Best War Planes Ever

The best plane ever used by the Armed forces of any country.
The Top Ten
1 Supermarine Spitfire

The Spitfire was actually of all-metal monocoque construction and was designed as a point-defense fighter. This was a role it accomplished with ease. I have looked at the comments made about the Mustang, and some of them are fundamentally untrue.

The Spitfire was more maneuverable, had a much better rate of climb, and a much tighter turn. All around, it was a much better dogfighter. The Mustang (and let's not forget it was originally built for our friends across the pond) had radically different design criteria and was pretty much the world's first MRCA. It was a fantastic airplane but not an out-and-out fighter.

2 P-51 Mustang

Hmm... best war planes of all time? Definitely the Mustang over the Spitfire. Why don't we look at facts? The P-51 has been in service much longer than the Spitfire, has many more variants, has greater range, is much faster, could dive better, could climb better, and was much more durable (though not extremely durable).

Overall, the P-51 was much better in combat, yet some people think the Spitfire is better just because of maneuverability? Laugh out loud. I am not saying that the Spitfire is a bad plane because it was great, but it was definitely not as good as the Mustang.

3 F 14 Tomcat

The F-14 Tomcat with TF-30 was tested at about Mach 2.44-2.46. The F-15 Eagle has rarely gone that fast and is limited to Mach 2.3 due to safety concerns with the wings and airframe. The Tomcat, because of its variable geometry wings, even with the older TF-30 engines, is theoretically capable of the same top speed as the F-111, Mach 2.5+, due to its variable geometry wings, but is about 10,000 pounds lighter than the F-111.

With the new GE-F110 engines that provided the Tomcat with a 30% increase in thrust, it certainly surpassed its theoretical limit of Mach 2.4. However, due to a lack of funding for testing and other upgrades that were planned for the simplification of maintenance, no one knows the top speed of the F-14B and F-14D Tomcats. I would imagine Mach 2.65?

4 SR-71 Blackbird

An engineering marvel. Everything but the engines was built from scratch. Also, they never lost a plane or a crew member on a mission. No other aircraft can claim that.

Fastest fighter ever and stealth technology make it the best.

It is the fastest jet, has long range, and never lost a plane or crew member. These make it the best.

5 F-22 Raptor

The F-22 was in simulated actual maneuvers against a ratio of six to one. The F-22 took all others out, some without even knowing the Raptor was there. This plane is cutting-edge and will most likely be the last fighter jet to be manned, as it can fly past what a human can endure in G-forces. Its capability, stealth, and abilities are far above what any other country has or can produce in numbers.

For those who say the F-15 is faster, you're obviously uneducated on your jets. This is the fastest jet and most maneuverable. It is worth the cost.

6 Lancaster Bomber

The introduction of this plane in 1942 changed the bombing campaign for the RAF. The bombsights fitted were far superior to anything that went before. All the best bombing accuracy figures in WWII were obtained using the SABS bombsight in the Lanc. This was a semi-computerized electromechanical sight that was developed because the Americans wouldn't give the RAF their Norden bombsight (which was highly overrated).

Think of Peenemünde, the St. Nazaire submarine pens, the Renault factory, Tirpitz, the Coupole, the viaducts after D-Day. The list goes on and on. The bomb-carrying capacity was also far greater than any other Allied bomber.

7 Mitsubishi A6M Zero

Stanley Winfield "Swede" Vejtasa shot down Zeros by dogfighting them in a Dauntless dive bomber! He could out-turn the Zeros because anything over a six G turn would rip the Zeros' wings off. So would a high-speed dive. See the Dogfights episode "Long Odds" on YouTube for Swede's dogfight.

Zeros sucked at everything except rolling fights because of their high roll rate. Stay in high G turns, and they'd lose.

When this was built, it was far ahead of any other fighter around. It could outmaneuver anything it went up against. Even at the end of WWII, it achieved an amazing kill ratio of 12-1 over China. It was the first ideal superiority fighter. The Mitsubishi A6M Reisen should most definitely be in the top ten.

8 F-15 Eagle

Different eras spurred different favorites. I was surprised there was no love for the P-38 here at all. All in all, the record speaks across all eras: never shot down is an amazing stat and must be acknowledged. That is what superiority is all about!

Yes, the other guys have stealth, super maneuverability, all the best gadgets and gizmos, but when it comes down to getting in a knife fight with the other guy, the Eagle will always come out on top. Its record speaks for itself.

The best fighter jet ever. Never lost in air-to-air combat, has the ability to fly with only one wing after an accident (I'm not kidding, it actually can fly and land after that), and looks really, really great.

9 A-10 Thunderbolt II

Without a doubt, this plane is the most feared by many countries. In Afghanistan, they call it the "Death Machine" and say, "When you see it, don't bother running away or else you'll die tired."

This plane is also "the most survivable plane ever built." It's beautiful, and tanks are more scared of this weapon of destruction than anything else. This thing did phenomenally in the first Gulf War.

