Best Fighter Planes of World War II

If you were a fighter pilot during WWII and you're going to fly over Europe and the Pacific, you will be in dog fights. You will as an escort for bombers over Europe, and air to ground support in both theatres. You will also strafe ground targets and ships.

Which plane would you want to fly?

Things to consider: Top speed and maneuverability at high and low altitudes. Durability. Visability out of the cockpit. Safety. Armament. Range and overall flying performance.

The Contenders: Page 3

41 Messerschmitt Me 209

A very interesting aircraft of ww2

42 Macchi C.202

Those who know their aircraft would add this gem to the top ten. The culmination of long line of top performers dating back to the 1920s from a highly successful Italian design bureau the "Thunderbolt" was a very capable aircraft. Its lack of prominence in the list is perhaps because there's been few WWII films that focus on the air war over North Africa, Italy and the Meditteranean. It certianly ranked way above the Zero and the Me262 (novel as that was). As for the Yak 3 - well yes of course the German pilots on the Eastern front ranked it high. There was little else to compare! The only other fighters of concequence in that region were a few Hurricanes donated to the Soviets, and the undergunned, underpowered IAR80 working with the Nazis.

43 Messerschmitt Bf109 G-14

Was absolute beast. Very well-powered. It was armed with a powerful mk108 rapid-fire 30 millimeter cannon and 2 13 millimeter machine guns. There was extra space for extra armament. Sometimes it ended up having 3 30 millimeter cannons and 2 13 millimeter heavy machine guns. Could make very successful diving attacks on planes and pull up to avoid getting shot. Just like the boyfriend 109 k, the boyfriend 109 G-14 could out-perform a P-51D, a P-47D, and even a spitfire mk 24 or typhoon

Of all the ww2 planes on this list, and they are all very cool, the GUSTAV is my favorite. so cool. a 30 mm cannon firing through hub, 2 20mms in the wings and two 13mm mgs behind the awesome bomber killer. I knew a B17 pilot who told me the bomber crews were scared as hell when the screw painted prop hubs came roaring through with cannons blazing.

44 Kawasaki Ki-61 ' Hien '

The Ki-61 proved to be a highly-effective fighter of the Japanese Army Air Corps. It was armed with 2X 20 mm cannons and 2X12.7 mm or 2X13.2 mm machine guns. It could outmaneuver the zero and could easily outmaneuver all American and British opponents. There was also an improvement in speed. It could outspeed the Ki-43 and the zero. The allied code name was ' Tony '.
Very underrated aircraft.

45 Grumman F4F Wildcat

A big fat armored plane with a terrific punch of 6.50 caliber machine guns. It was the main carrier fighter of the US from 1940 to 1943. Because the of its armor, it could stand a lot of punishment and bring the pilot back alive.

One downside of the F4f was it manual hand cranked landing gear. The pilot had to crank a lever around to lower and raise the landing gear, and if it wasn't fully crank and locked it would spring back and result in injury to the injury.

The reason the F6F hellcat was thought to be better, was the F4F took out the better fighter pilots the Japanese had to throw against them early in the war. In return the hellcat received credit for it.

My favorite plane :) was the best navy fighter plane used at midway and before

The wild cat had the most amount of damage- least amount of fame

V 5 Comments
46 Gloster Meteor

What about the mosquito or the German Stuka, though both are bomb carriers they were used in dogfights. The Typoon and Kitty hawk and Hunter Fury would all outclass a Yak or a Mitsubishi Zero, and I can't help but feel that some of the aeroplanes selected here are just based on their 'cult' status or their unique looks such as the corsairwith its folding wings, or the mustang which is just a brash US-pimped up spitfire.

The first allyed jet, it's a shame it never faced a 262 as it could have made an interesting battle

47 Mitsubishi J2M Raiden
48 Mitsubishi A7M Reppu
49 Grumman TBF Avenger

My favorite plane

Was that snail mail in the air

Why is this in fighters?

50 Polikarpov I-16
51 Nakajima Ki-43

The Ki-43 massively produced for the Japanese Army Air Force. It was a small and light armored but a highly maneuverable target that allied pilots would find it difficult to takes these planes down. They can reach max speeds up to 500km/h and are mainly armed with x2 20mm cannons. Allied code name is the Oscar

52 Messerschmitt Me 163

In addition the 163 was the only operational tail-less and only operational rocket fighter

It may have not done much to alter the course of the war but it performed better than anything in the sky's. In 3 minutes it could be over 30000 ft. Its acceleration was far better than that of Korean war jets and could climb at 70 degrees and still accelerate. The main drawback was its volitile fuels and 6:45 seconds of fuel.

