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World War II Aircraft A collection of flying warbirds

During World War II, airplanes of all types – fighters, bombers, transports, etc. – developed rapidly. Biplanes saw action in the early years; jet aircraft zoomed through the skies over Germany in 1945. The Americans produced the “mostest of the bestest,” that is, the largest numbers of generally superior warplanes.

All the combatant nations, USA, Germany, Japan, Britain, struggled to keep their aircraft up to date, almost constantly modifying them and introducing new variants. The Spitfire went through over twenty variants. The Messerschmitt Bf 109 evolved through eleven major production variants, plus uncounted sub-types and experimentals. A constant trend emerged – to push the basic airframe design to it limits and beyond with more powerful engines, more weapons, more armor protection, larger fuel tanks, etc.