I think the P-51 Mustang deserves consideration is this forum.
They call it "the aircraft that changed the course of a war".
The aircraft is credited with providing very effective long range bomber escort, beyond the range that the Spitfire could manage. The P-51 was known as the "little friend" of the Allied bombers during WWII, and it played an intergral part in the excecution of extremely successful daylight bombing strategy - to strangle the support lines of the enemy in an attempt to stop the production of war-time machinery.
It was introduced into service in 1942 and remained in service with some air forces until the early-1980s!
Even Tom Cruise has one ...
This is a discussion comparing two vehicles built upon two different principles.
P-51. Low coefficient of friction, adequate power to go fast long range because it is efficient
F4U High power, bigger aircraft, fast but not fuel efficient.
This is alot like my brother's 1966 GTO. Big car, big engine, gobs of speed (up to a point), handling OK.
My Porche. Smaller car, good power, gobs of speed, handling better.
Now for the conclusion.
A Merlin at take off sound good. (we used to have one at my home base).
A huge radial at take off sounds horrible, even when it was running right.
Let me put it another way. A couple of brothers at my home base used to have the following: AT6, T-28 and a P-51.
The AT6 sounded great.
The P-51 sounded better.
The T-28 sounded horrible.
The t=28 had a huge engine (and was a bigger airplane than the P-51. The P-51 is about the same size as my Bonanza (wing span and airplane length only). The T-28 had about 1200 - 1400 HP. It could not do what the P-51 could do because it was not as aerodynamic (I know that it's purpose was not the same either).
My point is, the P-51 could do something with grace and agility while something like the F4U could do the same with 600 or more horses.
If you want a tough aircraft, what about the P-47? That was a Timex of WWII aircraft. IT could take a major licking and keep on ticking.
Still, something like the P-51 has grace and agility and beauty.
But I have stumbled on long enough.
What Ho chaps...I am truly sorry about this, but my hand is forced! The great 64 year debate re. the P-51D Mustang and the F4U-4 Corsair must continue; though I have no wish to hurt the Mustang devotees...some of my best friends even like them! It is with regret that I have been impelled to post an item regarding the matter in Blogs; so it won't vanish too quickly from the site as P-51D advocates tear my views to shreds.
But I am prepared for the humiliation which will no doubt ensue. One must defend one's principles to the bitter end. Tally Ho chaps.
PS: The Corsair scared the .......out of the Japanese who were not noted for their timidity.
it is the coolest ww2 fighter of all time it was voted number one on the military channels top ten fighters.