Spectre From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2001, 81 posts, RR: 0 Reply 3, posted (11 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 4498 times:
What qualifies as 'best' fighter pilot?
Is it the number of kills recorded, even if against poor opposition or unarmed aircraft, or could it be the best tactition?
My belief is that the best fighter pilot is the one who lives to tell his grandkids tall tales of battles won.
MikeN From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 11, posted (11 years 9 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 4420 times:
After surfing the Web for a bit, I came across these pages. To me, these guys were the s**t in their day! Even though Hartmann got many of his kills against inexperienced Russian pilots in obsolete aircraft, they were kills none the less. I would say he is the all-time greatest fighter pilot.
MikeN From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 12, posted (11 years 9 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 4411 times:
One more note....
Unlike American pilots, German pilots flew constantly for the duration of the war. Had Gabby Gabreski and Douglas Bader and Richard Bong flown constantly for 6 years, I think their totals would have been pretty high as well.
MikeN From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 15, posted (11 years 9 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 4396 times:
Chuck Yeager was a great test pilot, he was also an ace (with only 5 or 6 kills I believe). However, he was really famous for one thing, taking the X-1 (not X-15) past Mach 1 in 1947. There have been many other pilots out there much better at their trade than Yeager was. Yeager just happened to be in the right place at the right time and got a lot of notoriety for his accomplishments.
Paulc From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 1490 posts, RR: 0 Reply 21, posted (11 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 4306 times:
How about Roland Beaumont - started with BEF (British Expeditionery Force) in France 1939 on Hurricanes, survived the Battle of Britain and the rest of the war to become a well known test pilot. He was test pilot on Canberra but is probably best known for his work on the (sadly cancelled) TSR2