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Favorite tank killing aircraft of WW2.


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flynlion #61 Posted 04 June 2014 - 04:14 PM

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View PostChieftain WGA, on 03 June 2014 - 06:12 PM, said:

 

Well, right off the bat they'd have to explain why an aircraft with a 'Pursuit' and not 'Attack' designation found its fame shooting at ground targets...

 

Why are you so hung up on names and designations? The F-117 Stealth Fighter is clearly a bomber, so was the F-105 and the F-111. The A-10's official name is "Thunderbolt 2" so the Air Force must have thought the "Thunderbolt 1" was pretty good at ground attack.

 

The P-47 was originally designed as a short range point defense interceptor and as a result lacked the endurance needed for bomber escort. The P-51 had the range needed, partly because an air cooled radial engine will always burn more fuel than a comparable liquid cooled engine, but that same liquid cooling system made the Mustang vulnerable to ground fire. Net result: The P-51's shot down more planes while the P-47s blew up more tanks.


Edited by flynlion, 04 June 2014 - 04:21 PM.


Chieftain WGA #62 Posted 04 June 2014 - 06:16 PM

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F-117's name was as much deception as anything else, for the super-secret project. F-111 was conceived as a multi-role airframe from the beginning, for both air/ground and air/air use.. (Cue excuse for gratuitous photo of F-111 fighter role, I love this pic).

http://steeljawscrib...umman-f111b.jpg

F-105 is certainly more the odd duck, designed primarily for the ground role, but with enough air-air capability built in from the beginning to to be able to take care of itself in the air and qualify it as a fighter-bomber.

 

Either way, your second paragraph basically confirms my point. P-47 was designed for the air-air role, period. There is no indication that any consideration was given to the air-ground role short of subsequent modifications for necessities like hardpoints. You simply cannot take something designed purely for one role, put it into an entirely different role, and expect it to perform to the same standard as any other aircraft which was designed for that other role to begin with. Witness the furore over A-10 right now. When it's gone, F-16 will be the best battlefield attack aircraft in the US Air Force's inventory. Hooray for F-16. That doesn't mean it's as good as the purpose-designed aircraft, and with the arguable exception of the A-35 (which the US didn't use much as it had problems of its own), the US did simply did not go about designing an aircraft from the beginning for use over the front lines. Russians and Germans did.



OneSpike #63 Posted 04 June 2014 - 06:41 PM

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I guess we can talk a lot about "purpose-built" tank killers or planes that made good tank killers after they underperformed in their primary designation.  Examples are the P-40 Warhawk/Kittyhawk that was designed as a pursuit fighter (like the P-47) and yet found great success as a ground attack plane in the African theater.  It was a stable platform with good low-level performance that didn't need fighter escort.  The F4U Corsair did this in the Pacific theater as well - although there weren't many tanks to shoot at there.

On the other side, the Pe-2 Soviet dive bomber was used as a night fighter and even against Me-109s in 1941.  It was a crucial ground attack plane for the Soviet airforce before the Il-2 came along.  It thrived as a bomber first, then as a fighter.  The same could be said about the Ju-88 and He-111 that were later used in night fighter roles as they could carry bulky radars and upward firing 37 mm cannons.

I still can't get the images out of my head that I saw in several WWII books I read as a kid of the German armor after the skies cleared in the Battle of the Bulge.  Hundreds of tanks and other support vehicles burning on the side of the road that were caught in the open by P-47s.  They may not have envisioned them doing it on the designers table, the but the large, fast, stable platform with great dive characteristics and survivability forced its way into that role.  Just like I don't think they designed any "purpose-built" train killing planes, but those gun camera shots from the wings of P-47s are fun to watch.

The Stukas were used to great effect at the beginning of the war against French, Polish, Czech, and Soviet armor (as well as British and American armor in the desert).  However, once air superiority was lost, they were used that way less and less.  The Beauforts and P-40s were used by allies as stop-gaps until the Typhoons and the P-47s took over that role.  However, there were few tanks running around in the open across Europe by late 1944 early 1945.  The Soviet Il-2 was an awesome "purpose built" tank killer that excelled at Kursk and other engagements as the Soviet army pushed the Germans back.

