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After The Bombers-The 10 Greatest Fighters.  
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29805 posts, RR: 58
Posted (7 years 8 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 17585 times:

Well since we had a thread on the 10 greatest bombers of all time, I think it is time we have one on the 10 greatest fighters of all time.

I'll go ahead and list my top 10 list of the greatest fighters and let you take shots at it. I have to tell you guys, that I think this list was harder to put together then the bomber list I did.

So here we go with my list

10:Fokker Eindecker-This was the aircraft that started it all. The first fighter to be fitted with a gun synchronizing gear, and a staple of the early german air force.


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Photo © Mick Bajcar



9:MiG-21-One of the most widely distributed fighters in history. Cause the US a lot of problems in Vietnam


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Photo © Juhani Sipilä



8:Hawker Hurricane-While the Spitfire gets all the credit, it was the Hurricane that really won the Battle of Britain. A very reliable workhorse


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Photo © Ian Woodcock



7:Fokker VII-Arguably the greatest fighter of the first world war. It was this aircraft that the Allies had to design aircraft against and train against. The majority of the Red Barons kills where in this aircraft.


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Photo © David Alfred Eliasson - Reykjavik Spotters



6:McDonnell Douglas F-4-One of the most powerful fighters ever developed. Used by both the US Navy and USAF. Was able to be deployed effectively against smaller and lighter Migs in Vietnam. Had a near 40year US service life.


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5:Supermarine Spitfire-Iconic of the Battle of Britain and British aviation in general. It's racing airplane heritage gave the aircraft an elegance that is not always common on combat aircraft.


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Photo © Simon Thomas



4:General Dynamics F-16- The first "Electric Jet" The technology employed forced changes in tactics. Much of the same technology pioneered is being used as a basis on the aircraft that will replace it. Became a staple of Western Air Forces


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3: ME-262-The first operational jet fighter, would have had a much bigger impact if political considerations and the orders of a Bohemian Corporal hadn't caused it to be delayed and initially mis-deployed as a bomber.


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Photo © José Jorge



2:North American Mustang-Iconic of the US fighters of the aircraft and Iconic of WWII aviation in general. It was the long range escorts of US Bombers over Germany that made those raids successful and really broke the industrial spine of that country.


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1:Mitsubishi Zero-A whole generation of US aircraft where designed to specifically counter this aircraft. The F4U Corsaid, F6F Hellcat, and F8F Bearcat may have been much less capable aircraft if it hadn't been for the Zero.


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Photo © Britt Dietz



Honorable Mentions:

Grumman F4F Wildcat-This aircraft proved useful well past it's prime, serving as a fighter through out the war. It was a front line fighter at the start of the war, and still employed as one at the end. And it's ruggedness allowed it to stand up to a lot of damage. If the right tactics where employed it could hold it's own against the best the Japanese had to offer.


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Photo © Geoff Spinks



ME-109-Germanys iconic WWII fighter. This plane was the staple from the Spanish Civil war through to the surrender. Successfully discourage the British from running unescorted daylight bomber raids, and did a lot of damage to the US Bombers when they tried to do the same.


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Photo © Gerhard Plomitzer



Mig-15-The opponent aircraft to the F-86 in Korea. The aircraft of the original "MIG ALLEY". It's later cousin the Mig-17 tried to run the tables on the US in Nam. Was very common during the mid-east wars of the 1960's.


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OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
170 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineRwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2368 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (7 years 8 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 17576 times:
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The P-38 belongs in the list. Despite being misused early in the ETO (bad air-to-air tactics**), given a wholly incorrect reputation for short range (mind you the P-38 had the range to escort bombers long before the Mustang came on the scene*), and fighting in an environment *much* more favorable to the Axis in those early years, it still racked up a winning kill ratio (basically all of the Lightning’s ETO kills were against the Luftwaffe in its best shape, many of the Mustang kills were against obsolete airplanes and under-trained pilots).

Also the only fighter in production on the first and last day of the war (at least counting the U.S. entry), and IIRC, three of the top five U.S. Aces flew Lightnings.

Several people in the AAC hated the Lightning for various reasons, and numerous chances for making a great plane even better were ignored (despite numerous requests, it was never authorized to even test fit Merlins to the Lightning).

*Using drop tanks. Of course the P-51 needed drop tanks as well for that mission, but around the same time the Mustang was introduced the *prohibition* against using drop tanks was dropped. And mind you all those "short range" Lightnings were withdrawn from the ETO and sent to the *Pacific.*

**And there were major tactical changes just in time for the Mustang too.



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User currently offlineA342 From Germany, joined Jul 2005, 4689 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (7 years 8 months 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 17526 times:

The Su-27 belongs in the list. IMO, as #1 !


Exceptions confirm the rule.
User currently offlinePelican From Germany, joined Apr 2004, 2531 posts, RR: 8
Reply 3, posted (7 years 8 months 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 17520 times:

Nice thread and I won't argue about your choice because it makes a lot of sense.
Edit: Perhaps the Sopwith Camel should be mentioned, too.
Quoting L-188 (Thread starter):
t was the long range escorts of US Bombers over Germany that made those raids successful and really broke the industrial spine of that country.


