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Best bomber of WWII.

Discussion in 'Aircraft' started by Ted, Oct 22, 2006.

  1. Seadog

    Seadog Member

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    One of the best was the A-26/B-26. Late to the war, it still served in Korea and Vietnam, not to mention Africa. Besides the bomb bay, it could carry a large load under hard points under the wings. It also had great firepower with 14 .50 cals in front.

    Last weekend, it was a flash back in time. Imagine several guys shooting things up, when an A-26C goes by on low approach. Suddenly, there is a trail of smoke, and loud noises as the plane lost an engine. A warbird fancier from a nearby community was flying around our airport doing VFR runs when the port engine went.
     
  2. skunk works

    skunk works Ace

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    I like both the Bristol Beaufighter and the P-61 "Black Widow".
    They had alot of guns, and they were all pointed one way.
    When it comes to firepower...they got Game.
    I know, so did the Me 262.
    I agree with the A-26 (not Martins Marauder, B-26)(Douglass) as well,
    and the Termites Dream (Mossie)(y)?
     
  3. TA152

    TA152 Ace

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    The P-61 was a night fighter and the Beaufighter was also a night fighter and attack aircraft.

    The A-26 was also used in the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in the early 60's. I think the aircraft were from the Alabama Air National Guard. I am not sure about the crews. You might want to look it up Seadog. ;)
     
  4. TA152

    TA152 Ace

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  5. skunk works

    skunk works Ace

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    Many aircraft purpose built for one thing, did accel at another, sometimes many other things.
    Reconnaissance, Photography, fighter, fighter bomber, bomber (torpedo/dumb), night fighter.
    Aircraft carried many things that exploded when dropped. Torpedos, depth charges, rockets, and dumb/para/WP/napalm bombs.
    In the case of that L-4...bazookas
    The "Beau" could carry a torpedo, or if it dumped the wing guns, rockets.
    The P-61 had 4 hard points to carry 1,600 lbs of bombs.
    Other planes with explosive dropping capabilities, in lbs.
    Buffalo...200
    P-39...500
    Yak-9...440
    I-16...441
    Pe-2...3,520
    Il-2...1,320
    Swordfish...1,500
    Firefly...2,000
    Ju-88...4,000
    Do-17...1,000
    Betty...2,205
    Sally...2,205
    Mozzie...4,000
    He-111...2,205
    Hurricane...500
    TBF...2,000
    F6F...2,000
    F4F...500
    FW-190...1,000
    SB2C...2,000
    P-40...1,500
    F4U...1,000+
    SBD...1,250
    B-26...4,000
    B-25...4,000
    A-20...4,000
    A-26...6,000
    P-47...2,500
    P-51...1,000
    P-38...3,200
    P-61...1,600
    I was surprised at the P-40 & the P-38
    The Mozzie is top Dog, with the A-26 close behind. Tied for third is the P-38/F4U for best performance in the most catagories.
    versatile and good IMHO
     
  6. Jaeger

    Jaeger Ace

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    This is subjective..
    My favourite is Mossie. Then the Lancaster.

    My biggest dream would be to fly in a mossie. In my home town there is a veteran who flew the mossie on costal raids on Norway during WW2. I remember the speeches and lectures we had on 9th of April in my school days. Every year there would be a few veterans telling about what the war was like for them. The thing that made the most impression was when the pilot told about how they would sing the first lines of the national anthem as they saw the Norwegian coastline.
     
  7. nakedleader

    nakedleader recruit

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    Technologically, the B-29 was the most advanced but 'best' can mean many things. As it arrived very late in WW11 , it can't objectively qualify as the best bomber of WWII. The real choices would be based on an average of the specific criteria such as:
    • longest range with the greatest payload,
    • fewest crew
    • highest speed
    • best defensive capability (not necessarily armament)
    In terms of aircraft in use for virtually all of WWII it would be hard to go past the AVRO Lancaster and the DeHavilland Mosquito. I know this will make many Americans gasp but it must be remembered that the Lancaster regularly carried over twice the B-17 or B-24's average bombload over the same distance using only 1 pilot and 6 other crew. It could also carry a 22,000lb or 12,000lb bomb for specific targets. Something impossible for either the B-24 or B-17.

    The Mosquito was capable of carrying the same payload (4,000lb) to Germany as a B-17 or B-24 using only 2 crew, required no defensive armament in the bomber version and the fighter version could carry the same bombload and outrun most German fighters or turn and fight with its 4 x .303 and 4x 20mm cannon. As a result it had the lowest loss rate of any bomber.

    In terms of technology, both the Mosquito and Lancaster were fitted with advanced British inventions such as bombing radar, tail warning radar, jamming equipment and EW equipment. The same cannot be said of the B-17 or B-24 until almost the end of the war and then with British equipment.

    As many experts have noted,the daylight 'precision' bombing concept failed utterly and this was reflected in the USAAF moving to area bombing despite earlier protestations. On behalf of the B-17 and B-24, the Norden bombsight is often quoted as a wonder weapon but in fact the Germans acquired the plans for it in 1939.

