The Greatest Ever Series

Discussion in 'OFF-Topic / Misc.' started by davparlr, Dec 3, 2008.

  1. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    I have watched a couple episodes of a new series on the Military Channel called "The Greatest Ever". To me it is not very informative or knowledgeable. For one, their “experts”, as far as I can tell, consist of collectors and Tom Clancy. Tom Clancy is certainly intelligent and knowledgeable about military equipment, but an expert?

    Here is a list of top 10 of “Greatest Ever” fighters. I have forgotten one and the list is close to the order presented but not precise, best being last.

    F-117 - WHAT??

    Fokker Dr.I - Greatest ever? What about the D.VII? I think there were several WWI aircraft as good or better than the Dr.I

    Harrier – Okay, should have been 10.

    Bf-109 – Okay, should have been higher (better).

    F-86 – Okay, should have been higher on the list, also, no Mig-15?

    F-18 – What? It is a great aircraft, but a greater fighter with more success than the F-15 (which is not mentioned)?

    Mig-21 – An okay aircraft, but can you omit the F-4, certainly one of the greatest fighters in history. Did the Mig-21 ever demonstrate superiority over western type? Maybe in India-Pakistani wars?

    Spitfire – Okay, but I don’t know if it was so much better than the lower rated Bf-109.

    P-51 – Arguably Okay. P-51 lobby is as strong as ever.

    This series does little to add to historical perspective, in my opinion.
     
  2. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    I can see the 117 because of stealth. It would be something like the Fokker Eindecker, first to do it and that makes it notable. But greatest is too open to perspective.

    Agree with you on the DR1, too slow, blind alley as far as a fighter is concerned (if three is good, would four be better?). Also think the F18 is a very good aircraft but...so? It hasn't spent time in a serious conflict and a great aircraft needs that. Also, the Mig21 was a good bird and an interesting way to go but not head and shoulders above any of the other aircraft out there.

    Only the 109 and Spitfire would make it, in my opinion. Both served all the way through the greatest airwar and were still viable aircraft at the end. Very few other aircraft of the Second World War (maybe the Yak) can say the same. The designs took to progressively larger engines and weights without being obsolete. Need to have that.

    F86? Maybe. Better than the Mig15 in terms of polish and design but both were similar in performance. Needed better armament.

    Harrier? Pass. After the vistol part, it's a point defense fighterbomber with good avionics.

    Mustang? Great for it's time but that time was limited. Happy accident of engine and airframe. Could make the list, but it doesn't have the longevity (as a full threat) that the Spitfire and 109 have. Early designs of both fighters were knocking down airplanes before the P51 was even on the drawing board.
     
  3. Catch22

    Catch22 Well-Known Member

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    I've seen it before, and the Zero's on the list.

    Where the Hell is the Corsair?
     
  4. SoD Stitch

    SoD Stitch Banned

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    Totally agree with you on the Fokker's; the Dr. I was a tricky ship to fly, only experienced pilots could fly it effectively. It had a tendency to snap-roll in a tight turn. IMO, the D.VII was a much better a/c, much easier to fly, and more effective. there was a reason the Versailles Treaty outlawed the D.VII at the end of WWI; at the time, it was better than anything the Allies possessed.

    And, yes, the F-15 IS better than the F-18; no idea how the F-18 made it on the list the F-15 didn't.
     
  5. BombTaxi

    BombTaxi Active Member

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    I can't see how the Dr.1 is in there when this isn't:


    [​IMG]


    After all, the Dr.1 was a direct response to the Sopwith, but didn't really handle as well and had a more marked tendency to break-up in flight.
     
  6. Waynos

    Waynos Active Member

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    Considering the F-117 and the Harrier are not fighters I think they can count themselves lucky to be on the list, though they would make the top end of any list of 'most ingenious' warplanes.

    Spitfire and 109 for sure, yeah, and very close together too.

    F-15 would be a must too, no way would I include the F-18.

    MiG 21 might be a possibility, isn't it the most produced jet fighter of all time? And there is a saying that 'quantity has a quality all of its own' it has also proven a very rugged and relaible aircraft that proved very troublesome to intercept in this years red flag against F-15C's so I can go with that.

    Hmmm, that makes 4, six more?

    Spreading things out I would choose something quite different from WW1 than the Dr1, either the Sopwith Camel or the Fokker DVII would be greater. I'll go for the DVII, just

    The F-86 also qualifies for me. imho it was better than the MiG 15. better fighter and better design.

    without getting too drawn on reasons then, and in age order only, I would say

    10 Sopwith Camel
    9 Fokker DVII
    8 Bf 109
    7 Spitfire
    6 F-86
    5 Mirage III
    4 MIG 21
    3 Lightning
    2 F-4
    1 F-15

    Though if I keep thinking aboput it I will no doubt change my mind

    edit to say, but then I am already thinking 'what about the Fw 190? F-16? F4U Corsair? etc etc
     
  7. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    The Tripehound was a better plane than the DR1. Faster, better built. Underarmed in comparison. But the manuverability of the Sop was not the reason the three wings were used. It was for visability.

    The Germans got it wrong, thought it was for climb and manuver.

