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P-51 Mustang

P-51 Mustang on Tarmac

P-51 Mustang

The North American P-51 had its first flight on Oct 26, 1940, and entered into service in the 2nd half of WWII. It was a single-seat long-range fighter used by the US Air Force and the British Royal Air Force. It was equipped with a 1,590 HP Packard engine and capable of a top speed of 380 knots. Its primary purpose was bomber escort but it also had the capability of carrying up to 1,000 lb. of drop bombs. More than 15,000 Mustangs were built and it was credited with destroying nearly 5,000 enemy aircraft.

 

Specifications for the North American P-51d Mustang

Performance

Max Speed:

437 mph / 380 knots

Max Range:

2,080 miles

Armament

6x 12.7mm (0.5 inch) M2 Browning air-cooled machine guns
1,000 lb. of drop bombs, rockets, or fuel drop tanks

Powerplant

Engine:

1x Packard V-1650-7 Merlin piston engine, generating 1,590 hp

Historical Images

Mustang Airborne

Mustang Airborne

Mustangs-on-carrier-deck

Mustangs on the carrier deck

118th Tactical Recon Squadron Suichwan

118th Tactical Recon Squadron Suichwan

SBD2 Dauntless

Midway Dauntless

Midway Dauntless

The Douglas DBS Dauntless was the Navy’s preferred dive-bomber and had its first flight on May 1, 1940. Responsible for sinking a large number of Japanese ships, it was credited with destroying 18 warships in just one day during the battle of Midway. Mainly used by the US Navy, the Dauntless had a maximum speed of 221 knots and a range of over 1,100 miles. Although the Navy started to replace it with the Helldiver during 1943, almost 6,000 Dauntlesses were built during the war.

Specifications for the Douglas SBD-5 Dauntless

Performance

Max Speed:

225 mph / 221 knots

Max Range:

1,115 miles

Armament

Two 12.7mm (0.5 inch) wing-mounted machine guns
Two 7.62mm (0.3 inch) machine guns in rear cockpit position
2,250 lb. of drop bombs or depth charges

Powerplant

Engine:

1x Wright R-1820-60 Cyclone air-cooled radial piston, generating 1,200 hp

Historical Images

Dauntless

Dauntless

Dauntless

Dauntless on deck

Dauntless

Dauntless with pilot

F6F Hellcat

F6F Hellcat

F6F Hellcat

The Grumman F6F Hellcat was the successor to the F4F Wildcat and had its first flight on June 26th 1942. Designed for carrier operations the aircraft featured a 2000 HP Pratt & Whitney engine, strong landing gear and an arresting hook. The plane featured heavy caliber machine guns as well as the capability to carry conventional drop bombs, air to surface rockets and torpedoes. It was used by the US Navy, US Marine Corp and the British Royal Navy. Over 12,000 Hellcats were manufactured during WW II and it was credited with destroying more that 5,000 enemy aircrafts.

In the picture above, a Grumman F6F Hellcat fighter begins to fold its wings after landing aboard USS Hornet (CV12) following a raid over the Marianas in June 1944. [80-G-469204]

Specifications for the Grumman F6F-5 Hellcat

Performance

Max Speed:

380 mph / 330 knotd

Max Range:

944 miles

Armament

Six 12.7mm (0.5 inch) wing-mounted machine guns
4,150 lb. of drop bombs, rockets or torpedoes

Powerplant

Engine:

1 x Pratt & Whitney R-2800-10W Double Wasp, generating 2,000 hp

Historical Images

Hellcats on deck

Hellcats on deck

Hellcats formation

Hellcats formation

Hellcats

Hellcats

B25 Mitchell

B25 Mitchell

B25 Mitchell

The North American B-25 Mitchell medium bomber first flew on August 19, 1940, and became famous for the Doolittle raid in which the Americans bombed Tokyo by launching the aircraft from a carrier. The plane features multiple turrets and machine guns, and could carry up to eight drop bombs and one torpedo simultaneously. Almost 10,000 Mitchells were built during the war, primarily for use by the US Air Force and the British Royal Air Force.

