Best Allied bomber destroyer.

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by pattle, Aug 30, 2013.

  1. pattle

    pattle Member

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    If the roles had been reversed and Germany was bombing Britain by day with large fleets of four engine bombers Eighth Air Force style what would have been the best aircraft in the Allied fighter arsenal to combat these bombers?
    Or to put the question in a more pertinent way if the Germans had of been able to put one type of Allied fighter into production for the sole purpose of shooting down B24's and B17's then which one would have been the best choice?
    I don't want to over complicate this thread with production practicalities etc, if possible I would just like to hear peoples ideas on which Allied fighter was the most capable and best suited to the task of destroying large P51 escorted fleets of four engine bombers by day.

    To be honest I haven't given a lot of thought to what would be the strongest candidate so may well in future change my mind. My opening proposal is the P38 Lightning. I understand the P38 was not going to be the favourite in a dogfight with a P51 but having said that I feel the P38's concentrated nose mounted armament which included a 20mm canon would have been the most effective of all Allied fighters against lets say a B17.
     
  2. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    I'll think about it a little more when I get home, but first thoughts would go to the P-47, F4U (Cannon versions), or Tempest. All three packed one heck of a punch, could climb with the best of them, could dogfight (the Tempest not so much), and had the ability to stay in the air for extended time when equipped with drop tanks. That's just my first thought. There may be better at destroying bombers and I just haven't thought of them.
     
  3. varsity07840

    varsity07840 Member

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    I'd go with the P-38. It was intended to be an interceptor rather than an air superiority/dogfighter. Long endurance, fast climb. excellellent concentrated firepower from the nose rather than from converging wing guns. The P-47 was a great airplane but not known for its climb rate.

    Duane
     
  4. Greyman

    Greyman Active Member

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    I gotta go with the Spitfire.
     
  5. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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  6. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    It was designed for that role so it ought to be superior as a bomber interceptor.
     
  7. swampyankee

    swampyankee Active Member

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    Please, please, not the Bell FM-1
     
  8. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    I would say a combination of the Spitfire and the Whirlwind.

    Spits take out the escorts, Whirlwinds, with the concentrated 4 cannons in the nose, take out the bombers.
     
  9. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    Spitfire XIV.
     
  10. CobberKane

    CobberKane Banned

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    #10 CobberKane, Aug 30, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2013
    Large formations of four engine bombers, escorted by P51s? Big ask for any aircraft. Seems to me you would need three major dualities:

    1. Multiple cannon armament with plenty of firing time - I know there are some who argue that HMGs would be sufficient for knocking down heavies, but the Luftwaffe were the only air force that had to actually do it and they thought otherwise.
    2. Sufficient performance to have at least a chance of getting away from all those Mustangs. In fact, aside from the Me262 and maybe the Heinkel Pfeil I don't think any WII fighter could have done this, but some would be more vulnerable than others.
    3. Pilot protection. No way of getting around it, you are going to get shot up doing this work.

    Bearing in mind the parameters of the question place the scenario in 1944 or later...

    Spitfire - too fragile
    Tempest - maybe, but borderline performance at altitude
    P-51 -also a bit fragile and too lightly armed
    P47 - more like it, but still no cannon
    P-38 - even more like it, but only one cannon

    If we are allowed to modify our fighter a bit, I'd go with the P47 upgraded to cannon. I don't think it's average climb rate would matter too much, because by 1944 the Germans knew when the bombers were coming in plenty of time. Failing that, how about, maybe, the Mosquito? Speed and twin engine reliability of the P-38, firepower of the Tempest (plus) and while it couldn't dogfight with a P-51, it could at least outrun one in the right situation.
     
  11. snelson

    snelson New Member

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    +1
    I think the mosquito would be the best choice.
     
  12. silence

    silence Active Member

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    What about a P-63? From what I've read here that plane was pretty hot, and I imagine that 37mm carries a helluva punch.

    More practically, a P-47 with 4x20mm and underwing rockets like the R4M.

    And for the "out there" solution, the XP-58 (dumping the turrets and second crewman).
     
  13. pattern14

    pattern14 Member

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    What about the Mk 111 Meteor? Not in the same class as the 262, but it would have done the job, i'm sure.
     
  14. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    If you want the 4x20mm cannons, that is why I suggested the cannon wielding Corsair. The P-63A would be interesting, but the climb rate was poor (all based on Wiki numbers) compared to the F4U-4 (1,870 ftm better), the P-47D (620 fpm better), the Tempest V (2,200 fpm better) and the P-38 (2,250 fpm better), plus I think durability would come into play with the liquid cooled Allison. But that 37mm would do incredible damage. I don't have the numbers of how later versions of the P-63 were improved, but I'm sure it was.

    I'm almost talking myself into the F4U or the Tempest would be the best heavy killer due to ROC, top speed, ability to boom and zoom, armament, and durability. Where the Tempest would struggle is dogfighting, but it could certainly run away, then return to the fight.
     
  15. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    My understanding is that the 37mm cannon wasn't as potent as its calibre suggests.

    If you want big bore, perhaps a Mosquito FB.XVIII is the go. That would put a hole in any bomber. But would require other fighters to keep the escorts away.

    F4U-4 is a bit of a late comer, so not really an option for WW2.

    Spitfire XIV has the climb, speed, manouevrability and firepower to do the job.
     
  16. JtD

    JtD Member

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    I think that twins are mostly out of the question, just like German twins were out once the escorts showed up. The P-38 is a possible exception, but it still cost twice as much as a single engined fighter without being twice as good.

    The British had Spitfires and Typhoons available in 1943, which is about when the bombing would start. Both of them could be armed with 4 20mm cannons, and the Spitfire IX offered a very decent high altitude performance. In my opinion there wasn't much the Spitfire lacked for the task, it was available and well established, so I suppose the obvious solution is to put the 4 cannons into the wing and have it go for it. The Typhoon lacked high altitude performance pretty much like the Fw 190 did, and it would not be first choice, I suppose.
     
  17. redcoat

    redcoat Active Member

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    #17 redcoat, Aug 31, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2013
    It's the role the aircraft was designed for. ;)
    As you have stated, it can outclimb any other allied aircraft with ease, it has the option of 4x 20mm cannon, and it can hold it's own in a dogfight with anything.
     
  18. CobberKane

    CobberKane Banned

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    #18 CobberKane, Aug 31, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2013
    I would say the Spit XIV would certainly be a candidate, especially with the 4x20mm cannon option, though a bit more survivability would be nice. The F4UCwas tougher and had altitude performance, but I believe it's cannon tended to freeze up at altitude, even in the Pacific, and being American cannon if they weren't frozen they were probably jammed anyway - or had that been sorted by then? All depends how much we are allowed to modify our planes, I guess. I still rule the Tempest out on the basis of diminishing performance at altitude, though I don't doubt it could 'dogfight' with the P-51 lower down
     
  19. JtD

    JtD Member

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    Spitfire XIV, Tempest, F4U-1C - all (late) 1944, 1945. You guys would not be opposing Luftwaffe bombing for about a year?

    The Tempest was still superior to a Fw 190 at altitude, and see what the Germans did with the 190.
     
  20. pattle

    pattle Member

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    I think the Spitfire Mk XIV ticks more of the boxes than anything else on offer. I am thinking that the Spitfire Mk XIV would have been able to use it's superior ceiling to help avoid being bounced by the Mustangs before they were able to attack the bombers, it's armament looks good and I think that the Spit would have had the upper hand if forced into a dogfight with the Mustang. Also more importantly I think the Spit had the performance to get away from the Mustang and avoid dogfights.
     
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