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#3169703 - 01/01/11 09:40 PM SPAD XIII versus S.E.5a  
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Josh Echo Offline
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I'm not particularly familiar with the S.E.5a, so take this all with a grain of salt.

The other day I was on a server with mirrored planesets, and I was flying a SPAD XIII. I spotted a pair of S.E.5a's at maximum range. We were both a few hundred feet off the ground, and I decided not to engage. I turned away from them and headed almost directly away from them, toward my airfield. Well, over the next several minutes, they gradually caught up to me, and by the time I reached my airfield I was forced to turn around and fight the pair of them because they were within gun range.

I was flying with the ball centered, wings level, mixture precisely optimized for my altitude and the radiator approximately optimized. I was low on fuel and my engine was undamaged. I don't know what else I could have done to increase my speed. Now, I understand that even relatively small energy advantages can be dragged out for several minutes, giving a slower aircraft the appearance of being faster, but these two aircraft were at almost exactly the same altitude as I was when I spotted them, and I did an energy-efficient turn when I broke away from them. But they never stopped catching up as the minutes dragged on.

I can't think of a logical conclusion other than that the S.E.5a is faster than the SPAD XIII at sea level, contrary to the information in the Rise of Flight store. If this is the case, then what can the SPAD XIII do against the S.E.5a? It's true that, because of the over-rev thing, the SPAD XIII can safely dive at a higher speed than the S.E.5a. But because the S.E.5a is faster (assuming, of course, that it is, as indicated in the beginning of this paragraph), it'll eventually catch up to the SPAD.

I'm fairly certain that the SPAD is an inferior dogfighter, too. It turns worse, I don't think it rolls as well, and any climb advantage is generally theoretical as the S.E.5a seems to climb better during dogfighting maneuvers such as spiral climbs. However, I'm not quite solid on all this, as I've seldom had dogfights against S.E.5a's in my SPAD. Please discuss this.

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#3169708 - 01/01/11 09:46 PM Re: SPAD XIII versus S.E.5a [Re: Josh Echo]  
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Dart Offline
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Quote:

I'm fairly certain that the SPAD is an inferior dogfighter, too.


I'm fairly certain you are completely wrong.


The opinions of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

More dumb stuff at http://www.darts-page.com

From Laser:
"The forum is the place where combat (real time) flight simulator fans come to play turn based strategy combat."
#3169720 - 01/01/11 10:03 PM Re: SPAD XIII versus S.E.5a [Re: Dart]  
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Originally Posted By: Dart
Quote:

I'm fairly certain that the SPAD is an inferior dogfighter, too.


I'm fairly certain you are completely wrong.


hahaha This sounds like a challenge to me! Happy New Year beercheers

#3169731 - 01/01/11 10:21 PM Re: SPAD XIII versus S.E.5a [Re: Josh Echo]  
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I believe the SE5a is the fastest aircraft in the game at sea level. And it is faster than the Spad XIII until about 2000m.

#3169757 - 01/01/11 11:22 PM Re: SPAD XIII versus S.E.5a [Re: Josh Echo]  
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Wishing I was in the La Cloche
Originally Posted By: Josh Echo
...what can the SPAD XIII do against the S.E.5a?


I know this is a personal thing, but these types of ahistorical challenges are just anathema to combat flight simming in my humble opinion.
That said, the SE5 is a beast. If it wasn't for the arguable reputation of the Camel, it would have been THE Entente A/C of the war.

In any outnumbered situation in other sims, I try to drag the opponents over friendly AAA to even the odds a bit (however AAA is sorely absent in RoF).
Bottom line, if they know what they're doing and don't make a mistake, then your toast. Same can be said of any outnumbered scenario, doesn't matter what you fly...


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#3169780 - 01/02/11 12:05 AM Re: SPAD XIII versus S.E.5a [Re: Dart]  
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Josh Echo Offline
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Originally Posted By: Dart
I'm fairly certain you are completely wrong.


