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What was the best fighter plane of World War II?

Originally published on HistoryNet.com. Published Online: May 06, 2010 
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What was the best fighter plane of World War II?


79 Responses to “What was the best fighter plane of World War II?”


  1. 1
    Jerry Parker says:

    You just love to startt an argument, don't you. I have always supported the P-51 Mustang in this category.

  2. 2
    Darryl Raby says:

    Always been fond of both the P-51 & the Focke-Wulf 190, but for wide spread & effective use? How about the Grumman F6F Hellcat, the Vought F4U Corsair & the YAK-3. Too many good planes, put to wide use.

  3. 3
    Chuck says:

    I like the P 40 Thunderbolt just for its awesome look

  4. 4
    Eric Couch says:

    Best Fighter? The P-51 Mustang.
    My Favorite? The P-47 Thunderbolt. Fast, rugged as hell, packed a hell of a punch. There are stories of Luftwaffe pilots emptying their gun magazines into P-47's only to watch the Thunderbolts continue to fly home to safety.

  5. 5
    Mike H. says:

    F4U-4 Corsair, P51D Mustang, P47N Thunderbolt…top contenders… If it had been properly utilized by the Gwermans then it'd have to be the ME262-1. Nothing else could touch it.

  6. 6
    Chuck says:

    Sorry about that, I meant p47 Thunderbolt
    What the heck do I know it's snowing here in Montana.

  7. 7
    B says:

    51D or the Spitfire MK9

  8. 8
    Gordon H. says:

    I'm sorry guys I know it wasn't the best but it is too me and that is the P-38 lightning. Big guns, fast, long range. The fork-tailed devil shot down Yamamoto for heaven's sake. The fighter that made the greatest impact would be the Me-262 though, once it came out all others were obsolete.

  9. 9
    GW HOLLOWAY says:

    p51 mustang or the p40 . both where ahead of their time

  10. 10
    Willi Krause says:

    ME-262 hands down. Most of the 100 ME-262's lost were lost during ascent or descent because of proximity of Allied airfields to German aifields during the Allied advance. Once in the air few ME-262's were shot down in combat. However, they shot down 500 Allied aircraft. The 262's favorite prey of the ME-262 aces: The P-51 Mustang Fact.

    • 10.1
      Tarv says:

      the reason for the mustangs were because they were fitted with drop tanks that allowed them to escort bombers all the way to Germany. Later tactics used by p-51s were to escort from high altitude, Then dive down on attacking ME-262 from above which negated there speed. many more were shot down attempting to land as they guzzled too much fuel. better plane by far P-51 mustang. also the team effort affect. bombing fuel etc. Might want to ask the tuskeegee airmen but thats a whole nother story.

  11. 11
    Maurice says:

    There are several, such as the P 51, F 4U Cosair, the P47> But, remember the old P 38 Lightning flown by Majors Blong and Mcguier. No one in WW ll had more kills than these two guys. Blong had 33 kills if I'm
    not mistaken and McGuier had something like three less after he was killed in action.

  12. 12
    WayneWhite says:

    We in the 15th air force out of Italy pick the P51's because of their longer range. They could stay with us on the target run where the P38's usually had to go home for lack of fuel

  13. 13
    HueChi Chang says:

    P-51 is the BEST!

  14. 14
    PBY Ace says:

