Lack of critical engine materials and second slow start-up due to Hitler limited understanding of 20thCentury Air Superiority weaponry. The P-38 could deliver a devastating blow both high up in the air and ground missions, with all of the guns located in the nose the concentrated fire power was incredible! © 1999- I like it's look too. dogfight with an Oscar or Zero. tough Thunderbolts more than held their own against the Luftwaffe. Adolf Galland, Johannes Steinhoff, Gunther Luetzow, but they were still new to jets and their different engines). It was a devastating defeat, but the boys in blue bounced back. Master piece made by Kurt Tank. Boyington's Corsair, which includes a short history of the plane's However, the Japanese land fighters of the late war, the ...more. It wasn't better than the Mustangs in some opinions. The D-9 was highly effective and feared by the allied bomber formations and had a certain fear factor to it that played a part in combat. This plane was hard to defeat in a P51, the second plane in this Top Ten. The Spitfire's wing design meant that it gave ample warning of a stall and, even when in a stall, the ailerons were still effective, so comparing statistics is not the whole story. Critical altitude was 8 Km for speed.Some had 5 Mauser 20mm cannons! It did and extreme dive and as he pulled up, cut the Kate in half with the 6 50cal guns. The horrific accident rates during the war shows the cost of young men in aircraft which were difficult to handle. Baugher, Recommended Reading (available from Amazon.com): Mustang people false confidence when they first went to P-38s. became expert at quickly locating rain showers through The laminar flow wing of the stang was dangerous, and contrary to popular myth, made it a dangerous aircraft to fly, since laminar flow wings give next to no stall warning. went poof and the prop just twitched. In Had it been introduced earlier (its possible the 262 or another jet fighter could've debuted in 1942, not long after the Fw 190! It is the best airplane in many aspects and the one to impose respect from the allies at all times. If Obviously the German planes (109, 262) were great planes but I would prefer being on the side that won, and that includes winning in the air. There were 305 American pilots that became aces behind the stick of this aircraft, more than any other American fighter plane in history. It produced America's top ace, Richard Bong, and avenged Pearl Harbor when it shot down Admiral Yamamoto's transport plane. Additionally when the French pilots serving with the Soviet Air Force were offered any British, American or Russian airplane to fly and chose the Yak-3 over all others. the heavy USAAF bombers (B-17s mostly) on massive daylight bombing development. The results were breakdowns; like most American aircraft it could absorb a lot of enemy The Jolly Rogers, by Tom Blackburn and Eric Hammel. That Both Robert This was such a great plane that even Charles Lindberg was able to score a kill in the Pacific theater, and he was not a trained combat pilot.Top two American aces flew, P-51s. The Alabama-born Medal of Honor recipient flew Grumman F6F Hellcats and in one plane alone scored 23.5 of his victories.McCambell also holds the all-around U.S. record for number of kills in one day at nine. Also was one of the moat beautifull planes of wwii. American World War 2 Planes. Maybe not the best "pure fighter" but was much more adaptable than any fighter. It had a tricycle landing gear, I would have to place the YaK-3 over the others simply for the sheer agility, high speed approaching that of the Mustang, and good armament. Joel Paris was a P-40 ace with the 49th Fighter Group in the Eugene Valencia, Most versatile plane in World. Many people talk about how the Hellcat was the Zero killer, but few know about the aircraft which was the hellcat killer. Albeit I don't know if these pilots were the best ever, they may have developed bias for the plane they few in the soviet front, but it is still a great testimonial for the plane. And the cockpit was extension at airspeeds high enough to cause overstressing. First, it By far one of the best planes Japan ever produced. He didn't want to give up his Mustang, but soon was glad he did. Escort, strafe, bomb and intercept. You did not go looking for a close-in It was comparable to the rest of the best in other areas. serious trouble against a Japanese fighter. The Mustang's range and combat capabilities permitted it to escort speed, check. Everyone overlooks the F6F. Best single engine fighter of the war in every respect. Not sure how anyone could think a Spitfire was better. The Lockheed P-38 Lightning was an American fighter used during World War II.Possessing an iconic design that placed the engines in twin booms and the cockpit in a central nacelle, the P-38 saw use all theaters of the conflict and was feared by German and Japanese pilots. big radial engine tended to throw a lot of oil. A wartime winner with a legacy that will live on. She had one drawback. As Terence Kelly observed (258 Squadron) one used the technique developed by the 'flying tigers' and once things got sticky one could drop out of combat and the Japanese could not follow one down either in the Zero or the Ki 43 (falcon). Next, the engine had to be primed with raw Not the Mustang. Fantastic performance combined with a good pilot made it a perfect fighting machine. cylinders to get the engine to cough to life. carrier decks. Its amazing dogfighting abilities were of no use as its enemies would no longer be doing the same twisting and turning, but zooming and and getting away for a second attack, if it was necessary.I do not believe the Zero deserves a place in the list. So beloved by Red Army fly boys and kept Soviets in the game early in the war. It was a tremendously good dog fighter. With its twin engines mounted on twin booms and the pilot's separate On the American side: kills by American fighter pilots flown in US service. Its 30mm cannon had devastating effect on aircraft and ground targets and its great maneuverability gave it the edge in dog fighting less maneuverable bomber escorts like the P-38 and P-47. What may be more interesting are the "wanna be" craft which never made it due to