1946: Best piston engine fighter in the world?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by ShVAK, Aug 18, 2012.

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Which was the best piston engine fighter, 1946?

  1. North American P-51H Mustang

    12.5%
  2. Lockheed P-38L Lightning

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Republic P-47N Thunderbolt

    12.5%
  4. Vought F4U-5 Corsair

    16.7%
  5. Grumman F8F-1 Bearcat

    14.6%
  6. Grumman F7F-1 Tigercat

    4.2%
  7. Yakovlev Yak-9U

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. Lavochkin La-9

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  9. de Havilland Sea Hornet F.20

    4.2%
  10. Supermarine Spitfire Mk.24

    6.3%
  11. Hawker Tempest Mk.VI

    4.2%
  12. Hawker Sea Fury F Mk 10

    18.8%
  13. Other

    6.3%
  1. ShVAK

    ShVAK Member

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    USAAF, USN, USMC, RAF, Fleet Air Arm, VVS, Soviet Air Defense Forces--who had the best piston engine fighter one year after war's end?

    Let's put it to a vote.
     
  2. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Put it to a vote? Where is your poll? ;)
     
  3. DonL

    DonL Banned

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    #3 DonL, Aug 18, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2012
    Only to get out of hand and to provoke a little, but it is not realy serious!

    Ta 152 H10; Fw 190 D -13; Ta 152 HX with a DB 603N, only to get GregP's nerves a little bit warmed up! :shock::p
     
  4. ShVAK

    ShVAK Member

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    Look up!
     
  5. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    It was not posted at the time that I asked that question...
     
  6. ShVAK

    ShVAK Member

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  7. MikeGazdik

    MikeGazdik Member

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    #7 MikeGazdik, Aug 19, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2012
    I picked the Republic product. The P-47N had the range it never had, even more speed than it did have, and the same awesome firepower and ruggedness it always had. In a 1 on 1 scenario against any others in the list, I think it would be hard to beat. I would make the Corsair and Bearcat follow me up to high altitude before starting the fight, or run like heck to fight another day!!!

    There are so many awesome aircraft on that list, its tough!!!
     
  8. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    Problem is that other planes on that list will be able to get to height quicker. Certainly the F8F could, and the Spitfire.

    And if you're not at the higher altitudes (30,000ft or so) you probably won't have much of a speed advantage. If at all.
     
  9. krieghund

    krieghund Member

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    What is the mission requirement of the aircraft? Counter air, CAS, long range escort, interceptor, etc...these factors effect the design. Anyway I would choose the Supermarine Spiteful if range is not the priority.
     

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  10. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    You might want to take another look at the F4U-5.

    f4u-5

    f4u-5spec

    The 2300hp is a "normal" take off rating and not WEP and the 20mm guns may be the fast firing M3 version.

    It may not be better than the P-47N but thinking you can sucker the -5 into a high altitude fight and have the same result as dueling with a -4 is going to leave you mighty surprised. The -4 could pull 1800hp at 23,000ft. the -5 could pull 1800hp at 30,000ft. not as good as the P-47 but a noticeable change from the -4.

    I agree, there are many awesome aircraft on the list. :)
     
  11. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    The most important mission for 1946 fighter was to get a nuclear weapon carrying bomber to the target. Only the P-47N and P-51H fits the combination of range and performance.
     
  12. Kryten

    Kryten Member

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    these polls always turn into "whats my favourite plane" sort of debates!

    but I will go with the P51H simply because it outranges the others, and they can all do the same job but the P51 can do it longer/further!
     
  13. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    i don't think they have enough range to escort bombers in eastern european Soviet Union (Mosca and eastern)
     
  14. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    That might be the most important mission from a North American perspective. For the RAF the most important mission was still the same, defence of Great Britain and that still called for a light fast climbing fighter able to scramble and be above the bombers within minutes. For that mission the Spiteful still looks the best.
     
  15. ShVAK

    ShVAK Member

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    I had a really hard time deciding, there are a lot of considerations.

