Best Jet Fighter of WWII?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Monkeyfume, Nov 6, 2014.

  1. Monkeyfume

    Monkeyfume New Member

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    Gloster Meteor F.III, P-80A Shooting Star, Me 262, or He 162?
    Which is the best as an all-rounder.

    Situations to consider:
    - Dogfight, 1v1, against piston-engine fighter
    - Dogfight, 1v1, against each other
    - Dogfight against advanced jet fighter (MiG 15, etc.)
    - Defending country from bomber raid

    Just curious.



    BTW, glad I found this forum. Looked cheap and small when I first came here but 10+ page threads are nothing to laugh it. I read a few threads and found some great info from knowledgeable people. This is my first thread here. :)
     
  2. awack

    awack Member

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    This is a relatively easily question to answer as apposed to best piston engine fighter of war..FW190 d9/d11/d13....P51D...Spitfire XIV....TA 152H1...Tempest V...most people are going to answer the same way the people who actually flew these machines and were in a position to answer this question and they would and did answer, pilots who flew many of there nations air craft and enemy air craft, like Galland of Germany, capt Eric Brown of the UK, Watson whizzars, the US pilots who direct side by side comparison(this is the most important of course) and other pilots who flew more than one jet so as they could compare, Chuck Yeager thought the P80 and the 262 were equal, but most pilots thought the 262 was better, infact allot better. conversley ive never read that the Meteor mk I/III or the P80 were superior to the 262...so, the question of the best jet of WW2 has already been answered and its a shut out, but you put an interesting spin on the question, what jet was best for what mission.

    The P80 is the only jet on your list that didnt see combat,pre production machines were sent to Europe for demonstration purposes, ive read that the machines flying in early 1945 didnt perform as well as the p80s that were flyng in 1946/47, machines producing 10% less thrust than they should have been, so we only have 1944/45 262 being compared against 1946 p80s, this is important because small aerodynamic refinements were being introduced at the end of the war which increased speed by about 20 mph, the Jumo 004D (same size and weight as the 004 B4) started mass production, these engines produced 2315 pounds of thrust each, some people have said that a few of these engines had been installed on production me 262s, i have seen no proof of this my self. at any rate the 262 proved superior to the P80a, the 262 they flew against the p80 was unpainted, and acheive 568 mph true air speed at 20200 ft (this speed was also achieved in the UK and Germany) the production P80a which were also unpainted was capable of 525 mph at 5000 ft. The critical mach of the P80a is given as 0.80, the 262 is 0.86, it seems to have accelerated in the dive better as well. 262 also has better horizontal acceleration. The 262 holds its speed better in the turn, ive only read this once and have not come across this statement since, but it makes sense. maneuvering test were not done due to the fact that the tabs were disconnected on the ailerons, elevator and rudder, but i do know that the peak roll rate of the p80 is 130/135 degrees a second, and that the 262 can roll at 95 too 100 degrees a second at 400 mph, this is my opinion but im pretty sure the peak roll rate of the me 262 would be at a lower speed than 400 mph, like most other Fighters with non boosted ailerons.

    The only allied jet to see combat during WW2 was the Meteor I/III, ive done a bit of reading on this machine, even though this fighter is not held in very high regard, its even worst than you might think( :( most people seem to think its not attractive, i like the way it looks) its top speed was 475 mph at 20000 ft, its crit mach was 0.78, its range with a 140/180 gallon drop tank was 580 miles, in a 1947 report it states that no Meteor MK III had been able to fly above 37000 ft, it has an extremely slow roll rate, because of engine surging, performance above 20000 ft is guess work, it had the worst snaking of any jet of WW2...ETC ETC. any way i have to split, it should be fun thought to see what jet was best for which mission.

    Ill add more later especially about the me 262 from its modern cockpit lay out to Aberdeen Proving Ground calling the mine shell the greatest ordnance break through of the 2nd world war..
     
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  3. dedalos

    dedalos Member

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    P-80 easily, no question about that.
     
