).
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Postby Potarius » Sat Mar 26, 2011 12:54 am

The two barely met in combat and served in completely different theatres during their heyday. They were also designed for different roles.

The P-51 Mustang was mainly an escort fighter, whereas the A6M2 Zero was designed completely as an air superiority aircraft, and it was superior until the introduction of the Hellcat and Corsair.
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Postby Lacadaemon » Sat Mar 26, 2011 12:56 am

Potarius wrote:The two barely met in combat and served in completely different theatres during their heyday. They were also designed for different roles.

The P-51 Mustang was mainly an escort fighter, whereas the A6M2 Zero was designed completely as an air superiority aircraft, and it was superior until the introduction of the Hellcat and Corsair.


What you say is true. But the P51 that entered service was an end of the war fighter, whereas the Zero was distinctly pre war. Also the Zero couldn't turn left I think.
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Postby Potarius » Sat Mar 26, 2011 12:57 am

Lacadaemon wrote:Though if we go in the 4square of the competition, the p51 had a much faster climb I think, so it would normally win.

(TEH RR engines FTW).


The rate of climb for the P-51D was a whopping 100 feet per second faster than the A6M2 (3,200 fpm vs 3,100 fpm), but its top speed was above and beyond. However, the Zero could turn circles inside the P-51's turning radius, and pull of maneuvers that were purely impossible on the Mustang's heavier airframe.
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Postby Potarius » Sat Mar 26, 2011 1:00 am

Lacadaemon wrote:
Potarius wrote:The two barely met in combat and served in completely different theatres during their heyday. They were also designed for different roles.

The P-51 Mustang was mainly an escort fighter, whereas the A6M2 Zero was designed completely as an air superiority aircraft, and it was superior until the introduction of the Hellcat and Corsair.


What you say is true. But the P51 that entered service was an end of the war fighter, whereas the Zero was distinctly pre war. Also the Zero couldn't turn left I think.


A pre-war fighter that held superiority until the appearance of (comparably) much more modern aircraft. Not too bad; the Zero was the most advanced fighter in the world when it was new.

That's a bit of a misnomer. Left aileron performance on the A6M2 (this was fixed by the time of the A6M5) was less responsive than that of the right aileron, but not by enough to really hinder performance. It still had a far superior roll rate to that of the P-40B, Spitfire Mk.I, and Bf-109E-4, which were its contemporaries.
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Postby Lacadaemon » Sat Mar 26, 2011 1:00 am

Potarius wrote:
Lacadaemon wrote:Though if we go in the 4square of the competition, the p51 had a much faster climb I think, so it would normally win.

(TEH RR engines FTW).


The rate of climb for the P-51D was a whopping 100 feet per second faster than the A6M2 (3,200 fpm vs 3,100 fpm), but its top speed was above and beyond. However, the Zero could turn circles inside the P-51's turning radius, and pull of maneuvers that were purely impossible on the Mustang's heavier airframe.


Climb rate is massive in air combat because it equals energy. So you have an altitude advantage going in.

Also it means you can throw someone on your tail b/c of ballistics.
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Postby Wikipedia and Universe » Sat Mar 26, 2011 1:01 am

I'd say the 'Stang but I think a more interesting scenario, had the war dragged on past 1945 and into Operation Downfall, would be the Nakajima Kikka vs. P-80 Shooting Star. :ugeek:

Unfortunately I'd say the Kikka would have a better chance since it was based on the Me-262, which was later found to be superior to the P-80 in postwar tests. According to Chuck Yeager, who piloted countless test aircraft, the first US platform to outclass the Me-262 was in fact the Sabre. The P-80 however could beat it using some proper tactics.
Last edited by Wikipedia and Universe on Sat Mar 26, 2011 1:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Lacadaemon » Sat Mar 26, 2011 1:02 am

Potarius wrote:
Lacadaemon wrote:
What you say is true. But the P51 that entered service was an end of the war fighter, whereas the Zero was distinctly pre war. Also the Zero couldn't turn left I think.


A pre-war fighter that held superiority until the appearance of (comparably) much more modern aircraft. Not too bad; the Zero was the most advanced fighter in the world when it was new.

That's a bit of a misnomer. Left aileron performance on the A6M2 (this was fixed by the time of the A6M5) was less responsive than that of the right aileron, but not by enough to really hinder performance. It still had a far superior roll rate to that of the P-40B, Spitfire Mk.I, and Bf-109E-4, which were its contemporaries.


Hmm. And you seem to have studied this a lot more than I have, so I'll stop being a wind up prick .
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Postby Potarius » Sat Mar 26, 2011 1:05 am

Lacadaemon wrote:
Potarius wrote:
The rate of climb for the P-51D was a whopping 100 feet per second faster than the A6M2 (3,200 fpm vs 3,100 fpm), but its top speed was above and beyond. However, the Zero could turn circles inside the P-51's turning radius, and pull of maneuvers that were purely impossible on the Mustang's heavier airframe.


