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Best nightfighter of WW2


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Poll: Which was best nightfighter in WW2 (29 member(s) have cast votes)

Which was best nightfighter in WW2

  1. de Havilland Mosquito NF30 (16 votes [55.17%])

    Percentage of vote: 55.17%

  2. Heinkel He 219 Uhu (1 votes [3.45%])

    Percentage of vote: 3.45%

  3. Northrop P-61 A/B Black Widow (7 votes [24.14%])

    Percentage of vote: 24.14%

  4. Messerschmitt Me 110 (2 votes [6.90%])

    Percentage of vote: 6.90%

  5. Lockheed P-38M Lightning (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  6. Other (3 votes [10.34%])

    Percentage of vote: 10.34%

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#21 Lightning

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 03:30 PM

Hi Pioneer,

[quote name='Pioneer'][quote name='merlin'] It could be said that the Beaufighter night-fighter should be listed, for both defending Britain's skies at night and acting as an intruder over the continent.QUOTE]

I second this!!

Regards
Pioneer[/QUOTE]

No doubt the Beaufighter was an effective and valuable asset, but the subject here is the "best" nightfighter. In this role, I don't believe the Beaufighter quite measures up to the others (with the possible exception of the Bf 110).

Regards,
Lightning

Edited by Lightning, 05 August 2009 - 03:33 PM.


#22 ChrisMcD

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 03:51 PM

The Northrup-built P-61 "Black Widow" without question.
Tim


Please do expand a bit.

I am a great fan of Jack Northrop, but the P 61 was not one of his best.

Late, development problems (the turret!) ,oversized (bigger than a medium bomber), weird controls (spoilerons forsooth!) and a less than stellar war record.

http://en.wikipedia....-61_Black_Widow

As a Brit it pains me to say it, but for sheer numbers of planes shot down surely it has to be the Ju 88 - mines a G by the way!

Mind you, if it was fighter versus fighter the Mossie would win every time - although I am not so sure about that Lightning with the funny nose.

#23 Double T

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 10:42 PM

Chris:
Lightning has addressed my reasoning on voting P-61 quite well.
The Black Widow was also said to be quite manueverable with it's unique "spoilerons."
The 4x20mm cannon alone were enough to put any enemy aircraft down.

Tim

#24 Ricky

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 01:31 PM

although I am not so sure about that Lightning with the funny nose.


That's no way to talk about one of our most valued members!:D:p

Only kidding Lightning;)

#25 ChrisMcD

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 12:58 PM

That's no way to talk about one of our most valued members!:D:p
Only kidding Lightning;)


Hi Ricky,

I have a liking for the P 38M, but as Lightning said it was too late.

Thinking about it a bit more, my feeling is that the trend towards huge nightfighters was wrong - the real need was to shrink the radar equipment.

Which may explain my reservations about the P 61 - sorry Double T but I really think it was too much too late!

On that basis I would argue that the American Navy Corsair and Hellcat single seater conversions are probably the best nightfighters in terms of combined capability and war record!

Posted Image

#26 Lightning

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 04:13 PM

Hi Ricky,

That's no way to talk about one of our most valued members!:D:p

Only kidding Lightning;)


Darn you again, Ricky! That's why I never posted my picture. How did you ever find out? :D

Regards,

Lightning

#27 Lightning

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 04:39 PM

Hi Chris,

Hi Ricky,
... I would argue that the American Navy Corsair and Hellcat single seater conversions are probably the best nightfighters in terms of combined capability and war record!

Posted Image


The most effective night fighters of the war had a second crew member that was a highly trained radar observer and were therefore not single-seaters. A great advantage of this was that the radar operator could concentrate all his efforts on aquiring ellusive targets, keeping them in view, and issuing course, speed, and altitude changes to his pilot. The pilot, on the other hand, could concentrate on flying the plane without having to look at, and interpret the display on the radar screen.

Because of the larger size of these planes, their radar installations--to include the antenna--usually had greater capability. Also, the placement of the antenna in the nose was superior to those pods on the wings of the single-engine F6F and F4U--not to mention the aerodynamic and balance effects of those pods. The P-38M also relied on a pod, but, at least, it was nose mounted.

Regards,

Lightning

#28 ChrisMcD

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 07:25 PM

Hi Lightning,

I am sure you are right - but single crewed night fighters did very well at Munda in 1943

see if this link to Google books works?

http://books.google....m munda&f=false

#29 Double T

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 09:44 PM

Chris:
I would disagree with your rationale that the best nightfighters were also the best dayfighters... aka single-engined and single-crewed.
I think the doctrine that Lightning eludes to is correct. A multi-crewed twin-engine nightfighter was superior to any single-engined variant... of the time. The traits required for a superior nightfighter differ from those of an agile, dogfighting day-fighter.
The Northrup P-61 was designed from the onset as a dedicated nightfighter and was certainly one of, if not the best of the breed. My humble opinion of course...

Tim

#30 ChrisMcD

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 06:39 PM

Hi Double T,

I agree Lightning has a very good point.

What I am really trying to say is that the American Navy and Marines had come up with the single seater multi role fighter well ahead of anyone else.

I do have to accept that even the US Navy then reverted back to two seater nightfighters - Willy the Whale etc.

But those Hellcats and Corsairs did one hell of a job!

All the best

Chris McD




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