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What Is The Best Fighter The US Ever Had.

Sun Mar 06, 2005 1:56 pm

I was wondering what is the best fighter the US ever had. F-14, F-15, F-16, F/A-18, F-22 and the F-4 come to mind. I personally feel it's the F-14 and F-22. What is your thoughts.
 
PhilSquares
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RE: What Is The Best Fighter The US Ever Had.

Sun Mar 06, 2005 1:57 pm

After flying the F-4, F-15 and F-16, I'd say the F-15 hands down. The F-22 still isn't operational yet, so I didn't consider that.
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garnetpalmetto
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RE: What Is The Best Fighter The US Ever Had.

Sun Mar 06, 2005 2:14 pm

I'd say the F-14. Deadly at almost all ranges, powerful engines (in the -B and -D models), the variable-sweep wings made it both an effective interceptor and a deadly dogfighter, and in its latter years, we saw it was an effective fighter-bomber as well. As the Tomcat patches advertised...."Anytime, baby!"
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CRJ200Mechanic
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RE: What Is The Best Fighter The US Ever Had.

Sun Mar 06, 2005 2:39 pm

I would have to agree with everything Garnetpalmetto said. F-14 all the way
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ANCFlyer
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RE: What Is The Best Fighter The US Ever Had.

Sun Mar 06, 2005 4:37 pm

P-51 Mustang back in the day . . . .

Now, the F-14 Tomcat, without a doubt.

I hope the F22 can hold a candle to it . . . .

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Arniepie
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RE: What Is The Best Fighter The US Ever Had.

Sun Mar 06, 2005 7:05 pm

If you look at the role the F86 Sabre played in Korea I would put it also up their with the best.

my personal however is the F15, this is how a fighter should look like.
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PhilSquares
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RE: What Is The Best Fighter The US Ever Had.

Sun Mar 06, 2005 7:40 pm

The F-14 wasn't much of a close in dog fighter, especially with the F-15. There are/were sever limitations on the throttle movement at very high altitude. With the F-15 and AARAAM the F-15 was very difficult to beat. I have flown sever DACT sorties with the F-14 and the F-15 can normally come out on top.

The F-15 at high altitude has no throttle limits and you can go from idle to full A/B at virtually any altitude. For close in the F-15 has a higher thrust/weight ratio. Generally, the F15 will not lose energy anywhere near what the F-14 does.
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curlyheadboy
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RE: What Is The Best Fighter The US Ever Had.

Sun Mar 06, 2005 7:47 pm

The F-15 has a record of hundreds of air-to-air wins with not a single combat loss (USAF and IAF), this puts it on the top of my list.
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ghostbase
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RE: What Is The Best Fighter The US Ever Had.

Sun Mar 06, 2005 8:08 pm

Asking what is the best fighter the US ever had is a rather open ended question. If you look at every ten years or so since 1945 one particular fighter type has really stood out. I think the missing gap from the types mentioned so far would be roughly 1955 to 1965 and I would nominate the North American F-100 Super Sabre. The first true supersonic jet fighter (albeit with a lot of teething problems), she later became a very dependable and rugged attack fighter in Vietnam and served widely with the Air National Guards until the late 70's.

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HaveBlue
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RE: What Is The Best Fighter The US Ever Had.

Mon Mar 07, 2005 2:40 am

I must say the Grumman F-14 Tomcat is my favorite fighter of all time. I just love the plane.

Realistically and objectively though, I've always known the F-15 is a better dogfighter. So in my opinion the F-15 is the air superiority fighter to date (not counting the F-22). But I like the 14 better.

That being said, if BVR engagements were a reality, the F-14 would take the cake. With a radar capable of tracking 24 targets simultaneously from a range of about 180 miles and firing 6 Phoenix missiles at 6 seperate targets simultaneously from a range of about 120 miles, the F-14 wouldn't have to worry about dogfighting a whole lot.

But the problem with BVR engagements is that no matter how far out we can track them and kill them, our policy requires that you visually identify the target to make sure it is enemy... IFF notwithstanding. And if your going to be visual, the dogfighting scenario is going to be more important.
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Kukkudrill
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RE: What Is The Best Fighter The US Ever Had.

Tue Mar 08, 2005 5:10 pm

Is it true that an F-14 returning with 6 Phoenixes would be over its carrier weight landing limit? Would kind of limit the practical value of this aircraft/missile combination.
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L-188
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RE: What Is The Best Fighter The US Ever Had.

