Best single-engine fighter powered by the Bristol Mercury?

Ad: This forum contains affiliate links to products on Amazon and eBay. More information in Terms and rules

Admiral Beez

Captain
8,907
10,165
Oct 21, 2019
Toronto, Canada
The Bristol Mercury powered a lot of fighters from across Europe, including the Gloster Gladiator, Bristol Type 146, Fokker D.XXI, PZL.50 Jastrząb and Letov Š-31. Which was the best design (production or prototype) powered by the Mercury? I've always liked the Fokker.
 
I'd say the Fokker G.I for looks and performance.

For combat performance only, the nod goes to the PZL P.11


I thought the Polish plane never progressed beyond prototypes? It may have had great potential though, I don't know.

Edit - it appears I had my Polish planes wrong. Doing some reading now.
 
Not a fighter, nor WW2 era, but the Valmet Vihuri trainer is almost as fast as the Fokker D.XXI. Not too shabby.

valmet_vihuri-4.jpg


A single seat version, made in the early 40s instead of the early 50s may have been the best Mercury-powered fighter of them all.
 
I'd say the Fokker G.I for looks and performance.

For combat performance only, the nod goes to the PZL P.11

Well, it rather depends how you're classifying combat performance.

In strict airframe performance metrics the Fokker D.XXI comes out on top, with the Gladiator second and the PZL P.11 third.

Agree that the Fokker G.1 should get a nod for sheer aesthetics. It's a great-looking aeroplane.
 
within this three i'm stay with the PZL P.11 it's the third but it's also the oldest and i suppose compare better with its contemporaries
 
Last edited:
P.11c has been powered by Bristol Mercury VS2 with power rating from 600HP up to 645HP, single P.11g has been powered by Bristol Mercury VIII (this one should be stopgap after P.50 project failure). Generally P.11g has been end of the P.11 fighter line. P.11 also had best combat performance of mentioned types.
 
P.11c has been powered by Bristol Mercury VS2 with power rating from 600HP up to 645HP, single P.11g has been powered by Bristol Mercury VIII (this one should be stopgap after P.50 project failure). Generally P.11g has been end of the P.11 fighter line. P.11 also had best combat performance of mentioned types.

I'd still like to understand how you define "best combat performance" and what criteria are used. It's tough to compare like-for-like when the PZL was only involved in combat operations for 5 weeks in one country.
 
Well, you only had three that actually saw combat in any numbers.
Gloster Gladiator
PZL P.11
Fokker XXI

now how many of each were actually used in combat(not just built).
What was the opposition?

Like what did the Finns say since they were using the Gladiators and the Fokker XXI at the same time in the same area?
 
Well, you only had three that actually saw combat in any numbers.
Gloster Gladiator
PZL P.11
Fokker XXI

now how many of each were actually used in combat(not just built).
What was the opposition?

Like what did the Finns say since they were using the Gladiators and the Fokker XXI at the same time in the same area?

That's exactly why I'm asking about the criteria being used to judge "best combat performance." We have the PZL which only flew combat ops for 5 weeks against one adversary. We have the Fokker D.XXI which served throughout WW2 with the Finns but really only fought for 2 weeks with the Netherlands Air Force. Then there's the Gladiator which flew combat ops in Norway, Greece, Malta, North Africa, and East Africa with the RAF, and continued to achieve combat victories with the Finns until 1943.

It's tough to reconcile all those different theatres and periods of performance.
 
I'd still like to understand how you define "best combat performance" and what criteria are used. It's tough to compare like-for-like when the PZL was only involved in combat operations for 5 weeks in one country.
well - hard to call this machine underperforming if this type is responsible for removing, according Bajan's committee, 126 machines from Luftwaffe's inventory during less than 3 weeks (after 17th of September Polish Air Force wasn't able to show any resistance against German and Soviet forces) in conditions of total German air superiority. Assuming 128 P.11 used in combat, kill ratio is surprisingly (especially considering technical advantage of German fighters) positive.
 
well - hard to call this machine underperforming if this type is responsible for removing, according Bajan's committee, 126 machines from Luftwaffe's inventory during less than 3 weeks (after 17th of September Polish Air Force wasn't able to show any resistance against German and Soviet forces) in conditions of total German air superiority. Assuming 128 P.11 used in combat, kill ratio is surprisingly (especially considering technical advantage of German fighters) positive.

Who said anything about underperforming? I actually like the PZL and have huge respect for the accomplishments of the Polish Air Force.

However, there's more to "combat performance" than just straight kill/loss ratios, hence my question about what criteria are being used. For example, a number of high-scoring RAF pilots became aces flying the Gladiator, including 'Pat' Pattle and 'Cherry' Vale, so clearly it was no slouch in terms of combat. It also contributed to the successful defence of Malta and served in many different operational theatres from frozen Norway to the heat of North Africa.

The Fokker D.XXI also has some interesting criteria, being the only one of the three to remain in front-line operational use throughout the war.

So...what criteria are we using to measure "combat performance."
 
Who said anything about underperforming? I actually like the PZL and have huge respect for the accomplishments of the Polish Air Force.

However, there's more to "combat performance" than just straight kill/loss ratios, hence my question about what criteria are being used. For example, a number of high-scoring RAF pilots became aces flying the Gladiator, including 'Pat' Pattle and 'Cherry' Vale, so clearly it was no slouch in terms of combat. It also contributed to the successful defence of Malta and served in many different operational theatres from frozen Norway to the heat of North Africa.

The Fokker D.XXI also has some interesting criteria, being the only one of the three to remain in front-line operational use throughout the war.

So...what criteria are we using to measure "combat performance."
i think kill to loose ratio is fairly good combat performance benchmark - of course hard to separate technical factors from human related ones and logistic which is permanently omitted in similar discussions. We may stick this discussion to purely technical side but i think this is kind of simplification which leads to the dead end. First - to be sure that your assessment is correct one you have to ask the question together with establishing criterions. Just consider fact that Mercury engine power settings span from 420 to 830 HP - considering only this factor - best airplane will use higher rating engine??? - 600HP in P.11c resulted in max. horizontal speed close to 380km/h - in Gladiator 830HP (30% up) give max. horizontal speed 407km/h (10% increase) it may suggest relatively better aerodynamic design from P.11c. But this is just playing with numbers....
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Back