Five Allied Fighter Planes That Sent The Luftwaffe Into a Tailspin

Five Allied Fighter Planes That Sent The Luftwaffe Into a Tailspin

Maria - June 9, 2016

There’s no doubt the Luftwaffe proved themselves to be a formidable force during WWII. The German Air Force had been a major player in the fall of France, leaving the Allies wondering how to retaliate in return. After all, at the beginning of the war, the Allied forces weren’t yet a match for Germany’s experienced fighter pilots or their advanced aircraft, namely the Messerschmitt BF 109.

However, that all changed when the British and US industrial forces came together to produce some of the greatest fighter planes the Allies had at their disposal. These three fighters were the Hawker Hurricane, the Supermarine Spitfire, and the North American P-51 Mustang – and they made their own mark in WWII history, helping to bring about the ultimate Allied victory.

5. The Hawker Hurricane

Five Allied Fighter Planes That Sent The Luftwaffe Into a Tailspin

While the prototype for the Hurricane was initially created in 1935, early production didn’t actually begin until a year later. Once they began spilling out of the factory, they ultimately didn’t receive much heavy use. However, they played a major role in early air conflicts even though their fame was later eclipsed by the Supermarine Spitfire. In the US for instance, pilots who joined the Royal Air Forces to form the Eagle Squadrons mostly flew Hurricanes – this was before the US’s entry into the war. Hawker Hurricanes were the ‘big brother’ of the aircraft in the sky, providing cover and brute force against the enemy.

While these fighters were only supposed to be used as interceptors in the beginning, they quickly became resourceful for their powerful endurance and reliability, built to last and contain the strength of a battleship in the sky. Their accuracy in the air was also highly valued, as they had a consistent steadiness that made aiming and shooting easier to handle. So while the Spitfires may get credit for their higher victory ratio and better performance overall, they wouldn’t have gotten as far without the support of these heavy-hitting machines nearby.

One of the Hurricanes’ pitfalls, however, was its problems involving carbon monoxide leaking into the cockpit. Crews could never really find a suitable solution to fix the problem, despite many overhauls and modifications to the exhaust stubs. Essentially, the fighter pilots were just informed to keep their oxygen masks on at all times until the engine was shut down, to prevent harm to themselves.

The Hawker Hurricanes were a favored aircraft of the Soviet Union, who purchased nearly 3,000 planes, which amounts to over 20% of the total aircraft made in the UK. They became the most widely used aircraft in the Soviet air force throughout the war.

4. The Supermarine Spitfire

Five Allied Fighter Planes That Sent The Luftwaffe Into a Tailspin

The Spitfires made a name for themselves in WWII, putting on the strongest attack against the Luftwaffe that the Allied forces had in their aircraft arsenal. These fighter planes made a big impact in the Battle of Britain, signifying themselves as strong contenders against enemy aircraft, most notably their rival German fighters.

The Spitfire model marked a new turn in fighter plane design, with modern features like elliptical wings and retractable landing gear adding a never-before seen element to Allied aircraft. In fact, this new-age design was so advanced, many new pilots actually crash-landed, assuming the landing gear was already in position, when really it needed to be released upon landing.

The Spitfire’s high rate of climb and its superb balance gave it another step up in defense. Pilots later remarked that these well-performing machines didn’t need much guidance at all, and that any Spitfire could right itself should anything happen to one of the pilots in combat. These fighter planes were the most produced during WWII, and were the greatest weapon for the Royal Air Force, remaining in service all the way through 1955.

And the greatest praise of all? Even the Luftwaffe wanted to get their hands on a supply of these great performers.

3. DH.98 Mosquito

Five Allied Fighter Planes That Sent The Luftwaffe Into a Tailspin

De Havilland DH-98 Mosquito was one of the most remarkable planes of the World War Two and the post-war era. As a twin-engine aircraft with a pilot and navigator sitting side by side, the mosquito excelled in many roles during the war. Modified later to serve as a fighter, its unusual design used spruce and balsa wooden structures in a time when wooden construction was considered outdated. De Havilland DH-98 Mosquito could serve its purpose during the day and night or as a photoreconnaissance plane. In whatever capacity it served, it proved greatly effective.

During its introduction, the mosquito was about as fast as the front line Bf 109F and Fw 190A German fighters. In fact, as a high-speed and high-altitude photo-reconnaissance aircraft, it became a fast choice plane for several missions against factories, railways, and other pinpoint targets in Germany and German-occupied Europe. Owing to its agility and speed, it became one of the most maneuverable aircraft, climbing faster and turning more quickly than its counterparts during mock combats.

