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The Top 5 List Of The Greatest War Planes In World War History
It is not an easy task to assess the best 5 Fighter Jets of all time. However a review on the military and wartime performance and contribution to wars can be deciding factors along with the design and capabilities. Let us start from the bottom of the list.
Number 5 – Messerschmidt ME109 (1937)
It has an awesome combat record but not the most safe or comfortable plane. It can be said to be the first true modern fighter plane of its time with its retractable landing gear and with a full metal monocoque construction.
Around 33,984 units were produced from 1937 to 1945. It made up of 57% of Germany's fighter planes. It played a great role in World War II. It was initially an interceptor and later evolved into a fighter bomber, a bomber escort, a bomber destroyer and also a ground-attack plane.
Number 4 – F 18 Super Hornet (1983)
The US Navy asked for the Super Hornet in 1992 and was put in use around 1999 to replace the F-14 Tomcat. It is more advanced than its predecessor the F / A-18C / D Hornet. It can carry 33% more fuel which increases its mission efficiency by 41%.
It can be used for maritime strikes, as a fighter escort, for anti-air warfare, overthrow enemy air defense and air-to-air refueling. It is very versatile with weapons that are precision-guided and so make it perfect for strikes during the day as well as in the night.
Number 3 – MIG 21 (F-13 / Fishbed C) (1959)
It is a supersonic jet fighter belonging to the Soviet Union. The MiG 21F is a small-range day fighter-interceptor. Though it had several flaws it was soon corrected to become one of the most fearsome fighter jets of all time.
It is one of the most produced supersonic aircraft. More than 10,000 have been built and more than 50 countries have enjoyed its advanced aviation capabilities. Its MACH 2 ability is still superior to other later built fighter planes.
Number 2 – Supermarine Spitfire (1938)
Its beautiful design hides the formidable warrior inside. The Royal Air Force and the Allies used it in World War II. It is said to be the star in the Battle of Britain along with the Hawker Hurricane. Around 20,351 have been produced so far.
The design was years ahead of its time with a light alloy monocoque fuselage and a solo spar wing. Later on it got a pressurized cabin along with an engine more suited for higher altitude. It has a high top speed thanks to the cross-section in its elliptical wing. All this serves to make the design and construction truly a marvel.
Rank 1 – P51 Mustang (1941)
We finally come to the top ranking jet plane. It is a long range fighter plane. The Allied Forces starting using it in the middle of World War II and it gave the German forces a run for their money. The jet was very durable and economical to produce.
However it does not compromise on performance and capabilities. It was used for tactical reconnaissance and ground-attacks. British as well as North American engineers were working independently to improve its altitude problems. Both succeeded and it got an increased speed of 51 mph. Its airframe was fortified and ventral radiator became deeper. Today it has become the world's best jet and has the highest record of successes.
Conclusion: While there may be some who may not agree with the list and will want other fighter planes included, the above 5 are truly world leaders.