The almost best fighters that never flew in WWII

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by CobberKane, Apr 4, 2012.

  1. CobberKane

    CobberKane Banned

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    Here's a new twist on a perrenial topic - what was the best prop driven fighter to never fly in the Second World War. All the main protagonists had one, the coulda-been contenders left sitting on the tarmac, denied their shot at the title by the passage of history. The piston-engined aircraft that pushed the concept of the fighter about as far as it could go before the jet engine turned it into something else altogether.
    To get the ball rolling, in the RAF corner the DeHavilland Hornet

    470mph
    4000ft/min
    4x20mm cannon
     

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  2. DonL

    DonL Banned

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    For the LW


    FW 187 with the planed DB engines!

    First flight 1937!
    2 x 20mm cannon and 4 x 7,92mm or 4 x 131.

    Estimated performance with 2 x DB 605A

    700-710 km/h as pure fighter and 21-22m per sec.
     
  3. CobberKane

    CobberKane Banned

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    Alas, the Fw187 as you describe it never flew, and even if it had it would have been no match for my Hornet. I can think of a few combat ready aircraft that were, but if I named them it would spoil the fun...
     
  4. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Does this include aircraft that were developed during WWII and made powered flight during tests before the close of the war?
    If so, the Douglas A-1 Skyradier (322mph @ 18,000ft. - 4 20mm cannon 8,000 lb. bombs/mines/torpedoes/toilets/rockets/gunpods) would be qualified, since it's first flight was in March of 1945 and production began not too long afterwards.

    Then there's the P-51H (490mph @ 25,000 ft. - 6 .50 cal. MG 2 1,000 lb bombs) that actually made it to the front lines (PTO - Summer, 1945) but never fired a shot in anger...
     
  5. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    First ones that come to my mind are the F7F and F8F.

    For the Luftwaffe, it would have been interesting to see what the Do 335 would have done in numbers.

    I like your choice of the Hornet.
     
  6. CobberKane

    CobberKane Banned

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    I think the Skyraider was envisaged more as a ground attack aircraft than a fighter - it would have given away far to much speed to compete in this company. Bearcat, Tigercat and P51H and Do335 are right in the hunt though, What about the La-9 or Spit F22?
     
  7. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #7 GregP, Apr 5, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2013
    How about:
    1. Arsenal VB-10, France, first flight 1947.

    2. Boeing F8B, USA, first flight 1944. A great candidate that might have been!

    3. Chance-Vought F4U-5, USA, first fligt 1946. Demonstably a great plane that is often overlooked for some reason.

    4. Chance-Vought XF5U-1, USA, never flew ... but was completed and ready for flight. Wish it had flown. if it had, it might have been the best or the worst ... we can't say for sure, but the data suggest the best as far as maneuverability and roll go. Top speed was higher than average for piston fighers. Cruise was slower.

    5. Commonwealth Ca-15, Australia, first flight 1946, one of the best of the candidates, no question. Go Australia!

    6. de Havilland Hornet, UK, first flight 1944 ... but never made WWII, as stated above. Great fighter for a twin.

    7. Doflug D-3803, Switzerland, first flight 1947, the "Swiss Mustang." Nobod today knows how good it was because it never fought anything, but the numbers suggest a great plane. I do not have much info on the Saurer engine, but it was Hispano-Suiza-based. Supposed to be a very good fighter.

    8. Dornier Do.335 Pfiel, Germany, first flight 1945. A very neat ride, but with somehwat limited turn due to polar moment of inertia versus a conventional fighter. Might roll well, but pitch rate was going to suffer due to engines on both ends.

    9. Douglas Skyraider, USA, first flight March 1945, a GREAT candidate, and could turn and fight with ANYTHING at air combat weights, though probably slower. A better attack plane, but a VERY good fighter (without bomb load) that can hold it's own against anything, even today. Well armed!

    10. Fiat G.56, Italy, first flight 1944, a great plane that never made it. Very Me-109-like, with Italian craftmanship and maneuverability.

    11. Focke-Wulf Ta-152H, Germany, a great plane that didn't live up to potential even though it didn't see much combat. Poor kill ratio, though probably not the fault of the airframe. Probably due to large numbers of Allied fighters in the immediate area versus very few Ta-152's (something like 43 Ta-152's known to have been delivered as operational, as opposed to more than 12,000 Mustangs, a depressing thought for a Ta-152 pilot I'm sure).

    12. General Motors P-75, USA, first flight 1944, first effort was BAD, last model was good and a viable fighter.

    13. Grumman F7F Tigercat, USA, first flight 1944, a great twin! Still IS. A stock F7F won a Reno Silver Race last year (Rod Lewis) ahead of Mustangs, Corsairs, Sea Furies, etc. Seems faster than claimed in the specs becasue I KNOW it is bone stock except for the added weight of two smoke systems. Of course , it was waxed, too, but otherwise stock with two stock R-2800's (no Nitrous).

    14. Grumman F8F Bearcat, very probably the best of the best IMHO. The next best piston, in my opinion, would be the Lavochkin La-9, and it is said by a pilot who had flown both to out-accelerate a Grumman F8F Bearcat. Seems like a probable thing since the weight-to-power rarto of the La-9 (with less power) is very slightly better than the F8F, but not enough to matter in real life (4.08 to 4.26). Both are right there with each other and the Bearcat has a higher ceiling by 2,000 feet or so. Would be a really good fight with the best pilot winning. The wing loadings are within 0.3 pounds per square foot of each other, so the turn would be about the same, with the Bearcat having whatever edge that 0.3 pounds per square foot could give ... not much. I'd say even, period. I pick the Bearcat based on the known reliabilty of the R-2800 versus the Lavochkin's Shvetsov Ash-82FN radial. There are LOT of R-2800's flying today, and very few Ash-82FN's.