Specifications for the
North American B-25C Mitchell

Performance

Max Speed:

272 mph / 237 knots

Max Range:

1,350 miles

Armament

Eight 12.7mm (0.5 inch) machine guns in nose
Four 12.7mm (0.5 inch) machine guns in forward lower fuselage
Two 12.7mm (0.5 inch) machine guns in ventral turret
Two 12.7mm (0.5 inch) machine guns in dorsal turret
Two 12.7mm (0.5 inch) machine guns in waist ports
Two 12.7mm (0.5 inch) machine guns in tail gun position
3,000 lb. of drop bombs and torpedoes

Powerplant

Engine:

Two Wright Cyclone R-2600-19 air-cooled piston engines, each delivering 1,700 hp

Historical Images

B-25 Gun Nose

B-25 Gun Nose

Mitchell

Mitchell

B-25 carrier take-off

B-25 carrier take-off

P40N Warhawk

P40N Warhawk

P40N Warhawk

The Curtiss P-40 Warhawk was a ground attack and fighter aircraft that first flew in October 1938. Made famous by the “Flying Tigers” in China and “Taylor and Welch” during the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Warhawk was equipped with a 1,150 HP Allison engine. The maximum payload was 2,000 lb. on 3 hardpoints and while it wasn’t particularly strong in any category, it was still a formidable aircraft in the hands of skilled pilots. Primarily used by the US Air Force and the British Royal Air Force, the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk was fazed out midway through the war.

Specifications for the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk

Performance

Max Speed:

360 mph / 310 knots

Max Range:

650 miles

Armament

6x 12.7mm (0.5 inch) M2 Browning air-cooled machine guns
2,000 lb. of drop bombs

Powerplant

Engine:

One Allison V-1710-39 engine, generating 1,150 hp

Historical Images

Curtiss Warhawk

Curtiss Warhawk

Warhawk

Warhawk

Warhawk Turn

Warhawk Turn

J7WI Shinden

J7WI Shinden

Japanese Shinden

The Kyushu J7W Shinden, or ‘Magnificent Lightning,’ was a canard aircraft designed to intercept the B-29 Superfortress raids on Japan. It had its first flight on August 3, 1945, and was abandoned as a prototype due to the capitulation of Japan before mass production could start. With a top speed of 405 knots courtesy of its powerful Mitsubishi engine which was capable of generating over 2,100 HP, it was considered a very fast aircraft. Only two Shinden prototypes were ever built before development ceased.

Specifications for the Kyushu J7W1 Shinden

Performance

Max Speed:

466 mph / 405 knots

Max Range:

528 miles

Armament

Four 30mm (1.18 inch) cannons
264 lb. of drop bombs

Powerplant

Engine:

1x Mitsubishi Ha-43 12 in-line piston engine,
generating 2,130 hp

Historical Images

Shinden

Shinden

Shinden Rear View

Shinden Rear View

Shinden Prototype

Shinden Prototype

F4U Corsair

F4U Corsair

USMC Majuro

The Vought F4U Corsair was a carrier capable aircraft that had its first flight May 29th 1940 and was entered into service end of December 1942, The aircraft had a uniquely shaped V-shaped wing and used a 2,000 HP Pratt & Whitney engine that enabled it to carry up to 2,000 lbs of armament including air to surface rockets and drop bombs. The plane was operated by the US Navy, The US Marine Corp and had an overall kill ratio of 11:1 against the Japanese.

Specifications for the Vought F4U Corsair

Performance

Max Speed:

417 mph / 362 knots

Max Range:

1,015 miles

Armament

Six 12.7mm (0.5 inch) wing-mounted machine guns
2,000 lb. of drop bombs and rockets

Powerplant

Engine:

One Pratt & Whitney R-2800-8 18-cylinder Double Wasp two-row air-cooled radial engine, generating 2,000 hp

Historical Images

F4U Corsair

F4U Corsair

Corsair

Corsair

Corsair on deck

Corsair on deck

A6M2 Zero

A6M2 Zero

Japanese Zero

The Mitsubishi A6M Zero was a long-range, carrier-capable fighter aircraft operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service. It first flew on April 1, 1939, and operated until the end of the war. The Zero appeared in almost every battle of the Pacific Theatre and is one of the most iconic airplanes of WWII. Nearly 11,000 Zeroes were built between 1940 and 1945, but in the last years of the war they were mainly used in kamikaze missions as they could no longer compete against more advanced aircraft flown by Allied pilots.

Specifications for the Mitsubishi A6M5 Zero

Performance

Max Speed:

354 mph / 308 knots

Max Range:

1,193 miles

Armament

Two 20mm (0.79 inch) cannons
Two 7.7mm (0.30 inch) machine guns
264 lb. of bombs (1,100 lb. in kamikaze missions)

Powerplant

Engine:

1x Nakajima NK1C Sakae 21 14-cylinder two-row radial piston engine, generating 1,130 hp

Historical Images

Zero Cockpit

Zero Cockpit

Zero take-off

Zero take-off

Zero and MtFuji

Zero and MtFuji

 

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