WAR IN THE AIR

WWI gunner stands to fire over the propellorWelcome to our home page for War in the Air. This was our main theme in the Spring and early Summer of 2007 and since then we have rapidly increased our coverage of the topic.

Aerial Warfare was the Twentieth Century's unique contribution to the art of war. Ten years after the Wright Brothers' first flight in 1903, the airplane was ready to play an increasingly important role in the First World War. Fighter aces became public heroes in a war that was becoming increasingly anonymous on the ground.

The Supermarine SeafireMilitary aircraft have developed at an incredible speed. It took only fifty years to get from the improvised war planes of 1914 to the 2,000 mph Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird. The Second World War saw hundreds of thousands of aircraft of hundreds of different types play a crucial role in the fighting, with some of the aircraft becoming icons in their own right.

Lockheed SR-71 BlackbirdWe now have 2,026 articles and 1,034,500 words, covering 1,062 military aircraft. Our first set of articles for our War in the Air theme also included our 1,000th article, and the Short Stirling took us over the one million words mark!

To find out what we already cover, visit our Subject Index for Aerial Warfare, look at our Book shop or check out our Links section.

Updates from: 201820172016201520142013201220112010200920082007

19 June 2019

The Focke-Wulf Fw 190A was the most important fighter version of the aircraft, and was one of the best fighters in the world when it first entered service in 1941-42.

13 June 2019

A look at the combat record of the Focke-Wulf Fw 190, the best German fighter for much of the Second World War

10 June 2019

The Focke-Wulf Fw 190 was designed in response for a request for a ‘back-up’ to the Messerschmitt Bf 109, and went on to be one of the most important German military aircraft of the Second World War, with around 20,000 produced.

4 June 2019

The Focke-Wulf Ta 152S was a planned two-man tandem trainer version of the Ta 152, which was ordered into production but never delivered.

The Focke-Wulf Ta 153 was one of Kurt Tank’s early designs for a replacement for the Fw 190, and a partial prototype was constructed late in 1943, before the entire programme was cancelled for the second time.

24 May 2019

The Focke-Wulf Ta 152H was designed as a high altitude version of the standard Ta 152, but as a result of a series of poor decisions by the German Air Ministry it became the only version of the aircraft to actually enter combat, and only in tiny numbers and too late to have any impact on the course of the war.

15 May 2019

The Focke-Wulf Ta 152E was a reconnaissance version of the Ta 152, and was on the verge of entering production at the end of the war.

6 May 2019

The Focke-Wulf Ta 152C was the third attempt to produce a standard version of the Ta 152, and reached the prototype stage but too late in the war to actually enter production

23 April 2019

The Focke-Wulf Ta 152B was the original design for a version of the Ta 152 optimised for higher altitudes, but suffered from problems with its Jumo 213E engine, and never got beyond the prototype stage. However a modified ‘Destroyer’ version, the B-5, did reach the prototype stage late in the war.

12 April 2019

The Focke-Wulf Ta 152A was the original design for the standard version of the Ta 152, but the project was cancelled just as it was about to go into production.

3 April 2019

The Focke-Wulf Ta 152 was the final evolution of the Fw 190, and entered combat very late in the war as the high altitude Ta 152H, which was only available in tiny numbers and proved to be an impressive but unreliable fighter.

28 February 2019

The Martin T4M was a version of the earlier T3M torpedo bomber, powered by a Pratt & Whitney Hornet engine.

14 February 2019

The Martin RM-1/ C-3 was the designation given to two Martin 4-0-4 airliners that served with the US Coast Guard and then the US Navy.

The Martin P6M SeaMaster was an advanced jet powered flying boat that was ordered into production, but only appeared in small numbers before the project was cancelled.

21 January 2019

The Martin AM Mauler was a single seat carrier based attack aircraft, designed to replace the multi-seat SB and TB types that dominated during the Second World War.

The Martin XB-33 was the designation given to two different designs for high altitude bombers, neither of which entered production.

8 January 2019

The Martin PB2M/ JRM Mars was the largest flying boat to enter service with the US Navy, although only a handful were completed for use as a transport aircraft.

The Martin M-130 was a massive flying boat produced for the trans-Pacific route. Only three were built, and two were taken into US Naval service in 1942.

31 December 2018

The Martin XB-48 was an early American jet bomber that reached the prototype stage, but didn’t enter production.

The Martin XB-51 was a three engine jet ground attack aircraft that reached the prototype stage but didn’t enter production.

27 November 2018

The Martin P4M Mercator was a long range reconnaissance aircraft, powered by a mix of piston and jet engines, and that saw service as an ECM aircraft in the 1950s.

