World War Two Fighter Aircraft

A typical duel over Germany late in the war could have inolved a Mustang and Focke Wulf 190

During World War One air combat evolved rapidly to the point at which it was tactically beneficial to control the skies over the battlefield. The side that had control of the air could gain information about the other side's dispositions and intentions and accurately strike at enemy resources well behind the front line causing havoc with support and supply lines. To control the air a breed of high performance aircraft evolved that would seek to deny the enemy control of the air, allowing their own bombers and reconnaissance aircraft the freedom to pursue their own objectives. These early aircraft were usually known as Scouts or Pursuit aircraft. They were predominantly biplanes, made from wooden frames covered with fabric with a single piston engine and a crew of one in an open cockpit. In the time between World War One and the Outbreak of World War Two these aircraft became known as Fighters and the designs started to take advantage of new technologies and ideas. By the start of World War Two fighter aircraft were typically monoplanes made of a stressed monocoque metal skin with one wing. With some exceptions, they still had a single piston engine and a crew of one, but the pilot was in an enclosed cockpit and they flew faster and higher and for longer. By the time the War ended the Jet engine was being introduced that took the performance of these new aircraft to new heights, but their mission was still basically the same - engage and destroy enemy aircraft and achieve air superiority.

Fighters of World War Two

Australia

  • CAC Boomerang

Czechoslovakia

  • Avia B.534

Finland

  • VL Myrsky

France

  • Bloch MB.151 / 152
  • Dewoitine D.520
  • Morane-Saulnier M.S.406

Germany

  • Dornier Do 335
  • Focke-Wulf Fw 190
  • Heinkel He 112
  • Heinkel He 162
  • Heinkel He 219
  • Junkers Ju 88
  • Messerschmitt Bf 109
  • Messerschmitt Bf 110
  • Messerschmitt Me 163
  • Messerschmitt Me 262

Hungary

  • MVAG Hja

Italy

  • Fiat CR.42
  • Fiat G.50
  • Fiat G.55
  • Macchi MC.200
  • Macchi MC.202
  • Macchi MC.205
  • Reggiane Re.2000
  • Reggiane Re.2001
  • Reggiane Re.2005

Japan

  • Kawanishi N1K-J
  • Kawasaki Ki-45
  • Kawasaki Ki-61
  • Kawasaki Ki-100
  • Mitsubishi A6M Zero
  • Nakajima Ki-27
  • Nakajima Ki-43
  • Nakajima Ki-44
  • Nakajima Ki-84

Netherlands

  • Fokker D.XXI
  • Fokker G.I

Poland

  • PZL P.7
  • PZL P.11
  • PZL P.24

Romania

  • IAR 80 ()

Soviet Union

  • Lavochkin LaGG-1
  • Lavochkin LaGG-3
  • Lavochkin La-5
  • Lavochkin La-7
  • MiG-1
  • MiG-3
  • Polikarpov I-15
  • Polikarpov I-16
  • Yakovlev Yak-1
  • Yakovlev Yak-3
  • Yakovlev Yak-7
  • Yakovlev Yak-9
  • Yakovlev Yak-15

United Kingdom

  • Bristol Beaufighter
  • Bristol Blenheim
  • Boulton Paul Defiant
  • Blackburn Roc
  • de Havilland Mosquito
  • de Havilland Vampire
  • Fairey Firefly
  • Fairey Fox
  • Gloster Gladiator
  • Gloster Meteor
  • Hawker Hurricane
  • Hawker Typhoon
  • Hawker Tempest
  • Supermarine Spitfire

United States

  • Bell P-39 Airacobra
  • Bell P-63 Kingcobra
  • Boeing P-12
  • Boeing P-26 Peashooter
  • Brewster Buffalo
  • Curtiss Hawk 75
  • Curtiss P-40
  • Curtiss-Wright CW-21
  • Grumman/General Motors F4F/FM Wildcat
  • Grumman F6F Hellcat
  • Lockheed P-38 Lightning
  • Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star
  • North American P-51 Mustang
  • North American P-64
  • Northrop P-61 Black Widow
  • Republic P-43 Lancer
  • Republic P-47 Thunderbolt
  • Ryan FR Fireball
  • Seversky P-35
  • Vought F4U Corsair
  • Vultee P-66 Vanguard

