Year 1943: the best fighter

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by tomo pauk, Feb 18, 2012.

  1. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    People, similar drill as previously: what fighter aircraft do you see as the best one available for the air forces, for 1943. The plane need to be in combat service in that year to qualify. Naval aircraft can apply, but CV capability yields no points here, unlike the ability to serve well in air forces other than than they served historically.
     
  2. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    Well, let's see. The P-51B only just made into service. The Spitfire XIV did not - but it was in production. The IX and VIII were in service. The Bf109G was in service. The Fw190A/F was in service, but I think the Fw190D missed.

    The F4U and F6F were both in service.

    The P-38J debuted in 1943. The Lavochkin La-5 was in service in 1943 too.

    So, I 'm going to have to say the P-38J was the best fighter in service in 1943.
     
  3. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    However the Fw-190 provides stiff competition as the BMW801 engine was finally reliable and producing decent power.

    I wouldn't be too quick to dismiss the Me-109G either. DB605A engine teething problems were fixed during the fall of 1943 allowing large HP increases by the beginning of 1944. The Spitfire IX was finally available in numbers and that was a good aircraft too.
     
  4. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    #4 Vincenzo, Feb 19, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2012
    if is valid the december '43 situation P-47D with WEP is sure one candidate, F4U had not wep in '43 and non perform so good as later and first blocks have more drag, within radial engined i can mentions the 190A-5 and La 5FN. after the classic 109 and Spitfire. i think that yakovlev was too low altitude for best general purpose fighter. i want mention the italian serie 5 fighters also if they are already out of development for the end of '43.

    Obvious need add P-51B i just don't rememebered it
     
  5. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    #5 tomo pauk, Feb 19, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2012
    The US planes have a disadvantage in these yearly comparisons - it took much more to ship stuff to war theaters, than what was required for German or SU stuff. So a plane that is equipped with, say, paddle blade prop and water injection in Oct 1943 in mainland USA might start operating in ETO maybe in Jan 1944. So, were such P-47s operating in 1943?
    The P-51B was operating in 1943, the about only 'bug' was jamming of HMGs. Spitfire VIII seem like great contender here, good range, armament performance. German fighters have no more issues with engine reliability, their combat range is only sufficient for front-line or defensive operations, as it's the case with Soviet stuff (they still can't make 600 km/h, apart from La-5F/FN).
    Italian series 5 fighters are good contenders, with good performance, range, handling armament (apart from MC.205).
    Japanese are pretty lacking here in performance armament (apart from Zero's improved cannons), but their planes offer very useful combat range maneuverability.
    P-47 has just acquired some combat range via introduction of combat drop tanks, but still lacks ADI paddle blade props?
    P-38J has good firepower, speed range, the major shortcoming is the cost, susceptibility for low temperatures (at hi alt), still lacks power boosted ailerons.

    For me it's G.55, Spit VIII, P-38J, P-51B, depending on my mood ;)

    added: the F4U is really a contender here, agree with Dave here
     
  6. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    For the P-47D, WI injection kits and first paddle blades were first installed in late November 1944, and delivered installed in the P-47D-11's late December and January.

    This thread begs the question of 'what defines Best'
     
  7. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    #7 tomo pauk, Feb 19, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2012
    The best would be a plane that offers the best blend of performance, firepower, range, handling, survivability, even the cost to purchase maintain. I do reckon that different people look at different categories as more important than the other.
    One good determinant might be the analysis covering the deployment on air forces / war theaters other than that was the case historically.
     
  8. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    #8 Vincenzo, Feb 19, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2012
    The '43 F4U performances is nothing to special is in generally inferior to P-47D (they have adi/wep), 190A-5 and La-5FN

    i'm more interessed to SE fighters so i omitted the TE but only because i've no enough info for a educate rating
     
  9. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    What 190A-5 and La-5FN were capable to do 150 km from their bases, F4U-1 was doing 500 km from his own.
     
  10. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    Tomo what's the source for this data i don't think they are correct. R-2800 is a large engine and consume many fuel, the fuel load (internal) of F4U-1 is around 2 times that of La-5FN and around 70% more of that of 190. if you need range P-51B maybe a best choice.
     