  4. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Only one jet fighter aircraft was fully combat ready by early May 1945.
     
  5. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    The Meteor saw action from 1944 onward, the Swalbe saw action from 1944 onward and the Spatz saw action before the end of the war in May '45.
     
  6. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    #6 FLYBOYJ, Nov 7, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2014
    There's a lot of "what ifs" and variables here. As stated, the only real combat ready jet in early May 1945 was the Me 262 IMO, although the Meteor was close behind. I believe the 262 had a lot of advantages over the P-80A that we saw being built by the end of 1945. Had the two met, it wouldn't have been a cake walk for the 262 PROVIDING there were no substantial improvements made by the time the first P-80As would have been fielded.

    Both later model Meteors and F-80s fought against the MiG-15. I show some sources with 15 F-80s shot down by MiG-15s for the claim of 6 MiGs by F-80s. For the Meteor in Korea, I show 6 MiGs claimed with 6 losses. If someone had more info on this please post, I'm at work and don't have access to additional sources.

    I believe if the 262 was pitted against the MiG-15, I don't think it would have fared much better, but then again this is a far-fetched "what if." In all these very subjective play scenarios one must also consider pilot skill and the premise for the encounter (who saw who first, who got jumped first, etc.)

    Again, a lot of "what ifs" and variables.
     
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  7. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    What engines would Me-262 have in 1950? Will it have HG III wing with 45 degree sweep? 1950 Me-262 would almost certainly have MG213 revolver cannon and gyro stabilized gun sight.
     
  8. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    If WWII had carried on for another 5 years what would Allied jets look like. What engines, RR Avons, Metrovick Saphires, GE J47s. What guns, lightweight 1,000 rpm Mohlins Hispanos or Colt Mk12s. What gunsights, radar ranging stabilised gunsights. What wings Miles M52 razor edged trans sonic wing. All these were running in prototype form at the end of or just after the war and at the rate of wartime development would have been in service well before 1950.

    You cant just glibly say the Me262 would have been a wonder plane without saying what 5 years of development would do to its likely opponents.
     
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  9. cimmex

    cimmex Member

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    I don’t think so; after WWII the cold war started and there was no reason to slow down the technical evolution.
    cimmex
     
  10. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    #10 stona, Nov 8, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2014
    The cold war didn't start, it developed and is generally supposed to have been in being by 1947, a full two years after the end of WW2. Even Churchill's 'Iron Curtain' speech (a term actually first used by Goebbels) wasn't until March 1946. At the time he was something of a Cassandra figure, his prophecies not believed by many.
    Many programmes in the UK (I don't know about the US) were curtailed or halted amidst budget cuts post 1945.
    Cheers
    Steve
     
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  11. swampyankee

    swampyankee Active Member

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    Do remember that almost all of the innovations that the Luftwaffe fielded in WW2 were developed and published before WW2: transonic aerodynamics was an active field of investigation for at least a decade before WW2. Indeed, there was a very famous conference in Rome, where Mussolini paid for people to attend from, among other countries, the US. During WW2, Robert T Jones, among others at NACA (and probably the ARC) was actively investigating swept wings for transonic flight, including the incredibly important areas of high AoA behavior, stall recovery, etc. Since the US, thanks to NACA's work on laminar flow profiles, had airfoils, like the NACA 6-digit series, e.g., 65-215, with better transonic characteristics than the Germans were using, sweep was less needed for the US aircraft (and we were talking to the British...)

    As any engineer will tell you, one of the definitions of "expert" is having a foreign accent. This is why Deming wasn't accepted in the US, but was in Japan. Sometimes managers will ignore the guy down the hall who says "hey, if we sweep the wing, we can solve that problem with transonic drag rise," but listen to the $500/hr consultant say, "ach, if ve sveep the ving, you can solve all zat problem vith transonic drag rise."
     
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  12. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    It wasn't even combat operational in WW2 so shouldn't even be on the list.
     
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  13. rochie

    rochie Well-Known Member

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    Don't forget to include the RLM equation.