I think they are all open for nomination in this thread - whether they started off as P designations, F designations, or B designations.



Gyrfalcon 642 #64 Posted 04 June 2014 - 10:06 PM

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 They are not on a par in lethality or survivability with purpose-designed aircraft such as the Hs 129 or IL-2. 

 

Depends on what you are trying to survive.  If you are talking about ground fire, I'll agree with you.  However if you are in neutral skies and you get jumped by a bunch of ME109 or FW190s, which would you rather be in a P-47 or a IL-2?

 

I'll agree that German and Russian attack aircraft would be more lethal in secure skies, but Western converted fighters would be more effective in contested skies.

 



Schlauen Wolf #65 Posted 04 June 2014 - 10:40 PM

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View PostChieftain WGA, on 04 June 2014 - 01:16 PM, said:

F-117's name was as much deception as anything else, for the super-secret project. F-111 was conceived as a multi-role airframe from the beginning, for both air/ground and air/air use.. (Cue excuse for gratuitous photo of F-111 fighter role, I love this pic).

http://steeljawscrib...umman-f111b.jpg

F-105 is certainly more the odd duck, designed primarily for the ground role, but with enough air-air capability built in from the beginning to to be able to take care of itself in the air and qualify it as a fighter-bomber.

 

Either way, your second paragraph basically confirms my point. P-47 was designed for the air-air role, period. There is no indication that any consideration was given to the air-ground role short of subsequent modifications for necessities like hardpoints. You simply cannot take something designed purely for one role, put it into an entirely different role, and expect it to perform to the same standard as any other aircraft which was designed for that other role to begin with. Witness the furore over A-10 right now. When it's gone, F-16 will be the best battlefield attack aircraft in the US Air Force's inventory. Hooray for F-16. That doesn't mean it's as good as the purpose-designed aircraft, and with the arguable exception of the A-35 (which the US didn't use much as it had problems of its own), the US did simply did not go about designing an aircraft from the beginning for use over the front lines. Russians and Germans did.

Those look like Phoenix missiles hung, did they really jam that radar in the nose, thats a giant sys array. I didnt think it would fit in a `vark. I know the GAU 8A was built before they had an airframe even designed  for it, Fairchild really stepped up. And dont forget about that Russian SU 25 Frogfoot, twin 30mm chainguns, buttload of FFAR's, the Hind-E and the FROG were the 2 aircraft I hoped to never see over our FAARP during Desert Shield/Storm. I'm still around so........

   I just dbl checked pic, WOW that is a CAT nose, holy cow!!!!!!!


Edited by LURKINGPANCAKE, 04 June 2014 - 10:42 PM.

 

                


Schlauen Wolf #66 Posted 04 June 2014 - 10:58 PM

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View PostChieftain WGA, on 03 June 2014 - 05:12 PM, said:

 

Well, right off the bat they'd have to explain why an aircraft with a 'Pursuit' and not 'Attack' designation found its fame shooting at ground targets...

For instance, the Bell P 39 Aircobra found its forte` as a choo-choo, and general ground attkr and was intended as an interceptor. 37mm right through the prop spinner and was mid-engined, I believe the Tuskeegee men had great success with them before the arrivals of the `stang and jugg. After all its "the man who makes the machine" when its all said, and, done with.  


 

                


Teufelhund98 #67 Posted 04 June 2014 - 11:10 PM

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View PostChieftain WGA, on 04 June 2014 - 11:16 AM, said:

F-117's name was as much deception as anything else, for the super-secret project. F-111 was conceived as a multi-role airframe from the beginning, for both air/ground and air/air use.. (Cue excuse for gratuitous photo of F-111 fighter role, I love this pic).

http://steeljawscrib...umman-f111b.jpg

F-105 is certainly more the odd duck, designed primarily for the ground role, but with enough air-air capability built in from the beginning to to be able to take care of itself in the air and qualify it as a fighter-bomber.