    The Wildcat? No, really. Not that it was actually the "best" fighter, (ME-262) but that it gets instantly overlooked. My father, a Navy pilot from early 1941-1948, went through flight training with Joe Foss and Marion Carl, among others. He was too tall to fit into carrier planes and ended up as a PBY pilot for VP-12, the Black Cats. Most of his classmates went to Devastators and died at Midway. Anyway, he told me that under 10,000', where most of the action happened in the Pacific, a Wildcat could out-perform any plane it flew against. Wildcat pilots held a 6-1 shoot-down advantage over the Zero, mind you, this was against the well-trained Zero pilots, almost all of whom were dead by the time the Hellcat was introduced. Granted, a good part of that success was due to superior tactics, like the Thatch Weave and the fact that the radios in Zeros were next to useless. (And that Zeros came apart almost instantly when hit by .50 cal. rounds.) Kind of hard to fight as a team when you can't talk to your wingman. Toward the end of the war, Dad spent a good deal of his time rescuing "wet, pissed-off Mustang pilots." (His words) Almost any damage to the fuselage would bring down a P-51. P-51 pilots ruefully joked that the plane could be brought down by a hat pin.
    The Wildcat could accelerate faster than the Zero, as well as the much heavier Hellcat and Corsair. A Wildcat pilot could disengage by diving, something that a Zero did poorly. If a Wildcat pilot had the advantage of higher altitude, it could make a diving attack at much higher speeds than a Zero could flown. At low altitudes, a Zero was only marginally faster. In low altitude dogfights, a Wildcat, with it's greater HP could maintain higher speeds during turns. In a rare encounter with ME-109s over the Atlantic, the Wildcat proved to be decisively superior. Also overlooked is the Douglas Dauntless SBD, which could easily out maneuver a Zero and enjoyed the lowest loss rate of any carrier plane in the PTO. SBD pilots accounted for a good number of Zeros.

  15. 15
    Somebody says:

    For me… Hmmm… I'd say it was the DH Mosquito. It was fragile but with it's 2 Rolls Royce Merlin engines and fine British craftsmanship put together with great low altitude capabilities and great ground attack capabilities. It didn't pack a great punch but jerry could never catch it. They could be produced cheaply, quiqly and in large quantities.
    The Super Marine Spitfire Mk.1 packed a hell of a punch during the Battle of Britain. It did have its flaws but it could be produced 3 times faster than the ME-109.
    You can't forget the Hawker Hurricain Mk.1 either. It had more kills to its name than the spitfire during the Battle of Britain.

  16. 16
    Old Hoopster says:

    There were several very good fighters, and fortunately the Allies had more of them: P-51, P-47, P-38, F4U, F6F, Spitfire, Tempest. Strategy and tactics allowed the Allies to use these and the Hurricane and F4F to get the job done. The Me-262 was clearly superior in it's element, but by the time it was used in numbers, its bases were subject to attack, so it had no where to hide. But range and lower fuel consumption are what made the P-51 the best; it could take the fight to the enemy, anywhere he was. Nothing but the Me-262 was faster, some could take more punishment, some hit harder with more powerful armament, but the Mustang was where ever the enemy was. Once the Mustang appeared, air superiority was assured all over the theater of operations.

  17. 17
    david eastman says:

    p51 for great range and could mix it with the best but most pilots would go for the spitfire mk 9 and 14. at sea it would be the hellcat of course. oh and eric would say do not try to turn with a gloster gladiator

  18. 18
    Patrick says:

    There was a saying by the airmen in the pacific, " If you want to send a picture home to your girlfriend, stand next to a Mustang, If you want to go home and kiss her, fly a wildcat "

  19. 19
    Roger says:

    Expect for the ME 262 it have to be the Focke Wulf 190 since i suppose we are talking about prop planes

  20. 20
    Jack Lane says:

    I'm going with the P-38, as it was present for the ENTIRE War, and at the war's end, was ordered destroyed in various pacific country's rather that leaving it for the indigenous native airforces to pick up as Mustangs were. It was considered too dangerous to leave behind. Mustangs showed up effectively as of 1944. The P47 does have many story's about being hard to shoot down though.

  21. 21
    James W. says:

    E.Hartmann nailed 352 enemy planes flying a Bf 109..
    Thats gotta mean something..

