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Questions tagged [wwii]

Aviation in World War II

1
vote
1answer
185 views

What exactly was the American WW2 smokebomb used in naval warfare?

In WW2 the Americans used a kind of smoke/gas-bomb that they mounted under the SBD planes in naval warfare. What was the purpose of that device and what is it called?
26
votes
1answer
8k views

Can the dome gunner on a B-17 Flying Fortress shoot the plane's tail off?

I was at the California Capital Airshow on Mather AFB over the weekend, and came across a beautifully maintained B-17 Flying Fortress. The crew were kind enough to allow people to go inside and take a ...
5
votes
3answers
987 views

How effective was WWII bombers self defense anti-air armament?

Bigger WWII bombers like e.g. the B-17 Flying Fortress were equipped with lots of machine guns for self-defense against single-seat fighter aircraft. Wikipedia says: Defensive armament increased ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Why were the fronts of the Messerschmitt Me-109 painted yellow?

After seeing the movie Dunkirk I learnt that the Luftwaffe didn't actually use the yellow coloring on the Me-109 until a few months after the battle of Dunkirk. Was this perhaps done to avoid friendly ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

How is Spitfire landing gear powered?

I have seen a WW2 movie where the pilot of the Supermarine Spitfire has difficulties to extend the landing gear as the engine is no longer running. This would be reasonable if the gear normally needs ...
24
votes
1answer
6k views

How does the head-up display on a spitfire work?

It turns out that the Spitfire from World War 2 had a head up display. Does anybody know how it worked exactly? All I could find was this picture, but no explanation: Source The source does not ...
7
votes
1answer
410 views

What are these wheel-chocks made of and what color do they most probably have?

I found a new hobby of mine: Colorizing black and white photos. My first project was a B-17 and now I'm working on a He 162 Volksjäger. The plane is on ground and fixed with wheel-chocks. Now the ...
1
vote
2answers
237 views

How would a Flying Fortress behave if it lost its empennage mid-flight?

The 1990's movie "Memphis Belle" depicts a Flying Fortress having the whole tail cut by a fighter impact on the rear part of fuselage, as a razor or chainsaw will do, the bomber airplane enters a flat ...