Care to expound? I know the SPAD XIII very well and the S.E.5a rather little, but even so I generally have much less difficulty dogfighting in the S.E.5a than in the SPAD. However, as I said in my initial post, I don't know the S.E.5a very well so it's quite possible (or even probable) that I'm simply not familiar enough with it to know its strengths and weaknesses. Perhaps you can point out the ways that the S.E.5a is an inferior dogfighter to the SPAD.

#3169815 - 01/02/11 01:20 AM Re: SPAD XIII versus S.E.5a [Re: Josh Echo]  
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The SE5a could be a bit faster and a bit more handy. 100 feet off the ground is really the wrong place for either plane, but even more so the SPAD. The SPAD is more rugged plane and a better diver ... not something that is of great value on the deck but it is a huge advantage with a bit of altitude. If you had some alt and put the SPAD in a shallow dive I bet that you would have got away.

The SPAD and the SE5a often had basically the same engine, but the SPAD was a bit heavier and, with a two bay configuration, probably more draggy.

Last edited by PatrickAWilson; 01/02/11 01:24 AM.
#3169818 - 01/02/11 01:27 AM Re: SPAD XIII versus S.E.5a [Re: Josh Echo]  
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Against 2 you don't have a chance but I assume you mean against 1?

The SE5 is definitely the fastest down low, so fast that on bombing runs I cross the lines at 10metre altitude and totally ignore every aircraft above, by the time I'm seen they can't catch me smile

To be honest I don't know what to do except don't turn the same direction, make them keep reversing their turn to lose energy. Also drag them under a furball and someone will clear you 6

On the corsairs server SPAD vs SPAD or SE5 the outcome is decided by who gets behind first usually, you can take a head-on shot if your gunnery is ok because the SPAD is more stable gun platform. But this is playing with percentages.

This will be interesting as they are my 2 favourites... I still prefer SPAD because:
-more survivable
-has a fuel gauge
-better gun position and more stable shooting
-doesn't nose up when injured
-doesn't overrev in dives
-thinner profile on extensions and pilot sits lower means VERY rarely killed on extending or running
-wings harder to damage (maybe this is in myhead but I feel safer)
-faster dive speed no one can follow

The se5 has visibility speed and turn rate

#3169827 - 01/02/11 01:41 AM Re: SPAD XIII versus S.E.5a [Re: Josh Echo]  
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Dart Offline
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I don't think the SPAD is an inferior dog fighter.

Neither did the guys who flew them.

It had great speed, was robust, a solid gun platform, and was very serviceable by ground crews.

If the SPAD was as inferior as you ellude, it would have been quickly removed from the front lines.


The opinions of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

More dumb stuff at http://www.darts-page.com

From Laser:
"The forum is the place where combat (real time) flight simulator fans come to play turn based strategy combat."
#3169838 - 01/02/11 02:13 AM Re: SPAD XIII versus S.E.5a [Re: Josh Echo]  
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Most of my tech knowledge of these machines comes from reading two books, Three Wings For the Red Baron, and Gunning for the Red Baron, both by Leon Bennett.

Both books are pretty deep on the technical end and well researched. None of the later scouts were totally dominating in every attribute. They all compromised here in order to gain there. Everything in the design of these planes was a trade off. Speed, power, climbing, diving, agility, stability, visibility, weight, strength; it was all a matter of robbing Peter to pay Paul. Consequently no scout could do it all, so planes that could hold their own in a fight stayed in service, in spite of their short comings.

#3169901 - 01/02/11 05:05 AM Re: SPAD XIII versus S.E.5a [Re: Taipan]  
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Josh Echo Offline
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Originally Posted By: Taipan
On the corsairs server SPAD vs SPAD or SE5 the outcome is decided by who gets behind first usually


Hmm, it depends. Most of the guys who fly there are good at furballing but not so good at duelling. If I'm attacked by a single S.E.5a I can usually outmaneuver it; the SPAD seems to be able to turn tighter, although the S.E.5a turns faster and retains energy better, and I think the S.E.5a climbs more during the turn. But in my experience a few scissors shakes most lone S.E.5a pilots off my tail and then I can out-turn them or force them to stall, or something along that lines. I suspect, however, that I am only able to do this because I haven't encountered a really good S.E.5a pilot yet.