  22. 22
    Barrie says:

    The Mosquito was probably the best fighter to be in, the lowest losses of any operational allied plane. The Spitfire served right through the war as did the Bf 109, The Fw 190 was very good, the P 51 after it got the Merlin was ok, very long range but not as fast or agile as a Spitfire at the same time, the P 51 had to be escorted to the German border by P 38 ( when they did not suffer from unreliability), P 47 and Spitfire or it did not have the range to escort bombers to the target and back. In the last year of the war range was not so important. The Tempest V probably the best fighter in the last 2 years of the war, accounting for well over 600 V 1`s and took out a number of Me 262`s inj combat too as did the Spitfire Mk IX and XIV.

    • 22.1
      John C. says:

      Oh, hogwash. The P-51 was escorted while it was flying with drop tanks because it was the only fighter with the range to fly to Berlin and back. No fighter could effectively dogfight with drop tanks, and so the Germans tried to attach the escorts to make them drop their tanks early and ths have to leave the bombers. Smart, and escorting the escorts was the smart response.

  23. 23
    Bernard says:

    Well, Brewster Buffalo…
    I can see your eyes, but it is true.
    That plane produced an ace every 17 produced airframes. No other plane can claim that.
    :-)

  24. 24
    Scott says:

    Gunter Roff was a top scoring German fighter pilot. He got to fly all the allied and Axis aircraft. He had over 275 kills. primarily against Russia. He said the P-51 was by far the best It was air cooled but the RR Merlin gave it tremendous range and it is an extremely maneuverable aircraft. Once it was refit with the RR engine and bubble canopy the Luftwaffe rapid lost control over Germany. It could escort the bombers all the way to Berlin and back non stop. At 40.000 feet it would run 437 mph and had a tremendous climb rate. well above the ME-109. The Spitfire was strictly a defense fighter as it was scrambled to intercept incoming Germans. It had only 15 seconds of machine gun time and only 1/3 the range of a mustang. Any fighter like the p 47 that had to turn back because of lower range was very ineffective as an escort. They were rugged as was the Hellcat, which has a 11/1 kill ratio and more aces were created flying it (305) the number lost (247). I was up against a smaller air force piloted by marginal pilots. I say it was the P=51 as this aircraft was the one that turned the air war in Europe and also was very successful in the Pacific. It was used by some countries until the early 60s because of its all around effectiveness. ( fire power, range, maneuverability and speed. No other WW2 aircraft could match it in the air whether it be speed or climbing. Six 50 caliber browning machine guns made the German aircraft its prey. When Gering saw a flight over Berlin escorting bombers he stated the war is over and Germany was up for second place. I say it is the Mustang. especially when the German pilots feared it so much. I would give the hellcat and Corsair a tie for second place as they pretty much wiped out the jap air force. The MER 109 was a death trap as between 1/3 and 1/2 were lost to ground looping. I sat in on and made that statement as the main gear struts bolted into the fuselage. Look at the wheel base when you get a chance as well as the size of the vertical stabilizer. The CAF had four and lost one to a ground loop. The other three have been sold. The mustang turned the air war like no other allied fighter when the Germans had an air force. It was truly an offensive aircraft and most of the others if not all were either defensive of used primarily for observation ( P-38)

  25. 25
    Henry the cabbi says:

    Hi! everyone.

    The BF109 made more aces with higher kills than any other aircraft of WW11.

    The Zero was a great pursuit fighter/bomber with probably a longer range than any of its opponent adversaries. It could outmanouvre a spitfire having a tighter turn.

    But the finest of them all was, in my opinion, the De Haviland Mosquito. German pursuit aircraft couldn't catch it. It could fly higher and faster than anything the krauts could put up. The wooden wonder.

    Despite the BF109 the RAF with spitfires and hurricanes managed to defeat the Luftwaffe and establish aerial superiority in the Europan skies.

    Prhaps the most sinificant tool that won the war in Europe was the Merlin engine.

