The Bell P-63 Kingcobra first flew in December 1942 and was the successor to the Bell P-39 Airacobra. The Kingcobra featured significant improvements in design and performance but visually the most notable difference is the larger airframe and tail fin, along with the big four bladed propeller. The Bell P-39 Airacobra and P-63 Kingcobra both… Read More The Bell P-63 Kingcobra – All Hail The King!
The German Luftwaffe Messerschmitt Me 262 Schwalbe (Swallow) was the first operational jet fighter and appeared in air combat towards the end of World War Two. The Me 262 has always been one of my favourite World War Two era aircraft. It wasn’t the best jet to ever grace the skies but I have always… Read More The Survivors: Messerschmitt Me 262 – Germany’s Jet Fighter
Reportedly dubbed “Whispering Death” by Japanese ground forces due to its quiet engines (courtesy of engine sleeve valves), fast and powerful Bristol Beaufighter heavy fighters were flown by Allied pilots to strike Axis shipping and ground targets in the European, North African, Mediterranean and South West Pacific theatres of World War Two. I can picture… Read More The Survivors: Bristol Beaufighter – The “Whispering Death” of the Pacific and Beyond!
The USAF Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) Program commenced in the 1970’s, then continued through the 1980’s and 1990’s, as a development, demonstration and evaluation program for a new USAF fifth generation fighter with stealth technology to complement and eventually replace the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle air superiority fighter. Lockheed and Northrop proposals were accepted in… Read More The Survivors: Northrop-McDonnell Douglas YF-23A Black Widow II Advanced Tactical Fighter
The Kawanishi N1K1-J Shiden (“Violet Lightning“, Allied Code Name: George) and N1K2-J Shiden Kai (Modified) are regarded as the best land based fighter operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War Two. The George was reasonably fast (top speed 595 Km/h / 369 mph – a bit less than the planned 656 km/h / 408mph),… Read More The Survivors: Kawanishi N1K2-J Shiden Kai – When Violet Lightning Strikes!
The Seversky P-35 single seat pursuit aircraft was developed in the 1930’s and became the first all-metal monoplane fighter with an enclosed cockpit and retractable landing gear for the US Army Air Corps (USAAC). 77 P-35’s were ordered by the USAAC for delivery between 1937-38 (76 P-35’s were delivered and the 77th was converted to… Read More The Survivors: Seversky P-35 – In Pursuit Of Success
Following Germany’s World War Two defeat in 1945, the victorious Allies were keen to gather up as much of their jet and rocket technology and expertise as they could. These wunderwaffe (“wonder-weapon”) aircraft and rocket designs would go on to heavily influence western and Soviet aviation and rocketry in the coming years of the Cold War.… Read More The Survivors: Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet “The Devil’s Sled”