Questions tagged [aircraft]

Of or pertaining to aircraft and or man powered flight.

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62
votes
5answers
53k views

Did World War II-era bombs actually whistle?

In WWII-era films and newsreels, aerial bombs are often shown making a whistling sound as they fall; starting high pitched, then decreasing as the bomb approaches the Earth (example here, starting at ...
39
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3answers
16k views

Transatlantic Zeppelin trips usually took > 100 hours. How did they stock enough food, and where did they sleep?

I never fail to be bewildered with the Zeppelins. Apart from the arduous and boring journey - how did the passengers rest - I don't see pics of any rooms or beds - how did they sleep at all? ...
25
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9answers
16k views

Why weren't aircraft carriers utilized during D-day?

Why were aircraft carriers not used during and following D-Day? They could have added a great deal of range to the air support operations.
25
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5answers
13k views

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 ...
24
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1answer
4k views

“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 ...
23
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2answers
3k views

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 ...
18
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7answers
8k views

When did aircraft carriers eclipse battleships as the “King of the seas”?

During the 19th century and into the early 20th century, battleships were the Kings of the Sea, and every naval power of note had at least one. When did they lose this title to the aircraft carrier, ...
18
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3answers
3k views

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 ...
14
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1answer
855 views

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 ...
13
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2answers
3k views

Amount of time an aeroplane could stay in the air during the last stages of WW1

I know for a fact that aeroplanes were used at the last stages of the first world war to capture images of the enemy trench system and supply lines. They were also used to alert the artillery how far ...
13
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1answer
8k views

Transatlantic Zeppelin Flight Time

In the 1930s, the zeppelins LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin and LZ 129 Hindenburg made frequent transatlantic voyages. They had a top speed of around 85 mph, but I doubt they could manage that throughout the ...
12
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6answers
13k views

Who were the Wright brothers' competitors?

I heard that there was a person who was sponsored by the government to make the first flying airplane. The Wright brothers beat him to it and this made him really depressed and he gave up his career. ...
12
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2answers
1k views

Is there a difference between Douhet and Walther Wever's strategic bombing theories?

Wiki introduces Wever this way: Walther Wever (11 November 1887 – 3 June 1936) was a pre-World War II Luftwaffe Commander. He was an early proponent of the theory of strategic bombing as a ...
12
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2answers
793 views

RAF Vulcan nuclear missions - returning to base planning

Having seen several documentaries and interviews with Vulcan crew & pilots regarding their nuclear flight plans and proposed missions, there's a reticence to discuss the post-mission plan. It's ...
12
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3answers
837 views

WWII boat-looking bus

What was the purpose of this WWII boat-looking bus? Description says: Royal Navy officers 'aboard' 'HMS SPURIOUS MARK II' - a bus converted to resemble the island of an aircraft carrier. The bus ...
12
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1answer
5k views

How many suicide attack (kamikaze) pilots died and how many of them successfully hit ships during World War II?

Wikipedia cites two different accounts that give different estimates: During World War II, about 3,860 kamikaze pilots died, and about 19% of kamikaze attacks managed to hit a ship. Zaloga, "...
11
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4answers
10k views

When did the Luftwaffe lose air-superiority over the Reich?

To me one of the many crucial stages of WWII was when the Luftwaffe were no longer able to mount serious resistance to the Allied bombing raids. While the effect of the raids if often debated, it ...
11
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2answers
963 views

Can you identify the plane in the picture?

Can you help identify this U.S. Air force four engine prop, numbered 2753.
11
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2answers
3k views

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,...
10
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2answers
3k views

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 ...
10
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5answers
2k views

Why did the United States not seriously develop Anti Aircraft Missiles?

During the Cold War, the United States did not seem to actively develop anti-aircraft missiles (I know that Wikipedia is not an exhaustive source for lists, but just as a rough estimate, they list ...
10
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2answers
1k views

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 ...
10
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2answers
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 ...
10
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1answer
2k views

Which company offered this aircraft interior in the 60s?

