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Aircraft from 1900-1909

The era of heavier-than-air manned flight officially begins

Bleriot XI
The Bleriot XI was one of the first notable monoplanes to achieve any level of fame. Primitive by
today's standards, the system becam e a standard all its own in the early 1900s. The type served in
a limited capacity during th... 1909

Wright Flyer (Series)

Though the prospect of manned flight had been around for hundreds, maybe even thousands of
years, it would be the Wright Brothers - Orville and Wilbur - that would put theory to practice a nd
produce the first in a series of h... 1903
Aircraft from 1910-1919
Covering the War to End All Wars and flying for the love of it.

The C.IV was a twin-seat biplane aircraft produced by the German firm of Allgemeine Elektrizitats-
Gesellschaft (or simply "AEG"). The type was primarily fielded as reconnaissance platform from
1916 onwards though it also serv... 1916

The AEG G.IV was another successful product of the Allgemeine Elektritzitats Gesellschaft aircraft
corporation and was an amalgam of what made the G.I, G.II and G.III successful aircraft in their
own right. The system was pro... 1916

Aeromarine 39
The Aeromarine 39 was a two-seat plane for land-based or seaplane training ordered by the US
Navy in 1917. The versatile aircraft was built by the Aeromarine Plane and Motor Company of
Keyport, New Jersey. The design was a s... 1916

Aeromarine 40
The Aeromarine Model 40 (or simply "Aeromarine 40") was a two-seat floatplane trainer aircraft
serving the United States Navy. The aircraft was produced by the Aeromarine Plane and Motor
Company of Keyport, New Jersey, and ha... 1918

Aerowerke Gustav Otto AGO C.II

The C.II was the product of the Aerowerke Gustav Otto aircraft firm, abbreviated as AGO in the
5 designation, and is often regarded as one of the best reconnaissance aircraft of the First World
War. Serving just a short span, t... 1915

Airco / de Havilland DH.4

With production numbering over 6,000 total units, the Airco / de Havilland DH.4 was another one
of Geoffrey de Havilland's successful aircraft designs of the First World War (his legacy would later
be solidified with the deve... 1918

Airco DH.2
Though not much to look at by today's fighter aircraft standards - let alone World War One-era
aircraft standards, the Airco-produced DH.2 would prove to be a rugged and reliable platform. The
DH.2 was the product of one Geof... 1916

Airco DH.5
With the view afforded the pilots of the DH.2, famed aircraft designer Geoffrey de Havilland set out
to create a similar, yet more than capable in terms of performance, off-shoot in the form of the
DH.5. The end result would ... 1917

Airco DH.9
The AirCo / de Havilland DH.9 was a further revision of the DH.4 bomber. Design was
accomplished by the de Havilland company with production handled by the Aircraft Manufacturing
Company ("AirCo" or "Airco"). The series was f... 1917

Albatros B.II
The Albatros B.II was a reconnaissance biplane used in the early years of the First World War,
particularly on the German side. The product of design of one Ernst Heinkel, a name that would
appear on a variety of aircraft typ... 1914
Albatros C.I
The Albatros C.I series of aircraft was the next evolution in the brand's reconnaissance aircraft line.
Stemming from the development of the production Albatros B.II, the C.I shared many of the
common characteristics in the i... 1915

Albatros C.III
Continuing in the long line of short-term reconnaissance biplane designs, the German Air Force
fielded the Albatros C.III in an effort to improve upon the successes of the C.I design. Appearing
outwardly nearly identical to t... 1915

Albatros C.V
The Albatros C.V can, in some ways, be approached as a step backwards in the progression of the
C-series as a whole. Though the intent to produce a top-notch reconnaissance biplane aircraft, the
system fell short of expectati... 1916

Albatros C.X
The Albatros production of the C.X model continued the firm's commitment to producing capable
reconnaissance biplane aircraft. Supplanting the earlier C-series types before it, the C.X model
looked to improved upon an already... 1917

Albatros D.I
The Albatros series of aircraft is a good study in how aircraft design evolved throughout World War
One. The "D" series saw no fewer than five in the D.I, D.II, D.III, D.V and ultimately the D.Va.
Such was the newfound weapon... 1916

Albatros D.II
The Albatros D.II became a further development of the successful Albatros D.I series. The D.I was
instrumental in winning back air superiority to the side of the Germans, with their powerful engines
and dual-synchronized mach... 1916

Albatros D.III
Having already found successes in the Albatros D.I and D.II models, designer Robert Thelen sought
for more in the way of maneuverability when tackling the new Albatros D.III. This was
accomplished by a new unstaggered wing la... 1917

Albatros D.V
The Albatros D.V series is often regarded as the best of th bunch in regards to the preceding D.I,
D.II and the D.III models. By the latter years of 1917, the improved D.III was already showing
signs that it had become outcla... 1917

Albatros D.Va
The Albatros D.Va was a further development in the “D” series and a continuation of the successful
D.V series. As with all of the preceding Albatros D models, the D.Va featured only minor
improvements in the hopes that the ai... 1917

Ansaldo A 1 Balilla (Hunter)

The Ansaldo A 1 Balilla ("Hunter") was the first aircraft fighter design of Italian origins. Italian
forces consistently used French-designed aircraft in the early years of the war, leading the Ansaldo
Italian firm to create ... 1918

Armstrong Whitworth FK.8

The Armstrong Whitworth FK.8 model series was an aircraft conceived of by aircraft designer
Frederick Koolhoven of Dutch origins. The system turned out to be a most versatile platform used
throughout the First World War and p... 1917
Aviatik B.I
The Aviatik B.I series handled reconnaissance duties for Germany in the early years of the war,
serving up to about early 1916 before being replaced by more improved contemporaries. The
system was sufficient in the role and w... 1914

Aviatik C.I
Aviatik (Automobil und Aviatikwerke) of Germany was already involved in aircraft designs from the
outset of the war, graduating from the copying of French designs to producing their own new
design in the Aviatik B.I. Followin... 1915

Avro 504
Without knowing it from the outset, the Avro Type 504 series of aircraft would become one of the
most produced and influential biplane designs for the United Kingdom, being fielded from 1913 all
the way through the early 1930... 1913

Blackburn R.T.1 Kangaroo

The Kangaroo was the product of the Blackburn Aeroplane and Motor Company, Limited. The
design began as a venture in 1916 to which two complete prototypes were produced. These
prototype aircraft, known collectively as the Bla... 1918

Breguet Br.M5
The Breguet Br.M5 series of biplane bomber was developed from the Breguet Br.M4. The Br.M5
was operated by a crew of two with the pilot seated in the middle of the aircraft and the
gunner/observer to the front. Defensive arma... 1915

Breguet Bre.14
French aviation design triumphed with the arrival of the Breguet Bre.14 series (sometimes written
as Breguet Br.XIV). The aircraft proved to be of the utmost reliability and lethality upon entering
the war front in 1916 and w... 1917

Bristol F.2
The Bristol F.2 fighter series operated throughout the British Empire for decades, serving through
World War 1 and through the interwar years. The system proved a viable fighter platform despite
its origination as a reconnais... 1917

Bristol Scout
The Bristol Scout is a good World War One aircraft study in the "what might have been" category.
Born from the pedigree of a racing plane, the Bristol Scout was used in the beginning of the war as
an unarmed flying scout, uti... 1914

Caproni Ca.36
The Caproni Ca.36 represented the definitive model in the C-bomber series debuted in 1914 as the
C.31. The Ca.36 was a tremendous asset to allied operations against Germany and the Austro-
Hungarian Empire and were put into ac... 1917

Caudron G.4
The Caudron G.4 series was a twin-engine bomber platform introduced in the early years of World
War 1 by the French. The system served initially with the French air force but was put to good use
in the hands of British, Itali... 1915
Caudron R.11
The Caudron R.11 was initially intended as a reconnaissance platform for the French Air Force but
went on to serve the role of fighter escort instead. The system was fielded with a crew of three,
was of a large two engine des... 1918

Coanda 1910
This invention by Romanian inventor Henri Coanda amazingly appeared in 1910 as the world's first
jet-propelled aircraft - just seven years after the Wright Brothers historic first flight and four years
before the great air ba... 1910

The DFW C.V series of biplane aircraft was of German design in World War 1. The system was
particularly noted for its good handling characteristics, power derived from its Benz engine and
strong dogfighting capabilities even ... 1916

Fokker D.VII
The Fokker Dr.VII is now regarded as the best German fighter of the First World War. This biplane
design entered development and production towards the end of the war but aircrews still managed
some very impressive kill-to-lo... 1918

Fokker D.VIII
The Fokker D.VIII was a monoplane design and is regarded as one of the best fighters produced by
the Germans during the First World War. It combined survivability, firepower and adaptability in a
sturdy airframe. The syst... 1918

Fokker Dr.I (Dreidecker) Triplane

The Fokker Dr.I ("Dr" for "Dreidecker" meaning "triplane") series is most closely associated with
Manfred von Richthofen (aka "the Red Baron") as the triplane aircraft was his chosen mount in the
final months of his life, acc... 1917

Fokker E (Eindecker) Monoplane

As with most aircraft developed during the First World War, the Eindecker series enjoyed a
relatively short period of time at the front lines. Aviation technology was ever changing to the point
that aircraft designs could be ... 1915

Friedrichshafen G.III

Halberstadt CL.IV
The CL.IV was a further development of the CL.II design, both aircraft a product of Halberstadt
Flugzeugwerke of Germany. The CL.II was found to be a perfect platform when used in the close-
support role and, as such, the CL.I... 1918

Handley Page H.P. O/400

The O/400 model series by Handley Page aircraft firm was the principle heavy bomber of the RAF
by the end of the First World War. The O/400 was directly descended from the previous O/100
model series with the "100" and "400" ... 1918
Junkers CL.I
The Junkers CL.I was a break-through aircraft design produced in limited quantities in the final
year of World War One. The system was an all-metal design proposed and accepted at a time when
wood and fabric-constructed plane... 1918

Martin MB-1 / Glenn Martin Bomber

The Martin MB-1 (also known as the "Glenn Martin Bomber") became the first heavy bomber type
to be purchased in quantity in the First World War, becoming the mainstay of the United States
Army Air Service (USAAS) for a time. ... 1918

Martinsyde F.4 Buzzard

The Martinsyde F.4 "Buzzard" was a biplane aircraft appearing in the late stages of World War 1
and saw service most notably with the Royal Air Force. The aircraft proved to be of sound design
and was regarded as one of the f... 1918

Morane-Saulnier Type N
The Moraine-Saulnier Type N (or simply "Moraine-Saulnier N") was a French fighter aircraft of the
First World War. It appeared in limited production numbers (just 49 total aircraft) and was quickly
replaced by more advanced p... 1915

Nieuport Nie.11 (Bebe)

The Nieuport 11 "Bebe" (or "Baby" - officially as the Nieuport 11 C1) was in some regards the first
"true" Allied fighter of the First World War. Developed from the Bebe racer competition monoplane
aircraft, the militarized v... 1915

Nieuport Nie.17
The Nieuport 17series of aircraft was the weapon of choice for World War One aces such as Rene
Fonck, Albert Ball and Billy Bishop. The XVII was directly developed from the existing and
successful 11 "Bebe" platform and would... 1916

Nieuport Nie.27
The Nieuport Nie.27 (or simply Nieuport 27) was designed by Gustave Delage and became an
advanced trainer and fighter, serving with units of the Aeronautique Militaire, the Royal Flying
Corps and the Corpo Aeronatico Militair... 1917

Nieuport Nie.28
The French-built Nieuport 28 fighter was the third of the successful trilogy of "Nieuport Fighting
Scouts" that included the original Nieuport 11 and 17 models. The 28 model would become the
aircraft of choice for aces such a... 1917

Pfalz D.III
The Pfalz D.III was an exceptional aircraft produced in large numbers by Bavaria for Bavarian
forces and; later, Imperial German air forces. The D.III biplane was a agile fighter capable of high-
speed diving attacks and excel... 1917

Royal Aircraft Factory F.E.2

The F.E.2 series of aircraft were produced by the Royal Aircraft Factory and had their origins in the
F.E.1, a 1910 design by the Farman Brothers of France. Geoffrey de Havilland joined the Royal
Aircraft Factory and brought ... 1915
Royal Aircraft Factory F.E.8
The Royal Aircraft Factory F.E.8 ("F.E." for "Fighter Experimental") was developed in 1915 and
released as an operational aircraft in 1916. Designed in much the same way as the F.E.2 series
before it, the F.E.8 placed the eng... 1916

Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5

The Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5 ("S.E." for "Scout Experimental") was designed from the outset as
an aircraft with a "green" pilot in mind. Additionally, care in the design of the aircraft was taken to
make sure it was a pla... 1917

Siemens-Schuckert D.I
54 Siemens-Schuckert D.I aircraft were in fact reverse-engineered copies of the French-made
Nieuport 11. So desperate was Germany at finding a contender for the Nieuport 11 that it resorted
to capturing Nieuport 11's and learni... 1916

Siemens-Schuckert D.III
The Siemens-Schuckert D series of fighters evolved from captured French-made Nieuport 11
aircraft. The D.III appeared as an improved D.I - a design which arrived too late to be of much use
and was therefore relegated to train... 1917

Siemens-Schuckert D.IV
The Siemens-Schuckert D.IV was a further development of the D-series brand, itself a copy of the
spectacular French Nieuport 11. Development of the D.IV stemmed from the D.IIc short wing span
prototype ordered after productio... 1918

Sikorsky Ilya Mourometz (Series)

The Sikorsky Ilya Mourometz series of aircraft were the world's first four-engine bombers in
operational service. Igor Sikorsky, his name synonymous in the modern world for the company's
line of American helicopters, was alre... 1915

Sopwith 1-1/2 Strutter

The Sopwith 1-1/2 (one and one half) Strutter was a successful aircraft design fielded in the First
World War. The aircraft was principally produced by the British (1,439) but more so by the French
to the tune of some 4,200 t... 1916

Sopwith Camel
Though the Sopwith Camel (the official designation being Sopwith Biplane F.1) was designed as a
replacement for the Sopwith Pup, the Camel was in fact a further development of the type. The
single-seat biplane fighter provide... 1917

Sopwith Dolphin
The Sopwith Dolphin was yet another fighter design in the long line of Thomas Sopwith production
aircraft during World War 1. The system was produced with the fighter pilot in mind and offered up
an unobstructed view from out... 1917

Sopwith Pup
The Sopwith Pup appeared in 1916 at a time when the Allies were coming up against what would
be known as the "Fokker Scourge" - air supremacy by Germany and her allies across the front. The
Pup was based on the Sopwith Strutt... 1916
Sopwith Snipe
The Sopwith Snipe took all of the components that had made the Sopwith Camel a legend in the
middle years of World War 1 and introduced several new features that made this new design the
most formidable Allied fighter. Appear... 1917

Sopwith Triplane
The Sopwith Triplane (dubbed the "Triplehound" by her pilots) was a three wing design built upon
the successes of the Sopwith Pup series. The aircraft strayed from the normal aircraft design
techniques of the time, where mono... 1916


The SPAD S.VII (or S.7) became one of France's best fighter designs during World War 1. The
S.VII was known for many of the elements that made a great dogfighter in the conflict including a
sound structure, the ability to wit... 1916


French flying ace Georges Guynemer pushed the idea of a cannon-armed fighter plane after his
experiences in aircraft such as the SPAD S.VII. This led the Societe Pour l'Aviation et ses Derives
(SPAD) company to develop such a... 1917


The SPAD S.XIII (S.13) was a further development of the successful SPAD S.VII (S.7) design, the
latter eventually becoming outclassed by the newer and better German aircraft designs of World
War 1. The S.XIII would prove a su... 1917

Standard J-1
The Standard J-1 appeared in the First World War and served the United States Army Air Service in
the role of trainer. The system featured two cockpits in tandem, each with an equal set of simple
controls on wooden panels for... 1917

Vickers FB.5
The FB.5 (also known as the "Gunbus") was of a biplane type design for the scouting role. What set
the system apart from earlier examples was that this aircraft was the first scout type to be armed.
In that way alone, one cou... 1915

Voisin Type 5
69 The French Voisin Type 5 bomber was developed from the proven Voisin III series and saw action
in the First World War. Though the III series accomplished what was expected from it, it soon
became apparent that aircraft with l... 1915

Vought VE-7 Bluebird

In 1917 Mr. Birdseye B. Lewis formed an aircraft business with the Vought group, becoming the
Lewis & Vought Corporation in the United States. The Vought VE-7 Bluebird, named for Lewis
himself, was a biplane designed that sa... 1917
Aircraft from 1920-1929
The interwar years, barnstormers, and the pursuit of speed

Aero A.11
The Aero A.11 was a highly successful multi-faceted performer for the Czech Army Air Force in the
interwar years between World War One and World War Two. Equally respected for its adaptability
and capability, the A.11 was des... 1923

ANF Les Mureaux 4

The ANF les Mureaux series of light observation aircraft first appeared in the inter-war years,
specifically in the late 1920's and developed further into the 1930's. The Mureaux served as an
important arm to the French milit... 1928

3 Armstrong Whitworth Atlas


Armstrong Whitworth Siskin

The Armstrong Whitworth Siskin (a siskin being a smallish yellow-tinged finch) was the primary air
mount of many-a-Royal Air Force pilot in her heyday. She represented one of the earliest aircraft
designs for the British in t... 1924

Boeing F4B
The Boeing-produced F4B series of aircraft was produced in large quantities for the United States
Army and the United States Navy (as the P-12). The aircraft was of simple biplane design with
open cockpit, a static undercarri... 1929

Boeing PW-9
The Boeing PW-9 series was based on the Model 15 aircraft. When evaluated by the US Army, the
system was found to be quite the aircraft and ordered into a developmental stage with the XPW-9
series (a total of three were produ... 1924

Breguet Bre.19
The French-designed and produced Breguet Bre.19 was designed to replace the Bre.14 but was
actually developed and produced at the same time as the Bre.14 (and limited to use near the
populated French cities). The Bre.19 sh... 1923

Bristol Bulldog
In 1926, the British Air Ministry put forth a specification for a radial-piston engine fighter design
that could operate in daytime and nighttime with armed with twin Vickers-type machine guns and
capable of engaging the top ... 1929

Consolidated PT-1 Trusty

The "Trusty" was a product of the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation (though designed under the
brand of the Dayton-Wright Company, itself a company under parent General Motors) and
accepted for service as a primary trainer of... 1924

Curtiss F6C HAWK

The Curtiss F6C Hawk series of aircraft was in fact the US Navy/Marine model of the US Army's P-1
Hawk series. The US Navy found the P-1 attractive enough to begin fielding it as a carrier-based
aircraft whilst the US Marines... 1924
Curtiss P-6 Hawk
Originally based on the existing P-1B series of aircraft, the P-6 Hawk series was a first-line pursuit
aircraft for the United States in the early 1930s. The Hawk became the last of the fighter biplanes
built in quantity for... 1929

Martin MB-2 / NBS-1

The Martin MB-2 series of twin-engine bombers holds a distinct footnote in the history of United
States bomber production as it was the first such system to be mass-produced with US origins.
During the First World War, it was... 1920

Nieuport Nighthawk
The Nieuport Nighthawk began as a design showing great promise. Development began in 1918,
the final year of World War 1, and was the product of the Nieuport & General Aircraft firm - a
British-based company started during th... 1923

Witteman-Lewis XNBL-1 (Barling Bomber)

The Witteman-Lewis XNBL-1 (popularly known as the "Barling Bomber") was an ambitious heavy
bomber design from Walter Barling, an engineer with the United States Army Air Service. The
aircraft was designed to a US Chief of Sta...
Aircraft from 1930-1939
The threat of war forces changes and the aircraft truly evolves.

