Best Piston Engined Fighter Ever

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dreadnought

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Feb 4, 2007
London, GB
My top 10 list of piston engined Fighters that ever flew.

1. Hawker Fury/ Sea Fury
2. de Havilland D.H. 103 Hornet
3. Supermarine Spitfire Type 356-Mk 24
4. Hawker Tempest Mk.VI
5. P51d Mustang
6. Do 335 Pfeil
7. Fw 190
8. Yak-9
9. P-47 Thunderbolt
10. F4U Corsair

Just wanted to know others opinions/thoughts on the subject. I haven't posted a poll as I would probably forget some great aircraft.
 

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This it may be the best of the war, but the Sea Fury must be the best piston fighter ever. It could be used in ground attack, was blisteringly fast (at up to 460mph, arguably the fastest single engined plane ever, with a piston engine) and could have taken on anything that came from WW2, many of the early post war jets and downed some Migs in the Korean war with no losses themselves.
 
Ta 152H-1, then I go with the F4U-5. It too was a mig killer and was built up till 1952. It was still in service in the early 70s with the HAF.
 
I'm going to have to say F4U-5 as well.

Ditto

But I'd give the TA152 2nd and the Sea Fury 3rd (IMO). I'm sure the Sea Fury was a fantastic plane, but it was not as versatile as the Corsair.

If your looking for just a pure fighter, I'd have to give it to the TA152. If your looking for a fighter that could do anything, I'd go with the Corsair F4U-5, then the P-47N.
 
ever, i'd leave it between the Sea Fury and F8F Bearcat, giving it to the Sea Fury due to the greater service record, and you'll find few who'll agree with you on the P-51, there was a thread similar to this recently...........
 
Best piston fighter ever.... hmmm.... thats a tough one..

The Ta-152 and F4U-5 are both great but I think I'm going to have to go with the Hawker Sea Fury.
 
This it may be the best of the war, but the Sea Fury must be the best piston fighter ever...downed some Migs in the Korean war with no losses themselves.
One confirmed credit for a MiG, specific confirmation from Communist side unknown. Anyway later that same day, Aug 9 '52, a Sea Fury was hit by a MiG's 37mm shell, belly landed on a UN held island off the Korean coast and was apparently a total loss.

The Corsair MiG kill in Korea was by an F4U-4B (BuNo. 62927 to be exact). It was immediately downed by another MiG; that incident is confirmed in a specific Communist account. The straight F4U-5 was little used in combat in Korea, -5N's and -5P's were the standard however for night fighters and recon Corsairs. The -5 had nice paper stats but bugs had crept into some "improvements" in the design and the paper advantages were not so relevant to the Korean War mission. And there weren't enough around to sustain any attrition; so after brief use of straight -5's by one Marine sdn in Korea early on, the USN and USMC standardized on -4/4B for straight fighters in Korea, until the Marines received some new AU-1's (F4U-6) close support planes in 1952.

Anyway I think fluke MiG killing is a weak basis on which to compare prop fighters.

Most of the planes mentioned were very impressive performers; I personally like the P-51H. However WWII showed that you need extensive realworld combat service to see the full value of a plane, all its intangibles. That mainly doesn't exist for the very late war/postwar prop fighters; they all had pretty scant air combat records, or very difficult circumstances (eg. Ta-152).

Joe
 
I would go with the F4U-5. Top speed of 465 mph at 31,400 ft. Service ceiling of 41,400 feet. Rate of climb of 4230 fpm. 4-20mm cannon with 924 rounds of ammunition carried. Yardstick range of 1036 miles. All metal now with a cigar lighter.
 
The best piston engined fighter of the War was undoubtably the Ta 152H-1..

Above 25k ft, the Ta 152H-1 would reign supreme. Below that there are several aircraft that appear superior to the Ta, F4U-4 or 5, P-51H, probably F8F, Sea Fury, and Tempest II. So, you might have a good time up there, but it could be sporty going up or coming down.

Classic Military Warnings

"If you see a bomb technician running, try to keep up." Unkown
 
One confirmed credit for a MiG, specific confirmation from Communist side unknown. Anyway later that same day, Aug 9 '52, a Sea Fury was hit by a MiG's 37mm shell, belly landed on a UN held island off the Korean coast and was apparently a total loss.

The Corsair MiG kill in Korea was by an F4U-4B (BuNo. 62927 to be exact). It was immediately downed by another MiG; that incident is confirmed in a specific Communist account. The straight F4U-5 was little used in combat in Korea, -5N's and -5P's were the standard however for night fighters and recon Corsairs. The -5 had nice paper stats but bugs had crept into some "improvements" in the design and the paper advantages were not so relevant to the Korean War mission. And there weren't enough around to sustain any attrition; so after brief use of straight -5's by one Marine sdn in Korea early on, the USN and USMC standardized on -4/4B for straight fighters in Korea, until the Marines received some new AU-1's (F4U-6) close support planes in 1952.