Originally Posted By: Taipan
I still prefer SPAD because:
-more survivable
-has a fuel gauge
-better gun position and more stable shooting
-doesn't nose up when injured
-doesn't overrev in dives
-thinner profile on extensions and pilot sits lower means VERY rarely killed on extending or running
-wings harder to damage (maybe this is in myhead but I feel safer)
-faster dive speed no one can follow

The se5 has visibility speed and turn rate


Yep, and don't forget that the SPAD is the only aircraft in the sim with a real slip-and-skid indicator! Very useful. And you're completely right that the wings are harder to damage in the SPAD. I'm appalled at how easily my wings are shot off whenever I fly the S.E.5a. But, still, overall I think I much prefer the S.E.5a as a flying ship. If it weren't my loyalty to the SPAD for reasons external to the sim, I would probably switch to the S.E.5a at once.

Originally Posted By: Dart
I don't think the SPAD is an inferior dog fighter.
Neither did the guys who flew them.
It had great speed, was robust, a solid gun platform, and was very serviceable by ground crews.
If the SPAD was as inferior as you ellude, it would have been quickly removed from the front lines.


Those attributes are excellent in a fighter, but in an actual dogfight, they are not as useful as other attributes. Thus, an airplane can be a good fighter overall while being a poor dogfighter. I would say that the SPAD was a good fighter but not a good dogfighter.

#3169912 - 01/02/11 05:38 AM Re: SPAD XIII versus S.E.5a [Re: Josh Echo]  
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Does the slip indicator help you gain energy? I haven't bothered with it to be honest yet. Does it help you in a climb or stall?

#3169924 - 01/02/11 06:04 AM Re: SPAD XIII versus S.E.5a [Re: Josh Echo]  
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Yeah, gain and retain, in level flight, climbs, turns, and dives. And yeah keeping it centered can prevent a spin, although once a stall has begun I don't watch the ball but rather go by "feel." Probably the single most useful thing about the ball is knowing how much rudder to keep turns coordinated.

#3169984 - 01/02/11 11:18 AM Re: SPAD XIII versus S.E.5a [Re: Dart]  
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Originally Posted By: Dart
I don't think the SPAD is an inferior dog fighter.

Neither did the guys who flew them.

It had great speed, was robust, a solid gun platform, and was very serviceable by ground crews.

If the SPAD was as inferior as you ellude, it would have been quickly removed from the front lines.


From reading threads at the Aerodrome I thought the USAS Spad XIIIs record on servicability was horrible, and ground crews hated them. What every ground crew and pilot wanted was a Spad made by Spad with an engine made by Hispano, these were excellent machines. Instead what was generally available were 3rd party made aircraft with much lower build quality and often needing different toolsets to service them, a headache for any ground crew.

The USAS wanted the SE5a but the only way to get them was for the US to build them themselves, they'd started down this route when the war ended. The USAS used 3rd party built Spad XIIIs because that's what was available.


None of this makes any difference to their relative performance in ROF of course smile


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#3170142 - 01/02/11 06:09 PM Re: SPAD XIII versus S.E.5a [Re: Josh Echo]  
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Dart Offline
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I find no difference between "fighter" and "dog fighter."

Missiles won't come along for quite awhile.

It's all dogfighting. Then again, I don't subscribe to the notion of "BnZ" and "Turn" fighters. They're all energy fighters, and managing energy is the key.


The opinions of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

More dumb stuff at http://www.darts-page.com

From Laser:
"The forum is the place where combat (real time) flight simulator fans come to play turn based strategy combat."
#3170226 - 01/02/11 09:01 PM Re: SPAD XIII versus S.E.5a [Re: Josh Echo]  
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It is generally accepted both in the flight sim community and amongst real fighter pilots that an immediate kill resulting from a "bounce" is not a dogfight. A dogfight involves maneuvering on the part of both aircraft. The SPAD XIII was designed in such a manner that it operates best using the former method, and isn't so successful in an actual dogfight where the opponent is aware of the SPAD's presence and maneuvering to avoid its attacks and to counterattack.

