L-188
Topic Author
Posts: 29881
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

After The Bombers-The 10 Greatest Fighters.

Sat Feb 24, 2007 4:27 pm

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.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Mick Bajcar



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


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

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


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

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.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

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.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Stuart freer



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.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

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


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Voortmans Dirk



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.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

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.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Stephen Fox



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.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

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.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

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.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

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.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Chris Lofting

OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
rwessel
Posts: 2448
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 3:47 pm

RE: After The Bombers-The 10 Greatest Fighters.

Sat Feb 24, 2007 5:21 pm

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.



View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Britt Dietz

 
A342
Posts: 4017
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2005 11:05 pm

RE: After The Bombers-The 10 Greatest Fighters.

Sat Feb 24, 2007 8:56 pm

The Su-27 belongs in the list. IMO, as #1 !
Exceptions confirm the rule.
 
pelican
Posts: 2429
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 9:51 pm

RE: After The Bombers-The 10 Greatest Fighters.

Sat Feb 24, 2007 9:17 pm

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]
 
keesje
Posts: 8611
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2001 2:08 am

RE: After The Bombers-The 10 Greatest Fighters.

Sat Feb 24, 2007 9:17 pm

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
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
connies4ever
Posts: 3393
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2006 10:54 pm

RE: After The Bombers-The 10 Greatest Fighters.

Sat Feb 24, 2007 11:26 pm

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.
 
pelican
Posts: 2429
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 9:51 pm

RE: After The Bombers-The 10 Greatest Fighters.

Sat Feb 24, 2007 11:42 pm

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
 
CF188A
Posts: 680
Joined: Sun May 07, 2006 12:27 am

RE: After The Bombers-The 10 Greatest Fighters.

Sun Feb 25, 2007 1:17 am

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.
Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die tomorrow~ RIP ... LJFM
 
L-188
Topic Author
Posts: 29881
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: After The Bombers-The 10 Greatest Fighters.

Sun Feb 25, 2007 2:04 am

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.
 
Kukkudrill
Posts: 1039
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2004 10:11 pm

RE: After The Bombers-The 10 Greatest Fighters.

Sun Feb 25, 2007 2:14 am

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
 
L-188
Topic Author
Posts: 29881
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: After The Bombers-The 10 Greatest Fighters.

Sun Feb 25, 2007 2:34 am

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.
 
bigjku
Posts: 870
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 10:51 pm

RE: After The Bombers-The 10 Greatest Fighters.

Sun Feb 25, 2007 2:45 am

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 avatar
kc135topboom
Posts: 10997
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:26 am

RE: After The Bombers-The 10 Greatest Fighters.

Sun Feb 25, 2007 2:58 am

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
 
ebj1248650
Posts: 1517
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2005 6:17 am

RE: After The Bombers-The 10 Greatest Fighters.

Sun Feb 25, 2007 8:10 am

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!
 
BladeLWS
Posts: 358
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2005 12:41 pm

RE: After The Bombers-The 10 Greatest Fighters.

Sun Feb 25, 2007 9:13 am

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.
 
pelican
Posts: 2429
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 9:51 pm

RE: After The Bombers-The 10 Greatest Fighters.

Sun Feb 25, 2007 11:43 am

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
 
XT6Wagon
Posts: 2637
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 4:06 pm

RE: After The Bombers-The 10 Greatest Fighters.

Sun Feb 25, 2007 12:05 pm

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.
 
TAZA
Posts: 38
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 5:20 am

RE: After The Bombers-The 10 Greatest Fighters.

Mon Feb 26, 2007 4:45 am

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
 
Pyrex
Posts: 4044
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2005 7:24 am

RE: After The Bombers-The 10 Greatest Fighters.

Mon Feb 26, 2007 10:30 pm

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!
 
KevinSmith
Posts: 626
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 9:08 am

RE: After The Bombers-The 10 Greatest Fighters.

