Questions tagged [aircraft]

Of or pertaining to aircraft and or man powered flight.

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Why didn't Iran declare war on the United States for shooting down flight-655? [closed]

In 1988, an American warship captain fired a missile on an Iranian civilian Airbus killing all 290 civilians onboard. From this documentary, it looks like the captain who was already exposed to ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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What engineers chose the locations and oversaw runway construction for the airfields that the Flying Tigers used?

The section of NPR's The Flying Tigers: How a group of Americans ended up fighting for China in WW II includes the following: Burma was central to keeping China supplied The AVG's base was in Kunming ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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What did whistling bombs actually sound like?

Apparently some WWII-era bombs had whistles built into their design, so that they would whistle as they fell. Often, for example in Looney Tunes cartoons, this is depicted as a whistle that gradually ...
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5 votes
1 answer
290 views

Which arresting wire did Japanese carrier pilots aim for?

I'm reading an alternate-WWII story where one of the characters, an elite Japanese Navy fighter pilot, is routinely described as catching the first wire when landing his plane on a carrier. American ...
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47 votes
6 answers
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Has any country ever diverted an international flight in order to arrest a wanted person?

Belarus recently came under scrutiny for forcing a Ryanair plane to divert so they could capture a wanted person on board: A Ryanair plane from Greece to Lithuania was diverted to Belarus for several ...
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25 votes
3 answers
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Was there a fighter jet designed without cannons?

I have heard in the past that there was a jet fighter somewhere in the Korean War time (might also have been Vietnam) that didn't have any onboard cannons since at that time it was believed that air-...
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6 votes
1 answer
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During WW2, what B-29 crew role did the abbreviation EMG mean?

My grandfather was an EMG on a B-29 superfortress flying out of Guam during World War 2, but I can’t find what the abbreviation stands for. A friend told me that it’s likely he was an electrical ...
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85 votes
4 answers
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What were paper airplanes called before there were real airplanes? (i.e. untethered winged flyers, not kites or balloons)

According to the Google Ngram Viewer (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Ngram_Viewer) the English word "airplane" was practically unused before the year 1900. Given that paper is ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Why didn't the Soviets keep their encircled forces supplied by airlifting supplies? [closed]

I was watching a video on World War 2 and learned that the Nazis kept their encircled troops supplied by air for weeks, till the pocket was liberated. I also know that earlier in the war, Soviet ...
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3 votes
3 answers
308 views

During the WWII, did the German Luftwaffe ever have mixed units of Bf-109s and Me-262s, and if so, which units and/or which airfields?

I have much information regarding the contemporary piston-engined Bf-109 units, as wells as the more advanced Me-262 units. However, I am wondering if any of these planes served together in the same ...
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10 votes
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When was it first noticed that airplane passengers really seemed to like tomato juice?

There is this observation/theory that during flights, people really like to drink much more tomato juice than while on the ground. "A small study" (as Wikipedia calls it) from 2015 tries to ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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What were common crew ranks on US Navy flying boats and bombers?

historians! I asked this question over on the Aviation SE, but was also suggested to ask here. Below is a copy of my question from over there. I have been trying to figure this out for some time, but ...
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-3 votes
1 answer
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How hard was it to produce German zeppelin pilots in World War One? [closed]

I would like to know how much time it took to train new zeppelin pilots, the cost to train them, if the airship pilots were normal airplane pilots, and the demand for them. Any help will be ...
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10 votes
2 answers
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Was the de Havilland Mosquito ever deployed on an aircraft carrier?

The de Havilland Mosquito was a highly versatile aircraft of World War II, designed as a light bomber, but also used as a fighter, torpedo bomber and reconnaissance aircraft among other things. The ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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What was the effective sight radius of World War II naval reconnaissance aircraft?

At the battle of Midway, the Japanese launched eight reconnaissance aircraft, which failed to find the American fleet in time to take effective action. I'm not sure what altitude they were operating ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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When did the allied "Desert Air Force" in North Africa smash Axis armour?

In the answers to this question, it is mentioned that allied air power "smashed" Axis armour in North Africa. Is there a major battle at which it occurred? Or did it happen during a longer ...
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1 answer
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How did British aircraft fare against Japanese aircraft during the Second World War? [closed]

It goes without saying that both the Supermarine Spitfire used by the UK and the Japanese Mitsubishi Zero are iconic fighter aircraft of the Second World War. But how did these aircraft fare when they ...
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1 answer
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Why were Axis bombings deadlier than Allied ones?