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53 Lavochkin La-7

Very powerful engine, great stability at high speed, accelerated very quickly, and it was the most powerful Soviet plane: 3xB20 20mm cannons.

This was a better La-5 that was more than capable of fighting all German planes on the Eastern Front. It was released late in the war, but it cleaned up all of the new fw 190s that unluckily encountered it

Also one of most forgotten fighter.
Not so much produced as Yaks so much of fame went to yak's. But Lavockhin La5fn was probably airplane that turned tide in east, available at large at mid 1943. Best fighter prior was probably (at east) lend-lease P39 from USA. First Soviet fighter that gave Fritz hell in the skies.

Superior maneuverability at high speeds than any other. Outkills spitfire, bf109 any fw 190 simply because its faster and more maneuverable at high almost jet speeds. You can't see it coming because it can climb 2 times faster before engage and dive on you. it can outchase you in climbing it can outturn anything but spitfires which are much slower and can't cope with hawk attacks of boom and zoom. when they outturn La7 it simpli can dissapear with better performance up or flat or downhill and strike again.

54 Kawasaki Ki-100

Though few in number and slow on paper, this Japanese fighter was matched only by the post-war Bearcat in a dogfight!

It was the only Japanese fighter that that could cope with 3 Ki 84s at the same time in mock combat (superior climbing turn).

It could match P-51s in a dive.

It was tough and reliable. No other Japanese fighters were better protected, and the vulnerable unreliable inline powerplant finally was replaced by a reliable radial engine that almost all other Japanese late-war fighters lacked.

It was easy for the green pilot to master. In 1945 this mattered.

It was lighter than its Ki 61-II forbear, and could beat it even up high in mock combat.

Its high speed 20mm cannons were paired in the cowl for lethal accuracy regardless of range.

Even if synchronizing cut their rate in half (from 850 to 425 rpm each) its still 14 rps combined (close to the uninterrupted rate of the navy wing- cannon on the Zero 52).

The ...more

55 de Havilland Vampire

This plane, the Vampire, was a very good jet. It had a decent amount of fuel too.

56 Messerschmitt Bf 110

Great speed, armament, but can be easily outmaneuvered, since it's twin-engined, and not very maneuverable.

Yeah that comment was painful to read. the boyfriend 110 may not have been the most maneuverable plane in the sky, but there is no way in hell a fat arse b 17 is going to "out turn" it without breaking.

"A b-17 can out turn the boyfriend-110" This comment broke my Bull-O-meter. -_-

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57 Lockheed F-80 Shooting Star

Although this plane was ready by '43 to be produced, the U.S. Army decided not to produce it until after the war. It was as fast and maneuverable as the German jet fighters, and probably would have defeated them in battle.

58 B-17 Flying Fortress

Best bomber and plane that could take the most damage

This list is about FIGHTER planes, not bombers. Why would you include a bomber on a list about fighters? - AlexTopTens

It was just plane awesome... Get it plane awesome

This is not a fighter, either is the German Condor, or the B-29!

Why is this in the fighter section exactly?

V 3 Comments
59 De Havilland Mosquito

Great plane that could dog fight and outrun 109's, fly to Berlin, could carry a bomb load equal to a B17 drop it on Germany and outrun the 109's home. Yes it is made of wood and the bodies were made in furniture factories in the US and Great Britain. Had a crew of 2 and if these deadly planes would have been used as bombers a lot more air crews members could have been saved because when a B17 went down 10 aircrew members went down with it. B17's could not out run German fighters. This very underrated plane could fly a long way, kick you in the butt, and then leave you in it's wake on the way home and if you were unfortunate enough to catch him he could dog fight with you too. Should definitely be top 10 if not higher.

Most versatile aircraft of the war. Also fastest plane in the world when it entered service. Was so good the Germans awarded 2 kills if a pilot could shot one down. Developed into the Hornet which was Eric Brown, the greatest pilot ever (look him up), said was his favourite prop plane ever!

So versatile, fast and devastating firepower. The concept to use wood when metal was so scare, and using available carpentry skills was simply brilliant and the result sublime

From recon to dogfight from ground support to clandestine operations the Mossie was the alround aircraft. The words deadly in all aspects springs to mind. There is not a mission it could not handle. There is a story and it may be true I don't know that an unarmed Mosquito returning home from photo recon chased off a flight of Bf109s disturbing the peace of of a PBY Catalina. Like I say it's a story.
But one other thing why is the Beaufighter not in this list

V 17 Comments
60 Messerschmitt Me 263

Had all the strengths of the ME-163, such as unmatched speed, good handling, simple rugged construction, and excellent climb and max altitude performance, but having retractable landing gear made it much less hazardous to take off and land. It was also considerably larger than the 163, making more room for fuel and ammo. Superb and revolutionary design all the way.

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