best carrier attack A/C

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by delcyros, Apr 3, 2007.

  1. delcyros

    delcyros Well-Known Member

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    ...is probably the TBM Avenger with it´s combat record. The Swordfish isn´t much behind either.
    But what about the Aichi B7?
     
  2. MacArther

    MacArther Active Member

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    I would imagine that the Japanese attack aircraft did not do so well. If memory serves, wasn't the B7 shot to crud at the Marianna's Turkey Shoot? It was either the B7 or a similar aircraft that became a favorite amongst Allied aviators during that time in terms of what types of aircraft were shot down. Also, I would lean more towards the Dautless or Helldiver if any attack bombing needed doing. But otherwise, I would wager that you have already picked the best general carrier bound attack aircraft.
     
  3. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    A1 Skyraider by a huge margin.
     
  4. Aggie08

    Aggie08 Active Member

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    The A1 for combat record or performance? The Dauntless and Avenger put quite a few ships to the bottom.
     
  5. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    The SBD Dauntless and Skyraider share the top spot on my list.... BTW, wasn't these two designed by the same who also designed the Skyhawk??
     
  6. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    The A1 had an admirable record in Korea and Vietnam.

    8)
     
  7. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    To me it's definitely the Fieseler Fi 167 (although it was never used operationally). All the more surprising as the Germans hardly had experience in building carrier aircraft.

    Kris
     
  8. JoeB

    JoeB Member

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    B7? Anyway I don't know any WWII carrier torpedo or dive bomber that did well against concentrated fighter opposition. Think about the TBF's initiation to combat flying from Midway during that battle, 5 of 6 lost the other riddled. SBD's also had their bad moments (especially in USAAF service as A-24) against Japanese fighters though it was generally able to avoid heavy fighter opposition in the key battles of 1942. OTOH the Japanese attack planes usually got away with reasonable losses during the 1941-2 action, though not always, it depended on the supporting and opposing fighters.

    The SB2C and TBF later in the war had the huge advantage of a dominant fighter force on their side, the Japanese fighters were too busy trying to survive against their sweeping and CAP'ing F6F's to seriously attack the bombers in more than a handful of case whole last 2 years of the war. The AD was designed assuming that kind of fighter superiority, and that assumption was generally correct in both Korea and Vietnam.

    Just in terms of effectiveness sinking ships, the Japanese carrier groups were very good at that in 1941-42. On the torpedo side they were the best (US aerial torpedo's not very effective, Brit torpedoes were OK, but obsolete a/c delivering them). On the divebomber side the SBD had its great moment at Midway, and was pretty effective in general in 1942, but the Japanese Type 99 (D3A, Val) units came up with some amazingly small CEP's in combat in 1942, beyond what the US divebombers achieved. Like in Indian Ocean April '42 cases where almost *all* the bombs dropped on RN warships by Val units scored hits. A lot of that was about pilot experience, of course, but without fighter cover an Allied ship in 1942 had almost no chance to avoid being hit in an attack by Vals, an IJN ship *might* wiggle and squirm out from under an SBD attack (though often not).

    Late in the war Japanese attack planes like the B6N Tenzan (Jill) torpedo plane and D4Y (Judy) divebomber were too fast for F6F's to catch in some situations, but the overall situation was pretty hopeless for the Japanese, and the crew skill level was nothing like what it had been.

    Joe
     
  9. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Youre claiming an airplane that never saw combat or took off from a carrier as the best?

    Have any facts and figures to prove it was better than the A1?
     
  10. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    They were flown by "green aircrews", and didnt have self sealing tanks. And then they were flown in some very harsh terrain, all without logistical support.

    And what about Coral Sea, Guadalacanal (several battles actually), Rabaul, Truk, Gilbert islands, Marshall Islands and Mariana's.
     
  11. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    That's ridiculously funny! At least try not to be biased.

    No combat record.
    Designed in the late '30s

    Please elaborate on why it is the best carrier strike aircraft ever?

    BTW i'd like to see the question narrowed to era's.. WW2, Korea, Vietnam, ect
     
  12. delcyros

    delcyros Well-Known Member

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    My technically based vote goes to the B7a.
    According to a US source of evaluation post war, a B7a was clocked 372 mp/h in level flight, altough on higher grade fuel than was avaiable for Japan (352 mp/h usual top speed in clean configuration).

    Japanese pilots claimed that the B7a displayed a speed and maneuverability at least as good as the A6M Zero. It had self sealing fuel tanks and reasonable armour for cockpit and engine cowling. The payload consisted of either one torpedo (800 Kg), or a bomb of comparable size, two 20mm guns and a single 13mm machine gun for the rear gunner.
    Range is given with 1150 nm at max. payload or 1889nm at recon configuration. First prototype took off in 1941.