Wed Mar 09, 2005 12:06 pm

It really depends on the Era we are talking about. Also are we counting ground attack aircraft in here? The New Zealanders for example used the A-4 as a fighter and it did dogfight in the Falklands? I think the Skyraider got a couple of kills in Korea and maybe Nam also. The F5A was a better ground attack airplane then a fighter.

Well anyway my nominiees by ERA


1940's-50's


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1960's-70's


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1980's on.


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Ok, my pick.


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It was not designed as a fighter, but it routinely has kicked purpose designed fighter in training for years. The Argentines made good use of theirs in the Falklands as did the Kuwaities in the 1990's. New Zealand never used hers for combat but they where arguably the equal to many more modern fighters.


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Honorably mention should go to the F-100D. Designed as a fighter, but really made its mark as a mud mover.
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ANCFlyer
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RE: What Is The Best Fighter The US Ever Had.

Wed Mar 09, 2005 7:38 pm

Quoting L-188 (Reply 11):
I think the Skyraider got a couple of kills in Korea and maybe Nam also.


OK, the Skyraider skipped my mind entirely as a close air suppor taircraft in 'Nam it couldn't be beat. The F4s were too damn fast.

I see you put the Corsair up next to the Mustang. . . . interesting comparison - and I'd say they were pretty evenly matched. Still, I like the Mustang.
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dl021
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RE: What Is The Best Fighter The US Ever Had.

Wed Mar 09, 2005 11:24 pm

Having spoken with an F-14 pilot recently, who recently moved to Rhinos (F/A-18F) and has combat time in both, I'll defer to his judgement that the best US fighter aircraft is the F-15C with the new radar. He said that the problem with the TOmcat was that it invariably lost systems on the way to the target and could not turn with other fighters. It could outrun anything but the F-15 and the fastest MiG-25/31 (which it would never really face) so thats how it dealt with close combat. The Phoenix gave it the reach edge over most other aircraft, but it has been out of use for a few years, and its servicability rate was not excellent for the last 10 years making it necessary to target at least two per target to ensure a kill.

To go by era for the best fighter.

WWI Spad. No contest. It had speed and durability over the Nieuports and Fokkers, and was best in maneuverability only by the triple decked Sopwiths and Fokkers. The only aircraft of the war that bested it with any frequency was the Albatros.

Between wars. The best US Fighter of the 20's was the Boeing P-26. It was the first low wing all metal aircraft, with excellent speed and maneuverability.

WWII. It was a tie for second place between the P-38, P-47D, F-4U, and the F-6F. Each of these aircraft were the best in the sky for their roles and the equal at their secondary missions until the appearance of the D model P-51 Mustang. It had the speed, range, strength, firepower (huge throw weight) and ability to absorb punishment that put every other aircraft in the sky at a disadvantage.

Korea. The F-86 Sabre was the best US fighter in the sky, even though it was inferior in certain ways to the MiG-15. Our pilots training and tactics gave us the advantage and allowed us to amass a serious kill ratio in our favor.

Vietnam. The best air-air fighter in the skies over Vietnam for us was the F-8 Crusader. It was known as the MiG Killer and had the edge in maneuverability and acceleration. It only carried 2 sidewinders in addition to the cannons, but it was the last of the US gunfighters. The F-4 had the tech edge, but give a pilot in the region a choice and he would have chosen the F-8.

70's, 80's, 90's The F-15 Eagle. In the A/B models then the C models.

21st century... The Eagle is still our premier aircraft until the F/A-22 wing at Langley is stood up. Right now the aircraft is operational at Tyndall and Nellis, but those are test and evaluation squadrons, albeit deployable in an emergency. I'll hold off on calling the airplane in service until the USAF rolls the 1st Langley AFB squadron. The F/A-22 will hold the same advantages over the F-35 as the Eagle does over the Viper.
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SlamClick
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RE: What Is The Best Fighter The US Ever Had.

Wed Mar 09, 2005 11:58 pm

Not my favorite but still the answer to the title question:

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If we are talking about fighters and not attack, then the job of a fighter is to shoot down enemy planes. Here is the unquestioned champ.
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L-188
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RE: What Is The Best Fighter The US Ever Had.