Just one note. This is a myth which is told again and again on this site (not only here). In October 1945 the United States Strategic Bombing Survey assessed that only 17 per cent of the fixed assets in Germany were destroyed. Although the transportation system was more severe damaged than the industrial capacities it's an exaggeration to speak of an industrial break down of Germany during WW2.
This leads often to an overestimation of the influence of bombing raids on the outcome of WW2 in Europe (Japan of course is a very different thing).

pelican

[Edited 2007-02-24 13:38:03]

User currently offlineKeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (7 years 8 months 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 17519 times:

Quoting L-188 (Thread starter):
After The Bombers-The 10 Greatest Fighters

Good international selection IMO  checkmark 

Other fighters standing out in their time FW190, F15, Mirage III


User currently offlineConnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 5, posted (7 years 8 months 4 days ago) and read 17485 times:

Overall a nice list. I'd include the P-38 and F-86 at least as honourable mentions.

Quoting L-188 (Thread starter):
2:North American Mustang-Iconic of the US fighters of the aircraft and Iconic of WWII aviation in general. It was the long range escorts of US Bombers over Germany that made those raids successful and really broke the industrial spine of that country.

Nazi industrial production didn't peak until, IIRC, November 1944. It was the transportation infrastructure damage that rendered them incapable of getting product to the field that effectively ended their ability to fight. Bombing the industry, much of which had moved underground, didn't do it.

Quoting Pelican (Reply 3):
Just one note. This is a myth which is told again and again on this site (not only here). In October 1945 the United States Strategic Bombing Survey assessed that only 17 per cent of the fixed assets in Germany were destroyed. Although the transportation system was more severe damaged than the industrial capacities it's an exaggeration to speak of an industrial break down of Germany during WW2.
This leads often to an overestimation of the influence of bombing raids on the outcome of WW2 in Europe (Japan of course is a very different thing).

 checkmark  Quite.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlinePelican From Germany, joined Apr 2004, 2531 posts, RR: 8
Reply 6, posted (7 years 8 months 4 days ago) and read 17481 times:

Quoting L-188 (Thread starter):
7:Fokker VII-Arguably the greatest fighter of the first world war. It was this aircraft that the Allies had to design aircraft against and train against. The majority of the Red Barons kills where in this aircraft.

I know I look like a smartass but I have to correct you. Freiherr Manfred von Richthofen didn't use the Fokker D.VII in combat although he helped during its development. He died in April 1918 while the D.VII didn't saw any combat until a few weeks later in May. He used the famous Fokker Dr.I Triplane and the Albatros D.III and I think D.V

pelican


User currently offlineCF188A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (7 years 8 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 17451 times:

Many will argue the Spitfire or P-51 Mustang belong in the top 1/2 because it is these two aircraft which ultimately defeated the Luftwaffe and more blatantly, had the largest effect on history as we know it.

User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29805 posts, RR: 58
Reply 8, posted (7 years 8 months 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 17426 times:

Quoting Keesje (Reply 4):
Other fighters standing out in their time FW190, F15, Mirage III

Agreed, But I wanted to keep the list to 10 and the HM to 3. So some very worthy aircraft where left out.

Quoting Pelican (Reply 6):
I know I look like a smartass but I have to correct you.

No problem. So I might have the wrong aircraft up there then.

Quoting Rwessel (Reply 1):
The P-38 belongs in the list.

I really considered it because of it's work in both the South Pacific and the Aleutians, but unfortunately it's reputation in Europe cut it out of consideration.

Quoting Connies4ever (Reply 5):
I'd include the P-38 and F-86 at least as honourable mentions.

I have to tell you that I was torn on if I should but the F-86 or the Mig-15's on the honorable mention list. The Mig ended up winning out because of it's wider distribution and service life.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineKukkudrill From Malta, joined Dec 2004, 1123 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (7 years 8 months 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 17421 times:

Quoting Rwessel (Reply 1):
Also the only fighter in production on the first and last day of the war (at least counting the U.S. entry),

The American war maybe. I believe the Spitfire is the only Allied fighter to have been in production from 3 September 1939 to August 1945.



Make the most of the available light ... a lesson of photography that applies to life
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29805 posts, RR: 58
Reply 10, posted (7 years 8 months 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 17404 times:

Quoting Rwessel (Reply 1):
Also the only fighter in production on the first and last day of the war (at least counting the U.S. entry), and IIRC, three of the top five U.S. Aces flew Lightnings

I wanted to check up on that, but I don't think that is correct.

The F4F was clearly in production at the start of the war, and I have found references that the FM-2 version built by General Motors was still in production at the end of the war. I am still tryingt to find a hard date. The Cavanagh Flight Muesum says their FM-2 was accepted by the Navy days before the Japanese Surrender.

http://www.cavanaughflightmuseum.com/Aircraft/Wildcat/Page1.html?

My understanding was that it was in production through the war because it was able to be operated off the small escort or "Jeep" carriers. Something that the larger and heavier Corsairs and Hellcats would have had trouble doing.

My understanding was that the F8F Bearcat that missed the war was designed to replace the Wildcats on the Escort Carriers.

I would be curious to hear an official end date on Wildcat production if somebody has one.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 883 posts, RR: 11
Reply 11, posted (7 years 8 months 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 17395 times:

Quoting L-188 (Thread starter):
4:General Dynamics F-16- The first "Electric Jet" The technology employed forced changes in tactics. Much of the same technology pioneered is being used as a basis on the aircraft that will replace it. Became a staple of Western Air Forces

I suppose. The original F-16 was not the greatest thing around. It grew into a better aircraft but the original concept of it was a cheap day fighter as conceived by the fighter mafia. The F-16 really found its success as a multi-role ground attack craft as opposed to a pure fighter.