Airspeed Oxford
The Airspeed Oxford was an important British and Commonwealth aerial trainer that served
through World War Two. The system appeared in two notable forms as the Oxford I and the Oxford
II with a few subvariants sprinkled in be... 1937

Amiot 143
The Amiot 143 of the French Air Force represented an evolution in the Amiot piston-engine bomber
series that replaced the Amiot 140 of 1931. First flying in 1935, the Amiot 143 system was an
unspectacular design whose time ha... 1935

Arado Ar 195
The Arado Ar 195 was prototype design intended for operations from Germany's first aircraft
carrier known as the Graf Zeppelin. The aircraft was developed to a requirement for a carrier-
based torpedo bomber, to which some thr... 1937

Arado Ar 196
The Arado Ar 196 was the principle floatplane of the German Luftwaffe throughout World War 2.
The aircraft was showcased in quantity on nearly every front that Germany was threatened - or
was threatening - and fared well agai... 1939

Arado Ar 68
The Arado-production of the Ar 68 signaled a stepping stone for fighter design in the German
Luftwaffe. With the air force branch still held in secret from the rest of the world, the Luftwaffe
quietly set about building up th... 1934

Arado Ar E.500
The E.500 was a proposed heavy fighter design put forth by Arado Flugzeugwerke of Germany. The
system was designed as early as 1936 and featured a crew of four consisting of a pilot, co-pilot,
dorsal turret gunner and ventral... 1936

Arado Ar E.561
The Arado Ar E.561 was on the drawing boards as early as 1937. Classified as a heavy fighter, the
type would have lived and died via its combination of firepower and performance. World War 2
brought about the need for purpose... 1937

Armstrong Whitworth AW.27 Ensign

The impressive Armstrong Whitworth Ensign AW.27 series was made originally designed to a 1934
British government requirement for an air mail service transport to spearhead an improved method
of correspondence to all points of... 1936

Armstrong Whitworth Whitley

Continuing in the tradition of ugly yet robust and reliable heavy bombers, the British Armstrong
Whitworth Whitley was the heavy bomber of choice during the early war years and up through
1942. The massive unappealing design ... 1937

Avia B.534
The Czechoslovakian Avia B.534 series of biplane was a highly regarded though often forgotten
product of the European nation. Some reports make it the best aircraft of its category during its
early run through the 1930s. Such... 1934
Avions Fairey Fox
Avions Fairey was set up in Belgium as an offshoot of the Fairey Aviation Company of Britain. The
production facility was initially created for the local production of the Fairey Firefly, to which the
facilities were later us... 1933

Avro 621 Tutor

The Avro 621 Tutor was a primary component of RAF and RN pilot training in the interwar years.
Developed from the World War 1 era Avro 504 series, the 621 type proved to be a follow-up
success. Built to some 852 examples, the... 1933

Avro Anson
The Avro Anson was a militarized version of the commercial passenger transport Avro 652. The
Anson itself was produced to fulfill Specification 18/35 brought about by the British Air Ministry and
originally intended for use a... 1936

Bell P-39 Airacobra

The Bell P-39 Airacobra is yet another in the long line of aircraft studies stemming from World War
2 in the "what-might-have been" category. The system had all the looks of a top performer,
armament that could go head to hea... 1938

Beriev Be-2 / MBR-2

The Beriev Be-2 was one of the few floatplanes of note fighting for the Soviet Union throughout
World War Two as very little in the way fo attention to the type was given. The floatplane was
utilitarian by nature with pedestr... 1935

Boeing 314 Clipper (C-98)

The Boeing Model 314 "Clipper" was a floatplane primarily developed by the Boeing Aircraft
Company to fulfill a Pan American requirement for a long-range passenger floatplane. The system
saw only 12 examples produced in two v... 1939

Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress

Though the Consolidated B-24 Liberator was built in greater numbers, the Boeing B-17 Flying
Fortress is often regarded as the more important heavy bomber for the American Allies in the
Second World War, accounting for over 29... 1937

Boeing P-26 Peashooter

The P-26 became the first all-metal fighter design for the United States. Appearing similar to the
later "Gee Bee" series of racers, the P-26 replaced the P-12 to which the newer P-26 outclassed in
nearly every way. The P-... 1932

Boulton Paul Defiant

The inter-war years saw a vast shift to more modern and potent aircraft platforms. The Boulton
Paul Defiant followed as only the RAF's third such monoplane aircraft and, amazingly enough, the
Defiant also became the RAF's fir... 1937

Brewster F2A Buffalo

The stubby F2A Buffalo series became the United States Navy's first operational aircraft of
monoplane design. Despite this honor, the system as a whole failed to live up to expectations set
forth by technology and combat tact... 1937
Bristol Beaufighter
Serving until the 1960s with the Royal Air Force, the Bristol Beaufighter (or simply "Beau") became
a national hero through her service in the Battle of Britain, World War Two and beyond. The
Beaufighter became the world's fi... 1939

Bristol Blenheim
The Bristol Blenheim billed as a bomber though when it was officially installed into operational
active service, the aircraft was quite capable of outrunning some fighters. The twin-engine, 3-
person aircraft would equip the f... 1935

CANT Z.501 Gabbiano (Gull)

The CANT Z.501 Gabbiano (meaning "Gull") was a floatplane aircraft developed in Italy and shared
a resemblance to the successful American Consolidated PBY Catalina series. By the time of the
Second World War, the design shoul... 1936

Consolidated PBY Catalina

Maritime aircraft play an understated role, especially in that of war time. Fly boats came to pass,
first in peace-time development as early as 1901, and ultimately in the First World War. Their
development, with experience g... 1936

Curtiss A-12 (Shrike)

The A-12 was an inter-war product of the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company first appearing in
1933. The type became the first quantitative monoplane aircraft in service with the United States
Army Air Corps upon its incepti... 1933

Curtiss P-36 Hawk / Mohawk

The P-36 Hawk aircraft produced by Curtiss was a widely accepted and operated weapon system.
From its initial appearance once can see the influence that the P-36 had in the design of the P-40
Warhawk of "Flying Tigers" fame. ... 1935

Curtiss XP-42
The Curtiss XP-42 was a further development of the Curtiss P-36 Hawk model though it would
share some initial outward similarities to Curtiss' most well known aircraft - the P-40 Warhawk.
Later in its development, the XP-42 w... 1939

de Havilland D.H.82 Tiger Moth

The Tiger Moth series produced by the UK firm of de Havilland went on to become one of the more
beloved trainers of all time, sending many a British and Commonwealth nation pilot in the inter-
war years and through World War T... 1931

Dewoitine D.500
The D.500 series, as a whole, was merely a stop-gap design for France - bridging a gap between
two eras of aviation resulting from post-World War One design and preceeding World War,
commonly known as the interwar years. The ... 1936

Dewoitine D.520
The Dewoitine D.520 was a single seat piston-engine fighter designed and built for the French Air
Force. Developed from lessons learned in their ill-fated D.513 design, Dewoitine produced a fighter
of sleek design and accepta... 1939

Dornier Do 17
The Dornier Do 17 (sometimes referred to as "the Pencil" due to its fundamental shape) was a
respect medium bomber class utilized by the German Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain and
throughout the Second World War. Initia... 1934
Dornier Do 18
Though a serviceable flying boat with a successful pedigree, the Dornier Do 18 was highly
outclassed and outdated at the start of World War 2 and was subsequently used in limited
numbers, relegated mostly to air and sea rescu... 1938

Dornier Do 215
The Dornier Do 215 was originally intended for export, beginning life as a redesignated version of
the Dornier Do 17 light/medium bomber. Three prototypes were initially produced from the Do 17K
- the V1, V2 and V3 - each wit... 1939

Dornier Do 217
The Dornier Do 217 was a multi-faceted performer for the German Luftwaffe that ended up
fulfilling various roles from bomber to reconnaissance aircraft, aerial test bed to torpedo bomber.
The twin-engine 4-man aircraft appear... 1938

Dornier Do 22
The Dornier Do 22 was a German-designed and produced three-man floatplane. It was produced in
Germany and Switzerland for the export market despite the fact that the aircraft proved a winning
design for the Germans. The Do 22... 1938

Dornier Do 24
The Dornier Do 24 was a capable flying both serving in limited numbers both Allied and Axis
powers in World War 2. The system was classified as a flying boat, capable of operations on both
land and sea, and was the product of... 1937

37 Douglas B-18 Bolo


Douglas SBD Dauntless

The Douglas DBS Dauntless dive bomber was a key cog in the America Navy war effort throughout
the Pacific during World War 2. Though a product of the middle-to-late 1930's, the type continued
to soldier on even as more advanc... 1938

Fairey Swordfish
The Fairey Swordfish was one of the unsung heroes of the Second World War. With Britain
seemingly fighting the world war all on its own, much pressure fell upon its air force and navy
branches to produce results. The Swordfis... 1936

Fiat BR.20 Cicogna (Stork)

The Fiat BR.20 Cicogna (translated to "Stork") was a medium bomber in service with the Italian Air
Force in the late inter-war years and early years of World War Two. Much like other inter-war
designs however, the Cicogna was... 1936

Fiat CR.32
Arguably the best biplane fighter of Italian design before the start of the Second World War. The
plane was also built for export for Spain and Sweden air defence. The Fiat CR.32 saw air combat
service with Spain in the Spani... 1938

Fiat CR.42 Falco (Falcon)

Despite its by-gone era appearance, the Fiat CR.42 Falco (meaning "Falcon") played a crucial role
in the early war years for Italy, serving as the primary fighter for the Italian air force (Regia
Aeronautica. The system was f... 1939
Fiat G.50 Freccia (Arrow)
The Fiat G.50 Freccia (meaning "Arrow") series provided the Italian Air Force with a then-modern
monoplane fighter featuring a retractable undercarriage, all-metal construction and an enclosed
cockpit. During this period in a... 1938

Fieseler Fi 156 Storch (Stork)

The seemingly fragile Fieseler Fi 156 Storch(or "Stork") does not seem to have a home in a global
conflict as World War 2 was yet the little machine became a spectacular multi-purpose airframe to
which the Third Reich put to ... 1937

Focke-Wulf Fw 187 Falke (Falcon)

Despite demonstrating some impressive performance statistics from underpowered engines, the
Focke-Wulf product Fw 187 Falke (or "Falcon") never materialized into a production quantity
models. Similar in design and reach to th... 1937

Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Wurger (Shrike)

The Focke-Wulf Fw 190 single-seat fighter is held by some to be the best German piston fighter of
the Second World War - and with good reason as the weapon system accounted for hundreds of
Allied bomber and fighter losses thr... 1939

Focke-Wulf Fw 200 (Condor)

The German Fw 200 Condor was initially a trans-Atlantic passenger and cargo (mail) aircraft
developed by Focke-Wulf and legendary designer Kurt Tank in 1936. Early prototypes were fitted
with the Pratt & Whitney Hornet radial... 1938

Fokker D.XXI
Designed by Anthony Fokker in 1935, the Fokker D.XXI first flew on March 27th, 1936. The system
was originally intended to fill the ranks of the Netherlands East Indies Army Air Service but the
arrival of World War 2 eventual... 1938

Gloster Gauntlet
Gloster Gauntlet origins lay in a Gloster design appearing in the late 1920's for the Royal Air Force
and served throughout the 1930's with several local and foreign-based air groups. The aircraft was
designed as a fighter an... 1935

Gloster Gladiator
The Gloster Gladiator was a product of the Gloster Aircraft Company and a design of one Henry
Phillip Folland. Achieving first flight on September 12th, 1934, the system was officially introduced
into Royal Air Force service ... 1937

Granville Gee Bee (Series)

The Gee Bee (deriving its name from a shortened form of "Granville Brothers") racers became the
unofficial symbol of the "Golden Age" of flight during the interwar years. Its unique design and high
-speed performance allowed i... 1931

Grumman F2F
Leroy Grumman designed this portly biplane fighter for the United States Navy. Grumman had
already made a steady image for his company with the design of the FF-1, a similar two-seat
biplane fighter that proved quite the spee... 1935
Hawker Fury (I & II)
The Hawker Fury was the mainstay of Britain air defense throughout the 1930's until being
replaced by the Gloster Gladiators. The Fury's design was in all actuality, a stop-gap design while
the Hawker Hurricane was being desi... 1931

Hawker Hurricane
The Hawker Hurricane was indeed the true star of Britain's march against the Third Reich. Often
overshadowed by the sleeker and sexier Supermarine Spitfire, the Hurricane system evolved from
the Hawker "Fury Monoplane" as it ... 1937

Heinkel He 111
Though the base He 111 was arguably the most important bomber of the Third Reich during the
Second World War, the idea of bombers winning the war was lost on German warplanners - in
particular Adolph Hitler - whom envisioned ... 1936

Heinkel He 112
The Heinkel He 112 was the only serious threat (next to the Messerschmitt Bf 109) to becoming
Germany's first modern monoplane design in operational service. The aircraft exhibited potential
right from the start but was ultim... 1935

Heinkel He 178
The Heinkel-produced He 178 has the distinct honor of becoming the world's first aircraft to fly
solely with a turbojet engine. The aircraft was already in the design stage in 1936, eventually
hitting the skies before the war... 1939

Heinkel He 51
The He 51 was a product of the German Heinkel firm and a design of the Gunter twins, Walter and
Siegfried. The Gunters became part of the Heinkel firm in 1931 and made the He 49 their first
product with the company. The He 49... 1935

Heinkel He 59

Henschel Hs 123
The Henschel-produced Hs 123 aircraft became the last operational biplane for the German
Luftwaffe during World War two. Born from a German requirement for a dive-bomber aircraft as
early as 1933, several Henschel Hs 123 test... 1936

Ilyushin IL-4
In many ways the Ilyushin-brand IL-4 was a "forgotten" bomber of the Second World War - at
least in the West - though it formed the majority of Soviet bomber wings and was produced in
excess of 5,000 examples. The system perf... 1937

Junkers Ju 87 (Stuka)
Before the Allies would gain air superiority over the skies of France and Germany, the Junkers Ju
87 "Stuka" dive bomber would reign supreme. The system, for a time, became the terror of both
civilian and soldier alike, as th... 1937
Junkers Ju 88
The Junkers Ju 88 represented one of the better and more successful bomber designs attributed to
the German Luftwaffe. The system performed on a variety of levels, achieving success with most
every role and saw production rea... 1939

Kawanishi H6K (Mavis)

Though looking very much the part of a German-produced Dornier series flying boat, the Kawanishi
brand H6K series (codenamed "Mavis" by the Allies) had more in common with Western flying boat
designs if anything. Interestingl... 1938

Lockheed P-38 Lightning

The Lockheed P-38 Lightning (often called the "Fork-Tailed Devil" from the German perspective)
was the brainchild of aviation engineer Kelly Johnson. The name "Lightning" itself is believed to be
derived from the designation ... 1939

Macchi MC.200 Saetta (Lightning)

The Macchi M.C.200 Saetta (or "Lightning") was the main production fighter in the Italian military
when Italy entered the Second World War. Overall, a most basic of fighter designs, armed with 2 x
12.7mm machine guns and dece... 1938

Martin B-10
The Martin B-10 medium bomber was a breakthrough design for American military aviation when it
appeared on the scene in 1932. Though made obsolete at the outbreak of hostilities in World War
Two, the type persevered in other ... 1932

68 Messerschmitt Bf 108 Taifun (Typhoon)


Messerschmitt Bf 109
The Messerschmitt Bf 109 was the quintessential fighter for the Third Reich throughout the Second
World War. Clandestine German involvement in the Spanish Civil War allowed Bf 109 pilots to
develop tactics and responses that ... 1935

Messerschmitt Bf 110 Zerstorer (Destroyer)

The twin-engine Messerschmitt Bf 110 Zerstorer (or "Destroyer" or even "Heavy Fighter" in some
sources) was initially designed to meet a German specification for a "high-speed bomber and heavy
fighter". The result was the les... 1939

71 Mitsubishi A5M (Claude)


Mitsubishi Ki-21 (Sally)

The Mitsubishi Ki-21 (codenamed "Sally" by the Allies) was a successful medium bomber in service
with the Japanese Air Force since 1939, seeing combat action up until 1945 despite the fact that
the aircraft was already outcla... 1939
Morane-Saulnier M.S.406
The Morane-Saulnier M.S.406 was a single engine, piston-powered, single-seat fighter appearing
just before the outbreak of hostilities between France and Germany. Though a solid design by
1930's standards, the system did not ... 1938

Nakajima Ki-27 (Nate / Abdul)

The Nakajima Ki-27 "Nate" (known early on as "Abdul") was a successful low-monoplane, all-metal
with stressed skin fighter design employed by the Empire of Japan throughout the Second World
War. Initially conceived of as a pr... 1937

Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa (Oscar)

The Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa (meaning "Peregrine Falcon" and codenamed "Oscar" by the Allies)
was a mass-produced fighter for the Imperial Japanese Army in World War 2. Next to the
Mitsubishi A6M "Zero" types, the Oscar was th... 1932

