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Questions tagged [wwii]

Aviation in World War II

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9
votes
3answers
4k views

What is this WWII four-engine plane on skis?

I've seen this plane but I don't know its name:
13
votes
2answers
450 views

How did aircraft in WW2 navigate to the carrier?

How did aircraft in WW2 navigate to the carrier after their mission? I was thinking of something like a beacon installed in the carrier but wouldn't it reveal the location of the carrier itself?
23
votes
3answers
4k views

Would jet fuel for an F-16 or F-35 be producible during WW2?

I understand that different types of engines use different types of fuel, and as the description of the [jet] tag says, turboprops and jet engines use different types of fuel. So if – like in the ...
3
votes
1answer
231 views

What are these openings on the TBD/TBM Avenger?

I've been looking at some pictures and models of the TBF1 and TBM3 Avengers, a torpedo and dive bomber from WW2. I've noticed in some cases there are these openings/slots towards the leading edge of ...
2
votes
0answers
126 views

Can a plane help a second aircraft with landing gear issue mid-air?

My Father received his flight training in the Navy in 1941. He flew mostly Curtiss Wright SNC's (a model of the CW-22) and Grumman F3F's. The story I was told is hard to believe, so I'm hoping that ...
4
votes
3answers
285 views

What is the meaning of “Steer 1-2-0” in WWII texts?

I am reading some texts about WWII and English operators tell the pilots to "Steer 1-2-0". Can anyone help with the meaning of 'steer' here? Is it a synonym of 'direction', 'heading' or 'vector'?
15
votes
1answer
4k views

What are the unusually-enlarged wing sections on this P-38 Lightning?

Halfway through this video of the Lockheed P-38 Lightning, there's an unusual-looking example. Notice the enlarged wing sections outboard of the engine bodies, and also how the cockpit fairing ...
5
votes
3answers
592 views

Could a C-130 Hercules be built using WW2 technology?

I'm looking at this as a "time traveller carrying only designs in his head" scenario. Obviously turboprop engines are out of the question, but how close in capability would it be possible to get a C-...
0
votes
1answer
216 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?
29
votes
1answer
9k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
3k 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
515 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
250 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
5k views

Why was the engine of the Ju-87 Stuka not replaced with a more powerful one?

Related to this question Why did the Ju-87 Stuka have a siren? I would like to know the reasons why they have not changed the engine of the Stuka when they realised it was easy prey for Hurricanes ...