Quoting L-188 (Thread starter):
1:Mitsubishi Zero-A whole generation of US aircraft where designed to specifically counter this aircraft. The F4U Corsaid, F6F Hellcat, and F8F Bearcat may have been much less capable aircraft if it hadn't been for the Zero.

This is a very common myth. The original contract for the fighter development was let before the war even started. Some changes were made to designs to improve the performance of the F6F, mostly putting a more powerful engine on it which would have been done anyway since more power is almost always good.

Not just that but the Zero vs Wildcat battle hovered around a 1-1 kill ratio through the first part of the war. While the Zero was certainly a quick turning fighter US pilots figured out in short order how to handle it so that the F4F was giving as good as it took.

As Hellcats came into the force the Zero quickly found itself on the wrong end of a 10-1 kill ratio.

The Zero was a nice plane that lots of nations could have built if they sacrificed all the things that were considered pretty standard for other fighters, self-sealing fuel tanks, a little bit of cockpit armor ect.

I just think its a bit of a stretch to put the Zero at #1 for fighters considering it never really did much better than break even. I would not consider the Zero a top 5 fighter of WWII placing it after the P-51, Spitfire, F6F, ME 109, FW 190, P-47 and the P-38. It had a poor record against even the Wildcat.

I think you might have better luck if you compared prop fighters on one list, gun fighting jets on another and modern AC on another. Its pretty impossible to compare the F-4 to anything, considering it has a very skimpy air combat record.


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12158 posts, RR: 51
Reply 12, posted (7 years 8 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 17395 times:

10. Fokker Albertros D3
9. Spitfire Mk V
8. Grumman F-6F
7. Mitshubishi A6M
6. Curtiss P-40
5. Mig-21
4. MD F-4
3. Bf-109
2. Hawker Hurricane Mk III
1. MD F-15


Honorable mentions:
P-38
FW-190
Me-262
A-10 (not really a fighter)
P-51
Corsair
Mig-15
F-86
Mig-17
Tornado
CF-101
P-47
F4F


User currently offlineEBJ1248650 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1932 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (7 years 8 months 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 17323 times:

Quoting Pelican (Reply 3):
Nice thread and I won't argue about your choice because it makes a lot of sense.
Edit: Perhaps the Sopwith Camel should be mentioned, too.

I for one would have the F-86 in the top ten, not sure just where, and the Zero removed. Keep in mind that while the Zero had incredible performance, it was a flimsy airplane in a dog fight; no armor to protect aircraft systems or the pilot. Under the guns of a P-38 or P-47, the airplane would come apart as a result of a well aimed shot.

Spad 13 also belongs among the honorable mentions, as might the Nieuport 28. F-80 Shooting Star would go in there too as significant because it was among the first full scale production jet fighters and proved mighty rugged during the Korean conflict.

Your list, as is, shows signs of being well thought out and I do commend you for that.



Dare to dream; dream big!
User currently offlineBladeLWS From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 403 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (7 years 8 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 17307 times:

The F-15 Eagle deserves to be in the top 3 at least, most likely number 1. It has a perfect K/D 100+ shootdowns to 0 losses.

User currently offlinePelican From Germany, joined Apr 2004, 2531 posts, RR: 8
Reply 15, posted (7 years 8 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 17270 times:

Quoting EBJ1248650 (Reply 13):
Your list, as is, shows signs of being well thought out and I do commend you for that.

Thanks but give credit where credit is due - the list was made by L-188. I added the Sopwith Camel because it was the single most successful fighter of WWI.

pelican


User currently offlineXT6Wagon From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 3417 posts, RR: 4
Reply 16, posted (7 years 8 months 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 17260 times:

Quoting L-188 (Thread starter):
1:Mitsubishi Zero-A whole generation of US aircraft where designed to specifically counter this aircraft. The F4U Corsaid, F6F Hellcat, and F8F Bearcat may have been much less capable aircraft if it hadn't been for the Zero.

sorry but the zero was a terrible aircraft. Looked good against the obsolete aircraft it faced early on, but the vastly underpowered wildcat is hardly a good thing base performance on.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 12):
A-10 (not really a fighter)

More air to air kills than the F16 in the 1st gulf war.... Also has held its own in wargames in Air to Air thanks to being slow, low, and having a very nasty gun. Sure its useless as a air superiority fighter, but damn nasty in self-defense. Oh and great for sniping helicopters.


User currently offlineTAZA From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 38 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (7 years 8 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 17157 times:

L-188...Very nice thread and good choices.

As for US aircraft I would submit the following : (Data from Air Force Magazine - Walter J. Boyne)

# 1 North American P-51 Mustang. First flight on October 25, 1940 ( 117 days from first drawing to first flight)

NUMBER BUILT: 15,621 SPEED: cruise @ 362 mph max @ 437 mph MAX RANGE: 950 miles (no drop tanks)
KILLS: AIR to AIR: 4,950 GROUND: 4,000 plus 230 V-1 buzz bombs
ACES: 274 w/ 17 "Aces in a day" (saw action in all WW !! combat zones)

# 2 Grumman F6F Hellcat. First flight on June 26, 1942

NUMBER BUILT: 12,275 SPEED: cruise @ 160 mph max @ 375 mph (specific to F6F-3) MAX RANGE: 1,590 miles
KILLS: 5,156 total (4,947 by Navy Aviators) ( 209 by land based Marine Corps Pilots)
ACES: 305 ( most of any US fighter in WW !! )

Just my humble opinion.