I found this image on LinkedIn post. This was economy class back in the 1960s. [...] I'm not sure whether it's fake or not. Was there a company that offered this aircraft interior in the 60s? If ...
9
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3answers
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 ...
8
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4answers
2k views

What happened to aircraft if their aircraft carrier was damaged?

Obviously if a plane takes off from a carrier but can't return because the carrier is damaged or sunk, it has to go somewhere. Or if it can't reach an airfield, its crew would need to ditch it and ...
8
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2answers
610 views

What was the first recorded use of Aerial Weapons in warfare?

Fighter planes were popularised by their extensive use in WWI. What Aerial weapons were used before that period (if any)? What is earliest recorded use of Aerial Attacking and what was the technology ...
8
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1answer
1k views

How many of Japan's 29 lost Pearl Harbor aircraft have been accounted for?

I've seen varying numbers regarding the amount of Japanese aircraft that attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, but the number of attacking planes that failed to return to Japan's carriers remains ...
7
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1answer
1k views

When was the first airborne combat drop?

I know that airborne troops became famous in WWII, but was that the first time they actually fought after parachuting into the combat zone? What was the first instance in which paratroopers in an ...
7
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4answers
800 views

Organized and intentional suicide attacks during military conflicts

First of all I want to make it clear that we're not speaking about terrorist attacks here. This question is strictly dedicated to war operations, in a dictionary meaning. Also this question is about ...
7
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0answers
137 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 ...
7
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2answers
1k 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 ...
6
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2answers
941 views

Were the 1940-42 RAF bombing raids over Germany unescorted?

Considering the Spitfire's chronic lack of range, was the RAF doing unescorted bombing runs over Nazi Germany in 1940-42 or did they have another fighter that escorted their bombers?
6
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1answer
237 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 ...
6
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1answer
470 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 ...
6
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1answer
171 views

Nationalisation during wartime in the West: With or without compensation?

I was just reading about the forerunner to Bayerische Flugzeugwerke (Bavarian Aircraftworks, who designed and manufactured the legendary ME/BF-109 fighter). Apparently the owner, Herr Otto, was ...
6
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1answer
154 views

First eastbound transcontinental flight departed from…?

On Feb. 8th, 1912, the first eastbound US transcontinental flight landed in Jacksonville, FL. After several Google searches, I can't find anything that says where the flight departed from. So where ...
6
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1answer
392 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 ...
5
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3answers
2k views

Was the communication between Spitfire and other fighters' pilots encrypted?

If machines like SIGSALLY were occupying so much space like in the picture above, were the pilots' communication encrypted or somehow obscured in order to prevent the enemy from eavesdropping on the ...
5
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1answer
1k views

Aircraft identification

I am trying to identify the aircraft in the picture here. I know it is a U.S. Army Air Corps training aircraft from World War II, and I'm guessing its an AT-6. But I can't find a comparable photo ...
5
votes
1answer
237 views

Why does Charles Lindbergh appear to avoid England in 1927?

If you look at this (admittedly poor) map you see that Charles Lindbergh appears to skirt the English coast on his way to Paris but never go into English "airspace" (not sure such a concept existed at ...
5
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0answers
142 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 ...
4
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1answer
480 views

Identification of Aircraft, Weimar, Germany, May, 1945

Identification of Aircraft, Weimar, Germany, May, 1945. ck.imgur.com/S83TI.jpg
4
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1answer
607 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 ...
4
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4answers
576 views

WW1: What would happen if an aerial bomb was dropped from too high an altitude?

I've read that by the end of World War I they had both contact and timed fuses(fuzes?), so in the case of a timed fuse (early in the war?), the bomb would just explode early, but what of the contact ...
4
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1answer
483 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 ...
4
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1answer
169 views

Which Luftwaffe units participated in the raid on Manchester on 11 March 1941?

Which Luftwaffe units participated in the raid on Manchester on 11 March 1941?
4
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1answer
234 views

Identification of location and type of bi-plane

Could the location be on the west coast or in Hawaii? 1920s time frame?
4
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1answer
426 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 ...
4
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0answers
108 views

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 ...