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.

Mitsubishi A6M Zero

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

Gloster Meteor

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

Lavochkin LaGG-3

It is incredible that 6,528 Lavochkin LaGG-3 fighters were built…

Junkers Ju 87 Stuka

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

Vickers Wellington

The twin-engined Wellington, affectionately known the "Wimpy". was…

Hawker Hurricane

The doughty Hawker Hurricane single-seat fighter is famous for…