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.

Douglas C-54 Skymaster

While never the most glamorous of military aeroplanes, transport…

North American P-51 Mustang

Ultimately the greatest long-range fighter of World War II,…

Bristol Beaufighter

Bristol's pugnacious Type 156 Beaufighter was a heavy two-seater,…

Avro Lancaster

When i he first Lancasters appeared at RAF Bomber Command bases…

Messerschmitt Me 262 Schwalbe

The shark-like Messerschmitt Me 262 Schwalbe was the world's…

Messerschmitt Bf 109

Designed by Willy Messcrschmitt. the Bf 109 fighter was the…

Lavochkin LaGG-3

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

Supermarine Spitfire

This superb fighter, designed by Reginald Mitchell, will always…