North American T-6 Texan

The T-6 Texan was and is a world famous single-engine aircraft primarily known for its use as a
trainer. A product of the North American Aviation Company, the T-6 Texan appeared during the
years spanning World War 2, survived... 1936

Polikarpov I-15 Chaika


Polikarpov I-16
The Polikarpov I-16 fighter proved to be quite the little aggressor before and throughout the
Second World War. Initially seeing combat in the Spanish Civil War, the system would go on to see
more during the Soviet invasion o... 1935

Potez 630 / 631


PZL P.11

PZL.23 Karas
The PZL.23 "Karas" (meaning "the crucian carp") series of aircraft was a conventional - yet
outdated - monoplane light bomber / reconnaissance platform of Polish design in World War 2. The
system was wholly inadequate in spee... 1936

Saro A27 London


83 Saro A36 Lerwick

Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 Sparviero (Sparrowhawk)
The Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 Sparviero series of tri-engined bombers was the best bomber for the
Italian Axis power in the Second World War. Aptly named the "Sparrowhawk", the system was
double-effective in the anti-shipping ro... 1934

Short Sunderland
The Short Sunderland was the premiere flying boat of World War Two for the British. Often
regarded as the best flying boat of the war, the Sunderland played up to some great strengths
including potent self-defense armament an... 1937

Sikorsky JRS-1 (S-43)


Supermarine Spitfire
The legendary Spitfire earned fame through its exploits in the Battle of Britain, often shadowing
the equally successful Hawker Hurricanes. The Spitfire's image of a sleek and fast fighter with
firepower to boot captured the ... 1938

Supermarine Stranraer

Supermarine Walrus

Tupolev SB-2
The Tupolev SB-2 (the "SB" in the designation standing for "skorostnoi bombardirovschik" meaning
"fast bomber") was a light-to-medium class bomber in service with Soviet forces in the Second
World War. At the time the system ... 1936

Vickers Wellington
The Vickers-produced Wellington medium-class bomber was a principle bomber of the Royal Air
Force at the start of the Second World War, serving up until late 1943 when it was relegated to
maritime support roles. The Wellingto... 1938

Vultee BT-13 Valiant

The BT-13 Valiant was a stellar trainer aircraft used for basic flight training and for blind
instrument training throughout World War 2. The rear cockpit was equipped with a curtain that
could be moved forward to cover the s... 1939
Aircraft from 1940-1949
Full-scale war throughout the globe brings the aircraft to new heights

Aichi B7A Ryusei (Grace)

The Aichi-produced B7A Ryusei (translated to "Shooting Star" and nicknamed "Grace" by the Allies)
was a limited-production torpedo bomber in service with the Empire of Japan during the latter
years of World War Two. Unfortuna... 1944

Aichi D3A (Val)

The D3A series of aircraft (dubbed "Val" by the Allies) were thought to be all but extinct when the
war in the Pacific began. The rude awakening came in the form of the surprise attack on Pearl
Harbor in Hawaii - home to the ... 1940

Aichi E13A (Jake)

Based on number alone, the Aichi production E13A series of floatplanes (dubbed "Jake" by the
Allies) was the most important such aircraft type for the Japanese Navy during the Second World
War. The system was fielded in quant... 1941

Aichi E16A Zuiun (Paul)

The E16A Zuiun (translated into "Auspicious Cloud" and codenamed "Paul" by the Allies) was a
dedicated reconnaissance floatplane and part-time dive-bomber for the Empire of Japan in World
War Two. The system was an excellent ... 1944

Aichi M6A Seiran

This oft-forgotten Aichi design was classified as an attack floatplane that was designed to be
carried aboard the Japanese Navy I-400 class submarines. The aircraft was held in water-tight
containers until implemented into fl... 1945

Amiot 354
The Amiot 354 bomber and reconnaissance platform was a quite capable aircraft when war broke
out over France. The system had its origins based on the unarmed fast transport mail carrier to
which some further development would... 1940

Arado Ar 232 Tausendfussler (Millipede)

The Arado aircraft firm produced one of the more identifiable transport aircraft of the Luftwaffe
during the Second World War in the form of the Ar 232. Known unofficially as the "millipede" (or
"Tausendfussler") thanks to th... 1941

Arado Ar 234 Blitz (Lightning)

The Arado Ar 234 "Blitz" (or "Lightning") was part of the German success with turbojet
development in the latter years of World War Two. The system was the world's first purpose-built
jet bomber to ever enter service, and did... 1944

Arado Ar 240
The Arado Ar 240 was designed to an RLM 1938 response to replace the twin engine, two seat
Messerschmitt BF 110 Zerstorer heavy fighter, being made obsolete by the changing face of war.
The Arado firm and the Messerschmitt fi... 1940

Arado Ar E.340
The Arado-produced Ar E.340 was designed to a German requirement for a twin-engined bomber
to replace the aging Junkers Ju 88 and Dornier Do 217's currently in service. The design offered up
the potential for multirole capabi... 1943
Arado Ar E.381
The Ar E.381-series of prototypes was submitted in 1944 for review by the German Air Ministry.
Whilst a plethora of companies (including Messerschmitt and Sombold) were competing to fulfill the
role of what was to be dubbed "... 1944

Arado Ar E.530
The idea of twin fuselage aircraft was always in the minds of military aircraft engineers throughout
the Second World War. Conceivably, these systems would offer up double the performance and
capabilities of their single fuse... 1940

Arado Ar E.555
Arado proposed this E.555 flying wing concept towards the end of 1943 as a high-speed long-range
bomber. The flying wing concept had eluded aircraft engineers for decades but it was seen as a
potentionally stable design allow... 1943

Arado Ar E.560
The Arado E.560 series of developmental high-speed jet bombers saw a large evolution on paper.
Design of the platform centered around the closing days of the Second World War and showed the
extent to which the Germans were pl... 1945

Arado Ar E.580
Once the Volksjager competition came around in 1944, Arado Flugzeugwerke went back to a 1943
design it had had and touched it up some, producing the E.580 design model. This aircraft was to
be a single-seat, single-engine jet... 1944

Arado Ar E.581.4
The Arado Ar E.581.4 was conceived of as a single-seat jet fighter utilizing a delta-wing shape. The
system was not a "true" flying wing design in that it made use of twin vertical tail surfaces at the
trailing edges. The sys... 1944

Arado Ar E.654 (Kampfzerstorer / Skorpion)

The Arado Ar E.654 was proposed as a heavy fighter / destroyer platform designed from another
Arado product - the Ar 240. Though the Ar 240 model eventually saw operational service with the
Luftwaffe (albeit in limited numbe... 1943

Arado Ar Projekt II
The Arado Ar Projekt II was a proposed jet-powered fighter of considerable size. It carried a basic
classification of nightfighter / all-weather fighter and appeared in paper form towards the end of
the European Campaign. The... 1945

Arado Ar TEW 16/43-13

The Arado Ar TEW 16/43-13 was a design concept envisioned as a rocket-propelled interceptor for
the German Luftwaffe. The design was put forth by Wilhelm van Nes as one of three possible
developments that also included a twin... 1943
Arado Ar TEW 16/43-15

Arado Ar TEW 16/43-19


Arado Ar TEW 16/43-23


Armstrong Whitworth Albemarle

The Armstrong Whitworth Albemarle became one of those aircraft designs that evolved into a role
not initially envisioned. The system came from an earlier Bristol-designed reconnaissance aircraft
that went to nowhere and was d... 1941

Avro Lancaster
The Avro Lancaster is regarded by many as the best bomber of either side in the Second World
War. The system proved quite capable from the outset and was put into production the same year
that the prototype had flown. From th... 1941

Avro Manchester
The Avro Manchester was a semi-successful attempt by the Avro firm to fulfill Air Ministry
Specification P.13/36. The specification called for a twin engine heavy bomber that could sport a
multi-purpose payload of bombs or to... 1940

Bachem Ba 349 Natter (Viper)

The Bachem Ba 349 Natter (or "Viper") was another of the ingenious - if desperate - German
designs in the ultimate defense of Germany against Allied bombers. The Natter design put to use
the ever-developing study of rocketry ... 1945

Beech AT-10 Wichita


Beechcraft C-45 Expeditor

Beechcraft XA-38 Grizzly / Destroyer (Model 28)
The XA-38 was a developmental twin-engine heavy fighter produced by the Beech Aircraft firm. By
all accounts, she was a stable and fast aircraft comparable to even the single engine speedsters of
her day. As promising as her ... 1944

Bell P-59 Airacomet

The Bell-produced P-59 Airacomet series is one of those aircraft that becomes more of a study in
American jet pioneering than anything else. The aircraft itself was a very average to below average
performer, even when compare... 1942

Bell P-63 Kingcobra

At its core, the Bell P-63 Kingcobra proved a modest improvement over the relative failure that
was the P-39 Airacobra. Though the P-39 developed into a useable platform, she never lived up to
the original specifications than... 1943

Bell X-1
The Bell X-1 was an advanced technology demonstrator that became the first aircraft in the history
of aviation to break the speed of sound. Specifically designed to be airdropped from a B-29
Superfortress, the X-1 would then ... 1947

Bell XFL Airabonita

The XFL "Airabonita" was a Bell Aircraft Company product developed in parallel with the P-39
Airacobra, a land-based USAAF design that eventually achieved operational status. In essence, the
Airabonita was a "navalized" versi... 1940

Bell XFM-1 Airacuda

In the same way that the XFM-1 Airacuda was a "different" sort of aircraft, the Bell company itself
was "different sort" of aircraft maker. Know more for its unique elements in the P-39 Airacobra
piston-engine fighter of Worl... 1940

Blackburn Firebrand
The Blackburn Firebrand was a carried-based strike fighter aircraft developed by Blackburn Aircraft
of the United Kingdom. She was a design of G.E. Petty and went on to live a troubled development
before reaching operation st... 1945

Blohm & Voss Bv 138

The Blohm and Voss Bv 138 was a German floatplane that saw quantitative production in the
Second World War. Initially conceived of as early as 1936, the system would enter service by 1940
and play the most pivotal role of mar... 1940

Blohm & Voss Bv 222 Wiking (Viking)

The Blohm & Voss Bv 222 Wiking (translated to "Viking") was a large German floatplane design of
the Second World War. The system was fielded in limited numbers and served the primary role of
transport aircraft with some recon... 1941

Blohm & Voss Bv 238

The mammoth Blohm & Voss Bv 238 was the next evolution in the Blohm & Voss flying boat series
for Germany during World War Two. The system was built as the largest aircraft ever produced by
any of the Axis powers and was to p... 1944
Boeing B-29 Superfortress
B-29 Superfortress status is often relegated to the aircraft that dropped the atomic bombs (“Fat
Man” and “Little Boy”) on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to end the war in the Pacific for the Allies. The
fact that there were in fact ... 1943

Boeing B-47 Stratojet

The swept-wing B-47 produced by Boeing was a milestone in bomber design in many ways. The
system pioneered the traditional bomber layout found on many of todays systems and offered up
capabilities unheard of before then. As a... 1947

Boeing B-50 Superfortress

Though looking every bit the identical twin of the World War Two-era B-29 Superfortress (also
produced by Boeing), the B-50 incorporated enough new elements to deem it an all new aircraft -
retaining just 25 percent of the B-... 1948

Boeing C-97 Stratofreighter

A post-war design, Boeing developed the C-97 as the Model 367 - a military transport based on the
success of the design of the B-29 Superfortress. The Model 777 Stratocruiser was the civilian
transport version of the Model... 1944

Boeing L-15 Scout

The L-15 Scout was a light and small observation liaison aircraft produced in limited numbers by
the Boeing Aircraft Company following World War 2 - only twelve of the type were produced with
the United States Army becoming i... 1947

Boeing-Stearman PT-17 Kaydet

When The Boeing Company acquired the Stearman company in 1939, it also acquired the design
and production rights to the promising Model 75 series, which itself was flow as the X-70 as early
as 1933. The two-seat biplane would... 1941

Bristol Beaufort
The Bristol Beaufort enjoyed a strong run between the war years of 1940-1943 as the primary
British torpedo bomber in service. Designed as the successor to the aged biplane Vildebeest design
by Vickers, the Beaufort saw succe... 1940

Caproni-Campini N1 (CC.2)
With the introduction of the N1 (may also be known as the CC.2), Italy became only the second
nation in the world to achieve jet-powered flight (Germany being the first), though the
development of this particular aircraft did... 1940

Chance Vought F4U Corsair

The F4U Corsair series of aircraft was one of the finer fighter developments of the Second World
War, primarily seeing combat in the Pacific Theater of War. The uniquely designed bent-wings and
ever-improving powerplant assur... 1942

Commonwealth (CAC) Boomerang

The Commonwealth Boomerang (also known as the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation - or "CAC"
- Boomerang) was of completely Australian indigenous design. Based on the CAC Wirraway, which
in turn was spawned from the American NA... 1942
Consolidated B-24 Liberator
The Consolidated B-24 Liberator became a major player for Allied forces during World War 2. Its
exploits ranged the world over - as did her users- and she saw action in a variety of roles in all
major theaters. Designed to ov... 1941

Consolidated B-32 Dominator

The Consolidated B-32 Dominator was a limited production four-engine heavy bomber requested
by the United States Air Force as a fail-safe design to the complicated, technology-laden Boeing B-
29 Superfortress in development. T... 1945

Consolidated PB2Y Coronado

By the middle of the 1930's America was no longer blind to the real possibility that the war would
sooner or later be waged along it's shores. As such, the United States Navy took action in the
requirement for a new generatio... 1940

Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer

The Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer was a further development of the United States Navy's PB4Y-1
anti-submarine warfare aircraft which, itself, was a further variant based on the successful
Consolidated B-24 Liberator bomber ai... 1943

Convair B-36 Peacemaker

If developed a few years sooner and the B-36 could have very well taken part in the Second World
War. The initial designed was put forth from a United States Army Air Corps requirement for a
large intercontinental bomber capa... 1947

Curtiss P-40 Warhawk / Kittyhawk / Tomahawk

The P-40 Warhawk / Kittyhawk / Tomahawk series of aircraft was the further development of the P
-36 Hawk platform (detailed elsewhere on this site). The Warhawk would become synonymous with
the American Volunteer Group fightin... 1941

Curtiss SB2C Helldiver

The Curtiss SB2C Helldiver was a rather unassuming dive bomber / reconnaissance aircraft serving
throughout the Second World War. Originally designed in a competition to replace the aging SBC
biplane series, the SB2C faced of... 1943

Curtiss XP-46
The smallish XP-46 was to be the answer for the deficiencies encountered in the P-40 Warhawk
platform. Unfortunately for Curtiss, the XP-46 would be doomed by underperformance and sluggish
capabilities - essentially dooming t... 1941

Curtiss-Wright C-46 Commando

The United States Air Force utilized the C-46 Commando series as their primary transport
workhorse in the Pacific Theater of War during the Second World War. The system was initiated to
replace the Douglas series of DC-3 tran... 1942

Curtiss-Wright XP-55 Ascender

The XP-55 Ascender was an unorthodox attempt by the Curtiss-Wright company that produced just
three prototype models. Answering a United States Army Air Corps call for unconventional aircraft
designs, the XP-55 fit the bill w... 1943
Curtiss-Wright XP-87 / XF-87 Nighthawk
The XF-87 was a failed proposal attempted by the Curtiss-Wright aircraft design bureau to meet an
Air Force requirement for the world's first dedicated radar interceptor aircraft crewed by two
personnel and operating under je... 1948

de Havilland D.H.100 Vampire

The de Havilland-produced jet fighter holds two key distinctions in the history of aviation. Firstly,
the system was the first jet-powered aircraft to successfully land on a movie aircraft carrier (the
Sea Vampire) and second... 1946

de Havilland D.H.103 Hornet / Sea Hornet

From the outset, the de Havilland D.H.103 "Hornet" was designed to a British requirement of a
twin-engine, long-range fighter-bomber capable of operations in the Far East. With the
specification having been drawn up by 1943, ... 1946

de Havilland D.H.98 Mosquito

Few can find much fault in the de Havilland design of its Mosquito series of nightfighters featured
so prominently in the Battle of Britain and throughout the entire World War Two campaigns across
Europe. The twin-engine nigh... 1942

Dornier Do 335 Pfeil (Arrow)

The Dornier Do 335 Pfeil (or "Arrow") was one of the more unique prop-driven designs of the
Second World War. Designed and patented by Doctor Claudius Dornier as early as 1937, the Do
335 utilized a concept in which one engin... 1945

Douglas A-1 Skyraider

The mammoth Skyraider series would have been a major player in the Second World War if it were
designed and produced a few years earlier than it had. Regardless, the system would prove itself
quite a capable close-support air... 1946

Douglas A-20 Havoc / Boston

The Douglas A-20 Havoc served Allied forces through most of World War 2, fighting for British,
American and Soviet forces. The type saw extensive use, proving itself a war-winner capable of
withstanding a great deal of punish... 1941

Douglas A-24 Banshee

The Douglas A-24 "Banshee" dive bomber fit the requirement of the United States Army for a
capable dive bomber-type aircraft. After witnessing successes of this type by Germany throughout
its European offensives, the US Army ... 1941

Douglas A-26 / B-26 Invader

The Douglas A-26 Invader was a distinguished twin-engine light bomber whose origins were well-
placed in the Second World War. The system proved adept at day and night flying, attacking
targets with a bevy of machine guns or d... 1944

Douglas B-26K Counter Invader / A-26A Nimrod

The B-26K Counter Invader was based on a highly modified World War Two-era A-26 Invader
aircraft. What set the Counter Invader apart from it's predecessor was that the Counter Invader
was featured without any turret systems, ... 1948
Douglas C-47 Skytrain / Dakota
The C-47 Skytrain was a product of the Douglas Aircraft Company and is regarded as the best
transport of World War 2. Interestingly enough, the Skytrain was first born as a civilian passenger
airliner in the DC-3 model and be... 1940

Douglas C-54 Skymaster (DC-4)

Derived from the commercial DC-4 airliner, the C-54 Skymaster was a workhorse transport aircraft
for both the United States Army and the United States Navy branches of service. Planned as a
technologically superior successor ... 1942

