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AIRPLANES OF WWII - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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The airplane played an enormous role in the outcome of WWII; the major powers were in a constant race for the best plane each constantly one upping the competition. Companies like Republic, North American, Grumman, Boeing, Lockheed, and Bell created 100,000 fighter planes and tens of thousands of bombers. From 1939-1945 engineers set out to create the biggest fastest and most agile.


Early War


  • An important plane in the beginning of the war was the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk.
  • It was originally used by the French, however the British would soon have to take over the bill due to the eventual fall of the French.
  • The British would rename it the Tomahawk.

Early War


Early in the war the Allied Forces used the Supermarine Spitfire.

This British design was fast and agile and showed good success against the Germans.

It earned its’ fame in the battle of Britain and continued to represent itself well.



From the moment the U.S. entered the was on December 7, 1941 the Zero was the U.S.’s main counterpart in the Pacific. It was the fastest plane in the sky and was able to dominate its’ competition.

  • It was the first plane that was carrier borne. While all other planes took of from land this could launch from anywhere in the sea.
  • It was known as the true “dog fighter.”
  • In1942 the U.S. was able to capture one.
  • They found that being built for speed it was not very sturdy and had little protection for the pilot.

F4U Corsair

  • F4U Corsair was created to fight the Japanese Zero.
  • It was created after the U.S. captured, and examined a Zero.
  • The Corsair was the first plane able to contend with the Zero and proved to be a great asset for Allies.
  • Originally not used on carriers, this plane was an extremely fast aircraft, hitting speeds of 400 mph, with capability of amazing maneuverability and turning radius.
  • The military soon realized its great ability and decided to put it on the carriers.


The Enola Gay and the Bock’s Car were the two planes that dropped the atomic bombs.

  • The Superfortress was an improvement on the B-17 Flying Fortress.
  • The B-29 Superfortress was a very fast and agile plane for its size. It could reach speeds of 400 mph, yet it was big enough to carry the atomic bombs “Little Boy” and “Fat Man.”
  • Going in to the war the plane was slowly being developed. It wasn’t until after the attack on Pearl Harbor that the project went into full swing. The U.S. committed themselves to finishing it as soon as possible.


  • The North American P-51 Mustang can be considered the dominate American plane of the war.
  • It was first created in 1940 out of the British need for a plane capable of flying at high altitude.
  • It was used to escort bombers and even with its late insertion in to the war it is considered to be one of the main reasons the allied forces were able to win.
  • It could fly higher faster and better then any other plane.

The P-51 Mustang’s main use was to protect long range bombers on their mission’s it was extremely successful.

  • Because of its success the allied forces were able to win the war.
  • The P-51 was as important to the end of the war as the Spitfire was in the beginning.
  • It was credited with 4,950 kills, more then any other plane in European theatre war.
  • It continued to be successful up through the 1970’s.


  • The P-38 Lightning or “Fork-Tailed Devil” as the Germans called it was a major player in the war.
  • It was unlike any plane in the sky with its twin engine look.
  • With the two engines it had twice the power of a single engine.
  • Another advantage to this system was that each engine spun in different directions.
  • The two engines would effectively counter act the torque of the other eliminating the “pull” which is often felt on the single engine planes.
  • This was one of the newest and most effective designs of the war showing great advancement in technology.
  • Its design was both good and bad. The pane was easily spotted from above and below, but from the front and the back it was nearly invisible.
  • The Lightning was used on the carriers in the Pacific against the Japanese.
  • It would be credited with more kills over the Pacific then any other plane

Post War

  • As technology over the years has advanced so have airplanes.
  • First came the jet engine then hover capabiltity and then stealth.
  • Now planes can be flown with out a pilot.
  • They have come a long way since World War II.