1943, sea level to 15000 ft: the best fighter?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by tomo pauk, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    What was the best fighter plane to take place in combat, under 15000 ft, in 1943? Many countries by that time have had deployed fine low alt fighters, so determining the winner is bound to be a lengthy task. The plane should be able to take on enemy fighters and bombers as well. No prototypes or paper projects - we need at least 300 examples produced, prior October 1943.
     
  2. Tante Ju

    Tante Ju Banned

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    Fw 190A-5 no doubt...
     
  3. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    I agree.

    Fw-190 and F4U both had top notch aerial performance. However Fw-190 had greatly superior firepower. Arm the Corsair with four 20mm cannon and I would call it an even contest.
     
  4. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Typhoon is well into the 4th production batch by October 1943, Sliding hoods, whip antenna, etc.

    Spitfire IXs with Merlin 66 engines might make the production limit? Trials being done in March of 1943.
     
  5. muscogeemike

    muscogeemike Member

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    We too often forget the E. Front.
    I sugest the La-5/7 and the Yak 3/9.
     
  6. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    Reading the title I was going to suggest the Spitfire XII, but they only made 100 of them, so it doesn't meet the production criteria.

    The Spitfire IX must be a contender - with or without the Merlin 66?

    What about the P-51A/Mustang I? That was very competitive at low levels.
     
  7. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    LA-7 and Yak 3 do not make the time limit. They are too late.
     
  8. muscogeemike

    muscogeemike Member

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    OK with the La-7, but the Yak-3 was in production and used in numbers in the battle of Kursk.
     
  9. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    Mustang I/P-51A were fastest under 15,000ft of those mentioned that fullfill the criterias
     
  10. muscogeemike

    muscogeemike Member

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    I've read the RAF surly liked their Mustang I's.
     
  11. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    I guess that depends on what source/s you use and the definition of a Yak-3. In "Soviet Combat aircraft of Second World War" by Yefim Gordon and Dmitri Khazanov ,1998. they say the first production Yak 3 was rolled out of plant No. 292 on March 1st, 1944. The factory had been producing about 250 Yak 1s up until then and perhaps late model Yak 1s incorporated some aspects of the Yak 3? The I-30 (Yak-3 0f 1941) also confuses things.
     
  12. ShVAK

    ShVAK Member

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    #12 ShVAK, Sep 23, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2012
    Yak-9 came out in late '42, but didn't truly mature into a great fighter until the -9U. It lacked armament, one 12.7mm machine gun and one 20mm ShVAK in most early variants is pretty worthless. La-5 was better w/ 2 ShVAK, both had crappy range.

    A6M and Ki-43 were pretty much outclassed by '43, Ki-61 was alright (if not very fast) but the Ha-40 engine was very unreliable. Don't know much about Ki-44.

    All Italian fighters prior to Series 5 trio were underarmed and not fast enough, and low altitude performance while good wasn't their strongest suit anyway.

    That leaves the obvious contenders: Fw 190A, F4U-1 Corsair, Spit XII, Typhoon, P-51A/A-36. Mustang didn't have quite enough armament and was vulnerable to ground fire, Corsair was tougher but also short on armament and wasn't a good carrier plane at the time, Typhoon hadn't really matured until late '43 and the Napier Sabre was unreliable, and even the Fw 190A had a hard time dealing with a Griffon Spitfire at low altitude (but it did have better range)--tough choice but I'm leaning toward the Spit.
     
  13. muscogeemike

    muscogeemike Member

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    Admittedly we in the west didn’t have the best historical data on Soviet weapons in WWII and the West’s extensive propaganda (during and after the war) still tend to leave a lot of people in the West to downplay the war in the East. There is a lot of conflicting information out there.

    But - according to THE COMPLETE BOOK OF FIGHTERSF, William Green and Gordon Swanborough; and the Illustrated Directory of FIHGTING AIRCRAFT OF WORLD WAR II, Bill Bunston; the La-5 first flew in Mar 1942 and nearly 10, 000 of them were built when production ended in 1944, this time frame alone indicates they were used in large numbers in 1943. These two books are just the first references I pulled of the shelf.

    The same sources state the Yak-9 first appeared in combat in late 1942, knowing the Soviets tendency to use a weapon system as soon as possible I don’t agree that it is a stretch of say the -9 was used in numbers in 1943.

    It is generally accepted that guns on a fighters center line are considerably more effective then when they are placed in the wings, whether or not they fire through the prop. One 20 mm and one 12.7 on centerline would be as least as effective as 4 .50’s in the wings - which was the armament of several successful US front line aircraft - P-51’s, F4F’s, F8F’s.

    On the E. Front fighters were tactical rather than strategic therefore range was not such a critical factor compared to the Pacific or the long range bombing over Europe.
     
  14. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    There is zero evidence that a Spit, Typhoon, Mustang were any different with respect to vulnerabilty. The Brit Mk IA had plenty of firepower unless 4x20mm deemed inadequate.

    Depending on the mission I'm inclined to lean to the FW 190A-5 unless range dominates the mission - Then Mustang IA needs to be considered with the F4u-1. As to P-51A or A-36 there is zero problem re-installing 4x20mm w/125 rounds each.
     
  15. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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  16. RCAFson

    RCAFson Well-Known Member

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    I'd say that it was the Spitfire LF VIII:
    Spitfire Mk VIII Performance Testing

    Outstanding firepower, performance and manoeuvrability plus excellent range and wide range of external stores.
     
  17. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    Recently I read about a trial comparison between the Typhoon, Fw 190A (captured) and Spitfire (dont remember the Mark). The pilot of the Spitfire recounted how the Spitfire was included just to show how much of an improvement the Typhoon was over the Spitfire. While all the observers were curious who would have won in the Typhoon-Fw 190 battle, it was the Spitfire who left them behind.
    Don't remember which version that was. The Mk XII or maybe a modified Mk IX? Also, the Fw 190 might have been worn out a bit as is so often with overly tested captured aircraft.

    Besides that, I would vote for the Mustang I. The fastest at low altitude, strong and armed with cannons.

    Kris
     
  18. ShVAK

    ShVAK Member

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    It was a Mk XII, the first mass production Griffon Spit in service. Single stage Griffon IIB.
     
  19. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    ShVAK, do you have a link towards that report? It is a fun read I am sure people here would love

    Kris
     
  20. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    If 100 counts as "mass production".
     
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