  26. 26
    William says:

    I have to go with the Spitfire it was unbelievably fast and highly maneuverable, after that I would say the Me262 but the P51 was almost as good as the ME, the P51 had greater range and better guns, then I would say the Hellcat, I have to say that the corsair was probably the worst airplane the U.S. ever made what a piece of crap, it was very maneuverable but that was about it. I have to give it up for the Hurricane as well a very underrated plane, as well as the Lightning.

    • 26.1
      Billy says:

      P-51 better guns than the 262? What have you been smoking. I urge you to look up the size comparison between the two. One round was meant for taking down the bombers that were plaguing Germany at the time. The mustang's guns were meant to wear down a specific aircraft, but it needed lot's more to destroy a plane. Also the F4U the worst airplane the US made? If you think that's bad do some more research and you'll be horrified

    • 26.2
      SuperCharger says:

      For gods sake man, do sone proper research before you post crap like this. The F4U www prob. the Best aircraft made in the US during the war. As a testament to this may be mentioned the service record of this fighter that went on for many years after the war was over. As for the armament; it was noe og the most hardhitting warbirds og the entire war. Add to this the fact that it was very sturdy and could really take a beating, something the P51 could not do. So my advice still stands. Get your facts right (REDACTED)!

    • 26.3
      sam says:

      the corsair was not a turn fighter my friend, and an me262 had worse guns than the p51? it carried less ammo but its rounds were much larger

  27. 27
    Bob says:

    All depended on what you wanted. Airacobras had speed meaning you could intercept and get from A to B quickly, the spitfire was a brilliant turnfighter and cheap to produce (for most models), the zero left things in the dirt as did the mosquito. The 109, Beaufighter and mustang just ripped things to shreds.

  28. 28
    Bob says:

    Edit: My grammar was horrid just then.

  29. 29
    Barrie says:

    The Spitfire was in front line service right through the war, the P 51 after it got the Merlin and there were enough in service late 1943 it did escort the USAAF bombers into Germany and back, however it could not fight when heavy with fuel and with the drop tanks on so the Bombers needed an escort which could fight at least as far as Germany, this was P 38, P 47 and the Spitfire. The Tempest V and Spitfire Mk XIV were both in service 6 months before the P 51.
    Spitfire`s were used as a defensive fighter, for sweeps over France, as a dive bomber, fighter bomber Photo Reconnaissance and an escort fighter, they escorted USAAF bombers before US had anything capable.

  30. 30
    Barrie says:

    I wrote the Tempest V and Spitfire Mk XIV were in service 6 months before the P 51, by mistake I left off the D.
    I also left out the Spitfire served as a high altitude fighter and a low altitude fighter as well as used on aircraft carriers

  31. 31
    Victor says:

    Best in form of climb ratio and agility? The Macchi MC.205V Veltro is your choice. Not the best range though. It does have a few drawbacks though they can be patched up pretty quickly with good maintennence.

  32. 32
    Barrie says:

    I am not sure how it would compare to a Spitfire Mk IX, or even the Re 2005.
    The climb of the MC 295 was tested with no load and using emergency power, using combat power and a normal load does affect it quite a bit,

  33. 33
    bunyan says:

    the Me-262 had 4 30mm cannons and if it flew at the beginning of the war with the horton ho 229 the war would be won in 2 years at least

    • 33.1
      Barrie says:

      The Me 262 was not in service until late 1944, as a fighter it was outclassed by RAF fighters like the Spitfire and Tempest, the 30 mm cannon were not very effective, also the Gloster Meteor was in service about the same time.
      The Ho 229 was never finished and there were no suitable jet engines for it in Germany.

  34. 34
    Barrie says:

    The Me 262 had 4 x 30 mm but they were low muzzle velocity and not the most effective, as for the P 51 the 6 x 0.5 were not nearly as good as the 20 mm used on RAF fighters, shorter range and less hitting power, I wouldn`t say the Corsair was bad, not the best but not bad, I would still rate the Spitfire as the best.

