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Names of WWII Fighters


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#1 Lightning

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Posted 18 September 2010 - 06:35 PM

Hi All,

Many of the fighters of WWII had great names--some descriptive, some very colorful.

My top-10 list--going from first to 10th--follows:

1)Spitfire
2)Mustang
3)Lightning/Thunderbolt
5)Corsair
6)Hellcat
7)Shooting Star/Meteor
9)Hurricane
10)Warhawk

I know that I have only named American and British fighters, but these are the ones most pleasing to my American ear. The Germans were a bit hap-hazard in their naming; many being unofficial. The Japanese planes were given male and female Christian names by the Allies because the Japanese names were too hard to remember and to pronounce. The Italians had some great names for their fighters, but, again, I don't speak Italian, so they don't register great meaning to me.

What are your favorites? Remember, we're only talking about the names here--not your favorite fighters. Otherwise, "Lightning" would top my list. :D

Regards,

Lightning

#2 Kutscha

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Posted 18 September 2010 - 07:26 PM

Popular Names (from 1943) Japanese

The Type numbers were abandoned in 1943 in favour of popular names, apparently in an attempt to improve security. Names were allocated according to strict rules, which must have rather reduced their confusion value.

Type - Named after/ names ending in > example - translation

Carrier and seaplane fighters - Ending in wind (pu or fu) > A7M Reppu ("Hurricane")
Interceptor fighters - Ending in den (lightning) > Shiden ("Violet Lightning")
Night fighters - Ending in light (ko) > Nakajima J1N1 Gekko (Moonlight)
Attack aircraft - Mountains > B6N Tenzan ("Mountain of the Sky")
Reconnaissance - Clouds > Nakajima C6N Saiun ("Painted Cloud")
Bombers - Stars (sei) or constellations (zan) > Yokosuka P1Y Ginga ("Milky Way")
Patrol aircraft - Seas and oceans
Transports - Skies
Trainers - Trees, plants or flowers > Kyushu K11W Shiragiku ("White Chrysanthemum")
Other - Landscape effects

Italian airplane names

# Fiat CR.42 Falco > Falcon
# Fiat G.50 Freccia > Arrow
# Fiat G.55 Centauro > Centaur
# Macchi C.200 Saetta > Thunderbolt
# Macchi C.202 Folgore > Lightning
# Macchi C.205 Veltro > Greyhound
# Reggiane Re.2002 Ariete > Aries
# Reggiane Re.2005 Sagittario > Sagittarius

#3 Wuzak

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 01:05 AM

Hi All,

Many of the fighters of WWII had great names--some descriptive, some very colorful.

My top-10 list--going from first to 10th--follows:

1)Spitfire
2)Mustang
3)Lightning/Thunderbolt
5)Corsair
6)Hellcat
7)Shooting Star/Meteor
9)Hurricane
10)Warhawk

I know that I have only named American and British fighters, but these are the ones most pleasing to my American ear. The Germans were a bit hap-hazard in their naming; many being unofficial. The Japanese planes were given male and female Christian names by the Allies because the Japanese names were too hard to remember and to pronounce. The Italians had some great names for their fighters, but, again, I don't speak Italian, so they don't register great meaning to me.

What are your favorites? Remember, we're only talking about the names here--not your favorite fighters. Otherwise, "Lightning" would top my list. :D

Regards,

Lightning


Interestig that the name Spitfire is so popular, considering Mitchell thought the name silly.

#4 Kutscha

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 12:48 PM

Interestig that the name Spitfire is so popular, considering Mitchell thought the name silly.


It is better the Shrew. ;)

#5 Ricky

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 07:19 AM

Typhoon is a good one. I find the Japanese names a bit too poetic to be warriors, though the Italians had the right idea.

My absolute favourite must be the Polish 'Karas' - Carp.
It is just so unlikely.

#6 ChrisMcD

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 08:48 AM

If we are switching to worst name, the Gloster Gormless gets my vote

http://en.wikipedia..../Gloster_E.1/44


Mind you Gloster usually did better with names like Gladiator and Reaper


http://en.wikipedia..../Gloster_Reaper

#7 Lightning

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 03:53 PM

Popular Names (from 1943) Japanese

The Type numbers were abandoned in 1943 in favour of popular names, apparently in an attempt to improve security. Names were allocated according to strict rules, which must have rather reduced their confusion value.

Type - Named after/ names ending in > example - translation

Carrier and seaplane fighters - Ending in wind (pu or fu) > A7M Reppu ("Hurricane")
Interceptor fighters - Ending in den (lightning) > Shiden ("Violet Lightning")
Night fighters - Ending in light (ko) > Nakajima J1N1 Gekko (Moonlight)
Attack aircraft - Mountains > B6N Tenzan ("Mountain of the Sky")
Reconnaissance - Clouds > Nakajima C6N Saiun ("Painted Cloud")
Bombers - Stars (sei) or constellations (zan) > Yokosuka P1Y Ginga ("Milky Way")
Patrol aircraft - Seas and oceans
Transports - Skies
Trainers - Trees, plants or flowers > Kyushu K11W Shiragiku ("White Chrysanthemum")
Other - Landscape effects

Italian airplane names

# Fiat CR.42 Falco > Falcon
# Fiat G.50 Freccia > Arrow
# Fiat G.55 Centauro > Centaur
# Macchi C.200 Saetta > Thunderbolt
# Macchi C.202 Folgore > Lightning
# Macchi C.205 Veltro > Greyhound
# Reggiane Re.2002 Ariete > Aries
# Reggiane Re.2005 Sagittario > Sagittarius


Like I said, some of the names of the foreign fighters were very good--in their own languages--but they just don't sound as good to an American ear. Somehow, "Shiden" (or was it "Shinden"?) and "Folgore" just don't sound as good to me as "Lightning." And how good would the English name "Spitfire" sound to a Japanese or an Italian?

#8 Kutscha

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 09:13 AM

Shiden and Shinden are 2 completely different a/c.

Shiden (Violent Lighning), http://en.wikipedia....i/Kawanishi_N1K
Shinden (Magnificent Lightning), http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Kyūshū_J7W

#9 Lightning

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 03:55 PM

Shiden and Shinden are 2 completely different a/c.

Shiden (Violent Lighning), http://en.wikipedia....i/Kawanishi_N1K
Shinden (Magnificent Lightning), http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Kyūshū_J7W


In either case, the names were both connected to "lightning," hence my comment. I doubt that a non-Japanese-speaker such as myself (or others) would, as the result of common knowledge, really know the difference--in Japanese--between "violet" (or "violent," as in the above quote) and "magnificent."

At any rate, my intention in posting this thread was not to spark any debates but to keep things light for a change. I would be interested in your top-10 picks.

#10 Flo

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 12:50 AM

1. Tempest. Sums the plane up nicely,too.
2. Typhoon.
3. Hurricane. (mmm, starting to see a patern developing here. :o Hawker bagged the coolest names :D)
4. 'Dienstpferd'- not an official designation, but Kurt Tanks' description of the FW 190. It defies direct translation, but combines the concept of chargers and workhorses (literally 'official horse', a Prussian cavalry term). Much better than 'butcher bird'.
5. Mustang. A wild horse- what could be more appropriate for a warbird? Perhaps:
6. Hyabusa. Peregrine Falcon. The Ki43 Oscar.
7. Corsair. Great name for a naval fighter.
8. Wildcat. Ditto. Didn't really suit the plane though, or is that just me? :confused:
9. Lightning. Another one that really suits a warbird.
10. Beaufighter. Just for the way it rolls off the tongue.


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