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Best Nightfighters of WWII

Discussion in 'Aircraft' started by Gromit801, Aug 20, 2009.

  1. Gromit801

    Gromit801 Member

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    The world of nightfighters in WWII has always been fascinating to me. Some birds were obviously more successful, by virtue of have been around longer that others.

    But I think my rankings would go something like this.

    1. P-61 Black Widow
    2. Mosquito
    3. He-219 Uhu
    4. Me-110G
    5. Beaufighter
    6. Ju-88
    7. P-70
    8. TBF/M (they actually might have gotten more kills at night than the F6F-5N's they guided.)
    9. F4U-5N
    10. Nakajima J1N Gekko
     
  2. moutan1

    moutan1 Member

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    Good choices but I think that Mosquito was the best nightfighter
     
  3. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    Mossie for the allied, Ju-88 for the Germans (of course the G versions)
     
  4. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    The most advanced nightfighter was probably the Me 262 B1a/U1 but it was not an operational plane.
    My pick would be the mossie with the Ju88G a close second and some doubts about the He219 due to the very conflicting info around it.
    IMO the P61 is a a typical US "bigger is better" approach taken too far, if you have execess production capacity it may even make sense but a 10 tonn empty weight "fighter" in ww2 ????.
     
  5. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    The Luftwaffe were the supreme proponents of night-fighting in WWII, and the night-fighter that had them worried the most was the Mosquito.....;)
     
  6. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Any German plane fast enough with Schr├Ąge musik.... ;)

    For the Allied side the Moswuito definitely...
     
  7. uksubs

    uksubs Member

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    I would agree with Martin & say the Mosquito NF XXX was the best night fighter + it had the best radar
    I think in time the Me 262 B night fighter would be up there
    From what I've read about the P61 it was out of date by the time it it ETO
     
  8. Gromit801

    Gromit801 Member

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    What worried the Germans most about the Mossie, was it's numbers.
    The P-61 was by no means out of date until the jet age took over. It had a far more sophisticated radar, plus the RIO had the use of the upper turret if needed. Way more operationally flexible than the fixed schrage-musik of the Luftwaffe.
     
  9. uksubs

    uksubs Member

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    The P61 was no match for a Mosquito Mk 30
    what impact did it have in ETO
    None ;)
     
  10. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    That's not altogether correct - in the 'Moskitopanik' period there weren't vast numbers of Mossies operating within 100 Group - what concerned the German n/f crews was the accuracy of the later-marque Mossie radar.
     
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  11. STURMTRUPPEN

    STURMTRUPPEN Member

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    either the ju88 or the mosquito
     
  12. redcoat

    redcoat Ace

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    Indeed, it was an excellent night-fighter.


    No.
    The P-61B and Mosquito Mk 30 which entered service at around the same time in 1944, both used the SCR-720 (Mk X) AI radar.

    The most noteable difference between the two aircraft was their top speeds, the P-61B had a top speed of 366 mph, while the Mosquito Mk 30 had a top speed of 424 mph
     
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  13. uksubs

    uksubs Member

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    The first P61 A did not come with the upper turret & later P61 had to have the turret locked in place because of wind buffer ting
    The P61 was slow for a late war Night fighter to
     
  14. MastahCheef117

    MastahCheef117 Member

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    Weapons of the P-61:
    4 .50 Caliber Browning M2 Machine Guns
    4 20mm Hispano M2 Machine Guns

    vs.

    Weapons of the Mosquito:
    4 .303 Caliber Browning Machine Guns
    4 20mm Hispano M2 Machine Guns

    The P-61, however bulkier than the Mosquito, had incredible engine power, not to mention it had heavy armor plating. The Mosquito was made mostly out of plywood, but also was highly-maneuverable and was pretty fast. So I say they were perfectly equal in all instances, give or take.
     
  15. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    the P-61 was fine in the ETO under 9th AF tuteledge and will be covered in my anti mossie book in the future. the Widow reigned as number one ground attack at night assault fighter not a nocturnal fighter vs fighter as was hoped. there was much trouble with the ETO AI radar in the overall black crate, but like I said I will cover it at length in my book along with the 262 missions. The two seat 262 was operational but nearly all the kills associated with Kommadno Welter were with the single seater in Helle-nacht.
    another thing you chaps should know the 9th AF did not use the upper turet of 4 guns on their P-61's like in the PTO units. there was no need really

    Skip is on the monies would be the Mossie XXX for the Allies and the Ju 88G-6 for the LW nothing else comes close, the 262 obviously the ultimate short range impossible to catch type but again that is another story.
     
  16. Gromit801

    Gromit801 Member

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    Let's not forget that the P-61 was very active in the Pacific as well.

    No doubt the Mossie was faster, but not necessarily more maneuverable. Consider those full span control surfaces the P-61 had. Martin Cadin estimated that the P-61 could turn inside just about anything in the ETO.
     
  17. uksubs

    uksubs Member

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    A sign of a good night fighter would be the kills it gets ;)
    How many did the P61 get to the Me 110, Ju88 + the Mosquito :confused:
     
  18. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    look at the amount of targets available which must be kept in aspect of concerning best or maybe that term is bogus, maybe we should say which was the most used or "useful"

    the Bf 110G overall gets the most points for kills but again that is another matter altogether, LW crews I have interviewed over many long years have all said the same thing " had we the Ju 88G-6 at our disposal..........oh my ! "

    the Widow was the only thing cookin in the dusk and night skies in the Pacific besides it was the only pure American nf in the war. for the PTO it was really only the day-fighter P-38 with other a/c in lesser extremes, but the US used whatever was available the Med US NF squads used the Beau and Mossie and all loved them
     
  19. uksubs

    uksubs Member

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    The speed difference between P61 & the Mosquito is over 80mph witch would make a big difference when chasing a target & getting a kill
     
  20. uksubs

    uksubs Member

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    The P 61 was a big plane & can't see it out turning a Mosquito
    Night fighting was not the same as fighter V fighter dog fighting during the day out moving the other plane , night fighting was about finding & then catching up with the enemy plane & that where the P61 poor top speed let it down
     

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