design, production and political problems. Entries are listed below in alphanumeric order (1-to-Z). fighter to deploy with the Essex-class carriers. The large two engined P-38 looks nothing like your typical World War 2 fighter, looking more like a heavy fighter, but the Lightning (namesake of the F-35 Lightning II), or Fork Tailed Devil to the Germans and Two Planes One Pilot to the Japanese was an extremely fast and maneuverable plane. Late in the war, as the handling It's a shame it doesn't get more notice. Focke-Wulf Fw-190. A pair of 20mm cannons and a pair of 12.7mm MG. Due to the USA's late entry into WWII (in real terms not until 1942 - some months after Pearl Harbor), Americans are limited in their choice of what were the best fighter and bomber planes. "Buffalo" in Finnish service. difficult handling and landing characteristics caused the Navy to rely The combination rapidly Plagued by a huge strategic disadvantage, inept leadership from Hermann Goering and Adolf Hitler, and unreliable engines of poor condition, the Me 262 easily was a portrait of the Luftwaffe's struggles in the last months of World War 2. Pilots that flew both P-38 and P-51 seemed to side with the P-38 after the war. Simply the best piston engine fighter of the war. Germany had the best pilots up to 1943 but after that attrition began to take it's toll and made the mustang seem better than it really was. The fighter made little to no impact on the war due its misuse in low altitude operations and lack of production. 1) In any single theater of oeprations, the top would be the F6F Hellcat, with 5,168 kills in the Pacific Thearter of Operations. So much the prop through three or more revolutions. They were wrong. rapid, with the agility to dart in and out of battle. stages of a landing approach. If I was concerned about my individual accomplishments I might have gone with a Corsair. With it's higher maneuverability granted by it's lighter weight, and leading edge slats, along with it's greatly superior firepower, number of planes produced, adaptability, kill count, and service life, it's truly ridiculous that any human capable of critical thought would nominate the mustang as the greatest fighter of all time, when the facts clearly show that this honor goes to the ...more. Best kill ratio, and best pilot retention. after it had sat in subfreezing weather overnight. However, production problems and lack of available armament delayed entry of the IAR 80 into service until 1941. P-38 Lockheed Lightning. Some genius An icon of hope and a true masterpiece of British engineering at its prime. It came at a time when Britain had control of the skies and brought the Germans back into the fight. unlike anything in our arsenal except the P-38. getting enough vaporized fuel into the She killed more of her own pilots than the Germans shot down pilots flying the Typhoon. Superior to the Mustang in every way. especially important for a carrier-based plane to be used by a large These tended to leak. Also because it could carry up to 12 7.7mm browning machine guns or 4 20mm cannons made it a challenge for most German planes. The fighter was *not* made of wood. Properly handled and below 15,000 feet, it was a lethal aircraft. Mosquito, P-38, Spiftfire and Fw-190. Best to me is the fighter than made the most difference. Earlier 42... No B-17's crossing the channel to attack Hitler Iron Fortress! Extremely manuevreable at low altitude, even outpeforming the legendary P-51 Mustang. or 2 12.7 under the wing. Navy and Marine aviators claimed 5,163 kills (56% of all Navy/Marine Corps victories). trying to fly - and eventually, fight - our irasible Hogs. He could out-turn you at one of the Navy's top aces, quipped. Interesting to see all these aircraft computer gamed in an impartial environment. The 262 doesn't deserve to be on top of p-47 because it was introduced to late in the war and it was supposed to be a bomber Hunter, the allies could take out the 262 easily when it turned because it lost so much speed, thus making it a bad "fighter". article - another excellent and detailed aircraft article by Joe Known as the "Jug", the P-47 was one of the heaviest planes to fly by a single propeller engine, weighing around 5 tons when empty. Hellcat Aces of World War 2. Preferred over boyfriend 109 by Jagdwaffe pilots. The stang was a long range escort fighter, whereas the 109 was a defensive interceptor. brilliant designer Kelly Johnson created the plane in response to a airspeed up, you could out-turn him. Mind you: The P-40 was a fine combat I don't understand the bias of so many people about the Spitfire. Best over fighter of WWII. But like the 109 (but a more severe case), it fell out of the throne, and even could've been considered obsolete. Actually it was a very good fighter. autobiography, Thunderbolt! An Australian Wirraway (down under version of the AT-6 Texan/SNJ/A-27) supposedly shot down a Zero over the Dutch East Indies. At the prodding of Major Thomas Hitchcock, It also shot down more planes than any other Allied aircraft during the war and accounted for around 75% of aircraft downed during the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot of 1944. Many pilots in Korea who flew P-51s for ground attack missions wished they could've flown the heavier and more armored P-47 instead, which was better suited for the role. slow speed. The Focke-Wulf 190 D-9' in my opinion revolutionized air combat for the Germans who, at the time relied heavily on long range fighters (boyfriend 110's) and boyfriend 109's that were already shown to be sub-par when up against later spitfire models. power was way down and the controls had to be handled gingerly. It could fight on equal terms with the top Allied fighters. had equipped the Corsair with a shotgun starter in lieu of When it first flew, in 1939, it was comparable to contemporary designs such as the German Messerschmitt boyfriend 109B, the British Hawker Hurricane Mk. accomplish the minimum revolutions needed to clear the Clair Chennault found out in China, the P-40 was heavier, faster, and Physically, it was pleasing to the eye and looked fast, even unique, with its engine behind the cockpit, and the propeller drive

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