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Most influential aircraft of ww2

Discussion in 'Air Warfare' started by cheeky_monkey, Mar 10, 2005.

  1. cheeky_monkey

    cheeky_monkey New Member

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    im not expert of ww2 aircraft

    i would like to know your opinions on what was the most influential aircraft of the war in terms of design and abilites which design was copied the most by all sides? if any, what was the biggest leap forward that rendered other rivals obsolete. (no jets allowed please).

    normally i would offer an opinion but i have no idea?
     
  2. Ebar

    Ebar New Member

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    A few thoughts spring to mind.

    The Spitfire and Hurricane. When first being put into service just before the start of the war the decision was made to arm them with eight machine guns. I read in the BoB account FIGHTER this forced the Germans to up gun the Bf109.

    Also British experience in the BoB helped shape later American fighters like the Mustang.


    Heavy Fighters: Pretty much all the major nations attempted at one time or another to build a two engined heavy fighter. The first I can think of is the German Bf110. Could this be said to be an influential machine or was it based on something earlier still?


    Where do the heavy bombers of the mid to late war spring from. To they develop from any definite plane?


    Okay that's what spring to my mind, anyone eles?
     
  3. Ricky

    Ricky Well-Known Member

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    Hmm... a tricky one. After all, most of the development & 'great leaps forward' were done before WW2, when the biplane was succeeded by the monoplane. And that was fairly gradual, as these things go. It did effect larger planes first, which meant that you had the Bristol Blenhiem in service at a time when the front-line fighters were biplanes, and far slower. This of course lead to the 'schnell bomber' myth, and aided the 'the bomber will always get through' myth.

    The only plane that really springs to mind as 'radical'is the I-16, which I think was the first low-wing monoplane fighter with retractable undercarriage in large-scale service.
    However, it had no real impact outside of the USSR (ie: it was largely unknown) until the Spanish Civil War, and by then the Bf109 was entering service.
    It was also succeeded (though never actually replaced) by a biplane, the I-15.

    In WW2 alone, maybe the B-29 stands head & shoulders above all else. A heavy bomber with fully pressurised crew compartments for ultra-high level missions.
     
  4. TISO

    TISO New Member

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    Polikarpov I-16 Mosca.
    First low wing, fighter aircraft with retractible under carrige, that entered mass prodution. Also first that was en masse equiped with cannon ( some types-12,17,28 ) and rocket armmament. First aircraft that used flaperones ( airelones that also served as flaps - waaaay ahead of its time). One of early aircraft with flaps, variable pich propeler and enclosed cockpit ( poorly designed). When it first apeered in Spain it was a shock to the Germans ( standard fighter He-51) and Italians ( standard fighter Cr-32).
     
  5. Roel

    Roel New Member

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    I'd say the new generation inverted-vee fighters quite determined the looks and characteristics of the best fighters of the war. The most revolutionary of this lot must be the Spitfire, since it mated superb top speed with good armament and manoeuverability. Then again, the German radial-engined Fw190 pretty much reinvented this type of aircraft and showed how far it could be brought (later seen in the Corsair, La-7 and other such planes).
     
  6. FNG phpbb3

    FNG phpbb3 New Member

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    As good as the spitfire was it was not revolutionary in 1939, the prototypes had been around for years and similar designs and models existed across most western countries.

    Influential? Lancaster or equivalent heavy bombers bringing fear and heavy bombing across long distances when Germany didn't even develop such a concept pre war.

    Mosqueto? A very well thought of two engineed figher/light bomber which was cheap to produce(wasn't it wooden?) and effective. I don't believe the German 2 engined fighter proved overly good.

    FNG
     
  7. Notmi

    Notmi New Member

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    Hmm, I thought Spitfire had "normal" vee-engine (crankshaft below the pistons). Gotta check that out. Later.
     
  8. Notmi

    Notmi New Member

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    Yes, it seems to be that Spitfire didn't have inverted vee -engine. (yes I know, just another annoying mr. pedantic-wannabe).

    And to the original topic:
    Very hard question. Like Ricky said, most of those big leaps were done before WW2 and aircrafts during WW2 just got bigger, more powerful, faster, better armed and better armoured. No big leaps but many, many smaller in very short time.
    But maybe B-29 is the answer here, not because everyone copied it during the war but because many of its features were used later in military and civillian aviation after the war.
     
  9. Roel

    Roel New Member

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    Have you ever seen Picasso's world famous painting "Guernica"? It was made to depict the horrors and the destruction caused by the German bombing of the village of Guernica in 1937 during the Spanish civil war. This was not a tactical operation.

    Notmi: sorry, this is definitely not my subject, I should shut up and leave it to the pedantics. :D
     
  10. FNG phpbb3

    FNG phpbb3 New Member

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    Germany only had light and medium bombers. Yes they could carry a lot of ordanance short distances, but they could not carry as much and as far as a lancaster

    FNG
     
  11. canambridge

    canambridge Member

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    Everybody copied something from everyone else, it's really hard to point out one that was head and shoulders above the rest. A weak case could be made for the B-29, but that's about it. Most advances were evolutionary and anything successful was copied as much as possible, within the confines of maintaining high produciton levels.
    Engines got more powerful and better, range increased, ordnance loads increased, guns increased in size and number.
     
