Blog question: what World War II plane would you have wanted to fly?


Here’s a question for the aviation bloggers reading this posting: if this were World War II, and you could have a two-year mission to fly any military aircraft you chose (from any country), what would it be? To make it easier, I’m going to wave my cyber-wand and make two things happen:

  1. You can be any age, gender, or physical condition. Even if you’re a 55-year-old, overweight, bald female with an astigmatism, for the sake of this exercise you can be a 21-year-old male track star with a baby face, a mop of hair, and lightning-fast reflexes.

  2. You won’t hurt anyone but yourself. If you choose a bomber, I guarantee that all your bombs will fall on unoccupied factories of no historical significance. If you choose a fighter, the crew of any plane you shoot down will bail out safely. etc. (too bad that didn’t work in real life).

So what’s your favorite WWII plane, and why? If you want, list your 2nd and 3rd choices as well. Mine is coming up in my next posting (hint: it’s not obvious).

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14 Responses to Blog question: what World War II plane would you have wanted to fly?

  1. Dave Starr says:

    Nice concept. I’m looking forward to some interesting replies. My choice will probably not be the one most popular, but I am partial to it becuase it is a plane that fits my intened lifestyle so well..
    1. PBY Catalina
    2. C-47
    3. Spitfire (no big surpise there .. (actually I’ll easily settle for anything with a Merlin engine)

  2. david says:

    Great choices! The C-47 will also be my #2. The Catalina won’t be in my top 3, but it’s definitely in my top 10.

  3. Jim Howard says:

    De Haviland Mosquito

  4. Paul Tomblin says:

    Spitfire first, Mosquito second. The two most beautiful planes ever.

  5. David V says:

    P-51D; Mustang always has been the one for me.

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  7. bobk says:

    1st choice: P-51D
    2nd choice: P-38 Lightning
    3rd choice: DeHavilland Mosquito

    Of course, I have the benefit of being 24 hours late responding, but besides the two obvious choices (the Spitfire would also rank high in my list), I’ve always loved the Mosquito for too many reasons to list here.


  8. david says:

    I just put up a new posting with my choices. It turns out my first choice wasn’t that original after all:

    de Havilland Mosquito
    Douglas Dakota (U.S.: C-47)
    L4 Grasshopper

  9. Jim says:

    1. Hurricane
    2. Lightning
    3. Spitfire

  10. Paul Tomblin says:

    Hurricane? Really? A Hurricane was just a biplane with the top wing taken off. Fabric on frame, ugh. Yeah, sure, it was effective as all get-out, but it was almost as ugly as a Bf-109.

  11. david says:

    I remember reading that the Hurricanes actually scored more kills than the Spitfires in the Battle of Britain. However, since the Spitfires often engaged the fighters to let the Hurricanes go after the bombers, it’s not quite fair to compare the two.

    I’m not sure, but I think I also remember reading that it’s properly pronounced something like “Hurrigan”.

  12. Jim says:

    Paul: When the “other guys” are up there trying to shoot my ass off, I’ll take effective over beauty any day.

    Here in Ottawa, the Heritage Wings operation have both a Spit and a Hurricane. The pilots are also split over which ones they prefer to fly, or view as the more effective aircraft.

    One of the restrictions that the Spit endured was fuel supply – about 85 gallons I think. The Hurricane had triple the fuel supply. The Spit was primarily a short-range home-defence aircraft – albeit a beautiful, very effective one.

  13. david says:

    Jim: The limited fuel supply in the Spit probably explained the Hurricanes were used for patrolling Luftwaffe airfields in France to intercept bombers taking off. One advantage of the Hurricane’s fabric on tube construction was that shells often passed right through without exploding, while bullet-damage was easily repaired with fabric patches, while the Spitfire needed to go to a metal shop if it had been shot up much.

  14. Wayne Conrad says:

    The L-21 Piper Super Cub. A pilot’s airplane. Low and slow where the good scenery is, landing on unimproved strips, ferrying the Colonel around or trying to find the enemy.

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