English Electric / Martin B-57 Canberra

The British-produced Canberra was originally conceived of as a high-altitude, high-level nuclear-
capable medium bomber. The fuselage features would be dominated by a large rounded-wing
structure housing two turbojet engines. ... 1949

Fairchild AC-119 Shadow / Stinger

The AC-119 series was a modified "G" model of the successful C-119 "Flying Boxcar" transport
aircraft. The AC-119's would see service throughout the Vietnam War fulfilling a dual-role capability
based on model type. "Shado... 1945

Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar

Fairchild Corporation produced a winner in the post-war world with the introduction of the C-119
"Flying Boxcar". The Boxcar was derived from the C-82 "Packet" transport - looking ever more like
the identical to the final C-1... 1947

Fairey Firefly
The Fairey Firefly was a hugely successful, two-seat, carrierborne fighter aircraft serving with the
Royal Fleet Air Arm through the latter half of the Second World War, eventually seeing service up
until the mid-1950's. The ... 1943

Fieseler Fi 103R (Reichenberg)

The Fiseler Fi 103R was, in essence, the piloted form of the successful V-1 rocket that terrorized
London citizens throughout the Second World War. The piloted system was to be a type of suicide
missile that the pilot could a... 1944

Fisher XP-75 / P-75 Eagle

General Motors became a major player in the American manufacturing realm when World War 2
arrived for the United States. With its automotive plants adept at mass-production, it was only
fitting that the US military look to su... 1943

Focke-Wulf Fw 189 Uhu (Owl)

The Focke-Wulf brand Fw 189 Uhu (translated to "Owl") was of the most peculiar aircraft design for
the German Luftwaffe in the Second World War, but by no means made less lethal by it's
appearance. The system accounted for a ... 1940

Focke-Wulf Ta 152 Leistungsdaten

The Focke-Wulf Ta 152 aircraft design was intended for use as a high-altitude interceptor for the
German Luftwaffe and appeared in the later years of the war. Now managing a defensive type
campaign, German warplanners were lo... 1945
Focke-Wulf Ta 154 Moskito (Mosquito)
The Ta 154 Moskito ("Mosquito") was another product of the Focke-Wulf aircraft design firm
operating for the Third Reich. The design was classified as a night fighter and appeared most
promising until a series of delays and l... 1944

Focke-Wulf Ta 183 Huckebein

By this time in the war, Germany had already made a stout commitment to the production of
fighter designs over bombers. Seeing it that she would be fighting a defensive war for some time
to come, models such as the Messerschm... 1945

Gloster / Armstrong Whitworth Meteor

The Gloster Meteor became Britain's first operational jet-powered fighter aircraft. It reached
operational status in the latter years of World War 2 and saw limited action in the conflict though it
never faced off against any... 1944

Grumman F4F Wildcat

The Grumman F4F Wildcat was the unsung hero of the Allied Pacific Theater campaign in the early
years of World War 2. Often overshadowed by the upcoming Grumman F6F Hellcats and Vought
F4U Corsair hotrods, the stubby Wildcat ... 1940

Grumman F6F Hellcat

The F6F Hellcat was the successor to - and a logical evolution of – the capable F4F Wildcat series of
carrier-borne aircraft fielded by the United States Navy in the Pacific Theater of World War 2. In
the conflict, the Hellca... 1943

Grumman F7F Tigercat

The F7F Tigercat was another carrier-borne aircraft development in Grumman's long line of "cat"
named fighters. The system was originally designed as a twin-engine fighter for use off of the
decks of US Navy Midway-class airc... 1944

Grumman F8F Bearcat

In many ways, the Grumman F8F Bearcat was the pinnacle of United States piston-engine fighter
design. The aircraft arrived within the waning months of World War 2, missing combat action in all
theaters altogether, but still m... 1945

Grumman HU-16 Albatross

The Grumman HU-16 Albatross platform made appearances all across the globe with United States
military forces, rescuing downed US airmen in need. The system was an amphibious platform,
allowing for operation from land and / o... 1949

Grumman TBF Avenger

The TBF Avenger became a classic warfighter thanks to its resilience in the ongoing battle over the
Pacific in the Second World War. Able to deliver payloads of torpedoes, drop bombs and rockets,
the system was also capable (... 1941

Grumman XP-50 Skyrocket

Firmly entrenched as an aircraft supplier to the United States Navy, the Grumman aircraft
company set about to supply an equally lucrative deal with the US Army to produce a hybrid high-
speed pursuit fighter and light bomber ... 1941
Handley Page Halifax
While the Lancaster Heavy Bomber will always be more identifiable in terms of the British night
bombing campaigns of World War Two, the Handley Page Halifax series of bombers should be
remembered as being just as equally impo... 1940

Hawker Sea Fury / Fury

The Hawker Sea Fury was developed out Hawker's Typhoon and Tempest aircraft designs utilized
by Britain during World War 2. Though not without their limitations, the Typhoon and Tempest
platforms had substantial inherent bene... 1945

Hawker Sea Hurricane

The Hawker Sea Hurricane appeared in 1941 in an effort to protect British merchant ships from
German naval attacks. Basically modified versions of the successful Hawker land-based Hurricane
fighters, Sea Hurricanes were at fi... 1941

Hawker Tempest
The Hawker Tempest originally appeared as an improved Hawker Typhoon, the war-winning
aircraft that effectively failed in its intended role as an interceptor but went on to star as a low-
level fighter-bomber. The Tempest bega... 1944

Hawker Typhoon
The Hawker Typhoon (affectionate known as the "Tiffie") was initially intended as a dedicated
interceptor and set to succeed the 1930's-era Hawker Hurricane and was first drawn up in 1937.
The system was designed to a British... 1941

Heinkel He 111 Z (Zwilling)

The He 111 Z (or "Zwilling") was an interesting, albeit bizarre, joining of two He 111 medium
bombers (detailed elsewhere on this site). In an attempt to bring together existing designs to
produce a large enough transport cap... 1942

Heinkel He 162 Volksjager (Peoples Fighter)

The He 162 Volksjager (the "People's Fighter") was developed as a quick solution to stem the tide
of the major Allied advances witnessed by German forces in the latter years of the war. The plan
was to produce these inexpensi... 1945

Heinkel He 177 Greif (Griffin)

The Heinkel He 177 Greif (or "Griffin") was a bomber produced in limited numbers for the German
Luftwaffe. By any standard, the aircraft should have made more of an impact on the war for
Germany's sake but structural flaws an... 1942

Heinkel He 219 Uhu (Eagle-Owl)

The Heinkel He 219 Uhu (meaning "Eagle-Owl") was designed in response to a German need for a
dedicated nightfighter type to thwart the advances being made the British nighttime bombing raids
on German interests. The He 219 wa... 1943

Heinkel He 280
Though never produced in any operational format, the Heinkel He 280 series was the world's first
turbojet fighter aircraft designed from the start as a fighter. German scientists were on the cutting
edge of turbojet developme... 1941

Henschel Hs 129
The Henschel Hs 129 fighter-bomber was built to a 1937 German specification for a twin-engine
close-support aircraft with considerable armor protection for pilot and crew and the ability to field
twin 20mm cannons at least. T... 1942
Henschel Hs 132
The Henschel Hs 132 was another of the ambitious German jet-powered designs under
development in the closing years of the Second World War. Developed in response to the mounting
losses inherent with the plodding - yet still d... 1945

Horten Ho IX / Horten Ho 229

The Horten Ho IX (or "Horten Ho 229" - sometimes wrongly designated the "Gotha Go 229")
maintains a certain level of celebrity status in the world of military aviation, essentially becoming
the first production-worthy form of... 1945

Hughes H-4 Hercules

The famed Hercules aircraft produced and flown only one time by Howard Hughes himself. It was
commonly known as the 'Spruce Goose' and termed a failure in the eyes of most but not Mr.
Hughes. The idea behind the craft was to ... 1945

Hughes XR-11 / XF-11

Though only achieving prototype form, the XF-11 was one of the darling designs of famed
American aviator Howard Hughes. Looking very much like an oversized Lockheed P-38, the twin-
boom XF-11 was designed to fulfill a United S... 1946

IAR 80 / IAR 81
When first unveiled in 1938, the Romanian-produced I.A.R. 80 (IAR = Industria Aeronautica
Romana) piston engine, single-seat fighter was a promising performer even when compared to her
contemporaries. The aircraft served with... 1941

Ilyushin IL-10
The Ilyushin IL-10 was a follow-up design to the classic IL-2 "Shturmovik", an armored ground
attack aircraft that won the air war for the Soviets in the East Front of World War 2. Visually
similar to its predecessor, the new... 1944

Ilyushin IL-2 Sturmovik

The Il-2 Sturmovik (or "Shturmovik") was designed as a low-level close-support aircraft capable of
defeating enemy armor and other ground targets. Hardly the fighter, the system was exclusively
engineered to take an enormous ... 1941

Ilyushin IL-28 (Beagle)

The Ilyushin IL-28 (codenamed "Beagle" by NATO) holds many distinctions in the annals of
aviation history - some combat related and others more political. The IL-28 became the first jet-
powered bomber in service with the Sovi... 1949

Junkers Ju 188 Racher (Avenger)

When the new Junkers Ju 288 - a design meant to replace the Junkers Ju 88 series of bombers -
ran into developmental issues with its engines, Junkers set about producing an in-between utilizing
the Ju 88's airframe. The Ju 88... 1943

Junkers Ju 287
The Junkers Ju 287 was arguably the most unique design of all of the German jet-powered projects
in development during and up until the end of World War Two. The system was designed as a high-
speed heavy bomber which strayed ... 1944
Junkers Ju 390 (New York Bomber)
The Junkers Ju 390 long range heavy bomber aircraft design was intended to be able to strike at
locations along the east coast of the United States of America. The Ju 390 itself was a further
development of the Junkers Ju 290... 1943

Kawanishi H8K (Emily)

The Empire of Japan seemed to be producing its best aircraft designs of the war towards the end of
the conflict. The Kawanishi H8K (codenamed "Emily" by the Allies) was such an example. Bred to
take the reigns of the similar ... 1942

Kawanishi N1K-J Shiden (George)

Despite some early setbacks in design, the Kawanishi N1K1-J "Shiden" (or "violet lightning" -
codenamed "George" by the Allies), was an exemplary fighter that was capable of going head-to-
head with even the fabled American F6... 1943

Kawasaki Ki-100
Despite being produced in severely limited numbers (thanks in large part to the Allied bombing
campaigns in the Pacific), the Kawasaki Ki-100 is often regarded as one of the best Japanese
production fighters available in the ... 1945

Kawasaki Ki-45 KAIc Toryu (Nick)

Despite serving in limited numbers, fielded with no search-finding radar and appearing as the only
Imperial Japanese Army night-fighter of the Second World War, the Kawasaki-brand Ki-45 KAIc
night-fighter platform proved a su... 1944

Kawasaki Ki-45 Toryu (Nick)

By 1937, interest in a twin-engine fighter had peaked for the Imperial Japanese Army so much so
that a requirement was put forth for the nation's first. Kawasaki entered into the fray successfully
and presented the Ki-45 seri... 1942

Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien (Tony)

The Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien (meaning "Swallow" and codenamed "Tony" by the Allies) was another of
the oft-forgotten yet impressive Japanese-brand fighter designs of the Second World War, joining
the equally impressive Kawanishi N... 1943

Lavochkin La-11 (Fang)

The Lavochkin La-11 was designed from the successful Lavochkin La-9 series of piston engine
fighters with the difference being that the La-11 was to be a long-range bomber escort. The
system was under development in the closi... 1947

Lavochkin La-5
Design of the Lavochkin La-5 series of low-to-medium altitude fighters was spurred on by a need
for equipment capable of matching or exceeding anything the German Luftwaffe was fielding.
Initially caught by surprise by the Ge... 1940

Lavochkin La-9 (Fritz)

The Lavochkin La-9 series (codename “Fritz” by NATO) was a direct development of the Lavochkin
La-126 prototype. In essence, the La-9 represented the La-7 but with all-metal construction as
opposed to wood used in the with mo... 1946
Lavochkin LaGG-3
The LaGG-3 piston-engine pursuit fighter (the LaGG in the designation coming from "Lavochkin-
Gorbunov-Goudkov") was one of the earlier successes of modern aircraft design for the Soviet
Union in World War 2. Basically an impr... 1940

Lockheed C-69 Constellation

The Lockheed Constellation series of aircraft was a successful design that initially began as a
militarized transport, appearing in limited numbers towards the end of World War two, that gained
more fame in the civilian trans... 1945

Lockheed P2V Neptune

The P2V Neptune series of aircraft was one of the more successful post-war designs for America,
with service that spanned decades for a handful of American-friendly countries. The system was
designed by Lockheed Corporation f... 1947

Lockheed P-80 / F-80 Shooting Star

The Shooting Star was a Lockheed creation initially started as early as 1941. As with other jet
designs of this type, many early models suffered from the lack of capable powerplants and thus
the Shooting Star program was shel... 1945

Lockheed XP-49
The XP-49 was a development of the Lockheed Corporation and a possible replacement for its
successful line of P-38 Lightning aircraft. The XP-49 was to be a high-altitude performer with the
capabilities of a well-designed fig... 1942

Lockheed XP-58 Chain Lightning

The XP-58 "Chain Lightning" was initially envisioned as a larger version of the successful Lockheed
P-38 Lightning twin-boom design capable of downing hordes of enemy bomber formations in single
burst shots. The fear covering... 1944

Macchi C.202 Folgore (Thunderbolt)


Martin B-26 Marauder

The Martin B-26 Marauder overcame a rocky start to become one of the finest medium bombers of
World War 2. The aircraft was designed with speed from the outset and, as such, a few problems
emerged from that approach. The Mara... 1941

Martin Baltimore (A-30)

The Martin-produced Baltimore was a light-to-medium class bomber whose design was based
highly on the Martin "Maryland" A-22 aircraft. The twin-engine, four-crew system was fielded en
masse by forces of the United Kingdom thr... 1941

Martin Maryland (A-22)

The Martin-produced Maryland series was classified as a light bomber and saw action as a
photographic reconnaissance plane throughout the Second World War. Originally drawn up as a
response to a United States Army Air Corps (... 1940
Martin PBM-3 / PBM-5 Mariner
The Martin PBM-3 / PBM-5 Mariner was a World War 2-era flying boat used in the maritime
reconnaissance role. Martin designed and marketed the type in direct competition with
Consolidated, which had already made a "splash" wit... 1941

McDonnell F2H Banshee

The twin-engine, single-seat F2H Banshee was based on the successes that the McDonnell
company found with the F1H Phantom series of jet aircraft. Even appearing similar to the
aforementioned craft, the F2H Banshee was in fact... 1947

McDonnell FH-1 Phantom

The FH-1 Phantom served with the United States Navy as their first jet-powered carrer-based
aircraft up until 1950 and was in design as early as 1943. The system featured a straight wing
design, twin Westinghouse engines, a c... 1948

McDonnell XF-85 Goblin

The XF-85 Goblin was an attempt by the McDonnell bureau to realize the dream of a "parasite
fighter" program that was actually feasible for use in a wartime environment. The basic theory
revolving the parasite fighter was not... 1948

McDonnell XF-88 Voodoo

World War 2 proved to American warplanners that the importance of escort fighters for their
bombers could not be overstated. The value added by such systems as the P-51 Mustang, P-47
Thunderbolt and P-38 Lightning systems was... 1948

McDonnell XP-67 Bat / Moonbat

The XP-67 was the first attempt by the McDonnell corporation to build a fighter for the United
States Military. The same corporation would go on to built the superb F-4 Phantom II, F-15 Eagle
and F-18 Hornet air superiority a... 1943

Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet (Comet)

The Me 163 Komet was perhaps the most unique aircraft design of the Second World War. German
scientists, always on the cutting edge of evolving war technology, developed a rocket-powered
aircraft based on testing completed wi... 1944

Messerschmitt Me 262 Schwalbe (Swallow)

The Me 262 Schwalbe (or "Swallow") is a good case study in the "what if" category centering
around poor production design and the bureaucracy inherent in a dictatorship like that of the Third
Reich. With the unrealized capabi... 1944

Messerschmitt Me 410 Hornisse (Hornet)

The Messerschmitt Me 410 Hornisse ("Hornet") was, in effect, a further development of the
unstable Me 210 system. Though improved to some extent by the Hungarians in the Me 210C
model, the Me 410 was fitted with a new designa... 1943

Messerschmitt Me P.1101
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-1 / MiG-3
Despite being one of the fastest Soviet piston-engine designs in the early years of the war, the MiG
-3 was dogged by less-than-stellar handling characteristics and was genuinely still outclassed by
German counterparts in the ... 1941

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 (Fagot)

The MiG-15 (codenamed "Fagot" by the United Nations in reference to a "hastily bundled pile of
sticks") became the Soviet Union's first true turbojet-powered fighter design of consequence and
the first swept-wing aircraft of ... 1949

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-9 (Fargo)

The MiG-9 (NATO codename of "Fargo") was only the second attempt by the Soviet Union at
designing and producing a viable jet-powered fighter platform. Design was undertaken by the
Mikoyan-Gurevich Bureau and - though hardly a... 1946

Mitsubishi A6M Reisen (Zeke / Zero)

With a design history beginning as early as 1937, the A6M series (commonly referred to as the
"Zero" or by the Allied codename of "Zeke") became the first carrierborne fighter aircraft to
supercede all other land-based counte... 1942

Mitsubishi G4M (Betty)

Like most of Imperial Japan's aircraft in the early stages of World War 2, the Mitsubishi G4M
(codenamed "Betty" by the Allies) was a potent performer in operation as a land-based naval
bomber. The system was of a strong desi... 1941

Mitsubishi J2M Raiden (Jack)

The J2M Raiden (meaning "Thunderbolt" and codenamed "Jack" by the Allies) was primarily used
as a local defense fighter by the Imperial Japanese Navy. The system was designed to combat the
growing threat of the high-flying Bo... 1942

Mitsubishi Ki-109
The Mitsubishi Ki-109 was a specialized derivative of the Mitsubishi Ki-67 heavy bomber. The Ki-
109 was designed specifically to deal with the growing threat posed by the high-attitude American
Boeing B-29 Superfortress over ... 1944

Mitsubishi Ki-46-III (Dinah)


Mitsubishi Ki-67 Hiryu (Peggy)