  35. 35
    marian says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_World_War_II_flying_aces
    list of the best pilots in ww2 they d ont flew P51 P51they destroyed BF 109 and FW 190
    waiting for comments….

    • 35.1
      Barrie says:

      Claims are often misleading and most Luftwaffe claims were against Russian planes when the Fw 190 and Bf 109 had an advantage, against the RAF they did not do so well, since many USAAF and Luftwaffe claims were very exaggerated and the way different claims were counted will also affect the figures.

      • 35.1.1
        marian says:

        Maybe you're right, but there writes the number one pilot shot down over Romania 5 P51 by FW 190

  36. 36
    Barrie says:

    It would depend on which Fw 190, it evolved from 1941 when it had the radial engine up to 1944 when they used an inline engine, rate of climb and maneuverability both would beat the P 51.
    In 1944 The Spitfire Mk XIV in service in January, the P 51 D and Fw 190 D both about 6 months later
    Top speed Spitfire then Fw 190 then P 51, Acceleration Fw 190 then Spitfire then P 51, Climb Spitfire then Fw 190 then P 51, maneuverability Spitfire and Fw 190 close then p 51.

  37. 37
    Rock says:

    i read this and i didnt see eny one mention p63 kingcobra
    it has 37mm and 6x 50cal. mgs
    it was wery fast and slim and hard to shoot at
    p47 thunderbolt is just a legend some pilotes iven breake sound barier when dyving

  38. 38
    Barrie says:

    The P 63 when it entered service was not very fast and had a low rate of climb, the P 47C had a critical mach speed of just 0.69, even the later P 47 N only had a critical speed of mach 0.83, the fastest piston engine plane in a dive was the Spitfire which had a critical speed of mach 0.89.
    No plane during the war, not even jets came close to breaking the sound barrier.in a dive

  39. 39
    David says:

    Well, first of all you have to define what you mean by the term, \best fighter\. Because I don't have all-night I'm going to suggest we just define it as an air superiority fighter, that, given a co-energy state, is most likely to survive an encounter with any other fighter aircraft of that era. So which aircraft is the most likely candidate? Long story short, it will be the Spitfire XIV.

    So why the Spitfire XIV and not the P 51D? Because the Mk 14 Spitfire is as fast as a P 51 BUT, with a better rate of climb, better operational ceiling, better turn, better roll and better acceleration. The only clear advantage the Pony has over the Spit is operating range and on that score the P 51 is without doubt, the best. Combine that one attribute with a huge numerical superiority (which the US enjoyed over Germany from late '44) and you have a war-winner. However, in a straight out fight, the Spitfire would kill the P 51 more often than not.

    Now, if you want the 'best' low/medium altitude fighter of the War I'd suggest you have a serious look at the Hawker Tempest. No good over 20,000 feet of course but under that altitude, a real killer.

  40. 40
    Dan says:

    It has to be the spitfire is there any other choice ? Won the battle if britain which stopped the german invasion and gave the allies a platform to retake europe.

  41. 41
    john wilson says:

    mainly its the yanks talking BS the mk 14 spitfire was superior in evry way over the mustang 51

  42. 42
    Downy says:

    Spitfires get all the glory. The Hawker Hurricane did most of the work in the Battle of Britain

  43. 43
    Barrie says:

    I agree with you except the P 51 was bigger and heavier with greater range

  44. 44
    Barrie says:

    There were more Hurricanes but taking the numbers off both, the Spitfire shot down a higher percentage of German aircraft, usually taking on the Bf109 so the Hurricane could go after the bombers, also Spitfire pilots had a better survival rate.

  45. 45
    Joseph says:

    You're American aren't you? Then truth was the the US entered the European theatre only when the best pilots of the Axis were no longer around. The American aircraft would have no chance against a FW-190 in the hands of a good German ace

  46. 46
    Mark says:

    If the war had to be fought with only one fighter, would you choose the Spit 14 or the P51D? I'm a Brit but I think I'd go with the P51. Purely as a bomber escort it had a huge impact on the war and I don't know how the bomber offensive would've managed without it. I also think it could've filled in in the air superiority role well enough.

