Best Fighter of the war to build Your Fighter Arm around.

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by drgondog, Nov 8, 2014.

  1. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    #1 drgondog, Nov 8, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2014
    No restrictions. If in 1939 you could pick one fighter out of the following to be your core Fighter, which would it be? For Ground based operations only

    1.) FW190D
    2.) Tempest V or Spitfire XIV
    3.) Ki 84
    4.) P-51H
    5.) P-47N
    6.) Me 262
    7.) LaaG 7
    8.) Yak 3
    9.) F8F
    10.) F4U
    11.) Bf 109K-4

    Why? Cost, multi role of Recon, CAS, escort, interceptor, Cost of ownership, Range
     
  2. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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  3. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    Yep - the condition is that it will remain your primary front line fighter for the rest of the war for ground based forces.
     
  4. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Well, you can narrow it down to two real easy;

    4.) P-51H
    10.) F4U ????

    "Cost of ownership, Range" kick most of the rest to the curb real quick.
     
  5. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Is this an “entire-war” commitment, or an “ETO” commitment? If ETO only, then ceiling and range are vital. If this would be all-world, then ceiling and range were much less of a factor, and maybe could have been dealt with, even in the ETO, with numbers.
    I WOULD pick the very great F8F except for the range and ceiling for ETO operations. If I did, I’d opt for the one with 4 x 20 mmm cannons.
    Given that I would need some extraordinary range for ETO escort missions, the P-51H is very enticing. However, with the narrowing down of some of the other planes, I’d prefer to narrow down the F4U to F4U-4. If I could get THAT one with the range to satisfy the mission, I’d take it. If not the F4U-4, the P-51H would do it for me in a heartbeat. Good everywhere if not the best everywhere, long enough legs for London-to-Berlin-and-back, acceptable armament if not spectacular.
    If the primary mission would be support of ground troops, then the Typhoon and P-47 come into play. In other than ground support, considering that the large bomber streams would NOT have survived without escort, it has to be the P-51H … unless I can somehow find a Spitfire XIV with the same range as a Mustang … that beast never lived as far as I know.
    Couldn’t be the Fw 190D as the range was less than 600 miles.
    The Me 262 was WAY too unreliable with too many teething issues.
    The Bf 109K-4, while an excellent attack plane and a great overall pick if the supply lines are close and uninterrupted, didn’t even have the range of the Fw 190D. Any mission with range as a factor would pass by the Bf 109 in any variant. From France to the UK it only had maybe 10 minutes of combat time before the fuel was the limiting issue.
    I believe the Soviet La was the La-7, LaGG having ceased with the LaGG-3. By the time it was a -5, it was the La-5 and Gorbunov and Gudkov had ceased to be factors. While the La-7 was impressive, I don’t know enough about it’s reliability, ceiling, and real-world range to choose it, even though it was formidable at low to medium altitudes from accounts. No Soviet accounts I have seen focus on its weaknesses, which I assume it HAD.
    If it could be fitted with an air-to-air gunsight, I might take the Douglas Skyraider, though it wasn’t on the list.

    So, under the assumption that the ETO was the major theater in doubt in 1939, I’d probably opt for the P-51H overall, though there are probably 2 or 3 others that would fill the bill just fine if required to do so.
     
  6. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    P51H its the only one with the rate of climb and altitude for home defence. Then with drop tanks and rear tank filled the range to get into the enemies back yard. Only change I would make change is 4 x MkV short barrel Hispanos to make it a more deadly bomber killer.
     
  7. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Similar would go for the P-47N - fill only fuselage tanks for home defence (up to 370 US gals), or fill also the wing tanks (~560 gals) for 1000 mile mission. 8 MHGs should make anybody's day problematic, and ammo count is un-paralleled.
     
  8. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    I suppose it depends on what your enemy has available. If they have similar late war fighters then it becomes more difficult for you. If they have the same as what they have historically, then your job is easier.

    For instance, if you have the Tempest V for low/medium fighter and ground attack duties and the Spitfire XIV for top cover then the Bf 109Es and Bf 110s would have have a tough time in the battle for France, and rocket equipped Tempests could make it difficult for German armour.

    So the BEF may not get kicked off the continent, and long range escorts may not be needed for the war ahead.
     
  9. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    #9 drgondog, Nov 9, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2014
    Any or all theatres, one pick - for all close air support, recon, interceptor, bomber escort - you can mix or match weapons if you can show that the mix had occurred. For example 4x20mm for F4U or P-51 but not for P-47N.

    It (whatever your pick) has to have been operational before end of World War II. If I don't have it on the list, pick your own. Your enemy can purchase from the same suppliers as you. Germany could pick F4U, Japan could pick P-51H (or F4U) and logically one nation or another would choose based on their War Fighting Doctrine.

    Pick some country other than US to make it more interesting. For example I don't see USSR picking P-51H but that's just me.
     
  10. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    Theres a problem there, were for example the F8f and the P51H truly operational. In that case the contemporary Tempest wouldnt be the MkV but the FII or the FVI, in production but not in combat ready squadrons. Were the Navy units operating the F8f and Air Force units with the H true combat ready squadrons or similar to RAF OCU (operational conversion units) and LW Erprobungskommando (Testing Command) squadrons.
     
