- 1 Description
- 2 General info
- 3 Armaments
- 4 Usage in battles
- 5 History
- 6 Media
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
The MB.5 is a premium rank IV British fighter with a battle rating of 5.0 (AB/RB) and 4.7 (SB). It was introduced as a premium pack in Update 1.77 "Advancing Storm". It was removed from the store after the 2019 Victory Day Sale, but was reintroduced briefly for the 2018 "Royal Air Force Centenary" and purchasable in-game with Golden Eagles for War Thunder's 7th Anniversary.
The MB.5 is usually played as an interceptor or an air superiority fighter, due to its high speed and hard-hitting armament. Add into the equation a contra-rotating propeller, and you have the perfect combination of the best aircraft of two nations.
The MB.5 is an unusual plane by the standards of British aircraft. It seems like it should be an American aircraft due to its shape, but yet it is not. In fact, it behaves almost as your average P-51D Mustang would- it even looks like a Mustang, only with the nose of a Spitfire. What sets it apart from most Rank IV planes is the presence of a contra-rotating propeller, which is also found on the Wyvern S4. The MB.5 is different than the Mustang in the armament it carries- four 20 mm Hispano Mk.II cannons rather than six .50 cals. The MB.5 has a high climb rate, as is expected of most British planes, which is nice for competing with same-tier German and Soviet fighters. In short, the MB.5 is a sort of symbiosis of a Spitfire and a Mustang, which can be a match-deciding plane in the right hands. Though the turn rate is generally below average, at high speeds the MB.5 can conduct shockingly quick turns to catch even dogfighters by surprise. The huge power of the engine also allows for lower speed bleed in vertical manoeuvres.
Despite being a combination of the Spitfire and the Mustang, the MB.5 is not a great dogfighter. Although it can turn sharply at high speed (especially with Immelmann turns), due to its short wingspan, it will bleed a lot of energy away.
Additionally, due to its long and heavy nose, the MB.5 suffers from very poor pitch-up rate, and doing so will making it lose a considerable amount of energy. However, also due to its heavy nose, the MB.5 has a surprisingly good pitch-down rate, which will certainly help to caught an enemy off guard in a head-ons scenario.
Therefore, the player should strictly stick to Boom-and-Zoom tactics as the MB.5 has a high climb rate, high thrust power, and very high dive speed.
|Characteristics|| Max Speed
(km/h at 7,315 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run|
|Combat flaps||Take-off flaps||Landing flaps||Air brakes||Arrestor gear|
|Wings (km/h)||Gear (km/h)||Flaps (km/h)||Max Static G|
|Optimal velocities (km/h)|
|< 482||< 400||< 400||> 430|
Survivability and armour
- No armour
- Self-sealing fuel tanks (2 below the pilot)
Modifications and economy
The MB.5 is armed with:
- 4 x 20 mm Hispano Mk.II cannons, wing-mounted (200 rpg = 800 total)
Usage in battles
The primary, (and practically only) tactics when using the MB.5 is as an air superiority fighter or as an interceptor. This is given the MB.5 does not mount any external weapons, which renders it useless against ground vehicles unless it is an AA truck or open-topped vehicle. Aside from that, the two methods of using this plane are very similar, but there are some differences to using them.
- Air Superiority
Start by side-climbing at a constant speed of roughly 180 mph (289 km/h) until you reach roughly 15,583 feet (4,750 meters). This will allow you to get the jump on most enemy planes while keeping your energy up. The altitude is good when you are facing most same-tier vehicles, as the MB.5's contra-rotating propeller provides an excellent power plant for climbing. When you see an enemy aircraft, make sure that your speed is up, and always Boom n' Zoom with the MB.5. While the plane is a combination of a Spitfire and a Mustang, it is not designed for prolonged turning engagements, and you will quickly lose energy in a turning battle. As you dive on your target, fire a quick burst of your 20 mm cannons then pull up and fly away. The speed of the MB.5 makes it very difficult for most planes to keep up with you. Once you have safely climbed away, repeat the following steps in search of targets.
- Bomber Interceptor
It is important to note that the MB.5 does not get an aerial spawn as your true interceptor does, so it is vital that you side-climb until you reach 18,044 feet (5,500 meters) to effectively intercept most enemy heavy bombers. Once you have reached altitude, keep your speed and energy up while continuing to slowly climb in search of targets. When you have found a target, always be sure you have the altitude advantage, otherwise, you risk losing your best asset- speed. Important - Before you begin your attack, be sure you have angled your attack run properly before attacking a bomber to present the smallest possible window for the enemy gunners. Once you have set up you run correctly, make a quick pass and fire a moderate-sized burst, then pull away immediately. Be sure that you are certain you are out of range of the enemy gunner's, otherwise you risk becoming a flying fireball.
