Best British Prototype - Single Seat Fighter

Discussion in 'Polls' started by Waynos, Apr 18, 2010.


Which was the Best British prospect

  1. Hawker Fury

    3 vote(s)
  2. Supermarine Spiteful

    1 vote(s)
  3. Martin-Baker MB-5

    2 vote(s)
  1. Waynos

    Waynos Active Member

    May 18, 2008
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    For this poll I would like to ask what 1945 British fighter does everyone consider the best? There were three new contenders for RAF service undergoing trials but peace killed them all off, so which of these three do you consider the finest/most lilely to succeed?

    My own choice would be the MB-5 as I think its modular design allowed for ease of repair and maintenance like no previous British design and despite its high top speed of 485mph the contraprop, which was only standard on this type, gave neutral torque-free handling, something that was proving an issue in the up-engined Spitfires of the time.

    I must say though that I also have a great soft spot for the beautiful, Sabre VII powered Fury II which was every bit as fast and much better looking than even the Sea Fury so that was a close call for me.

    The third option was the Supermarine Spiteful which was the fastest British piston fighter in level flight at 494mph, but the fact that it was disliked by those who flew it and the passage in Mike Lithgow's 'Mach One' where one was deliberately dropped from a crane to write it off whilst being 'recovered' from a field where it had crash landed count against it. :)




    There were lots of promising aircraft produced in the late war period that the end of hostilities killed off. I'd like to see polls on these for the various nations but do not consider myself knowledgeable about the US/Japanese types to offer a universal poll so maybe someone who does know might like to take that route?
  2. red admiral

    red admiral Member

    Mar 24, 2005
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    The Martin-Baker is the worst of the bunch in 1945. The initial test pilot reports are not very favourable. I remember one quote where the pilot calls it a pig and wonders why Martin isn't able to design an aircraft properly. The main problem was lack of directional stability, which plagued pretty much all of Martin's designs. He had the idea that you could design an aircraft without a vertical tailplane (or a very small one) - it turns out that you can't really. The more glowing reports of the MB5 come out of postwar testing when presumably the problems were fixed to an extent.

    There isn't much information to be found on the Sabre Fury prototype (or with the Griffon engine). It's very fast at low altitude but performance falls off over 20,000ft. Not sure how the Sabre engine effected manoeuverability in lieu of the Centaurus.

    Most of the criticism of the Spiteful comes from the low speed handling, which wasn't as good as the Spitfire. Not "bad" you understand, just "worse". The test pilots at Boscombe felt that for typical pilots the trade off for more speed wasn't worth the decrease in handling.

    I'd go for the Spiteful as "best".

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