Anyway I think fluke MiG killing is a weak basis on which to compare prop fighters.

Most of the planes mentioned were very impressive performers; I personally like the P-51H. However WWII showed that you need extensive realworld combat service to see the full value of a plane, all its intangibles. That mainly doesn't exist for the very late war/postwar prop fighters; they all had pretty scant air combat records, or very difficult circumstances (eg. Ta-152).

Joe


Wow! I kinda agree with all JoeB says. I don't have much data on some of these planes so I have to go by gut feelings.

The only data I have shows that the Sea Fury has a ceiling of only 36k ft. and climb rate of only 2777 ft./min at an unknown altitude. Not very impressive. Good speed though, 460 mph max. If it is like the Tempest, it has great low altitude performance.

Like I said earlier, the Ta-152 suffers a bit below 25k. I would hate to give up advantages over the airfields.

Bearcat is probably the best dogfihter in its element. However, it lags in airspeed and ceiling.

So, I have two choices. Both are very fast, with great climb from SL up to ceiling and a ceiling of over 41k ft. One is the P-51H (I'm sure all are surprised I selected this) and one is the F4U-4 (see JoeBs comments of why I did not pick the -5, which is also 300 lbs heavier than the -4). The P-51H is faster from SL to ceiling but the F4U-4 climbs better from SL to ceiling. So, its a toss up. Maybe the F4U-4 because of battlefield experience.

Classic Military Warnings

"Cluster bombing from a B-52 is very, very accurate. The bombs are guaranteed to always hit the ground." U.S.A.F literature

Alas, no more Classic Military Warnings!
 
Wow! I kinda agree with all JoeB says. I don't have much data on some of these planes so I have to go by gut feelings.

The only data I have shows that the Sea Fury has a ceiling of only 36k ft. and climb rate of only 2777 ft./min at an unknown altitude. Not very impressive. Good speed though, 460 mph max. If it is like the Tempest, it has great low altitude performance.

Like I said earlier, the Ta-152 suffers a bit below 25k. I would hate to give up advantages over the airfields.

Bearcat is probably the best dogfihter in its element. However, it lags in airspeed and ceiling.

So, I have two choices. Both are very fast, with great climb from SL up to ceiling and a ceiling of over 41k ft. One is the P-51H (I'm sure all are surprised I selected this) and one is the F4U-4 (see JoeBs comments of why I did not pick the -5, which is also 300 lbs heavier than the -4). The P-51H is faster from SL to ceiling but the F4U-4 climbs better from SL to ceiling. So, its a toss up. Maybe the F4U-4 because of battlefield experience.

Classic Military Warnings

"Cluster bombing from a B-52 is very, very accurate. The bombs are guaranteed to always hit the ground." U.S.A.F literature

Alas, no more Classic Military Warnings!

As far as I remember from one of these Osprey Aircraft of the Aces books (FW190 Aces of the western front?) there exists a combat report of a Ta152H outturning a Tempest V at low alt. So the Ta152H seems to be a reasonable turner due to greater wing area compared with a standard FW190. Unfortunately I have no idea if the turning ability of Tempest V and Sea Fury remained the same or if the different engine and the modified wing of the Sea Fury changed anything.
Besides - what's about the Ta152C as contender for best piston engine fighter ever?
 
Above 25k ft, the Ta 152H-1 would reign supreme. Below that there are several aircraft that appear superior to the Ta, F4U-4 or 5, P-51H, probably F8F, Sea Fury, and Tempest II. So, you might have a good time up there, but it could be sporty going up or coming down.

Classic Military Warnings

"If you see a bomb technician running, try to keep up." Unkown

The Ta-152H could do 595 km/h at SL, and that aint bad. Also with a climb rate in area of 5,000 ft/min it is a VERY good climber - and by virtue of its long span wings it would out-turn all the above as-well.

Still thisisn't to say that the Ta-152H is overall vastly superior or superior at all, but unlike the above (Except F4U-4) it actually saw service in WWII - hence Les' comment.
 
How come the Ta 152 suffers a bit below 25K?

If you check available information regarding the battle record of the unit that flew it in combat action (stab./JG 301) the Ta-152 swallowed soviet Yaks at very low altitude over Berlin. Also Rescke´s kill of a Tempest occured at tree-top level, so it seems the Ta-152 could more than handle combat at low altitude.
 
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