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Thread: Bf 110 flying in the desert - some initial thoughts

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    Bf 110 flying in the desert - some initial thoughts

    Hi everyone,

    As some may know I'm a long time 110 'flyer' and really enjoy the challenge of being competitive in the online MP environment. I've posted a bunch of threads before sharing some thoughts in the hope that others will try out this aircraft. Once you know its strengths and weaknesses and fly accordingly - noting different 110 flyers fly it in different ways in MP - its a lot of fun. And its still very satisfying to shoot down one of those nice fancy schmancy 'look at me in my nice new cannon armed Spitfire' in my trusty 110.

    Here are the threads in case they help get people excited plus some from some other people re flying the 110

    https://theairtacticalassaultgroup.c...ighlight=shark

    https://theairtacticalassaultgroup.c...light=approach

    https://theairtacticalassaultgroup.c...ghlight=egress

    https://theairtacticalassaultgroup.c...ad.php?t=17926

    https://theairtacticalassaultgroup.c...ad.php?t=26296

    https://theairtacticalassaultgroup.c...light=airfield

    So with DWT i was curious to see if my existing 110 MP environment 'business model' would still work given the change in theatre and introduction of cannon armed and 50 cal armed fighters.

    In general the airfield attack approach outlined in one of the threads still works and by following those procedure successful attacks can be made on airfields. Low and fast and one pass only still works although you will take AAA damage from time to time. Low altitude navigation using time, heading and distance (using the map tools on the in-game map) is a must if you are attacking tgts located in the GAFA and want to remain 'hidden' from enemy fighters.

    Using the C4B Trop and flying at very low level (300m or less) i can usually get it to around 420-430 km/hr IAS. The big difference is to keep a much closer eye on temps - the engines run hotter than on the channel map and will go up faster if you dont keep an eye on them.

    And in general the boom and zoom approach of diving from around 3 - 4km altitude on unsuspecting fighters not closely checking their 6 when away from the front lines still works - there's still enough of them around to give me 1 - 3 fighter kills per sortie after I've dropped my bombs somewhere.

    The big difference thus far is rear gunning and letting the more heavily armed enemy fighters close to within their gun ranges. Pre DWT the 110 could take a number of 303 hits and still keep flying, as could my human when i was rear gunning. So I would often be able to sit in the rear gun and duel it out with a Spit/Hurri and damage the attacking fighter and still be alive (albeit with red goggles on) and in an aircraft that was still flyable (albeit often on only 1 engine). This was a lot of fun.

    The couple of times i have tried this in DWT its ended very badly for me - I've been PK'd when in the rear gun and/or the aircraft has been ripped apart by the cannons/50 cals. So even more so than previously its important to fly the 110 in such a way as to prevent the enemy fighter from closing to within their gun range - the cannons / 50 cals are very unforgiving.... And with the introduction of faster more heavily armed fighters this is harder to do and there's much less room for error in terms of deciding when to engage and when to be prudent and not engage.

    Still early days but I'm enjoying the challenge of trying to adapt to the new theatre/enemy plane set.

    If you have ever thought you'd like to give the 110 a go but have been put off by the largely inaccurate historical perception of it as a lame-duck fighter then hopefully this post might encourage you to give it a go. It was the first German fighter committed to North Africa and did reasonably well it seems - if flown to its strengths and weaknesses - and it would be great to see more 110s (or even our heavy fighter Beaufighter brethren) in MP adding some extra dimensions to the battle.

    Ezzie
    Last edited by ATAG_Ezzie; Aug-23-2020 at 01:04.

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    Re: Bf 110 flying in the desert - some initial thoughts

    Yes I still remember getting drug out over the ocean by someone and then jumped by Molders in his 110

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    Re: Bf 110 flying in the desert - some initial thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by ATAG_TCP View Post
    Yes I still remember getting drug out over the ocean by someone and then jumped by Molders in his 110
    Who's that guy?
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    Re: Bf 110 flying in the desert - some initial thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Erpr.Gr.210_Belial View Post
    Who's that guy?
    Oh I dunno, must've just been some random dude
    Last edited by ATAG_TCP; Aug-24-2020 at 02:28.