  11. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    #11 tomo pauk, Feb 20, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2012
    Corsair was able to carry just under 540 gals of fuel, total. La-5 under 130, Fw-190 under 200 gals, total?
    R-2800 was perhaps 15% bigger than ASh-82 BMW-801, not great deal.

    Corsair has the edge for being a de-bugged machine vs. P-51B, also having greater firepower. P-51 was faster, it had smaller logistical footprint (fuel needed to conduct the same missions).
     
  12. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    Wuzak - you are right about the 'J' showing up in late 1943. The P-38J did make its debut in very late 1943. For the ETO it was literally days before (55th FG) the P-51B flew its first for the 354th FG. I am still digging to see if the 49th FG in PTO got them any earlier.

    The P-38H was still dominant for 20th and 55th through February 1944 so it is a tossup in contrast with early operations of P-51B versus P-38J in context of numbers flying combat in last 30 days of 1943 and first 30 days in 1944 (ETO), after that the numbers of P-51B's pulled away steadily.

    Given the mandate that the choice must be in combat operations I would go with P-51B. It made severe inroads on LW relative to the time the P-51B/C was flying in same time frame as P-38J. IF the J-25 arrived in 1943 instaed of May 1944, with manuevering and dive flaps/boosted ailerons - it would be a toss up for me but I still go with the P-51B.

    Now as a point interceptor, or as a fighter bomber there would be a different choice but for multi role capability, extremely high performance and tactical footprint based on range/payload trade offs the 51B in 1943 just has to be at the top of everyone's choice - except for USN and IJN.
     
  13. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    what's your source for a load of 540 gallons for corsair?
     
  14. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    #14 drgondog, Feb 20, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2012
    In late 1943 (and forever after 1943) the range of the 51B was greater so the escort range/tactical footprint was greater. If you mandate 1000 pound external payload the 51B range was greater, but the F4U could always carry a greater payload than any 51 - period versus period.

    One point for F4U-1A. With CL tank of 175 gallons (Ferry condition but doable on a combat mission), the F4U in December 1944 with 536 total gallons - had a greater range than the 51B-1 and -5 prior to addition of the fuselage fuel tank.
     
  15. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    The book 'America's hundred thousands', and it's 'almost 540 gals' like I've said
    The internal fuel of pre-1D Corsairs was 361 gals, with 175 gals max external. The 1D was carrying 237 gals internally, and up to 2 x 150 gals externally. Or, 536 and 537 gals, respectively.
     
  16. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    Vincenzo - Dean's 100,000

    F4U-1A = 237 fuse, 124 wings internal, 175 CL ferry tank = 536 total gallons.
     
  17. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    if 175 gal were on drop tank because compare the others fighters (la-5 and 190) w/o drop tank. was this available in '43?
    and the 124 gals on wing have SS tank?
    and even with 361 gals this is around 3 times la-5 fuel and 2.5 times 190 fuel i've doubt that F4U can get 3.3 times radius
     
  18. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    #18 drgondog, Feb 20, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2012
    The ferry range (optimal) for the F4U-1A with 536 gallons ~ 2200 miles. I believe the -1A was operational (w/175 gallon drop tank) in August 1943. I know it was operational in SWP in October.. but will research more... but definitely 1943, definitely before P-38J, definitely before P-47D-11, or D-2 w/water injection kits and paddle blade kits.

    The 62 gallon wing tanks were self sealing but not protected by armor.

    I personally waver between the F4U-1A and the P-51B because with the 175 gallon external tank, the F4U could go to Berlin in November 1943 and the P-51B with 75 gallon external drop tanks and no 85 gallon fuselage tank could not quite get there with a 30 minute reserve... and the F4U-1A was still faster than the FW190A-6 and -7 and Me 109G-6 at 25000 feet for escort considerations in the ETO... while maintaining excellent comparative performance all the way to the deck - as well as function well in CAS.
     
  19. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    IMO that's what counts as most aerial combat took place below 20,000 feet.

    Heavy bomber escort at 30,000 feet was a specialized mission that required specialized aircraft. It was also unique to the U.S. AAF. Nobody else routinely bombed from such high altitude.
     
  20. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    drgdong ok, but that they get early in '43 don't give in this thread points, almost so i understand
    for true the '43 corsair at 25k has around same speed of 190A-5, both are slower of G-2 at 1.3 ata, so maybe around same speed of G-6 at 1-3 ata.
     
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