What was the fastest propeller driven fighter aircraft during WW2?

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The fastest propeller driven fighter was the North American P-51H which was rated at 487 mph at 25,000 ft.  The H model was a lightened and up-horsepowered version of the P-51D that was intended for use in the Pacific theater. The H-model is readily idenifiable from the D-model by its taller tail structure. Much of the H-model's weight loss can be attributed to the fact that it was built to a lower G tolerance the the D-model (something like 5.6 G's vs 8 G's). 555 H models were built before the end of the war but I don't know how many saw actual combat. The F8F Bearcat might be another contender (I know it had a faster rate of climb), but I'm pretty sure none of them saw any WWII combat.

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I am pretty sure it was the rare Dornier Arrow Do-335 at 474 mph http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dornier_Do_… The fastest US plane was the P-38 @ 443 mph at Standard War Emergency Power levels http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P-38_Lightn… The P-51 was rated at 441 mph or less in these conditions. more

North American P-51H

See Montie's answer for an excellent description of the P-51H. 

(photo source: wiki commons)


The P-47M was the fastest US built fighter that served from late 44 until the end of the war in Germany in 1945.

A conervitave test figure for the plane puts its top speed at 473mph.

The P-47N had the same power plant and ended up with a larger wing to hold more internal fuel stores so i could fly the longer missions required in the Pacific.  Its top speed was 467mph.

The other contenders would have likely been the TA-152H and the Do-335 both said to have been developed prior to end of the war but rarely saw combat.

There is also the P-72. It was the first prop driven fighter to reach over 500mph in level flight.



The SR-71 Blackbird is the fastest traditional aeroplane

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