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Luftwaffe


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Raf


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Regia Aeronautica


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30 files, last one added on Jan 12, 2011
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Usaf


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Heinkel He 176619 viewswas the world’s first aircraft to be propelled solely by a liquid-fuelled rocket, making its first powered flight on July 20 1939 with Erich Warsitz at the controls. The He 176 was built to utilise one of the new Walter engines. It was a tiny, simple aircraft, built almost entirely out of wood and lacking even an enclosed canopy. It had a conventional, fixed, tricycle undercarriage, but relied on the weight of the pilot to actually rest on its wheels. Empty, the tail of the plane rested on the ground. Heinkel demonstrated the aircraft to the RLM, but official disinterest led to the abandonment of the company's rocket propulsion programme. The He 176 was placed in the Deutsches Technikmuseum ("German Technical Museum") in Berlin, where it was destroyed in an air raid during World War II.
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Focke Wulf TA154 Moskito994 viewsThe Ta154 was developed because the Mosquito night bombers were almost invulnerable for a long time. The airframe was made of wood, a quite unusual feature for a german frontline aircraft, and there was just one production plant for a suitable glue, which was destroyed by a bombing raid. Instead, another glue was used, which caused some damage to nearby wood. This was the reason why Tank cancelled the quantity production after 8 prototypes, 7 pre-serial planes and only 10 serial planes until a better glue was available (indeed, there was none). Another weakness was the bow-wheel landing gear, which caused some crashes. Interesting was the method how the stability of the structure at high speeds was tested; they dragged a hull through water at high speed! The Ta154C was supposed to make use of the modern 1750PS Jumo213 engines.
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AVRO 626290 viewsThe Avro 626 was developed in 1930 from the Tutor with an optional third seat in a rear cockpit with provision for a gun ring. Numerous sales were made to foreign air forces up to 1939, some of which survived in second-line service until 1945. At least two 626s survived in Belgium's Aeronautique Militaire until 1940.
Avro Prefect: The RAF bought seven Tutor/Avro 626 hybrids, two-seaters with Lynx IVC engines, to Specification 32/34 as navigation trainers for service at School of Air Navigation, Andover. Delivered in 1935, they operated during WWII on miscellaneous duties. Four Lynx-engined Prefects supplied to RNZAF in 1935 were three-seaters; one survived to 1945.
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Avro Manchester351 viewsThe Avro Manchester had a relatively brief service career, from November 1940 to June 1942, largely because of problems associated by the unreliability and eventual lack of power shown by the Rolls-Royce Vulture I engines with which it was fitted. The bomber could, however, maintain height on one engine, and in one case an aircraft flew 600 miles from Berlin to its base in England after having had an engine knocked out by gunfire in addition to other extensive damage. In addition to a 10,350 pound bomb load in cavernous bomb-bay nearly half the length of the fuselage, the armament consisted of eight .303-inch machine-guns: two in the nose, two in a dorsal turret, and four in a turret in the tail.
Though unsuccessful the Avro Manchester design demonstrated sufficient promise to warrant further modification.
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Caproni Ca.111741 viewsUtilized in the colonies in Africa for postal transportation. Internal structure covered in wood. Single-engined development of the Ca.101, used mainly as utility transport. Some had float landing gear. 149 built.
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CANT Z 1007497 viewsThe three-engine formula, much developed by Italian manufacturers, had another noteworthy representative in the CANT Z. 1007, the bomber that, together with the SM.79 and BR.20, constituted the Regia Aeronautica's standard equipment during the conflict. A total of 560 aircraft were built in three production series from 1939 to 1943. The Alcione was widely used on all fronts, proving to be an effective aircraft, despite the emergence of problems of structural weakness in extreme climates, such as Africa and Russia, due to its being built entirely of wood. in 10/40, the Z.1007 was largely used in the invasion of Greece, followed by service in the Mediterranean, North Africa and especially against Malta. On the Russian front, the use of the three engine bombers was sporadic and intermittent. At the time of the armistice, the few remaining Z.1007's were split about evenly between the pro-Axis and Co-Belligerent air forces. At its height, the Z.1007 was used by 4 Stormos, 7 Groups and 2 squadrons.

Last additions - Military aircraft gallery
mc_202_folgore_sized.jpg
Macchi C.202 Folgore1292 viewswas a World War II fighter aircraft built by Macchi Aeronautica and operated by the Regia Aeronautica (RA; Royal (Italian) Air Force). Macchi aircraft designed by Mario Castoldi received the "C" letter in their model designation, hence the Folgore is referred to as the MC.202. Considered one of the most beautiful fighters to fly with wartime Axis forces, the C.202 was a development of the earlier C.200 Saetta, with a more powerful German Daimler-Benz DB 601 engine and with an extremely streamlined fuselage.[1] Undoubtedly the best wartime fighter to serve in large numbers with the Regia Aeronautica,[2] the Folgore operated on all fronts.[3]

The Folgore went into service with the Regia Aeronautica in July 1941 and immediately proved to be an effective and deadly dogfighter.[4][5] The Australian ace Clive Caldwell, who fought a wide variety of German, Italian and Japanese fighters during 1941–45, later stated that the C.202 was "one of the best and most undervalued of fighters".
Jan 12, 2011
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Gloster Gladiator893 viewsThe Gloster Gladiator (or Gloster SS.37) was a British-built biplane fighter. It was used by the Royal Air Force (RAF) and the Royal Navy (as the Sea Gladiator variant) and was exported to a number of other air forces during the late 1930s. It was the RAF's last biplane fighter aircraft and was rendered obsolete by newer monoplane designs even as it was being introduced. Though often pitted against more formidable foes during the early days of the Second World War, it acquitted itself reasonably well in combat.

