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Author Topic: Best Plane  (Read 47300 times)

Offline bazooka

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Best Plane
« on: April 17, 2005, 03:11:20 AM »
Hello everyone, I am in a American Military History class at my university and we recently covered aviation in the military. A question from one of the students was "Which plane was the best?" Our professor, being an ex-army officer, said that to answer that question would take too much time away from our lectures. Instead we were all invited to see if we could find out which plane might be considered the best. Some planes were thrown out onto the floor as to which one might take the title, but no answer was found. I thought posting this question on this forum would be a great way to get an idea of what other aviation lovers think and why? Of course the list I presented is only a very small fraction of all the great planes through out history. If anyone else has a plane they would like to include,that is not in the list, please do mention it. Or if they want, can start another poll with diferent options.

thank you all for your time :)

P.S. I know some of the options above are planes that are post World War 2, but I thought I include a few modern planes for the poll. Hope no one minds too much :-[
« Last Edit: April 17, 2005, 03:14:39 AM by bazooka »

Offline Ramon

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Re: Best Plane
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2005, 03:22:37 PM »
Hello Bazooka,

In my opinion is the P-51 Mustang the best of the rest.
Its magnificant engine sound is one of them........ :P
No, to be honest. It had the best range to guide bombers into military Germany, and could still make a dogfight.
It had the speed and the firepower, so in my opinion this is the best plane.

However not my favorit at all, but to be realistic is the F-15 also very close.
But to get sentimental....... ::) ;).......in my opinion is the F-14 Tomcat the best they ever made.
"the world famous and most beautifull long-range fighter ever produced, the F-14 Tomcat. The Tomcat has a superb performance, excellent manoeuvrability and a long-range weapon system. It can be launched from a carrier during day or night, whatever the weather condition is, it can attack multiple targets on an unparalleled distance, and has a timeless and beautiful body. "

Best Regards, Ramon.
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Offline Webmaster

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Re: Best Plane
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2005, 03:29:25 PM »
These questions are always hard, since it all depends which criteria are the most important once. The aircraft can be judged on:

- combat record
- number produced
- number of export customers
- technical specifications like speed
- technology advance
- aerodynamics
- and many more

In the end, it often comes down to which aircraft your personal favorite is. Even when comparing aircraft from the same generation, it is difficult to say which one is the best. When doing these polls, it is probably better to make categories for each type of aircraft (fighter, bomber, transport, etc.) and the generation or a certain time in history (e.g. ww2).

In your list, the F-22 is the best performing fighter aircraft, because it has the latest developments and weapons. However the others all played their significant part in history and today already, where the F-22 still has to prove itself.
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Offline Zeke

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Re: Best Plane
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2005, 04:01:03 PM »
How tough is this?!... :o
To actually chose the best...not just the most influential.
I guess that the P-51 has had the greatest single impact of any of the ones on offer and the F-22 SHOULD be better than anything else out there, but this is all so subjective, I couldn't bring myself to vote for a soul-less, untried untested machine like that but in the same breath and old war-horse P-51 is just too dated...AAAAGH! what a cjoce!... :-\ :-\
Do not despise the snake for having no horns. for who is to say it will not become a Dragon?
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Offline Eagle16

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Re: Best Plane
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2005, 04:06:56 AM »
I think its the F-15 Eagle, because he already proved himself and in his combat record he won all air to air battles.

Offline Webmaster

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Re: Best Plane
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2005, 01:47:22 PM »
Yes, but it never faced a Su-27... did it? And if it would be up against the opposition that the P-51 or Spitfire faced, the record would without doubt look different. That said, the F-15 is still one of the greatest fighters ever built.
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Offline Viggen

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Re: Best Plane
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2005, 02:49:54 PM »
I voted for Spitfire, but then you cant compare oldtimers with todays advanced fighters. Its like comparing Stirling Moss with Michael Schumacher, two diffrent eras.