    'Best' is an emotive word and in these forums often understandably falls along nationalistic lines but facts are facts. This takes nothing away from the hundreds of thousands of brave young men who flew in other types.
     
    bf109 emil and Martin Bull like this.
  8. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    RAF: The Mossie and the Lanc . USAAF : B-17 and B-29
    The Luftwaffe : the HE 177. They had problems with overheating engines and there were never enough of those built , but had the Luftwaffe won the BoB it could have been another matter as the Greif had never been used at its full potential. This is however debatable and could be an ice "what if" topic
     
  9. Miguel B.

    Miguel B. Member

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    for the USAAF I say the B-24 instead of the B-17.



    Cheers...
     
  10. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    I like the B-24 too, but veterans often consider it as the 2nd choice and when they could chose during the war they rather picked the B-17
     
  11. bigfun

    bigfun Ace

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    The B17, because it's the only one I know! I'm learning more about aircraft though, so I reserve the right to change my mind in the future.:D
     
  12. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    :zombie2: :skull: lol
     
  13. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    If I had to or could choose which to fly in I'd choose the B-17 as well. Better armed, flies higher, and faster. On the other hand if were equipping an air force for strategic bombardment I'd probably choose the B-24 it's a more efficient bomb hauler.
     
  14. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    I'd put the B-24 ahead of the Lancaster. For purely strategic bombing like Bomber Command did the Lancaster was better. But, the B-24 proved more versitile in terms of range, armament, and capacity to be modified.
    For example, it was chosen for use with 100 Group due to its ability to haul large jammers like Jostle that wouldn't fit in any of the British bombers.
    In the Far East its range was very useful. The British found it was the only bomber capable of flying from bases in India against targets in Burma.
    As a maritime patrol aircraft it was everybody's first choice due to its range, reliability, and defensive armament (when you are all alone over the ocean these things really, really matter!).
     
  15. barry8108

    barry8108 Member

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    The B-29 easily. Best in every respect. It flew missions for the last 2 years of the war. The lancaster was great because of it's bombload. But it could not fight in daylight because of weak defensive arnament. B-17 over B-24 because it could fly higher and able to take more damage. Weak point of the B-24 was the wings, also the reason it could fly faster. B-29's would have been flying in Europe by mid 44 if there was a need but it was felt 17's and 24's could handle it and 29's were better for the pacific because of the range. Germany had heard of the B-29 and expected it. It would have been intresting to see how the B-29 would have fought over Germany.
     
  16. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    My vote goes to the B24. I can understand 8th AF crews preferring the B17 over the B 24, when you are personally involved the better capability to absorb damage counts for a lot. But the B24 is a more versatile machine and would be my choice for best. The Lancaster sigle pilot configuration rules it out for long range patrol bombing that is one of the missions one expects a "heavy" to perform so despite it's great record of precision bombing (which was mostly to the credit of one exceptional and very elite squadron) it comes up short in versatility compared to the B24.
    The mossie was an exceptional plane but may mot have been as effective as it was if most of the german resources had not been optimized to fight more conventional types, the german anti-mosquito squadrons were a failure but the germans had the capability (Me 262 and possibly He 219) to create something that would have made unarmed fast bombers a bad idea had they given top priority to it. The B29 was only used in the strategic bomber role and against a hopelessly outclassed Japanese air defence system, IMO the sort of tactics used over Japan would have not have worked against the German air defences so it can't really be compared to the B17 B24 pair, I also wonder why they removed the defensive armament, makes me think the plane was overloaded.
     
  17. barry8108

    barry8108 Member

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    The guns except for tail were removed from the B-29 so it could carry even more bombs. LeMay felt the Japanese defences were so weak that they did not need them. Over Europe i believe with the higher speed and better protection it would have been harder for the germans to counter it. Also the B-29 could do anything the B-24 could do, only better.
     
  18. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    Removing the weapons, associated controls, and gunners lightened the plane by about three to four tons. That's alot of weight!
     
  19. bf109 emil

    bf109 emil Member

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    I'm a fan of a heavy bomber, and albeit they did drop the A-bomb, sink the Tirpitz,destroy the V-1 and V-3 site...thus crippling the enemies ability to wage war...think of the 3 impacts the simple and obsolete by many standards, did the Fairey Swordfish impact on WW2.
    1 From helping turn the tide of the Mediterranean naval control from the Italian fleet to the British (this can be argued either/or but it did impact the power of the Italian navy to wage war
    2 Some say it helped formulate or solidify to Japan that torpedoes could be used in shallow water and helped convince the IJN an Attack at Pearl would be successful.
    3 Had the Bismarck not sustained damage to her rudders and managed to reach the safety of the LW air cover or a port, both Naval tactics/strategy and pride of the Kriegsmarine would have taken on a new role or in the least wouldn't have fallen to the rathe dealt out after the sinking of the Bismarck and instead would have been a continual thorn or nuisance to the Royal Navy.
     
  20. Tomcat

    Tomcat The One From Down Under

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    I would have to go with the Mossie, then the Lancaster, then the B17.
     

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