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 Reichsluftfahrtministerium Volksjäger (“People’s Fighter”) design competition was issued on September 10th, 1944 by the German Ministry of Aviation (Reichsluftfahrtministerium – RLM) to develop an inexpensive, mass produced emergency light jet fighter that was fast but easy to fly, to combat the Allied bomber offensive that was devastating Germany. Designs were to be returned by… Read More The Survivors: Heinkel He 162 Volksjäger – Germany’s “Peoples Fighter”
When most people think of World War Two era German Luftwaffe jets, the Messerschmitt Me 262 Schwalbe jet fighter would probably be the first one to spring to mind but this was not the only Junkers Jumo 004 turbojet powered aircraft to reach operational status over the battlefields of Europe. The Arado Ar 234 Blitz… Read More The Survivors: Arado Ar 234 Blitz – Germany’s Jet Bomber
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
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 October 1986 and the… Read More The Survivors: Northrop-McDonnell Douglas YF-23A Black Widow II Advanced Tactical Fighter
By all accounts the 1980’s era Northrop F-20 Tigershark was a great fighter jet that was maneuverable with good short field capability. It was kind of like a super F-5E Tiger II with a new single General Electric F404-GE-100 turbofan engine that boosted performance to Mach 2.0 and featured modern avionics, a Hands On Throttle… Read More The Survivors: Northrop F-20 Tigershark – A Formidible but Unlucky Jet Fighter!
In 1972 the USAF Lightweight Fighter (LWF) Program was launched to develop a smaller, highly maneuverable, lower cost air combat fighter to complement and conduct roles not suitable for the highly capable but expensive McDonnell Douglas F-15A Eagle air superiority fighter. This program ultimately pitted two contenders in a fly off, the General Dynamics YF-16… Read More The Survivors: Northrop YF-17 Cobra – The Unwanted Fighter with Quite a Legacy!
By 1945 a number of German Luftwaffe Messerschmitt Me 262 Schwalbe (“Swallow“) jet fighters were located in Czechoslovakia. During the German occupation period Me 262 airframe components were produced by Avia and other Czechoslovakian factories produced jet engine parts and even final assembly of the jet fighter. As a result blueprints, technical manuals, production facilities,… Read More The Survivors: Czechoslovakia’s Avia S-92 Turbina (Me 262)
What does a nation do to rebuild an air force following German annexation, war and Soviet occupation in just a few short years (1938-1945)? Well in Czechoslovakia’s case, by 1945 they had aircraft production facilities, numerous German Luftwaffe aircraft and technical plans laying about, such as Messerschmitt Bf 109G/K fighters and immediately after the end… Read More The Survivors: Czechoslovakia’s Messerschmitt Bf 109 Hybrids
Introduced in Italy in 1933, the Fiat CR.32 was a compact, maneuverable biplane fighter, with a fixed undercarriage that had a good rough field capability (sometimes referred to as the Freccia or Arrow in Italian service). The aircraft was developed by aeronautical engineer Celestino Rosatelli (hence the CR designation). Despite being an obsolete, lightly armed… Read More The Survivors: Spain’s Fiat CR.32 Cricket & Her Old Foes