Thu Mar 10, 2005 2:41 am

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 12):
I see you put the Corsair up next to the Mustang. . . . interesting comparison - and I'd say they were pretty evenly matched. Still, I like the Mustang.



Actually they did face off against each other in Central American during some of the Honduran and Nicaraguan wars in the 1960s's.

Unfortunately I don't remember how they did.
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dl021
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RE: What Is The Best Fighter The US Ever Had.

Thu Mar 10, 2005 3:29 am

L-188 The Honduran Corsairs got the better of the encounters primarily due to training. The Salvadorans were putting men up in Mustangs, both the new mods from Piper and OnMark as well as older Warbirds from the US, they just got with little training.

Slammer... I know what the statistics say, but take out the Great Marianas Turkey shoot and the fact that the F6-F (and the FM-2 Wildcat development) was designed to beat the Zero, and the Japanese were unable to replace their well trained pilots after Midway and the running battles up the slot, while we had developed new tactics, trained new men, and brought new equipment into the fight. I submit that if you put the Hellcat up against the Mustang the 'Stang, with pilots of equal caliber, the P-51 would have several speed and turning advantages. The armoring was pretty much equal, and the Stang had longer legs.
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L-188
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RE: What Is The Best Fighter The US Ever Had.

Thu Mar 10, 2005 3:59 am

THe other thing is that when the Canadians where fielding the Magnificent back in the 1950's they where looking for fighters. The US offered to sell them surplus Hellcats for 8 grand a pop. In the end they went for Sea Fury's at 80 grand a pop.

Part of the reason was due to a "Buy British" policy that Canada had at the time. Part of the reason would be the Fury was a more modern fighter.
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SlamClick
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RE: What Is The Best Fighter The US Ever Had.

Thu Mar 10, 2005 5:13 am

Quoting L-188 (Reply 17):
The US offered to sell them surplus Hellcats for 8 grand a pop.


I'll take twenty of them!


Quoting DL021 (Reply 16):
I submit that if you put the Hellcat up against the Mustang the 'Stang, with pilots of equal caliber, the P-51 would have several speed and turning advantages. The armoring was pretty much equal, and the Stang had longer legs.


I agree. The Hellcat just stands out as one of the best-ever examples of the tool for the job.


Quoting DL021 (Reply 16):
The Honduran Corsairs got the better of the encounters primarily due to training. The Salvadorans were putting men up in Mustangs, both the new mods from Piper and OnMark as well as older Warbirds from the US, they just got with little training.


Sounds about right. (There is a rumor that some Americans, possibly Korean War vets did some of the fighting for Honduras. You have heard of a couple of them.) After the first few days of the Soccer War I was located right across the Tegucigalpa runway from the Corsairs. I'd have to say that spare parts or lack of them won the air war. The Corsairs were all spotted out on the ramp, canopy open, pilot relaxing next to his plane like the Battle of Britain. In between the planes were sandbag revetments and .50 caliber machineguns. They were ready to scramble! Well, except for the huge puddle of oil under each plane.

After the first four or five days I'd be surprised if they could have gotten four planes in the air. Still it was cool to see the Corsairs do their formation landing downhill on that runway at Tegucigalpa.

One day El Salvador flew across the field with a C-47, rolling bombs out the door - one about every quarter mile! I don't recall the fighters scrambling then.
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dl021
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RE: What Is The Best Fighter The US Ever Had.

Thu Mar 10, 2005 5:44 am

Slam Wow, you were at Tegucijalpa right then? I was still learning to get thru the night dry at the time. My Dad told me about the controversy stirred up here when the warbird guys were selling their planes to no really good end.

I was there and at La Palmerola (now called Soto Cano I think) in the 80's and it was probably exactly the way you remembered it.

I believe that the Salvadorans actually ended up selling their C-47's to Honduras as well as Colombia when the Aravas turned out to not be enough.

I think I know of one of the pilots to whom you refer, and I'll let it stay nameless as he is still alive.

The Salvadorans had at least on known warbird collector not only ferry his airplane down there but the guy evidently operated it for them as well. Salvadoran bombing missions from the Goonies did not ever really amount to much, and the Hondurans "won" the conflict in as much as they bloodied the Salvadoran noses and forced them to return home with their tails tucked.

I met a couple of company pilots in Hondo who were operating Dragonflies and Puffs for the Hondurans and Salvadorans. They were experts in maintenance as well as flying and kept their ancient mounts operating at rather high tempos.

