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

The Hindenburg was originally built with 25 double-berthed cabins which accommodated up to 50 passengers. While the ship was laid up in Frankfurt during the winter of 1936-1937, 9 more cabins were ...
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94 votes
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What were paper airplanes called before there were real airplanes? (i.e. untethered winged flyers, not kites or balloons)

They were called paper darts in the 19th century, as evidenced in this article, which contains many detailed references going back as far as 1864, and many illustrations In fact, it appears that they ...
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  • 4,068
78 votes

What were paper airplanes called before there were real airplanes? (i.e. untethered winged flyers, not kites or balloons)

Short Answer (Paper) Dart and (Paper) Arrow These terms were used from at least the 1860s. However, not all of these designs were what we would today recognize and call 'paper planes'. Some clearly ...
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60 votes
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Was there a fighter jet designed without cannons?

Yes, at least three entered production "Was there a fighter jet designed without cannons?" is a bit different from Why do fighter jets still have guns/cannons? which focuses on just the F-4. ...
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45 votes

How was the Luftwaffe able to destroy nearly 4000 Soviet aircraft in 3 days of operation Barbarossa?

The Soviets were caught by surprise and suffered massive casualties as a result. See this Wikipedia article. Lots of aircraft were destroyed on the ground, not the air. The first attacks began at ...
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  • 5,462
44 votes
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"Destructive force" carried by a B-52?

The B-52 was capable of carrying thermonuclear weapons. These were the second-generation of nuclear weapons with greatly increased destructive power over the original WW2 atomic bombs. By 1957, these ...
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  • 4,687
42 votes
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Has any country ever diverted an international flight in order to arrest a wanted person?

By Googling "Snowden"+"Ryanair Belarus" I've found four more relevant examples. One story from 2010 seems to be a direct equivalent to what happened in Belarus: Taalaibek ...
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  • 3,546
31 votes

How did the Allies achieve air superiority on Sicily?

To begin with, when the air campaign ahead of Operation Husky (the campaign that culminated with the invasion of Sicily) began, the Allies already had a significant numerical superiority over the Axis ...
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  • 76.2k
29 votes

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

Never look at history with your own 'modern' perceptions! In those days there were only 2 ways to cross the Atlantic: by ship or by zeppelin. A ship took longer than a zeppelin. Everybody crossed by ...
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26 votes

Did World War II-era bombs actually whistle?

Yes I can tell you from personal experience also I was six years old we lived in Haverton Hill, County Durham, England, there was a lot of heavy industry in that area including Dorman & long steel ...
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25 votes
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Do any historians consider superior German airpower as the most important factor in the Battle of France?

To my surprise, this may be somewhat accurate. In the critical Battle of Sedan on May 13, Guderian fielded 1st and 2nd Panzer divisions, reinforced by Grossdeutchland infantry regiment, one regiment ...
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22 votes
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How did the US fall behind in airplane technology from 1909-1917?

tl;dr US aircraft pioneers argued over the Wright brothers' patents while the rest of the world quietly ignored the patents and "borrowed" the idea - and went on to making planes. Remember that 110 ...
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20 votes
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Was the de Havilland Mosquito ever deployed on an aircraft carrier?

There were trials and plans, but Mosquitos never actually operated from carriers. Eric "Winkle" Brown who was the chief naval test pilot at RAE Farnborough at the time, did deck-landing and takeoff ...
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  • 28.1k
19 votes
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What plane would have been used to airdrop someone into occupied Europe?

The earliest air drops of aid to Poland were made in February 1941 using Whitley bombers. To the best of my knowledge, none of these drops involved parachuting agents into Poland. By 1943, Halifax ...
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19 votes

Has any country ever diverted an international flight in order to arrest a wanted person?

I'll note here that the Morales' plane story is much more complicated that it's made to be in the other answer. It was apparently a false flag operation to a good extent, misleading the Westerners as ...
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  • 3,624
18 votes

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

It all started with North American P-51 Mustang which had sufficient range to escort US bombers in daytime raids: General James Doolittle told the fighters in early 1944 to stop flying in ...
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17 votes
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Which company offered this aircraft interior in the 60s?

It seems that it's a mock-up image produced as publicity for the passenger model of the 747 aircraft by Boeing/Pan-American Airways. It would have to have been from the late 1960s, since the 747 ...
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17 votes

How was the Luftwaffe able to destroy nearly 4000 Soviet aircraft in 3 days of operation Barbarossa?

The Wikipedia article cited in another answer lists among reasons ...equipment, like that of the Red Army, was largely obsolescent and suffering from prolonged use. The Great Purges had also hit ...
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17 votes

Has any country ever diverted an international flight in order to arrest a wanted person?

In 2013, Bolivia president's jet heading from Moscow, Russia was rerouted and forced to land in Austria in search for Edward Snowden; Bolivian president’s plane forced to land in Austria in hunt for ...
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  • 1,006
15 votes
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Is there a difference between Douhet and Walther Wever's strategic bombing theories?

From reading the two wikipedia articles, they had different opinions on how the air force should be used in war theaters. Douhet offers (emphasis mine): Douhet believed in the morale effects of ...
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15 votes

Distinguish Mitsubishi G6M1-L2 and G4M1 aircraft in this picture

The G6M1 were simply G4Ms reconfigured for transport, so the two are practically identical. Nonetheless, the component circled below indicates that the first aircraft is the G4M1. That loop is ...
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15 votes
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How was the Luftwaffe able to destroy nearly 4000 Soviet aircraft in 3 days of operation Barbarossa?

Organizational deficiencies, technical obsolescence, inexperience of pilots, surprise caused by Stalin's blunder First of all, claims that VSS lost 4000 planes in the first three days of war is ...
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  • 10.9k
14 votes

Aircraft identification

Looks a bit like a Vultee BT-13 Valiant
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14 votes

Was the de Havilland Mosquito ever deployed on an aircraft carrier?

The "Sea Mosquito" was tested in March 1944 with carrier deck landing trials on HMS Indefatigable in the Irish Sea. The pilot (almost inevitably) was the legendary Eric 'Winkle' Brown. He ...
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  • 76.2k
13 votes
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Was smoking allowed aboard hydrogen-filled zeppelins?

Smoking was allowed on the hydrogen filled zeppelin, the Hindenburg, but only in a specially made pressurized smoking room. the smoking room was separated from the rest of the passenger section by a ...
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  • 2,740
13 votes

What happened to aircraft if their aircraft carrier was damaged?

This happened many times during the period of World War 2, such as in the Battle of Coral Sea and Battle of Midway (Japan versus United States). During the Battle of Coral Sea the aircraft carrier of ...
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  • 522
13 votes

What happened to aircraft if their aircraft carrier was damaged?

Aircraft losses in carrier battles could be staggering. At Midway the United States lost the Yorktown with a capacity of 90 planes, but they also lost 113 carrier planes. Some of the surviving ...
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  • 16k
13 votes
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Why was the WW2 air war over Europe fought considerably higher than the Eastern Front?

I'll take the claim at face value, provide some historical and mechanical background, and make an educated guess. It would be because after the Fall of France the Western Front consisted primarily of ...
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  • 52.6k
13 votes

Why were Axis bombings deadlier than Allied ones?

The difference almost certainly lies in Civil Defence, aka "Air Raid Precautions". Germany and the UK were well-prepared for air raids, with warning systems, large numbers of air-raid shelters, ...
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