Only one fighter

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by renrich, Nov 21, 2007.

  1. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    I am stealing this question from one of our members who expressed his opinion to me but here is a hypothetical question: In 1940, in the US, the Roosevelt administration decrees that all future development and production of fighters shall cease except for one fighter and that all development and production will focus on that one design for the duration of the impending war. Which fighter aircraft should it be?
     
  2. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    seeing how one fighter will have to be a Naval bird also that leaves the Vought Corsair as the one and only choice
     
  3. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    I would have to agree with leadfoot... The Corsair really is the only choice when dealing with the naval requirement...
     
  4. ToughOmbre

    ToughOmbre Active Member

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    Also vote for the Corsair...for the reason already mentioned.

    TO
     
  5. Jank

    Jank Member

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    I'm not sure the Corsair was being though of as a carrier based plane in 1940. I don't think the first production dash one even flew until 1941, or was in 1942, either.

    In 1940, it would have been too speculative to place all of one's eggs in a design that was not tried and true. In 1940, I say Spitfire. You would have seen development into longer range and carrier variants.
     
  6. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    The intention was US fighters only and those in development or production in 1940 or before.
     
  7. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    Corsair... It's landing probs could have been worked out earlier if it were that necessary.

    or the P-26! The meanest looking bird ever! :lol:

    Chino 2006 Airshow Highlights
     

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  8. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    Since it narrows the field too much, if I may, lets do away with the ship board requirement.
     
  9. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    Corsair for me also
     
  10. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    If there is a shipboard requirement I go with the Corsair.

    If there is no shipboard requirement I go with the P-51.
     
  11. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    FW190, who said it had to be Allied:)
     
  12. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Me too.
     
  13. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    and the 51 also and it barely makes the list with that date requirement now if the 51 had never shown up I go for the Belle of Niagara the P63
     
  14. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    It would be the Corsair for me. Particularly in context of a single airframe/engine base of development. If all our egges ahd been put in that basket the resulting F4U should have been a very effective long range escort fighter by late 1942, in ops in Pacific as carrier fighter, at Guadalcanal, in China, in North Africa as air superiority *** Jabo fighter and capable of derivatives to go higher and faster as required to Approach P-51 and P-47 speen at altitude.
     
  15. machine shop tom

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    With the Naval requirement, I'd pick the Corsair.

    Without a Naval requirement, I'd pick the P-47. More versatile and rugged than the P-51.

    tom
     
  16. ToughOmbre

    ToughOmbre Active Member

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    Not flying off a carrier, I'll say P-51.

    TO
     
  17. Downwind.Maddl-Land

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    Even off a carrier - the P-51. Wasn't one modified later and deck-landed?
     
  18. Downwind.Maddl-Land

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    This the official entry in the ship's log:

    NOV 15,1944 1220hrs

    LT. Robert M. Elder, USN made the first carrier landing of P-51 type fighter plane #44-14017, followed by three landings and four takeoffs all successful.

    This is one of the photographs showing the Mustang flown by Bob Elder on the Shangri-La.
     

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  19. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    For those of you who know how I feel about Mustangs, my choice of the F4U may have been a suprise but RenRich put very strict guidelines around the choice.

    WWII offensive airpower in fighters was about two dimensions - agility at all altitudes a long way from home and ability to punish and survive in Fighter Bomber role. With Radar technology it was still a nice attribute to engage enemy formations a long way from the target if possible.

    My second choice was the P-51 with growth through the P-51H or the Fw 190with growth through the Ta 152. Even if Mustang had started like with Merlin I would still choose the F4U for the reasons below

    The P-38 was better in max range and ground support, less capable in high altitude air to air. The Spit for me was the best defensive fighter in continuous service but lacked range and payload to be top escort or ground support. The 109 was similar to Spit in all regards. I felt the F6F was inferior to F$U in almost every dimension.

    But, in 1942 the F4U would have been fully operational as a fast, long range, fighter/fighter bomber and had the engine baseline in the R-2800 to develop an even better high altitude fighter than the P-47, would have been able to carry two drop tanks immediately, would have been as good a dogfighter at low/medium altitudes as we had in the war and superb through 24,000 feet. The F4U-4 and 5 would have been developed earlier and were faster than 51D and marginally slower than Fw 190D-9 and P-47N in speed at altitude

    Obviously the USN would have had to commit to it for carrier Ops earlier, the AAF would have had them available in numbers at Guadalcanal and New Guinea and North Africa and England when 8th AF ops started there as there were no other fighters soaking up production capacity.There would have been more bandwidth from Aero and propulsion teams crafting derivatives - including possible in-line engine advances, different airfoils, lightweight airframe, etc to achieve very high altitude 'niche' Corsairs if necessary (same as Ta 152 or P-51H).

    Ground Support? Already better than P-51, Spit, (and Fw 190 if range is a factor for ops). Tough as P-47, huge payload, heavy firepower either in 6x 50 or 4 x 20mm and way better than P-47 on deck in defensive mode.

    And for what it's worth I think you have to include Naval air simply because that was a requirement that added a lot of structural weight to the F4U that, removed, would have increased its thrust to weight, wing loading, top speed and climb rate. Let the others add the weight to be modified for Carrier ops (such as P-38 or Fw 190D-9) to get it on level playing field?
     
  20. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    Good post Bill, agree with the whole thing....
     
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