Next time your in ATL let me know and we'll swap stories about the place.

Ian
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L-188
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RE: What Is The Best Fighter The US Ever Had.

Thu Mar 10, 2005 8:08 am



Quoting SlamClick (Reply 18):
Well, except for the huge puddle of oil under each plane.

Hey that is normal for a radial. If it ain't leaking it is out of oil.

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 18):
Quoting DL021 (Reply 16):
I submit that if you put the Hellcat up against the Mustang the 'Stang, with pilots of equal caliber, the P-51 would have several speed and turning advantages. The armoring was pretty much equal, and the Stang had longer legs.


I agree. The Hellcat just stands out as one of the best-ever examples of the tool for the job.

Pretty much agree, but I have read some stories that some Korea vets wrote that said the Stangs where not the right tool for the job in Korea.

Usually these where guys that came from ANG Thunderbolt squadrons or flew Bolts during the war. They felt that the cooling system on the Stag was too exposed to ground fire. The Jug with that round motor didn't have that issue.
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dl021
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RE: What Is The Best Fighter The US Ever Had.

Thu Mar 10, 2005 8:35 am

Well, you're right there. The Mustang, while it got kills over jets in Korea, was badly outclassed up against jets. It still had it's use in ground attack, but the airframes were getting worn out, as they were all WWII vets. The Corsair performed sterling service as a ground attack bird off the carriers as well. I don't know much about the P-47 in combat in Korea. I'll look that up, I didn't know they served there.

The Hellcat was a complete Zero, Zeke, Tony, and every other name killer in the Pacific. It was easy to fly off the deck, especially when compared to the Corsair, and was tougher than anything that flew off any boat anywhere. The only naval fighter that compared was the FM-2 Wildcat that was used on the Jeep carriers, and the F-8F Bearcat that came too late to see any meaningful service in the war.
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Pronto
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RE: What Is The Best Fighter The US Ever Had.

Tue Mar 15, 2005 4:52 am

It all depends if you're talking kill ratio, performance, or capabilities. Also time frame is an issue. Basically, all the aircraft above deserve mention.
WWII - Mustang at altitude would have to be the ultimate, with the P-47 being able to cope at all levels. The Hellcat obviously owned the "Water War"
Korea - The Sabre - 'nuf said
Vietnam - many aircraft shared the limelight, but none like the Phantom
Present day - Eagle's kill/loss ratio says it all - even though some may say it's not a fair comparison - afterall, it's had the bulk of the action, but in U.S. hands the Tomcat drew first blood - at close range, not the projected long range it was made for...
 
SlamClick
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RE: What Is The Best Fighter The US Ever Had.

Tue Mar 15, 2005 7:29 am

Surprised no one has mentioned the Genie missile.

Can't think of anything better for taking on whole formations at once.
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dl021
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RE: What Is The Best Fighter The US Ever Had.

Tue Mar 15, 2005 7:48 am

The problem with that was the same one as with the SADMs and MADMs....it would take out the user as well as the enemy.
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LMP737
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RE: What Is The Best Fighter The US Ever Had.

Tue Mar 15, 2005 8:02 am

Quoting PhilSquares (Reply 6):
The F-14 wasn't much of a close in dog fighter, especially with the F-15. There are/were sever limitations on the throttle movement at very high altitude. With the F-15 and AARAAM the F-15 was very difficult to beat. I have flown sever DACT sorties with the F-14 and the F-15 can normally come out on top.

The F-15 at high altitude has no throttle limits and you can go from idle to full A/B at virtually any altitude. For close in the F-15 has a higher thrust/weight ratio. Generally, the F15 will not lose energy anywhere near what the F-14 does.

This can be said of the A version of the Tomcat but not the F-14B/D. With the GE F110 engines the B/D had power to spare.
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PhilSquares
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RE: What Is The Best Fighter The US Ever Had.

Tue Mar 15, 2005 8:05 am

LMP37,

I agree, however the number of "super Tomcats" was quite small when compared to the total number of Tomcats.

When I first checked out in the F-15 I was in Kadena AFB and we would go up against the Tomcats quite often. The A's were really behind the power curve way up high and would always try to take the fight lower.
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LMP737
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RE: What Is The Best Fighter The US Ever Had.