Regards.



It takes less energy to love than to hate
User currently offlinePyrex From Portugal, joined Aug 2005, 4025 posts, RR: 28
Reply 18, posted (7 years 8 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 17074 times:

Ok, here is my list. It is a mix betw een the planes I like the most and ones with historical significance, so don't flame me if it's not the most correct of lists. I left out WWI planes (as I do not have enough knowledge on them) and included a few fighter-bombers which I consider significant.

1. Dassault Rafale (the most beautiful aircraft ever to grace the skies - too bad the French went at it alone and ran out of money in the middle of it, it could have been a truly magnificent plane)

2. Grumman F-14 (c'mon, generations of aviation enthusiasts gained their love of aircraft watching this beast in "Top Gun" - it has got to count for something even if it was a mechanic's worst nightmare)

3. Messerschmitt Bf-109 (someone might want to correct me on this but it probably is the fighter aircraft in history with the most absolute number of kills, and that alone earns it a place on this list among the top three).

4. A-10 (probably the most underrated aircraft in history, and the most important airborne weapon in the US arsenal nowadays - fighter jocks hate them but they get a vital job done, supporting the grunts on the ground. Lots of guts, almost no glory).

5. Il-2 Shturmovik (the most mass-produced combat aircraft in history - around 36,000 produced, lots of cannon fodder for Bf-109s - was the backbone of Soviet aviation during WW2. More overall impact than the Stuka, less recognition)

6. Douglas A-4 Skyraider (the F-5, F-104 and Mig-21 might have been more successful in the international lightweight fighter marketplace but it was the less-glamorous A-4 that proved to be the most successful in combat, specially in the hands of Israeli and Argentinian pilots.)

7. Me-262 (the first proper jet combat aircraft in history, wasn't surpassed for almost a decade in an era where technological advance in warfare was at its highest. Could have turned the tide of the war hadn't Hitler been so stubborn)

8. McDonnell-Douglas F-4 Phantom (a technological quantum leap for its era and a very successful combat aircraft in its own right. The fact that it is still used as a front-line aircraft today should tell you something. Too bad it lacked a cannon.)

9. Mig-15 (proof that pigs can actually fly, and rather well in fact. Could sustain massive amounts of damage and still return to land. Had it been equipped with rapid-fire guns instead of the powerful but slow 23mm and 37mm cannons and the kill numbers in Korea might have been somewhat different).

10. Sukhoi Su-27 (ok, this one is just because it is so cool. Could be a magnificent aircraft with a proper weapons system, as it stands it is just a collection of superlatives - speed, range, agility, balanced field length, etc. The Real Madrid of aircraft fighters).

I hope you liked reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Comments welcome (and appreciated).



Read this very carefully, I shall write this only once!
User currently offlineKevinSmith From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (7 years 8 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 17064 times:

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 18):
Pyrex

Oh Pyrex!!! You're killing me!!!! Not a bad list, but I can believe you didn't put the F-15 on the list!!!! I did like that you put the Hawg on. I agree with about 80% of your choices. However I must take the strongest issue with the Rafale. The Rafale!!! The Rafale!!!!! It's French for crying out loud. It's radar system triggers the ejection seat when contact with a bandit is made. Only kidding of course . As I said mentioned earlier very good list.

Oh yeah one more thing. Replace the Tomcat with the F-15. Then again I'm biased as I'm USAF.

-K


User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31684 posts, RR: 56
Reply 20, posted (7 years 8 months 2 days ago) and read 17062 times:



I'd Rate the Sukhoi 27 as #1.

regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineKevinSmith From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (7 years 8 months 2 days ago) and read 17057 times:

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 20):

I'd Rate the Sukhoi 27 as #1.

While I do agree that the SU-27 can pull off crazy maneuvers like the cobra, I think it is a tad overrated. It doesn't have a HOTAS like system, no fast firing cannon, and it doesn't utilize any low observable technology. The HOTAS system is more important that one thinks. It does have the advantage of a helmet mounted sighting system however.


User currently offlinePyrex From Portugal, joined Aug 2005, 4025 posts, RR: 28
Reply 22, posted (7 years 8 months 2 days ago) and read 17051 times:

Quoting KevinSmith (Reply 19):
However I must take the strongest issue with the Rafale. The Rafale!!! The Rafale!!!!!

Come on, you have to admit it is gorgeous (I did admit first hand that it was partly based on personal preference  Wink ).



Read this very carefully, I shall write this only once!
User currently offlineKevinSmith From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (7 years 8 months 2 days ago) and read 17048 times:

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 22):

Come on, you have to admit it is gorgeous (I did admit first hand that it was partly based on personal preference Wink ).