    It states anything with a swastika or black cross has its performance automatically increased by 15% when compared to anything without !
     
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  14. awack

    awack Member

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    Even the cockpit layout was aadvanced on the 262, from cockpit and wind screen heat/ defrosting, flare lounchers, ammo counter, even the colors used on the interior...the control column, had multi functions, 2 different triggers for firing main guns, bomb/rocket release, button for operating electric equipment like radio, adjustable mechanism for better leverage, slight bent to the left and finger grooves..this stuff was very quickly copied for post war air craft and is still in use today, mine shells which were also copied, R4M air to air rockets, US and Russia copied and are still using these weapons, the Germans developed 55 and 70 mm versions of folding fin stabilized rockets. full leading edge slats, a British invention but it was its use on the 262 that caught peoples attention, it directly influenced the f86 and are still being used to this day but modern slats are a bit different than what was used on the 262, fully articulating horizontal stabilizers,which was copied on the f86, this would lead to the all flying tail on later f86-E/F...axial flow jets, automated throttles to lesson flame outs from heavy use of throttle, again, still used to this day, Adjustable exhaust cone, once agian copied, today jets use adjustable veins. even the look of the 262 like the flat under surface and triangle Fuselage, todays jet fighters have that rounded part which goes from the cockpit and the wing root, i believe this helps with angle of attack, the triangle shape of the 262 supposedly helps with air flow separation at the wing root/ Fuselage, the 109 k4 has has a metal piece at the wing root to help with this, it goes out then tappers back in to simulate a triangle shape.

    As much as i like the 262 and the fact that it was judge superior to the p80 in 1946( i dont have the paper but it was said to be of great concern to the US air force of the superiority of the 262 over the p80) it even proved superior to the f84 especialy at altitude...and there should be little doubt that the p80 was better to the Meteor mkIII, i completely agree with FLYBOYJ that it wouldn't have been a cake walk for the 262.

    What were the best low/ medium speed dog fighters, i think the he 162 followed by the Vampire 1.

    The Ar 234c was a beast, with a total of 7040 pounds of thrust, infact if you reduce its fuel load to match the range of the Meteor MK 4(did not fly until after war) it has the same power to weight ratio, the mk 4 had a ROC of 7900 fpm, 234c had top speed of 548 or 538 mph, range of 800 to 900 miles bomb load of 4400 pnds, adcanced break chute, rato units, drop tanks, pressurized cabin and some very sophisticated equipment in the cockpit. this aircraft was actually being used operationally by evaluation units when the war ended, this and the 262 made a coo combo, my other fav combo was the P51D and A26 invader, now thats cool :)

    Oh, the 262 with its top speed, energy retention, dive capability, and fire power(one variant used in combat pair of mk 103 30 mm cannons along with 2x 108s and 2x20 mm cannons) would be the best jet to take on the MIG 15 but still would be no match.
     
  15. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    Government development money for advanced projects almost dried up in Britain between 45 and 48 and even when the money came in it was in penny packets to just keep design and development staff intact. Money was desperately tight why do you think Rolls Royce sold the Nene to the Soviets because they paid in dollars and balance of payments was more important than weapons.

    The Berlin crisis started the arms industry up again but Britain missed out on a generation (the F86 and Mig15) because of the 3 years where almost nothing was done. Even in the US development slowed dramatically after 45 though less than the slamming on of the brakes in Britain.

    You simply cannot replicate the development pressure of wartime, civilians in a democracy will not work 7 days a week without holidays for years on end no matter how much overtime you pay them.
     
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  16. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    Well Black is very svelte and slimming
     
  17. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    #17 GrauGeist, Nov 8, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2014
    Gustav Lachmann had the design and applied for the patent before Handley-Page, who were able to successfully file a patent while Lachmann wasn't.

    Regarding the slats on the F-86: the technology was no revelation and American aircraft companies were well aware of the concept and usage (Curtiss, for example) before the Me262

    The He162 was not a reliable platform and can be considered more of an anomaly of military aviation born of desperation than an avenue to follow. In otherwords, it should have never been built, let alone put into combat.

