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OV-10 North American Rockwell (Bronco) US Marine Corp, light attack, observation Aircraft
The Bronco OV-10 is a twin turbo-prop two-man aircraft produced by North American Rockwell in the 1960s. It was designed to serve as light attack and observation aircraft. It was intended to support COIN Counter Insurgency as a forward air control aircraft. It could carry 3,000 pounds of bombs and loiter for up to 3 hours. It was designed to comply with the STOL concept "Short Take Off and Landing". As such it was capable of using roads and primitive landing strips to common to forward areas for operation. It was also capable of operating from carriers and large amphibious assault ships. The OV 10 replaced the earlier Cessna Bird Dog. The Ov-10 was capable of carrying 6 paratroopers or stretchers. The Bronco operated in several roles including observation, forward air control, helicopter escort, ground attack and armed reconnaissance. The Ov 10 could fly for over 5 hours with external fuel tanks and could operate with automotive fuel. The OV-10 served with the US Air Force, US Marine Corps, and the US Navy. The most distinctive feature of the aircraft is the twin booms connected by a horizontal stabilizer.
L-19/O-1 Cessna (Bird Dog) US Army, liaison, observation Aircraft
The Cessna Bird Dog is a a liaison and observation aircraft. It was introduced for service with the US Army in 1950. It was a slow aircraft with a cruising speed of only 100 mph, but this suited its primary purpose which was to find enemy forces and loiter overhead while directing fire against these and also provide fire correction to artillery. The Bird Dog was a single engine high wing monoplane and was crewed by one or two persons. The fuselage was designed to provide excellent visibility for the pilot. The Bird Dog was first flown in combat in the Korean War. The Bird Dog was also used for medevac and front line communications relay and forward air control of tactical aircraft. The Bird Dog was eventually replaced by the OV-10 Bronco. The Bird Dog was favored for its very quiet operation which made it difficult to detect by enemy ground forces.
J-8 Shenyang (Finback) Chinese all-weather Jet interceptor
The Shenyang J-8 Finback is a Chinese built high altitude high speed interceptor aircraft. The J-8 was designed to counter the Republic Thunderchief and Lockheed U2. The J-8 first entered service in 1980. The aircraft is powered by twin engines and uses a carnard-delta wing configuration. It is equipped with multiple armaments including a 23mm cannon, up to 10 bombs mounted under the wing and fuselage, rocket pods and missiles. The J-8 is powered by two Wopen 13-A engines. The J-8 is equipped with a head-up display, an inertial navigation and GPS system, and TACAN Technology. The J-8 also has the capability to have data uploaded to the aircraft from ground based command and control centers for interception direction. Upgraded variants of the J-8 are claimed to have achieved parity with the MIG-29 and the French Dessault Mirage 2000. The J-8F is the current version in service with the Peoples Liberation Army Air Force of China. Over 300 have been produced. The J-8 has a maximum speed of 1,400 mph, a range of 1,000 kilometers, and a maximum ceiling of 59.000 ft.
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P-38 Lockheed (Lightning) - World War II US Army Air Corps Long range fighter aircraft
The P-38 Lightning is a single seat, twin engine fighter aircraft produced by Lockheed. It was designed for use by the United States Army Air Corps during World War II. The P-38 is easily identified by its twin tail booms. The P-38 was initially designed to perform as high altitude interceptor for enemy aircraft. All of the armaments including two .50 cal M2 machines guns, two .30 cal browning machineguns, and a 23 mm auto cannon were mounted in the nose of the aircraft instead of the wings, which was a departure from convention, however advantageous as the weapons did not have their range limited by pattern convergence. The P-38s weapons had a range of up to 1,000 yards. The P-38 was the first military airplane to fly 400 mph in level flight. 96 P-38 aircraft participated in the 1944 attack on Ploiesti. They also served in combat during the Normandy Invasion. The most important role of the P-38 was in the Pacific Theater. Here, the P-38 was credited with destroying more enemy aircraft than any other USAFF fighter. In the Pacific, the P-38 was favored for its range and the reliability provided by its twin engines. The P-38 is also famous for its role in the destruction of the Japanese Betty carrying Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto in 1943. Over 10,000 P-38s were produced.