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    Re: Bf 110 flying in the desert - some initial thoughts

    To be fair to the Bf110: When it arrived in North Africa there were no cannon armed fighters on the allied side to be found. It's foremost enemies were Gladiators, Hurricanes of the Mk.I and early Mk.II variant and the odd Tomahawk. Cannon armed Hurricanes first arrived at the end of '41 and Spitfires did not arrive until mid '42.

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    Re: Bf 110 flying in the desert - some initial thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by JG4_Karaya View Post
    To be fair to the Bf110: When it arrived in North Africa there were no cannon armed fighters on the allied side to be found. It's foremost enemies were Gladiators, Hurricanes of the Mk.I and early Mk.II variant and the odd Tomahawk. Cannon armed Hurricanes first arrived at the end of '41 and Spitfires did not arrive until mid '42.
    Happy days.... (for 110 flyers)

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    Re: Bf 110 flying in the desert - some initial thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by ATAG_Ezzie View Post
    Happy days.... (for 110 flyers)
    Well, not for all.
    Yesterday on ATAG3 I was attacked by a 110 while I was flying a Wimpy.
    It obviously thought it could take its time and went slow on my six, but instead of flying straight and waiting for certain death I decided to turn with it. And the Wimpy has much more guns and gunners and ammo than the 110

    Eventually he decided to run away from me but in the end I (or the AI gunners) got the kill.
    Happened with two 109s as well, so we had a lot to laugh about.

    Even if the AI gunners still mainly shoot holes into the air the sheer mass of bullets a Wellington can spit out results in some hits anyway.

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    Re: Bf 110 flying in the desert - some initial thoughts

    Thanks Ezzie!
    Have you ever tried to use your 110-skills in a Beaufighter?
    Would be intresting to know. I love the Beau but can only use it as strike aircraft reasonably sucessfull.
    As fighter I more often than not end up low and slow with a lot of bullet holes.
    But I am bad at spotting lower flying contacts that would make good targets and in grneral the visibility is well limited.

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    Re: Bf 110 flying in the desert - some initial thoughts

    With the current Bf 110s I think that even a dogfight with a 90 years old man without a leg and a eye driving a tricycle will be " hard times " ( Sorry I haven't resisted )
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    Re: Bf 110 flying in the desert - some initial thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Kayo View Post
    Have you ever tried to use your 110-skills in a Beaufighter?
    Its too late Kayo.. the dark force is already too strong on him...

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    Re: Bf 110 flying in the desert - some initial thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Kayo View Post
    Thanks Ezzie!
    Have you ever tried to use your 110-skills in a Beaufighter?
    Would be intresting to know. I love the Beau but can only use it as strike aircraft reasonably sucessfull.
    As fighter I more often than not end up low and slow with a lot of bullet holes.
    But I am bad at spotting lower flying contacts that would make good targets and in grneral the visibility is well limited.
    Hi Kayo,

    Its on my to do list. Ive tried it offline a couple of time but the lack of a rear gun is prob the main reason i havent flown it - rear gunning is fun and often can make a difference between survival and becoming a smoking hole in the ground. if rear gunning in the 110 in DWT proves to be not so much fun anymore due to cannons / 50 cals then i might try it.

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    Re: Bf 110 flying in the desert - some initial thoughts

    Been experimenting with dive toss bomb delivery and so far so good.

    As some have experienced, flying very low over the airfields to crater the runway is very hazardous. Most times i have attacked Scegga in the SANDSTORM mission by flying low and fast down the runway to crater it i have been seriously damaged. I get my bombs away but being a human durandal/JP233 is very risky. I believe the RAF lost some Tornados in 1991 attacking airfields using this low fast profile.

    So I've been practicing dive toss deliveries as a way of attacking these fields with OK results. So far what Ive been doing is to approach the field at about 2500m, lining up on the runaway and then diving at a point well short of the threshold to achieve about 600 km/hr indicated on the deck. As i approach the runaway - maybe 1-2 runway lengths out from the threshold i pull up to about a 45 degree angle hold it and then release my bombs. I then roll the aircraft to ~ 110+ degrees angle of bank and pull back on the stick and dive back down to the deck. If done properly my aircraft should then be ~ 90 degrees to the runway heading.

