The Spitfire Mk V in Aces High II
The Spit V's handling is certainly attractive, only a few aircraft can cleanly out-maneuver a Mk V and probably none of them feel as stable doing it. If your situational awareness and skills are good, the Mk V can be an aircraft to fight through a brawl, but you'd better be good because you'll either fight your way out or float down in your chute.
The Mk V is barely capable of 300mph on the deck and that's outside of what is commonly considered competitive against late war rides. Sea-level speed is only 289mph at military power, 304mph with WEP. Speed increases about 3mph/1,000ft of altitude gain, 10K yields 328mph (344mph WEP). Fuel load is 102 gallons in a single main tank, no options for drop tanks are available, giving a cruise duration of roughly 30 min at military power. Reduced power settings can extend range normal: power 40 minutes and max-cruise 51 minutes. Altitude increases fuel consumption by ~2 or 3 gallons/1000ft up to 19K, then it drops by 10 gal/hr above that, something to consider, and practical ceiling cannot be considered more than about 26.5K ft.
Aces High II Performance Charts
Four wing-mounted .303s with 450 rounds/gun along with a pair of 20mm Hispano cannons with 60 rounds/gun. There are no other options; no drop tanks or bombs can be carried. The firepower is fine as long as the cannons hold out but that's only 5 seconds of continuous firing. The .303s are not very good weapons with fairly tight parameters to their use. You really need to ensure tracking situations where you can hold the target in your fire at relatively short ranges that match your convergence settings. Expect the .303s to create a lot of assists and maybe some damage shots that force the enemy's situation (which may include a retreat). Some aircraft that are less "tough" certainly show more vulnerability while aircraft like the P-47s tend to absorb the .303 fire with little visible impact. Generally you will see a lot of Mk Vs retreat to re-arm after the cannons are dry especially if facing aircraft that are well protected against .303 caliber ammunition. Attacking bombers or larger aircraft will be very challenging - .303s are unlikely to have any effect unless you are patient enough to unload almost every round at close range, a difficult and dangerous situation.
Very good, the Mk V has always been amongst the most enjoyable Spitfire models to fly. It is well balanced and accepts control inputs as well as any aircraft in the game. It has good turn-rate at most speeds, generally in the 200-250mph range is best, though it can certainly compete below that and still remain stable. The Mk V has a small turn radius and good turn-rate, you should be able to out-turn most aircraft at medium or less speed but be careful of the really good turners like Zeros or the Hurricane. Higher speed turn-rate is OK but the lack of engine power tends to make sustained turning a bit tough. Flap use is not recommended and only has one setting, the drag seriously impedes what engine power you have for little return. Stalls tend to not be serious unless pushed far past limits and a quick relaxation on the controls is enough to recover. Roll rate is only fair, a little slow at low speed and very high speeds, but fair to good at speeds from 200mph through 350mph. Sustained turn-rate is around 140mph, instantaneous peaks around 207mph, anything above that is G limited.
Fighting in the Spitfire Mk V
People often assume that every Spitfire they meet is a faster model (VIII, IX, XIV or XVI) and use tactics to counter that, only to find out that they have bumped into a better turning model and maybe get caught in a trap.
The Mk V handles wonderfully and if you can get people slowed down a bit then you should have success. The Mk V falls into the same type of use as many other slower MA aircraft: cleanup. Generally this involves jumping in on slowed enemies already in sustained turn-fights, be that offensive or defensive. The Mk V is excellent for that, it tracks targets very well and gives the firepower to knock aircraft out quickly while the cannons hold out. The key is to identify good targets, chasing around the sky in a Mk V is not effective time, but plowing into the middle of a pack of enemy is also unlikely to be successful. Manage your energy well, what you lose is not easily replaced, and build solid tracking shots before pulling the trigger on the cannons. Use the .303s to line up targets if necessary or scare people in order to straighten them out for your cannon shots, sometimes .303 hits make the enemy think your cannons are dry and they have nothing to worry about. Keep your WEP ready for combat time, not in the climb or transit. Push the Mk V hard, it is one of the most forgiving aircraft in the game so can really be maneuvered hard around the sky. Don't get too slow with the pure-turning likes of Hurricanes or Zeros, you aren't quite in that league, but also don't try and run-and-gun with the high speed crowd.
Don't bite off more than you can chew defensively, the Mk V can't run from anything like the generally common MA aircraft. Superior situational awareness is key, most Mk V defenses are going to involve a lot of time maneuvering to keep the enemy from getting aim on you so timing and maneuver selection is key. Don't use dives or rolling as a primary defense, the Mk V is inferior to the most common MA opponents in both respects. Maneuvers are going to have to maintain good speed and energy to prolong the defense until you can turn it into opportunity to either kill the opponent or convince them they are losing. You'll see a lot of enemies turn-tail and extend on you, use the time to improve your energy position or move closer to friendly support, typically the enemy will come back before long. Wrap your Mk V around the sky, the reversal time on the Mk V is amazing and you may catch the enemy wondering how you got around on him so quickly. Don't get caught fighting/defending uphill for long, the Mk V will be out-legged quickly but short durations into slow-speed flight to take a shot aren't out of the question. Also, don't accept takings hits, especially cannon hits, no Spitfires are very durable and the Mk V is no different, simply too many easily damaged areas and overall toughness is not high.
Fighting against the Spitfire Mk V
The Mk V is a slippery target and requires a different attitude than fighting some faster Spitfire Marks.
Whether attacking the Mk V or defending against it, remember its main liability is the lack of speed. If you can isolate a Mk V from help you should be able to dictate the terms of the fight, especially if you start with a equivalent or superior energy situation. Use a lot of vertical work and keep the pressure on the Mk V to maneuver, don't allow yourself to slow down too much in order to engage lest the Mk V win position on you quickly. Be careful of being over-aggressive in close, the Mk V can turn nose-high quickly on you, so a sloppy in-close situation can turn into a snapshot opportunity for the enemy. Don't worry about pushing the situation too quickly, the Mk V is unlikely to run far so once pinned down you can work into a good shooting position. Expect to see a lot of break-turns and reversals, all Spitfires like this but the Mk V is very good at it, don't allow yourself to be too predictable get into nearly matched speeds with the Mk V lest he turn the tables on you in an instant.
If the Mk V starts from a superior energy position then you will have to try and weather that until you get build back some strength while avoiding attacks. The Mk V carries energy well so even though it may not replace the energy it drains you may have to defend against a couple of attacks. Don't try a pure turning defense unless you are in a pretty elite turner, the Mk V can dominate this type of fight against most MA opponents. Try and build a bit of separation initially and to defeat the Mk V's turning potential/advantage. The Mk V is also not strong in a rolling or diving type fight, these may offer alternatives given the situation or where you can start your defense early enough to counter any initial advantage the Mk V may have.
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