  11. dedalos

    dedalos Member

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    What about Ta 152H with the Jumo213J or DB 603N or at the very least the Jumo 213EB ? Why it is not in the list. Clearly overall better that Dora
     
  12. CORSNING

    CORSNING Active Member

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    #12 CORSNING, Nov 9, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2014
    WOW dr you sure started a thread way out there this time.:p I am going to have to do some studying before I can answer the question properly. Just an FYI, while the P-51H units had not become fully operational before V-J day, I had read somewhere that the pilots had flown some sories before the end of hostilities.

    HOWEVER, There is not a better plane listed than the P-47N for the Pacific Theater with the possible exception of the P-38K (well your the one that started the "WHAT IF?").

    Jeff8)
     
  13. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    I said add whatever you wish as long as it was operational. The late war operational fighters include F-7F, P-51H (stateside with 300 delivered by July), F-8F (operational May 21), P-80 (July 1945).. I have no problem including Ta 152H simply because it was flying pre-May 1945 and the end of the war was September 2, 1945.
     
  14. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    Let me define Operational - Delivered into a Fighter Squadron, said Fighter Squadron fully constituted and ready for combat deployment if so called.
     
  15. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    The P51H doesnt meet that criteria then as far as I can find it wasnt properly accepted for operational service before 2nd Sept.

    Copied and pasted from Joe Baughers website American Military Aircraft

    By the late summer of 1945, some P-51Hs had been issued to a few operational units. These units were in the process of working up to operational status when the war in the Pacific ended with the Japanese surrender. None had the opportunity to see any combat.

    Its splitting hairs I know but I want to make sure exactly what is and isnt operational because if in production but not in combat is allowed I would say the DH Hornet FI might just be my nomination. If in production and in combat ready (not training up for combat readiness) squadrons is the criteria I would go for the Spitfire Mk21 or the Ta152H.
     
  16. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Great discussion. I'm approaching this as if I was a smaller country, not one of the larger combatants. I look at the F4U for this as I think it has the versatility and performance to operate in many different conditions (We all know what the F4U did in the PTO but what about winter ops in Korea?) With over 12,000 of them built, I know spares shouldn't be a problem. According to Wiki 7 different countries/ operators flew them so there's some commonality with some allied nations. Lastly longevity. If I bought this aircraft in 1939, chances are I'd be operating it into the 1950s, great bang for my buck!
     
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  17. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    If the P-51H wasn't fully operational, neither was the Ta-152H. There were never more than 25 Ta-152's of any variety in service at the same time and oiften fewer than 10. Flying it in combat doesn't not make it operational and there never WAS a spare parts supply chain for it. If one sent unserviceable, another plane was canabalized or it weas out of action.

    In that case, with the P-51H and Ta-152 out of the running by the definition of operational, my choice would be the F4U-4 Corsair.

    If we could have a Spitfire XIV with a 1200 mile range, I'd go that way, but I don't think it ever made more than just over or under 500 miles unless drop tanks were carried, and they aren't going to get the required range.
     
  18. awack

    awack Member

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    The D/TA 152 series, the d13 being 455 mph at 300000 ft, boosted ailerons, heated wind screen, auto control and auto pilot, FUG 125 navigational equipment, advanced throttle system etc etc, 3x20 mm cannons..so if you need an all weather fighter, general air superiority fighter, or fighter bomber, the D13 was your fighter. Ive read its your typical German over engineering job, but, what ever, if you could only have one fighter, this would be a pretty good choice. The F4U, it could take on fighters or bombers with its 4x 20 mm cannons, or if you need to do some ground pounding, the F4U4 could if im not mistaken carry 4000 pounds of bombs, Another would be the Tempest for the same reason as the F4U. My fav fighter, the me 262 was the wars premier air superiority/interceptor, and even though on one mission a small group of jets, devastated a Russian transport convoy and still had enough ammo to shoot down 6x or more IL2 sturmoviks it didnt have the loitering time for ground attack and battle field recon and so on.



    The DO 335 might have actually seen combat at the end of the war in the form on night interdiction...this is bit of a tangent, but if jets completely taking over from piston engine AC, then the Do 335 is the only piston engine fighter that should be produced, the 190, 109. P51, Spitfire, Bearcat etc should all be scraped because the 335 is a very, very unique fighter, offering endurance/loitering time for battle field recon and ground support, its speed of 477 mph isnt any slower than many jet fighters of the time, plus it has an inclosed bombay, so speed isnt lost as much as on jet fighters of the time, the two center line engines add an amazing battle field Survivability , since not only do you have two engines but there would be no asymmetrical effects if one engine is shot out, it could fly at 350 mph on one engine, you also have an ejector seat...3 x mk 103 plus 2 x mg 151 20 mm cannons, amazing battle field capability and survivability, Im curious if people agree with this or not, ive been thinking about this for awhile now.
     
  19. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Maintainability, logistics and operational costs. Are the advantages worth it? It would be interesting to see a Bearcat and this aircraft in a tight in dogfight,
     
  20. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Historically in production during April 1945 which makes it just as plausible as P-51H and F8F.
     
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