Mitsubishi A7M Versus Grumman F6F

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Sputnik 1, Jun 12, 2019.

  1. MatthewB Well-Known Member

    May 15, 2019
    Ontario, Canada
    IDK, it seems that Japan only went half way on their carrier program. Non-folding aircraft demanding hangar space, inadequate protection from fire designed into the ships, poor damage control procedures from the crews, slow and dangerous CAG turnaround and rearming/refueling procedures, no radar, no catapults, inadequate AA, etc, etc. And lastly an insufficient aircraft and pilot replacement scheme.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019
    Sputnik 1 likes this.
  2. sloreck Grunt Bear

    Aug 4, 2008
    In general Japanese fighters went for maneuverability to be "knife fighters" at the cost of armor, self sealing tanks, more armament etc. Once Allied pilots knew that playing the knife fight game with Zeros et al was a losing game, even the best Japanese pilots were at a disadvantage. US naval aircraft could take more damage, had more power, could out-dive, etc so they had the option whether to play or go around. Controlling the fight is a huge advantage.
  3. TonyA Curmudgeon like, but nastier

    Jul 5, 2015
    South Florida
    "Bringing a knife to a gun fight", as the saying goes...
    Sputnik 1 and Zincwarrior like this.
  4. tomo pauk Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2016
    I don't think that anybody managed to specify an aircraft in one year and field it in another (bar the He 162?).

    IJN dropped the ball with their fighters' development:
    - Raiden specified as land-based fighter, instead of demanding the carrier-borne fighter design 1st to be made
    - messing with floatplane fighters, instead of having a competing design for a fighter by Kawainshi by 1942
    - not insisting with having Zero powered by either Kinsei or Ha-109 by 1942/43 assorted issues (no co-operation with IJA when possible (and vice-versa, of course), lack of protection on Zero until too late and with performance penalty, questionable quality and quantity of installed radios etc).

    Zero of 1943 was a much better fighter than version(s) from 1941 (better engines & radios, better performance, improved armament), however by that time Japanese were out-played and out-numbered.
    Sputnik 1 likes this.
  5. PhilKearny Free Bill Cameron! Free TFSmith121, too!

    Aug 9, 2009
    The Mustang is pretty close to that. UK ordered the Mustang/NA-73 in March of 1940, with no design yet fixed. The prototype NA-73X was rolled out in September 1940, just 102 days after the order had been placed; it first flew on 26 October 1940, 149 days into the contract, according to Wikipedia. The initial Mustang arrived in the UK in October 1941, and the first Mustang Mk Is entered service in January 1942.
    Sputnik 1 likes this.
  6. hardrada55 Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2011
    Have the original 16-Shi Japanese Navy specifications for the successor to Mitsubishi's A6M "Zero" fighter ever surfaced?

    As I understand it, there was a delay in starting design work on the 16-Shi design for a successor to the new A6M in 1940 and 1941 because of problems with development of the 14-Shi Mitsubishi J2M land based interceptor "Raiden" and the illness of chief designer Jiro Horikoshi. By the time Mitsubishi was able to return work on the successor to the Zero, it was April of 1942 and the specifications had been updated to the 17-Shi version. The 17-Shi specifications resulted in the Mitsubishi A7M "Sam" carrier fighter.
  7. Jellico Well-Known Member

    Dec 14, 2017
    It is called the all mighty yen.

    Rich and powerful nations like the British Empire or especially the US could/can afford all the little trimmings to do most things competently. Not just in the military. Little things like rule of law, workplace health and safety, and tackling corruption. The little little things add up as force multipliers and make these nations into highly flexible, resilient behemoths.

    Poorer nations can't afford the trimmings and tend to specialize. They have certain things that they do very, very well. To a degree that they can outperform the rich nation in specific fields. But they aren't as flexible and are a lot more brittle.

    None of this is a judgement. Just an acknowledgement that nice things have costs and not everyone can afford them.
    chad, eltf177 and Sputnik 1 like this.