    The Ar234 and it's variants were high-speed bombers and recon units. Their only defense was to run like hell and in order to achieve a higher speed, some even had their fixed rear defensive cannon removed. There is no way one would be able to dogfight or do anything other than haul-ass in a straight line.

    The Me262 was designed with the prospect of a pressurized cockpit (look at the cross-section of the cockpit/fuselage and see the "tub") but it was never implemented.

    If people want to put a "what-if" scenario together between postwar Allied jets and German jets, then perhaps use the HGIII "V-Tail" version (or the Ta183, Ho229 or P.1101 for that matter) against the F-86 or the MiG-15.

    The "6-gun" Me262 mentioned (Me262A-1a/U1) was a one-off version to try and increase range against the bombers, while retaining defensive armament. It's performance wasn't impressive enough to make any others. The other "6-gun" version was the Me262A-1a/U5 packing 6 Mk108 cannon...and again, not impressive.

    I think that the Mk108 was enough of a devastating weapon to the point that the rule of "less is more" should have applied. Only two cannon would have been sufficient and the weight savings from two less cannon would allow for a higher ammunition capacity. All it took was a single 30mm Minengeschoss round to tear a wing from a P-51 or devestate the cockpit of a B-17.

    As far as this Jet-versus-Jet scenario goes...it's always going to be a whole world of speculation and the one thing I always see popping up, is the P-80 versus (insert jet here). The problem is, the P-80 (in it's early production form) was only in the European theater in limited numbers and while I would like to think it would have been "cool" to see it tangle with the Me262, in all honesty, it would have come up short against the more experienced and heavier armed Me262. The only salvation for a P-80 pilot would be his ability to outfly the Me262 and definitely keep his ass out of the Me262's Revi.

    So if we're going to explore the realm of "what-ifs", why not make it interesting and include ALL of the actual armed WWII (September 1939 to May1945) jets into this scenario:
    P-59
    P-80
    Me262
    He162
    He280
    Meteor
    Vampire
     
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  18. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    It is a universal symbol of good luck ;)
     
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  19. dedalos

    dedalos Member

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    #19 dedalos, Nov 8, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2014
    He 162 unreliable platform?? Why ? Becauce thre were fatal accidents the First 6 monts of its existence? P80was killing its pilots 2 years after its First flights
    Removing the 20mm guns of ar234 increased its speed? They were causing no drug. They were removed just because were not useful
    Ar234C was also having two forward firing 20mm.
    Ar 234 able to fly only in strait Line????? Brown loved the plane. Which is your scource for this claim? And the c with almost double thrust was even better

    About the P80 vs 262. Since P80, as you say, could outfly the 262, why you say it would come short against the 262?
    I agree with you that the 262 was over gunned. But instead of 2x30 mk108s i would choose 3x Mg151s . more than enough against fighters and would Free weight for additional rockets against bombers
     
  20. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    All aircraft have a record of killing their pilots...there are NO exceptions. The Spatz was a design that was rushed to the front lines from it's inception due to deperation, not aerodynamic advancement. No other airforce on the planet copied it's design or considered it for any role...it was a dead end.

    Better spend more time reading about the machines you speak of, reducing weight also enhances speed.
    The Ar234 was designed as a high-speed bomber and some were even used in the role of high-speed recon. It was NOT a fighter, never was intended to be a fighter and never used in the capacity as a fighter.
    As far as "claims", I am not making any, I am simply repeating fact. If this bothers you, then learn a little more about the Ar234 and it's operational record.

    I am going to assume that you mis-read my statement, because nowhere did I say the P-80 could "out fly" the Me262. I said the P-80 would "come up short" in a contest.
    What this means, is that the P-80, while being close to performance profiles of the Me262, lacked the heavy armament and pilot experience in jet operations in a combat environment and would take a great deal of work to prevent themselves from falling victim to the Me262.
     
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