  47. 47
    jason says:

    you got it right but 262 was best

  48. 48
    jason says:

    your right

  49. 49
    Barrie says:

    The Spitfire served right through the war, it was used for many different tasks, and escorting bombers was just one, the P 51 could only escort bombers on long range missions from 1944 and the bombers still needed protection into Germany by other fighters while the P 51 was using some of it`s fuel because it could not fight with a heavy fuel load.
    For D Day, the Spitfire was used to take photographs of the defenses, 55 squadrons of Spitfires provided air superiority, after D Day the Spitfire was the first allied fighter to land and operate in France giving close support to troops for the advance across France and into Germany, the Spitfire was used to attack V 1 and
    V 2 launching sites, also to escort RAF daylight bombing raids, the Spitfire was able to defeat Me 262`s in air combat, not one Spitfire including unarmed photo reconnaissance Spitfires was ever shot down by Me 262`s, when attacked by USAAF P 51`s by mistake Spitfires had no trouble leaving the P 51`s well behind.
    Just as well Britain had the Spitfire, the P 51 was not able to do anything in the Battle of Britain or North Africa, Malta, USAAF alongside the RAF used Spitfires to clear the skies of the Luftwaffe in the Mediterranean.

  50. 50
    Mark Dimpflmaier says:

    Rall told me Spit was.however ME 109 by the numbers was best
    Most kills. Cannon could shoot them down
    Before machine gun range. I spent an afternoon with him @ his Burg
    In Bavaria, Have signed bio book addressed to me.

  51. 51
    Barrie says:

    During the battle of Britain the Bf 109 had cannon but they had low muzzle velocity, Cannon were also being fitted to some Spitfire`s, but against fighters the 0.303 was quite effective.
    The trouble with the cannon is that low muzzle velocity reduces the range and accuracy.
    The German losses were much more than the British losses at the time.
    Certainly more Bf 109`s were lost than Spitfire`s.

  52. 52
    Candy Man says:

    Many to choose from depending on how you'd like to approach it. I'd like to throw Fw-190D into the mix due to it's size, gun carriage, armor, and quite notable rate of climb/maneuverability at low and high altitudes. It performed well as a night fighter, interceptor, and dog-fighter. Historically, most of the aircraft mentioned above are only superb in one or two of the 190D's three successful purposes. The 190 platform itself was so versatile that other variants were were used effectively as tank busting fighter-bombers when a few simple hard points were added. The "Butcher" proved what it could do in capable hands against Spitfires when it won back low-altitude air superiority over France and the Low Countries in '41 and '42 after the Luftwaffe all but exhausted itself against the highly skilled and talented RAF. The introduction of the "D" model only expanded the versatility of an already great design. Like any other capable German aircraft in the latter half of the war, it suffered from insufficiently trained pilots, fuel shortages, and lack of commitment to a defensive role due to the pipe-dream indecisiveness of Hitler's offensive policies. But that thing truly was a simple yet masterfully designed, all-around masterpiece.

  53. 53
    Barrie says:

    The Fw 190 had some advantage in late 1941, early 1942, however after that the advantage was with the Spitfire from the Mk IX on to the Mk XIV which was still more than a match for the Fw 190 D that came into service late 1944, the Spitfire Mk XIV had been in service for many months. Spitfire`s also served in many roles, more than most fighters
    Air superiority, bomber escort, dive bomber, photo reconnaissance and many other uses.
    The Spitfire served right through the war and well after.

  54. 54
    tony webster says:

    There is one fighter for me it's the mk9 spitfire. A beautiful machine and to add to it's beauty a killer punch. Two twenty millimetre canons plus machine guns, outstanding.