Climb rate is massive in air combat because it equals energy. So you have an altitude advantage going in.

Also it means you can throw someone on your tail b/c of ballistics.


This is true, yeah. But, in terms of pure climb rate when climbing to altitude, 100 feet per minute is barely an advantage at all. The Zero was an outstanding energy and stall fighter because of its high power-to-weight ratio (294 watts per kilogram --- only 6 watts less than the P-51D) and low wing loading. The P-51D, however, retained energy far better because of the laminar flow wings. It excelled at "boom & zoom", or diving from above, making an attack run, and climbing back up to altitude to repeat the process. This is something the Zero couldn't do, and if it was forced into a situation like this, its pilot would have a very difficult time coming out untouched.
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Postby Potarius » Sat Mar 26, 2011 1:08 am

Lacadaemon wrote:
Potarius wrote:
A pre-war fighter that held superiority until the appearance of (comparably) much more modern aircraft. Not too bad; the Zero was the most advanced fighter in the world when it was new.

That's a bit of a misnomer. Left aileron performance on the A6M2 (this was fixed by the time of the A6M5) was less responsive than that of the right aileron, but not by enough to really hinder performance. It still had a far superior roll rate to that of the P-40B, Spitfire Mk.I, and Bf-109E-4, which were its contemporaries.


Hmm. And you seem to have studied this a lot more than I have, so I'll stop being a wind up prick .


Yeah, there's a reason the A6M2 had a 12 to 1 kill ratio before 1942.

Not to mention the fact that I've logged thousands of hours on WWII flight sims over the years. In fact, if I had the desktop space for my joystick and throttle, I'd still be playing Aces High II. I miss the massive air assaults, coordinating strikes with my fellow countrymen. *sigh*
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Postby Potarius » Sat Mar 26, 2011 1:12 am

Wilgrove wrote:The scenario, a Summer morning in the Pacific Ocean, 1944, both aircrafts are launched from carriers and meet in the skies above. Who will win?


The Zero, because a P-51 can't take off from a carrier. Are you serious, or do you just know squat about these aircraft?
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Postby New Kilballyowen » Sat Mar 26, 2011 1:20 am

Potarius wrote:
Wilgrove wrote:The scenario, a Summer morning in the Pacific Ocean, 1944, both aircrafts are launched from carriers and meet in the skies above. Who will win?


The Zero, because a P-51 can't take off from a carrier. Are you serious, or do you just know squat about these aircraft?


That is an excellent point.

Now, were both planes to take off from land bases, the P-51 would destroy the Zero. You have to figure, P-40 Warhawks and F4F Wildcats were able to hold their own against the Zero by playing to their strengths. The P-51 is so superior to the Zero that it wouldn't even be a fair fight. The P-51 is faster, has a better rate of climb (negating one of the main advantages the Zero had over earlier American fighters), a better dive rate, and then all the advantages that even the earlier American fighters possessed, what with self-sealing fuel tanks and all that.
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Postby Potarius » Sat Mar 26, 2011 1:22 am

New Kilballyowen wrote:
Potarius wrote:
The Zero, because a P-51 can't take off from a carrier. Are you serious, or do you just know squat about these aircraft?


That is an excellent point.

Now, were both planes to take off from land bases, the P-51 would destroy the Zero. You have to figure, P-40 Warhawks and F4F Wildcats were able to hold their own against the Zero by playing to their strengths. The P-51 is so superior to the Zero that it wouldn't even be a fair fight. The P-51 is faster, has a better rate of climb (negating one of the main advantages the Zero had over earlier American fighters), a better dive rate, and then all the advantages that even the earlier American fighters possessed, what with self-sealing fuel tanks and all that.


If by "hold their own" you mean "put up a fight and still lose horribly", then yeah, they did. :P

The rest of it is nothing but accurate. The P-51D can make an encounter with an A6M2 its fight every single time because it has so many performance advantages. That doesn't mean it will win every time, but it has a much, much easier time accomplishing that.
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Postby Voek » Sat Mar 26, 2011 1:29 am

Probably depends on the pilot.
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Postby Vonners » Sat Mar 26, 2011 1:35 am

Lacadaemon wrote:Teh P-51 was a british designed escort fighter/ground attack plane. And the zero was a total rip off of the pre-war hughes. Neither of them are particularly good examples of a pure fighter, so it isn't a fair comparison (given the different mission types).

A far better thread would be Gloster Meteor v. Messerschmitt Me 262.

Probably the Me 262 would win that one. But its engines were considerably crapper than the Gloster.


and the 51 was utterly kack with the Allison engine...needed the Merlin to make it really fly...
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Postby Maurepas » Sat Mar 26, 2011 1:59 am

Um...didn't it kind of already win in the knock down, drag out fight? :unsure:

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Postby Cerean » Sat Mar 26, 2011 3:58 am

Potarius wrote:
Lacadaemon wrote:


Another AHII vet :hug:
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