But you can always try to imagin two legends meeting and settling the score. Spitfire Vs F16 Falcon or P51 Mustang Vs F15 Eagle, or why not let the 109 fight it out with a Mig29.. he he.  :P
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Offline Webmaster

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Re: Best Plane
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2005, 07:52:48 PM »
You mean something like this? In formation flying the classics win, any slower and the jet begins to stallĀ  ;D

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« Last Edit: April 21, 2005, 07:54:57 PM by Webmaster »
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Offline Goose

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Re: Best Plane
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2005, 11:01:26 PM »
I voted for the Mosquito.
Being an avid aviation fan, pilot and history buff I will second the statement made by someone before that you can't compare modern and past aircraft. It is very difficult. Additionally whenever anyone asked me which was the best aircraft of all time I alway reply  "the one which can perform it's intended role, and make the greatest impact." Galland when asked what he needed to defeat the English during the battle of Britain said "A squadron of Spifires!" Survivability and support requirements are also improtant factors. For example an F-15 and F-14 require much more maintenance than an F-16 or F-18.

The adaptability of the aircraft is also important. I didn't choose the P-51 since I think it is the best fighter of WWII. Ground attack was a minor role for it (A-36 Apache). Additionally it was better than the Spifire as an escort but equal as a dogfighter! See what I mean about intended roles. The Spifire was designed to intercept incoming German bombers over Britian not escort bombers to Germay. The mosquito is kinda like an F-4 Phantom, capable at everything. But the Phantom still wasn't the best dogfighter.

In the end as Galland said  "ONLY THE SPIRIT OF ATTACK BORN OF A BRAVE HEART WILL BRING SUCCESS TO ANY AIRCRAFT NO MATTER HOW ADVANCED IT MAY BE".

Offline Goose

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Re: Best Plane
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2005, 11:06:24 PM »
Eagle16 and Webmaster it is true that the Flanker and Eagle never met in actual combat but during exercises with India the USAF F-15C lost against Indian SU-30s.

Offline Webmaster

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Re: Best Plane
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2005, 01:47:44 AM »
Yes, but that's not the reason why I thought of the Su-27 when talking about the F-15 for being the best fighter.

Because I think that exercise outcome was overrated, and that's coming from someone preferring Flankers. The Su-30 has a two man crew, with one concentrating on operating the radar and weapons systems. The Flanker is also more agile, but I don't think that played a major role in these fights. The F-15C has one pilot to deal with it all and is an older design. In my opinion, we don't know enough about the exercise conditions, to draw conclusions the way they are drawn by the media. For example how did the Indians engage them, with the modern R-77? Or with the off-boresight R-73 while the F-15C still carries the older AIM-9 sidewinders?
It may have looked different, if it was a Su-27. Also the F-15C crews operate mostly with AWACS backup, which wasn't included in this exercise as far as I know. Also the USAF might wanted to justify the need for the F/A-22, which was at the time being questioned by politicians and the planned acquisition numbers were subject to major cuts. Then, this was one of the first US-India exercises, I'm not saying they let them win, but I can imagine this effected reports about it.

That said, I am not saying that the Su-27/30 is not a great aircraft and does not exceed the F-15s performance. But I wouldn't jump to the conclusion of it being superior, or in our little poll being the better one. Without the F-15, the Soviets wouldn't have needed a performance fighter like the Su-27. The F-15 is a 30 year old design. The Typhoon embarrased the hell out of the F-15Cs in a mock dogfight, but I don't hear much about that anymore. Nope, the fact that a Russian fighter being exported to almost any potential buyer outperformed a US fighter is far more interesting for everyone, with the exception of maybe Boeing who tries to sell F-15 variants. But even they can use this outcome to market their upgrades and prove the neccessity of advanced radar and self-defence improvements.

Once the Indian Su-30MKI shows up with the TVC and canards, I am sure the F-15C gets beaten in a dogfight, just like the Typhoon did. You are comparing planes of different generations then. The F-15C is going out, the Su-30MKI is entering service. So it wouldn't be fair to compare those anyway.
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Offline Goose

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Re: Best Plane
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2005, 04:35:17 AM »
All valid points Niels, the two aircraft are from different generations.  The F-15C used in the exercise though were from the Alaska wing and incorporate some of the latest updates to the charlie eagle. These included helmet off-boresight targeting for simulated AIM-9X shots. The exercise involved as far as I know no AWACS support for either side and no long range missle shots for either side. The primary weapons for the Indians were R-73.  The Flankers played a minor role. This exercise produced substance mostly for a discussion on tactics. The USAF blamed their apparent lack of success on the prevention of Long Range missle shots and that the aircraft weren't equipped with advanced sysnthetic aperature radar. Like you pointed out used as excuses for not winning and justification for F/A-22 and updates to the F-15.

 



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