The Gladiator saw action in almost all theatres during the Second World War, with a large number of air forces, some of them on the Axis side. The RAF used it in France, Norway, Greece, the defence of Malta, and the brief Anglo-Iraqi War (in which the Royal Iraqi Air Force was similarly equipped). Other countries deploying the Gladiator included China against Japan, beginning in 1938; Finland (along with Swedish volunteers) in the Winter War and the Continuation War; and Norway, Belgium, and Greece
Jan 12, 2011
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Supermarine Spitfire Mk Vb865 viewsThe Mk V was produced in greater numbers than any other single mark of Spitfire. It was the main version of the fighter during 1941, replacing the Mk I and II in service in time to take part in the first British counterattacks over France. During the summer of 1941 it held an advantage over the Bf 109, but in September 1941 the Fw 190 made its operation debut, and the Mk V found itself outclassed. Despite this, it remained the main RAF fighter until the summer of 1942, and the low level LF.Mk V remained in use into 1944.Jan 10, 2011
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Fairey Albacore951 viewsThe Fairey Albacore is a single-engine carrier-borne biplane torpedo bomber built by Fairey Aviation between 1939 and 1943 for the Fleet Air Arm. It had a three-man crew and was designed for spotting and reconnaissance as well as delivering bombs and torpedoes. The Albacore, popularly known as the "Applecore", was conceived as a replacement for the ageing Fairey Swordfish, which had entered service in 1936. However, the Albacore served with the Swordfish and was retired before it, being replaced by the monoplane Fairey Barracuda torpedo bomber.

The Albacore prototypes were built to meet Specification S.41/36 for a three-seat TSR (torpedo/spotter/reconnaissance) for the FAA. The first of two prototypes flew on December 12 1938 and production of the first batch of 98 aircraft began in 1939. Early Albacores were fitted with the Bristol Taurus II engine and those built later received the more powerful Taurus XII.

No. 826 Squadron FAA was specially formed to operate the first Albacores in March, 1940. Carrier-based squadrons began operating the Albacore in 1941. Eventually there were 15 FAA squadrons equipped with the plane which operated widely in the Mediterranean. Albacores participated in the Battle of Cape Matapan and the fighting at El Alamein as well as supporting the landings at Sicily and Salerno. During the period September 1941 to end of June 1943 No. 828 Squadron FAA, Hal-Far, Malta, operated a squadron of TSR Fairey Albacores under some of the most severe blitz conditions imaginable during the siege of Malta, mainly against Italian shipping and shore targets in Sicily.

In 1943 the Albacore was replaced by the Barracuda. The last Albacore squadron, No. 841, disbanded in late 1943. The Royal Canadian Air Force took over the Albacores and used them during the Normandy invasion.
Sep 18, 2006
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Dornier Do 191064 viewsAlong with the Junkers Ju 89, the Do 19 was developed as part of the "Ural Bomber" program championed by Gen. Walther Wever who forsaw the need for long range strategic bombing capability. When Gen. Wever was killed in April of 1936, the goal of a strategic bombing capability died with him. On April 29, 1937, the Ural-Bomber bomber program was cancelled by Kesselring in spite of protests. Kesselring felt the production and development resources would be better used to develop and build tactical bombers such as the Do 17 and He 111. This philosophy would later haunt and severely handicap the Luftwaffes ability to strike at Russia's production capabilities.Sep 18, 2006
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Arado Ar 240981 viewsThe German Arado 234 was the very first purpose-built jet bomber. While the Ar-234 had very little influence on the outcome of World War II, being much too late and too few in number, it had influence on later aircraft designs. The Ar-234B could be configured either as a bomber or reconnaissance aircraft. It weighed about 5.2 tonnes (11,464 pounds) empty, and about 8.43 tonnes (18,850 pounds) fully loaded. Maximum bomb load was about 1.5 tonnes, carried externally. When used as a reconnaissance aircraft, the AR-234B carried a pair of 300 liter (79 US gallon) drop tanks in place of the bombs.

The powerplants consisted of a pair of Junkers Jumo 004B turbojets, with 900 kilograms (1,980 pounds) thrust each. Maximum speed without bombs or drop tanks was 740 KPH (460 MPH) at 6,100 meters (20,000 feet), but the speed dropped to as low as 660 KPH (410 MPH) with external loads. The prototypes had actually been a good 30 KPH faster than the Ar-234B, due to the more slender fuselage allowed by the lack of landing gear. Tricycle landing gear was fitted. As the Ar-234 landed at high speed, it had a drag chute as standard equipment; it was one of the first aircraft to do so. The rounded nose of the aircraft was covered with plexiglas, giving the pilot an excellent view to the front, but no view to the back except through a periscope. The periscope, which was not provided in the Ar-234 prototypes, also served as a sight for dive-bombing attacks. As a bomber, the Ar-234 was something of a failure. It could not carry enough of a bombload to match the destructive power of the big heavy bombers that were smashing the Reich. However, as a reconnaissance aircraft it proved able to bring back intelligence from airspace denied to prop-driven aircraft.

There were also a number of innovations in the Ar-234 that would be seen in later aircraft.
Sep 18, 2006