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Thread: Best Fighter Aircraft ever built. Top 5

  1. #1
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    Best Fighter Aircraft ever built. Top 5

    Since we had an enjoyable discussion on the best fighter planes in WW2. I wanted to expand on it in this post and wanted to get everyone's opinion on the best 5 fighter aircraft ever built. The criteria I'm using for my five are a mix of historical significance and performance for the time period. So here are my five and the reasons why:

    1) Spitfire: Without the Spitfire, it is uncertain if Britain would have won the Battle of Britain in 1940, if Britain was defeated in 1940 the whole outcome of WW2 could have changed and since WW2 was the biggest event of the 20th century, Spitfire wins solely for significance. Also one of few WW2 aircraft to remain highly competitive throughout the War. Third, its excellent Rolls Royce Merlins became the powerplant for Number 2 on the list the P-51 Mustang.

    2) P-51 Mustang: The P-51 ability to escort the bombers all the way to Germany allowed the Allies to cripple German war industry. Allowing the allies to win the war sooner. Strong performance

    3) F-4 Phantom: Really set the standard of a modern multi-role fighter although it was orginally designed as a Naval Interceptor. Prior to the Phantom, America and to a lesser extent its allies build large numbers of single mission planes but after the Phantom, multirole aircraft became more common. Great performance for its era, Excellent longevity, its issues were corrected in the next generation fighters like the F-15 and F-16 which cemented America's lead in the air.

    4) F-15 Eagle: Set the standard for the modern air superiority fighter, has been a top fighter plane for nearly 50 years now. Fully cemented Americans Air Dominance in the sky. In 2021 the F-15 is still being built while its supposed replacement the F-22 has been out of production for nearly 10 years.

    5) F-86 Sabre: Best early cold war fighter. Very successful over Korea and widely exported


    These are my 5, what are your thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Here's 18...take your pick:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4TxgyL564s

    BTW, your five are on here.

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    Tough one to list a top 5 and I'm going to limit it to the jet age, but...

    1) No doubt, hands down, number one can't be anything other than the F-15. Still in production almost 50 years after its first flight and still reigning champ in the skies with an 104-0 kill ratio. Plus, it's been adapted from "Not a pound for air to ground" into one of the premier interdiction aircraft of our time. I don't think there will ever be a more successful fighter out there that's been adapted to so many roles. Plus, who needs more than one wing to fly?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxJcEz3h4tU

    2) MiG-21 (and foreign produced variants like the J-7/F-7) Giving the Soviets some love here, they came up with a simple fighter that worked extremely well. It was dangerous in a close in dogfight as our pilots learned over Vietnam and was simple enough for even Third World Air Forces to operate with ease. It's pretty much the AK-47 of the jet world as it was heavily exported, easily produced and (from reports) fairly easy to fly. There are various upgrades that actually can make it relevant in today's air battles as well.

    3) F-16 (and variants). Again, it has adapted into roles unthought of from its time on the drawing board. From its inception as a simple daytime fighter to where its at today with its CAS, SEAD and interdiction role, its still viable even in the days of stealth and high tech. Still in production along with the F-15, the designers continue adding widgets and new items that keep it in the front of the pack when it comes to fighters.

    4) (tie) Mirage III (and derivatives including the Mirage 5, Cheetah, Nesher) and the F-5 Tiger series. Two more fighters that started off life as simple and cheap to operate aircraft. Both of these ended up with impressive records as fighters and as ground attack aircraft. Both enjoyed long production runs (and in the case of the Mirage) had variants that continue to fly today with upgrades. Both of the fighters were pretty much the West's answer to the MiG-21 and served/are serving well around the world.

    5) F-86 Saber. I went back and forth with this, but when it comes down to sheer adaptability and longevity, the F-86 has served extremely well and I include the variants of the F-86D, the Candair versions and the FJ-2/3 and FJ-4 in this list. It was one of those designs that they kept tinkering with to keep it relevant. From the skies over Korea to Pakistani pilots that used them very effectively against India, it certainly left a legacy behind.
    Last edited by Grand58742; 06-22-21 at 14:05.
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    Probably not the best anything, but I feel like the Marine Harrier should be on that list simply because it can vertical takeoff.
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    In no particular order

    P-51
    FW-190
    F-15
    A6Mx Zero
    Mirage (Delta winged versions)

    runners up:

    Bf-109
    Spitfire
    Harrier
    F-4
    Corsair
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    I also think we are forgetting a lot of notables, so Sopwith Camel. Twin Vickers.
    It's hard to be a ACLU hating, philosophically Libertarian, socially liberal, fiscally conservative, scientifically grounded, agnostic, porn admiring gun owner who believes in self determination.

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    1. North American P-51 Mustang, 1942.

    2. MiG-15, 1949.

    3. McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle, 1976.

    4. Messerschmitt Bf-109, 1937.

    5. Supermarine Spitfire, 1938.

    All were revolutionary or cutting edge at the time that they were introduced and have distinguished service.
    Last edited by Red*Lion; 06-22-21 at 19:26.

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    f-86 cause my dad flew them

    P-40 warhawk ! that was the prop beast shark faced beauty I loved more than the P-51 (great plane also)

    Japanese zero as I was around them a lot in Micronesia (chuuk) they were underwater but you could touch them etc...

    Corsair just something about those folding wing and Baa Baa Black Sheep show sold me on them as a memory of my youth

    Junkers JU-87 (stuka) I had a dinky toy model of this that would drop the bomb with a cap in it when I was a kid nice toys back then but I did love all WWII planes

    also my icon or whatever photo of my profile was my time in Micronesia
    Last edited by Honu; 06-22-21 at 20:21.

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    Man, there are so many criteria to try and classify "best," but I think for our country I'd say any of the teen series fighters. We were really on top of our game with those and they stood far above any competition. That was some outstanding work that resulted in aircraft that are still competitive (with upgrades of course) with more modern designs.

    In the 70's, the US teen series aircraft were peerless for air to air, more so at close range with their better maneuverability and better heat seeking missiles, especially after the introduction of the all aspect AIM-9L in 77/78.

    The F-18 and later the F-16 were the first true multirole aircraft. Aircraft like the F-4 could drop bombs as well as do air to air, but the F-14, F-18, and F-16 had CCIP/CCRP that made delivery of dumb munitions quick and very precise.

  10. #10
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    I will throw out the F-14, not so much because of what it can do (as a marvelous aircraft), but because of what it was built to do. Just as the A-10 was built around the gun, the F-14 was built around the Phoenix, and once operational it totally changed Warsaw Pact naval doctrine in fleet defense and naval offensive strategy.

    Oh yeah, also because Top Gun...(cue Kenny Loggins)...

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