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What was absolutely the worst WWII Fighter?

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  • What was absolutely the worst WWII Fighter?

    For me, that would have to be the two seater, Boulton-Paul Defiant because its sole armament of 4-.303 caliber machinguns were carried in a turret situated behind the pilot. It was useless and unable to defend itself from a frontal assault and if the plane were shot down with no engine power while its turret was in the wrong position, the observer's couldn't get out and only ride the plane down to the ground and to his doom.
    "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

  • #2
    I think the ME 163 did very poorly.
    Life is what happens to you when your busy making other plans! Lennon - www.lufttiger.com

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    • #3
      Good question. The first one that came to my mind was the Defiant as well. However it did make a pretty good night fighter. The real problem is that any airplane, in compentent hands, is a pretty good plane. For example I was also thinking the Brewster Buffalo/B339, but the Finns proved it was a pretty good airplane as well. In all honesty; I think if more attention had been paid to what the enemy (I.E. Japan) was flying and how to fight them with a realistic approach (such as Claire Channualt's) than the Buffalo might have come out better in its reputation.

      I guess for my vote it has to go to the Italian CR-32. Yes, it was a dream to fly, but with only 2 7.7mm mgs and no armour to speak of; even the Gladiator are them for lunch.

      CR-32 (Fiat)


      Gloster Gladiator
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      • #4
        The Bf-110 failed pretty badly in its original role as a long-ranged escort fighter...



        It later redeemed itself quite well as a night-fighter and bomber-destroyer.
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        • #5
          Originally posted by The Doctor View Post
          The Bf-110 failed pretty badly in its original role as a long-ranged escort fighter...



          It later redeemed itself quite well as a night-fighter and bomber-destroyer.
          I'd also throw in the Fairey-Fulmar two seat fighter and bomber. Granted, it was the first British Fighter Plane to have 8 wing mounted machine guns, but it had been obsolete from the very opening days of the war.
          "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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          • #6
            Originally posted by johnbryan View Post
            I'd also throw in the Fairey-Fulmar two seat fighter and bomber. Granted, it was the first British Fighter Plane to have 8 wing mounted machine guns, but it had been obsolete from the very opening days of the war.
            Obsolete it might have been compared to the leading land based fighters, but it was a successful fighter.
            The Fulmar ended WW2 as the Fleet Air Arm's leading fighter - Fulmars shot down more enemy aircraft than any other FAA aircraft, with a kill ratio of 2.8 to 1.

            ps, the Hurricane was the first British fighter plane to be armed with 8 guns, as the Fulmar didn't enter service until 1940.

            pps, I have a soft spot for the Fulmar as my maternal Grandmother helped build them
            Last edited by redcoat; 25 Sep 07, 18:04.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by lufttiger View Post
              I think the ME 163 did very poorly.
              Indeed.
              The Me 163 really was a 'wonder weapon'..........in the sense it was such a death trap, you wonder where they found pilots daft enough to fly it

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              • #8
                Boulton Paul Defiant which was so bad it had to be withdrawn from service in the heat of Battle of Britain at a time when England's future was hanging in the balance and Air Ministry was screaming for more aircraft and crews trained to fly them. Hardly the best time to withdraw an aircraft designed to defend the UK from an invasion.

                As you remember that "fighter" had no guns pointing forwards, only a bomber-type turret in the back (unfortunately it couldn't carry bombs either).

                Last edited by MonsterZero; 25 Sep 07, 18:22.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by MonsterZero View Post
                  Boulton Paul Defiant which was so bad it had to be withdrawn from service in the heat of Battle of Britain at a time when England's future was hanging in the balance and Air Ministry was screaming for more aircraft and crews trained to fly them. Hardly the best time to withdraw an aircraft designed to defend the UK from an invasion.

                  As you remember that "fighter" had no guns pointing forwards, only a bomber-type turret in the back (unfortunately it couldn't carry bombs either).

                  Not the most successful of fighters, but they did give LW some early surprises.