Tue Mar 15, 2005 8:46 am

Quoting PhilSquares (Reply 26):
I agree, however the number of "super Tomcats" was quite small when compared to the total number of Tomcats.

For a good part of it's service life this was true. It's only towards the end of it's service life that there are more B/D's than A's. It's unfortunate that the full capability was never fully realized and that the ultimate version , the D, was cancelled after only fifty five were produced/remanufactured.
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dl757md
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RE: What Is The Best Fighter The US Ever Had.

Tue Mar 15, 2005 12:11 pm

Hey SlamClick.
Found this site.
Bring back any memories?

My vote goes to the P-51. Not my favorite but the best and probably the most historically significant.

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RE: What Is The Best Fighter The US Ever Had.

Tue Mar 15, 2005 1:56 pm

It has to be the P-51 overall. In today's world is the F-15C. The F-14A was and is an interceptor(like the F-106), not really a fighter. Yes, the TOMCAT could hold it's own in direct air to air against most front line fighters, but really cannot turn and run with the F-15, F-16, SU-27, or MIG-31.

BTW, the best overall bomber is the B-17 and the Lancaster was a very close second!
 
Arrow
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RE: What Is The Best Fighter The US Ever Had.

Tue Mar 15, 2005 3:13 pm

"BTW, the best overall bomber is the B-17 and the Lancaster was a very close second!"

These two aircraft are in completely different leagues. The Lancaster was bigger, faster, and carried twice the bomb load. Hell, a Mosquito could carry the same payload as a B-17 and do it at 350 mph. Lancaster was the only allied aircraft that could carry the huge blockbuster bombs at the end of the war.

The B-17's claim to fame was that they built a gazillion of them, and it has the Norden bombsight, which was by far the most effective bombsight in the war. But the aircraft's actual performance was not in any way extraordinary. First really big, heavy bomber from the U.S. was the B-29, and it took the art up another notch.
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Kukkudrill
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RE: What Is The Best Fighter The US Ever Had.

Tue Mar 15, 2005 5:35 pm

Arrow I don't think it's true to say that the Lancaster was bigger than the B-17, though you're right about its performance and load-carrying ability. The two aircraft were roughly the same size, which of course shows up the Lanc's greater efficiency even more. I think the B-17's max bomb load was limited by the size of its bomb bay more than anything else.
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L-188
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RE: What Is The Best Fighter The US Ever Had.

Wed Mar 16, 2005 8:12 am

No I think I can agree with Arrow.

However it is worthwhile to note that there was a kit for installation of two hardpoints on the wings between the inboard Nacelles and the fuselage of the B-17.

It was rarely used because of the negative effects on the aircraft performance, but I understand that the B-17 with that kit could carry the largest US bomb.
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Arrow
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RE: What Is The Best Fighter The US Ever Had.

Wed Mar 16, 2005 9:16 am

You know what -- I just checked the dimensions and Kukkudrill is right -- they are physically almost identical in size. Funny, because the Lanc looks bigger, I've seen them both on a field -- maybe the Lanc stands taller on its gear or something.

But - that does underscore the dramatically better performance and load carrying capabilities of the Lanc vis a vis the B-17. Only B-17 advantage was ceiling -- 35,000 to the Lanc's 25,000 -- but that's because they didn't bother supercharging the Lanc's Merlins -- didn't think the extra altitude would help much.

Some stats:

B-17G

Cruise speed -- 182 mph
Range -- 1100 miles
Ceiling -- 35,000 ft.
Bomb load -- 6,000 lbs. (increases to 12,000 lbs in later variants, but less range)
Crew -- 10

Lancaster

Cruise speed -- 210 mph
Range -- 1660 miles
Ceiling -- 24,500 ft.
Bomb load -- 22,000 lbs
Crew -- 7

I don't have the numbers, but I remember reading that RAF Lancs dropped by far the biggest tonnage on Germany. In the last year, they dropped the blockbusters, grand slams and other huge bombs. One of those bombs could do more damage than the combined drop of a handful of B-17s.

U.S. had nothing to best the Lanc until the B-29 came along -- and that was definitely a quantum leap forward both in speed, range and bomb load. I've never understood why the B-17 has such a fabled reputation, it wasn't even the best US bomber in the field. The "flying fortress" myth was exploded pretty early on by the Luftwaffe in some unescorted daylight raids. Neither the B-17 nor the Lanc would last long in daylight with no escort.
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L-188
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RE: What Is The Best Fighter The US Ever Had.

