Questions tagged [wwii]

Aviation in World War II

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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 ...
SnakeDoc's user avatar
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24 votes
1 answer
7k views

Were there any planes used in WWII that were able to shoot their own tail?

In Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, there's a scene where Indiana is piloting a plane and his father is acting as gunner. While shooting at incoming enemy planes, he accidentally shoots his own ...
Elerium115's user avatar
24 votes
2 answers
6k views

Can anyone identify what appears to be a crashed WWII German plane?

This photograph is in my family's photo collection. The only information with the photo is, "Cousin Bud Kohl - aircraft wreck." If anyone can identify the make and model it is greatly ...
FreshBreeze's user avatar
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24 votes
4 answers
7k views

Incidents of V1 flying bombs being nudged instead of shot down

There are stories regarding V1 flying bombs being nudged off course that I have heard numerous times over the last 50 years. I can understand the reluctance to shoot a bomb from directly behind it but ...
SDH's user avatar
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24 votes
3 answers
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 ...
JoSSte's user avatar
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24 votes
1 answer
9k 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 ...
mike's user avatar
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24 votes
1 answer
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Did LeMay actually require crews to remove their guns on B-29s?

There is a persistent rumour/storyline that, during and after the successful low-level raids on Tokyo in March 1945, LeMay ordered that all B-29s remove their guns, except for the tail gun. However, I ...
Phil Crowther's user avatar
19 votes
1 answer
4k views

What is this plane from WWII (probably French or Allied forces)?

Picture should have been taken after or during the end of World War II, probably close to Marrakech French base (but that is not sure). Can anyone tell us what these planes are? My grand father could ...
Valentin Gies's user avatar
19 votes
1 answer
2k views

Identifying WWII reconnaissance plane wing

Between 1944 and 1945, a US Photo Reconnaissance Squadron or (or something alike) did a survey of the whole Chilean territory using the Trimetrogon camera system (228 rolls of film and about 49.000 ...
Camilo Rada's user avatar
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18 votes
1 answer
4k views

What is this board given to a pilot in World War II?

What is this board given to a pilot in World War II?
Peter Kay's user avatar
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16 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
pr1268's user avatar
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15 votes
1 answer
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Why does this Curtiss Kittyhawk have a Question Mark in its squadron code?

There is a Curtiss Kittyhawk 1V undergoing restoration in the RAF Museum in London, with an unusual squadron marking. A comprehensive history of the aircraft can be found here, which says: The ...
Party Ark's user avatar
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14 votes
2 answers
2k views

In WW2, how did aircraft navigate to the carrier?

In World War 2, how did aircraft 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 ...
Jaebum's user avatar
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12 votes
2 answers
4k views

Did the Germans ever use captured Allied aircraft against the Allies?

I have noticed that during WWII the Germans captured quite a few P-47s, P-51s, Spitfires, and other Allied aircraft. I know that they tested them extensively but wanted to know if they ever used them ...
J Lopez's user avatar
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11 votes
4 answers
8k 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 ...
Marcello Miorelli's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
4k views

Did WWII fighters do a roll before engaging to identify themselves to radar operators?

There's some folklore in the radar world about the Nazi fighters doing a roll before engagement to mark them to a German radar operator. This makes a lot of sense because it allows you to change your ...
b degnan's user avatar
  • 291
10 votes
3 answers
4k views

What is this WWII four-engine plane on skis?

I've seen this plane but I don't know its name:
user43959's user avatar
  • 101
10 votes
2 answers
2k views

Twin-Engine WWII Japanese Bomber

I recently inherited a number of pictures taken by my father in August & September 1945. During the process of Japanese surrender at the end of WWII. Several are of captured aircraft, most of ...
Chenmunka's user avatar
  • 278
10 votes
2 answers
489 views

Could Sudden Decompression Cause You to be Shot Out of the Tunnel on a B-29?

One of the features of the WWII B-29 bomber was that it was pressurized. The aircraft had pressurized areas in the front and the back of the aircraft. Connecting the two was a pressurized tunnel over ...
Phil Crowther's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
13k 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 ...
vestland's user avatar
  • 203
10 votes
1 answer
340 views

How was the problem of dive bomber scope fogging resolved during WW2?

During the first half of 1942, US Navy SBD bombers had problems with their bomb aiming scopes fogging over, which reduced the accuracy of their bombing during several early war operations. Was this ...
Davidw's user avatar
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9 votes
3 answers
8k 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 ...
Scrontch's user avatar
  • 615
9 votes
1 answer
4k 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 ...
h22's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
1k views

What's an "outrigger" for parking aircraft on a carrier?

In this picture of the USS Intrepid (CV-11), there appears to be an aircraft parked with the tail hanging off the deck: (Source) The caption gives a clue: The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS ...
built1n's user avatar
  • 563
8 votes
2 answers
722 views

Can anyone help me with the Make, Model (version), and Unit of this WWII army trainer. Appears to be an AT-6 version

Location: Madison, WI Municipal Airport on May 21, 1939. Notice the straight bottom on the vertical stabilizer, crest emblem, pitot tubes, landing gear, exhaust location, antenna, etc. I have two ...
FreshBreeze's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
5k views

Did Japan actually use any production aircraft with inverted gull wings during WW2?

The anime film The Wind Rises presents a fictionalized account of Jiro Horikoshi and the development of the Mitsubishi A5M. Throughout most of the anime, Jiro visualizes the plane with this shape: I ...
user45623's user avatar
  • 317
7 votes
1 answer
4k views

How did War Emergency Power work?

