Best WW2 Fighter TIMELINE

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by timmy, Nov 3, 2013.

  1. timmy

    timmy Member

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    Would anyone here be brave enough to attempt one

    Just give a rough chronological order by dates on what fighters dominated WW2. Does not matter if the fighter is an Intercepter/Escort/Carrier fighter
    The rules are the fighter truly dominated its air space at the time. It has to be reliable enough and built in reasonable quantity to be truly considered

    This is my attempt

    JAN 1940.............Spitfire/Me 109
    .........................Spitfire/Me 109
    JUNE 1940...........Spitfire/Me 109
    .........................Spitfire/Me 109
    JAN 1941.............Spitfire/Me 109
    .........................Spitfire/Me 109
    JUNE 1941............Spitfire/Me 109
    ..........................FW 190
    JAN 1942..............FW 190
    ..........................FW 190
    JUNE 1942............FW 190
    ..........................Spitfire IX/FW 190
    JAN 1943..............Spitfire IX/FW 190
    ...........................Mustang P51B/C
    JUNE 1943.............
    ...........................
    JAN 1944...............
    ...........................
    JUNE 1944.............
    ...........................
    JAN 1945................Me 262
    ............................Me 262
    JUNE 1945..............Me 262


    I think this Timeline is fairly accurate, maybe I could have still have put the 109 in after Jan 1942 ???? Then the only debate is whether the 262 was truly operational to be considered ? I will not even attempt the years mid 43 to 45. Just to many good fighters and too many arguments on this forum :D

    Maybe someone else might give it a go?
     
  2. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    Till the Spit MkI got a better propellor and plentiful supplies of 100 octane in summer 40 I would say the 109 is the best plane. Late 41 early 42 I would say the Zero was probably the best till tactics caught up with it.
     
  3. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't ever include the Me 262, but that's my opinion.

    One might also include altitude bands. At low to medium altitudes, Yak-3 / the La-5FN / La-7 might slip in there when they were deployed in service, but they were never high altitude threats and didn't need to be.

    Without further argument, I think you'd have to specify the mission as well as the altitude to get a really good list, and general agreement would be difficult at best.

    Good luck!
     
  4. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    From Jan 1943 to Dec 1943 the F4U looks like a contender. It can hold it's own against Spit IX/Fw-190, while surpassing them in combat radius. The P-38 can compete in 1942-43.
     
  5. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    The P-51B prototype flew in November 1942 after a three month delay due to a bad Merlin 1650-3. The first Production P-51B flew combat December 1, 1943. The first C in late March/early April, 1944

    You could argue that the P-51B was the best escort fighter until the P-51D (late May, 1944) but it was best at medium to high altitude.. you could argue that the F4U-1A was very close and entered ops in same timeframe as well as the P-38J which finally approached the promise of range and performance combined that was envisioned four years earlier.

    As stated above 'best' is meaningless until you define 'At What'?

    Long range escort/air superiority?
    Fighter Bomber?
    Armed Recon?
    Maneuver/dogfighter?
    Point defense interceptor/air superiority?
    Most 'cost effective' in context of combat lethality combined with low cost maintenance/support combined with manufacturer's roll out cost/spares?
     
  6. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Mid 1941 to mid 1943 most German aircraft fought on the Russian front. Surely the Yak series deserves a mention.
     
  7. OldSkeptic

    OldSkeptic Active Member

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    Thank you for getting in first, I was just about to post that. "Best' is meaningless unless it is defined.

    And why limit to day fighters....
     
  8. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Certainly too many variables. You can't just lock it down to "best" without considering what you are looking for.
     
  9. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky Active Member

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    Precisely. 'Best' depends on what characteristics you use to define aircraft performance and the situation the aircraft serves in.

    The Spitifre Mk IX and the P-51B/C had very different capabilities in regards of speed, climb, range, roll, turn, dive, visibility, armament ect.

    Few would argue that the P-51B/C was a better dogfighter or a better pilot's aircraft that the Spitfire IX, yet I'd argue that in the situation faced with in the ETO in late 1943 through to mid 1944, the P-51s range gave it a significant advantage over the Spitfire, in that it could reach out and take the fight to the Germans in their own backyard

    So, at that time and in that situation, the P-51 was a 'better' fighter than the Spitfire IX.
     
  10. bob44

    bob44 Member

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    Very hard to simply say what fighter was best.
    One also must consider the pilots, number of planes/pilots, experience, and tactics used.
     
  11. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    Where is the Japanese Zero in all of this ...? In December, 1941, it is my understanding that nothing could touch the Zero in the hands of a skilled IJN pilot. And those pilots were experienced and very skillful, IMHO.
     
  12. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky Active Member

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    FW 190 A2?
    109F-4?

    I'd consider both aircraft better fighters than the Zero. Unless you want to fly off a carrier, or project power out more than about 200 miles.
     
  13. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    here again, the "timeline" doesn't define "what"...

    The Zero (and the KI-43) was formidable, but in it's own theater of operations. The PTO and the ETO were two totally different situations: different tactics, different Ops, different strategies.
     
  14. timmy

    timmy Member

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    #14 timmy, Nov 4, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2013
    Interesting, maybe I should have had the 109 by itself at the start of 1940

    Can I put the Zero in there if the FW 190 appears at the same time? Then again the 190 appeared late 41 but was still having some mechanical issues
    The Zero was with the IJN from when ...mid 1941? It was fully operational so maybe I could put it in there ahead of the 190 from say Late 41/Early 42 ?

    Yeah tough one, was the 262 fully operational (Reliable) in 1945?

    I was thinking the P51B was the speed king in 43?
    But the F4u-4 would be a real contender in the late 44 early 45 timeframe

    Didn't realize the 51B saw combat so late. I always thought this Mustang was truly operational and reliable early 43. Where aircraft like the P47/P38/Griffon Spitfires/Tempest still had some minor issues at this time? This is why I stuck the 51B in there early 43, after that there are just to many good fighters to compete with

    I always thought WW2aircraft forum always had the merlin Mustang ahead of the merlin Spitfire
    Mustang has something like a 30mph speed advantage in just about all altitudes with this Spitfire
    Yeah the Spitfire will out climb, Mustang will out dive it, Spitfire out turn it, Mustang out roll it
    Still that 30 mph advantage surely means you dictate this battle. Griffon Spitfires another story altogether :D

    Yeah maybe I should have at least had a PTO and ETO timeline seperate
     
  15. Aozora

    Aozora Well-Known Member

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    There were more than adequate supplies of 100 Octane fuel by late 1939, and even with the two position propeller the Spitfire was a match in most areas to the 109E, particularly the E-1 with 4 mgs and original style canopy.
     
  16. cimmex

    cimmex Member

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    I don’t believe that any plane with a two position prop can compete with a plane which featured a constant speed prop when the plane has a similar power and size.
    cimmex
     
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  17. Greyman

    Greyman Active Member

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    I'm no Bf 109 expert, but the Emil didn't have a constant speed prop, correct?
     
  18. cimmex

    cimmex Member

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    all E-versions had the 3-blade VDM constant speed prop.
    cimmex
     
  19. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    Didnt early E versions have a controllable prop rather than a CSU.
     
  20. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    "...Unless you want to fly off a carrier, or project power out more than about 200 miles.... "

    Which the Japanese more-or-less wanted to do .. :)
     
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