Loire 46 Loire Aviation - World War II French high-winged monoplane fighter aircraft
The Loire 46 was a French fighter aircraft first introduced into service in 1936. It was produced by Loire Aviation and operated by the French Air Force. The Loire 46 was an evolution of the earlier Loire 43 and 45 aircraft. Its principal characteristics are high gull-wing monoplane design, open cockpit and fixed landing gear. The Loire 46 was employed by Republican forces in the Spanish Civil War. The overall design of the Loire 46 was quickly deemed obsolete and outclassed by newer aircraft rapidly introduced by various nations during World War II. Only 61 were built. The Loire 46 was retired from service in 1940. The Loire 46 had a maximum speed of 230 mph, a maximum range of 470 miles, and a service ceiling of 38,000 ft. It was armed with 4 7.5 mm MAC 1934 machineguns.
Š-3 Letov Kbely (Letov) - World War II Czechoslovakian single-seat By-wing fighter aircraft
The Letov Kbely S-3 was a single seat single engine fighter aircraft built by Czechoslovakia in early 1920. The S-3 was the first fighter aircraft designed by manufacturer Letov Kbely. The S-3 had a wooden parasol wing and a metal framed fuselage. The S-3 was a high monoplane design with an almost perfectly rectangular wing braced by two pairs of struts. The S-3 was equipped with a fixed undercarriage with its wheels mounted on cross-braced V-struts. The S-3 was powered by 6-cylinder water-cooled BMW engine producing 185 HP. The upright inline engine was completely enclosed with a cowling. The S-3 had a maximum speed of 140 mph, a range of 290 miles, and a service ceiling of 10,000 ft. It was armed with two .303 caliber Vickers machineguns.
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Westland (Whirlwind) - World War II British (UK) twin-engine heavy fighter
The Westland Whirlwind was a British made twin engine fighter aircraft developed by Westland Aircraft. It was the first twin engine single seat fighter aircraft produced for the Royal Air Force. It was introduced in 1940 and at that time, it was one of the fastest fighter aircraft in the world. The Whirlwind was heavily armed and was primarily operated as a ground attack fighter. It was regarded to be very rugged and its twin engines made it very reliable. It was armed with four closely grouped nose mounted cannons. The Whirlwind had a maximum speed of 360 mph, a crew of 1, a combat range of 150 miles, and a service ceiling of 30,000 ft. Only 114 of these aircraft were built.
Hawker (Hurricane) - World War II British (UK) single-seat fighter aircraft
The Hawker Hurricane is a single seat single engine fighter aircraft produced for the Royal Air Force by Hawker Aircraft ltd. The Hawker Hurricane was introduced into service in 1937. The Hawker Hurricane and the Spitfire served a primary role in the Battle for Britain. The Spitfire gained much public acclaim, but the Hawker Hurricane actually inflicted greater casualties against Axis aircraft in all major theaters of World War II. The Hurricane is a low wing cantilever monoplane. It has a retractable undercarriage and an enclosed cockpit. The Hurricane was manufactured with design characteristics more similar to earlier biplanes initially including a fabric skin instead of metal. This was later modified to use metal which increased the diving speed of the aircraft by 80 mph. The undercarriage could be retracted by two hydraulic systems, one power operated and the other hand operated. The cockpit was mounted high to provide pilots with enhanced visibility. The Hurricane was designed to operate as bomber interceptor, fighter-bomber and ground support aircraft. The design of the aircraft was less complex than the Spitfire and required 1/3 fewer man hours to produce than the Spitfire. It was slightly slower than the Spitfire and the Messerschmitt Bf 109, but could out turn either aircraft. Hawker Hurricanes were operated n North Africa, Malta, and were provided to Soviet air forces via the lend lease program. The Hawker Hurricane has a top speed of 340 mph, a range of 600 miles and a service ceiling of 36,000 ft. It was armed with 4 20mm Hispano MK II cannons.
Spitfire (Supermarine)- World War II British (UK) single-seat fighter aircraft
The Spitfire is a single engine, single seat fighter aircraft produced for the Royal Air Force. The Spitfire was first introduced into service in 1938 and was the most produced aircraft British aircraft of World War II. The Spitfire was designed to serve as a short range interceptor aircraft. One of the primary distinctive features of the Spitfire is the elliptical wing which was highly engineered to offer the thinnest possible cross section for high speed. The Spitfire's airframe is very complex. The Fuselage is comprised of 19 frames, 14 longitudinal stringers and four longerons. Skins for the fuselage were secured with dome-headed rivets and in some areas, flush rivets. The Spitfire used elliptical wings which are the most efficient aerodynamic shape for an untwisted wing and incorporated a unique spar-boom design. The primary armament of the "A" variant was 8 .303 caliber Browning MK machineguns. The Spitfire played a key role in the Battle of Britain where it was employed primarily to counter German escort fighters. The Spitfire also served in the Pacific Theater, the Battle of Malta. They were also operated by the Soviet Air Force on the Eastern Front. The Spitfire had a top speed of 370 mph, a range of 480 miles, and a service ceiling of 36,000 ft. Over 50 surviving aircraft remain in flying condition many restored by aircraft enthusiasts.
