....The historical data is old and possibly not very accurate as Vonrd stated. That's why I think pilot accounts are actually incredibly valuable in getting the feel of the aircraft correct. I do believe that the devs will do a good job. They have definitely demonstrated a higher competency than other devs in this niche genre.
Exactly. This is why I think it's important to never look at just one pilot's account; instead, an over-all perception based on all of the pilot's opinions that are available, along with plane-vs.-plane statistics (losses, shoot downs, etc.) that may support an opinion.
For example: I've read that Pfalz aircraft were almost always considered more sturdy and strongly built, than their German competitors. It's also known that they used twin-spars on their lower wings as well as the upper, which is more resistant to twisting forces. In addition to that, the D.XII was purported to have been a very good diver; in fact, that was their standard maneuver and method of attack, considering their lack of exceptional maneuverability. Although SPAD and D.XII pilots never flew each other's planes, they did use similar tactics.
Yet, in RoF, the D.XII is probably the only plane I know that will quickly self-destruct, due to wing flutter that occurs beginning at a certain speed, which it reaches very easily in a dive. Conversely, the V-strutter Albs, built with single-spar lower wings and which were famously KNOWN to have suffered from wing flutter at excessive speeds, DO NOT suffer from that problem in RoF. Wing flutter is a characteristic by which the affected wing begins to twist back and forth like a vibration, and ultimately self-destructs. It's based on speed alone, not excessive forces caused by pulling up (although that would obviously aggravate the problem). This is exactly how the V-Strutter Albs SHOULD behave, and how the Pflaz D.XII SHOULD NOT behave. Based on accounts on both sides, the Pfalz D.XII should probably be at least as good a diver as the SPAD XIII is.
An account like that could be one in which an Entente flight leader reported a group of D.XII's that attacked them by diving down on them from high altitude, blew through their formation, and escaped east, and they were unable to catch them. That would support a high dive speed capability.
Anyway, just common sense like that, to support general aircraft characteristics