What Were Some of the Most Prolific World War II Fighter Planes?


Quick Answer

Both the Messerschmitt Bf 109 and the North American P-51 Mustang were prolific and iconic fighter planes in World War II. The Germans used the Messerschmitt Bf 109, while the Allied Forces used the North American P-51 Mustang.

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Full Answer

Production of the Messerschmitt Bf 109 began in 1937 in the city of Munich. The Germans designed the plane as an interceptor, but eventually used it as a bomber escort, fighter-bomber, ground attack aircraft and reconnaissance aircraft. The plane first saw use in the Spanish Civil War, but it became famous during World War II. The Messerschmitt Bf 109 is the most-produced fighter aircraft in history, with 33,984 airframes produced from 1936 to 1945. It made up the bulk of the German fighter force for the majority of the war, and Germany's top three aces flew it, with a total of 928 victories between them by the end of the war.

The North American P-51 Mustang came out in early September 1940, and pilots first flew it by late October. Pilots mostly used the plane in the European theater, but it also saw action in North Africa and the Pacific. Allies used the planes as tactical-reconnaissance aircraft and fighter-bombers, and the planes saw use in the Korean War, when the United Nations used them as fighters.

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