  12. scaramouche

    scaramouche New Member

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    Yep! you are right! it is not your subject..because Guernica, like most Basque towns was a small arms producing center-which made it a tactical target....and from l understand Piasso's" The Horrors of War" started out as a scene in a bullfight in which a bull gores a horse..(hence the horse's head you see in it..)-
    Most influential: it depends where, because if we are talking about the Pacific , there the Grumman F4F, F6F and Douglas SBD-s could be rightly , Russia perhaps the IL10...Battle of Britain: Spit and Hurricane ..air campaign over Germany? P-47D, P-51, B-17, B-24..
     
  13. Ricky

    Ricky Well-Known Member

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    I'd say that the Zero was more influential in the Pacific - the sheer shock of meeting a fighter aircraft that seemed so impossible to out-fight (using conventional 'dogfight' techniques) when the British & US were expecting nothing more that 'inferior copies of obsolete aircraft' did a lot to build the myth of Japanese invincibility in the early days of the campaign.
     
  14. KBO

    KBO New Member

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    The Bf-109 was also a very influential aircraft actually. Most German aces flew it, and it shot down more planes than any other plane of WW2.

    Bf-109 Eastern-front Aces like Hartmann, Barkhorn, Rall, Kittel, Batz, Graf, and Western-front Aces like Galland and Marseille can testify to that.

    All of the eastern front Bf-109 aces above scored over 200 kills and some above 250, and some above 300. Erich Hartman=352 kills and Gerhard Barkhorn=301 kills

    Galland downed atleast 50 Spitfire's, and M√ľncheberg with 46 Spitfires to his record, and Marseille wasnt all bad either with 20 Spits shot down. (And this is only to name a few.)

    Over 95% of the British aircraft shot down in BoB, were shot down by Bf-109's. By far the greatest part of aircraft shot down by the British in BoB were bombers.

    I would say the Bf-109 was a very infuential aircraft of WW2.

    There was no propeller-driven aircraft that could save the Germans from the Allies, nonetheless the Bf-109 did probably the greatest job trying to save it by any propeller-driven aircraft in history.

    Regards, KBO.
     
  15. Tony Williams

    Tony Williams Member

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    Depends on how you define 'influential'. I would assume that it means a plane which is different from its contemporaries in ways which prove highly successful and are accordingly copied by many later designs.

    I would say that includes the Me 262 - not because of its jets but because of its swept wing.

    Also the B-29, the first of the mass-produced, purpose-designed, pressurised, high-altitude bombers and also the first with a centralised fire control system for its defensive armament (not too successful).

    Then there's the Mosquito, which showed that a high-speed unarmed bomber could work (despite much scepticism).

    The Polikarpov I-16 was the first to put together an unbraced monoplane wing and retractable undercarriage, but that's a bit prewar.

    The Hurricane IIC - the first single-engined service fighter to carry a heavy, four-cannon armament (IIRC).

    Difficult to think of too many more - most planes were either relatively conventional, or unconventional but flawed so not copied (P-39, 63).

    Tony Williams: Military gun and ammunition website and discussion
    forum
     
  16. KBO

    KBO New Member

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    Well in that case, the Bf-109's Wing-slats most have been infuential, as most USSR fighters copied and used them to line-out their lack of wing-area all the way until the end of the war.

    The Me262 used them aswell ;) :D (Only this time it was, "Full-wing-slats")

    KBO
     
  17. Ricky

    Ricky Well-Known Member

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    My problem with the I-16 being influential (as stated above) is that, although it was undoubtedly groundbreaking and a fantastic design, it had no real impact on any other aircraft design, because nobody else knew about it until they had their own monoplane-with-retractable-undercarriage fighters lined up.
    Groundbreaking yes.
    Influential, no.

    Except in helping to disprove the schnell-bomber concept in Spain.
     
  18. Ebar

    Ebar New Member

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    I'd agree with that.

    Again I'd agree but I think the guns influenced people away from bombers with turrets.


    Much as my sense of patrotism would like to agree I can't think of anything else that followed the same path as the Mosquito

    I think Ricky has aread offered an argument to this.

    I'd argue that the gun armament of the Hurricane was influential from the outset. I know that the Germans were forced to make the wings of the BF109 suitable for guns after they heard the RAF was fitting 8 guns as standard to the Huricane and Spitfire.
     
  19. Hubsu

    Hubsu New Member

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    Not during the war but after the war there was B-58 Hustler, Avro Vulcan and Mirage IV which all were small and fast bombers.
     
  20. Notmi

    Notmi New Member

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    I think you are a bit stretching the word "small" when describing Avro Vulcan... :D
     

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