Best Fighter Plane Of The War?

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by adamcotton, Aug 20, 2005.

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Best Fighter of WW2?

  1. Supermarine Spitfire

    36.1%
  2. Hawker Hurricane

    14.6%
  3. Hawker Typhoon/Tempest

    5.1%
  4. North American P-51 Mustang

    7.6%
  5. Republic P-47 Thunderbolt

    20.9%
  6. Lockheed P-38 Lightning

    3.2%
  7. Vought F4U Corsair

    0.6%
  8. Focke-Wulf FW-190

    2.5%
  9. Messerschmitt ME-262 Schwalbe

    3.2%
  10. Messerschmitt ME-109

    2.5%
  11. Messerschmitt ME-110

    1.9%
  12. Mitsubishi A6M Zero

    0.6%
  13. Macchi MC-202

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  14. Yakololev Yak-3

    1.3%
  15. Lavochin La-7

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  16. Other (Please State below)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Reginald Mitchells Spitfire was one of the soundest designs of the war. Its only real handicap was lack of range due to the fact it was intended as a point defence weapon. This limited the Spitfires effectiveness later in the war when much of the aerial combat took place deep inside occupied Europe. Otherwise an amazing aircraft, still in production after the end of WW II.

    On the handling of the P-51, pilots needed to be very carefull when flying with full tanks as the 90 gallon tank behind the pilot upset the center of gravity when full. Pilots first drained it to 45 gallons before shifting to the drop tanks to regain proper center of gravity. This would have caused problems for the Mustang when used in the intercepter role.
    I'm more into WWI airplanes but here's my 2 cents. Once again as with tanks I just lovethe look of the P-38, though wasn't it hard to fly?
    As to best fighter well I'll rely here on what I've watched and read by pilots of th period before during and since. "In the air, speed is everything." By that rule wasn't the P-51 the fastest prop plane of the war?
     
  2. kfz

    kfz Very Senior Member

    I'm more into WWI airplanes but here's my 2 cents. Once again as with tanks I just lovethe look of the P-38, though wasn't it hard to fly?
    As to best fighter well I'll rely here on what I've watched and read by pilots of th period before during and since. "In the air, speed is everything." By that rule wasn't the P-51 the fastest prop plane of the war?



    Not hard just a bit different. IT had a few novel features, interestingly the P38 was one of the few twin engines aircraft to have handed props. The props rotated different direction to cancel out the torque problems with big powerfull engiene and little airframes like Mosey or the JU88. Tricylce undercarriage too, well before its time.

    Not convinced on the speed of the P-51. This US built repuation seems to come from competion machine racing after the war. I dont beleive the P51 was as fast as the big late war British fighters like Griffon spits and Furies or Tempests. Taking nothing away from the P51 it was a fantastic fighter, speed is not everything. Range, weight of shot and reliability all qualiites of the P-51.

    vote oft he Best.

    JU88

    Kev
     
  3. cash_13

    cash_13 Senior Member

    An interesting topic that will go on as time does and everybody throwing their ideas into the arena!

    Well as a fly in the ointment and not really a fighter as such although more than able to hold its own was the Mosquito

    Able to cope with whatever adaptions that were needed wether it was a nightfighter ground attack recon its done it all and came back at nearly the same speed as the slower fighters on one engine and also able to withstand an incredible amount of damage...........

    Ok Ok its not a fighter

    So its the Spitfire then!!!:p

    Not that I am biased living surrounded by 11 Group fighter stations like Biggin Hill Redhill and Kenley
     
  4. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    I went with the Me110. A truly formidable aircraft after dark!
     
  5. cash_13

    cash_13 Senior Member

    I went with the Me110. A truly formidable aircraft after dark!

    It needed to be it was a dead duck in the daylight!!!:p
     
  6. Grounded

    Grounded Junior Member

    I am most surprised that the Hawker Tempest got such low marks in this poll, It was a fantastic aircraft that could run rings round most of the other type's.
     
  7. cally

    cally Picture Prince.

  8. -tmm-

    -tmm- Senior Member

    I had to vote for the Mustang. Despite a number of fine aircraft produced by all nations, there is something I love about the Mustang that I just can't put my finger on. At any airshow, the Mustang display is what I wait for.
     