    Total production consisted of only 114 planes after destruction of the Furutaka assembly plant in may 45. The B7 was not present at the "Turkey shoot" (the B6 was). By the time the B7a went operational, no large carriers were left for the IJN. It remains doubtful whether or not the B7a ever operated from flightdecks.
     
  13. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Overall for props it has to be the A1 however if it is restricted to WW2 then I would go with the SBD for its combat record. You could also in a way count the Corsair as an attack aircraft although it is more a fighter bomber.
     
  14. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Agree!
     
  15. delcyros

    delcyros Well-Known Member

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    For combat record as a criteria, I am with the SBD and second Your opinion.:!:
     
  16. JoeB

    JoeB Member

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    1. Attack planes of that general type were in trouble caught alone by concentrated enemy fighters, that was even true of bigger more heavily armed bombers (even against Japanese fighters). Self sealing tanks were a factor but couldn't make planes like the SBD really survivable against concentrated opposition by Zeroes; self sealing tanks wouldn't have made Vals really survivable against concentrated opposition by F4F's either. Although they were a good design feature. But in most of the SBD's 1942 successes it managed to avoid Japanese fighters.

    2. Just in 1942, count up the % of attacks made by SBD's v Vals that scored at least some hits. If you did that I don't see how you could argue with my statement, early in the war formations of Vals almost never wholly missed their ship targets, SBD's sometimes did (more often that not did off Guadalcanal, for that specific campaign count up all the cases in Frank's "Guadalcanal" and see what you find). SBD's did enough damage to the Japanese to contribute in a major way to turning the tide in 1942. But the two statements aren't contradictory, SBD's were effective in 1942, Vals were more accurate still in general.

    Crew experience was a big factor, USN divebombers crews were generally well trained even early in the Pacific War but not quite to the level of Japanese crews at that time; the Japanese also had men w/ combat experienced in China, USN aviation had no combat experience. Crew experience is *always* a factor, comparing planes trying to totally correct for it is impossible IMO.

    Later in the war the situation was different, both forces were much larger and by then mainly composed of men trained *during* the war; the USN did a much better job of hugely expanding without sacrificing personnel quality than the IJN did. Another factor in ship attack later in the Pac War was the very effective AA on USN ships after 1942. The first victim of a proximity fuzed shell happened to be a Val, shot down by USS Helena Jan 5 '43. The USN ship attack planes never had to deal with weapons like that. So 1944 and 1942 are apples and oranges. The Japanese ship attack a/c were more effective than US in general in 1942, torpedo planes without any question, divebombers also I would say. Not in 1944.

    Joe
     
  17. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    Yes, the Fi 167. That's my personal opinion and based on my own set of parameters.

    Someone said it couldn't be the best because it was designed in the thirties. I think this is a wrong argument. Else the best would always be the latest design.

    It was never used in combat unlike other aircraft of the time. But this is a limited argument. It would mean that Swedish Saab jets were no good interceptors.

    In the beginning of the war carrier attack aircrafts were either torpedobombers or divebombers but never both. That came later. So you would have to make a choice as to what type is the best attack aircraft. My vote goes for torpedobombers.

    I believe the Fi 167 was the best carrier borne torpedobomber of the early war years. This is not because of its performance which was good for the time but not spectacular. It could carry a torpedo or a single 1000kg bomb! No other torpedobomber could carry such a bomb.

    But why I really like the Fi 167 is because I think it was the best carrier borne aircraft ever. It had excellent handling capabilities and spectacular slow-speed capabilities: Fieseler himself descended from 9,800 ft. to 100 ft. while remaining stationary over one spot while retaining full control.

    For emergency landings at sea, the Fi 167 could jetison its landing gear, airtight compartments in the lower wing would help the aircraft stay afloat at least long enough for the two-man crew to evacuate.

    When I look at performance alone, I would look at the Ju 87E as it could perform as a torpedobomber and as a dive bomber. No other single engined aircraft could carry the load of the Stuka and deliver it with such precision as the Stuka.
    Kris
     
  18. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    Talk about being biased, jeez.....

    For WWII, the SBD Dauntless... Overall, the A-1, but seeing how this is in the WWII aviation section, thats moot...
     
  19. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    I have to agree with delcyros. The B7 was the best carrier attack aircraft developed and flown during ww2.

    The Dauntless was a marvelious platform that operated in a target rich environment and was often at the right place at the right time and thus had a ton of glorious stories.

    What was wrong with the Helldiver?

    from wiki:

    Although production problems persisted throghout its combat service, pilots soon changed their minds about the potency of the Helldiver, and the SB2C would go on to sink more enemy shipping in the Pacific war than any other US or Allied aircraft.
     
  20. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    While the Brits, US and Japan were figuring out that slow moving torpedo bombers were sitting ducks, here comes a plane that remains motionless. Easy pickings for the AAA.

    The "Kate" torpedo bomber also carried a heavier payload than the 1000 pounder than this airplane did.

    And the figures for the navalized version for this plane are?
     
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