Mon Feb 26, 2007 10:49 pm

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
Learning to fly, but I ain't got wings.
 
User avatar
HAWK21M
Posts: 29867
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2001 10:05 pm

RE: After The Bombers-The 10 Greatest Fighters.

Mon Feb 26, 2007 11:02 pm



I'd Rate the Sukhoi 27 as #1.

regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
KevinSmith
Posts: 626
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 9:08 am

RE: After The Bombers-The 10 Greatest Fighters.

Mon Feb 26, 2007 11:18 pm

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.
Learning to fly, but I ain't got wings.
 
Pyrex
Posts: 4044
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2005 7:24 am

RE: After The Bombers-The 10 Greatest Fighters.

Mon Feb 26, 2007 11:25 pm

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!
 
KevinSmith
Posts: 626
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 9:08 am

RE: After The Bombers-The 10 Greatest Fighters.

Mon Feb 26, 2007 11:27 pm

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
Learning to fly, but I ain't got wings.
 
RichardPrice
Posts: 4474
Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2005 5:12 am

RE: After The Bombers-The 10 Greatest Fighters.

Mon Feb 26, 2007 11:46 pm

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.
 
Kukkudrill
Posts: 1039
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2004 10:11 pm

RE: After The Bombers-The 10 Greatest Fighters.

Tue Feb 27, 2007 12:31 am

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 24):
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.

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 have been a serious drawback versus an F-86 or a MiG-15. Meteors were totally outclassed by the Migs in Korea, as a result of which they were relegated to ground-attack duties.

Now I can't help wondering how the Hunter would have fared if it had been ready in time ...
Make the most of the available light ... a lesson of photography that applies to life
 
User avatar
kc135topboom
Posts: 10997
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:26 am

RE: After The Bombers-The 10 Greatest Fighters.

Tue Feb 27, 2007 12:32 am

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 24):
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.

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.
 
Pyrex
Posts: 4044
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2005 7:24 am

RE: After The Bombers-The 10 Greatest Fighters.

Tue Feb 27, 2007 12:43 am

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 18):
6. Douglas A-4 Skyraider

Damn, I just realized my faux-pas. I meant the Skyhawk, obviously, not the Skyraider.
Read this very carefully, I shall write this only once!
 
RichardPrice
Posts: 4474
Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2005 5:12 am

RE: After The Bombers-The 10 Greatest Fighters.

Tue Feb 27, 2007 12:52 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 26):
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.

The Meteor was operationally based in Belgium from January 1945 onward, and ended the war with 46 enemy aircraft destroyed (mainly through ground attacks tho).

The Gloster Meteor also saw action in the Korean war, where it held its own against the superior MiG-15 with several confirmed kills.
 
Arrow
Posts: 2325
Joined: Wed Jun 19, 2002 7:44 am

RE: After The Bombers-The 10 Greatest Fighters.

Tue Feb 27, 2007 1:30 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 26):
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.

That's a little misleading. The ME-262's combat performance was measured against prop-driven opponents, which it obviously outclassed on speed alone. Had the Meteor been used in a similar fashion -- i.e. against prop-driven opponents -- it would likely have had the same impact.

It is also my understanding (correct me if I'm wrong) that while the ME-262 outperformed the Meteor on paper, the Meteor's engine-reliability was far superior to the German machine.

On the general topic of best fighter, the Spitfire will always be on top of my list, with the ME-109 a very close second. The basis for my selection is that the Spit (and the ME109) was in service as a front line fighter from the late 1930s to the end of WW2. In the process it went from a 325 mph fighter with a two-bladed fixed pitch wooden prop to a 450 mph fighter by the end of the war -- all with the same basic wing design. I don't think any other fighter comes close to that level of improvement, and in the process the Spit remained ahead of, or even with, successive versions of both the ME-109 and the FW 190. And for pure dogfighting ability it was equalled only by the Japanese Zero.