  9. Arlo

    Arlo 'Nulli Secundus'

    I'm more into WWI airplanes but here's my 2 cents. Once again as with tanks I just lovethe look of the P-38, though wasn't it hard to fly?

    Yep. The P-38 was hard to fly. It wasn't like the P-40 or F4F in a dive. I read in Wikipedia, that during a high speed dive, the controls would lock and the pilot had absolutely no control of the aircraft. He had two options, bail out or try to pull up with the aircraft in denser air. So, hit and run tactics would be the last thing a Lightning pilot would do. Another was the engine problems at high altitude, but the J and L model dealed with that problem. But the P-38 was a fine bird and with a little training, the P-38 would be an effective dogfighter against German and Japanese planes. The P-38 was the best American fighter before the arrival of the P-51.
     
  10. warhawk

    warhawk Member

    I realy don't know what to pick.:confused: I voted P-47.
     
  11. jonsidneyb

    jonsidneyb Junior Member

    I am sorry for bring back on old thread but when I saw this I had to post.

    I just glanced at this and was so upset by a fellow American I had to say something even though it was a long time ago. Yes I know he is banned but it will make me fell better.

    jimbotosome You are idiot and it is Americans like you that give us a bad name. Some of the stuff you said was so over the top wrong it is not funny.
     
    von Poop, Owen and Paul Reed like this.
  12. slaphead

    slaphead very occasional visitor

    Hey jonsidneyb,

    Welcome to the forum and thanks for resurecting this thread as I had not seen it before!

    I went for the P51
    A kind of Spitfire with laminar flow wings, great range, great manouverability and easier production methods... Whats not to like ?! :)

    Always had a soft spot for the FW 190. It is just so purposeful. A right pigilist!
     
  13. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    Since there were no criteria with which to rate the contenders, I too will have to side with the Spitfire. Beyond all the technical elements the Spit is simply a thing of beauty. I'm a big fan of the Mossie and I like the P-51 but when you can make something that lethal look so damn beautiful, the heart overrules the brain. A Merlin makes the sweetest sound.
     
  14. francophi

    francophi Junior Member

    Dewoitine DB 520 MK V, 1942
     
  15. jonsidneyb

    jonsidneyb Junior Member

    My contention is that there is no such thing as the best fighter. While it is easier to produce large quantities of the same thing for production effciency the reality is things change but also it is harder to fight against variety.

    When you have a few known items to contend with you can learn the strengths and weaknesses and develop both strategy and tactics to deal with them. Also your product development can target those weaknesses. The allies put variety into the field with different philosophies as well as some specialization.

    Some things were needed in such quantities that the allies required many of them to be involved in the same thing, at the same time they could specialize for some tasks. Not to leave anyone out but for simplicity sake lets talk the UK and USA. Let say there are a couple of tasks that require 1000 men and pieces of equipment for the good of the war effort. This can be a case where the UK does one thing and the USA does another thing to further the war effort the Russians of course add a huge massive element as well but just trying to keep things simple. Both can be important and be different, makes a harder force to fight against.

    The Spitfire can lay claim to being the best. I am an American who does think it was better in one on one combat against a Mustang. I also think that the best aircraft does not always win as it depends on the senario, the pilot, and actually some other factors. One thing about one on one combat where they are both aware of each other it does not consider group factors and situations that affect things.

    I think the Spitfire has good claim to being the best, or maybe it was the Tempest, maybe it just depends. Maybe we should have both.

    Now the Mustang, she had the range. I think the fact that the Germans had to deal with taking on the bombers while fighting the Mustangs helped the Mustang a bit. I don't think the Mustang was helpless by any means but I think she may have scored better than she otherwise would have.

    The Germans had a lot to contend with trying to get at the bombers with these pesky Merlin powered Mustangs bugging them.

    Then we have the Jug, it has different qualities and had to be fought differently.

    In major battles it seems often times it was target of opportunity as well as individual fights, team work, what the mission is of both sides.

    Of course there was more than just the 109 and the 190 on the German side and of course different versions but much of it was these two planes.
    Oh no, do we set the planes up as bomber killers or fighter killers or a blend of both but not quite as good at either job as we otherwise would be.

