Author responds.

Author:Harvey, A.D.
Position:Letters - Letter to the editor

Thank you for your comments. I was writing a short article rather than a book and so did not set out in any formal way my criteria for establishing what constituted one aircraft's superiority over another design. Various features that I regarded as relevant were cited, on several occasions, in the first part of my article but, yes, not in any systematic fashion. That was the way I thought most suitable for putting my ideas across in a short article.

I think the skill and experience of pilots like Erich Hartmann was always the decisive factor. Combat on the Eastern Front tended to be at lower altitudes and from 1943, he was always up against aircraft more manoeuvrable at lower altitudes than the Bf 109G. Since he realized this, he did not waste time trying to out-manoeuvre them in dogfights. He used his skill to go straight in.

The Me 262 was never likely to spend twenty-five hours in combat. Some combat missions would fail to make contact: in others, contact with enemy aircraft would represent a small fraction of flying time.

No idea how they did it but the Gloster Meteor was a strangely sluggish machine. The Me 262 may have been more fun to fly than the F-80 but I doubt if it was a better combat machine other than the much heavier armament...

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