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Alb D.III vs Alb D.Va


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Interesting and nice tests. As for mine experience from online dogfights and flying is that for me DVa is a little bit more maneuvreable than DIII and DIII is a little bit faster than DVa. In another words DIII is more "heavier" in maneuvers than DVa. But I have never made tests like these.

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I agree with all of Barton's conclusions, which apply to RoF's "updated" FM for the Alb D.Va and Alb D.III.


Prior to that update, my belief is that the D.III was superior in holding altitude in turns than the D.Va used to be.


Timing complete revolutions is the way I've always tested planes, since RB3D days.  My suggestion would be to use the compass that's available in the mini-gauges (cntl-I).  That compass is completely analog and so eliminates any digital ambiguity, which Barton mentioned.  It's easy enough to do exactly as Barton did and time the turn from N to N or whatever you choose, once your turn is already initiated and stable.  It's also beneficial to look at a plane's instantaneous turn rate from full level speed.  Higher speed planes often have a surprising turn rate for the first 180 degrees or so.


I think if you're talking about absolute turning ability, you have to test it at ground level, because in this game the engine has the most (useable) power there, except for the altitude throttle models, and the best wing performance there.  Also doing it at ground level forces you to keep a completely level turn, where as being even a couple hundred feet up will allow you to sacrifice a lot of altitude that will help the turn, even if unknowingly.  That's what you'd do in real life, but it hard to quantify exactly how much you're doing it, and therefore hard to do exactly the same thing for two different aircraft.


That said, just testing a plane at low level can be misleading, and most often it's better to maybe try them at ground, 1K, 2K, 3K, 4K, 5K, to get a true idea of where the plane's best strengths lie.  Once you have a good idea of what your plane can do and also what the other guy's plane can do, it helps you make that quick decision before a fight that will determine how you engage, proceed, and disengage if necessary.


One glaring area of neglect in the first video was indicating what the relative fuel levels were.  This obviously can make all the difference, and although these two Albs should have very close tank capacities, this is not true of other planes even in this series, and is something very hard for us to match in actual weight, even if that is the bottom line; some planes have such terrible fuel usage that they HAVE to carry more fuel to start with to be of much use.  Still there's a fuel level point with every plane above which I'd hate to engage an enemy, and even these planes are pigs with 100% fuel, so it's important to know at what level the turn performance really drops off.


As for the DM's, IMO there's a BIG difference between these two planes.  The D.III just can't be dived too steeply, it will shed ailerons once it starts to vibrate and there's nothing you can do about it if it gets to that point.  Also, if it's hit in the wings by fire, it does the same thing, and then ALL the turn performance is gone.  The D.Va just doesn't do that for whatever reason.  It will lose it's wings if you pull too hard at too high a speed, but both planes do that.  The last DM disadvantage for the D.III is that the engine is practically a one-bullet wonder, and quits running completely once oiled almost always before you can ditch it, which is going to give that enemy a shoot-down credit very quickly.  For some reason the D.Va oils less easily and stays running longer when it does.


All in all, I think the devs wanted to make the D.Va the better plane, after their update, for whatever reason. Actually before the update the comparison was a little more logical in which the lighter D.III had a little better maneuvering performance than the somewhat heavier D.Va.  The Alb D.V was a lightened version of the D.III, but once the D.V's dangerous structural weaknesses became apparent, the strengthened (and heavier) D.Va quickly took it's place on the line, and all the hoped-for performance improvements of the D.V were basically lost.

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