    If the priority was long range escort fighter, the P-51H and P-47N would take it, with a nod to the P-38L as well. I prefer the good ol' Jug out of this trio but the Mustang was no slouch by any means. Was considering the P-82B on here as well but I don't think that was in operation by '46.

    If you want a fighter with excellent multirole capability it would be a real scuffle between the F4U-5, Sea Hornet, Sea Fury, F7F, P-47N (again) and maybe the Tempest as well. Out of that lot I give it to the Sea Fury after the bombs are dropped but the Corsair is REALLY close, and was the better attack aircraft. Both managed to take down at LEAST one MiG-15 during Korea, a testament to good design (and good pilots).

    Best dogfighters? Spitfire, F8F, Yak, La-9, the latter two being almost unmatched under 14,000 feet (typical Eastern front conditions). Yak-9U being mostly hamstrung by its crappy armament.

    I settled on Grumman's hot rod out of sheer raw performance and (I'm a superficial bastard) brutish good looks. While a good pilot in any of these planes would be able to give the Bearcat a run--some had better agility, some had better top speed, a lot had better range, better firepower/payload etc. etc.--the F8F with its explosive climb rate (in excess of some early jets) and acceleration gives it a huge advantage in most flight regimes. Couple it with four 20mm cannon in later marks and you had the ultimate piston-powered interceptor--and quite fittingly the ultimate Reno racer, though Sea Fury pilots I'm sure have something to say about that. :p
     
  16. ShVAK

    ShVAK Member

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    I will always dislike the Spiteful for ditching that beautiful elliptical wing. It looks like the unwanted bastard offspring of a late-model Spitfire and a P-51.
     
  17. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #17 GregP, Aug 19, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2012
    All of the aircraft on the list were impressive. I was never a Spiteful fan, though I love the Spit and Sea Fury. The Lavochkin La-9 and -11 were very impressive. The German very late model Me 109 and Fw 190 were impressive, and the Ta-152 had a great potential, if unfulfilled. It certainly had impressive performance numbers. Not to forget the Japanese, the J2M-3, Ki-84, and Ki-100 were all fairly impressive in a one-on-one fight, too. I also like the Re.2005, G.55, and Mc.205, though their performances in the top speed department wasn't quite up to the top bunch, and were closer to the Japanese fighters , which were not quite as fast, but handled very impressively, as did most on the list.

    Since we lack a mission goal (interceptor, air-to-air, excort, ground attack, etc.), I went with the Grumman F8F as a fighter / imterceptor because I simply love the aircraft.

    Nothing wrong with the P-51H, either. I just have a soft spot for the Bearcat.

    Wouldn't it be great if we could do an actual perfromacne evaluation on all of them together? Never will happen, but if WOULD be very cool to see and read about.
     
  18. vinnye

    vinnye Member

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    Well I agree - that's a great list.
    Some incredible performers and good lookers!
    My vote the Sea Fury - relatively light and does everything you want it too.
     
  19. CobberKane

    CobberKane Banned

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    If I can be pedantic (and believe me, I can) when was the F8FB-1, the cannon armed Bearcat, introduced? If it was after 1946 the Bearcats claim as the best is somewhat compromised by realatively weak armament. I wonder what the rationale about going 'backwards' to 4x.50s was anyway? Lightly armoured japanese opposition, unrelaible US built cannon, weight saving or all three, perhaps
     
  20. ShVAK

    ShVAK Member

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    #20 ShVAK, Aug 19, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2012
    The Bearcat's wingspan was over 7 feet shorter than the F6F it was developed from, but the more likely reason is that by '45 the 20mm was only starting to become prevalent in USN service whereas the .50 was a much more proven quantity. The -1B was either released late in '46 or the following year, I wasn't sure of the exact date so I listed the far more numerous F8F-1 just to be safe.

    I still side with the Bearcat, because the performance made up for its sole initial shortcoming and with the addition of 4 M3's it was close to unbeatable in its carrier defense role by anything that wasn't a jet.
     
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