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Best carrier fighter of the War?


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Poll: What was the best carrier fighter of WW2 (20 member(s) have cast votes)

What was the best carrier fighter of WW2

  1. F4U Corsair (US variants) (6 votes [28.57%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 28.57%

  2. Mk IV Corsair (RN variant) (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  3. F4F Wildcat (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  4. F6F Hellcat (14 votes [66.67%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 66.67%

  5. Seafire (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  6. Tempest (1 votes [4.76%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 4.76%

  7. P-51 Mustang (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  8. P-38 Lightning (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  9. Me 109T (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  10. Me 155 (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

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#11 Lightning

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 02:26 PM

Hi Sid447,

Hi Lightning,

I agree, F8F and Dh 103 outside the boundaries, though were products of what were needed during and because of the conflict.

Hypothetical discussions about which was the best is never easy, purely because there never is a best. Some are better than others at different things.

Such as, just because the lancaster could carry heavier loads didn't make it the best bomber. Or because fighter was faster, or could turn tighter etc, etc.

Put a good guy in a clunker and he'll beat a poorly trained or below average guy in a good aircraft. People always make the difference.

Of the list mentioned above of a-c to vote for: Which for example had the best handling characteristics for deck work(?) Which one had the best serviceability or availability rate(?) or the most user-friendly or the most reliable.
It probably wasn't the fastest or the most powerful etc, but as long as it had these good all round abilities.....that's the one I'd vote for.


Well put, and I agree.

Regards,

Lightning

#12 Lightning

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 04:00 PM

Hi Kutscha,

The F4U had a hard time passing its carrier qualification trials.


Quite true, but the Corsair did pass its carrier trials in both the FAA (March 1944) and USN (April 1944). It then went on to become arguably the finest carrier fighter of the war. The "arguably" appellation only applies because of the F4U's comparison to the F6F with regard to shipboard operations. In the air, the Corsair's performance put that argument to rest.

The F7F, on the other hand, never did become a great (or even a very good) carrier fighter. It was plagued with both handling and structural problems that prevented its becoming carrier qualified until 1947, and then only the F7F-4N variant made the grade. This is not to say that the Tigercat was not a good airplane, only that it was in no way in line for the title of best carrier fighter.

The deHavilland Hornet was a land based a/c that was modified for carrier use.


Again true, but not entirely so. The Hornet was designed from the beginning with the intention of producing a naval variant to be used on carriers. The required features for the development of such a variant were therefore incorporated into the the original design and construction of the land plane that led to the Sea Hornet.

Regards,

Lightning

#13 Kutscha

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 01:44 AM

The Hornet was designed from the beginning with the intention of producing a naval variant to be used on carriers.


AM Spec

F.12/43 > Hornet
N.5/44 > Sea Hornet

So hardly designed from the beginning as a naval fighter.

#14 Lightning

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 12:35 PM

Hi Kutscha

AM Spec

F.12/43 > Hornet
N.5/44 > Sea Hornet

So hardly designed from the beginning as a naval fighter.


I had written: Again true, but not entirely so. The Hornet was designed from the beginning with the intention of producing a naval variant to be used on carriers. The required features for the development of such a variant were therefore incorporated into the the original design and construction of the land plane that led to the Sea Hornet.

Notice that I did not say that the Hornet "was designed from the beginning as a naval fighter," only that it was intended to later have a naval variant to be used on carriers. It was that variant that became the Sea Hornet.

Wikipedia says the following:

The Hornet prototype RR 915
Designed as a private venture for a long-range fighter destined for the Pacific Theatre in the war against Japan, Specification F.12/43 was written around the type. From an early stage it was also envisaged that the Hornet could be adapted for naval use, operating from aircraft carriers. As a result priority was given to ease of control, especially at low speeds, and good pilot visibility. Construction was of mixed balsa/plywood similar to the Mosquito, but the Hornet differed in incorporating stressed Alclad lower-wing skins bonded to the wooden upper wing structure using the then-new adhesive Redux.[1] The two wing spars were redesigned to withstand a higher safety factor of 10 versus 8.[2]


And further down in the article:

The Hornet was designed with the possibility of naval service in carriers firmly in mind. To this end good low speed handling was required, along with good all-round visibility for the pilot. The basic Hornet design excelled at meeting these requirements. (All underlining mine.)

Also, since the fighter was "destined for the Pacific Theatre in the war against Japan," and since that war was, in very large part, a naval air war, it is perfectly logical that a naval variant was considered from early in the plane's design. It shows that DeHavilland was an ahead-thinking organization.

Regards,

Lightning

Edited by Lightning, 06 August 2011 - 12:44 PM.


#15 Sid447

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 12:59 PM

Going off at a tangent,

would love to have seen the Lightning fitted with a couple of those merlins.
I saw one of these either a 130 or a 131, in the FAA museum some time ago. Beautifully clean looking and with the Corliss throttle body.
What was the turbocharged Allison good for in the later models as a comparison?
Pity Packard never had these for use in the later P-51s.

#16 Trexx

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 04:49 PM

I like the F6F as the Grand Champion in this relm.

I also like the purposful styling and overall tough look of this plane. It was a big beast!
Brutal fighter plane... war winner... hunter-killer!

Edited by Trexx, 09 August 2011 - 05:00 PM.


#17 gruad

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 05:51 PM

F6F. There is Saburo Saki's famous story where he escapes from a pack of Hellcats being flown by newly trained pilots.

He admits the superiority of the US plane over his Zero is total and it is only his superior flying skills that allow him to escape.

#18 Flo

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Posted 21 August 2011 - 08:52 PM

I voted for the F4U, as I believe it was the best carrier borne fighter of WW2, even if it didn't serve on carriers much. Otherwise the F6F was he best.

Why no Zero in the poll?


:o Two reasons. Firstly, check the date. I'd only just joined the board and was still figuring out how things worked. Secondly, probably a Freudian slip. I personally hate the things. They were dangerous enough to their mainly enlisted crews in peacetime. In war, when the immensely experienced career sailors were lost they became death traps for the poor sods expected to fly them. Good news for my predecessors, mind. ;)

The Corsair is a good choice, although I'd suggest that the earlier RN versions were better suited to carrier opps than the later, USN/USMC aircraft. Better stall characteristics, cockpit ergonomics (especially that variable position seat/Malcolm hood combination), fewer oil leaks, more advanced radios and nav aids all make up for their lower paper performance. They still outperformed every Japanese aircraft in general wartime service. Only my opinion, of course. :D

#19 Arossihman

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 09:03 AM

Hellcat was a bare knuckles brawler with good carrier attributes and good surviveability....to me the corsair was better suited for runway use. It all comes down to skill in the end. In the history channels series called dogfights there is an episode titled long odds that told of a dauntless pilot who defaeated two or more zeros in a turning fight! A good pilot makes a lot of difference!

#20 Prestonater2

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Posted 28 May 2015 - 10:23 AM

Hi, after much thought,it's got to be the F4U Corsair for me.
very agile,even though it wasn,t used on carriers much in the Pacific theatre,my second choice would be the F6F.
Regards keith.




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