From late 1943, Mosquito bombers were introduced. Power was increased to their Merlin engines allowing them to carry heavier bombs. After the improvements, they could fly at 415 mph with a 4000 lb bomb load. With such a speed, the Luftwaffe’s fighters found it very difficult to attack the Mosquito successfully. In fact, the Mosquito was so fast that by the time the Luftwaffe’s fighters reached interception altitude, it would have completed its bombing run and would be racing for home. The only plane that would have had a chance against the Mosquito was the Me 262. Later on, Germans improved the performances of their fighters considering the molestation they got the Mosquito. While this happened, the Mosquito remained an elusive target because of its maneuverable features.

By the time the war ended, the Mosquito had been used for a variety of tasks and had suffered fewer losses than any other plane. The RAF identified its multiple role capacities as it proved to be a valuable aircraft. Mosquito’s production continued until 1947 and in all 7,781 of them were made. The RAF continued to use the services of the mosquito as a reconnaissance plane until 1955.

2. The P-47 Thunderbolt

Five Allied Fighter Planes That Sent The Luftwaffe Into a Tailspin

The P-47 Thunderbolt had the distinction of being a big and very powerful high-altitude fighter to see service in World War Two – it is remembered to be the fastest US fighter in World War Two service. Because the USAAF had misgivings about fitting all its fighters with the Allison V-1710, the P-47 Thunderbolt was designed with a powerful R-2800 engine as well as a turbocharger and became not only powerful but also a fighter that was equal or superior to its adversaries. Even though its powerful R-2800 was costly to operate, it made the plane stand out during its fly escort missions deep into Germany, doing much to defeat the Luftwaffe.

P-47 Thunderbolt was designed by the Georgian immigrant Alexander Kartveli and on May 6, 1941, it made its first flight. Intended to replace the Seversky P-35, the P-47 Thunderbolt was originally conceived as a lightweight interceptor but became a heavy fighter after its first flight. Its first production model was delivered to the AAF in March 1942, and in the following year, it flew its first combat mission – a sweep over Western Europe. P-47 Thunderbolt continually gained a reputation for its ruggedness (sturdy construction and air-cooled radial engine) which kept it flying even after receiving severe battle damages.

P-47 served in almost every active war and gained a reputation for being reliable and extremely tough (its ability to take incredible amounts of damage and still return its pilots home safely). The P-47 Thunderbolt are said to have logged almost two million flight hours during the war and were responsible for the destruction of over 7,000 enemy aircraft in the air and on the ground in the European Theater alone.

While P-47 Thunderbolt was an excellent plane, several modifications had to be made as its production continued so as to improve it power, maneuverability, and range. As the war progressed, it became excellent in ground attacks roles, strafing and bombing their way across the battlefields of Europe. While the P-51 Mustang later replaced it, P-47 still ended the war with 3,752 kills claimed in over 746,000 missions of all types. It was later named the ‘Jug’.

1. The P-51 Mustang

Five Allied Fighter Planes That Sent The Luftwaffe Into a Tailspin


The Mustang plane certainly lived up to its name, coming into the war with a show of wild bravado and power the enemy couldn’t contain. A veteran model from both WWII and the Korean War, these nearly-indestructible fighters brought the fight to the Luftwaffe each and every time. The Mustangs could take down everything from the piston-engined fighters to the larger, twin-jet Messerschmitts.

While these aircraft had exceptional control, resourceful speed at all altitudes and a sustainable rate of climb, the Mustang’s greatest asset to set it apart from the rest was its long range functionality. This added feature made these essential bomber escorts, again letting the Spitfires take most of the action, but remaining available to return everyone to their military bases. However, when they were forced into battle, these notorious fighting machines were responsible for blasting ships, trains and rival enemy bases around Europe.

The P-51 Mustangs were major players in taking down the Luftwaffe during the Allied invasion of Sicily, showing the Axis defense they had quite the competitor on their hands.

Unfortunately, the Luftwaffe agreed, considering them highly resourceful as well. In fact, they managed to capture their own set of Mustangs that had been damaged during previously-botched Allied landings. After some quick repairs, the Luftwaffe used these for testing purposes to gain more insight into their functionality.

And even after the war, the P-51 Mustangs actually met with Messerschmitt models once more; only this time, they fought side by side. Israel was able to get their hands on a few select planes in each model, and utilized them during the Arab-Israeli conflict years after WWII.

Overall, there were many factors that went into the final Allied victory over the Axis Powers during WWII, not including a wide variety of more weapons and equipment that helped pave the way for success. But the help of the Hawker Hurricanes, the Supermarine Spitfires and the P-51 Mustang fighters certainly tipped the scales in the Allies favor, proving that airpower was a heavy-hitting defense strategy against the enemy.