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Science | Military | 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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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.


Focke Wulf Fw 190

 Focke Wulf Fw 190

The Focke Wulf Fw 190 was a fast, efficient, and maneuverable World War II aircraft. Find photos and specifications for this classic fighter airplane. See more »

Boeing B-29 Superfortress

 Boeing B-29 Superfortress

The Boeing B-29 Superfortress featured several startling aviation advances. Find photos, facts, and specifications for this classic airplane. See more »

North American B-25 Mitchell

 North American B-25 Mitchell

No other World War II twin-engine bomber saw greater production than the North American B-25 Mitchell. See specifications for this classic airplane. See more »

Curtiss P-40 Warhawk

 Curtiss P-40 Warhawk

The Curtiss P-40 Warhawk was one of the most important World War II fighter planes. See photos, facts, and specifications for this classic airplane. See more »

Consolidated B-24 Liberator

 Consolidated B-24 Liberator

The Consolidated B-24 Liberator featured many innovations, and was loved by the crews who flew it. Learn about this classic fighter airplane. See more »

Mitsubishi A6M Zero

 Mitsubishi A6M Zero

The Mitsubishi A6M Zero had early success but succumbed to poor armor and massive loss of pilots. Read about the World War II classic airplane. See more »

Grumman F6F Hellcat

 Grumman F6F Hellcat

The Grumman F6F Hellcat had the right combination of speed, maneuverability, and looks. See photos and specifications for this World War II airplane. See more »

North American P-51 Mustang

 North American P-51 Mustang

The North American P-51 Mustang was prized for its long-range capability. Check out specifications for this classic World War II fighter airplane. See more »

Lockheed P-38 Lightning

 Lockheed P-38 Lightning

The Lockheed P-38 Lightning was one of the best-known World War II planes. Find photos, facts, and specifications for this classic fighter airplane. See more »

Boeing B-17

 Boeing B-17

The Boeing B-17 thrived during long-range World War II bombing missions. See photos, facts, and specifications for this classic fighter airplane. See more »