Yugoslavia

  • Ikarus IK 2
  • Rogozarski IK-3

Avia B534

The B534 was a single-engine biplane fighter with fixed landing gear and a license-built Hispano-Suiza V12 liquid cooled engine. The first B534 prototype flew in late May 1933. The first order was placed by the Czechoslovakian Air Force in mid-1934 and the first deliveries began at the end of 1935. By 1938 a total of around 450 had been delivered. Avia B534 Biplane

Crew:
1
Length:
8.2 m (27 ft)
Wingspan:
9.4 m (31 ft)
Height:
3.1 m (10.2 ft)
Weight:
Empty 1,460 kg (3,220 lb) Loaded 1,985 kg (4,376 lb)
Powerplant:
1 Hispano-Suiza 12cyl liquid-cooled V12, 620 kW (830 hp)
Maximum speed:
394 km/h (245 mph)
Range:
580 km (360 mi)
Service ceiling:
10,600 m (34,800 ft)
Armament
4 7.92 mm (0.312 in) Mk 30 (modified Vickers) machine guns 6 20 kg (44 lb) bombs

The Slovak air force acquired about 80 or so B534s when Germany annexed the Czech portion of Czechoslovakia. They were first used in action against Hungary during 1939. Two squadrons of B534s took part in the German invasion of Poland in September 1939 and supported the German offensive in the Ukraine during 1941.

Dewoitine D520

Dewoitine D520 was a French World War Two fighter Dewoitine D520 The Dewoitine D520 was probably the best fighter used by the French Air Force when World War Two started. It entered service in April/May 1940 shortly before Germany invaded the Low Countries. The D520 was almost as fast as the Messerschmitt bf109 and more manoeuvrable but there were too few to make much difference. By the time the French capitulated in June 1940 only 351 had been delivered. Many aircraft were flown to Algeria when the Armistice was signed and served with the Vichy government. Dewoitine D520 was a French World War Two fighter

Crew:
1
Length:
8.6 m (28 ft 3 in)
Wingspan:
10.2 m (33 ft 5 1/2 in)
Height:
2.57 m (8 ft 5 in)
Weight:
Empty 2,123 kg (4,680 lb) Loaded 2,677 kg (5,902 lb)
Powerplant:
1 Hispano-Suiza 12Y-45 liquid-cooled V12 engine, 690 kW (930 hp)
Maximum speed:
560 km/h (347 mph)
Range:
1,250 km (777 miles)
Service ceiling:
10,000 m (33,000 ft)
Armament
4 7.5 mm (0.295 in) MAC 1934 (675 rounds/gun) machine guns 1 20 mm Hispano-Suiza HS.404 (60-round drum) cannon

Curtiss P40

The Curtiss P40 Warhawk first flew in 1938. It was developed from the earlier P36. The main difference being the engine. The P36 used a Pratt & Whitney 14 cylinder air-cooled radial engine and the P40 used an Allison liquid-cooled supercharged V12 engine. It was also known as the Tomahawk and Kittyhawk by Britain and its Commonwealth. Curtiss P40 was a World War Two American Fighter Curtiss P40 was a World War Two American Fighter
The P40 was deployed mainly in the Middle and Far East where it served in Fighter, Ground attack and Fighter bomber roles. The most famous unit that used the aircraft were the "Flying Tigers", the 1st American Volunteer Group of the Chinese Air Force, distinguishable by the shark like teeth painted onto the front fuselage. The P40 was well protected with armour behind the pilot and around the engine and cockpit. The airframe was very strong to, capable of sustaining a large amount of punishment. High altitude performance was low but at medium to low altitudes the P40 was much more impressive.