The Mitsubishi-designed Ki-67 Hiryu (translated to "flying dragon" and dubbed "Peggy" by the
Allies) is oft-regarded as the best bomber fielded by Japan in the Second World War. The system
was of a twin-engine design, armed w... 1944

Nakajima B5N (Kate)

By 1941, the B5N series of torpedo bombers were considered the best of their type anywhere in
the world. The system was initially designed from 1935 onwards and was in full operational use at
the outbreak of the Second World ... 1941
Nakajima B6N Tenzan (Jill)
The Nakajima B6N Tenzan (translating to "heavenly mountain") series was a capable torpedo
bomber fielded by the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) in the Second World War. The system
performed capably and would stay in operational ... 1942

Nakajima G8N Renzan (Rita)

The Nakajima G8N Renzan (or "Mountain Range" - codenamed "Rita" by the Allies) was a heavy
bomber design put forth by the Nakajima Aircraft Company in the latter stages of World War 2.
The system saw a severely limited produc... 1945

Nakajima J1N1-S
The Nakajima J1N1-S series was a dedicated nightfighting aircraft based on the J1N1 Gekko
("moonlight") reconnaissance aircraft platform also of the Nakajima brand. The system found
success for a time, particularly against th... 1943

Nakajima Ki-44 Shoki (Tojo)

The Nakajima Ki-44 Shoki (meaning "Demon Queller" and codenamed "Tojo" by the Allies) was a
single engine monoplane interceptor appearing in production throughout the war years. The
system was designed with performance in min... 1941

Nakajima Ki-49 Donryu (Helen)

The Nakajima Ki-49 Donryu (meaning "storm dragon" and codenamed "Helen" by the Allies) heavy
bomber was intended as a replacement for the out-classed Mitsubishi Ki-21 series of medium
bomber. In reality, the newer Ki-49 desig... 1941

Nakajima Ki-84 Hayate (Frank)

Out of the many fine fighters available to the Japanese Army in the closing months of World War 2,
none were of greater import than the arrival of the Nakajima Ki-84 Hayate (meaning "gale" and
known as "Frank" to the Allies. ... 1944

North American A-36 Apache (Invader)

The A-36 Apache was a United States Army version of the successful North American P-51 Mustang
piston-engine fighter. The original Mustang itself was developed to a British specification but the
Mustang went on to see its glo... 1942

North American AJ (A-2) Savage

The AJ Savage series of aircraft was a product of the North American Aviation Company for the
United States Navy following the Second World War. North American had already made a name for
itself by this time with memorable Wo... 1949

North American B-25 Mitchell

The North American B-25 Mitchell series of medium bombers went on to become one of the classic
American aircraft designs to emerge during World War Two. Designed as early as 1939, the series
was built to specifications as req... 1940

North American B-45 Tornado

Development of the XB-45 began in 1944 and continued into 1945, representing the later years of
the Second World War. With reports that Germany had already succeeded in development of
production-quality jet bomber designs, th... 1948
North American F-82 / P-82 Twin Mustang
The F-82 Twin Mustang was a purposely-designed aircraft charged with the purpose of providing
the United States Air Force with a potent long-range fighter escort while allowing the pilot a much
needed break with the addition ... 1946

North American F-86 Sabre

The F-86 Sabre was the product of the North American Aviation Company based in the United
States of America. The aircraft served a pivotal role in the Korean War by winning back air
superiority for the NATO allies, going toe-... 1949

North American FJ-1 Fury

The North American FJ-1 Fury aircraft system appeared for a limited time with United States Naval
air forces but was instrumental in the design of another North American classic warfighter - the F-
86 Sabre. The FJ-1 Fury spaw... 1947

North American P-51 / F-51 Mustang

The North American P-51 Mustang proved an invaluable addition to the Allied cause in the latter
half of World War 2. The system was designed and flown in a matter of months and made such an
impact that it could clearly be con... 1940

Northrop F-89 Scorpion

The F-89 Scorpion offered up a solid ten years of service for the United States Air Force, charged
with the defense of the upper North from Soviet bomber incursions during the Cold War. The F-89
was a large aircraft and desig... 1949

Northrop P-61 / F-61 Black Widow

The Northrop P-61 Black Widow became the United States' first aircraft specifically designed from
the outset as a platform dedicated to the fine art of night-fighting. Enabled by its complex through
highly-effective nose-moun... 1943

Northrop XP-56 Black Bullet

The XP-56 "Black Bullet" was designed by the Northrop company to an Army Air Corps proposal
known as the R-40C. The XP-56 stood out as yet another radical design and focused on the flying
wing concept while incorporating push... 1943

Northrop XP-79
The XP-79 was another of Northrop's flying wing attempts with the initial project being conceived
as a rocket-propelled model. The design was dominated by the large horizontal wing surface area
with twin vertical tail surface... 1945

OQ-2A Aerial Target


Petlyakov Pe-2
The Petlyakov Pe-2 began arriving in small numbers on the East Front in the summer of 1941. The
system owed its pedigree from the developmental Petlyakov-designed VI-100 high-altitude
interceptor that featured a pressurized c... 1940
Petlyakov Pe-3

Piper L-4 Grasshopper

The Piper L-4 Grasshopper evolved from the successful Piper Cub series that took to the air as
early as 1930. By 1941, the US Army was in the market for such a light observation and liaison
aircraft with rugged reliability, p... 1941

Reggiane Re.2000 Sagittaro (Archer)

The Reggiane 2000 series of aircraft was very reminiscent of American interwar designs appearing
between 1930 and 1940. The Reggiane maintained a stout profile centered around a large engine,
rounded edge wings and traditiona... 1943

Republic F-84 Thunderjet / Thunderstreak / Thunderflash

The Republic F-84 Thunderjet appeared as an American post-war design and played a pivotal role
in the early years that was the Cold War. The nimble little system provided many an Allied nation
with a nuclear-capable deterrent... 1947

Republic P-47 Thunderbolt

The P-47 Thunderbolt (commonly called the "Jug" or "Juggernaut" for its stout appearance) was
another example of an American-produced classic warbird. The design of the P-47 held many
challenges but the end-result would produ... 1942

Republic XF-12 Rainbow

The Republic XF-12 "Rainbow" was envisioned as the USAAF's new dedicated strategic
reconnaissance platform in the latter years of World War 2, going head-to-head with Howard
Hughe's XF-11 creation. Unfortunately for both, the... 1946

Republic XP-72 Super Thunderbolt

The XP-72 Wasp Major Thunderbolt was intended to be an "ultimate" design of the highly
successful P-47 Thunderbolt fighter-bomber as produced by Republic. The XP-72 was to
incorporate the successful P-47 airframe and mate it ... 1944

Saab J 21
The Saab 21 series of fighter aircraft was of a most unique design - in more ways then one. The
system was drawn up to a 1941 response for an indigenous fighter aircraft intended to replace the
outdated airframes Sweden was c... 1945

Saab J 29 Tunnan (Barrel)

The Saab-produced J 29 Tunnan (meaning "barrel" due to its stubby-like barrel appearance) was
the second jet-fighter design produced in Sweden following the Second World War. Following along
with other nations at the time, Sw... 1949

Short S.45 Solent

The Short Solent was a passenger transport "flying boat" designed in the years following World
War 2, when a burgeoning passenger market was apparent. Many wartime flying boats were
immediately converted to commercial air tra... 1946
Short Stirling
The gangly-looking Short Sterling formed the backbone of heavy bomber groups for the RAF from
the Battle of Britain on through the end of the war, though by then deemed obsolescent and
relegated to transport duties. Designed ... 1940

Short Sturgeon SB.3

The Short Sturgeon SB.3 was a set of prototypes ordered as anti-submarine warfare systems. The
SB.3 was based highly on the well-performing World War 2-era Sturgeon S.A.1 torpedo bomber,
with the SB.3 appearing to help the sy... 1949

Supermarine Seafire
With the successful conversions of Hawker Hurricanes to carrier-operation roles, it was decided to
take the successful land-based Supermarine Spitfires and attempt the same modifications. The
resulting design was the Supermar... 1942

Tupolev Tu-4 (Bull)


Vought F7U Cutlass

The Chance Vought F7U Cutlass was an interesting aircraft in many ways. For one, the aircraft was
the direct result of American research into the jet designs and technologies of the Arado company -
the German aircraft firm th... 1949

Vought OS2U Kingfisher

The OS2U Kingfisher was a product of the Vought aircraft firm, appearing initially as the VS.310
design to which the United States Navy accepted as a prototype in the XOS2U-1. The prototype
would be airborne for trials by 193... 1940

Vultee A-35 Vengeance

The A-35 Vengeance was a dive bomber produced by the Vultee Aircraft Company and resulted in
over a thousand examples being used by foreign forces under the Lend-Lease Act. Originally
ordered for French use as the V-72, some ... 1941

Vultee XP-54 Swoose Goose

The Vultee XP-54 was one of the more distinct aircraft creations designed during World War 2.
Produced through the essentially "empty canvas / blank check" approach by an Army Air Corps
initiative (the specification was known... 1943

Vultee XP-81
The Consolidated Vultee XP-81 was a proposed long-range, high-altitude fighter design that was to
be the answer for bomber escorting in Europe but, more importantly, throughout the island
hopping campaign of the Pacific. The ... 1945
Westland Welkin
With its origins in the Westland Whirlwind, the Westland Welkin (meaning "Vault of Heaven") was a
twin-engined fighter designed as a high-altitude interceptor to defend against another possible
Luftwaffe bombing campaign agai... 1944

Westland Whirlwind
The Westland Whirlwind was a most capable design that might have seen even better service
numbers were it not for the choice of engines. Originally slated to utilize the Rolls-Royce brand
Merlin engines, the Whirlwind platfor... 1940

Yakovlev Yak-1 (Krasavyets)

Often overshadowed by its contemporaries in the West (to include the Supermarine Spitfire, North
American P-51 Mustang, Messerschmitt Bf 109 and the Focke-Wulf Fw 190) the early production
Yakovlev fighter aircraft were some ... 1940

Yakovlev Yak-17
The Yak-17 was a solid operator in service with the Soviet Union. As a post-World War Two design,
the system had its roots in the Yak-3 piston-engine fighter which spawned the jet-powered Yak-15
- of which the Yak-17 was a di... 1947

Yakovlev Yak-23
The Yakovlev Yak-23 was the final iteration of the post-war turbojet designs beginning with the
Yak-15 and continuing in the Yak-17 aircraft series. The Yak-23 was similar to the Yak-17 but
differed in the utilization of high... 1947

Yakovlev Yak-3
The Yakovlev Yak-3 was a further development of the Yak-1 series of fighters (detailed elsewhere
on this site) and was well renowned for possessing an impressive rate of climb and unmatched
maneuverability. The system appeare... 1944

Yakovlev Yak-9 (Frank)

In line with other classic wartime fighters of World War Two, the Yakovlev-produced Yak-9 is no
exception. Initially conceived from a developmental version of the Yak-7 that featured a combined
construction of wood and metal,... 1943

Yokosuka D4Y Suisei (Judy)

The Yokosuka D4Y Suisei (translating to "Comet" and nicknamed "Judy" by the Allies) was a
capable dive bomber serving the Imperial Japanese Navy during the Second World War. The
system saw some reliability issues in early pre... 1942

Yokosuka MXY7-K1 Ohka (Cherry Blossom)

The Yokosuka MXY7-K1 Ohka (translated to "Cherry Blossom") was a single-seat pilot-guided
suicide fighter proposed and produced by the Imperial Japanese Navy in a new attempt to thwart
the ever-increasing advances by Allied f... 1945
Aircraft from 1950-1959
The jet becomes king of the skies as nations are at it again over Korea.

Aerospatiale SA 313 / SA 318 Alouette II


Antonov An-12 (Cub)

The Antonov An-12 "Cub" was a product of requirement by the Soviet Union during the Cold War
years. With more land area to defend than any other superpower of the time, the Soviet military
was faced with the daunting prospect... 1957

Antonov An-24 (Coke)

The An-24 "Coke" was yet another in the long line of military transport aircraft produced during the
Cold War by the Antonov bureau. The An-24 differed from earlier Antonov products in that it was
designed and built to strict... 1959

Avro Canada CF-100 Canuck

The Avro Canada CF-100 Canuck is an often overlooked indigenous Canadian aircraft design that
performed admirably well throughout a bulk of the Cold War years. The system, partnered with
America in the NORAD program, was char... 1952

Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow

The Avro CF-105 "Arrow" appeared at a time when the Soviet Union was consistently developing
higher-flying and longer range bombers capable of nuclear strikes virtually anywhere within reach.
As a result, the Arrow was develo... 1958

Avro Shackleton
The Avro Shackleton was derived from the Avro Lincoln bomber (the Lincoln itself designed from
the Avro Lancaster), a four-engine aircraft appearing too late to see action in World War 2. The
Shackleton featured a similar (th... 1951

Avro Vulcan
The Avro Vulcan formed the second point on the triangle in the British "V-Bombers" collection - a
series of three high-altitude, long range, nuclear-capable systems developed during the Cold War
from a post-World War 2 Britis... 1956

Much in the vain of the North American XB-70 Valkyrie system for the United States, the TSR-2
was to be England’s super Cold War bomber. The system was to provide the United Kingdom with
a supersonic low-level bomber capable ... 1959

Bell UH-1 Iroquois (Huey)

The UH-1 Iroquois "Huey" became an important part of American military actions beginning in
1960 and expanding throughout the latter part of the Cold War years. The ubiquitous system
became synonymous with the American effort... 1959
Bell X-5
The X-5 was a developmental prototype model aircraft produced by the Bell Aircraft company of
the United States of America. X-5 development was initiated through the capture of a German
Messerschmitt fighter design (powered b... 1951

Boeing 707
The 707 model series for The Boeing Company proved to be the catalyst for their commercial
market successes to come. The 707 introduced a model design that was initially conceived of as a
private venture, targeting both milit... 1955

Boeing B-52 Stratofortress

The B-52 has been the preeminent American heavy bomber of the last 54 years. The massive
aircraft served throughout the heightened periods of the Cold War as a nuclear deterrent, as a
dedicated bomber and reconnaissance platf... 1955

Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker

The KC-135 Stratotanker proved to be a monumental product for the Boeing corporation in more
ways than one, firstly solidifying its position as the premiere airliner manufacturer throughout the
world and secondly offering the... 1956

14 Boeing VC-137 Stratoliner


Breguet Br.1050 Alize (Tradewind)

The Breguet Br.1050 "Alize" (meaning "tradewind") was a French production aircraft suitable for
carrier-based anti-submarine warfare (ASW) tactics. The system was fielded in limited quantity
throughout the Cold War and proved... 1956

Cessna T-37 Tweet


Chance Vought F-8 Crusader

The Vought-produced F-8 Crusader was a direct response to a Navy need for a supersonic carrier-
based fighter platform. Utilizing nearly the identical powerplant of the F-100 Super Sabre, the F-8
Crusader became the world's fi... 1956

Convair F-102 Delta Dagger

The F-102 Delta Dagger was a prototypical American aircraft design in the years following the
Korean War, particularly doing away with the smooth lines and straight wing features
commonplace in the years following World War T... 1958
Convair F-106 Delta Dart
The Convair F-106 Delta Dart began its production life as a direct successor to the interim F-102
Delta Dagger (detailed elsewhere on this site). Like the F-102 before it, the F-106 was designed to
meet and "greet" high-flyin... 1959

Dassault Etendard
The base Dassault-produced Etendard (meaning "Standard") was a private venture that was
initially greeted without much fervor. When the French Navy came looking for a lightweight carrier-
capable platform, the Etendard series ... 1958

Dassault Mirage III

Though now outclassed by the latest in Next Generation aircraft, the Mirage III - for a time - was
the best European fighter in operation. The delta-wing system, a design proving quite capable
early pioneering developments, o... 1956

Dassault Mystere / Super Mystere

The Dassault-produced Mystere series of turbojet aircraft appeared just when the French nation
was in the rebuilding stages following World War Two. The owner of Dassault, himself a captive of
one of the many German concentra... 1955

de Havilland Canada DHC-4 Caribou

The Caribou series proved to be such an effective battlefield transport aircraft that more than a few
were pressed into service as captured C-7's in the hands of the North Vietnamese. The type
continues to serve in limited nu... 1959

de Havilland D.H.110 Sea Vixen

In the 1950's, the de Havilland production of the Sea Vixen became the Royal Navy's first swept
wing fighter design and Britain's first all-missile aircraft. The Sea Vixen was selected to replace the
Sea Venom and became a fo... 1958

Dornier Do 28 / Do 128 Skyservant


Douglas A-4 Skyhawk

The A-4 Skyhawk (nicknamed "Heinemann's Hot Rod" and the "Scooter") came about as a private
venture when the Douglas corporation was seeking to replace the aging AD Skyraider (A-1
Skyraider) piston-engine aircraft. The succes... 1956

Douglas B-66 Destroyer

The Douglas-produced B-66 Destroyer was a light bomber designed by Ed Heinemann to replace
the aging A-26 Invader in service with the United States Strategic Air Command (SAC). Based
highly on the existing United States Navy ... 1956
Douglas C-124 Globemaster II
With the close of World War 2 and the accompanying Berlin Airlift, the United States military saw a
need to replace its aged C-74 "Globemaster I" systems with a newer and more capable platform.
The C-124 was put forth as a pr... 1950

29 Douglas DC-8

Douglas EA-3B Skywarrior


Douglas F3D / F-10 Skyknight

The Douglas F3D series of aircraft holds several distinctions in the world of aviation history and in
the circle of United States military aviation. To start off, the F3D became the world's first jet-
powered carrier-based nig... 1950

Douglas F4D Skyray / F-6 Skyray

The F4D Skyray (affectionately nicknamed the "Ford" for its "F", "Four" and "D" used in the
designation) stemmed from a 1947 United States Navy requirement to field a competitive Mach 1-
capable, high-altitude interceptor. Not... 1956

Douglas F5D Skylancer


Douglas X-3 Stiletto


Fairchild C-123 Provider

The C-123 Provider was a four engine military transport aircraft utilized to good effect in the
Vietnam War. Design of the aircraft was of particular note in that the system was powered by both
conventional propellers and by ... 1952

