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Yeah, I know, controversial.
There is at least one glaring omission (Hint: known as the World’s Leading Distributor of MIG Parts…).
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Morne Meyer said on June 1, 2015
The Phantom and Grumman Tiger!!!! Very good choices. What about a North American Savage?
Rob Pollock said on June 1, 2015
Yes you guessed the F4 as MIG parts distributor, so now we have a top twelve with the Savage.
Anyone for a top twenty?
All the Grumman propcats and the Guardian as well!!
Erich Goldbach said on June 1, 2015
Substitute the F8 Crusader for the Cutlassand your on the right path…
Jaime Carreon said on June 1, 2015
A few more to add to the list –
The Curtiss Pusher that Eugene Ely used to make the first takeoff and landing from stationary ships in 1910 and 1911 – the birth of the modern aircraft carrier.
Curtiss NC-4 flying boat – the first aircraft to cross the Atlantic.
Consolidated PBY Catalina – patrol bomber extraordinaire!
Douglas A-1 Skyraider – need I say more?
Grumman S2 Tracker – the refining of anti submarine warfare
Grumman TBF Avenger – jack of all trades….
Good lists so far!
That’s twenty. Be interesting to see a group build of all these types
Craig Abrahamson said on June 1, 2015
That list might be endless….well, not “endless”, but it could be quite comprehensive given the history of Naval Aviation to date. Love the theme, though.
Mike Maynard said on June 1, 2015
If you refine the “Top Navy Aircraft” topic into Jets vs props, or fighters vs bombers you might get better polling numbers…
Don’t forget the Seamaster, Marlin, or the Mariner….
Bernard E. Hackett, Jr. said on June 1, 2015
Mr. Leroy Grummans biplane barrels, F1F1, F2F and 3F. Without them, the cats woulda been stillborn.
Tom Cleaver said on June 2, 2015
You guys are just showing off now.
Matija Lisec said on June 1, 2015
There is only one as far as i`m concerned – F-14
Peter Bodnarus said on June 1, 2015
The old blue/grey USN livery was magnificent. The aircraft looked like they were wearing tuxedos.
My list is based on operational achievement, so I think it’s going to be different (hint: the Tiger will be nowhere to be found):
1. SBD Dauntless: greatest ship-killer of the Pacific War, only #2 to the fleet submarine force, Pacific.
2. TBF/TBM Avenger: Most useful Navy attack aircraft ever, equally useful in anti-ship, anti-submarine, and close air support, equally able to operate from an Essex class fleet carrier or a CVE.
3. F4U Corsair: broke the back of Japanese naval aviation when it was still a force to be reckoned with in the Solomons, provideed the best close air support in the final stages of Pacific War (“Sweetheart of Kinawa”) and the best CAS aircraft in Korean War.
4, F6F Hellcat: broke the back of Japanese naval aviation and turned the enemy into a non-competitor.
5. F-8 Crusader: got “the area rule” right from the beginning, the best jet-powered dogfighter ever. So good they reproduced the earlier versions into later versions. “When you’re out of Crusaders, you’re oput of fighters.”
6. A-6 Intruder: Need to put bombs on target accurately in the worst possible weather, at night? Launch the Intruders!
7. Last (and truly least) the F-4 Phantom. Originally designed as a fleet defense fighter to shoot down Bears and Badgers before they could get close to the fleet, was the jet-powered equivalent of the 1942 F4F Wildcat up against the Zero in A2A, only successful by superior pilot training, same as the Wildcat.
8. F-14 Tomcat: the last real fighter the Navy will ever fly.
There aren’t any others worth considering, certainlyh not the collection of spare parts flying in formation known as the F-18, which has yet in its “Super” version to meet the performance specifications requested 40 years ago. Of course, the F-18 looks like the cat’s pajamas compared to the never-will-work F-35, the Brewster F2A of the 21st Century.
Bernard E. Hackett, Jr. said on June 2, 2015
I’ll never look at the F-35 in the same way again! Well played, Sir!
Morne Meyer said on June 2, 2015
Fully agree with Tom’s assessment. The Tiger at least had the dubious distinction of shooting itself down when the pilot flew into the bullet stream from his own aircraft! Aesthetically the Tiger in sharkmouth markings looks the part!!!
Yeah, sentimental favorite, that F11F. Disproves the old adage about looks good, is good. I saw the Blues fly a show on her, and I wuz hooked!(no pun intended)
Hey, I like the Gutless, too. That’s what I get for being a 50s kid!
Tom, right on point, succinct and well thought out, as always. Thank you!
Roberto Silva Cuevas said on June 2, 2015
Here’s my list:
10) F9F Panther
9) F6F Hellcat
8) F4F Wildcat
7) SBD Dountless
6) F/A-18 C/D Hornet
5) A-1 Skyraider
4) F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet
3) F-4 Phantom II
2) F4U Corsair
1) F-8 Crusader
Let me know what you think!
Rob Pollock said on June 3, 2015
It’s good to see some of the same types showing up across the board, whether viewed according to service history/reliability or for other (perhaps more sentimental) reasons. For instance, I can accept TC’s comment about the Phantom, but I still rate it simply because, well, I just like it!
Good range of comments and ideas, in any case.
Rob Anderson said on June 4, 2015
I gotta add my 2 loves, well I’ll toss in a 3rd. The E-2C without which modern jet jocks couldn’t find their backsiides with a stick and GPS, the might C-2 Greyhound, who doesn’t love a bird that will fly aboard noty only mail, but pro football cheerleaders, and the S-3 Viking one of the best utilitarian aircraft of the modern era, stupidist thing the Navy did in recent memory was retire them. And yeah, those “other” planes are pretty good too 🙂
Bernard E. Hackett, Jr. said on June 4, 2015
Rob, thanks for a kind word for the less glamorous types. I kinda like the Hoover, myself. I’m sure some bean counter convinced them they could save money, blahblahblah. Replace it with something more expensive and less effective. That’s PROGRESS! Yeah, that’s it, PROGRESS.
Rob Anderson said on June 5, 2015
Yep, during Iraqi Freedom in VS 38 our skipper begged CAG to let us take out a target. We had been training with the Maverick and SLAM ER for over a year, and had uploaded and downloaded them over and over once in theater. Then one night we loaded a Maverick, and lo and behold, it did not come back. Took out one of Saddam’s yachts that was being used as a command and control platform. VS 38 the only S-3 squadron to ever fire a shot in anger!
Bernard E. Hackett, Jr. said on June 5, 2015
Rob, great story! I read someplace that S-3s would do weaps stuff at Fallon, dropping bombs by a grease pencil line on the canopy.
American ingenuity, and the desire to bring the smoke and fire on the enemy!
Wojtek Bułhak said on June 6, 2015
My top 3 are:
1. A4 Skyhawk
2. Slow But Deadly
3. A1 Skyraider
All from Douglas.
Tony Prince said on June 8, 2015
Not in any particular order & allowing for effectiveness & aesthetics; my choices are F2H-2 Banshee, Hellcat, Corsair, Bearcat, Grumman Tiger (with sharkmouth!), Crusader, F9F-8 Cougar & Tigercat. Grumman had the magic touch in my book, but I do love the early Banshees! I find it hard to get inspired by the F-35.
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