The Martin P5M (P-5) Marlin was developed from the successful PBM Mariner, and was the last operational flying boat to serve with the US Navy.

15 November 2018

The Martin XB-13 was the designation given to a version of the Martin B-10 that would have been powered by the Hornet B radial engine.

The Martin XB-14 was an experimental version of the Martin B-10, produced to test out the new Twin Wasp engines.

12 November 2018

The 507th Fighter Group (USAAF) was a P-47 group that operated as a ground attack unit during the last few months of the war against Japan.

The 508th Fighter Group (USAAF) was a P-47 group that trained as a long range escort group, but never got further forward than Hawaii.

5 November 2018

The Curtiss CS/ Martin SC/ Martin T2M was a Navy designed scout and torpedo bomber of the 1920s that was produced in several versions by Curtiss and Martin

The Martin T3M was an improved version of the CS-2, using a geared Wright engine. It was the most numerous member of its family, with 124 produced.

26 September 2018

The 478th Fighter Group (USAAF) was a home based training unit that served as a replacement training unit.

The 479th Fighter Group (USAAF) served with the Eighth Air Force, and operated as a ground attack and bomber escort unit from May 1944 to the end of the war in Europe.

The 506th Fighter Group (USAAF) was a P-51 group that operated with the Twentieth Air Force in the Pacific, carrying out a mix of ground attack and bomber escort missions.

20 September 2018

The Martin B-10 was the first of the new generation of monoplane bombers to enter USAAC service in the 1930s, and when it first appeared was a revolutionary aircraft that was faster than the standard fighter aircraft of its day.

The Martin B-12 was a modified version of the successful B-10, powered by Pratt & Whitney R-1690 Hornet A engines.

17 September 2018

The 474th Fighter Group (USAAF) served with the Ninth Air Force in Europe, taking part in the Allied invasion of Europe and the advance across north-western Europe into Germany.

The 475th Fighter Group (USAAF) was created in Australia in 1943, and supported the Allied advance across New Guinea and into the Philippines.

The 476th Fighter Group (USAAF) was briefly activated with no squadrons in China, before being activated for a second time as a home based training unit.

11 September 2018

The Lockheed P2V (P-2) Neptune was a very successful post-war maritime patrol bomber that was developed during the Second World War, but didn’t enter service until after the war was over.

The Lockheed C-140 was the designation given to a small number of Lockheed Jetstars that were ordered as cargo aircraft, after the original military requirement for the aircraft had been cancelled.

6 September 2018

The 413th Fighter Group (USAAF) was a fighter group that served as a fighter-bomber unit with the Twentieth Air Force, mainly operating over Japan and occupied China.

The 414th Fighter Group (USAAF) was a fighter unit that entered combat as a ground attack group with the Twentieth Air Force late in the Second World War.

The 473rd Fighter Group (USAAF) was a home based training unit that operated in 1943-44.

31 August 2018

The Lockheed XR6O was a massive transport aircraft that was produced for the US Navy during the Second World War, but that had a low priority and wasn’t completed until after the end of the war.

The Lockheed YO-3A was a very quiet surveillance aircraft, designed to fly low and silently over Vietnam in an attempt to locate hidden Communist troops.

28 August 2018

The 338th Fighter Group (USAAF) was a training unit that served with the Third Air Force from 1942 until 1944.

The 339th Fighter Group (USAAF) served with the Eighth Air Force, mainly as a bomber escort group, but with some other missions added.

The 412th Fighter Group was an experimental unit that was used to gain experience with the new generation of jet aircraft.

22 August 2018

The Lockheed T2V-1/ T-1 was an improved version of the T-33 trainer, produced as a deck landing trainer for the US Navy.

The Lockheed W2V-1 was a design for an airborne early warning aircraft to be based on the Lockheed Model 1649 Starliner. Two examples were ordered early in 1957, but then cancelled a few months later.

17 August 2018

The 329th Fighter Group (USAAF) was a training unit that served with the US Fourth Air Force from 1942 to 1944.

The 332nd Fighter Group (USAAF) served in Italy in 1944-45, and spent most of that time escorting the heavy bombers of the Fifteenth Air Force.

The 337th Fighter Group (USAAF) was a training group that served with the Third Air Force in the south-east of the United States from 1942 until 1944.

13 August 2018

The Lockheed T-33 was a two-seat training version of the P-80 Shooting Star, originally developed using Lockheed’s own funds, but soon adopted by the USAF and was produced in impressively large numbers.

The Lockheed F-94 was an all weather fighter produced to fill a gap in the USAF’s post-war arsenal. It entered service late in 1949 and remained in service for a decade, seeing some service in Korea.

