Supermarine MKs 24 Spitfire

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I really hate it when someone says that the P-51D is the beat fighter made, and their only argument is: 'BECAUSE IT HAD RANGE! '.

I won't deny that the Mustang was a great aircraft, but range is not the be all, end all of everything. Having the range doesn't matter if you are still going to get shot down in a dogfight or in regular combat, and admittedly all planes did get shot down.

When it comes to the best 'pure' fighter by pure combat performance, it hand's down goes to the Spitfire. It fought in WWII from almost day one right up to the end on nearly every single front. From Britain to South East Asia. It fought nearly every fighter the enemy threw at it and through a combination of adaptability and skill, the Spitfire was able to fight them. Including the boyfriend-109, the A6M Zero and the FW-190.

More Spitfires in all their variants were produced than any other allied fighter and was the allied fighter to continue to be produced throughout the entire war. ...more

In the Spanish Civil War, Germany's Messerschmitt boyfriend 109 began its combat debut, and from there became the most feared fighter plane of the world, as it crushed the enemy, but like all things, that status would have to end. While its end was gradual as other aircraft caught up to the boyfriend 109 E (Emil), such as the P-40, Yak-1, and Hawker Hurricane, the end of the 109's total superiority was solidified by the Spitfire. Of course, I don't think the Mk. 24 deserves spot on this list as it was a post World War 2 fighter (by the way, the Mk. 24 is powered by a Rolls Royce Griffon, as were many late Spitfires, while earlier versions used the Merlin), the Mk. XIV or Mk. XVIII certainly could. However, the Spitfires are most famous for their performance in the Battle of Britain (of course, the Hurricane deserves just as much or even more recognition), where they excelled in point defense and intercepting the Luftwaffe's fighters and bombers. The Mustang's higher status is simply ...more

WHOEVER SAID SPITFIRE IS NUMBER 1 KNOWS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ABOUT COMBAT! First off some children here have stated that the Spitfire "Won the Battle of Britain"... Guess those idiots never studied WW2. Hitler lost the Battle of Britain when he went against advice and switched from taking out the RAF to bombing London. We know it was a fluke mistake that started the London then Berlin bombings but before that the RAF was on its last leg EVEN WITH THE SPITFIRE. There was nothing that the Spitfire did during this critical period that the Hurricane could not in more numbers. The Spitfire was actually under gunned, stalled due to poor fuel intake design, had poor landing gear like the 109, but could not sustain damage like the 109. Many British pilots agreed with the captured German pilots that the 109 was the better aircraft. The Spitfire was IN NO WAY A WAR WINNER. It was a purely defensive fighter that had such limited range it never did the things the Mustang did ALL THE TIME like fly ...more - MrRight1

Basically the ultimate piston engined fighter of WW2 along with the Hawker Tempest - awesome performance - the Mustang remember was built to a British specification which incorporated all the lessons learned with the earlier Spitfires - without the Rolls engine it was mediocre - so see it as a Spitfire development - basically they are on par with each other!

The Spitfire's wing design meant that it gave ample warning of a stall and, even when in a stall, the ailerons were still effective, so comparing statistics is not the whole story. Young inexperienced pilots (that's most of them) could fly the Spitfire to the limit with confidence, whereas with most other aircraft, only a really experienced pilot would dare to take his aircraft to the limit.

Result : Spitfires could perform well irrespective of who flew them, other types were often not being flown to their full potential, unless in the hands of an expert. The horrific accident rates during the war shows the cost of young men in aircraft which were difficult to handle.

This is really stupid. If you want to include the Spitfire as one of the best fighters in WW 2 that's fine but to call out the Mk 24 ( specific model); a plane that saw no real combat action, came at the very tail end of the war and produced in extremely limited numbers. You want to put at #1. That is too bizarre to take seriously.

Great Britain's Hawker Hurricane should be listed alongside its Supermarine Spitfire. For those two fighter planes fought alongside each other when they defeated the German Luftwaffe in 1940. Both shared the same fantastic Rolls Royce Merlin engine (which much later made the P-51 Mustang what it was), but the Hawker Hurricane, described by the experts as a better 'gun platform', had a higher 'kill' rate than did the beautiful Spitfire.

It is useful to remember that the Spitfires being built at the end of the war were far more capable than those being built in 1939/40. Yes it did have an achilles heel with its limited range but it was designed as a point defense fighter. It was highly maneuverable, had a very impressive rate of climb and was very fast. Some were fitted with drop tanks and they were used over the European mainland as photo-reconnaissance units.

The best interceptor fighter of the war and a joy to fly. "Like strapping on an angel's wings". Definitely faster than the Mustang.
Mustang, Spitfire and Zero were assessed by RAF technical team as the best dog fighters. Spitfire had range and centre of gravity issues, especially with Gryphon engines, so fitting tanks was a problem. Zero had fragility issues.