That's true. Not bad, for a French plane.  Wink


User currently offlineRichardPrice From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (7 years 8 months 2 days ago) and read 17042 times:

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 18):
7. Me-262 (the first proper jet combat aircraft in history, wasn't surpassed for almost a decade in an era where technological advance in warfare was at its highest. Could have turned the tide of the war hadn't Hitler been so stubborn)

I completely disagree with this - the Me-262 was introduced in 1944, and by 1954 there were many superior jet fighters. Indeed its immediate contemporary, the Gloster Meteor was superior in many respects.


25 Kukkudrill : I believe the early Meteors were slower than the Me 262. But in any case both had the disadvantage of being twin-engined and the extra weight would h
26 KC135TopBoom : The Meteor was only superior to the Me-262 on paper. The Meteor never had an oppurtunity to prove it self in combat like the german design did.
27 Pyrex : Damn, I just realized my faux-pas. I meant the Skyhawk, obviously, not the Skyraider.
28 RichardPrice : The Meteor was operationally based in Belgium from January 1945 onward, and ended the war with 46 enemy aircraft destroyed (mainly through ground att
29 Arrow : That's a little misleading. The ME-262's combat performance was measured against prop-driven opponents, which it obviously outclassed on speed alone.
30 Post contains images USAF336TFS : I'll agree with most about the list with a change at the top... Number 1: P-51D Number 2: F-15C
31 TheSonntag : My list: 1. P51 Mustang: One word: Range! I think its range made the difference, at least compared to the FW 190 and Me 109 2. F-4 Phantom II: Still u
32 USAF336TFS : It was a better fighter though...
33 A342 : No fast-firing canon ? LOL ! The GSh-30-1 is one of the best aircraft canons out there ! For a single-barrel canon, its fire rate isn't that bad, and
34 Keesje : Surprisingly nobody saw the F190 coming, luckely a german pilot mistakenly landed in the UK in 1942. The Brits tested it and found out it was superio
35 KevinSmith : Why don't your compare the rate of fire to an M61? It is slow. 1800 rpm for the Ruskie. 6000 rpm for the American M61. Do you have any clue how fast
36 Post contains images GQfluffy : I question this, as isn't the SU-27 a direct response to the F-15? And wouldn't that mean the Soviets saw the F-15 as a threat? So wouldn't that mean
37 KevinSmith : Agreed. The Meteor wasn't that a good of a fighter to begin with. I think it got most of its fame came from being revolutionary more than anything. K
38 RichardPrice : No. 77 Squadron of the RAAF flew 94 F.8 Meteors in Korea, flying 4,836 missions, destroying six MiG-15s, over 3,500 structures and some 1,500 vehicle
39 Ba97 : Great discussion and analysis by all. Would the measure of greatness be down to the success of the design either in use or the response in design it c
40 Kukkudrill : The RAAF Meteors were involved in a couple of high-altitude dogfights with MiG-15s at the start of their deployment. They were totally outclassed. Af
41 Pyrex : I completely forgot about that one! I had thought of it but just didn't write it on my list... Shame on me.
42 Post contains links JakeOrion : The somewhat "official" top 10: http://www.mymultiplesclerosis.co.uk/greatest-ever/fighterplanes.html Can't find any more links though, and not surpri
43 A342 : Once again, the GSh-30-1 is single-barrel, so you can't just compare the rate of fire. And the M61 takes time to spin up to full speed, approx. half
44 JakeOrion : And I'll gladly take a gun that can carry the most ammo yet still do the damage to bring an aircraft down (M61). Just because you have the bigger gun
45 Baroque : Arrow is correct, engine problems delayed the 262 more than the Corporal. The BMWs never got to be under the wings of the 262 and the Junkers engines
46 A342 : I don't know if it's true, but I think newer aircraft made from composite materials can't be brought down with the gun that easily anymore. CFRP is s
47 KevinSmith : You can thank the USMC for that.
48 KevinSmith : First off the 150 round was for 1.5 second burst not a 1 sec. Going with your logic 1.5-.5 for spool up=1.0 sec.x100 rpm=100 ROUNDS, more than double
49 A342 : And obviously diameter alone isn't important. But consider why even the USA are now moving towards guns with a larger caliber, hence larger projectil
50 Areopagus : After D-day, the fighting began to retreat out of the Spitfire's range, so it wasn't such a star late in the war. The Goering quote is, "The day I sa
51 Ferrypilot : Nevertheless the top Spitfire ace's still have higher scores than any P51 ace.
52 Post contains images KevinSmith : Not so. Not as much drag on the round. That would be a BAMF!!! WOW!!!! 150 rounds of 23mm ammo a second. Amazing.
53 Areopagus : Erich Hartmann scored 352 kills, most or all in the Me109, but that doesn't make his mount as good as a P-51.
54 Ferrypilot : How sure of that comment can you be??? ..."If we make it only about a fight" and forget about the great range of the P51 ...Imagine two great pilots
55 XT6Wagon : Very much so, and they had top notch pilots early in the war. Which is important since you win if you use your strenght and attack their weaknesses.
56 Ferrypilot : My favourite and the aircraft I should like to have a go at flying more than any other aircraft ever built is the Spitfire. ...But no one can deny th
57 Pelican : It was more the near end of the Third Reich that made the prove. Don't forget that the Bf-109 (ME-109 isn't the correct term) had it first flight 5 y
58 Baroque : Wish I could help more there Areopagus, Ethel and Price go infuriatingly vague on times and the exact configuration of the M IIIs that actually got t
