Best Post WWII American fighter aircraft

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by Pistolenschutze, Aug 26, 2006.

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Best Post WWII American Fighter Aircraft

  1. F-86 Sabre

    1 vote(s)
    5.6%
  2. F-104 Starfighter

    1 vote(s)
    5.6%
  3. F-4 Phantom

    5 vote(s)
    27.8%
  4. F-15 Eagle

    11 vote(s)
    61.1%
  1. Methinks we need something new to argue about, and besides, Polishshooter ran out of ammo for his M4 tanks. :eek: :D

    What would you consider the best post WWII (that is, jet) fighter the U.S. has ever produced and why? I think we need to consider the choices within the context of the time each of them was developed and produced. It would not be realistic to compare, say, an F-86 with an F-15. I've set up four of my own favorites as choices, but feel free to chime in with other aircraft if you feel your choice is better.

    My choice would be the F-86 Sabre within the context of that time. It took a 10 to 1 kill ratio against the Mig 15 over Korea and most pilots considered it to be the sportscar of American jets.
  2. Marlin

    Marlin *TFF Admin Staff Chief Counselor*

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    I had a very close cousin who was an ACE in Korea, flying the F-86, after having flown C-47s over the hump in WWII because he was "too old for fighters !!!!!!"

    They took him out of the left seat of a C-124 flying the Atlantic from McQuire,Azores/Preswick and back. sent him to texas for four weeks then to Korea. After he returned, they put him back in the left seat of C-130s. He thought it an alright plane, easy to fly and hot with those turbo-prop pawer plants.....

    I liked the Sabre but also thought the F-84F was a nice little platform. They were the carft flown by the Thunderbirds during that time frame. I'm told they were not too hard to fly, either.

    Attached Files:

  3. Yup, the F-84 Thunderjet was a very good aircraft, Marlin, but it was really designed as a fighter-bomber rather than as a pure fighter like the F-86. Not to worry. Pretty soon Polish will come along and claim the P-40 or the Wildcat was better than any of the jets and the argument will really get lively! :eek: ;) :D
  4. Marlin T

    Marlin T Active Member

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    The sabre didn't start off on any Americans drawing board. I do believe that it was Japanies.

    So does it really belong on the list to vote for?

    Attached Files:

  5. Not true, Marlin. The F-86 Sabre was developed by North American Aviation in the good old U.S. of A. It is true that some technology captured from the Germans after the war--particularly their work with swept wing design--was incorporated into the Sabre. In fact, production of it was delayed for a year so that design changes could be made to incorporate the new data. It was, nonetheless, an American design, and certainly had nothing to do with the Japanese.
  6. Marlin T

    Marlin T Active Member

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    I know that North American Avaition producted it, and it was a variant of the Fury. But as to who came up with the design??? Germans? I'll give you the credit of the doubt on that one, but on to the bigger picture.

    How much of the plane was actually developed by the Germans? I think/thought that the whole of the craft came from Germany.

    By the way, do you like the picture? You will not find it anywhere else but here!
  7. Yup. In fact, I liked so much that I swiped it to use as a wallpaper on my computer! :eek: :D

    I believe you may be thinking of the German Me 262, Marlin, the first true production jet fighter that the Germans used with limited success right at the end of the war. The Sabre did incorporate some of the technology from that aircraft it is true. The Allies grabbed every one they could find after the Krauts surrendered, as did the Soviets. In fact, the Soviet Mig 15 fighter that the Sabre faced (and shot the hell out of, 10 to 1!) over Mig Alley in Korea utilized German jet fighter technology as well. We got into the jet game rather late, actually. The Brits developed their Meteor and actually had it deployed in limited number before the end of the war, though there were no dogfights with the Me 262s as it so happened. The U.S. was working on a jet fighter aircraft, but never got it into production before war's end. If memory serves me (I may be wrong here), the fighter we actually produced from that effort was the P-80 Shooting Star.
  8. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    Wow, that's a tough one.

    Kinda like comparing apples and kumquats, isn't it? I mean, different eras, different "envelopes," different adversaries, some NEVER saw "real action" (F104) some were "interceptors," some are classic "fighters,"...HHHmmm...

    I'd HAVE to go with the Phantom...I mean, for a NAVY jet to be adopted by the AIR FORCE, because NOTHING else could compare at the time says VOLUMES...


