View Poll Results: Best Fighter Aircraft of WW2

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  • P-51 Mustang

    29 61.70%
  • F6F Hellcat

    4 8.51%
  • P-47

    5 10.64%
  • Spitefire

    4 8.51%
  • A6M Zero

    0 0%
  • Yak-3 series and developments

    0 0%
  • ME-262

    0 0%
  • BF-109

    1 2.13%
  • Focke Wulf FW-190

    3 6.38%
  • Other

    6 12.77%
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Thread: Best Fighter Aircraft of WW2

  1. #1
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    Best Fighter Aircraft of WW2

    Since we had a good discussion on the best tank of WW2. I wanted to make a post on what in your opinion is the best fighter aircraft of WW2. I will have ten choices again and you can make two votes. Here are my thoughts:


    1) Spitfire: Won the Battle of Britain, excellent dogfighter, good speed and climb rate, maintained its status as a top fighter throughout the war from 1939 to 1945. Widely built, served worldwide.


    2) P-51 Mustang: Was able to escort allied bombers deep into the heart of Germany allowing the allies to substanially damage the German war effort and shorten the war. Also used in the the Pacific to escort B-29s into Japan. Good to excellent all-round performance, widely produced.


    Honorable mention: ME-262. First operational jet fighter, pointed the way forward in aviation design, most innovative fighter, however too little to late.

    Sorry is mispelled Spitfire in post.
    Last edited by crusader377; 06-15-21 at 11:34.

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    The amazing thing is how much these models changed (spitfire, 190, P51, P47 especially) and their relative advantage over contemporary aircraft.

    Hard not to go with the P51 as the best and most influential- and served all over- but if it is my ass in the cockpit and I want to maximize my ability to put the smack down AND bring my but home? P47N- all day everyday.

    I just did two lines of powdered wig powder, cranked up some Lee Greenwood, and recited the BoR. - Outlander Systems

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    FW190, versatile, rugger, well armed and armored.
    ..It was you to me who taught
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    Man, these are tough superlatives. The F4U I think was the all-around fastest (yes, a wee bit slower overall than the P-47, but the P-47 could only be fast at high altitudes); the war's top ace had 352 kills in a BF-109, and it did all-service roles (recon, attack, fighter, etc.).; the A6M was super light and very maneuverable; the Spitfire was probably the most rugged; P-38 had the top 2 US kill records, was fast, had the fastest climb record, and had a crazy range; the P-51 with the Rolls Royce engine had a ceiling of 40,000 feet and nearly 500 mph.

    Oh...choices, choices....

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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckman View Post
    Man, these are tough superlatives. The F4U I think was the all-around fastest (yes, a wee bit slower overall than the P-47, but the P-47 could only be fast at high altitudes); the war's top ace had 352 kills in a BF-109, and it did all-service roles (recon, attack, fighter, etc.).; the A6M was super light and very maneuverable; the Spitfire was probably the most rugged; P-38 had the top 2 US kill records, was fast, had the fastest climb record, and had a crazy range; the P-51 with the Rolls Royce engine had a ceiling of 40,000 feet and nearly 500 mph.

    Oh...choices, choices....

    There were at least 5 or 6 other historically or performance significant aircraft I wanted to add in the list but couldn't so I had to narrow it down to 10. Plus I wanted to have at least 1 aircraft from each of the 5 major powers. USA, Britain, USSR, Germany, and Japan. Off the top of my head the runner ups were the following:

    P-38
    F4U Corsair
    La-5 and La-7
    Hawker Hurricane
    Hawker Tempest
    J2M Raiden
    P-40

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    Quote Originally Posted by FromMyColdDeadHand View Post
    The amazing thing is how much these models changed (spitfire, 190, P51, P47 especially) and their relative advantage over contemporary aircraft.

    Hard not to go with the P51 as the best and most influential- and served all over- but if it is my ass in the cockpit and I want to maximize my ability to put the smack down AND bring my but home? P47N- all day everyday.

    Although my vote was P-51 and Spitfire, if I had to pick which aircraft to fly it would probably be a P-47N with a Spitfire Mark XIV a close second.


    This is an interesting read from someone who flew 400 different planes including most if not all of the WW2 fighters as a test pilot.

    https://www.historynet.com/incredible-winkle-brown.htm

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    Lockheed P-38 Lighting, the fork-tailed devil. It avenged Pearl Harbor and took out Yamamoto, also gave Charles Lindbergh, a civilian, his combat kill.

    Last edited by titsonritz; 06-15-21 at 13:13.
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    P38 Lightning because of its versatility. Fighter plane that was also used for bombing, escort and recon

    FW 190 was a pretty formidable fighter on its own.

    Surprised no one has mentioned the Zero yet and it's maneuverability
    Last edited by gunnerblue; 06-15-21 at 13:12.

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    Wasn't the FW190 regularly eaten alive by hurricane's which doesn't even make the list? My memory of history tells me the Hurricane's were more prevalent, at the most critical time than the Spitfires.

    I could make the argument the Corsair was far more effective and prevalent than the P-38, which is still my favorite, neither of which are listed.
    Last edited by HKGuns; 06-15-21 at 14:13.

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    Another interesting thing was the relative costs between each aircraft. I did a quick google search for the American fighters of WW2 and here are the prices. Some numbers are ranges.

    P-40: $44,000-$53,000
    P-39: $51,000 in 1944
    P-51: $51,000-$55,000
    F6F Hellcat: $50K-$60K Estimate (Navy could buy 5 Hellcats for the price of 3 Corsairs)
    P-47: $85,000
    F4U: Corsair $88,000
    P-38: $100,000 to 110,0000

    When you look at costs, you can see why the P-51 and the F6F Hellcat were so widely fielded and how the P-40 stayed around for so long even though the P-38 was available from 1942 and the P-47 from 1943. Also why the P-39 was a popular lend-lease aircraft throughout the war particularly with the Soviet Union.
    Last edited by crusader377; 06-15-21 at 15:25.

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