    So while i expose myself to the AAA by popping up because i'm changing my flight profile (dive/climb/release/roll and dive) I'm not presenting a predictable easier to hit target like i do when flying low and fast down the runway. And by diving away at 90 degrees i'm hopefully clearing the AAA zone more quickly than by flying straight down main street.

    Have only done a small number of attacks but i seem to be getting less damaged than if i do the low and fast straight down the runway approach.

    This should work in other fighter-bomber aircraft so if you are looking for ways to get your bombs on tgt in heavily defended airfields then perhaps try this tactic and see how you go.

    Ezzie
    Last edited by ATAG_Ezzie; Sep-27-2020 at 17:56.

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    Re: Bf 110 flying in the desert - some initial thoughts

    Hard to apply to heavy bombers where you have to offload 32 bombs...
    For these you still have the high-alt bombing option of course, but then it takes more time to get over target (average speed 250 km/h during climb vs. 370 km/h on the deck)...
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    Re: Bf 110 flying in the desert - some initial thoughts

    I too have been coming to your conclusion I have started using high altitude drops a lot more with success . I have good luck skip bombing convoys but large groups like at bardia with capitol ships take you out a mile away if you try and skip bomb them , I now come in at 2k and dive on them you can get 2 - 4 of those big ships with the 88 with a little luck . I think the gunnery on capital ships is set at a little to expert to my way of thinking maybe . I would like to try Ju87 for that but its a little slow traveling for
    me . I tried using a 111 to learn torpedoes but the 111 befuddles me and gets shot down long before I can release torpedoes they travel a long way but the 111 is very hard to aim them with for me never had a hit yet and I have even tried on friendly ships at anchor . it is also interminably slow I am not done with torpedoes yet I think if the 88 had them I might be able to use them . The problem with high altitude bombing in Tobruk for me is navigation to target and seeing it in bomb sights you have to be careful so careful with headings the desert is so featureless you can miss by just a little bit and fly on to the crimea or some place . This is just a guess but I wonder if developers have slightly favored high altitude bombing in Tobruk since they have the Wellington for reds ??
    I like the fun of screaming in on an airfield to bomb it but its not good policy in Tobruk I die too much . With High altitude I know my best protection is the fact that fighter pilots dont look up, they look all around but you can fly right over them and they miss you quite often ( he said sarcastically).
    it wont be too long till they put radar in here and that will kill bombing I think the radar is to powerful a tool I know It defeats me too much . the 110 has many of its traits make it like the regular medium bombers
    I know Ezzie is a 110 man so I dont know all his tactics and problems but it has many quirks like an 88 in that you have to fly different to have success with it . think the higher he can bomb from the better but maybe he can take out flack guns and defang an airfield downlow and medium bombers could finish it off

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    Re: Bf 110 flying in the desert - some initial thoughts

    " This is just a guess but I wonder if developers have slightly favored high altitude bombing in Tobruk since they have the Wellington for reds ??"

    The objectives are set by the mission builder for every mission individually, not by the developper team.

    Actually I think it is a good thing that some missions now have some targets that encourage high altitude attacks. It's the diversity that make missions interesting and it is nice that you have to consider carefully which plane and which tactic is most suitable for a specific target.

    Ezzies approach on airfields should work with the Beaufighter, but I don't see the point in attacking airfields with a Beau.
    You need five Wellis to take out an airfield, that's 45 500lb bombs. The Beau carries two of them so you would have to go there 23 times ...

    Torpedo attacks are extremely dangerous for the attacker, there you are absolutely right. Aiming is very difficult (the same in the Welli as in the 111) and the warships are deadly. When attacking in a group of three max one has a chance to survive and as far as I remember we scored one hit ever.

    The Ju 88 with its speed, agility and dive bombing abilities is a huge advantage for blue and always has been, especially if ship convois are the target.
    The Welli is difficult for skip bombing because it is barely able to climb above the masts of ships after dropping the bombs.
    I might try the shallow dive attack, but I'm not sure it will work.
    Hurricanes and Beaufighters are good for attacking ships, but can sink only one each sortie, while a Ju 88 can take out a whole (unescorted) convoi.

    As far as I see airfields are a matter for the heavy bombers, high or low.
    Warships are targets for heavies flying high.
    Freighters are targets for fighter bombers (110, 109, Hurri, Beau) and light bombers (Ju 88 and the pityable Blennie)
    I'm not sure if it works but it would be nice if small coastal boats could be sunk by ac with heavy cannon.
    Trucks and armoured convois on land again are prey for fighter bombers and light bombers.