I had been gathering data on some bombings during WW2. I mainly used wikipedia articles, since they are very well sourced. I consider only city bombings, and civilian losses. The losses are ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Why did Sidewinder missiles score so well before Vietnam?

In the Wikipedia article about the Second Taiwan Strait crisis that the USA had provided Taiwan air forces with Sidewinder missiles. During clashes with PLA's air force, Sabre equipped with the ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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During the Korean War, what B-29 crew roles did the abbreviations IVO, CFC, and VC mean?

I was researching a B-29 crash that my grandfather was in during the Korean War, and he was listed as the IVO on the flight. I couldn't find what that abbreviation meant, nor could I find some of the ...
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25 votes
5 answers
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How was the Luftwaffe able to destroy nearly 4000 Soviet aircraft in 3 days of operation Barbarossa?

According to Wikipedia: a Soviet archival document recorded the loss of 3,922 Soviet aircraft in the first three days against an estimated loss of 78 German aircraft. How were German combat ...
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7 votes
0 answers
158 views

How many Me Bf 109 were produced in Czechoslovakia during WW2

It is known fact that Czechoslovak factories(or at least Avia) produced Messerschmitt Bf 109 during WW2. After the war ended, they for some time continued production, called Avia S-99 and when engines ...
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5 votes
0 answers
153 views

Where did the SOE agents sit in the 161 squadron Short Stirlings?

If this question is better suited for a more aviation-oriented forum, please let me know. During World War II SOE agents were dropped into occupied Europe by No. 161 squadron of the RAF. This ...
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23 votes
2 answers
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How did the Allies achieve air superiority on Sicily?

The Allies had freed all of Africa by the start of 1943. Afterwards, they landed in Sicily with a huge air force and fleet. How did they manage to land with the opposition of the Luftwaffe and Regia ...
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23 votes
1 answer
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"Destructive force" carried by a B-52?

In the 1957 film Bombers B-52 an instructor says of the then-new B-52 Stratofortress: “On a single mission one of these airplanes, just one, can carry greater destructive force than that of all ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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What changes were made to address the Junkers 88 initial high accident losses?

There were three main German bombers in use during the Battle of Britain: the Dornier Do 17, the Heinkel He 111, Ju 87 Stuka and the Junkers Ju 88. The Dornier 17 was an old bomber, no longer in ...
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1 answer
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Did Japan have secret films about going into the US in the 40s?

This film (narrated by Ronald Regan) was produced in the 40s. It discusses detailed planning for an air mission into an area in Japan. Did Japan have similar fims in the time period to aid them in ...
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9 votes
1 answer
752 views

Why was the WW2 air war over Europe fought considerably higher than the Eastern Front?

I have read on various Wikipedia pages on WW2 aircraft that the tactical situation of the western European theater and the Eastern Front led to very different engagement altitudes for air warfare. See ...
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4 votes
3 answers
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Did the United States taxpayer fund the development of China's backbone fighter plane?

I was reading this article which came out today(12/10/18).. China's J-10 Fighter Now Has Something In Common with the F-22, Su-57 and Su-35 which reports China has added advanced thrust vectoring to ...
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4 votes
1 answer
499 views

What was the purpose of Lt. Gen. Frank M. Andrews' flight when he was killed in the Iceland crash on May 3, 1943?

Lt. General Frank Maxwell Andrews. Source: Wikipedia Question What was the purpose of Lt. Gen. Andrews' flight in May, 1943 aboard the B-24 Liberator Hot Stuff? Was it a routine inspection tour of ...
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5 votes
1 answer
920 views

What restrictions were in place after WWII on the German aircraft industry?

A question on Aviation.StackExchange asked why the German aircraft industry is smaller than other countries in Europe. I know that the Allies did not want German rearmament after the war and had ...
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2 votes
2 answers
543 views

Did Soviet Union really consider using atomic bomb against US aircraft battlegroup?

In this video youtube narrator says that: "During Cold War Soviet Union considered American battle-group such a dire threat that they predicted the only way to defend against them would be by use ...
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2 answers
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Yamato class 3rd ship?

I heard there were 3 ships in the Yamato class but I can't find any information about it. Some sources say it was a transport vessel to transfer spare airplane parts and ammo and some say it was a ...
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12 votes
2 answers
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Which Allied aircraft scored the most air-to-air kills against the Me 262 in WWII?