Wed Mar 16, 2005 3:51 pm

Quoting Arrow (Reply 33):
Neither the B-17 nor the Lanc would last long in daylight with no escort.

Well I would agree with you about the bits, that is why they switched to nighttime bombing, that and their aircraft lacked any meaningful ventral gun protection. Something that was provided by the ball turret on US bombers. The US didn't have all-the-way-to-the-target escorts until the P-51D entered service. The P-38 was used for a while, but from what I read their turbochargers didn't agree with the English weather. Which actually surprises me since they saw a lot of action in the Aleutians.

I also agree with you that in many ways the B-24 was a better bomber, bigger payload, longer legs, which is why a lot of them ended up in the pacific. But where I part company is saying that the "Flying Fortress" was a myth.

Seen way too many battle damage photos to accept that.
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keesje
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RE: What Is The Best Fighter The US Ever Had.

Thu Mar 17, 2005 1:13 am

The multirole F16 probably. Value for money.

A dazling step forwards when it appeared and with an experienced pilot still a feared opponent for every fighter / ground unit.

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dl021
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RE: What Is The Best Fighter The US Ever Had.

Thu Mar 17, 2005 7:27 am

The idea of the undefended bomber formations executing daylight raids unmolested due to the "Wall of Metal" coming from the 10 .50's times however many Forts were in the formation went away with the first raid.

It was still no mean feat, nor for the faint of heart to attack a formation of B-17s or any other well armed bombers. The Germans took losses each time they did and were unable to replace the pilots or aircraft the same way the Allies were.

L-188 is right, that beast could take some damage and get the crew home.
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citjet
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RE: What Is The Best Fighter The US Ever Had.

Fri Mar 18, 2005 12:06 pm

Well, in my opinion, the F-86 was quite advanced for its time. If the USAF had done their home work, the F-86 should have been equiped with 20mm cannon from the outset.

The F-14 Tomcat was limited in its use of the Phoenix. Wasn't the AIM-54 meant to blow Russian bombers to bits? Not fighters. If I recall correctly, an opponent to the AIM-54 could break the lock or tracking of the F-14s APG radar and close in on the Tomcat. This was a problem for the F-14 that could not manouver with a load of AIM-54's as well as it could without them. The fact that the F-14 was outfitted with the wrong engines from the outset was its biggest problem, not to mention enormously expensive to develope.

Soooo, I think that the almost as expensive to develope F-15 is the better in my opinion. It was meant to be a pure fighter from the get-go.

Any one recall the Israeli F-15 that returned from a mid-air after loosing most of its right wing? Thats impressive!
 
Duce50Boom
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RE: What Is The Best Fighter The US Ever Had.

Fri Mar 18, 2005 5:28 pm

Citjet,

I've read about that one somewhere. The story goes that after it happened the IAF contacted McD and asked if it were possible to fly the Rodan with a wing gone, McD replied in the negative and the IAF then sent the photos of the jet back. Always nice to win "stump the dummy" with the jet's manufacturer!

Also heard that the AC (D model with an IP in the rear) was demoted for disobeying the IPs order to eject, but then repromoted for bringing his crippled jet back home.  bigthumbsup 

Unbelieveable!
 
dl021
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RE: What Is The Best Fighter The US Ever Had.

Sat Mar 19, 2005 2:23 am

Quoting Citjet (Reply 37):
the F-86 should have been equiped with 20mm cannon from the outset.

They did equip the F-86 with 20mm cannon, 4 of them, but found that the 6x.50 cals did better with reliability and ammunition capacity. It put a like amount of metal on target and did it more consistently.

They did not have the electric gatling guns at the time and were using Colt 20mm's instead.
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HaveBlue
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RE: What Is The Best Fighter The US Ever Had.

Sat Mar 19, 2005 3:12 am

Citijet and Duceboom I have a picture of that Isreali F-15 you both are speaking about. Just got home from work and will try to get it uploaded and linked later today.

From what I recall, and I may have saved the article somewhere too, after the midair the 15 lost control in a spin. He used afterburner to break out of the spin and get flying somewhat controlled again. The rest of the details are fuzzy.

Couple hours, I'll have it up.
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dl021
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RE: What Is The Best Fighter The US Ever Had.

