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 Post subject: Basic formula
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2015 8:55 am 
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I can't seem to find the formulas used to rank the aircraft. I know it was posted (and debated) but could someone point me to it again? Thanks in advance!


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 Post subject: Re: Basic formula
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2015 10:29 am 
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I believe it's changed somewhat, is semi-proprietary and exists along a whole load of linked spreadsheets... was the last we heard from Stuart.

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 Post subject: Re: Basic formula
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2015 10:46 am 
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It's not so much proprietary as really complex and is a chain of interlinked spreadsheets that, for example, give values for guns, missiles, radar sets, EW equipment and so on. The basic calculations are in the archived version 2.0 sub-forum.

It's an evolving product; as we spot errors or inconsistencies in the data, we re-address the basic calculations and improve them.

I've actually considered doing a ranking system for pilots that give each ace a rating. Add the rating of the pilot and his aircraft together and we get a sort of combat value.

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 Post subject: Re: Basic formula
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2015 10:51 am 
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Francis Urquhart wrote:
It's not so much proprietary as really complex and is a chain of interlinked spreadsheets that, for example, give values for guns, missiles, radar sets, EW equipment and so on. The basic calculations are in the archived version 2.0 sub-forum.

It's an evolving product; as we spot errors or inconsistencies in the data, we re-address the basic calculations and improve them.

I've actually considered doing a ranking system for pilots that give each ace a rating. Add the rating of the pilot and his aircraft together and we get a sort of combat value.


Do aces really matter that much? Shouldn't we instead be rating the average pilot du jour?

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 Post subject: Re: Basic formula
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2015 10:55 am 
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Or perhaps thequality of the relevant pilot training program's average output.

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 Post subject: Re: Basic formula
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2015 11:15 am 
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More useful than the basic formula would be the output variables in a machine-usable form (Excel or CSV). It would make it easier to work out air force rankings or build tables of in-service airplanes at given points in time.

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 Post subject: Re: Basic formula
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2015 11:20 am 
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Johnnie Lyle wrote:
Do aces really matter that much? Shouldn't we instead be rating the average pilot du jour?

Lord yes. Something like 80 plus percent of kills are attributed to a small handful of pilots. Once they're gone the effectiveness of the air force drops precipitously. That happened to the Luftwaffe in early 1944. The experten were virtually wiped out over a period of three months and what was left was .50 Browning fodder.

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 Post subject: Re: Basic formula
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2015 11:33 am 
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Yes... but that was just for the Luftwaffe. What was facing them was a large number of medium-skill pilots with excellent training (Western Allies) and a large number of more skilled pilots with moderate training (Soviets- I'm guessing).

Do we take the traditional 5 kills as being an ace, or are we talking the 20+ victory experten of the top end? Could be pareto'd.

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 Post subject: Re: Basic formula
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2015 11:38 am 
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Francis Urquhart wrote:
Johnnie Lyle wrote:
Do aces really matter that much? Shouldn't we instead be rating the average pilot du jour?

Lord yes. Something like 80 plus percent of kills are attributed to a small handful of pilots. Once they're gone the effectiveness of the air force drops precipitously. That happened to the Luftwaffe in early 1944. The experten were virtually wiped out over a period of three months and what was left was .50 Browning fodder.


But they weren't killed by better experten, but by average joes. The survivors were sitting ducks because the experten flied till they died, instead of going back to train the newbies.

That indicates that the winning air force had better average joes, such that they could kill the few experten, then rack up helpless kids.

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 Post subject: Re: Basic formula
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2015 1:07 pm 
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Johnnie Lyle wrote:
But they weren't killed by better experten, but by average joes. The survivors were sitting ducks because the experten flied till they died, instead of going back to train the newbies. That indicates that the winning air force had better average joes, such that they could kill the few experten, then rack up helpless kids.


A lot of the credit went to the B-17s and B-24s. You see, attacking the bomber formations meant that it didn't really matter how good one was. The defensive fire from the bomber formations was like flak, essentially random. It was a dice roll whether the bombers shot down a half-trained idiot on his first mission or a 200-kill experten.