Surveys like this constitute opinion. What may be more interesting are the 'wanna be' craft which never made it due to design, production and political problems. Interesting to see all these aircraft computer gamed in an impartial environment. Many times comparisons like these are classic 'apples versus oranges' scenarios. In other words one fights with what is given...even the Brewster Buffalo in the hands of Finn and Dutch pilots fared well against ostensibly better aircraft. An Australian Wirraway (down under version of the AT-6 Texan/SNJ/A-27) supposedly shot down a Zero over the Dutch East Indies. Still, one must start somewhere.

The spitfire is the iconic plane of the battle of britain and saved britain from being bombed flat by German bombers.

I admit the P-51 is a truly great plane but the original plane could barely get off the ground with its mediocre engine so they had to use a merlin engine from the spitfire to make it fly properly.

Everyone knows the Spitfire was the fastest, most maneuverable, heavily armed fighter of WW2, it makes me laugh at this list to see how many awful long range US Pacific fighters have been posted. Obviously an American made list. I'm German by the way so no bias.

This plane was definitely the best prop plane of WW2, combining agility, fire power and a powerful engine. american planes were usually slow and sluggish. German ones were reliable and had an excellent dive but in dogfights spitfire had the upper hand, french, Russian and Japanese planes aren't even worth putting on this list as they had major flaws, and the french were out of the war early on. Also it was incredible how it advanced from it early stages to what it became at the end of the war, 24 marks and many more sub versions in 6 years! - varikor

= Fast, heavily armed and maneuverable with great climb/acceleration rates.
- = Made of wood. (FRAGILE) No range.

TOP SPEED: 450MPH.
ENGINE: 1,230HP Rolls Royce V-12 Merlin II
ARMAMENT: 80. 303inch Browning guns. 4 - 20mm cannons.
RANGE: 395 miles. - corebare32

Those two planes DID save Great Britain. I believe the war would have, had Great Britain not been saved, I would hate to think what would have happened. Great Britain was the biggest thorn in Hitler's side, the first boot up Hitlers ass Our greatest ally, our home away from home, and there courage was phenomenal. I am an American, and a Great Fan Of Roosevelt and Churchill.

The epitome of the World War II fighter, and remarkably adept for how early it was designed. The P-51 may be a superior fighter, but it must be remembered that it was designed after the spit and had all the advantages of American resources.

The spitfire is the most beautiful fighter aircraft to take to the sky hands down!

There is so much rubbish spoken about the Mustang which to be honest I think is overrated. All it had over the Spitfire was range and stability. The Spoitfire was generally faster, had a much higher rate of climb, a faster roll rate and a faster turn. In short, the Spitfire was a thoroughbred dog fighter. The Mustang was a multi role combat aircraft. There was one American ace in WW2 (I think his name was Brown) who flew both types. He said that in a dogfight, the Spitfire would win 99 times out of a hundred.

Oh dear! The Spitfire was the ONLY fighter to be built throughout the war and right into 1946! It faced everything the Germans had, including the enigmatic ME262 and beat it! Come on guys! You need to really brush up on your histories. Yes the P51 had greater range but the speed and firepower goes once again to the MK 24 Spit with a top speed of 490mph.

Nothing comes close! Where have I heard that before! :-)

A prewar aircraft that survived throughout the war. It served in many significant battles during the war. Built and designed after the Supermarine S.6 racer of the earlier1930's, it was much more faster and elegant than it's rival Hawker Hurricane. With 24 variations of it's kind and the Seafire which served even in the Korean War. A great aircraft.

The Spitfire had great firepower and it could climb to a very high altitude at a very fast rate of speed. With the addition of a bubble canopy it allowed the pilot to have very good visibility.

Why would you pick an airplane that didn't go into service until 1946?

The Spitfire life saver, with the ground strategy in place, along with Hawker Hurricane and the heroism of the pilots which made sure this island could be used as a platform for winning the Second World War.

The Supermarine Spitfire is a pure badass with a high top speed of 454 miles per hour.It is one of the most known WWII aircraft of all time.I first heard of this amazing aircraft when I was something like 6 in first grade, where I found out about it in a WWII book.It had arnamants like strong bombs and powerful missiles plus awesome guns

The Spitfire was constantly updated througout the war. The performance figures of the late marques are vastly different to the earlier models (A fact that, it seems, Discovery Channel has yet to "discover"). It was superior to the Mustang in every respect except range. (However, the two planes were designed to fulfill very different objectives). The American ace, William R Dunn said that in a dogfight between the two, the Spitfire would win 99 times out of a hundred.

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