    But in it's life it does EVERYTHING from shipboard interceptor, to escort, to the plane the ONLY Ace of Vietnam flew, to a flying dump truck for close supposrt, to even "Wild Weasel" in the Gulf War in 1991! Plus in either OUR hands or the ISRAELIS it bested EVERYTHING Russian thrown at it, as WELL as French Mirages...

    And ARGUABLY with a good pilot, could "hold it's own" in a fight against ANY potential adversary the US might face TODAY?


    The Sabre was GREAT, BUT it was really outclassed in a lot of categories, guns, speed, maneuverability by it's main adversary, the Mig-15, the fact it ran up such a GREAT kill ratio says more for the skills and determination of our PILOTS over "theirs," than our aircraft...

    The 104, really WAS the last of the "classic" interceptors, the whole concept which is long obsolescent, BUT is not "one dimensional" like the old Daggers and Darts, and Voodoos...so it still soldiers on in some NATO AFs today, it would have been neat, while trying not to sound like a warmonger, to SEE how it would have done against opposition in the air...


    My SECOND runner up just might be the F-100...from "interceptor" to "superiority" to close support, it was the AF's version of "do it all" before it got the Phantom....
  9. Marlin

    Marlin *TFF Admin Staff Chief Counselor*

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    Thanks for the reminder, polish. I had let the F-104 slip away from my mind. I think that it would be my second choice.

    There is a lot going for the F-4, but it sure would have been a better fighter had it had guns in its arsenal..... It came up mighty short as a result of the thinking of the day being that "Dog fighting is a thing of the past....."

    This comes through loudly and clearly, post F-4 era, as the Navy's "Top Gun" school was developed to instill, hone and sharpen those forgotten skills.....
  10. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

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    Minn-eeee-sota, ya, sure, you bet!
    Actually PS....the first U.S. jet fighter wasn't the P-80, it was the Bell P-59 Aircomet, a pretty slow and awful aircraft that never made into squadron use. The first jet that was issued to squadrons was the Lockheed P-80 "Shooting Star".

    Polish....I'm with you here. For it's time, the F-4 may (argueably) be the best U.S. Fighter ever made. It could do absolutely everthing......interceptor, air superiority, bombing, strafing, wild weasel, you name it, the F-4 could do it!
  11. 17thfabn

    17thfabn New Member

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    Eagle all the way! 104 to Zero kill ratio!

    The F-15 is claimed to have NEVER been shot down in air to air action!!! Their are those who disput this, but even if their claims are true it would only be a few air to air kills in 25 + years of service.


    If the claim of never being shot down is true the F-15 Eagle would have a 104 to ZERO kill ratio. This is the best in history.
  12. The Super Sabre was a fine aircraft, Polish. No doubt about that. It could perform the fighter role reasonably well, but in Vietnam they used it mostly as a bomb truck, rather than a fighter.

    I have to agree, the F-104 was a slick aircraft indeed, perhaps the sexiest design ever conceived. It was also a "widow maker" from all reports, unless the pilot was very, very good. West Germany adopted it as their primary fighter aircraft and the pilots both loved and hated it. It did its designed job very well, but it was hard on inexperienced pilots.
  13. Yes it could, X. The "fast movers" of Vietnam. Of course, if an Air Force guy was driving it, better duck! :eek: :D The only design problems they had with it were that it was a fuel guzzler and gave off a very visible smoke trail as it moved. The other problem was its lack of gun armament in its original configuration. They fixed that pretty well though with those pod-mounted 20 mike-mikes that they attached later.
  14. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    17th, you're right on the 15s kill ratio, but DON'T we have to kind of have to put an asterick beside it, kinda like Barry Bonds or Mark McQuire?:p

    I mean, did the 15 EVER face a "quality" opponent in the air?

    I mean the Sabre was facing the BEST Russian and Chinese fighter jocks, flying a BETTER aircraft, so 15 to 1 or whatever is pretty impressive...

    And again in Vietnam, the NVA had some pretty good fighter jocks (SOME of them even blonde and blue eyed!:cool: ) flying the BEST Soviet stuff maintained by SOviet Ground crews! And against a then State of the Art Soviet designed Air Defense system!

    The 3rd Gen 15 ACTUALLY only met in the air Second Rate Arab or Middle Eastern Pilots flying actually 2nd Gen Soviet and/or French Aircraft that the F4 had already beat YEARS ago, married to Soviet Style ground control NOT done by Soviets!