Fairey Gannet
37 Fiat / Aeritalia G.91

Folland / Hawker-Siddeley Gnat

The Folland Gnat was a swept-wing, jet-powered fighter of British origins appearing in the middle
of the 1950's. Designed as a light-weight, cost-effective aircraft with impressive performance
specifications, the diminutive G... 1959

Fouga CM.170 Magister

It's easy to lose track of French military prowess following World War 2 but the Fouga Magister was
a product of the years that followed. Developed towards closing years of the 1940's, the Magister
became a principle jet-powe... 1956

Gloster Javelin
The Gloster Javelin was the first twin-engine delta-wing jet fighter design to take up service with
any one air force. The system would also become the United Kingdoms first all-weather day or
night fighter and the very final... 1956

Grumman F11F / F-11 Tiger

The Grumman-produced F11F Tiger was designed at about the time the Grumman Cougar was
already close to production. The program goal of the Tiger series was to produce a highly-capable
daytime fighter with exceptional dogfight... 1957

Grumman F9F Cougar

The F9F Cougar was a direct and further development of the F9F Panther (detailed elsewhere on
this site. The similarities between the two were limited to just the forward fuselage of the Panther
being used in the Cougar desig... 1952

Grumman F9F Panther

The Grumman F9F Panther series saw extensive combat in the Korean War for the United States
Navy, accounting for over 78,000 combat sorties. The system was primarily utilized as a close-
support strike aircraft but could hold ... 1950

Grumman TF-1 / C-1A Trader


Grumman WF-2 / E-1 Tracer

Handley Page Victor
The Handley Page Victor formed the last part of the RAF's "V-Bomber" triangle also consisting of
the Vickers Valliant and the Avro Vulcan. All three would make up the British strategic nuclear
strike arm (given life through t... 1957

Hawker / Armstrong Whitworth Sea Hawk


Hawker Hunter
The Hawker Hunter was the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy jet fighter of choice for decades since
its inception, becoming the longest serving British jet-powered fighter of her time. Outwardly, the
Hunter was of a most convent... 1956

Lockheed C-130 Hercules

The arrival of the Lockheed-produced C-130 Hercules series of transport lay down the foundation
of transport design for decades since its inception. The series ushered in standards such as the
high-mounted monoplane wing desi... 1956

Lockheed F-104 Starfighter

The Lockheed F-104 was in many ways an engineering marvel whose legacy suffered terribly due
to several internal and external circumstances, so much so, in fact, that the aircraft was dubbed
the unflattering name of "Widowmak... 1958

Lockheed F-94 Starfire

The F-94 (nicknamed "Starfire" in the "C" model only) was developed from the successful twin-seat
Lockheed trainer aircraft known as the T-33 Shooting Star, which in itself was based on the single-
seat P-80 / F-80 Shooting St... 1950

Lockheed Martin U-2 Dragon Lady

The U-2 spyplane was a pivotal player during the peak years of the Cold War between the United
States of America and the Soviet Union, charged with photographing key installations for the safety
of the American homeland and i... 1955

McDonnell F-101 Voodoo

The McDonnell F-101 Voodoo was affectionately called the "One-oh-Wonder" and known moreso
early on for its many record-setting achievements in the early years of use. The twin-engine fighter
-bomber was a design that nearly w... 1957

McDonnell F3H Demon

The F3H Demon series of aircraft produced by McDonnell Aircraft was a further development of the
company's expertise with carrier-based turbojet-powered aircraft. Ever since the arrival of the
Japanese "Zero" to the war front... 1953
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 (Fresco) / Chengdu J-5
As impressive as the later versions of the MiG-15 fighter were (detailed elsewhere on this site), the
MiG-17 "Fresco" was a vastly improved development based on lessons learned in the formers
design. With the MiG-15 represent... 1952

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-19 (Farmer)

The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-19 "Farmer" was an entirely new aircraft design though it shared many
external similarities with the existing MiG-15 and MiG-17 models. Building upon lessons learned on
those former designs, the MiG-1... 1955

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 (Fishbed)

The MiG-21 was undoubtedly the most successful Cold War fighter in terms of reach, operating in
over 50 air forces around the globe and seeing production well past the 10,000 example mark. The
aircraft was developed with less... 1959

Mil Mi-4 (Hound)

The broad-reaching Mil Mi-4 series of helicopter (known to NATO as "Hound") first appeared in
1952 and was designed within the Soviet Union as a direct response to the American H-19
Chickasaw helicopter debuting in the Korean... 1953

Myasishchev M-50 / M-52 (Bounder)

The M-50 and M-52 bombers were two prototype intercontinental supersonic strategic bombers
proposed by the Soviet firm of Myasishchev as early as 1956. Though the project and its design is
some fifty years old, very little in... 1959

North American / Boeing T-2 Buckeye

The North American (now Boeing) T-2 Buckeye was responsible for the training of thousands of
American naval aviators from 1959 onwards. The system was fielded as an intermediate budget
trainer designed to give United States N... 1959

North American F-100 Super Sabre

The North American F-100 Super Sabre was developed as the successor to the F-86 Sabre, another
North American product. The F-86 Sabre proved a war winner for the Americans in the Korean
War, tangling with the likes of the new... 1954

North American X-10


63 North American X-15


North American YF-107 Ultra Sabre

The YF-107 "Ultra Sabre" prototype represented the final foray into military aviation for the North
American Aircraft Corporation. The company that was responsible for such memorable airframes as
seen embodied by the P-51 Mus... 1957
Republic F-105 Thunderchief
The F-105 Thunderchief was a Cold War product of the Republic Aviation Corporation and became
the company's last production aircraft before its merger with Fairchild. The platform was developed
as a successor to the F-84 seri... 1958

Sikorsky H-19 Chickasaw

The Sikorsky H-19 Chickasaw was an excellent multipurpose transport helicopter that saw use in
various roles on a global scale. The system proved to be a tremendous replacement for the US
Army H-5 Dragonfly series and went on... 1950

Sikorsky H-34 / CH-34 Choctaw

The H-34 Choctaw was a multi-purpose, turbine-powered utility helicopter produced by Sikorsky in
the United States. It was developed as a replacement for the similar Korean War-era UH-19
Chickasaw series of helicopters and de... 1954

Sud-Ouest SO 4050 Vautour

These limited-production aircraft served with little distinction in French hands but were better
served as night fighters and attack aircraft by the Israeli Air Force in later years. The aircraft is oft-
noted for its design s... 1953

Supermarine Attacker
The Supermarine Attacker was an unspectacular aircraft that was most notably used by the British
Royal Navy. The system was initially designed for the Royal Air Force to take advantage of an
already existing piston engine fig... 1951

70 Supermarine Scimitar

Supermarine Swift
The Supermarine Swift series of aircraft was initially designed to supplant the aging and outclassed
post-World War Two Gloster Meteor turbojet fighters and was a further development of the
Supermarine Attacker. The system wo... 1954

Tupolev Tu-142 (Bear)

The Tupolev Tu-142 "Bear" aircraft was a further development of the massive and successful Tu-95
Bear design popularized by its many appearances along the airspace border between the Soviet
union and NATO allies during the Co... 1957

Tupolev Tu-16 (Badger)

The Tupolev Tu-16 (codenamed "Badger" by NATO) owed its success story to the Cold War and its
own versatility. Throughout its production life, the Tu-16 would go on to become arguably the best
medium-type bomber platform in s... 1954
Tupolev Tu-95 (Bear)
The Tupolev Tu-95 "Bear" was the Soviet symbol of Cold War prowess, consistently breaking
across into American and Canadian airspace to test defensive response times and gather
intelligence. The many forms of the Tu-95 produc... 1957

Vickers Valiant
The Valiant was the beginning design in the series of 'V' strategic bombers for the RAF. The Valiant
originated as a response for a high-level strategic bomber that could carry nuclear ordinance as
well as conventional weapon... 1955

Yakovlev Yak-25 (Flashlight / Mandrake)

The Yak-25 (NATO codename of "Flashlight") was yet another jet fighter design introduced by the
Soviets during the early decades of the Cold War. The system was designed to patrol the vast
northern-most portions of the Soviet... 1955
Aircraft from 1960-1969
The Cold War goes hot in a blink of an eye as both sides rattle their sabres.

Aermacchi MB.326
The Aermacchi MB.326 series of aircraft has become one of the most successful blends of
operational trainer and light attack capabilities. Developed during the Cold War in 1957, the
Aermacchi-produced two-seat trainer was alr... 1962

Aero L-29 Delfin (Dolphin) / Maya

The Czech designed and produced Aero L-29 Delfin (translating to “Dolphin”; NATO designation of
“Maya”) series was a highly utilized Cold War jet trainer aircraft for the Soviet Union and its
satellite states. The twin-seat a... 1963

Aerospatiale / British Aerospace Concorde

One of the great aviation stories to come out of a post-Cold War world, the British and French-
made Concorde stands as the only supersonic passenger transport ever designed and flown on a
regular basis. The system offered upp... 1969

Aerospatiale SA 316 / SA 319 Alouette III

The Aérospatiale Alouette III, is French for Skylark having a single-engine and to be used as a light
utility helicopter and was developed by Sud Aviation and manufactured by Aérospatiale of France.
The first version of the A... 1960

Aerospatiale SA 321 Super Frelon (Super Hornet)

The SA 321 Super Frelon is a French-produced multirole helicopter falling under the Aerospatiale
brand. The mammoth design became the largest production helicopter designed and built in
Europe in any number when it went into ... 1964

Antonov An-22 Antei (Cock)

The Antonov An-22 Antei (or "Cock") was another in the long line of Antonov transports designed
and produced throughout the Cold War, with each design seemingly becoming progressively larger
in scope. The An-22 was no excepti... 1965

BAe / Hawker Siddeley Nimrod

The Nimrod aircraft came about as a replacement for the aging and World War Two-era piston-
engine Avro Shackleton. Charged with maritime patrol of coastal waters and reconnaissance, the
Nimrod had its beginnings on the civili... 1968

Bell 204 / UH-1B/C Iroquois (Huey)

The UH-1 Iroquois was designed to fit a need developed by the United States Army for a utility
helicopter capable of MedEvac duty. The UH-1 series would go on to have a prolonged life in both
military and civil functions and ... 1962

Bell 205 / UH-1D/H Iroquois (Huey)

Based on the successful UH-1B Huey model, the UH-1D was an improved and more powerful
version that included increased cabin space for up to 14 passengers. As the YUH-1D (taken from
the base Bell 205 airframe), the system firs... 1963
Bell 206 JetRanger
The Bell 206 was derived from the unsuccessful OH-4 bid by the Bell company to fulfill a US Army
need for a light-weight, turbine-powered, four-seat observation helicopter in 1960. It would not be
until 1967 when delays in th... 1967

Bell AH-1 HueyCobra / Cobra (Bell 209)

Based on the private venture Bell 209 helicopter, the AH-1 Cobra series of helicopters is many a
military's primary light attack helicopter. As early as the 1950's Bell corporation was experimenting
with armed versions in the... 1967

Beriev Be-12 Tchaika (Mail)

The Beriev Be-12 "Mail" was a successful floatplane aircraft for the Soviet Union during the Cold
War, fulfilling the role of maritime patrol and reconnaissance. The twin-engine system was
designed to replace the other Beriev... 1961

Blackburn / Hawker Siddeley Buccaneer

The Blackburn Buccaneer was a highly-respected low-level carrier-borne strike aircraft utilized by
the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy. The Buccaneer featured a crew of two seated in tandem,
an internal weapons bay to comp... 1962

Boeing 727-200

15 Boeing 737 (series)


Boeing 747

Boeing CH-46 Sea Knight

The CH-46 Sea Knight is similar in design and role to the CH-47 Chinook series of transport
helicopters. Both offer up unobstructed access to the aircraft by keeping engine components
mounted above the design. Both also utili... 1964

Boeing CH-47 Chinook

The Chinook series of medium-lift helicopters has been a mainstay utility service system for the US
Army (among others) for decades since its design and inception. The series featured the highly
identifiable twin-tandem rotor... 1962
Boeing OH-6 / MD 500 / MH-6 (Little Bird)
The OH-6 series of helicopters is a successful light observation and light attack system fielded with
the US Army and special forces since the mid-1960's. The aircraft proved nimble enough to operate
in close-support of groun... 1964

Cessna A-37 Dragonfly

The Cessna A-37 Dragonfly was born out of a need for close-support aircraft to assist in the
Vietnam War. As such, the T-37 jet trainer was converted for the role and became the A-37 series
of aircraft. The system would go on... 1967

21 Cessna T-41 Mescalero


Convair B-58 Hustler

The delta-wing Convair B-58 Hustler was the first United States Air Force supersonic operational
bomber. The system was designed to be capable of high-altitude flight, which was a popular design
concept during the early years... 1960

Dassault Mirage IIIV

The Mirage IIIV was designed to a NATO requirement for a supersonic VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and
Landing) fighter aircraft. The Mirage IIIV was a further development of the successful Mirage III
fighter series but featured a s... 1965

Dassault Mirage IV
The Dassault Mirage IV series was designed to a French requirement for a supersonic aircraft
platform capable of delivering an atomic weapon. The resulting Mirage IV became just that,
offering up Mach 2 capabilities and a cei... 1963

Dassault Mirage V (5) / Mirage 50

The Dassault Mirage V / Mirage 50 series of French-built multi-role aircraft stands as the last
further development of the successful Mirage III airframe. The Mirage V appeared in 1967 and was
intended solely for export, find... 1967

English Electric / BAC Lightning

The English Electric Lightning was an impressive engineering feat for the British people. She was
the first (and only) Mach 2-capable platform ever developed for the island nation and itself the
fastest British fighter of all... 1960

27 FalconJet HU-25 Guardian

General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark
The General Dynamics F-111 "Aardvark" was purposely-designed as a variable geometry "swing
wing" platform from the outset. The variable swing-wing philosophy would allow the aircraft to
utilize three pre-determined geometric ... 1967

Grumman / Northrop Grumman C-2 Greyhound

The Grumman C-2 Greyhound was developed from the successful Grumman E-2 Hawkeye.
Whereas the latter was a dedicated carrier-based Airborne Early Warning platform, the Greyhound
was evolved into a carrier-based transport featu... 1967

Grumman A-6 Intruder

The Grumman A-6 Intruder series of strike aircraft was designed to a United States Navy
specification drawn up covering an attack aircraft capable carrying and delivering large payloads
over distance and in any weather. The i... 1968

Grumman E-2 Hawkeye

The E-2 Hawkeye series serves carrier battle groups (principally in the United States Navy) and is
called upon as an all-weather airborne command and control battle space management system.
The Hawkeye became operational in 1... 1964

Grumman OV-1 Mohawk

Development of the OV-1 Mohawk platform stemmed from a joint requirement fielded by both the
United States Army and the United States Marine Corps for a "battlefield surveillance aircraft"
displaying rugged and versatile qual... 1961

HAL HF-24 Marut

The Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd HF-24 Marut was the first Indian attempt at an indigenous aircraft
design since separating from British rule. The Marut - or "Spirit of the Tempest" - was the first
design that was produced for t... 1962

Harbin Z-5
The Z-5 is the Chinese-built version of the Soviet Mi-4 Hound medium-lift transport helicopter....

Hawker Siddeley Harrier / AV-8A

The subsonic British Harrier "jump jet" became the world's first practical VTOL (Vertical Take-Off
and Landing) aircraft after the perfection of its vectored thrust turbofan engine. While other aircraft
manufacturers of the t... 1969

Kamov Ka-25 (Hormone)

The Kamov Ka-25 (NATO codename of "Hormone") was developed from the Ka-20, which itself was
a response to a Soviet Navy requirement for a ship-borne helicopter to replace the aging Mil Mi-4
platforms. The Ka-25 became a mains... 1966
Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne
The AH-56 Cheyenne was Lockheed's first and only foray into development of a production
helicopter. In many respects, however, the Cheyenne was neither a true helicopter nor was it a
true airplane - in many ways that today's... 1967

Lockheed C-141 Starlifter

The C-141 Starlifter appeared in 1965 - interestingly enough without a prototype preceding its
inception - and became the workhorse transport aircraft for the United States Air Force. The
aircraft was developed to a Military ... 1965

Lockheed HC-130 Hercules


Lockheed Martin P-3 Orion

The P-3 Orion aircraft is a product of Lockheed Martin, designed and accepted at a time when
Lockheed could do little wrong in the way of earning government contracts. The P-3 was a direct
requirement for a United States Navy... 1962

Lockheed MC-130 Combat Talon I / II

The MC-130 series is represented by the MC-130E Combat Talon I and the MC-130H Combat Talon
II systems. Both utilize the hugely successful C-130 Hercules airframe and were designed
specifically for use with special forces ope... 1966

Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird

The sleek SR-71 Blackbird spyplane reached an all new plateau in supersonic high-level flight for
the Lockheed Corporation. Developed from the YF-121-A interceptor program which spawned the A
-12 program which in turn generate... 1966

LTV A-7 Corsair II

The middle-weight Vought-produced A-7 Corsair II was designed as a replacement for the A-4
Skyhawk light-weight fighter / bomber, and was based on the engineering successes of the F-8
Crusader. Owing its general visual appear... 1967

44 McDonnell Douglas C-9 Nightingale


McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II

Arguably one of the finest combat fighters of the 20th Century, the McDonnell F-4 Phantom II
series was produced in larger numbers since the end of World War 2 than any other Western
fighter of the time. The Phantom II grew i... 1960
McDonnell Douglas F-4G Wild Weasel
The F-4G represented the "Wild Weasel" off-shoot of the successful F-4 Phantom II line. Wild
Weasel aircraft represented (and continue to do so) specially modified platforms utilized to hunt
enemy air defense systems such as ... 1963

Mil Mi-6 (Hook)


Mil Mi-8 (Hip)

Numbering well over 12,000 production examples, the Mil Mi-8 (NATO reporting name of "Hip") can
be viewed as one of the most successful helicopter designs of all time. It has seen use as a
passenger transport, troop transport... 1967

Mitsubishi Mu-2

North American A-5 Vigilante

The A-5 Vigilante bomber actually began as a private venture by the North American Aviation
Company as early as 1953. This development centered around the design of an all-weather, high-
level, long range bomber capable of car... 1961

North American Rockwell OV-10 Bronco

The Bronco was developed through the United States Marine Corps Light Armed Reconnaissance
Aircraft (LARA) program to provide the service branch with a multi-faceted performer that could
handle armed reconnaissance and light ... 1966