Backgound: The Schwalbe (German: "Swallow") fighter version of the Messerschmitt Me 262 was the first operational jet-powered fighter aircraft, with the first test unit having been formed on 19 April,...
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2 votes
0 answers
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I am looking for a database of US aircraft casting numbers

I have found many US aircraft have casting numbers in their aluminum parts, bosses, tools, to identify the specific aicraft. 28 is a PBY, I believe. Is there a book or database on these, and when ...
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7 votes
2 answers
4k views

What did a WW2 fighter cost? [closed]

The second world war was among other things a war in resources and economy. So it got me wondering, what were the prices for fighter planes used? With some searching I count not find a satisfying ...
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4 votes
1 answer
713 views

Who had a private jet before Frank Sinatra?

The first jet aircraft flew in 1939. Militaries were the first customers of jets, in the 1940s. The de Havilland Comet, making commercial passenger flights from 1952, was the first jet designed for ...
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10 votes
2 answers
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Distinguish Mitsubishi G6M1-L2 and G4M1 aircraft in this picture

Here is a picture of Bataan 1 and Bataan 2: Wikipedia: Bataan 1 and Bataan 2 were two demilitarized Japanese bomber/transport aircraft that carried the first surrender delegations from Japan to Ie ...
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6 votes
1 answer
463 views

Is this 60's Atlanta airport security picture geniuine, and if so, what is happening here?

Following the advice I got from the user Semaphore I would like to split my original airport security question into separate parts and go into a bit more detail in regards to what I would like to know ...
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4 votes
0 answers
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What was this security screening process in Swiss airports, circa 1970?

Following the advice I got from the user Semaphore I would like to split my original airport security question into separate parts and go into a bit more detail in regards to what I would like to know ...
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15 votes
1 answer
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Did airports have security checks before the 1970s?

I just accidentally discovered a few pictures on the web, that seem to imply, that there were some sort of airport security checks on passengers all the way back in the 1960s. It was always my general ...
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6 votes
1 answer
259 views

I would like to identify the airplane in this photo

My Grandfather was an airplane owner in the early 1940s. This picture was taken between 1941-1946 from what we believe. I would like to know the make and model of aircraft so I can model it. Any ...
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3 votes
1 answer
431 views

Were aerial dogfights during WW2 and WW1 typically very one-sided?

I am wondering whether most dogfights ended decisively and if so, whether many relatively inexperienced pilots knew they were probably going to die or at least have to eject from their planes. Or was ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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What kind of AA defenses did the US East Coast have around the time of Paukenschlag?

Operation Paukenschlag (drumbeat/thunderclap), which Wikipedia likes to call the Second Happy Time, occurred from 1942 January to August. During this time, German U-Boats sank a huge amount of ships ...
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19 votes
4 answers
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Do any historians consider superior German airpower as the most important factor in the Battle of France?

In the Battle of France, the Allies and Germans had roughly equal number of divisions and troops, and the Allies actually had more artillery and tanks. But the one area where the Germans had a clear ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
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Who invented the aeroplane? [closed]

The world knows the Wright Brothers as the inventors of the aeroplane, but there is a man in India named Shivkar Bapuji Talpade who had already invented the aeroplane before the Wright brother's first ...
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2 votes
1 answer
1k views

Was There Compensation For Requisitioned / Impressed Aircraft In WW2?

I've been studying and comparing commercial airliners of the 1920s and 1930s. Many of these models are listed as "impressed" when WW2 occurred. I've been trying to find out exactly what transaction ...
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9 votes
3 answers
1k views

How did the US fall behind in airplane technology from 1909-1917?

In December 1902 a Wright brothers built glider flew 600 feet. A World Record December 17, 1903 The Wright built the first successful powered airplane and Wilbur Wright flew 852 feet (260 m) in 59 ...
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2 votes
1 answer
156 views

What's so special about the Aerodrome?

Samuel Pierpont Langley was an American astronomer and physicist who competed early on with the Wright brothers in the race for flight. Langley being a credentialed scientist beat out the Wright ...
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10 votes
2 answers
1k views

What plane would have been used to airdrop someone into occupied Europe?

I'm trying to write a story in which the main protagonist is a fictional Polish spy, who has to retrieve a 'macguffin' that's been captured from the Germans. It is set in the spring of 1943. She ...
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