    The poor German on the other hand mid-war could be facing anything. Too many distractions.

    In the Germans head: Lets see, this is a Spitfire, what are her strengths and weaknesses? I got it....oops, that was for a Mustang. Ack, someone is shooting at me, hmmm, what is it, it is hard to look over my shoulder and this mirror is not perfect, I better dive away. Ooops, it's a Thunderbolt.

    I see some B-24's up ahead, now what is the best approach for me to do this? Oh man that Mustang is making it hard for me to do this.

    I am lucky, I just have to baby sit these BF-110's as they go after the bombers. I will just hang out up here and keep my eye on them and if someone goes after them I will pounce. Oh no, while I was watching them who was watching out for me.

    I say we wanted many of the planes we used so they were best in a different way. Just like I think the Allies wanted the Mousie and the B-17 as well as the medium bombers.

    German Engineers thinking:

    Well we need some high altitude planes with tons of firepower to deal with those heavy bombers. (Other engineer) Didn't we already improve some planes for better capability against them "sound of a Mousie is heard dropping it's load as it does a fast low altitude bombing run" Told you we should have concentrated on something fast and medium to low altitude.

    The heavy daylight bombers couldn't do the job by themselves, but combined with the fighters they reduced the numbers of Germans in the air and pounded them on the ground.

    The amazing Mousie made life hell as it was a massive threat that would take a different approach to deal with. Great bomb load and very hard to catch.

    I think a single best would have made it easier for the Germans to deal with. I think a variety of bests all with different characteristics, capabilities, and weaknesses made a much harder force to deal with.
     
    Smudger Jnr likes this.
  16. jonsidneyb

    jonsidneyb Junior Member

    Putting it another way.

    Would you want to go flying into allied territory to go up against the superbly balanced Spitfire roaming around with a very good cannon and machine gun fire that handled in a fantastic manner, in the same territory where there will also be be heavy P-47s with freakish diving ability tough as nails and while not 20mm cannot can put out large amounts of heavy machine gun fire acting like a buzz saw ready to pounce on you and if you get past those two planes and complete your mission there is the Mustang that can wear you down with still some formidable fighting ability though not a Spitfire.

    Then of course you might have to deal with a Hurricane, the odd P-38 here and there, maybe a Tempest Mk 2 that was very deadly and could easily be the one to do you in. Too many flight characteristics to deal with, the weaknesses and strengths being different. Are you against a balanced plane or one that has an extreme quality at the expense of other qualities.

    I say the allies benefited from having this variety.
     
  17. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    I am sorry for bring back on old thread but when I saw this I had to post.

    I just glanced at this and was so upset by a fellow American I had to say something even though it was a long time ago. Yes I know he is banned but it will make me fell better.

    jimbotosome You are idiot and it is Americans like you that give us a bad name. Some of the stuff you said was so over the top wrong it is not funny.

    I like you.
    Welcome aboard.

    ~A
     
  18. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Jonsidneyb,

    Hello and welcome to the forum.

    Great posts.

    I agree that the Allies had some great planes in their armoury, perhaps more than one to suit every occassion.

    Regards
    Tom
     
  19. jonsidneyb

    jonsidneyb Junior Member

    Thanks guys.

    I do have it stuck in my mind that there is no such thing as best. There is very good but no matter how you good a design is always a compromise.

    If you have a plane design that is too good I think tactics will dictate they will try and fight where you are weak or find away not to fight directly at all. If you are balanced they might work at a design based on pure speed for BZ tactics. They might operate at an unfavorable altitude. When you start covering more and more bases then you become very hard to counter.

    The thing I will always admit to, some of my opinions might be wrong :)
     
  20. feliz

    feliz Junior Member

    I've just joined this forum today and spent my evening reading this entire thread, very entertaining!!! Thinking of fighter in the traditional sense of two aircraft duking it out in the skies over Britain or a Pacific Island during WW2 I'd have to pick the Spitfire. If given a choice of flying any WW2 aircraft it would be the one I would choose. The mustang may have been the best overall fighter of the war but the Spit made the most impact when it was most needed, hence my choice. I'm neither American or British so my vote counts double.
     

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