When a video about the XP-47J claimed it to be the fastest piston engine fighter ever, it caused a bit of a stir on the internet. There was also a question about the Republic’s claim for the XP-47J, claiming the plane could achieve a top speed of 505 miles per hour.
If this were true, it would make it the fastest piston engine fighter by a margin. However, there are some issues with these claims. When the USAF did their trials, they only managed top speeds of 484 miles per hour.
That’s why we’ve come up with alternatives. Here are the top ten fastest piston fighters:
10. Grumman Bearcat F8F-1
This plane is quite popular, especially since a modified Bearcat racer was the world’s speed record holder for quite some time. Its service model has a listed top speed of 428 miles per hour at 18,800 feet, and it is the slowest of the contenders.
9. Grumman Tigercat F7F-3
Another Grumman entry, this aircraft has a top speed of 435 miles per hour at 22,200 feet. Its performance is pretty impressive since it’s a twin-engine fighter bomber instead of a dedicated interceptor.
8. Hawker Tempest II
This plane sasomeof post-war service and clocked up a top speed of 440 miles per hour at 15,900 feet.
7. CAC CA-15 Kangaroo
This plane was cursed as it was built, just as the jet was gaining dominance. This plane never got a chance to go into service or production and only remained as a prototype. It has a top speed of 448 miles per hour at 26,400 feet.
6. Supermarine Spitfire Mk. 21
The Supermarine Spitfire Mk. 21 comes with a top speed of 454 miles per hour at 26,000 feet.
5. North American F-82G Twin Mustang
Wanting to have an all-weather interceptor into service in short order, North American strung two P-51s together. Despite its unusual configuration, there’s no denying that it was quick, with a top speed of 456 miles per hour at 21,000 feet.
4. De Havilland Hornet F.Mk.3
The Hornet is listed to achieve 472 miles per hour at 22,000 feet. This twin-engine, long-range fighter and attack aircraft served the RAF after WWII, seeing action in Malta before it retired from service in 1956.
3. North American P-51H Mustang
North American built this as an essentially new aircraft with very few similarities to the earlier model. It has a top speed of 487 miles per hour at 25,000 feet, making it the fastest piston engine fighter ever to see service.
2. Republic XP-72
This was fitted with a Wasp Major engine producing 3,500 hp. All in all, it had a reported top speed of 490 miles per hour at 25,000 feet.
1. Supermarine Spiteful F.16
This plane was recorded during testing in 1947 and hit 494 miles per hour at 28,500 feet. This record was the fastest achieved by a British piston-engine aircraft, and if you’re cynical about the XP-47J, the fastest piston-engine fighter ever built.