59 Areopagus : I would not put money on anyone beating Marseille or Hartmann. But I think the evidence is clear that the 109 was outclassed later in the war. Wikipe
60 Post contains links Keesje : A list of the most produced aircraft ever: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_most_produced_aircraft It becomes clear why the me-109 belongs in the
61 Ferrypilot : I have always found it rather curious that Hartmann seems to have been happy to stick with the Me109 throughout the war. ...I mean it seems likely tha
62 Areopagus : Hartmann was not a deflection shooter. He subscribed to the philosophy that you get in close, and fire when the victim fills your windscreen. I know
63 L-188 : I think it did. I hadn't heard that comment before, and it is interesting. And it does seem logical to me that you would, all other things being equa
64 Pyrex : I just had a look at your list and I had no idea about the Polikarpov Po-2. It makes a very interesting read!
65 Pelican : This can't be the only reason because he also refused to change to the Me 262. Perhaps it was case of "Never change winning team" syndrome. pelican
66 Ferrypilot : Hartmann and Rall were not alone in preferring the Me109 to the FW190. ...I just read that Gerhard Barkhorn (the only pilot other than Hartmann with
67 XT6Wagon : yes, sorry about that... posting too late at night with too little proofreading.
68 Post contains links Keesje : Complete ace list of german fighterpilots WWII http://www.acesofww2.com/germany/Germany.htm One of the more remarkable: Erich Rudorffer who flew ever
69 Dougloid : But the disruption of work because people were rendered homeless was as much a factor as destruction of fixed assets. I think Arthur Harris remarked
70 Dougloid : When I was a kid my old man used to smoke a lot of Camels. He had two ashtrays that he used. One was a cut down R1820 piston and the other was a litt
71 Ferrypilot : There is an Me262 pilot on record as saying that he considered the Hawker Tempest to be the greatest threat to the Me262.
72 Dougloid : There's a great book called Big Show by Pierre Klosterman who was a Typhoon pilot. the startup drill was pretty amazing, and if it was unsuccessful i
73 Ferrypilot : Check this out below, ..."it is written by the famous British test pilot Roland Beamont" ...sends a cold shiver down my spine every time I read it! "R
74 Kukkudrill : I read somewhere that many pilots preferred to stick with the Bf 109 because it outperformed the Fw 190 at high altitudes, but I cannot recall the so
75 Pelican : I would not doubt it. I find it interesting that Hartmann did prefer the Bf 109 over the Me 262 No reason to feel sorry, many people inluding me mix
76 Ferrypilot : They say it was very dangerous to bail out of because of the twin tail being in the way. ...Any of you guys read "Doorknob 52" by Fred Arnold??? ...H
77 Keesje : I saw an interview with him (he spend 10 yrs in Siberia & became F86 / F104 pilot after). I think him flying the 109 had more to do with being loyal
78 Dougloid : I've seen some numbers on this. Let me dig for it.
79 Post contains images Baroque : You don't think it might have been something to do with hoping to return with his engine still running! That and acceleration. It seems that the Temp
80 RichardPrice : Yes, the early jet engines had a very slow acceleration curve, due to the fact that there was no fuel regulation and if the throttle was opened up qu
81 Post contains images Dougloid : Kinda like this Sea Fury?
82 Ferrypilot : The awesome Hawker Sea Fury is the nearest thing to the magnificent Hawker Tempest that any of us will ever see fly again.
83 Baroque : Do you know why throttle movements had such an adverse effect on the life of the German engines Richard? The Arados 234s had effectively the same eng
84 RichardPrice : Actually the above post of mine was based on close with with early Meteor models over the past 5 years, not the Me 262. It was the Meteor thats I was
85 Areopagus : Albert Speer wrote that he was relieved that the Americans spent their energies bombing first one than another industry, without fully shutting down
86 Pelican : I don't know the quote (which does not mean I doubt it) but it leads me to the questiont whether they were able to fully shut down one of them? And i
87 Areopagus : It was a combination of taking heavy losses at particular targets, not knowing just how close they were coming to their goal, and not realizing the g
88 Post contains links Pelican : Quoting Areopagus (Reply 87): It was a combination of taking heavy losses at particular targets, not knowing just how close they were coming to their
89 Areopagus : It is my recollection of what Speer wrote in Inside the Third Reich. It has been about 15 years since I read it, so if you think that's too fuzzy, I
90 Baroque : Dont ask for a reference in a hurry, although I can probably find one, but photo-recce and interp usually resulted in overestimates of damage. Partly
91 Kukkudrill : In indirect support of Aeropagus, I remember reading that the British couldn't sustain their bombing campaign against Berlin because it made their ra
92 L-188 : Yup, I have read Middlebrook also, and that seems to be the theory, the nice part about his work was that he wrote it back in the 60's so that he had
93 Post contains links JakeOrion : The "official" top ten fighters of all time according to the Military Channel: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1398201/posts
94 Post contains links and images Ferrypilot : This I believe is the World War II aircraft that almost every man and boy in the British Empire who wanted to be a pilot dreamed of flying :- View Lar
95 Post contains links NAV20 : The Mustang was the (terrific) result of the USA and the UK combining their resources. In early 1940 the British were all set to order P40s. North Am
