Fastest Planes in WW2
Fastest propeller fighter of WW2, the Dornier DO-335 A0 Pfeil (Arrow) with a maximum sustained speed of 665 km/h (413 mph), increasing to 765 km/h (477 mph) with emergency boost. The Germans could only produce a few before the end of the war.
With a top speed of 702 mph, Germany’s Messerschmitt Me 262 was by far the fastest fighter of World War 2. Instead of propellers, jets were installed. Despite being an engineering marvel of its time as the first combat jet. Her entrance in the war was too little and too late.
The Supermarine Spitfire might be the most famous plane of WW2. Sporting an official max speed of 606mph. However, in April 1944 one pilot managed to reach 620mph as a result of equipment designed to limit its speed failing. The propeller ripped off and the diving aircraft reached more than Mach 0.92 (92% of the speed of sound).
The Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star could reach 594 mph and represented the US’ first jet plane. The project was kept so secretive that only 5 of the nearly 200 engineers working on the Shooting Star even knew what they were working on.
Arado Ar 234B Blitz could fly 462 miles per hour and was the first jet bomber of WW2. Despite being used mostly for reconnaissance missions it had an impeccable bombing record. However, early editions would take off from ejectable-three-wheeled trolleys. Moreover, for landing they used skids, as opposed to the usual landing gear. This was one of Hitler’s favorite projects up there with his super gun.
Chance Vought F4U-4 Corsair was the first WW2 fighter to top 400mph in combat. The plane’s design was brilliant. As a result, Gull wings provided low drag for the plane while providing sufficient ground clearance for its massive propeller.
A map showing the distance that fighters could fly from the UK mainland
The fastest heavy bombers at 358mph were the US’ B-29 Superfortress and the Japanese Nakajima G8N Renzan.
Unfortunately, the Japanese’ material shortages during the war limited its numbers and effectiveness for the Japanese. As opposed to the B-29 which became a legendary bomber for helping to end the war with its dropping of the Atom Bomb.
Fastest Planes in WW2 Honorable mentions:
The “Jug”, P-47 Thunderbolt, had the best safety record in the war!
Losing only 0.7% of her allied fleet in combat. What’s more, with a flight ceiling of 40,000 it’s no wonder the war record was comparable to the Royal Navy’s HMS Warspite in sheer WW2 performance awesomeness. The Thunderbolts took out 4,000 enemy aircraft, 9,000 trains, 86,000 trucks and 6,000 armored vehicles.
The twin-engine British de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito night fighter was one of the best airplanes to take the skies in WW2.