The SPAD was a good fighter because it kept fighter pilots alive, if they used decent tactics. And they got kills, again usually by using good tactics. But the SPAD was not very good in a dogfight, however; that is, it was generally not very good at killing the enemy in a situation in which the enemy was actively attempting to outmaneuver it. It was, however, good at disengaging from a dogfight. So again, a good fighter, not a good dogfighter. I.M.O., the only serious flaw of the SPAD as a flying fighter (that is, discounting any logistical problems such as cost and ease of maintenance) was the lack of proper visibility. But its flaws as a dogfighter included a very poor turn rate and radius, and insufficient roll rate, acceleration, climb, and speed to make up for the former.

Yes, its speed and climb were among the best of the war, but they couldn't make up for the terrible maneuverability handicap enough to make it good at killing in a "dogfight." In order for a poorly-turning aircraft to be good in a dogfight, rather than simply at striking from a position of advantage and then running, it must possess sufficient advantages in roll rate and speed, or speed and climb, or all three. For example, the Lockheed P-38 didn't turn nearly as well as the A6M Zero, but its massively superior speed and climb enabled it to effectively dogfight the Zero indefinitely without losing the advantage over time (instead, gaining it), and to kill the Zeke in that dogfight. The SPAD's speed and climb advantage over its primary foes are not nearly as great as the P-38's over the Zero.

#3170235 - 01/02/11 09:14 PM Re: SPAD XIII versus S.E.5a [Re: Josh Echo]  
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Hello,
well the SPAD VII was quite a good dog-fighter, and it did not vibrate as bad as the german Albatros of the time did - according to Kurt Jentsch, who flew both. We do not have the SPAD VII yet in RoF i know.
I am sure less vibration was due to the V-arranged cylinders of the spanish-swiss "Hispano-Suiza" engine, against the straight in-line 6 cyl. Mercedes of the Albatros. He also wrote the SPAD was deadly because it did not vibrate in a dive, enabling the pilot to aim and hit flawlessly.
Greetings,
Catfish

#3170441 - 01/03/11 03:10 AM Re: SPAD XIII versus S.E.5a [Re: Josh Echo]  
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It can dogfight in ROF, but only with an energy advantage and that's the way you need to enter the fight. The speed enables you to have control of that and make the decision whether to keep climbing or enter the fight.

Having said that sometimes I take a snapshot from level or below and then extend and do my climbing after that, mostly due to impatience!

#3174177 - 01/07/11 08:36 PM Re: SPAD XIII versus S.E.5a [Re: Josh Echo]  
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A voice from the past is that of Cecil Lewis, the author of the classic Sagittarius Rising.

A thread on The Aerodrome site sent me rummaging for the book for confirmation...

His opinions are that the Spad XIII and the SE5a had the same speed and climb rate. McCudden and Guynemer flew, among others, high compression Spads that gave a slight edge over the standard SE5a aircraft - and McCudden flew the high compression SE5a, too. So it is easy to understand how variations in performance estimates offered up so many contradictory judgements.

Lewis praises the maneuverability of the XIII but seems to be in a minority in this respect, others reaching a conclusion that such an attribute was sacrificed for the qualities of speed and strength.


'Find your enemy and shoot him down - everything else is unimportant.'

Manfred von Richtofen
---------------------------



#3174293 - 01/07/11 11:22 PM Re: SPAD XIII versus S.E.5a [Re: Mogster]  
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Originally Posted By: Mogster
The USAS wanted the SE5a but the only way to get them was for the US to build them themselves, they'd started down this route when the war ended. The USAS used 3rd party built Spad XIIIs because that's what was available.


True that, but Rickenbacker pretty much had nothing but good things to say about it. Of course, that was after flying the N28 biggrin

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