Specific enemies worth noting
- German Aircraft
Just about every German aircraft at battle rating 5.0 and up will have the most dangerous ammunition in the game- the Minengeschoß, or "mine shell." The round is designed with thinner shell casing, allowing the shell to carry bigger explosive load per shell. The most common enemy you will be facing is the Bf-109 G series. The 109 G is an excellent energy fighter and can mount external gun pods. The adversary that will give you the most problems is the Focke-Wulf Ta-152, which has heavy armament to punish any plane in its path. Another adversary to take into account is the Messerschmitt Me-410 B-6/R-3, which can rip through any opposing aircraft.
- Soviet Aircraft
Any aircraft bearing the prefix "Yak" is an aircraft not to be taken lightly, as their nose-mounted weaponry and high manoeuvrability will give you a run for your money. The most dangerous adversary you will face here is the La-7B-20, which consists of three nose-mounted cannons. In addition, the La-7B has extremely good energy retention and the "Ground Target" ammunition for the cannons are notorious for tearing apart enemy aircraft. In addition, the most underestimated opponents on the Soviet side are the IL-10 and the Su-6, which have murderous primary armaments. Under no circumstances are you to engage these attackers head-on.
- American Aircraft
While you are better than most American aircraft in respect to climbing, some American aircraft are feared universally in War Thunder and deserve special note. The P-38L-5-LO Lightning will be one of the most dangerous opponents that are less common. The nose-mounted .50 cals and 20 mm cannon act like a buzz saw that tears apart anyone foolish enough to head-on or expose themselves to this plane. In addition, the P-38L has a better climb rate and has a phenomenal roll rate that will dance around you. The P-38K Lightning has some of the same aspects, only the P-38K is faster. The other heavy fighter that will give you a run for your money is the F-82E Twin Mustang, which not only has a better roll-speed that the Lightning, but it can mount the gun-pod that carries 8 additional .50 caliber machine guns, which make this plane the most dangerous in any head-on engagement. Another plane to take into consideration is the P-51D Mustang, which is an excellent BnZ fighter that carries the feared M20 API-T Tracer rounds that turn it into a flamethrower. The P-47N Thunderbolt has the same principle, only it gets the "Interceptor" spawn and carries 8 .50 cals, making it the deadliest opponent on this list. Another American aircraft to take into consideration is the A-26B-50 Invader, which has 14 x .50 cals, and two turrets, each with two .50 cals. The A-26B-50 is also frighteningly fast for its type and will give even fighters a run for their money. Avoid any frontal engagement with this attacker and do not tail it. The AD-2 and AD-4 Skyraiders are also surprisingly manoeuvrable for their type. While it is unlikely, you do have the possibility of facing the F8F-1 Bearcat, which boasts amazing manoeuvrability.
- Japanese Aircraft
Japan has the most manoeuvrable planes in the game, which means just about any of the planes you face from this nation are worth mentioning however, a few stand out. The A7M Reppū is the most common adversary you will face, which has a lethal combination of heavy machine gun and cannon fire. In addition, it has a turn-radius that will dance all over the MB.5. The J2M Raiden is also worth mentioning, as the Raiden will give even Mustang pilots a run for their money. The Ki-84 is also worth mentioning, due to its manoeuvrability and hard-hitting weaponry.
- Italian Aircraft
Italy has among the most manoeuvrable aircraft, more manoeuvrable than most German planes. However, the Italians fighters from rank II and up to rank IV feature the German MG 151 20 mm cannons, which utilise the very effective Minengeschoß rounds. One of the two most plausible adversaries you will face will be G.56, which has good energy retention and powerful armament. The other is the Bf-109 G-14/AS, which can mount MK 108 30 mm cannons in external gun pods. The additional firepower will tear the MB.5 apart, due to the MK 108s getting access to the Minengeschoß rounds. It is important to note that both of these planes have a significantly better climb rate than the MB.5, so take care when facing the Italians.
A smart MB.5 pilot will solely use the plane in a Boom & Zoom fashion and take almost any effort to not engage in a turn fight. The best way to eliminate an MB.5 is to either catch it in a turn if they make a critical error, or try to energy trap it. Some MB.5 pilots will be fooled into trying to energy fight you, especially if they have a significant amount of energy. Try to bait them into energy fighting and finish them off with a "Hammerhead" or wing-over manoeuvre.
If you cannot bait an MB.5 pilot into energy fighting, try to pull a corkscrew manoeuvre at the tip of their dive to get on their tail. This will work especially well if you are using an aircraft like the P-38L, Ta-152, or even a P-47N. The MB.5 has the bubble canopy, and thus leaves the pilot highly exposed to enemy fire.