Sat Mar 19, 2005 5:29 am

One thing pointed out in a recent article is that there is only one airplane out there with a 100:0 kill ratio. The F-15 is unbeaten and has been in close combat with every aircraft of its generation. The SU-27 did not come until later, and there is no reason to assume it has a serious advantage over the F-15. I guess we may find out someday, but it will probably be between some nation other than the US and anyone else.
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keesje
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RE: What Is The Best Fighter The US Ever Had.

Sat Mar 19, 2005 7:33 am

In a serious large scale airbattle F15 would be shot down. However there haven´t been much during the last 25 years. Unless you count intercepting some old fleeing Mig´s as a fight..
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
dl021
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RE: What Is The Best Fighter The US Ever Had.

Sat Mar 19, 2005 7:56 am

Quoting Keesje (Reply 42):
In a serious large scale airbattle F15 would be shot down. However there haven´t been much during the last 25 years. Unless you count intercepting some old fleeing Mig´s as a fight..

Says who? In an airbattle with which aircraft? Are you certain the MiGs were fleeing?

These airplane continue to win DACT battles and for a good reason. The only comuppance they have had recently is with the Indian Sukhois and tactics need to be developed for the radar/missile advantage they have.
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citjet
Posts: 96
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RE: What Is The Best Fighter The US Ever Had.

Sat Mar 19, 2005 8:45 am

Well, the F-86H's were equiped with the 20mm single barreled cannon. I know that the reliability of the 50cals was predominant in the choice of guns, but a larger projectile would have been benificial in downing Migs during the Korean war.

Also, place a very well trained pilot in the seat of an SU-27 or Mig-29, and those guys are a serious contender to our F-15's. Just look at how many countries did mock fights against West German Mig-29's and got their asses handed to them.
 
Areopagus
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RE: What Is The Best Fighter The US Ever Had.

Sat Mar 19, 2005 11:16 am

On the sideshow about B-17 vs. Lancaster: The Lanc had that nice big long bomb bay that could hold the monster bombs. Its Merlins certainly were supercharged, just not with turbos. The B-17 had less powerful engines, which probably affected practical bomb load for long range missions.

The B-17's ball turret with its ammunition weighed thousands of pounds, and caused drag. If it had been deleted, the bomb load would have gone up. Putting a ball turret on the Lanc for daylight use would have reduced its bomb load.

The B-17s would take an hour to all get off the ground and in formation before heading out over the channel. If they hadn't done that, they could have traded fuel for bomb load. The Lancasters took off and headed out into the long stream without that delay.
 
L-188
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RE: What Is The Best Fighter The US Ever Had.

Sat Mar 19, 2005 7:47 pm

Quoting Areopagus (Reply 45):
The Lanc had that nice big long bomb bay that could hold the monster bombs.

Yes, and no.

The Lanc had a nice long bomb bay, but the British still had to build some with a buldged bay to accomodate some of the larger ordinance.

And then 617's where heavily modified to carry Grand Slam externally.
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Kukkudrill
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RE: What Is The Best Fighter The US Ever Had.

Sat Mar 19, 2005 10:51 pm

Wasn't it only the B-17G that had the ball turret? Does the B-17F, say, come out any better by comparison with the Lanc?
Make the most of the available light ... a lesson of photography that applies to life
 
dl021
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RE: What Is The Best Fighter The US Ever Had.

Sun Mar 20, 2005 1:30 am

All the B-17s from the E model onward had machine gun turrets instead of the "bathtub" blisters in the A-D models. Originally made by Bendix as a remote control turret then an improved model by Sperry with the manned ball turret starting with the 113th E model made..
http://www.wpafb.af.mil/museum/research/bombers/b2-19.htm

The G model difference was the chin turret, that was added to some F models as a mod center improvement.

The F model was capable of a top speed of 325mph with a ceiling of 37500ft and could carry 8000lbs of bombs at a cruise speed of 70mph slower than the E model due to all the modifications attached with the extra guns and the mechanized turrets (about 6000lbs more).

The E model was the first "full body" B-17 with the tail gunner position and the larger tail section.
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b741
Posts: 677
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RE: What Is The Best Fighter The US Ever Had.

Wed Mar 23, 2005 4:40 pm

Judging by the above posts, it looks like a toss-up between the F-14 and F-15. Personally, I like the F-104 Starfighter "Century" series for its looks.
Being Bilingual, I Speak English And Aviation

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