  55. 55
    sam says:

    best looking is the kittyhawk. it really depends on what you mean. if its best turner then you go with the later spits, best long range escort you pick a p51, best energy fighter and you go with a 190

  56. 56
    Mike says:

    Most Me262 pilots said that the greatest enemy of the 262 was the hawker tempest, because the tempest could dive down and regain altitude easily then attack more 262s, I think the spitfire Mk 14 is the best fighter, the only place it lacks I the range, it could out turn any aircraft used in ww2 (excluding biplanes) the P51D was good though

  57. 57
    Barrie says:

    I could be wrong but I believe Spitfire`s damaged and destroyed more Me 262`s than Tempest`s, The Spitfire was not as fast in the initial dive but it had a very high mach speed in a dive and the rate of climb was better than almost any other fighter, even the older Mk IX Spitfire did very well against Me 262`s. even range was not the issue that most people think, some Spitfire`s had extra internal fuel and with a 90 gallon drop tank the range was at least equal to the P 47, also as good as the Tempest.

  58. 58
    PETE says:

    SPITFIRE,EXCELLENT AT MKV AND UP,HURRICANE,FANTASTIC GUN PLATFORM,COULD TAKE LOTS OF PUNISHMENT.MOSQUITO,SPEAKS FOR ITSELF. ME109,EXCELLENT FIGHTER,190 EVEN BETTER.ILLUSHIN 1 AND YAK 3 ALSO EXCELLENT.THE BOOMERANG,FORGOTTEN HERO,COULD OUTTURN THE ZERO. P40,P47,P51 ALL EXCELLENT.ALL PLAYED THEIR PART,AND DONT FORGET,THE P51 MUSTANG WAS A PIECE OF JUNK UNTIL BRITS LET THEM MAKE MERLIN ENGINES UNDER LICENCE(ALLINSON) TO PUT IN THEM

  59. 59
    PETE says:

    DONT GET ME STARTED,WE COULD GO ON FOREVER WITH THIS,WHAT ABOUT BEAUFIGHTER(whispering death) f4u CORSAIR(whistling death) both excellent,then theres Tempest,Fury

  60. 60
    Barrie says:

    The British put a Merlin engine in the P 51,then the Packard made Merlin engine was used to replace the Allison

  61. 61
    pete says:

    Yes yes eventually,my point was the junk bit until then.even the p40 was much better,which is still one of my favs

  62. 62
    pete says:

    Maybe we could compare favourite lists

  63. 63
    Andair says:

    everybody is biased the Americans say theirs is best, brits say theirs:
    I'm Hungarian so not biased cos there aren't any major Hungarian fighters, but the truth is German engineering has always been best and fw190 and bf109 are probably best prop aircraft. BF 109 had the most kills and Erik Hartmann (top scoring ace of wwII) only flew the bf109. The reason the Germans lost battle of Britain was because of Hitler's idiotic and sadist tactics and because they had to fly a lot to get to Britain and the spitfires just had to stay there and as a result had lots of fuel. the Germans were also outnumbered 2:1 because Hitler wanted to bomb cities not airfields and strategic places. (he wanted to kill people that dic*)

    • 63.1
      Barrie says:

      The number of kills is very misleading, many of these kills are unconfirmed. The Luftwaffe actually had more Bf 109`s in the Battle of Britain than both Spitfire`s and Hurricanes, German engineering is ok but the Merlin was much smaller,and lighter but more efficient than the DB, Jumo or BMW engines.