    Not belittling it at all, it STILL is the best current Air to Air aircraft (with a USAF or Israeli jock in the seat, of course) in the WORLD, (yeah I KNOW about the SU-35, but until I SEE it in SERVICE, it's a "paper" tiger like a lot of Soviet designs...) I'm still not ready to name it "the best ever...."

    THEORETICALLY we never lost an F-14 in air to air either, did we?

    And IT fought some contemporary Soviet fighters, even if like the 15, never flown by GOOD pilots....I wonder how many kills IT had over the life of it's service?
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2006
  15. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    But you know, this thread got me thinking about "envelopes..."

    IF you figure "Fighter Combat" has only been around for a hundred years or so, if you break it up into say, 30 year blocks and look at the envelopes, it's pretty amazing...

    From 1915 until 1945, fabric covered biplanes at 80mph with MAYBE one LMG, to 425 mph piston all metal momoplanes with 4-8 heavy MGs or cannon, with the first 500mph jets in servic, with air to air rockets

    From 1945 to 1975- From 500mph to over Mach 2, from unguided rockets to the Aim-9, from HMGs to 30mm cannon, then 20 mm Vulcans...


    From 1975 to 2005???? What, better Avionics? "Refined" missiles were have been using SINCE the 70s?

    There REALLY isn't a LOT of difference between combat jets of today, versus 30 years ago!!!

    Yeah, better avionics, fly-by-wire, HUD, but compared to the advances in the PREVIOUS 30 year blocks....a plane from 1975 COULD still be viable, and some ARE, while NO plane from the beginning of a PREVIOUS 30 year period woiuld be viable at the END of the 30 years!



    What this MEANS is we MAY be at the END of "Manned Fighter Combat!" The COSTS of State of the Art aircraf versus the GAINS in performance are almost unaffordable, even for SUPERPOWERS< which may NEVER fight each other again!


    And aircraft performance is now pushing the envelope of human pilot SURVIVAL in maneuvers the plane CAN survive.


    While none of us want to face it, ESPECIALLY the fighter jocks current or past....


















    The MANNED fighter aircraft's days are numbered.















    In the future, the "fighter ace" will be an 18 year old computer geek SITTING ON THE GROUND in an office somewhere in Nevada, with a "computer game" controller in his hands, fighting an Air to Air or more likely, Air to Ground, battle with his satellite/GPS/Remote controlled "FXRC2A" over the Bekaa valley!
  16. Alakar

    Alakar New Member

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    Marlin,

    I think this is the German plane your thinking of. The Focker-Wulf Ta 183 designed by Kurt Tank.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
  17. Marlin T

    Marlin T Active Member

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    Pistol, did you get my PM?
  18. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    Oh, and BTW, PS, I didn't run out of AMMO, just like the REAL M4s, I ran out of TARGETS.....:p
  19. It was the Tigers that ran out of ammo, Polish . . . and they wore out so many gun barrels potshotting Shermans that German industry couldn't keep up with the demand, which of course, is the real reason the Germans lost the war. :eek: :D :p
  20. Lead Lobber

    Lead Lobber Former Guest

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    Regarding the F-86, I consulted a book (Fighter - 2006, Barnes & Noble Books) sent me last Christmas by my brother. Having always been curious about design similarities among contemporary aircraft, I read a liitle deeper about the F-86.

    Development on what was to become the F-86 started in late 1944 right here in the good old U.S. of A. at NAA (North American Aviation), as reported by PistolShooter. The original design featured a straight wing adopted from the P-51. Someone began a serious study of documents recovered from Germany that revealed their interest in swept wing designs that delayed dangerous high speed vibrations, and leading edge slats that improved manuervability at low air speeds, especially on landing. NAA suspended developement until the documentation from Germany could be evaluated throughly.

    The swept wing with leading edge slats was incorporated and the rest is facinating history. The shape of the Mustang, Saber, Colt Single Action Army .45 revolvers, and girls, discovered around that same period, still generate strong feelings of desire to look at, to gaze upon, hold ..... STOP! Don't want to get kinky here. Can anyone direct me to the Kinky Forum, please?

    Thank you,

    LL

    post scriptum: The book was printed and bound in China, of course. Grrrr :mad:
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