Go on Google and search "23 tanks destroyed in one day" and guess which plane did that. Oh, the A-10 Thunderbolt II, and it was just one of them. Everyone knows it would take multiple F-22 Raptors to destroy that many.

If this plane was designed for shooting other jets, it would be number one on this list. This jet is the best, with an additional 30 mm cannon too, so yeah, NUMBER 1!

10 Harrier II

Gravity-defying multi-purpose aircraft with the ability to take off from anywhere.

It can hover, making it one of the most maneuverable planes ever.

The Newcomers

? Airco DH.1
? Nieuport 16
The Contenders
11 Fokker Dr.I

This was the plane that the Red Baron flew!

12 Messerschmitt Bf 109

IL-2 Sturmovik experience

Me 109 G2 - The best climb rate (except probably the Spitfire Mk IX). The incredibly low stall speed (the best ever). The low-speed turning. The cannon was good against bombers, and in the hands of an expert, it was good against fighters too, but I would prefer the wing-mounted machine guns without the cannon against fighters. Its high-speed performance seems to be bad, although later models corrected this to some extent, but not incorporated in the G2. (I can always turn the G6 as well as the P-51 above 500 km/h speed, but not with the G2.) That was an easy fix and could have been incorporated in the G2.

In IL-2 Sturmovik, I (Me 109 G2) outclimbed and outstalled the P-51B at 12 km altitude. What more is there to say? The G2's redline was also lower than the later models.

13 Avro Vulcan

A beautiful soaring bird. The noise those engines make is amazing.

British nuclear bomber used as a deterrent against the USSR in the Cold War.

14 Sukhoi Su-30MKI

The Su-30MKI is the best. The flying birds have the most skilled pilots in the world, i.e., Indian pilots.

15 P-40 Warhawk

This warrior stood up to the Axis powers when later fighters were still on the drawing board and not in combat. The P-40 was thought to have been obsolescent from its inception. Its naval contemporary, the F4F Wildcat (which is described as being a better opponent for the Zero by World War II magazine) was based on a biplane design! Of course, few authorities mention that.

The P-36 airframe wasn't obsolete, merely proven successful. It was actually very sturdy. Newer fighters, including the P-38, P-47, and P-51, overshadowed it. Finally, its faults (and it had some - all aircraft do) were exaggerated to the point that it seemed impossible for the P-40 to succeed against any enemy aircraft.

Although it couldn't outmaneuver the Zero (the Warhawk's main foe in the Pacific Theater), neither could the Spitfire, Hurricane, Lightning, Thunderbolt, Mustang, or Wildcat. It had an excellent kill ratio. Enough said about its effectiveness.

It is a travesty of justice that it is ranked this low.

16 F-117 Nighthawk Stealth Fighter
17 Sopwith Camel
18 F-16 Fighting Falcon

If I was in a close dogfight, that's the plane I would want to be in.

The Tomcat at #2? It doesn't have near the record of the F-15 or near the capabilities. It's the oldest fighter in service and the most expensive to keep flying. (It'll be retired next year.)

The P-40 Warhawk at #8? That plane was barely used once the P-51, P-47, and Corsair entered the war.

The Harrier at #9? Other than the Falkland Islands, it's never done anything and is going to be surpassed by the F-35 soon.

The Blackbird wasn't a warplane. It was a reconnaissance airplane. It was a camera that could fly at Mach 3.5.

The A-10, the F-15 Eagle, the Bf 109, the Camel, F-117, and the F-22 should all replace the Blackbird, P-47, Vulcan, Harrier, Tomcat, and Fokker in the top ten. The Spitfire was a great plane. It would have been greater if it wasn't made of wood.

19 Republic P-47D Thunderbolt

The "Jug" did more damage and had more kills than any other plane in WWII combined (air and ground targets combined). It had 8 .50 caliber wing-mounted machine guns. It carried up to 2,500 lbs of bombs, rockets, and other ordnance.

It had a massive 2,535 HP radial engine and a top speed of 433 MPH (fast for its size) and great range at 1,900 miles. Most of all, it could take a lot of damage and bring the pilot home. If I had to choose, I would pass on the Spitfire (made of wood) and the P-51D Mustang and take the Thunderbolt.

I can't believe it's not on the list, but it is now!

20 B-17 Flying Fortress

All the people hating on this for being outdated just stop. People don't like this because of the bomb load or the speed. They like it because of the name. Its name is what makes it iconic. Have you ever heard a name like the Flying Fortress? I don't think so.

Take the Mosquito, for instance. Mosquitoes are the most irritating bugs of all time, and they named a plane after them. Flying Fortress sounds big and grand, like an indestructible (and it was rather durable) plane. That's why people like it.

The most well-built and strongest plane of all time. You can cry all you want that the Avro Lancaster is better (the bomb load was better), but the B-17 had 13 .50 BMGs all over in all directions and an undying armor. I think it should find work as a gunship even in modern days.

21 Mikojan-Gurewitsch MiG-21
22 PAC JF-17 Thunder
23 F-4 Phantom

Last plane in service to score an "Ace." Brought in a new era of jet-powered fighters.

24 Stuka
25 B-22
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