                  It should be remembered that the Defiant was designed to defend the UK from UNESCORTED bomber raids. At the time of the Defiant's design and entry into service, it was thought that the Germans would be sending unescorted bombers from Germany, not escorted bombers from France!!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by redcoat View Post
                    Obsolete it might have been compared to the leading land based fighters, but it was a successful fighter.
                    The Fulmar ended WW2 as the Fleet Air Arm's leading fighter - Fulmars shot down more enemy aircraft than any other FAA aircraft, with a kill ratio of 2.8 to 1.

                    ps, the Hurricane was the first British fighter plane to be armed with 8 guns, as the Fulmar didn't enter service until 1940.

                    pps, I have a soft spot for the Fulmar as my maternal Grandmother helped build them
                    I'll take your word on it. Perhaps I read that the Fulmar was the first FAA fighterplane to be armed with 8 guns.
                    "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by johnbryan View Post
                      Perhaps I read that the Fulmar was the first FAA fighterplane to be armed with 8 guns.
                      Which it was

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                      • #12
                        Not Necessarily In This Order.....But

                        (1) The French Caudron C.714 Cyclone



                        (2) The French Dewoitine D.500 Series



                        (3) The British Fairey Fox Mk III (The Picture Isn't Accurate)



                        (4) The United States Grumman F3F & F3F-2



                        (5) The German Heinkel He-162 Salamander



                        (6) The Russian Lavochkin LaGG-1 & LaGG-3



                        (7) The German Messerschmitt Me-163 Komet



                        (8) The German Messerschmitt Me-210 Heavy Fighter



                        (9) The French Morane-Saulnier MS.406



                        10) The United States Seversky P-35

                        Last edited by Duke William; 25 Sep 07, 19:24.

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                        • #13
                          On the Defiant, I'd Like to point out that after it was switched to the night fighter role it did very well. As the Pilot could concentrate on flying in the dark, while the gunner could concentrate on sending jerry crashing down.

                          Oh and at least some Defiant's had their turrets Lifted out then placed back in the fuselage with the guns on either side of the cockpit so they could fire forward.

                          On the Gloster Gladiator, You can't claim thats a bad fighter, look at Malta and the battle of Britain.

                          For a terrible fighter look at non-Finnish Buffalo's, ME-110's or 108's, or the Natter rocket plane.

                          Edit:
                          Lets not forget some of the flying bricks the US navy put into the air to fight the Japanese.
                          I was also goign to mention the PZL P11
                          At dawn on 1 September, Capt. Mieczysław Medwecki flying a PZL P.11c was shot down by a German Ju 87, having the dubious honour of becoming the first aircraft shot down in the Second World War. The first Allied air victory was achieved 20 minutes later by Medwecki's wingman, Wladyslaw Gnys who shot down two Dornier Do 17s with his P.11
                          But It did ok for what it was.
                          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PZL_P.1...tional_history

                          Shame we can't use the fairy Battle...
                          Last edited by Listy; 25 Sep 07, 20:45.
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                          • #14
                            The Boomerang would have to be up there, wouldn't it?
                            Colonel Summers' widely quoted critique of US strategy in the Vietnam War is having a modest vogue...it is poor history, poor strategy, and poor Clausewitz to boot - Robet Komer, Survival, 27:2, p. 94.

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                            • #15
                              Duke,

                              I do not agree on the He-162. The Volksjager was easy and cheap to build. It was intended to make the best of given German manufacturing capabilities at the time and it succeeded at that. It went from the drawing board into production faster than most would have thought possible. If not for the substitution of the wood adhesives originally specified due to the destruction of the glue manufacturer by allied bombing, the plane would have been far more reliable. It was a small target and arguably the fastest jet of WWII. It packed a good armament punch, and with a good pilot were fairly nimble.

                              Look at all they were able to pack into a cheap plane. Tricycle gear, ejection seat, full blown bubble canpopy, concentrated firepower, auto-trim.
                              Last edited by Salinator; 26 Sep 07, 02:06.
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