Crew:
1
Length:
9.66 m (31.67 ft)
Wingspan:
11.38 m (37.33 ft)
Height:
3.76 m (12.33 ft)
Weight:
Empty 2,880 kg (6,350 lb) Loaded 3,760 kg (8,280 lb)
Powerplant:
1 Allison V-1710-39 liquid-cooled V12 engine, 858 kW (1,150 hp)
Maximum speed:
580 km/h (360 mph)
Range:
1,100 km (650 miles)
Service ceiling:
8,800 m (29,000 ft)
Armament
6 12.7 mm (0.50 in) M2 Browning machine guns with 150-200 rounds per gun 110 to 450 kg (250 to 1,000 lb) bombs to a total of 907 kg (2,000 lb) on three hard points (one under the fuselage and two under wing)

Macchi MC.205 Veltro

The Macchi MC.205 Veltro was a single seat fighter built by Macchi Aeronautica and operated by the Italian Air Force in Macchi C.205 Veltro was an Italian Single Seat Fighter of World War Two World War Two. The design incorporated the German Daimler-Benz DB605 engine. The Veltro (Greyhound) was an effective fighter, fast and manoeuvrable, but was introduced late in the war and in insufficient numbers to create much of impact. The C.205 was a development of the Macchi C.202 Folgore. To improve performance a version of the Daimler Benz DB605 built under licence by Fiat was used instead of the DB601 used in the C.202. The prototype Veltro C.205V first flew during April 1942. The first Veltro was armed with a 20mm cannon firing through the propeller hub and four machine guns mounted in the wings. An initial order for 250 aircraft was placed with the first examples coming off the production line in September and entering service the following February. Production was slow due to a complicated design and only 177 had been delivered by September 1943. American attacks on the Macchi and Fiat factories in April 1944 halted production. After the war some aircraft served with the Egyptian Air Force during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.

Crew:
1
Length:
8.85 m (29 ft 0 in)
Wingspan:
10.58 m (34 ft 9 in)
Height:
3.05 m (10 ft 0 in)
Weight:
Empty 2,581 kg (5,690 lb) Loaded 3,408 kg (7,513 lb)
Powerplant:
1 Fiat RA.1050 R.C.58 Tifone liquid-cooled supercharged inverted V12 engine, 1,475 hp (1,100 kW) - (licence built DB605)
Maximum speed:
640 km/h (400 mph)
Range:
950 km (590 miles)
Service ceiling:
11,500 m (37,730 ft)
Armament
2 12.7 mm (.5 in) Breda mg's, 400 rounds/gun in the nose 2 20 mm MG 151 cannon, 250 rounds/gun in the wings 2 160 kg (350 lb) bombs

Yakovlev Yak-3

Yakovlev Yak3 was a World War Two Soviet Single Seat Fighter Despite having a serial number of 3 the Yak 3 was introduced during 1944, after the Yak 9. It was regarded by some as the most outstanding fighter of the war and was certainly superior to the Messerschmitt bf109 at low level. It was a composite frame made mainly of plywood and metal. It was light, fast, manoeuvrable and, probably most importantly, rugged and easy to maintain. Deliveries to front line units began the middle of 1944. The Yak 3's made an immediate impact gaining an upper hand against Luftwaffe fighters. So much so that Luftwaffe pilots were officially instructed not to engage the Yak 3 in dogfights below 5,000m.

Crew:
1
Length:
8.5 m (27 ft 10 in)
Wingspan:
9.2 m (30 ft 2 in)
Height:
2.39 m (7 ft 11 in)
Weight:
Empty 2,105 kg (4,640 lb) - Loaded 2,692 kg (5,864 lb)
Powerplant:
1 Klimov VK-105PF-2 V12 liquid-cooled piston engine, 1,120 kW (1,620 hp)
Maximum speed:
655 km/h (407 mph)
Range:
650 km (405 miles)
Service ceiling:
10,700 m (35,000 ft)
Armament
1 20 mm ShVAK cannon 12.7 mm Berezin UBS mg's