P.108B serie 2
|This page is about the Italian bomber P.108B serie 2. For other versions, see P.108 (Family).|
The P.108B serie 2 is a rank IV Italian bomber with a battle rating of 4.0 (AB) and 3.7 (RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.69 "Regia Aeronautica".
The Piaggio P.108B serie 2 is a typical heavy bomber. It should always avoid enemy fighter aircraft if possible, the Piaggio P.108B serie 2 is a massive plane and it does not like taking hits especially in the wings where the plane carries its massive fuel load. If an enemy plane is going to attack you, do not go head-on as you have no gunners or any guns at all at the front of the plane. Always give them your tail so your gunners can shoot at them.
When using this bomber you want to unlock the bomb racks as fast as possible. The least useful payloads are the 34 x 50 kg bombs (default, 1700 kg load) and 7 x 250 kg bombs (select 500 kg instead) and the 2 x F200/450 torpedoes as you have access to the 3 F200/450 torpedoes instead. The better bomb loads is 34 x 100 kg (3400 kg) bombs and 7 x 500 kg bombs (3500 kg) are far heavier (34 x 50 kg equals 1,700 kg, 34 x 100 kg equals 3,400 kg, 7 x 250 kg equals 1,750 kg, 7 x 500 kg equals 3,500 kg).
The P.108B serie 2 is a heavy bomber with a heavy bomb load and relatively weak defensive armament. When delivering the bombs to the targets, high altitudes are a must. The preferred targets of this bomber are stationary objects like pillboxes or slow moving vehicles such as ships (if you can time it well) and of course the bomb targets and airfields. Should an enemy fighter catch up with you, it is certain doom as your defensive guns have a low chance to kill it. To survive attacks, use your gunners to ward off the enemy aircraft until help comes. Stay away from combat as much as you can and do your job as a bomber.
The P.108B serie 2 maybe a striking plane visually but it does come with combat limitations. The Aircraft is slow and poorly armed. You will need to plan a course around the map to try and avoid enemy fighters as much as possible. Keeping your altitude high and turns to a minimum will help your survivability. It is always helpful to have a fighter or two fly escort as well.
|Characteristics|| Max Speed
(km/h at 3,900 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run|
|Combat flaps||Take-off flaps||Landing flaps||Air brakes||Arrestor gear|
|Wings (km/h)||Gear (km/h)||Flaps (km/h)||Max Static G|
|Optimal velocities (km/h)|
|< 330||< 310||< 270||> 250|
Survivability and armour
- 8 mm Steel - Cockpit armour - instrument panel, pilot's seat, co-pilot's seat, pilot's side plates and floor plate below pilot
- 8 mm Steel - Armour plate protecting ammo located in wings
- 8 mm Steel - Side gunner armoured walls
- 8 mm Steel - Ventral gunner position
- 8 mm Steel - Wing gunners remote positions x 2
Modifications and economy
- The first upgrade on this plane you should get is the MCSAP100 for access to the 100kg bombs. Afterwards you should get the radiator next and the 7.7 mm belts. Get the Fuselage repair last.
- At the 2nd tier modification, the torpedo is a must if you want to get the better bombs. Afterwards focus on getting the air frame (for better durability), and compressor (for better performance) and for last get the new 7.7 mm turret.
- Third tier modification, the 12.7 mm turret belts is a must for defensive firepower, afterwards the engine modification, then the wings repair, and finally the MCGP250KG.
- Fourth Tier modification, get the MCRO500 which is the best bombs you can use, then the Engine Injection and new 12.7mm turrets and finally the cover.
The P.108B serie 2 can be outfitted with the following ordnance:
- 34 x 50 kg GP 50 bombs (1,700 kg total)
- 34 x 100 kg GP 100 bombs (3,400 kg total)
- 2 x 450 mm F200/450 torpedoes
- 3 x 450 mm F200/450 torpedoes
- 7 x 250 kg GP 250 bombs (1,750 kg total)
- 7 x 500 kg GP 500 bombs (3,500 kg total)
The P.108B serie 2 is defended by:
- 2 x 12.7 mm Breda-SAFAT machine guns, 2 x wing turrets (300 rpg = 600 total)
- 1 x 12.7 mm Breda-SAFAT machine gun, ventral turret (450 rpg)
- 1 x 7.7 mm Breda-SAFAT machine gun, 2 x beam turrets (400 rpg)
Usage in battles
Much like other heavy bombers in-game, one wants to unlock the heaviest loads ASAP and reach the strategic bomb point ASAP. The best defences are the rear hemisphere, with wing turrets offering an exceptional area of coverage and solid firepower. With that in mind the best survival technique, if unable to climb above the enemy, is to fly close to the ground. Avoid letting enemies attack from directly below or in front. In RB matches with tank columns on the road, the 34 x 100 kg bomb load is effective at destroying armoured columns, laying a dense line along the road the convoy is on will score kills and possibly win the match. Otherwise, use the max load of 7 x 500 kg bombs for medium tanks and strategic targets. When using torpedoes, load all 3, skim the surface of water and make use of islands as for a stealthy approach to the target. Spread the drop to increase the chance of 1 torpedo hitting, unless point blank, then all three can be rapidly dropped.