[Edited 2007-02-26 17:42:26]
Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
 
User avatar
USAF336TFS
Posts: 1355
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2005 11:05 pm

RE: After The Bombers-The 10 Greatest Fighters.

Tue Feb 27, 2007 1:35 am

I'll agree with most about the list with a change at the top...



Number 1: P-51D
Number 2: F-15C
336th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 4th Fighter Wing, Seymour Johnson AFB
 
TheSonntag
Posts: 4296
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2005 7:23 pm

RE: After The Bombers-The 10 Greatest Fighters.

Tue Feb 27, 2007 2:26 am

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 used today

3. F-16: Designed as a low-cost plane, it became the most versatile airplane ever.

4. Mig-21: A true classic

5. Spitfire: Cool looking plane

6. F-104: Not a success, but what a plane

7. Me-262: First jet fighter, and quite successful

8. Eurofighter: Nice plane

9. Fokker Dr. 3

10. Sopwith Camel: I always crash it when I fly MS Flight Simulator, though
 
User avatar
USAF336TFS
Posts: 1355
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2005 11:05 pm

RE: After The Bombers-The 10 Greatest Fighters.

Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:41 am

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 31):
1. P51 Mustang: One word: Range! I think its range made the difference, at least compared to the FW 190 and Me 109

It was a better fighter though...
336th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 4th Fighter Wing, Seymour Johnson AFB
 
A342
Posts: 4017
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2005 11:05 pm

RE: After The Bombers-The 10 Greatest Fighters.

Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:00 am

Quoting KevinSmith (Reply 21):
It doesn't have a HOTAS like system, no fast firing cannon

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 you don't need many of those big 30mm rounds to take out an enemy ! Combined with the laser rangefinder / aiming system and its accuracy, it is a formidable canon ! The only real downside seems to be a short barrel life.

Regarding HOTAS, while the original Su-27 might not feature it, IIRC modernized versions have it.
Exceptions confirm the rule.
 
keesje
Posts: 8611
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2001 2:08 am

RE: After The Bombers-The 10 Greatest Fighters.

Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:42 am

Quoting Arrow (Reply 29):
the Spit remained ahead of, or even with, successive versions of both the ME-109 and the FW 190. And for pure dogfighting ability it was equalled only by the Japanese Zero.

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 superior in every aspect to front line fighters like Spitfire V & Typhoon. The Spitfire XII was launched & the innovative radial cooling technology was copied into the Hawker Tempest II.

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 28):
The Gloster Meteor also saw action in the Korean war, where it held its own against the superior MiG-15 with several confirmed kills.

I think "held its own" is to much, the Meteors in Korea were clearly on the receiving side, most of them being withdrawn after serious losses.
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
KevinSmith
Posts: 626
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 9:08 am

RE: After The Bombers-The 10 Greatest Fighters.

Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:47 am

Quoting A342 (Reply 33):
No fast-firing canon ?

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 that is? That is 100 rounds per second. ONE HUNDRED, not thirty with the GSh-30-1. Yes Russian rounds are 50% bigger but they don't come out as fast. 20mm ain't exactly teeny, it will do plenty of damage as well.

So A342 let me ask you this. If you found your self yankin and bankin, moving in excess of 500kts, pulling massive amounts of Gs in a dog fight with only guns which aircraft would you rather be in (all other factors being equal), the one with the GSh-30-1 or the M61? Before you make your decision consider this. In most dog fights you only get about 1.5 seconds for a clean gun shot at a time, AT MOST. How many rounds would you rather put on that enemy aircraft? 150 or 45?

As for the HOTAS it doesn't have a true HOTAS system.

[Edited 2007-02-26 22:51:59]

[Edited 2007-02-26 23:07:11]
Learning to fly, but I ain't got wings.
 
GQfluffy
Posts: 3072
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2005 1:25 pm

RE: After The Bombers-The 10 Greatest Fighters.

Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:54 am

Quoting A342 (Reply 2):
The Su-27 belongs in the list. IMO, as #1 !

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 F-15 is a greater fighter? Big grin
This isn't where I parked my car...
 
KevinSmith
Posts: 626
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 9:08 am

RE: After The Bombers-The 10 Greatest Fighters.

Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:06 am

Quoting Keesje (Reply 34):
I think "held its own" is to much, the Meteors in Korea were clearly on the receiving side, most of them being withdrawn after serious losses.

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.

Keesje can this be? I didn't think it was possible but you and I have found common ground.
Learning to fly, but I ain't got wings.
 
RichardPrice
Posts: 4474
Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2005 5:12 am

RE: After The Bombers-The 10 Greatest Fighters.

Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:07 am

Quoting Keesje (Reply 34):

I think "held its own" is to much, the Meteors in Korea were clearly on the receiving side, most of them being withdrawn after serious losses.

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 vehicles. (some of last line taken from Wikipedia).

They lost 30 meteors to mainly AAA while attacking ground targets, three were confirmed a2a kills.

They remained active throughout the Korean war, on the front line.

In contrast, nearly 600 F-86 Sabres were deployed to Korea, of which 79 were confirmed as enemy kills.
 
ba97
Posts: 348
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2004 9:42 am

RE: After The Bombers-The 10 Greatest Fighters.

Tue Feb 27, 2007 9:18 am

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 caused the opponents? Given the first criteria, the Spitfire wins as to how long in so many mods it kept being a star- Under the second criteria- The Spitfire seemed to be a desired plane-was it Galland who said he wanted them to Goering? Same sort of response came with the Mustang (although the response was closer to "game over".

As for the M262, its engines were problematic and we are left with a question mark on its greatness due to the end of the war and it never having to do battle jet to jet. The allies did not have to respond to its presence, the war ended and they already had their own jets in the works. Now as to copying the design...

What about the Harrier? It's been around a long time and seems to do lots of things.

Many fighters are great and in the hands of a skilled pilot, any average plane can be made to look outstanding. The long lasting capability of the 109 must put it up near the top- It was great in 1939 and with skill, still good at the end in 1945.
there is economy class, business class, first class...then Concorde..pure class
 
Kukkudrill
Posts: 1039
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2004 10:11 pm

RE: After The Bombers-The 10 Greatest Fighters.

Tue Feb 27, 2007 5:11 pm

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 38):
They lost 30 meteors to mainly AAA while attacking ground targets, three were confirmed a2a kills.

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. After the second encounter it was found that the Meteors had a total of three gun-firing opportunities in the whole fight. For the rest of the war they flew ground attack missions.
Make the most of the available light ... a lesson of photography that applies to life
 
Pyrex
Posts: 4044
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2005 7:24 am

RE: After The Bombers-The 10 Greatest Fighters.

Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:36 pm

Quoting Ba97 (Reply 39):

What about the Harrier? It's been around a long time and seems to do lots of things.

I completely forgot about that one! I had thought of it but just didn't write it on my list... Shame on me.
Read this very carefully, I shall write this only once!
 
JakeOrion
Posts: 1090
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2005 11:13 pm

RE: After The Bombers-The 10 Greatest Fighters.

Wed Feb 28, 2007 12:12 am

The somewhat "official" top 10:

http://www.mymultiplesclerosis.co.uk/greatest-ever/fighterplanes.html

Can't find any more links though, and not surprisingly, the P-51 is #1 according to that link.
Every problem has a simple solution; finding the simple solution is the difficult problem.
 
A342
Posts: 4017
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2005 11:05 pm

RE: After The Bombers-The 10 Greatest Fighters.

Wed Feb 28, 2007 12:28 am

Quoting KevinSmith (Reply 35):
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 that is? That is 100 rounds per second. ONE HUNDRED, not thirty with the GSh-30-1. Yes Russian rounds are 50% bigger but they don't come out as fast. 20mm ain't exactly teeny, it will do plenty of damage as well.