  64. 64
    pete says:

    Here here,nice one Barrie. Iv heard if they put a 109 engine in a spit it would fly like a stuka,but visa versa the 109 would almost match the 190,its what I heard anyway

  65. 65
    pete says:

    @ John.c, please do tell what is hogwash exactly? There where a lot of excellent fighters around during WW2 Yank,Brit,German,Russian,Japanese even the French,bet you don't know that one ha,google it before replying eh

  66. 66
    Andair says:

    Barrie i agree with you that the number of kills isn't always true, because I just found a Battle of Britain site where it sais that the British claimed to have shot down more than twice as many aircraft than they did, because of propaganda. It is true that the British had less aircraft at the start of the battle but they produced the aircraft much more quickly, and Hitler decided not to bomb factories (the Battle of Britain site says Britain was about 24 hours away from loosing when hitler told the bombers to bomb cities instead of airfields and factories and the germans would have won if it weren't for hitler)
    so they were eventually outnumbered.
    Also, the Germans had to fight far away from their bases, so the BF109s could only stay for about 20 mins over England and then had to go back and refuel, but the British could just land and take off again in minutes. Because of this, the germans could only have very few aircraft over Britain at a time for very little time…
    I don't know much about the engines, but the spit and other british aircraft's fuel tank couldn't supply the engine in -G conditions. This meant that if the BF109 did a -G manoeuvre the spit couldn't follow, otherwise its engine would stop and he might not be able to restart it, resulting in crash. In this way, the BF109 could get away instantly from trouble.

    As for the FW 190, it is a well known and admitted fact that it could EASILY outmatch a spitfire mark V and even later.
    Of course, other aircraft are good as well, and everyone thinks spitfire is best cos the British won the war but believe me that's not the reason.

    Of course, the best plane of the war, is nor the spit nor the BF109, but very likely the p80a although the ME262 was much more successful as it was the first jet fighter and didn't have an equal opponent when it was built.

  67. 67
    Arne Grostøl says:

    ME262 without any doubt whatsoever.. and i will be tempted to call anyone not agreeing ignorant or even stupid.
    ME262 was lightyears ahead of anything else during the war, and it was the template for every postwar fighter.
    Its VERY simple. when we are naming the \best fighter\ we are naming the single most powerful and dangerous fighter, and in that case we cannot use parametres like impact or number produced as arguments..
    ME262 was the best fighter during WW2. End of discussion

  68. 68
    Barrie says:

    If you are going to call anyone stupid it would help if you knew anything about the subject, the Me 262 was designed as a straight wing plane with jet engines, after the war it did not lead anywhere, Czechoslovakia built a very few but they were soon dropped.
    The Me 262 first flew with a piston engine because the jet engines were not ready, when it finally entered service it was not any good as a fighter, while Spitfire`s and Tempest`s shot down quite a few Me 262`s in combat, Me 262`s did not shoot down a single RAF fighter. The max dive speed of the Me 262 was according to Willy Messerschmitt just mach 0.86. The Spitfire mach 0.89.
    Adolf Galland after the war flew a Gloster Meteor and was very impressed.
    The Gloster Meteor entered service just before the Me 262.
    So again apart from Czechoslovakia no other country too a single thing from the Me 262

  69. 69
    Barrie says:

    In the Battle of Britain, Britain could not have been 24 hours from defeat or they could not have given the Luftwaffe a real pasting so soon after the so called switch.
    The engine did not stop with negative G, there was a momentary cut out, no Spitfire would crash because of it.
    The problem of cutting out could be overcome by rolling over into a dive and maintaining positive G, also the team at RR was working on the problem and made significant improvements during 1940, a complete cure being achieved in 1941.
    The Fw 190 did have an advantage over the Spitfire Mk V, although the Spitfire could still turn tighter, the Mk IX and later Spitfire`s did more than match the Fw 190, the later Fw 190 D which came into service in mid 1944 was better but the Spitfire Mk XIV which entered service six months earlier was more than a match for it.
    The Gloster Meteor, Me 262 and P 80 were all just early jets and as such not as good as the best Piston engine fighters. The Me 262 was no match for Spitfire`s or Tempest`s
    The Gloster Meteor did come up against newer jets after the war, both in Israel and Korea.

  70. 70
    pete says:

    Nice one Barrie,you took the words out of my mouth,nicely put too.let's see if they have a brain and check it out. Like the tiger tank,innovative,superb design but junk when not thought out to potential yes yes armour was good



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