8 August 2018

The 326th Fighter Group was a training unit that served with the First Air Force from 1942 until 1944.

The 327th Fighter Group was a training group that served with the First Air Force in the US from 1942 until 1944.

The 328th Fighter Group was a training unit based in the US South-West from 1942 until 1944.

31 July 2018

The 318th Fighter Group spent two and a half years based on Hawaii, before moving to the front in June 1944 to take part in the invasion of the Marianas and the air attack on Japan.

The 324th Fighter Group fought in Tunisia, Sicily, Italy, the south of France and the final advance into Germany, mainly operating as a close support unit.

The 325th Fighter Group fought in Tunisia, Pantelleria, Sicily and mainland Italy, then became a escort unit supporting the Italian based heavy bombers on their raids across Germany and occupied Europe.

26 July 2018

The Lockheed R3O was the designation for two versions of the Model 10 Electra used by the US Navy, one purchased for the Navy and one impressed during the Second World War

The Lockheed R5O was the US Navy’s designation for the Model 18 Lodestar transport, of which nearly 100 were used during the Second World War.

23 July 2018

The 85th Fighter Group was a training group that served with the Second and Third Air Forces in the United States in 1942-44.

The 86th Fighter Group was mainly used as a close support unit, and took part in the invasions of Sicily, mainland Italy and the south of France, before ending the war operating over Germany.

The 87th Fighter Group was a short lived replacement training unit for P-47s.

19 July 2018

The Lockheed F-80 Shooting Star was the first jet fighter to enter US service, but despite an impressively quick development didn’t arrive in time for the Second World War. It saw extensive service early in the Korean War, before being replaced by the F-86 Sabre.

The Lockheed XF-90 was a design for a penetration fighter, capable of escorting bombers and carrying out ground attack missions, but never got beyond the prototype stage.

6 July 2018

The Lockheed XP-49 was a design for a more powerful fighter to be based on the P-38 Lightning, but it never got beyond the prototype stage, and by the time the prototype was ready, it was outclassed by existing P-38s.

The Lockheed XP-58 Chain Lighting was a two-man version of the P-38 that suffered from repeated changes of purpose, and that never entered production.

3 July 2018

The 84th Fighter Group (USAAF) served as a training unit from 1942-1944.

The 407th Fighter Group (USAAF) was a home based training unit that also saw limited active service in Alaska.

The 408th Fighter Group (USAAF) was a home based training unit that was active from October 1943 to April 1944.

29 June 2018

The Lockheed-Vega XB-38 was a prototype for an improved version of the Flying Fortress using inline liquid cooled engines to guard against any shortage of the standard R-1820s used on the B-17.

The Lockheed C-66 was the designation given to a single Twin Wasp powered Model 18 Lodestars that was impressed by the USAAF during the Second World War.

26 June 2018

The 57th Fighter Group supported the British Eighth Army from El Alamein to Tunisia and onto Sicily and Italy, where it took part in the long campaign in Italy and the invasion of the south of France.

The 58th Fighter Group took part in the long New Guinea campaign, the invasion of the Philippines and attacked targets in Korea and on Kyushu.

The 59th Fighter Group went through two incarnations during the Second World War, first as an observation group and then as a training group.

The 78th Fighter Group served with the Eighth Air Force from 1943 until the end of the war, supporting the campaign in north-western Europe and the advance into Germany.

The 79th Fighter Group supported the British Eighth Army from 1942 until early in 1944, then fought at Anzio, in the south of France and in northern Italy, where it once again operated with the Eighth Army.

The 83rd Fighter Group was a training unit that served with the First Air Force.

20 June 2018

The Lockheed C-56 was the designation given to a mix of Cyclone and Hornet powered Model 18 Lodestars that were impressed by the USAAF during the Second World War.

The Lockheed C-57 was the designation given to Twin Wasp powered Model 18 Lodestars that were used by the USAAF during the Second World War.

The Lockheed C-59 was the designation given to Hornet powered Model 18 Lodestars originally produced for Britain, some of which were impressed by the USAAF during the Second World War.

The Lockheed C-60 was the designation given to a mix of impressed Model 18 Lodestars and versions of the aircraft that were ordered specifically for the USAAF, and was by far the most numerous military version of the Lodestar.

24 May 2018

The Lockheed C-85 was the designation given to a single Model 9 Orion that was impressed into the USAAF in 1942-44.