So A342 let me ask you this. If you found your self yankin and bankin, moving in excess of 500kts, pulling massive amounts of Gs in a dog fight with only guns which aircraft would you rather be in (all other factors being equal), the one with the GSh-30-1 or the M61? Before you make your decision consider this. In most dog fights you only get about 1.5 seconds for a clean gun shot at a time, AT MOST. How many rounds would you rather put on that enemy aircraft? 150 or 45?

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 a second. So your 150 rounds in a one second burst are exaggerated.

And the 30mm projectiles aren't 50% "bigger". They weigh FOUR TIMES as much as 20mm projectiles. So in a one second burst, the GSh-30-1 fires substantially more -and harder-hitting- ammo, based on weight, at the target.

No question, give me a GSh-30-1 any time !
Exceptions confirm the rule.
 
JakeOrion
Posts: 1090
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2005 11:13 pm

RE: After The Bombers-The 10 Greatest Fighters.

Wed Feb 28, 2007 12:41 am

Quoting A342 (Reply 43):
No question, give me a GSh-30-1 any time !

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 doesn't mean its always better. Weight is a consideration, as well as how many rounds your aircraft can carry. There's always a trade off, and in my eyes, the M61 is a better choice because its practical (rounds/weight/etc.)

A 30mm is ridiculously overkill (especially against fighters.) 20mm rounds of today are perfectly capable of bring today's modern planes down without too much of a problem.

Now against armored vehicles, thats another story...
Every problem has a simple solution; finding the simple solution is the difficult problem.
 
baroque
Posts: 12302
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 2:15 pm

RE: After The Bombers-The 10 Greatest Fighters.

Wed Feb 28, 2007 12:47 am

Quoting L-188 (Thread starter):
the orders of a Bohemian Corporal hadn't caused it to be delayed and initially mis-deployed as a bomber.



Quoting Arrow (Reply 29):
It is also my understanding (correct me if I'm wrong) that while the ME-262 outperformed the Meteor on paper, the Meteor's engine-reliability was far superior to the German machine.

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 were not all that much better. The same engines gave less trouble on the Arado 234 simply because bombing missions required fewer throttle movements.

The Meteor I joined the fight against flying bombs in the summer of 1944 (27 July). It was a help but not a splendid success.

The 262 became operational about 20 July 1944.

The Meteor III would have gone against the 262. It was slower than the 262, but probably still fast enough to cause 262 pilots to have to push their throttles as they did not against piston engined planes. So the 262 might have had a more difficult time against the MIII than the paper suggests. Lengthening the engine nacelles on the M III changed the critical Mach number from 0.74 to 0.84, so it is important to work out which nacelle type a given plane had (most of the data seems to relate to the short nacelles - I THINK!). And very soon it would have had the Meteor 4 which would have had the longer engine nacelles. Apart from putting up the critical Mach number the longer nacelles made it a better gun platform.

No doubt the 262 would have been improved too, but even in 1945, its engines were a major weak point.

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 16):
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.

As I understand, they tended to set on fire fairly easily and had poor pilot protection. The Spitfires had some early conniptions with Zeros because they fought them as if they were 109s which they were not. But the Aus pilots of the P40 Kittyhawks, or Neverhawks as they had become known fought them relatively successfully using speed and altitude and not trying to outturn them. So if the zero were No 1, the much maligned P40 would have to be 0.5 - same as its guns perhaps!!

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 26):
The Meteor was only superior to the Me-262 on paper. The Meteor never had an opportunity to prove it self in combat like the german design did.

You are correct, it did not have much opportunity, but the M III was inferior to the 262 on paper. However, its engines tended to keep going as advertised! By the M III, the controls had been revised to allow it to roll better although still not great compared with the Tempest, but the low wing loading of the Meteor (373 sq ft for 13300 lbs loaded) gave it excellent turning characteristics (Me 262: 233.6 sq ft for 14100 lbs loaded).