    Actually this seems to be quite realistic and kudos to the mission builders who now provide a good variety of targets to make the missions interesting for different approaches with different ac.
    A variety of lots of smaller targets that still give a few points, instead of only three or four major targets that can be taken out just by one type of ac seem (for me) the right way to go.


    PS:
    Just an idea for missions. Why not differenciate the targets on an airfield. Cratering the airfield with high flying bombers can take it out of game. But destroying parked aircraft, supply trucks and artillery stationed there using fighter bombers and ground attackers could still give additional points.

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    Re: Bf 110 flying in the desert - some initial thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by DerDa View Post
    " This is just a guess but I wonder if developers have slightly favored high altitude bombing in Tobruk since they have the Wellington for reds ??"

    The objectives are set by the mission builder for every mission individually, not by the developper team.

    Actually I think it is a good thing that some missions now have some targets that encourage high altitude attacks. It's the diversity that make missions interesting and it is nice that you have to consider carefully which plane and which tactic is most suitable for a specific target.

    Ezzies approach on airfields should work with the Beaufighter, but I don't see the point in attacking airfields with a Beau.
    You need five Wellis to take out an airfield, that's 45 500lb bombs. The Beau carries two of them so you would have to go there 23 times ...

    Torpedo attacks are extremely dangerous for the attacker, there you are absolutely right. Aiming is very difficult (the same in the Welli as in the 111) and the warships are deadly. When attacking in a group of three max one has a chance to survive and as far as I remember we scored one hit ever.

    The Ju 88 with its speed, agility and dive bombing abilities is a huge advantage for blue and always has been, especially if ship convois are the target.
    The Welli is difficult for skip bombing because it is barely able to climb above the masts of ships after dropping the bombs.
    I might try the shallow dive attack, but I'm not sure it will work.
    Hurricanes and Beaufighters are good for attacking ships, but can sink only one each sortie, while a Ju 88 can take out a whole (unescorted) convoi.

    As far as I see airfields are a matter for the heavy bombers, high or low.
    Warships are targets for heavies flying high.
    Freighters are targets for fighter bombers (110, 109, Hurri, Beau) and light bombers (Ju 88 and the pityable Blennie)
    I'm not sure if it works but it would be nice if small coastal boats could be sunk by ac with heavy cannon.
    Trucks and armoured convois on land again are prey for fighter bombers and light bombers.

    Actually this seems to be quite realistic and kudos to the mission builders who now provide a good variety of targets to make the missions interesting for different approaches with different ac.
    A variety of lots of smaller targets that still give a few points, instead of only three or four major targets that can be taken out just by one type of ac seem (for me) the right way to go.


    PS:
    Just an idea for missions. Why not differenciate the targets on an airfield. Cratering the airfield with high flying bombers can take it out of game. But destroying parked aircraft, supply trucks and artillery stationed there using fighter bombers and ground attackers could still give additional points.




    Those warships can really be brutal they somehow know exactly when my finger is just about to touch the bomb release button and kill me 1 nano second before I drop . I am not sure how those WW 1 steam ships got all the ace flack gun operators yet either they are equally nasty fellows !!

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    Re: Bf 110 flying in the desert - some initial thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by tgif View Post
    Those warships can really be brutal they somehow know exactly when my finger is just about to touch the bomb release button and kill me 1 nano second before I drop . I am not sure how those WW 1 steam ships got all the ace flack gun operators yet either they are equally nasty fellows !!
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    Re: Bf 110 flying in the desert - some initial thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by tgif View Post
    The problem with high altitude bombing in Tobruk for me is navigation to target and seeing it in bomb sights you have to be careful so careful with headings the desert is so featureless you can miss by just a little bit and fly on to the crimea or some place .
    There are radio navigation aids available across the map. If you use them properly your navigation to target can be very accurate. Plus you can plan your route through virtual waypoints to avoid direct routing to target where enemy fighter will likely be waiting for you...

    The Ju88 and the He111 have all the equipment you need for that.

    EDIT: and the BR.20. Not sure about RAF bombers...
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