Someone can explain how WEP (War Emergency Power) worked on the planes of the Second World War? And if it was really effective during a combat?
Carlo Nava's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
1k views

How is fuel drawn from drop tanks in WW2 airplanes?

Low-wing tanks typically have fuel supply lines at the bottom. For external drop tanks, I thought they came built with internal lines that mate with the plane. That appears to be the case for ...
user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
897 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 ...
Noah Krasser's user avatar
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6 votes
3 answers
1k 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-...
BT Humble's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
1k views

Did the jet stream really stop the B-29, or was it just bad luck?

The B-29 bomber, used in WWII, was designed as a high altitude bomber, capable of operating from altitudes in excess of 30,000 feet. However, starting with their first missions to Tokyo in Nov 1944, ...
Phil Crowther's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
918 views

What is this part on the Me 262?

I have seen this part on a me 262 model kit but I don't know what it is... I've make some research on it but I find nothing! Maybe it can be radar, or a weapon? Do you know what is this? And also its ...
L'aviateur's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
1k views

What if the bomb bay is hit?

The bomb bay on s heavy bomber is a somewhat big target. If the ordnance were to explode, it would be very dangerous for nearby aircraft. But I haven't really seen much evidence of concern over this ...
Abdullah is not an Amalekite's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
471 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'?
James Q's user avatar
  • 41
4 votes
1 answer
910 views

What are L/D ratio of famous WWII fighters?

I'm looking for L/D ratio of old warbirds. I'm particularly interested by the P-51D, the Supermarine Spitfire Mk.VII and the Mitsubishi A6M3 Zero, but I'm also quite curious about other warbirds that ...
Manu H's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
809 views

Did WW2 airplanes ever jettison their empty external fuel tanks to act as weapons?

Jettisoning an external fuel tank over a populated area is prohibited by the FAA as it will almost certainly cause injury and damage to the people in that area. But did war airplanes during World War ...
Ginger's user avatar
  • 1,167
3 votes
1 answer
332 views

Jumo 222 What are the design choices that lead to this particular nose cone and spinning cowling setup?

Looking for Jumo 222 powered aircraft, I came across this picture of a Junker Ju 288, with this strange spinning cowling and propeller setup, what are the considerations behind this design, how does ...
user721108's user avatar
  • 4,643
3 votes
1 answer
558 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 ...
Zebrafish's user avatar
  • 275
3 votes
1 answer
578 views

Was there any kind of preventative collision training for dogfights during WWI and WWII?

Watching some old films on YouTube about dogfighting has me curious about this. Definitely seems like most dogfights around this time were extremely close, involving tight formations and turns. Was ...
George Clooney In a Mooney's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
184 views

What technical features account for the P-51B/D's low drag relative to other fighters of the day (e.g, Spitfire Mk IX)?

I am really sorry to dredge a popular topic up again. Unfortunately, after reading through some papers on the P-51 as well as all the past forum threads I could find on this topic, I have found myself ...
interested22's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
529 views

How effective was the computer-controlled gunnery on the B29?

The Boeing B29 Superfortress was equipped with multiple gun turrets which were linked to a central computerised fire control system. This training film covers the gunner's control interface, which ...
DrMcCleod's user avatar
  • 391
2 votes
3 answers
529 views

Why weren't WWII piston aircraft able to fly at 500mph?

So, I just noticed that typical WWII piston engine fighter aircraft had a power to weight ratio of around 300W/kg, even at gross weight and altitude. This means that if we assume that an aircraft has ...
Abdullah is not an Amalekite's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
695 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?
Frezzley's user avatar
  • 283
2 votes
2 answers
158 views

Confusing justification for new engines for Bomber B

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bomber_B With engines in the 2,000 to 2,500 hp range, twin-engined aircraft would have considerably more surplus power, allowing for much greater payloads. In theory, ...
Abdullah is not an Amalekite's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
416 views

What were the common crew ranks on WWII US Navy flying boats and bombers?

I have been trying to figure this out for some time, but have not had much luck elsewhere. I have found info on USAAF bombers, and what ranks the crewmembers often had, but nothing for larger navy ...
Jazzyamx's user avatar
  • 133
2 votes
2 answers
311 views

Battle Damage Checks / Procedures [closed]

Studying the damage model of DCS, especially on Warbirds, I encountered an operational doubt about the Battle Damage Checks. Here is the question: Suppose that after a sortie you are RTB, and you don'...
Spitfire01's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
180 views

Are there other examples of Brown-Stigler incident?

I have just finished reading A Higher Call and wondered if there are other cases where a pilot showed his mercy to the foe when they are in desperate situation. Looked through several B17 related-webs,...
Lady Be Good's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
140 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 ...
Tom Duffy's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
219 views

Seeking the memoir of a WWII Luftwaffe pilot

Around 40 years ago, or perhaps a little earlier (say around 1980), I read the memoir (or perhaps the biography) of a fighter or perhaps light-bomber pilot who flew for the Luftwaffe on the Russian ...
Captain Cranium's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
569 views

Could "Lady Be Good" Incident Prevented by the Technology of its Time?

For those who don't know, Wiki page of the incident sums up. I don't have much knowledge about communication systems of WWII, but I know how radio communication work. This page has The aircraft flew ...
Lady Be Good's user avatar