Jeffrey Ethell and Alfred Price WWII Fighting Jets. Airlife 211p.
 
A342
Posts: 4017
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2005 11:05 pm

RE: After The Bombers-The 10 Greatest Fighters.

Wed Feb 28, 2007 2:12 am

Quoting JakeOrion (Reply 44):
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 doesn't mean its always better. Weight is a consideration, as well as how many rounds your aircraft can carry. There's always a trade off, and in my eyes, the M61 is a better choice because its practical (rounds/weight/etc.)

A 30mm is ridiculously overkill (especially against fighters.) 20mm rounds of today are perfectly capable of bring today's modern planes down without too much of a problem.

Now against armored vehicles, thats another story...

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 supposed to be very robust against impacts, isn't it ?
I'd go for a 30mm gun, and the above is not the only reason. You said it, against ground targets (especially armor), the bigger the better.

I think there's a reason why the F-35 has a 25mm gun, not the M61 like older aircraft.
Exceptions confirm the rule.
 
KevinSmith
Posts: 626
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 9:08 am

RE: After The Bombers-The 10 Greatest Fighters.

Wed Feb 28, 2007 5:41 am

Quoting A342 (Reply 46):
F-35 has a 25mm gun

You can thank the USMC for that.
Learning to fly, but I ain't got wings.
 
KevinSmith
Posts: 626
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 9:08 am

RE: After The Bombers-The 10 Greatest Fighters.

Wed Feb 28, 2007 5:54 am

Quoting A342 (Reply 43):
And the M61 takes time to spin up to full speed, approx. half a second. So your 150 rounds in a one second burst are exaggerated.

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 that of your Ruskie gun. Not to mention that what the gun is capable of but does not operate at. The GSh-30-1 operates at 1500 rpm to extend barrel life, not the 1800 with which I generated the 45 rounds per 1.5 secs.. That means the M61 has an even greater advantage over the GSh-30-1. Why do you think that sporting birds are hunted with shotguns as opposed to rifles? Same concept can be applied here.

Quoting A342 (Reply 43):

And the 30mm projectiles aren't 50% "bigger". They weigh FOUR TIMES as much as 20mm projectiles. So in a one second burst, the GSh-30-1 fires substantially more -and harder-hitting- ammo, based on weight, at the target.

I was speaking in terms of diameter. 30MM-20MM=10MM. 10/20=.5*100=50% bigger.

Also the M61 is going to fire at a much hire muzzle velocity than the GSh-30-1. That means the supposed 4 to 1 weight advantage is reduce tremendously. The mass of the projectile isn't everything but the combination of mass and velocity. In theory a 10lb bowling ball can strike an object with the same force as a 5 lb bowling ball. The 5lb ball will be moving faster than the 10lb to achieve this.

Lastly YES YOU CAN compare rate of fire. He who slings the most lead increases his chance of survival.

[Edited 2007-02-27 21:56:29]
Learning to fly, but I ain't got wings.
 
A342
Posts: 4017
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2005 11:05 pm

RE: After The Bombers-The 10 Greatest Fighters.

Thu Mar 01, 2007 12:25 am

Quoting KevinSmith (Reply 48):
I was speaking in terms of diameter.

And obviously diameter alone isn't important.

But consider why even the USA are now moving towards guns with a larger caliber, hence larger projectiles.

Quoting KevinSmith (Reply 48):
Also the M61 is going to fire at a much hire muzzle velocity than the GSh-30-1.

And the 20mm round loses kinetic energy more quickly than the 30mm one, so its range is reduced.


You don't like the GSh-30-1 because of the low rate of fire ? The GSh-6-23 must be a dream for you: 9000rpm, firing a 23mm projectile.
Exceptions confirm the rule.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests