WORLD WAR II

World War II was fought in the air as much as it was on the ground, with entire squadrons of fighter planes and bombers engaging in combat. Explore some of the most famous types of World War II airplanes and learn how they were used in combat operations.

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Martin B-10

The Martin B-10 had the very high top speed of 213 mph, a maximum range of over 1200 miles, and a service ceiling of over 24,000 feet--a dramatic leap ahead of competing planes in service. Read how this Golden Age classic changed military aviation.

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  • How WWII Fighter Planes Worked
    How WWII Fighter Planes Worked

    The film "Pearl Harbor" is now playing. Look at the aircraft involved in that battle, technological marvels for their time. See more »

  • Boeing B-17
    Boeing B-17

    The four-engine Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress was almost certainly the best-loved bomber of World War II. Despite the plane's superiority, Congress didn't authorize its purchase in quantity until war was certain. Learn the story and specs of the B-17. See more »

  • Boeing B-29 Superfortress
    Boeing B-29 Superfortress

    The Boeing B-29 Superfortress was the biggest, most expensive gamble by the United States during World War II, built with incredibly high expectations on a tight deadline. Read about the big advances in aviation technology brought about by the B-29. See more »

  • Chance Vought F4U Corsair
    Chance Vought F4U Corsair

    The speed, strength, and firepower of the Chance Vought F4U Corsair led it to dominate Japanese opposition, shooting down 2,140 against a loss of 189 in World War II. Learn how its performance let flight leaders to create legendary fighter squadrons. See more »

  • Consolidated B-24 Liberator
    Consolidated B-24 Liberator

    The Consolidated B-24 Liberator was the most prolific American plane of World War II. But the B-24 was not as attractive as the B-17 bomber, nor did it win the same popular regard from the public. Read the story and specifications of the B-24 bomber. See more »

  • Curtiss P-40 Warhawk
    Curtiss P-40 Warhawk

    The Curtiss P-40 Warhawk is one of the best-liked airplanes of World War II, tough and virtually trouble-free, though its performance was never quite up to that of its opponents. Read about this most important American fighter plane of 1942-1943. See more »

  • Douglas C-47
    Douglas C-47

    The durable Douglas C-47 Skytrain was the military variant of the Douglas DC-3. It was America's versatile transport plane of World War II. Even the Luftwaffe flew it, using aircraft impressed from airlines of occupied countries. Read about the C-47. See more »

  • Douglas SBD Dauntless
    Douglas SBD Dauntless

    The Douglas SBD Dauntless was a carrier-based dive bomber, a compact scrapper with a gift for sinking Japanese carriers and other large ships. Learn the specifications and how the Dauntless proved to be the supreme dive-bomber of the Pacific War. See more »

  • Focke Wulf Fw 190
    Focke Wulf Fw 190

    The Focke Wulf Fw 190 was fast and maneuverable, and packed a heavy armament package, usually of four machine guns and two cannons. Provision was made for carrying a bomb or a drop-tank under the fuselage centerline. Check out this WWII fighter. See more »

  • Grumman F4F Wildcat
    Grumman F4F Wildcat

    In every combat area, the Grumman F4F Wildcat changed from underdog to champion, covering itself with glory and its pilots with medals. Learn the specs for the Wildcat, and how it overcame early challenges to win its place in aviation history. See more »

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