- Important** - It is not strongly advised to try and out-dive an MB.5, as the air-frame is highly resilient in a dive and quickly builds up speed and energy. If an MB.5 has made it onto your tail, attempt to make a few flat turns which will effectively bleed the aircraft's energy, making them easier to avoid and more vulnerable to a reverse attack.
Manual Engine Control
|Not controllable|| Controllable
Not auto controlled
| Not controllable
Not auto controlled
Auto control available
Pros and cons
- British 20 mm Hispano Mk.II cannons, which have the powerful "Air Targets" and "Stealth" belts
- Plentiful ammunition for the 20 mm cannons
- Contra-Rotating propeller, which provides amazing thrust
- Excellent top speed
- Excellent speed in a dive
- Good roll-down rate when you get up to speed
- Great climb rate
- Excellent cockpit visibility (Simulator Battles)
- Turn rate is very fast at high speeds
- "Only" Hispano Mk.IIs, effective, but not as efficient as Mk.V variants
- Bleeds energy quickly in a turning engagement, haemorrhages energy and speed in flat turns
- Extremely nose-heavy results in very poor pitch-up rate, and doing so will bleeds a lot of energy away
- Engine overheats fairly quickly
- Bubble canopy leaves the pilot exposed to fire: pilot snipes are not uncommon
- Less effective engine cooling system
Founded in the 1930s, Martin-Baker was focused on designing all-metal, high-performance aircraft with the most advanced technology available—and then arming them to the teeth with as many weapons as possible.
By the early 1940s, Martin-Baker's powerful MB-3 prototype —the M.B.5's predecessor— took to the skies for the first time. It achieved good speed (668 km/h) and aerial agility while carrying an unprecedented primary armament of six 20 mm cannons.
In September 1942, James Martin, the lead engineer and founder of Martin-Baker, continued developing the MB-3. But fighter requirements changed in 1943 and he abandoned the MB-3 design to work on the M.B.5. Although borrowing characteristics from the MB-3, the M.B.5 ended up being a completely different aircraft.
The M.B.5's primary armament was reduced to four 20 mm cannons. In addition, a new Rolls-Royce Griffon 83 engine powering 2 contra-rotating propellers was installed.
The M.B.5 prototype was finished in 1944 and conducted its maiden flight on 23 May 1944. After resolving some minor stability issues and more than 80 hours of test flights, the M.B.5 was finally submitted for official, final testing in 1946.
During testing the M.B.5 achieved a top speed of 740 km/h and received high praise from test pilots for its superb cockpit layout. Maintenance crews also liked the M.B.5 for its ease of maintenance.
But because the Second World War had ended and the British RAF had begun replacing its piston engine aircraft with jet fighters. As a result, the RAF wasn't interested in the M.B.5 and the project was eventually shut down. Attempts to sell the M.B.5 abroad also failed.
Bad market timing and newer jet technology ultimately stopped the M.B.5 from ever leaving the prototype stage. In addition, Martin-Baker eventually stopped designing aircraft altogether, and instead developed and manufactured aircraft ejection seats. This ultimately worked out very well for them, and today, Martin-Baker is one of the biggest brands in the field of ejection seat development—an achievement that often overshadows their aircraft manufacturing history.
- From Devblog
Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:
- reference to the series of the aircraft;
- links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.
|Martin-Baker Aircraft Company, Limited|
|Britain premium aircraft|
|Fighters||Tuck's Gladiator Mk II · ▄Boomerang Mk I · ▄Boomerang Mk II · ▄D.520|
|▄Martlet Mk IV · ▄Corsair F Mk II · ▄Hellcat Mk II · ▄Thunderbolt Mk.1 · ▄Mustang Mk IA|
|Hurricane Mk.I/L FAA M · Spitfire Mk.IIa Venture I · Spitfire F Mk IXc · Plagis' Spitfire LF Mk IXc · Spitfire F Mk XIVc · Spitfire FR Mk XIVe|
|Typhoon Mk Ib · MB.5|
|Twin-engine fighters||Hornet Mk.I · Whirlwind P.9|
|Jet fighters||Attacker FB.2 · Hunter FGA.9 · Lightning F.53 · Meteor F Mk.8 Reaper · Sea Vixen F.A.W. Mk.2 · F-4J(UK) Phantom II|
|Strike aircraft||▄Wirraway · Beaufighter Mk I (40-mm) · Wyvern S4|
|Harrier GR.1 · Strikemaster Mk.88|
|Bombers||▄Avenger Mk II · ▄Boston Mk I · ▄Catalina Mk IIIa · ▄DB-7 · ▄Havoc Mk I · ▄Hudson Mk V · Swordfish Mk II|