World Warr II stimulated another divergence in the aeroplane’s development. The few biplanes surviving in front-line units quickly disappeared, while many of the advances in late-1930s civil aviation were hurriedly adapted for military use. Armament had improved little in the interwar period, but heavily-armed fighters soon predominated. High-speed bombers required efficient, power-operated turrets for their defensive weaponry, and bomb capacities and range also increased. Flying boats again proved valuable for patrol and anti-submarine work. Ground-attack, a role that had evolved at the end of World War I, assumed greater significance as control of airspace over a battlefield became vital. The aircraft carrier played a prominent part in the war
at sea. Following initial experiments in the 1930s, the jet engine became a practical proposition and the first jet-propelled fighters and bombers appeared towards the end of the war.

Boeing B-29 Superfortress

The Boeing B-29 was the aircraft that dropped atomic bombs on…

Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik

The Soviet Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik ground-attack aircrafl was…

Mitsubishi A6M Zero

The Japanese Navy's agile A6M Reisen "Zero" fighter thoroughly…

Junkers Ju 87 Stuka

Used as "aerial artillery to support fast-moving armoured columns,…

Vought F4U Corsair

The American F4U Corsair is widely acknowledged as the outstanding…

Gloster Meteor

Because of the surprising tardiness of the US's development…

Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet

The Me 163 Komel was the only German rocket-powered aircraft…

Focke-Wulf Fw 190

Designed by Kurt Tank, the Fw 190 is considered Germany's best…

Yokosuka Ohka

Essentially a piloted flying bomb, the romantically named Ohka…