    The Zero made it on the list? Nah, good airplane, but had no survivability. Much of the success should be attributed to the superb pilots that flew it. It it were put in action over Europe, with pilots of average caliber, it would've been withdrawn. Flaming death trap. Picture the Zero attacking the 8th Air Force the way the 109 and 190 did? Nah, that kind of work needed a more durable machine.

    However, that said, it was the first Air Superiority fighter. Designed from the start to go to the other guy's airfield and destroy him there. Something of a novel approach. If it were on the list for that reason, I could understand their perspective.
     
  8. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    The F-117 was no fighter, it was an attack, or, more appropiately, a bomber aircraft. I would not consider an aircraft a fighter unless it was primarily designed for air-to-air combat. The F-117 had no air-to-air capability.
     
  9. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    Ah, yes, how could I have forgotten the Zero, and I agree with you on the Corsair.
     
  10. Catch22

    Catch22 Well-Known Member

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    Or the Hellcat. I'm not a huge Hellcat fan, but both were better than the Zero.
     
  11. Soren

    Soren Banned

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    My list would be as follows:

    The P-47, Fw-190, Me-262 F4U deserved a mention IMO.
     
  12. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    I like the Hellcat too. Great airplane. Not sure if I would call it a "Greatest" (even though I am a great fan of the airplane), but it was the right airplane at the right time for the right pilots. Easy to fly, tough, fast enough and fairly nimble. If I had to fly in WW2 Pacific, it would be my plane of choice.

    But not the Greatest. Think the F4U was a better bird.
     
  13. krieghund

    krieghund Member

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    This just one of those nebulous topics that can go on for ever....can't compare apples to oranges to grapes.....

    Of course the aircraft of greatest impact would have to be the Wright Flyer from which all others are derived.
     
  14. Messy1

    Messy1 Well-Known Member

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    I agree that the Harrier does not belong on this list. There are so many more deserving actual fighters that put the Harrier to shame. I do not know why it is even on here. Where's the F-14? Although not a pure dog fighter, it has many more air to air kills than the Harrier. Where's the P-38? Hell, Where's the P40? All much better examples of fighter aircraft than the Harrier.
     
  15. Waynos

    Waynos Active Member

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    Not true.

    The Wright was a deliberately unstable canard (like the Eurofighter Typhoon!) whereas most aircraft that followed were stable tailed designs, exemplefied by the RAF BE2. Also the Wright was not a fighter either, and was itself derived from the work of Cayley, Stringfellow, Chanute, Lillienthal and others.
     
  16. krieghund

    krieghund Member

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    So your saying the Wright's stole from designs that had not yet flown?

    I just think it has it's place for creating the spark to get ev everyone in the air.
     
  17. 109ROAMING

    109ROAMING Active Member

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    Couldn't agree more on the 109 and Spitire

    both in my opinion are better than the P-51

    109 would proberly take the cake for me -served the whole war ,was a threat both at the start and end ,looks cool.Lethality.Fear.Deadliness

    I agree Catch where the hell was the Corsair on that episode???
     
  18. Waynos

    Waynos Active Member

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    Stole is hardly the right word, all the pioneers learned from each other, and several of the preceding designs HAD flown, albeit unpowered or in model form. You can hardly hold the fact that the vital ingredient, petrol engine, had not yet been invented against these great aeronautical pioneers. The Wrights themselves acknowledged the debt they owed to their predecessors.

    The Wrights did not create the spark, that was around for centuries. Where the Wrights won their place in history was in being the first to take the various threads of development that had gone before, inject a lot of research of their own on top ( including a light and reliable engine) , and build the first controllable powered man carrying aeroplane that worked.

    They didn't actually 'invent' anything and if they hadn't done it in 1903, someone else would have soon afterwards because lots of designers were also on the right lines.

    This was a race, it was not something that the Wright brothers pulled out of their arses completely out of the blue. However they did do it and that is their legacy, but relatively little of what followed was based on their design.
     
  19. krieghund

    krieghund Member

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    Contraire mon fraire!!!

    To say simply that the Wright Brothers invented the airplane doesn't begin to describe their many accomplishments. Nor is it especially accurate. The first fixed-wing aircraft -- a kite mounted on a stick -- was conceived and flown almost a century before Orville and Wilbur made their first flights. The Wrights were first to design and build a flying craft that could be controlled while in the air. Every successful aircraft ever built since, beginning with the 1902 Wright glider, has had controls to roll the wings right or left, pitch the nose up or down, and yaw the nose from side to side.

    Among the Wright's firsts;

    First powered controlled flight 1903
    First pracitcal aircraft "Model 1905 Flyer"
    First to patent aircraft type and controlling mechanisms

    Aug 8, 1907 Demonstrated banking turns to crowds in France (Bleriot Archdeacon congratulated them) Remember at this time other flyers could only perform flat turns. All this despite negative articles in the European press and comments from their peers.


    First Military aircraft Dec 23, 1907
    First to carry civilain pasenger, May 14, 1908

    They had plenty of politics and other trials against them but over time they were vindicated of all the false accusations.

    Unfortunately our modern history courses tend to marginalize great events of the Past.
     
  20. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    Did not Glen Curtiss develop the aileron allowing banking turns rather then wing warping, and the Wrights were aholes for suing Curtiss
     
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