Its easy to underestimate how good the Allied pilots were. People crack on about pilots like Hartmann who racked up 300 plus kills but if one corrects for number of days they were in combat and whether they were on the Russian front or not, allied pilots come out equivalent or better. Normalizing for time spent in combat for example, Robert S Johnson comes out at around 500 kills.

If one tried to rank pilots as a whole we could do it, sort of, but working with aces makes it easy; we know how many kills in how many days and where.

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 Post subject: Re: Basic formula
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2015 3:19 pm 
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Francis Urquhart wrote:
Johnnie Lyle wrote:
But they weren't killed by better experten, but by average joes. The survivors were sitting ducks because the experten flied till they died, instead of going back to train the newbies. That indicates that the winning air force had better average joes, such that they could kill the few experten, then rack up helpless kids.


A lot of the credit went to the B-17s and B-24s. You see, attacking the bomber formations meant that it didn't really matter how good one was. The defensive fire from the bomber formations was like flak, essentially random. It was a dice roll whether the bombers shot down a half-trained idiot on his first mission or a 200-kill experten.

Its easy to underestimate how good the Allied pilots were. People crack on about pilots like Hartmann who racked up 300 plus kills but if one corrects for number of days they were in combat and whether they were on the Russian front or not, allied pilots come out equivalent or better. Normalizing for time spent in combat for example, Robert S Johnson comes out at around 500 kills.

If one tried to rank pilots as a whole we could do it, sort of, but working with aces makes it easy; we know how many kills in how many days and where.


But that's only one example. The Japanese experten were equally, and swiftly, dispatched in 1942-1943. Both the 1943-1944 air campaign over Germany and the 1942-1943 Solomons meatgrinder were attritional campaigns, designed to grind said enemy air forces down.

In both cases, the air force that flew experten till they died lost, while the air force that pulled them back to up the skills and combat knowledge of the newbies won. To me, that indicates the true importance of the experten is not their prowess in the air, but the classroom, giving the newbies hard-won combat experience so they're a lot more likely to survivie the first few missions.

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 Post subject: Re: Basic formula
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 10:59 am 
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Johnnie Lyle wrote:
In both cases, the air force that flew experten till they died lost, while the air force that pulled them back to up the skills and combat knowledge of the newbies won. To me, that indicates the true importance of the experten is not their prowess in the air, but the classroom, giving the newbies hard-won combat experience so they're a lot more likely to survivie the first few missions.

No argument there. It's an old story; start forming elite units and the average quality goes down and stays down. The problem is quantifying it. I can see how we can do it for aces but not for the average joes.

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 Post subject: Re: Basic formula
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 11:22 am 
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Modal hours on type on leaving OCU?

Kills: total pilots ratio?

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 Post subject: Re: Basic formula
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 11:33 am 
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It should be fairly easy to get data for the US. Take the average length of combat service for pilots in a squadron, divide the total kills for the squadron by that number, repeat for a large number of squadrons. That should give a baseline for the average quality of pilots, complicated by overlapping service, significant aces, quality of opposition, time actually spent flying, type of plane, opponent numbers, and whether Wotan was looking in that volume of air at the time.

Japanese and German records should be more difficult to obtain.

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 Post subject: Re: Basic formula
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2016 8:35 pm 
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Craiglxviii wrote:
Yes... but that was just for the Luftwaffe. What was facing them was a large number of medium-skill pilots with excellent training (Western Allies) and a large number of more skilled pilots with moderate training (Soviets- I'm guessing).

Do we take the traditional 5 kills as being an ace, or are we talking the 20+ victory experten of the top end? Could be pareto'd.

Actually, I'm pretty sure that also held true for at least USAAF and USN/USMC fighter pilots in WW2. It's been a while since I looked at this stuff, but IIRC the distribution of credits for destroyed aircraft was pretty interesting. A large majority of fighter pilots were never credited with a single kill. And out of those who were, a similar majority topped out at 1 or 2 kills. Then there's another plateau right around 4-6, where the majority of what's left were clustered. Finally we get to the remnant of the remnant of the remnant, the guys who looked set to keep killing just as long as they kept flying. And as in other air forces, it's these last two groups - the smallest by far - who were credited with the vast majority of kills.

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