North American XB-70 Valkyrie

The XB-70 Valkyrie was intended to be the USAF 'super bomber' for decades to come and was
tabbed as the eventual successor to the B-52 Stratofortress in support of the United States
Strategic Air Command. Developed with the l... 1964

Northrop Grumman EA-6 Prowler

The Prowler series of carrierbased aircraft are dedicated electronic warfare systems based on the
Vietnam-era A-6 Intruder strike models. Since their introduction, the Prowler series has seen
action up through the present Ame... 1963

54 Northrop T-38 Talon

Saab J 35 Draken (Dragon / Kite)
The Saab J 35 Draken (translated in English to "Dragon" but carrying the meaning of "Kite" based
on the aircraft's angular resemblance to a kite) was one of the more excellent aircraft designs to
emerge from the Cold War. The... 1960

Saab JA 37 Viggen (Thunderbolt)

The Saab Viggen proved to be yet another milestone in the indigenous design theories put forth by
the nation of Sweden. The system was designed from the outset to be a battlefield friendly
alternative to its opponent counterp... 1968

SH-2F Seasprite

Sikorsky CH-53 Sea Stallion


59 Sikorsky CH-54 Tarhe / Skycrane


Sikorsky HH-3 Jolly Green Giant

The HH-3E series is no longer in service with the United States Air Force but gained considerable
fame in the Vietnam War for its many rescues of downed aircrews in the conflict. The system
featured a stretched fuselage and w... 1963

Sikorsky HH-3 Pelican


Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King

At its peak, the Sikorsky SH-3 series of naval aircraft was a widely used and successful platform
utilized in anti-submarine warfare and search and rescue operations. Development stemmed from
a United States Navy 1957 contrac... 1961

Sud Aviation / Aerospatiale SA 330 Puma

The Puma began life as a product of Sud Aviation designed to meet an French Army requirement
for an all-weather, medium-lift, multi-purpose utility helicopter to replace the aging set of Sikorsky
S-58 systems in French servic... 1969
Sukhoi Su-11 (Fishpot)
The Su-11, by any regard, is considered a potent fighter. Based on a further development of the
inferior and limited Su-9, the Su-11 featured an improved and more powerful turbojet engine
capable of 22,046lbs of thrust with a... 1962

Sukhoi Su-15 (Flagon)

The Su-15 (NATO codename of "Flagon") series of aircraft was designed by the Sukhoi firm as a
true interceptor with the sole purpose of defending Soviet airspace NATO bomber incursions during
the Cold War. The system was desi... 1967

Sukhoi Su-7 (Fitter)

Though not in service with the Russian Air Force in any capacity these days, the Sukhoi Su-7
(NATO designation of "Fitter") can still be found in a few inventories around the world - mostly in
former Soviet-supported states a... 1966

Transall C-160
67 An alliance between France and Germany resulted in the development and production of the
Transall C.160 transport plane....

Tupolev Tu-126 (Moss)


Tupolev Tu-28 / Tu-128 (Fiddler)

The Tupolev-produced Tu-28 (NATO codename of "Fiddler") was a large intercept-capable aircraft
built for the simple role of air defense and anti-bomber incursion. Developed at a time when both
sides of the Cold War were seeki... 1963

Yakovlev Yak-28 (Brewer / Firebar / Maestro)

Nearly an exact copy of the Yak-25 (and the Yak-26 and Yak-27 for that matter), the Yakovlev Yak
-28 was initially thought of as a multi-role fighter-bomber but eventually fulfilled the role of
interceptor, reconnaissance and ... 1965
Aircraft from 1970-1979
Vietnam forces a re-thinking in tactics as dogfighting makes a comeback.

Aeritalia G.222
The G.222 was a medium transport produced by the Aeritalia corporation that saw some modest
successes. The aircraft was designed to fit the need for short runway take-off and landings from
rough airstrips and to provide the I... 1978

Aermacchi MB.339
The Aermacchi MB.339 was the successor to the Aermacchi MB.326 in the advanced trainer and
light strike duty roles. This twin-seat trainer proved equally adept at either role and went on to
also replace the Fiat G.91T trainer... 1978

Aero L-39 Albatros (Albatross)

The L-39 series of advanced jet trainer and light strike aircraft followed along the same lines as its
predecessor - the L-29 Delphin (detailed elsewhere on this site) - in terms of development.
Designed actually just three y... 1972

Aerospatiale / Eurocopter AS350 / AS355 / Astar

The AS350 was originally designed to replace the aging Sud Aviation / Aerospatiale Alouette II light
utility helicopter series. The AS350 appeared first under the Aerospatiale brand label but is now
known under the Eurocopter... 1975

Aerospatiale SA 341 / SA 342 Gazelle

A popular light reconnaissance and attack helicopter for export order, the Aerospatiale Gazelle
systems are a common site all over the world. Operating in the multirole mode, the system has the
capabilities to undergo duties ... 1971

AgustaWestland MH-68A Stingray / AW109 / A109


Airbus A300
The A300-600 and A310 share a high percentage of commonality in terms of airframe design and
construction (decreasing maintenance and repair costs somewhat), with the A300 maintaining the
wider cross section - a full 222 inch... 1972

Antonov An-32 (Cline)

The An-32 "Cline" was offered up by the Antonov bureau as an improved An-26 model. In essence,
the system was quite similar to the preceding An-26 with newer and more powerful engines but
offered up better performance in trop... 1977
BAe Sea Harrier
The arrival of the land-based Hawker Siddeley Harrier revolutionized the British military approach
upon its inception in 1969. The system allowed for vertical take-offs and landings by providing the
hovering capabilities of a... 1978

10 Boeing 757-200

Boeing CT-43 / T-43A


Boeing E-3 Sentry AWACS


Boeing E-4 Airborne Command Post


14 Dassault Falcon 50

Dassault Mirage F1
The Dassault Mirage F1 series was designed to replace the successful Dassault Mirage III series.
With a host of new features added to this new aircraft, the Mirage F1 would be a substantial
upgrade to the whole Mirage family ... 1973

Dassault Super Etendard (Standard)

The Dassault Super Etendard ("Standard") was a further development of the base Etendard
platform that performed well in service with the French Navy. The system saw deliveries start from
the late 1970's onward and by the end ... 1978

Dassault-Breguet Mirage 2000

The Mirage 2000 was developed as a replacement for previous versions of the Mirage airframe
platform. This new version incorporated many design, engineering and production elements
learned from the post-war years of aircraft ... 1979
Dassault-Dornier Alpha Jet
The Alpha Jet series of aircraft was a joint Franco-German initiative to produce a highly-advanced
tactical trainer with close-support capabilities. The French firm of Dassault-Breguet generated the
initial evaluation model u... 1978

Eurocopter BO 105
The Bo 105 is a light utility helicopter system recognized around the globe for its versatility,
performance and safety record. The system has served (and continues to do so) in a military and
civilian capacity in nations thr... 1970

Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II (Warthog)

The uniquely-designed A-10 Thunderbolt II (its namesake derived from the World War II piston-
engine fighter/bomber - the P-47 Thunderbolt) was specifically developed as a close-support anti-
tank killing machine. The A-10 woul... 1976

FMA IA-58 Pucara (Fortress)

The impressive-looking, two-seat IA-58 Pucara (meaning "Fortress") was produced by the Fabrica
Militar de Aviones of Argentina. The aircraft was classified as a counter-insurgency ground-attack
system capable of rough-field o... 1975

General Dynamics / Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon

The F-16 Fighting Falcon can officially go down as one of the most successful aircraft designs of the
Cold War. The system was designed in a head-to-head competition with the Northrop YF-17 Cobra
and successfully defeated it ... 1979

Grumman F-14 Tomcat

The Grumman F-14 Tomcat-series of variable-geometry wing carrier-capable interceptors is one of
the true living success stories of Cold War aircraft design. The system was popularized by the
Hollywood motion picture "Top Gun"... 1970

IAI Kfir
The Israeli Aircraft Industries Kfir (Lion Cub) series is considered by many to be the ultimate
version of the French-made Dassault Mirage 5 series. The system was produced locally from
existing French-made Mirage III series ... 1975

25 Ilyushin IL-76 (Candid)


Kamov Ka-27 (Helix)

The Ka-27 Helix was designed and built as a replacement for the aging Soviet-era Ka-25 navy
helicopter - also built by Kamov. The Ka-27 is designated as an anti-ship helicopter for the Russian
Navy but fulfills a variety o... 1975

Lockheed / Vought S-3 Viking

The S-3 Viking series of carrier-borne aircraft was a joint production effort from the Lockheed and
Vought aircraft firms. Selected from no fewer than five proposals from various other companies an
including the two aforement... 1974
Lockheed AC-130H Spectre / AC-130U Spooky
Since the advent of the airplane as an instrument of war, warplanners have relied on the power of
mobile aerial attacks to keep an enemy on its toes. From the simple dropping of flechettes on
entrenched enemy positions in Wor... 1972

McDonnell Douglas / Boeing F-15 Eagle

For a time, the F-15 Eagle series was the pinnacle of American air superiority incorporating
technolgy and design that produced a highly manuervable and performanced enhanced multi-role
fighter platform. The F-15 was designed... 1974

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23 (Flogger)

Original models designed to replace the short-range yet successful MiG-21 Fishbed were accepted
and reviewed by the Soviet military powers. One such version was actually an enlarged model of
the base MiG-21 whilst the other w... 1973

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-25 (Foxbat)

The MiG-25 Foxbat was designed as a high-speed pure interceptor to combat the developing XB-70
Valkyrie American bomber capable of Mach 3. Though the Valkyrie never materialized for US war
planners, the MiG-25 was kept in pro... 1972

Mikoyan-Gurevich Mig-27 (Flogger)

The MiG-27 (NATO designation of "Flogger"), like the MiG-23 before it, was a stop-gap measure
until the full arrival of the Sukhoi Su-25 "Frogfoot". The MiG-27 stood as a strike-fighter derivative
to the highly-acclaimed swin... 1970

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-31 (Foxhound)

The Mikoyan-Gurevich produced MiG-31 was the culmination of work that began with the
development of the MiG-25 Foxbat series of high-altitude, high-speed interceptors challenged with
taking out the new generation of long-rang... 1979

Mil Mi-14 (Haze)

The Mil Mi-14 (NATO codename "Haze") was a dedicated naval anti-submarine helicopter appearing
in limited production numbers throughout the Cold War beginning in 1975. The system was a
further development of the Mil Mi-8 seri... 1975

Mil Mi-24 / Mi-25 / Mi-35 (Hind)

The Mil-produced series of "Hind" helicopters was a favorite Cold War-relic and continues (albeit
modernized) in many of today's armies including Russias. The heavy helicopter is capable of
commanding various battlefield role... 1973

Mitsubishi F-1
The Mitsubishi F-1 fighter aircraft was a milestone design for the small island country as it
represented the nations first all-Japanese design and produced fighter since the closing days of
World War 2. Based highly on the e... 1977
Nanchang Q-5 (Fantan)
With China already in possession of what was essentially the Soviet-built Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-19
"Farmer" in the Chinese copy known as the Shenyang J-6, it was decided upon developing a
ground attack version of the aircraft ... 1970

Northrop F-5 Freedom Fighter / F-5 Tiger II

The Northrop-produced F-5 Tiger series was intended as a low-cost, low-maintenance alternative
for Allies of the United States during the Cold War years. The initial model was the F-5 "Freedom
Fighter", which in turn spawned ... 1976

Northrop YF-17 (Cobra)

The YF-17 Cobra was a Northrop Aviation creation through NASA to support further testing and
research of aircraft at transonic speeds (meaning just underneath the speed of sound, or 700-
780mph / 1,127-1,255kph). The YF-17 Cob... 1972

Panavia Tornado GR.1

The Panavia Tornado GR.1 (or GR.Mk 1) is a slightly differing variant of the Tornado IDS base
model. The Tornado is produced by an international consortium of European countries that include
Germany and Italy all of which ope... 1979

Panavia Tornado IDS / ECR

The Panavia Tornado was produced from a consortium of companies in the UK, Germany and Italy.
The weapon system was designed from the beginning to operate from extremely short or battle-
damaged runways, with the assumption be... 1979

Rockwell XFV-12
The XFV-12 aircraft was a proposed Rockwell International design to a United States Navy
requirement for a VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) aircraft system. Though a promising
concept from the beginning, the XFV-12 was te... 1977

The Jaguar became the first ever international aircraft joint development product when Britain and
France expressed interest in a similar multi-role supersonic performer. The British were in the
market for an advanced jet tra... 1972

Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk

The Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk has become a workhorse for the United States and other military
forces the world over. Its capabilities have increased her roles to include Special Operations
assignments, assault, MedEvac, Comma... 1979

Sukhoi Su-17 / Su-20 / Su-22 (Fitter)

The Su-17 "Fitter-C" series of aircraft was a variant of the successful Su-7 "Fitter-A" fighter
program. Though sharing similarities with the aforementioned system, the Su-17 was in fact a
swing-wing derivative of the fixed-w... 1971
Sukhoi Su-20 (Fitter-C)
The Su-20 "Fitter-C" is nothing more than the export version of the Su-17 "Fitter-B" and "Fitter-C"
series of swing-wing aircraft which, themselves, are derivatives of the fixed-wing Su-7 "Fitter-A"
series. The Su-20 is based... 1970

Sukhoi Su-24 (Fencer)

The Su-24 (NATO series name of "Fencer") was a successful Sukhoi product requested by the
Soviet government to replace their aging IL-28 and Yak-28 medium-class bombers. Though initial
research resulted in a delta-wing design... 1974

Tupolev Tu-144 (Charger)


Tupolev Tu-22 (Backfire / Blinder)

The Tupolev Tu-22 "Backfire" series is a variable-geometry swing-wing aircraft classified as a
medium bomber - of the only true remaining modern "medium bomber" designated aircraft
currently flying. The system was originally ... 1975

Westland / AugustaWestland Lynx

The Westland Lynx (AugustaWestland since 2000) was designed to a British Army requirement and
initially consisted of four planned projects that included an army, navy, 2-seat attack and civilian
passenger versions. The main i... 1978

Yakovlev Yak-38 (Forger)

The Yakovlev Yak-38 Forger became the first (and last) VTOL service aircraft for the Soviet Union /
Russian Federation. Attempting to fulfill the same role as did the British Aerospace Harrier VTOL
(Vertical Take-Off and Land... 1971
Aircraft from 1980-1989
The Cold War ends with a wimper as the age of the digital battlefield begins.

Aerospatiale / Eurocopter AS 332 Super Puma / AS 532 Cougar

The Super Puma was developed by French-based Aerospatiale (formerly Sud Aviation) form the
successful AS 330 Puma series of medium-lift utility helicopters. The newer Super Puma design
was essentially a base Puma with an impr... 1982

AIDC AT-3 Tzu-Chiang

The AIDC AT-3 series of advanced weapons trainer aircraft was the second design produced by the
Aero Industry Development Center of Taiwan (in conjunction with the American firm of Northrop),
succeeding the Chung Tsing T-28 T... 1984

Airbus A310
The Airbus A310-300 was produced as a budgeted alternative to the based A300-series (detailed
elsewhere on this web site) at a time when Airbus was still awaiting official order placement from
potential customers. This interi... 1983

Antonov An-124 Ruslan (Condor)

The Antonov-produced AN-124 was the world's largest aircraft before the Russian AN-225 made
it's debut, but it remained the largest to go into production nonetheless. The AN-124 was
developed foremost as a military transport ... 1986

Antonov An-225 Mriya (Cossack)

As of this writing, the Antonov An-225 "Mriya" maintains the title of "largest aircraft ever built".
The system eclipsed the previous Antonov design attempt in the form of the An-124 Ruslan
"Condor" (detailed elsewhere on thi... 1989

Antonov An-72 (Coaler)

The An-72 "Coaler" was another Antonov Design Bureau creation designed to assist the Soviet
military in logistical sorties as a tactical transport. The design was of a unique and very identifiable
nature, placing the powerful... 1986

Atlas (Denel) Cheetah

The Denel (formally Atlas) Cheetah came about through a need by the South African Air Force to
update / replace its series of aging fighters while its bordering neighbors were receiving updated
Soviet Bloc aircraft. Unfortuna... 1987

Beechcraft C-12 Huron

Bell AH-1 SuperCobra
The AH-1W and AH-1J SuperCobra series of helicopters are an updated and slightly modified
version of the AH-1 HueyCobra (or simply "Cobra") detailed elsewhere on this website. Much like
the base Cobra, the SuperCobra is a... 1986

Bell OH-58D Kiowa Warrior / 406CS Combat Scout

The Bell OH-58D Kiowa Warrior was a further development of the successful Bell OH-58 Kiowa.
Intended to be fielded alongside the Apache Longbow and provide scouting and observation
capabilities in an offensive support capacit... 1985

Boeing / McDonnell Douglas / Hughes AH-64 Apache / Apache Longbow

Originally a Hughes-based design, the YAH-64 faced off against a Bell YAH-63 system in the United
States Army's search for an advanced attack helicopter. The system was to field the latest in
technology, maneuverability and b... 1984

Boeing / McDonnell Douglas / Northrop F/A-18 Hornet

The F/A-18 Hornet is a twin-engine carrier-based attack fighter currently in frontline service with a
variety of forces worldwide. Derived from the failed YF-17 Cobra attempt at a new USAF
lightweight fighter (the F-17 lost o... 1983

Boeing 767-300

C-23 Sherpa

Dornier Do 228
The Dornier Do 228 appeared in the early 1980's and served as a utility transport and maritime
patrol aircraft for several global military branches. The high-wing monoplane was a versatile and
steady performer, powered by two... 1981

16 E-6A Mercury TACAMO


General Dynamics / Grumman EF-111 Raven

The EF-111 Raven was developed from a United States Air Force need for an Electronic Warfare
Aircraft (EWA) to replace its aging fleet of EB-66 platforms. The EF-111 was born directly from the
airframe of the existing F-111 A... 1981
General Dynamics F-16XL
Though appearing very much like the F-16 Fighting Falcon base model, the F-16XL was designed
as a very different aircraft. The F-16XL was a conversion model development designed to study the
effects of laminar airflow at supe... 1982

Grumman X-29
The Grumman X-29 aircraft was a developmental technology demonstrator appearing in the latter
years of the Cold War. The design was of a most unique shape - made notable by the forward-
swept wings - and was the first aircraft... 1982