The Lockheed C-101 ‘Vega’ was the designation given to a single example of the Lockheed Vega that was impressed by the USAAF in 1942

21 May 2018

The 52nd Fighter Group was one of the first units to join the Eighth Air Force in Britain, before moving to North Africa for Operation Torch. It then spent the rest of the war operating in the Mediterranean theatre.

The 53rd Fighter Group served in the Panama Canal Zone and as a training unit, before being disbanded in 1944.

The 54th Fighter Group was mainly used as a training unit in the US, but also took briefly took part in the campaign in the Aleutian Islands in 1942.

11 May 2018

The Lockheed C-111 Super Electra was the designation given to four Lockheed Model 14-WF62s that were impressed by the USAAF after they reached Australia after escaping from the Dutch East Indies.

The Lockheed XR4O was the designation given to a single example of the Lockheed Super Electra that was used by the US Navy.

8 May 2018

The 48th Fighter Group served as a replacement training unit, before joining the Ninth Air Force in Britain in the spring of 1944 and taking part in the campaign to liberate Europe.

The 49th Fighter Group took part in the defence of Australia, the long campaign on New Guinea, the return to the Philippines and raids against Formosa and the China coast.

The 50th Fighter Group served with various training commands in the US, before moving to Britain to take part in the liberation of Europe in 1944-45.

30 April 2018

The Lockheed JO was the US Navy’s designation for the Lockheed 12 Electra Junior, a small twin engine transport aircraft.

The Lockheed XRO was the designation given to one Lockheed Altair, which became the first aircraft with a fully retractable undercarriage to be used by the US Navy.

30 April 2018

The Lockheed JO was the US Navy’s designation for the Lockheed 12 Electra Junior, a small twin engine transport aircraft.

The Lockheed XRO was the designation given to one Lockheed Altair, which became the first aircraft with a fully retractable undercarriage to be used by the US Navy.

18 April 2018

The Lockheed C-37 was a single example of the Lockheed 10-A Electra that served with the National Guard Bureau.

The Lockheed C-40 was the Army designation for the Lockheed 12 Electra Junior, and covered a mix of aircraft that had been purchased by the Air Corps and aircraft that were impressed during the Second World War.

9 April 2018

The Lockheed XC-35 'Electra' was an experimental aircraft used for tests with pressurized cabins.

The Lockheed C-36 was the military designation for the Lockheed 10 Electra, and covered three aircraft ordered by the Army Air Corps and more aircraft impressed by the USAAF during the Second World War.

28 March 2018

The Lockheed XB-30 was a bomber version of the C-69/ C-121/ Constellation, developed in response to the same specifications that produced the B-29 Superfortress.

7 March 2018

The Lockheed R7O/ R7V was a US navy transport aircraft based on the Lockheed Super Constellation airliner, a stretched version of the earlier Constellation.

The Lockheed XFV-1 was an experimental VTOL aircraft that never made a vertical take off or landing, but that did fly with a temporary conventional undercarriage.

26 February 2018

The Lockheed PO-1W was an airborne early warning system based on the Lockheed Constellation airliner.

The Lockheed PO-2W/ WV-2 was an early warning aircraft based on the Super Constellation airliner.

15 February 2018

The Lockheed C-69 Constellation was developed as a civil airline, but all early production was taken over by the USAAF after the US entry into the Second World War.

The Lockheed C-121 Constellation was the military version of the Model 749 Constellation, designed for use as an intercontinental airliner and of the later Super Constellation, with a higher cargo capacity. It was used for an impressively wide range of functions, and in many different versions.

6 February 2018

The Lockheed Y1C-23 ‘Altair’ was the designation given to the sole DL-2 Altair after it was purchased by the USAAC.

The Lockheed Y1C-25 'Altair' was the designation given to the first Lockheed Altair when it was purchased by the USAAC.

26 January 2018

The Lockheed Y1C-12 was a single example of a DL-1 'Vega' that was purchased for evacuation by the USAAC.

The Lockheed Y1C-17 'Speed Vega' was a single example of the DL-1B Vega purchased by the USAAC, and was lost in 1931 during an attempt to break a transcontinental speed record.

17 January 2018

The Douglas C-132 was a design for a two-deck turboprop powered transport aircraft that never got beyond the mock-up stage.

The Douglas C-133 Cargomaster was the largest turboprop transport to be built for the USAF, and was designed to carry ICBM missiles around the United States.

8 January 2018

The Douglas C-118 Liftmaster/ Douglas R6D was the military version of the DC-6, and most were based on the improved DC-6A model.

The Douglas C-124 Globemaster II was the main USAF heavy strategic cargo transport during the 1950s and 1960s, until it was replaced by the Lockheed C-5.

Updates from: 201820172016201520142013201220112010200920082007



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