1938: The Best Fighter.

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by fastmongrel, Feb 18, 2012.

  1. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    If war had come in 1938 which fighter was the best. To make the debate short and sweet make the time under discussion September 1938 when the Munich agreement was discussed.

    Many people at the time genuinely believed war would be the result of Hitlers demands for the Sudetenland. So on the 1st of septemeber 1938 which was the best fighter in full service no prototypes or being built but not yet service ready.
     
  2. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    Apologies to tomo pauk for pinching his idea.
     
  3. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Readie will like this one as it comes out to the Spitfire without much doubt. Granted there weren't a lot by Sept. 1938 but there were more than the 109E and there isn't much doubt the Spitfire was better than the Jumo powered 109s.
     
  4. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Almost wanted to get my head examined, since I could not remember starting a 1938 fighters thread ;)

    Was the Spitfire in service already in Sept 1938?
     
  5. andy2012

    andy2012 Member

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    If we are talking fighters with a good amount of numbers I would have to say either the Polikarpov I-16 or the Curtiss P-36. Both have there weakness, especially compared with the Spitfire and 109E
     
  6. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    The I-16 might win this by default as the Spitfire, Me-109 and P-36 weren't operational in quantity.
     
  7. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Mr. Bender maybe right about this as while both the P-36 and Spitfire began to be delivered to Squadrons in April and August of 1938 neither plane was really ready for operations and deliveries were slow so that it took months for a squadron to get it's full compliment of aircraft. Two squadrons had Spitfires in 1938 but neither was declared operational until 1939.


    This may put in the Hurricane into contention :)

    3 squadrons receiving aircraft in the first 6 months of 1938 with 10 getting aircraft by the end of the year and 5 of them being declared fully operational.

    First French MS 406 Production aircraft doesn't fly until Jan 1939 so that is out.
     
  8. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    I'm for Hurricane if meets the requirements
     
  9. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    #9 fastmongrel, Feb 19, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2012
    I find it amazing how many what I consider to be 1st generation monoplane fighters where not yet in service by sep 38. Even one of the planes I was considering for best in Sep 38 was the biplane Fiat Cr42 but a little research showed that it didnt get into service till May 39.

    So far the only modern monoplane fighters that were in full service and ready for action seem to be the Bf109 Jumo engine series, Huricane Mk1 (just), Fiat G50 and the Polikarpov I-16. Dont know a great deal about the I-16 so need to do more research on it.
     
  10. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    A quick looks suggests the I-16 had not reached the type 17 or 18 models at that time. I-16 type 10 latest version?
     
  11. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    The Type 12 was in production in 1937, 2 cannons 2 LMGs, circa 430 km/h - Hurricane would've given it a tough time.
     
  12. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    i don't think that Fiat G-50 meets the requirements, too few too late.
    For the I-16 type 17 is attack variant of 10 has best weapons but badest performances so i don't think is best of a 10, the 18 i think is near sure a 1939 variant.

    edit type 12 is a interceptor variant of type 5 i think inferior to 10
     
  13. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    #13 Juha, Feb 19, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2012
    Don't forget Ki-27, it did rather well in Nomonhan/Khalkin Gol against I-16s and 1941/early 42 against Brewster Buffalos and Hurricanes in SE Asia.

    IMHO the best I-16 in 38 was Tip 10, the cannon arnament was too heavy for 750hp I-16 versions. While giving very potent armament, it degenerate speed and manoeuvrability and especially RoC. Cannon I-16s were more strafers than pure fighters. the quadret of very fast firing 7,62mm mgs gave I-16 Tip 10 respectable armament in 38.

    Juha
     
  14. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

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    True SR6, but if WW2 had started in 1938 with the Germans at 1940 strength and Britain at 1938 strength,,Spitfire or no Spitfire we would have been in the **** big style...

    John
     
  15. wili

    wili New Member

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    There are many opinions about the best fighter aircraft of ww2, the british will say the spitfire and americans will go for the p51 or the f4u, others may
    recognize the technological advancements of the me 262, but the most successful was easily the me 109. Just look at the list of top scoring aces and what
    aircraft they flew. Sorry americans, but the original mustang with its allison engine had poor high altitude performance and poor visibility. The version of the
    p51 with its british designed malcolm hood and the packard built merlin with a two stage supercharger that many experts regard as the top dog did not
    enter combat until late 1944. If one gives points öf 1-12 for maneuverability, 1-10 for speed, 1-8 for rate of climb, 1-8 for armament, 1-7 for armourprotection,
    1-7 for visibility, 1-6 for range, 1-6 for reliability and 1-6 for production span then add up the score the p51 will probably still come out on top, but Erich
    Hartmann had 352 kills, there were another 50 or so german pilots with over 200 kills and about another 150 with over 100 kills. The best allied pilot (a russian) had about 70. I doubt if the top scoring mustang pilot even got 20.
     
  16. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    Except this thread is about best fighter available and in service in Sept 1938
     
  17. wili

    wili New Member

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    Hurricanes were the real workhorses in the battle of Britain. At the speed and altitude of german bombers the 109 lost its best advantages. If the fw 190 had been availlable
    in serious numbers. or if the germans had am6 zeros for bomber escort the brits would have been in deep dodoo
     
  18. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    Except this thread is about 1938 your in the wrong thread
     
  19. wili

    wili New Member

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    The a6m zero did not enter production until 1939. but nothing could outturn a zero
     
  20. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    This is going to be very interesting :D
     
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