Manual Engine Control
Auto control available
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
|Separate|| Not controllable
Pros and cons
- 2 turrets are placed on the distant engines allowing for more guns to face backwards
- Heavy payload available
- One of two planes (the other being the P.108B Serie 1) in game that can carry 3 torpedoes
- As compared to the previous P.108B (the Serie 1) this one has fully armoured seats for the pilots as well as armoured plates for the wing gunners control positions
- Extremely cheap repair costs (compared to other tier 4 bombers)
- Gunners are bunched together and easily knocked out
- Turrets on the engines cannot face forwards
- Poor manoeuvrability and climb rate
- No nose mounted gun, susceptible to frontal attack/head-ons
- Prone to fuel tank fire due to tremendous fuel load
- Massive size
- Relatively weak defensive firepower
Building large aircraft is difficult even for large companies, and it was no different when the famed Piaggio S.p.A. endeavoured to build a large bomber in the mid 1930s. Giovanni Casiraghi had recently returned after 9 years in America and was put in charge of building the original P.50-I mid wing design being made of wood and used the common-for-the-era tandem engine layout (e.g. Farman 222). This design was disappointing so Casiraghi reworked it into a more familiar 4 puller engine layout, but still made of wood. The P.50-II flew even worse, but the experiment was not a wasted exercise.
Casiraghi's next attempt was a major redesign, this time using aluminium as the primary structure material. Now a low wing design, it had a larger fuselage, more defensive turrets, and more powerful engines resulting in the P.108. Because he was working in the US at the time the B-17 first flew and was likely well informed of aviation advances, it is possible Casiraghi took some inspiration from the Flying Fortress, but for sure this was an original design. The finished design was very robust and could carry a heavy load over long distances, but its non-turbocharged engine did not offer the altitude or speed of the B-17. The P.108 was also one of the first aircraft to offer hydraulically powered remote control turrets, located in each of the outboard engines with gunners sitting mid fuselage, and a retractable hydraulic powered turret predating the famed B-17's ventral ball turret (not the same as "dust bin" type that lowered under the aircraft, but the weapon was moved by hand).
In 1941 the first P.108s were delivered to a single unit, the 274a Squadriglia (274th Squadron). Being far larger, heavier, and a little more troublesome than other Italian aircraft, a number of accidents ensued from inexperience with this beast of an aircraft. One casualty was the commander of the 274a Squadriglia, Bruno Mussolini, son of Benito Mussolini. Bruno was considered a skilled and serious pilot thus likely earned his position as commander, so the cause of the 7 August 1941 accident is speculative.
During the war P.108's performed a number of long range missions in the Mediterranean with no notable success. It was an effective bomber, but the numbers where never sufficient to impact the Allies. Loses mounted changing tactics and removing weight. By the time Italy surrendered only 9 of the approximately 24 built P.108B's remained. An interesting footnote, over a dozen of the transport version, P.108T, were also built, most of those were confiscated by the Germans and used to evacuate troops on the Eastern Front.
Unable to provide long range escort, the move to night bombing was ordered. The P.108B serie 2 was a modification of the serie 1 specifically made for night bombing missions, the obvious difference was painting the aircraft black and removing the nose turret, gaining a better airspeed. In the end, Allied radar-equipped night fighters still successfully intercepted and shot two down, although in one case the wing mounted turrets proved to be successful in deterring one attacker.
- Related development
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
|Attackers||P.108A serie 2|
|Bombers||P.108B serie 1 · P.108B serie 2|
|Fiat||B.R.20DR · B.R.20M M1|
|Savoia-Marchetti||S.81 · S.M.79 serie 1 · S.M.79 B · S.M.79 serie 8 · S.M.79 AS · S.M.79 bis/T.M|
|CANT||Z.1007 bis serie 3 · Z.1007 bis serie 5|
|Piaggio||P.108B serie 1 · P.108B serie 2|
|German||▄Ju 87 R-2 · ▄Ju 87 D-3|