96 Pelican : I've never doubted what Aeropagus said. It's just a habbit of historians to ask for sources. His post made sense. And as I said before he talked abou
97 Areopagus : OK, here's what Speer wrote. It is from Inside the Third Reich / Memoirs by Albert Speer, in the English translation by Richard and Clara Winston, pri
98 Sovietjet : The list from the military channel is horribly biased, but then again what more can you expect from a USA based network. The F/A-22???!!! Come on, sur
99 L-188 : How can you tell if you have really screwed up you be me and Sovietjet to agree (Kidding). But seriously I don't agree with the F-22 on the list, too
100 Baroque : However, that mistake was ironically symmetrical with that of the Luftwaffe in attacking London in 1940. In both cases a huge prestige target proved
101 Post contains images Sovietjet : Lol, I don't remember me and you ever getting into much of a disagreement
102 Post contains images L-188 : Oops sorry, I got you confused with an Aussie with a Soviet fixation
103 Flipdewaf : i think the F-15 should be in the list there somwhere, is there any way in which a mass pole could be made using the DB? Fred
104 Fumanchewd : First airplane to break the soundbarrior and dominated North Korea.
105 KevinSmith : How do you qualify that one? -First jet to break the sound barrier period? -First manned a/c period? (X-1) -First jet in straight and level flight? (
106 Post contains links Fumanchewd : Its not too difficult really. An aircraft doesn't necessarily have to take off and land on its own power. It is the first airplane to break the sound
107 Post contains links KevinSmith : I'm not questioning whether or not it dominated in Korea. We all know it did. I was asking how you defined that it was supersonic. It could only atta
108 Fumanchewd : I never claimed that it didn't do it in a dive. It was a profitable manuever for the aircraft, what does it matter that it was in a dive? An airplane
109 KevinSmith : Hold on there man. Take it easy. There's no ego here. I'm a nav student not a pilot student. Using that criteria I do agree with you, the F-86 was th
110 Post contains links Fumanchewd : I thought that this was interesting and I've never heard of it until now. Many suspect that the F86 broke the sound barrier before the X1, but since i
111 KevinSmith : I've heard similar rumors.
112 L-188 : Just as a side note- Welch was one of the two guys to get P-40's in the air during the attack on Pearl. But having read all the testimony, I believe
113 Baroque : Possibly, although the Me163 Komet might be the more likely candidate although it suffered serious compressibility problems. But while it was sufferi
114 Dougloid : No doubt that was the cause. Even on a supposedly modern engine taking and whacking full throttle is asking for trouble. Even if they're computer con
115 Post contains images Blackbird : Logical, ensures a higher probability of hitting the target. However, a bird can be taken out with a rifle (I say this from experience -- I've done i
116 KevinSmith : Do you mean 9000-10000 minute? Otherwise that is a cycle rate of 600,000 rpm. You are probably much more experienced with jets that I but I've heard
117 A342 : Yes of course.
118 Blackbird : YES, I meant 9,000 to 10,000 a minute.... Either way, I can list off hand a couple of great fighter planes... Not necessarily in order... P-51: Initia
119 Post contains images AutoThrust : My vote for number 1: The Me-262 because its technology was so ahead of its time. For example the Jumo 004 wich had for being the first jet engine an
120 Prebennorholm : We should not compare apples and oranges. Early Meteors was underpower with weak, tricky and unreliable engines. Same as the ME-262. Late Meteors had
121 Arrow : By far the best Sabre variant was the Canadair Mark VI with an Orenda engine. Canadair built more than 1000 of these planes and they served with seve
122 Prebennorholm : Having scanned all this thread it seems to be difficult to be ranked high on the list unless it has been used in anger. I have a feeling that if I bac
123 Prebennorholm : That's exactly right! Chuck Yeager himself trained her for that stunt. Jackie Cochran is also believed to be the first woman to break the sound barri
124 Blackbird : What was the Jumo 004's spool-up time?
125 Dougloid : Theoretically perhaps. That can be filed under the heading of "nothing is supposed to go wrong according to the engineering department and anyway we
126 Blackbird : Preben Norholm, who said the F-106 should have been mentioned made a good point. It was the back-bone of US Air Defense from 1959 to 1988 or '89, eith
127 KevinSmith : Ha!! How very true.
128 Areopagus : Not quite. The first model of a genre from a given manufacturer did not use the 1. Thus, the first Navy Grumman fighter was FF, the first from Dougla
129 XT6Wagon : I don't think any fighter in history was so good, that it stopped a war on its own. Failing that I think fighters have to be judged on actual real re
130 Post contains images Opso1 : Harrier- best on both counts!
131 Blackbird : Areopagus... you're right... Still, it is an extremely confusing system! I mean, F-1A, F-2A, F-3A, F-4A, F-5A, F-6A is far more understandable. Andrea
132 Post contains images Ferrypilot : Well the Hurricane and Spitfire together won the Battle of Britain on their own, which stopped Hitler"s forces crossing the English Channel and invad
133 Blackbird : I'm amazed nobody said anything about the F-105 Thunderchief...
134 Fumanchewd : The Thud is actually one of my favorite planes and I agree with you. My father was a mechanic on these and a few other types in Vietnam and he has so
135 L-188 : I had it as an Honorably mention on my earlier "Greatest Bomber" list. There where several reason why I couldn't list the F-106 on my list. No combat