    If the La-9 got an R-2800, I'd pick it above the Bearcat ... but it didn't, and I wouldn't. Still, I'd fly one anytime against anything from the period.


    Only got to Grumman ... but out of time. Will revisit this ...
     
  8. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    lockheed P-80 vs Me-262. interesting. I've heard they were quite similarly performing with a slight edge to the Lockheed and the armament punch to the 262.
     
  9. jim

    jim Banned

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    According to the american book Arrow to the future in american trials,with american pilots, the standard Me 262A proved generaly superiorto the P80

    My proposition for best fighter that never flew would be Fiat G56. The engine (Db603A)_ was in production since January 43, the airframe from mid 43 ,and the combination start test flying march 43 . For varius reasons did not enter production. But its numbers look amazing
    With a normal flying weight of 3850 kgr had a wing loading of just 184 kgr/m2 and power loading of 2,2 kgr/hp ( on 1750hp engine), it had three cannons and excellent agility.Theoriticaly this dird could be in production from middle /late 43!
    Using Jumo 213A with Mw 50 of the Dora (serial produstion autumn 44) the results seems top class. Assuming a normal weight of 4000 kgr and 2100 hp results in 189kgr/m2 wing loading and 1,9 kgr/hp . Such numbers look better even than F8F2 Bearcat s. 2,056 kgr/hp and 204kgr/m2 (source F8f in Action). And Fiat also had less drug because of the liquid cooled engine. MW 50 boosted Db603s of 1945 would boost performance even more. Even with DB605DC 1,98 power loading would be still excellent and wing loading even lower.
    Post war flew a version with 360 canopy
    Negatives were its time construction requirement and the tendency that germans had to fatten their aircrafts
     
  10. Dcazz7606

    Dcazz7606 Member

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    I agree with Thorlifter. I can see the F7F Tigercat used to it's full potential in the Pacific but... I can see it flying across Europe in AAF colors with the Typhoons and Thunderbolts (flying cover?) doing ground attack with their combo of .50's, 20mm.'s and bombs and rockets. Devastating IMO.
     
  11. spicmart

    spicmart Member

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    It would have been if it were to be developed continuously until 1945/46, probably even earlier.
     
  12. riacrato

    riacrato Member

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    Where did you get that from?
     
  13. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    #13 oldcrowcv63, Apr 5, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2012
    I understood (possibly from a post by GregP on another forum?) that Yeager evaluated both and while he believed they were about equal, preferred the P-80. There seems to be a lot of dispute surrounding this topic on the web and in literature. I am suspicious that some of it is not based on actual test evaluations of the kind you quote but on an unfounded belief in grossly exagerated claims for the 262. Then there are the political issues that may have influenced the test results summarized by Boyne in Arrow.... Described in a detailed comparison provided by our own davparlr at:

    http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/aviation/p-80-v-me-262-v-gloster-meteor-21761-4.html

    the perception that the P-80A and Me-262 were pretty close with a very slight edge to the P-80 appears to be validated.
     
  14. T Bolt

    T Bolt Well-Known Member

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    Who couldn’t like a Thunderbolt with a 3000 hp engine?

    • Maximum speed: 480 mph (789 km/h)[1][N 1]/ 387mph (623 km/h at sea level)
    • Range: 1,200 miles (1,932 km)
    • Service ceiling: 42,000 ft (12,805 m)
    • Rate of climb: 5,280 ft/min (26.8 m/s)
     
  15. Milosh

    Milosh Well-Known Member

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    Did anyone mention the Hawker Fury/SeaFury and the Tempest II?
     
  16. woljags

    woljags Active Member

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    what about the vampire
     
  17. jim

    jim Banned

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    I really dont understand what you are saying. You are suspicious on german claims? Okay . But i am saying to you that the trials were conducted on AMERICAN soil(Wright Field),By AMERICAN pilots (Al Boyd among them) ,for the AMERICAN air force.Page 139 "Arrow to the future".
    What makes you suspicion that it was not based on actual tests? FACTS please
    What political issues would influenced the test results with germany defeted and at the merci of the America?


    the perception that the P-80A and Me-262 were pretty close with a very slight edge to the P-80 appears to be validated.[/QUOTE]

    Based On What and by whom??? Facts please!
    Unfounded beliefs about Me 262? The bird was tested to death by Americans,English,Soviets,French , served with Chech air force! What secrets Me 262 has? Eric Brown reports that british tests fully confirmed german tests.
    The permament response of the Americans in reports of axis aircrafts with superior performance is" exxagerated claims",no reliable tests etcetera... .Even when your own air force confirms ,still you can not accept it. Every body loves his country but let s try to be objective.
     
  18. johnbr

    johnbr Well-Known Member

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    Me I like the Tempest mk-1 and the MB-5.
     
  19. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    In my analysis, I used German data to support the performance of the Me-262 not allied performance evaluations and I compared all available flight test data on the P-80, looking at the high and low rollers and it certainly appeared to me that the P-80 and the Me-262 had similar performance in airspeed but the P-80 had a significant advantage in climb. As I said data tended to be spotty.
     
  20. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    The He-162 was a great design that had the misfortune to be rushed into mass production only 4 months after the the specification was issued. With another 6 months of development time I think the He-162 would have been a dirt cheap world beater. It would have owned the sky during the fall of 1945.
     
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