Which 3 Of These 7 Top WWII Fighter Planes Would You Put On Your Team?
Chowels / Danleo / USAAF / Kogo / Adrian Pingstone / Mike Freer / Gerry Metzler / Public Domain
Let’s Play A Game – Pick Your Top 3
WWII was a time of brilliant innovation that produced some remarkable aircraft. With the stakes unbearably high, coming up with a good design and getting it in the hands of skilled pilots was not just a matter of national pride, it was a matter of life or death.
All these years later though, it’s still debatable who had the best. Here are 7 of the many incredible fighters. If you could choose 3 of these fighters to have on your team, which 3 would you choose?
1. Supermarine Spitfire
You’d be crazy not to pick this legendary fighter. It’s one of the most celebrated planes of WWII in its entirely, and for good reason. Originally intended as a short-range interceptor, its variants took on many more roles. The Spitfire was famously powered by a Rolls Royce Merlin engine.
- Excellent climb rate
- Good turn rate
- High rate of fire, causing large amounts of damage at close range
- Short range
- Narrow undercarriage ground handling issues
2. North American P-51 Mustang
Another iconic figure, the Mustang’s performance soared when combined with the Merlin engine. Used to escort bombers, it actually had a greater range than Spitfires. It also excelled in ground attack missions.
- Very fast
- Excellent range
- Good visibility
- Not as good of a turn rate as the Spitfire
- Susceptible to ground fire
3. Focke-Wulf Fw 190
Don’t forget about this German menace. This plane started out as as a low-altitude high speed interceptor to counter the Spitfire. Its speed, climb, and weapon capabilities were shocking. Early versions lacked agility but that was soon remedied, and a fight between one of these and the Mustang was a fair one.
- Faster than the Spitfire
- Heavy armor
- Small cockpit
- Tended to stall when pushed to the limit
4. Messerschmitt Bf 109
Though a predecessor of the Focke-Wulf Fw 190, this plane was one of the best planes of all time. Great at high altitudes, it was one of the most important fighter of the Luftwaffe.
- Heavily armed
- Tough, simple airframe
- Could be outmaneuvered by the Mustang
- Tricky to take off and land
5. Hawker Hurricane
The Hawker Hurricane actually shot down more planes in the Battle of Britain than the Spitfire did. Though it may not have quite the same prestige, it’s a plane that you should seriously consider. Steady and well armed, the fabric covered Hurricane powered by a Rolls Royce Merlin was accurate and tough.
- Great gun platform
- Could turn inside a Spitfire
- Carbon monoxide leak in cockpits
- Not great on carrier landings
6. Grumman F6F Hellcat
The Hellcat was the great nemesis of the Zero. Rugged and well designed, this unholy beast of a carrier based fighter destroyed more enemy aircraft than any other Allied aircraft during the war (5,223). Powered by a Pratt & Whitney Double Wasp, it did so well that it was hardly modified at all.
- Performed well at all altitudes
- Great dive limit
- Better armor than the Corsair
- Slower than the Corsair
- Lower turn rate than the Zero
7. Vought F4U Corsair
This zoom and boom had all the star power. It was definitely one of, if not the most, capable carrier based fighter-bombers of the war. Some Japanese certainly regarded it as the most formidable.
- Faster than the Hellcat
- One of the best roll rates of WWII
- Lower turn rates than the Zero
- Initial issues with carrier landings
We could go on to include more, but you get the idea! Weigh your options carefully, and let us know which 3 are your top.