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The P-82 twin Mustang was made to replace the P-51D in the escort role. It was faster, and had two engines with two pilots. It also had a better armament but wasn't as maneuverable as the P-51D. Which would usually win in a dogfight and what plane did pilots prefer?

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    $\begingroup$ This'll prolly get closed as opinion based. In general, speed is paramount. If I had to fight Japanese Zeros in 1943, I'd want to be in a P-38, which couldn't maneuver with one, but was nearly a 100 mph faster and could outrun a Zero with ONE ENGINE FEATHERED. The faster plane can choose when to engage and disengage, and all other features are secondary to that. So if I had to choose between a better dogfighter and a significant speed advantage, speed is life. The P-82 was about 40 mph faster then the best Japanese fighter, the Ki-84. Two pilots addressed a big fatigue problem. $\endgroup$ – John K Jan 16 at 1:46
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    $\begingroup$ @JohnK A friend used to describe dogfighting in an F-111 as: Throttles - Full A/B, Wings - Full aft, Put it on the deck, Wave goodbye. $\endgroup$ – Gerry Jan 16 at 13:36
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The two planes serve very different roles. The 82 was a long distance aircraft first and foremost, and everything else was secondary to that goal. The 51 was a fighter, and its excellent range was not a specific design criterion, but the result of several unrelated design decisions that worked in happy concert.

So, based on that alone, I think the answer is clear.

But the real issue with this comparison is the time dimension, the 82 saw combat when it was already outdated, whereas the 51 saw combat when it was the pinnacle of performance. Jets were already the hotness when the 82 was on the front line, and I doubt anyone looked favorably on being assigned to them when the alternative was an 84 or 86.

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