136 Blackbird : Didn't the F-105 have longer range at low altitude, high IAS than an F-4? Andrea Kent
137 MD11Engineer : The British engines used radial compressors, which, while not being as efficient as axial ones, are much less sensitive to compressor stalls than the
138 Mandala499 : My top 10 fighters? Just out of the top 10... Mig15 - The fighter that woke the world up that military technology transfer is a DANGEROUS thing! F15 -
139 Post contains links and images Ferrypilot : And the prettiest one is? View Large View MediumPhoto © Danish Aviation Photo
140 Mandala499 : Splitting hairs... I can end up in a mental hospital if I had to choose... Though I must say there are angles where one looked better than the other.
141 Baroque : Thanks MD11E, the centrifugal units certainly seemed less fussy, although they too were hardly all sweetness and light! I wondered if the shortage of
142 Blackbird : The F-8U was the last of the gun-slingers... used by the US Navy Andrea Kent
143 HaveBlue : The F-15 does not have leading edge slats. The F-14, 16 and 18 do though. And about the spillover, the 15 does have a variable inlet itself, but not
144 Post contains links and images Blackbird : If it's true that he talked about Mach Jump, and sonic booms were heard on Oct 1, 1947, and it was his plane, then he broke the sound barrier 13 days
145 Blackbird : BTW, what thread covered the top ten bombers? Andrea Kent
146 Post contains images DEVILFISH : Alas and alack, my candidate didn't even survive its biggest and most important battles in the Pentagon, on the hill, and against itself - truly the f
147 GDB : Not for the first time, L-188 has compiled a sensible, thought provoking list. And a great discussion too. My own, not in any order of precedence; F-1
148 Post contains links and images Fumanchewd : Of course you are right. But it was not designed as an air to air fighter. The F-105 was armed with missiles and a cannon, but its design was tailore
149 RJAF : Couldn't agree with you more! In the early eighties, we were all waiting for the F-20 hoping Jordan would be one of the first countries to use it, pr
150 Dougloid : Centrifugal compressors are considerably more damage tolerant than axials and are as efficient stage for stage as the axial counterparts. If I recall
151 Blackbird : Dougloid, To my knowledge a centrifugal per stage is actually more efficient than one axial stage. However an axial-flow engine has many stages, which
152 KevinSmith : Correct. 7:1 compression ratios for a centrifugal and something like 25:1 for axial flow. Split spools on axial flow jets really jump up the ratio.
153 Post contains images Ferrypilot : Look at this quote from Wikipedia, it seems "American pilots" didn't want to swap their Spitfire MKVIII's for P51's. [Quote] In the Mediterranean Thea
154 Post contains links DEVILFISH : There is this part of the F-20 site which discussed the different countries interested in it, Jordan being one of those..... http://www.f20a.com/f20c
155 Mandala499 : DEVILFISH... The F20??? AGREEE !!!!!!!! That was the same case for Indonesia. The F5 replacement/supplement procurement was competed by the M2000, F16
156 DEVILFISH : Yes, Indonesia was in the Core 2 list of prospective customers. From the link..... Quote: "Indonesia - 16 aircraft requirement (F-5E operator). In 19
157 Fumanchewd : Interesting. Were those RR Mustangs though?
158 Post contains images Ferrypilot : Yes they were Merlin equipped P-51B's, just like the P51C in these photo's :-
159 Post contains links and images Ferrypilot : ...and also see the quote from the report below. REPORT NUMBER 88-0500 HISTORY OF USAAF SPITFIRE OPERATIONS IN THE MEDITERRANEAN (31st AND 52nd FIGHTE
160 Blackbird : Does anyone have the URL to the previously post about the Bombers? After all this post is "After the Bombers -- The Ten Greatest Fighters" Andrea Kent
161 Post contains links and images Ferrypilot : Below the photo is an excerpt from a book by Neville Duke the famous test pilot and Spitfire ace who sadly passed away last week. ...He is apparently
162 BilgeRat : I would reccommend reading a book called "Wings On My Sleeve" - the memoirs of Captain Eric "Winkle" Brown CBE DSC AFC RN For those of you unfamiliar
163 Ferrypilot : Yes I had heard this book had been recently published and I would very much like to read it. [Quote] Eric Brown joined the Fleet Air Arm and went on t
164 Post contains links and images L-188 : See this link, http://www.airliners.net/discussions/military/read.main/61026/ UH-60 started this thread.....Damm rotorhead http://www.airliners.net/d
165 Post contains links and images Ferrypilot : The beautiful and very streamlined Mosquito was surely the "greatest night fighter of WWII" ...and it is easy to see why in these photo's:- View Large
166 RayChuang : Here's what I would list as the great fighters of all time: World War I Fokker D VII--by far the best German fighter of the era with excellent high al
167 Post contains links and images Ferrypilot : The numbers of successful interceptions of V1 flying bombs targeted on London offers an interesting insight into the fastest WWII fighters, ...at leas
168 RayChuang : Ferrypilot, Only one problem--the picture of the Tempest you showed was a version that never went into service during World War II--I believe deliveri
169 Post contains links and images Ferrypilot : Hi Ray, I am aware of that, but there are no "cool" photo's of the Tempest V on A.net and so I posted a nice picture of the Tempest II instead. ...We
170 Post contains links Ferrypilot : [Quote Wikipedia] The top scoring Tempest pilot was Squadron Leader D.C. Fairbanks DFC, an American (the son of a Cornell University professor) who jo
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