 

Either way, your second paragraph basically confirms my point. P-47 was designed for the air-air role, period. There is no indication that any consideration was given to the air-ground role short of subsequent modifications for necessities like hardpoints. You simply cannot take something designed purely for one role, put it into an entirely different role, and expect it to perform to the same standard as any other aircraft which was designed for that other role to begin with. Witness the furore over A-10 right now. When it's gone, F-16 will be the best battlefield attack aircraft in the US Air Force's inventory. Hooray for F-16. That doesn't mean it's as good as the purpose-designed aircraft, and with the arguable exception of the A-35 (which the US didn't use much as it had problems of its own), the US did simply did not go about designing an aircraft from the beginning for use over the front lines. Russians and Germans did.

Oh now I see the part where you say "in the US Air Force's inventory" cause I'd have to say that the F-15 and F-18 fill a better over the front lines role than the F-16


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flynlion #68 Posted 05 June 2014 - 04:06 PM

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View PostChieftain WGA, on 04 June 2014 - 02:16 PM, said:

Either way, your second paragraph basically confirms my point. P-47 was designed for the air-air role, period. There is no indication that any consideration was given to the air-ground role short of subsequent modifications for necessities like hardpoints. You simply cannot take something designed purely for one role, put it into an entirely different role, and expect it to perform to the same standard as any other aircraft which was designed for that other role to begin with. Witness the furore over A-10 right now. When it's gone, F-16 will be the best battlefield attack aircraft in the US Air Force's inventory. Hooray for F-16. That doesn't mean it's as good as the purpose-designed aircraft, and with the arguable exception of the A-35 (which the US didn't use much as it had problems of its own), the US did simply did not go about designing an aircraft from the beginning for use over the front lines. Russians and Germans did.

 

If your point was that the P-47 was not designed for tank busting than sure, I agree with you. As far as a purpose built aircraft always being better, I guess that depends on how you define "better". Sometimes cheaper is better  :coin:  Not always, but sometimes. The only statement that I really have an issue with is from a previous post:  "Analysis of P47 and Typhoon effectiveness showed they actually sucked at killing tanks". I'd like to see this analysis if it's publicly available. Sucked at killing tanks? Dem's fightin' words!  :izmena: The guys I know who flew the big Jug in the war claim that the only thing it sucked at was fuel economy. I believe them.

 

Getting back to the original thread title, the P-47 is still my "Favorite Tank Killing Aircraft of WW2"  :wub:

 

 

 



STR Spartacus #69 Posted 05 June 2014 - 05:11 PM

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Not much love for the P38? Have to say for me it's probably the Typhoon, but then being a brit I'm biased lol

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Chieftain WGA #70 Posted 05 June 2014 - 05:52 PM

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View PostLURKINGPANCAKE, on 04 June 2014 - 11:40 PM, said:

Those look like Phoenix missiles hung, did they really jam that radar in the nose, thats a giant sys array. I didnt think it would fit in a `vark. I 

 

 I just dbl checked pic, WOW that is a CAT nose, holy cow!!!!!!!

 

Yep. Was going to be used as a bomber interceptor, basically a long-range Phoenix delivery system. Bless 'em, they tried.

http://www.f-111.net...ges/carrier.jpg

http://2.bp.blogspot...Cleaned web.jpg

 

Actually, I wonder if anyone will make a model of the -B? That would be a cool conversation piece.

 

View PostLURKINGPANCAKE, on 04 June 2014 - 11:58 PM, said:

For instance, the Bell P 39 Aircobra found its forte` as a choo-choo, and general ground attkr and was intended as an interceptor. 37mm right through the prop spinner and was mid-engined, I believe the Tuskeegee men had great success with them before the arrivals of the `stang and jugg. After all its "the man who makes the machine" when its all said, and, done with.  