Gulfstream II / III / C-20 / SRA-1


IAI RQ-2 Pioneer

The RQ-2 Pioneer series of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) was one of the first operational entries
into the United States Military family of UAVs. In its early form, the system served battleship
vessels with artillery spottin... 1986

Lockheed C-5 Galaxy

At one time the Lockheed-built C-5 Galaxy was the largest aircraft ever produced, being able to
field a compliment of 350 troops, 10 LAV-type systems, 5 Humvee vehicles, 2 M1 Abrams main
battle tanks or a single CH-47 Chinook... 1980

Lockheed EC-130H Compass Call


Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk (Stealth Fighter)

Aptly-named, the Lockheed-produced F-117 Nighthawk became the world’s first operational stealth
aircraft in the world. Conceived of and developed from the late 1970’s, the Nighthawk was the
subject of much speculation before ... 1982

Lockheed MC-130 Combat Shadow

The MC-130 platform has served special forces operations since the Vietnam War and is based on
the successful Lockheed C-130 cargo aircraft platform. The MC-130P Combat Shadow specifically
serves as an inflight refueling vehi... 1986

Lockheed MQM-105 Aquila TADAR

The MGM-105 Aquila (Eagle) TADAR (Target Acquisition, Designation and Aerial Reconnaissance)
was the first United States Army attempt at securing a reusable Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)
capable of conducting a range of missi... 1982
Lun Ekranoplan
The Lun-class Ekranoplan floatplane was one of the most distinct designs to emerge from the Cold
War. The aircraft was designed around the idea known as "wing-in-ground" effect, which basically
allowed for an increased weight... 1987

McDonnell Douglas / BAe Systems AV-8B Harrier II

The AV-8B Harrier II was a follow up design undertaken by the McDonnell Douglas corporation with
the junior partner being the British Aerospace Corporation (BAe). The system built upon the
successes encountered during use of ... 1985

McDonnell Douglas / Boeing F-15E Strike Eagle

The F-15E "Strike Eagle" is a dual-role version of the highly successful base F-15 air superiority
fighter. The Strike Eagle is intended to fulfill both roles of air-to-air superiority and ground strike
with the capability to... 1988

McDonnell Douglas / Boeing MD-11


McDonnell Douglas KC-10 Extender


Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29 (Fulcrum)

The MiG-29 Fulcrum was and continues to be a highly prized and respected multirole fighter in
service with Russia and a plethora of countries worldwide. The system has proven very robust,
flexible and highly maneuverable in t... 1984

Mil Mi-26 (Halo)

At the time of its inception, the Cold War-era Mi-26 (codenamed "Halo" by NATO) was - and still
remains - the most powerful operational helicopter in the world. Intended to replace the aging Mil
Mi-6 series, the Mi-26 accompl... 1983

Mil Mi-28 (Havoc)

The Mi-28 (NATO reporting name of "Havoc") was a product of the Cold War designed as an anti-
tank attack platform similar in nature to the American-produced AH-64 Apache series. Like the
Apache, the Mi-28 featured an armored ... 1983

Northrop F-20 Tigershark

The F-20 Tigershark appeared on August 30th, 1982, as an "improved" version of the F-5E model
in the Tiger II series. Visually, the F-20 shared many of the same qualities as the F-5 including its
low-mounted monoplane wings, ... 1982
Panavia Tornado ADV
The Panavia Tornado series of strike aircraft was developed through a consortium featuring the
nations of Britain, Germany (West) and Italy. Each country would be responsible for the design and
construction of a specialized p... 1984

Rockwell / Boeing B-1 Lancer

The Rockwell B-1 Lancer series was a variable sweep wing low-altitude penetration aircraft capable
of delivering nuclear free-fall bombs at high speeds. The system was designed from a Cold War
initiative in 1965 by the United... 1985

Shenyang J-8 / J-8 II (Finback)

The Shenyang J-8 series (NATO codename of "Finback") was an indigenous Chinese multi-role
fighter design appearing in 1980. As China was already in the habit of purchasing Soviet
equipment during the Cold War years, it was on... 1980

Sikorsky CH-53 Super Stallion


Sikorsky HH-60J Jayhawk


Sikorsky MH-53 (Pave Low)

The MH-53 was a series of large transport helicopters operated by the United States Air Force in
the special operations role. The MH-53 designation breaks down as "M" standing for Multi-Mission
and "H" standing for helicopter... 1981

42 Sikorsky SH-60 Sea Hawk


Sikorsky VH-60 Whitehawk


Sukhoi Su-25 (Frogfoot)

The Sukhoi Su-25 "Frogfoot" series of aircraft harkened back to the successes of the Soviet IL-2
Sturmovik close-support fighter-bombers. The Su-25 was quite a departure from traditional jet
aircraft designs of the time and i... 1981
Sukhoi Su-27 (Flanker)
The Su-27 "Flanker" series of aircraft is regarded by most airplane aficionados as the ultimate in
Russian fighter design. The Su-27 first appeared in the middle of the 1980's, completely taking
NATO and American warplanners ... 1984

Tupolev Tu-160 (Blackjack)

At the time of it's inception, the Tupolev-produced Tu-160 "Blackjack" was the largest swing-wing
bomber ever produced also mounting the most powerful engines to an aircraft platform ever.
Developed as a direct counter to the... 1989

Yakovlev Yak-141 (Freestyle)

Aircraft from 1990-1999
A decade of limited but constant warfare perfects the use of digital battlefield components.

Ababil (Swallow)
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) were once considered primarily the domains of Israel and the
United States Military. Throughout the 1990's, however, every major military power has seen fit to
fund their own UAV developments f... 1995

AgustaWestland A 129 Mangusta (Mongoose)

The A 129 Mangusta ("Mongoose") was developed as a variant of the A 109 series of helicopters.
The newly design aircraft proved to be larger and so different than its predecessor that the system
was designated as the A 129 an... 1990

AIDC F-CK-1 Ching-Kuo

The F-CK-1 "Ching-Kuo" was an ambitious and indigenous multirole fighter design in the vein of
the F-16 Fighting Falcon as undertaken by the island-nation of Taiwan in the early 1980's. A US-
imposed embargo forced the Taiwane... 1994

Airbus A340
The Airbus A340 series was already in design and development alongside the similar A330 series.
In that respect, the two systems share a commonality in design and internal components. The
major visual difference between the t... 1993

AMX International AMX (Ghibli)

The AMX International AMX is the result of cooperation between two Italian (Aeritalia - now Alenia
- and Aermacchi) and one Brazilian (Embraer) aircraft firms. Development of the system began
with just the two Italian compani... 1990

6 BAe / Boeing T-45 Goshawk


BAe Sea Harrier FA2

The Sea Harrier F/A.2 represents an upgrade to the existing Sea Harrier FRS.1 system (the FRS
designation was later dropped in favor of the F/A depicted here). Among the improvements to the
base Sea Harrier system are a redes... 1993

Beriev Be-42 / A-40 Albatross (Mermaid)

The Be-42 / A-40 Albatross (designated by NATO as "Mermaid") was asuprise discovery for
Western intelligence sources when it was first spotted in 1988. It was, and still continues to be, the
largest amphibious aircraft ever ... 1990

Boeing C-17 Globemaster III

The Boeing-produced C-17 Globemaster III represents one of the latest additions to the United
States Air Force mobile airlift fleet. On the modern battlefield, mobility is key to any advancing
effort and systems like the C-17... 1993
Boeing VC-25 (Air Force One)
The VC-25 is used to usher the President of the United States and his staff on various journeys
around the globe. The VC-25 is essentially a highly-modified Boeing 747-200B series model
featuring state-of-the-art communicatio... 1990

Boeing X-32
The X-32 STOVL (Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing) technology demonstrator was the Boeing
Company's response to the Department of Defense's "Joint Strike Fighter Program" beginning in
1994.... 1996

Dassault Rafale
The Dassault Rafale, when released into operational service in the late 1990's, was the pinnacle of
French aircraft engineering. The system incorporated the latest in fly-by-wire technology,
composite materials and aerodynami... 1998

Denel AH-2 Rooivalk (Kestrel)

The Denel (then Atlas) AH-2 Rooivalk (translating to "Kestrel") was an ambitious and indigenous
undertaking by the nation of South Africa. At the time of its development, the Rooivalk was
heralded as one of the top performing... 1999

General Atomics RS-1 / MQ-1 Predator

At a cost of about $40 million dollars per system, the RQ-1/MQ-1 Predator is a pricey yet integral
part of US Air Force operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Operating by remote control, the Predator
can cover a section of terr... 1996

IAI / TRW RQ-5 Hunter

The Hunter is a large Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and was first introduced in 1996 in limited
numbers with the United States Army. The system performed admirably well in support of
Operation Allied Force over Kosovo where i... 1996

KAMAN K-1200 K-Max


Kamov Ka-50 Chernaya Akula (Black Shark) (Hokum)

The Kamov Ka-50 Chernaya Akula (or "Black Shark" and Codenamed "Hokum" by NATO) series of
attack helicopter was developed in the latter years of the Cold War and did not enter operational
service with Russian military forces ... 1995

McDonnell / BAE QF-4 (Phantom II)

The QF-4 represents a full-size unmanned target drone version of the successful Cold War-era F-4
Phantom II aircraft. QF-4's are operated by the 82nd Aerial Targets Squadron (itself under the
53rd Weapons Evaluation Group of ... 1997
Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit (Stealth Bomber)
The B-2 Spirit (generically known as the "Stealth Bomber") was the pinnacle of tail-less flight
designs beginning in the mind of Jack Northrop, founder of the Northrop aircraft company. Not only
was the B-2 groundbreaking in ... 1997

Northrop Grumman E-8 Joint STARS (JSTARS)

A product of the Northrop Grumman Corporation, the E-8 "Joint Stars" series of aircraft provides
the United States Air Force with electronic "eyes" over the battlefield in the way of aerial
surveillance. The aircraft is based... 1996

Northrop Grumman YF-23 Black Widow II

The YF-23 Black Widow II was Northrop Grumman's (along with McDonnell Douglas Corporation)
answer to the American ATF (Advanced Tactical Fighter challenge as proposed by the US Air Force.
The YF-23 faced off directly with the... 1990

Saab JAS 39 Gripen (Griffin)

As with all of Sweden's locally-produced military hardware, the JAS 39 Gripen is no exception to
the attention paid to the needs of the nation's military. Regarded as the first of the Fourth
Generation series of fighters anyw... 1996

SATIC A300-600ST (Beluga)

Produced by a consortium consisting of Deustche Aerospace Airbus and Aerospatiale (as SATIC -
Special Aircraft Transport International Company) the Beluga appeared on the scene in the middle
1990's as one of the most distinct... 1994

Sikorsky HH-60 Pave Hawk

The HH-60 Pave Hawk series of all-weather day/night transport helicopters is an Air Force version
of the successful UH-60 Black Hawk series. The HH-60 in Air Force service is charged - though not
limited to - with the rescue ... 1991

Sukhoi Su-30 (Flanker-C)

The Sukhoi Su-30 (NATO codename of "Flanker-C") is an air superiority and strike fighter version
of the Su-27 "Flanker" series. The aircraft is essentially a multi-role aircraft based on the Su-27PU
two-seat, long range inter... 1996

Sukhoi Su-33 (Flanker-D)

The Su-33 (NATO designation of "Flanker-D") represents the naval equivalent to the land-based
Russian-produced Su-27 Flanker series of air superiority aircraft, which in itself was produced to
rival the American F-15 during t... 1994
Aircraft from 2000-2009
The future is now as aircraft of unparalleled performance take to the skies - with or without pilots.

AAI Corporation RQ-7 Shadow 200 Tactical

The AAI Corporation RQ-7 Shadow is an unarmed tactical reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicle
currently in active service with the United States Army and Marine Corps. The system serves as a
day-night, target acquisition, sur... 2001

Aerospatiale / Eurocopter HH-65 Dolphin

The HH-65 Dolphin replaced the Sikorsky HH-52A Sea Guards then in service with the United
States Coast Guard (USCG). The HH-65 is based on the French-made Eurocopter Dauphin (AS
365N) and carries the same - albeit translated ... 2002

AgustaWestland EH-101 Merlin


Bell ARH-70 / Bell 407


Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey

The tilt-rotor V-22 Osprey helicopter was designed form the Bell-produced XV-15 demonstrator, a
design looking to produce the next generation in helicopter design. The system is unique in the use
of the tilt-rotor assemblies,... 2007

Boeing / McDonnell Douglas / Northrop F/A-18 Super Hornet

The Super Hornet is the latest, and most likely the ultimate, evolution in the F/A-18 Hornet series
of precision strike aircraft covering carrierborne operations. Produced by a consortium of
contractors that includes Boeing a... 2002

Boeing / Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche

The RAH-66 Comanche helicopter was to be the next generation answer for the United States Army
in replacing its aging series of UH-1, AH-1 Cobra, OH-6 and OH-58 Kiowa helicopters in full. The
RAH-66 was designed as the world'... 2004

Boeing ScanEagle
The ScanEagle is a joint production UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) by The Boeing Company and
The Insitu Group. As a whole, the program is based highly on the Insitu SeaScan UAV aircraft but
coupled with Boeing's expertise in t... 2004
The CAIC WZ-10 (Changhe Aircraft Industries Corporation / Wuzhuang Zhisheng) is a new addition
to the global family of attack helicopters, with this particular model being produced for use by the
People’s Republic of China. T... 2008

Chengdu J-10 (Vigorous Dragon) / F-10 Vanguard

The Chengdu Jian-J10 (also "J-10" and "Annihilator" but known to the West as "Vigorous Dragon")
was originally designed as an air-superiority fighter for China but was later revised to become an
all-weather, day/night multiro... 2005

Embraer EMB-314 Super Tucano / A-29

The EMB 314 "Super Tucano" (also "A-29") represents a locally-produced Brazilian aircraft product
falling under the then-government run EMBRAER banner. The aircraft is a turboprop-powered light
attack, reconnaissance and surv... 2003

Eurocopter Tiger (EC 665)

The Eurocopter Tiger (EC 665) is a relatively new attack helicopter initially designed and developed
through a joint venture between the governments of France and Germany. Comparatively, the
Eurocopter Tiger attack helicopter... 2003

Eurocopter UH-72 Lakota

The UH-72 Lakota was accepted into service with US forces in late 2006 and will form a major
portion of the United States Army National Guard's air arm, replacing the aging family of UH-60
Blackhawk helicopters. The Lakota ca... 2007

Eurofighter EF-2000 Typhoon

The Eurofighter Typhoon program could be the call of the future in Europe in terms of how military
programs progress. With the cost and production sharing between the nations of Germany, Britain,
Spain and Italy (France was a... 2003

General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper

The MQ-9 "Reaper" ("M" = multirole; "Q" = Unmanned Aerial Vehicle; "9" = series designation)
offers the United States Air Force a high-level remotely-piloted weapons platform capable of
instant action and precise engagement. ... 2004

KAI / Lockheed Martin T-50 / TA-50 / FA-50 Golden Eagle

The T-50 / A-50 "Golden Eagle" is an advanced supersonic trainer and light strike-capable aircraft
platform produced jointly by the South Korean firm of Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) and the
American firm of Lockheed Mart... 2005

Kamov Ka-60 Kasatka (Orca / Killer Whale)

The Kamov Ka-60 series of medium transport multi-role helicopters is intended to replace the aged
Mil Mi-8 series. The Ka-60 was designed with multi-role capabilities in mind as well as survivability
and adaptability so vario... 2004

Lockheed Martin / Boeing F-22 Raptor

The F-22 Raptor series of aircraft reportedly represents the most advanced aircraft design in the
world to date. The system utilizes technology, design and experience to field a system that is
designed to be the most potent f... 2005
McDonnell Douglas EA-18G Growler

Mikoyan MiG-35 (Fulcrum-F)

The Mikoyan MiG-35 is the latest incarnation of the successful light-weight MiG-29 Fulcrum series.
With an increase to its MTOW as much as 30 percent, the MiG-35 is now considered in the medum
weight class. The aircraft is co... 2007

Mitsubishi F-2
The Mitsubishi F-2 fighter was initially to be a completely indigenous Japanese design, looking to
replace their aging fleet of F-1's. With design work already underway, the United States stepped in
with a considerable amount... 2000

Northrop Grumman / Ryan Aeronautical RQ-4 Global Hawk

The Global Hawk is an unmanned aerial vehicle utilized by the United States Air Force and Navy for
intelligence gathering and reconnaissance of enemy movements and positions. Despite being one
of the larger in the American UA... 2001

Raytheon T-6 Texan II

Based on the Pilatus PC-9 aircraft, the Raytheon-built T-6 Texan II series was the product of a
Department of Defense initiative to consolidate pilot training among the Air Force and Navy
branches, doing away with the older g... 2000

Sikorsky MH-60 (Knighthawk)

The MH-60S Knighthawk is the United States Navy's newest multi-mission helicopter. Originally
designated as the CH-60S to signify its primary vertical replenishment role, the Knighthawk has
since had its designation revised t... 2002

Sukhoi Su-34 (Fullback)

The Su-34 (NATO reporting name of "Fullback") is a dedicated two-seat fighter-bomber/strike
fighter version of the successful Su-27 "Flanker" fighter series. The aircraft is a product of the
Sukhoi Design Bureau that has alre... 2007

Sukhoi Su-35 (Flanker-E / Super Flanker)

The Su-35 (and similar Su-37) is known as the "Super Flanker" (NATO reporting codename of
"Flanker-E"). The Su-35 is based on the Su-27 Flanker air-superiority fighter developed in the
1980's with the Su-35 representing a "mo...
Aircraft from 2010-2019
The future is now as aircraft of unparalleled performance take to the skies - with or without pilots.

Boeing P-8 Poseidon

The Boeing P-8 Poseidon Multimission Maritime Aircraft (MMA) is currently in development and on
order for the United States Navy and represents a replacement for the Lockheed P-3 Orion series
of aircraft. The P-8 is expected ... 2012

Lockheed F-35 Lightning II / X-35 JSF (Joint Strike Fighter)

The F-35 Lightning II is a next generation multi-role platform appearing in three variants. It is a
single-seat fighter offering up some of the most advanced technology and avionics systems
available and incorporates new stea... 2011

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