 

With whom did the P39 find its forte as a ground attack aircraft? Not the Western Allies over Europe, not the Soviets over the Eastern Front (Where it found great success as an air-air fighter), and I don't think it saw a hell of a lot of service in the Pacific or North Africa.

 

View Postflynlion, on 05 June 2014 - 05:06 PM, said:

 

If your point was that the P-47 was not designed for tank busting than sure, I agree with you. As far as a purpose built aircraft always being better, I guess that depends on how you define "better". Sometimes cheaper is better  :coin:  Not always, but sometimes. The only statement that I really have an issue with is from a previous post:  "Analysis of P47 and Typhoon effectiveness showed they actually sucked at killing tanks". I'd like to see this analysis if it's publicly available. Sucked at killing tanks? Dem's fightin' words!  :izmena: The guys I know who flew the big Jug in the war claim that the only thing it sucked at was fuel economy. I believe them.

 

Getting back to the original thread title, the P-47 is still my "Favorite Tank Killing Aircraft of WW2"  :wub:

 

 

 

 

When researching for my talk, I ran across a great dissertation by someone in the RAAF on the matter, damned if I can't find it now. However, you can find extracts from "Air Power at the Battlefront" here http://books.google.com/books?id=I10OjlPjcI0C&pg=PA108&lpg=PA108&dq=la+baleine+typhoon&source=bl&ots=5Fj7Eq_ddt&sig=zxXT2k2OMvaDuSRAZsYoP70wuBk&hl=en&sa=X&ei=pKSQU9PcB-Sk4gTSvoGAAg&ved=0CGsQ6AEwDQ#v=onepage&q&f=false, see page 103 

"A widely accepted historical view of the campaign in North-West Europe in 1944-45 is that Allied fighter-bombers inflicted heavy losses upon German armor.... Yet an unquestioning acceptance of such levels of destruction by historians can distort perceptions of the effectiveness of fighter-bomber attack upon armor. This is because, in terms of numbers of tanks actually destroyed, the allied fighter-bombers were far from being effective tank-killers."

 

 



FATAL ASSERTION #71 Posted 06 June 2014 - 03:50 AM

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My favorites on this topic are the two fighter planes in Battlefield:1943 You have either a zero or an f4u corsair (I think thats the model), and they both carry bombs as opposed to rockets, but get an ace in that cockpit and you will soon learn when to ditch that steel coffin and take a jeep instead, carefully, with ears and eyes on the skies! Sorry, op was probably asking for perspectives on real historical military vehicles, which killed real people. I much prefer the gaming equivalents for their replayability and ease of access, since the real deal costs between 3 and 7 million if you can find them on the open market.


WidowMaker1711 #72 Posted 06 June 2014 - 07:40 AM

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The P47 and Typhoon did excel at destroying the soft skinned vehicles and trains that were needed to supply the tanks with fuel, oil, ammo and food for crews. So they may not have been great tank killers in the traditional sense of the word but they killed their ability to fight back

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Schlauen Wolf #73 Posted 08 June 2014 - 03:15 AM

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CHIEFTAN YOU ROCK!!:medal:

 

   I wish I could remember the book, all that sticks out was a chapter relating to P39s knocking the snot out of a bunch of trains, and, that some of the pilots enjoyed the performance of them at lower altitude. But my memory could be dyslexic, and, I'm crossing neuropathways. And thinking of how the P38's performance was so much better "suited" to the Pacific AO, over the European AO.

 

  Eitherway I appreciate the knowledge you and this community share. AWSOME!!!

 

One last plane to add- Its the A10 w/ a big `ol prop, and, giant radial engine- A-1C/D SKY RAIDER :izmena:(" The SPADE ")- I'm pretty sure that plane won/saved the hearts of a lot of guys in a jungle in Southeast Asia. I think there are some still in service in South America- (not certain on that)


 

                


Victorious Nox #74 Posted 13 June 2014 - 12:17 PM

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View PostChieftain WGA, on 03 June 2014 - 04:59 PM, said:

 

I gave a talk at the 8th Air Force museum a few months ago, and I asked the lads what was the best ground attack aircraft that the Western Allies put into production in the war. I got a number of suggestions back, P47 was the leader.

 

The problem is that P47, Typhoon, A36... they weren't attack aircraft. They were fighters which were found wanting at their primary designed role, and put into service at something they were competent at because ground attack wasn't considered important enough to warrant designing airplanes for the role. They are not on a par in lethality or survivability with purpose-designed aircraft such as the Hs 129 or IL-2. Analysis of P47 and Typhoon effectiveness showed they actually sucked at killing tanks. (They had great morale effect, however, and did a reasonable number on soft targets)

Chief are you saying that the Typhoon was "ineffective" of destroying tanks, cause i can think of a whole load of situations where Typhoons where anything but "ineffective". 


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KuroFelidae #75 Posted 13 June 2014 - 12:28 PM

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THe very early version of the Gloster Meteor, perhaps the F.1 saw service right at the end of the war in ground strike missions. Not sure if it ever racked up a kill on a Tank though. Do like the Meteors though, very cool aircraft.

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Sargetn4 #76 Posted 13 June 2014 - 07:43 PM

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P38 LIGHTNING was a nasty beast

SkyStalker #77 Posted 14 June 2014 - 05:41 PM

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Mosquito. All wood frame so it was super light and fast. There is also one being rebuilt about an hour south of where I live in the Bomber Command Museum (used to be called the Nanton Lancaster Museum) in Nanton Alberta which incidentally just finished rebuilding their Lancaster bomber (my fav bomber along side the B-17). Neither of them will ever fly again but they will both come out for run ups every once in a while.

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Tiberius67 #78 Posted 22 June 2014 - 02:32 AM

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View PostWidowMaker1711, on 24 May 2014 - 10:54 PM, said:

 

500lb gp he. Just a little bit OVERKILL. 50 cal will decimate 1 inch plate steel easy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The bombs were for Japanese shipping....they'd fly just off the deck and skip them into the side of a freighter, which usually resulted in her being sent to the bottom.

 

View PostMashdTaytuz, on 01 June 2014 - 03:05 AM, said:

Not to get off topic, but I saw the Stuka mentioned. I thought I'd share this bit about the Dauntless from wikipedia.

 

"During its combat service, the SBD Dauntless was an excellent naval scout plane and arguably the world's best dive bomber. It possessed long range, good handling characteristics, maneuverability, potent bomb load capacity, great diving characteristics, defensive armament and ruggedness. In most of these characteristics, the SBD was superior to both of the Axis Forces' main fixed-gear dive bomber designs — the German Junkers Ju 87 Stuka and the Japanese Aichi D3A "Val" — and any dive bomber possessed by the Allies' Royal Air Force or the Soviet Air Force."

 

View PostKiwi the Fox, on 03 June 2014 - 08:30 AM, said:

The Dauntless was also designated and used as an emergency interceptor for Aircraft Carrier Combat Air Patrol should the F4F Wildcat CAP be off intercepting incoming "bogies".  By all accounts its maneuverability and ruggedness

stood it in good stead when dealing with Japanese A6M "Zero"  fighters used by the Imperial Japanese Navy during the war.  It was also a commonly held belief in the USN that the successor to the Dauntless, the Curtiss SB2C Helldiver, was in fact an inferior dive bomber to the Dauntless and definitely not well loved by its crews

 

 

 

The Speedy D gutted the Japanese Navy...wasn't used for anti-Tank work though. There was a Dauntless pilot who shot down two Japanese fighters with his Dauntless, and rammed a third with a wingtip. They decided to re-assign him to fighters, where he got seven more before the war ended.



SixthSubset765 #79 Posted 27 June 2014 - 10:58 PM

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Geez ... except for the Italian planes mentioned, I recall having built models of all of these planes when I was younger.  I even had one of those fuel-powered flying models of the Stuka and Hurricane.   Unfortunately I was stupid and gave them away.  The Stuka model even had a control to drop the bomb.




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