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I-16 Polikarpov - World War II Soviet single-engine single-seat fighter aircraft .
Polikarpov I-16 was a Soviet designed fighter aircraft of the World War II era. The I-16 was a single seat single engine low wing cantilever design with retractable landing gear. It was introduced into service in the mid 1930s and was the primary aircraft of the Soviet Air Force in early stages of the war. The I-16 played an important role in the Second Sino-Japanese War, the Battle of Khalkhin Gol and the Spanish Civil War. The I-16 was reportedly difficult to fly and had poor visibility for the pilots. The front section of the fuselage and the engine were too close to the center of gravity and the cockpit was located far to the rear. During the Spanish Civil War, the I-16 performed well against German aircraft and remained unchallenged until the arrival of the Messerschmitt bf 109. Early versions of the I-16 were armed with only two 7.62 mm machineguns. because of design shortcomings, these aircraft usually had a service life of about three months. Later versions of the I-16 were armed with 20mm ShVAK cannons. The I-16 had a maximum speed of 280 mph, a range of 420 miles, and a service ceiling of 31,000 ft.
MIG-3 Mikoyan-Gurevich - World War II Russia single-seat fighter aircraft
The Mikoyan-Gurevich Mig-3 was a Soviet made fighter interceptor aircraft. The Mig-3 replaced the Mig-1 and was produced in large numbers in 1941 and retired in 1945. The Mig-3 was faster than some similiar aircraft of the time, but it had flight characteristics that made it difficult for inexperienced pilots to fly. It was considered inferior to the German Messerschmitt Bf 109. Its top speed of almost 400 mpf was faster than the German Bf 109 and the British Spitfire although it was less stable as a weapons platform than these rival aircraft and its performance was poor at low altitudes. The Mig 3 was armed with one 12.7 mm and two 7.62 mm machine guns mounted in the cowling and synchronized through the propeller arc. At the beginning of Operation Barbarossa, there were over 1,000 Mig -3 aircraft in service but only 500 trained pilots available. The Mig 3 had a maximum speed of 300 mph, a range of 500 miles, and a service ceiling of 39,000 ft.
P-23B PZL: State Aviation Works (Karas) - World War II Polish Light Bomber & Reconnaissance Aircraft
P-23B PZL P.23 "Karas" was a Polish light bomber and reconnaissance aircraft. It was first introduced into service in 1936 and remained operational until 1946. It was considered to be relatively modern in its time and was the primary bomber aircraft for the Poland. The PZL P.23 had the distinction of being the first aircraft to bomb targets inside Germany during World War II. It was designed to serve as armed reconnaissance aircraft, a role considered of primary importance by the Polish military command. The "Karas" is a low wing cantilever monoplane. It was crewed by three: a pilot, bombardier and rear gunner. A distinctive feature of the aircraft was the gondola underneath the fuselage. This housed the bombardier and rear machine gunner position. The Karas could carry a bomb load of up to 1500 pounds. The Karas was also equipped with up to four 7.7 mm machine guns. The Karas inflicted significant damage to advancing German columns during the 1939 invasion. The primary shortcoming of the aircraft was its slow speed (190 mph) and its minimal armor. About 250 were produced.
P-11C PZL: State Aviation Works -World War II Polish single-seat fighter aircraft
The PZL P-11C was a Polish fighter aircraft introduced into service with the Polish Air Force in 1934. The P-11C was designed by aeronautical engineer Zygmunt Pulawski and was considered to be one of the most advanced designs of the time. This distinction was short lived during this intense period of competition among Allied and Axis nations. The P-11C was one of the early monoplane designs when the biplane concept was widely employed. The high mounted gull-wing design of the P-11C provided the pilot with excellent visibility. After the 1930's, the design was quickly outclassed by rival aircraft such as the Messerschmitt Bf 109. The P-11C was built on an all metal frame with metal covering for the fuselage and wings. The aircraft had an open cockpit and fixed landing gear. It was armed with two 7.92 mm machineguns. The P-11 had better maneuverability than German aircraft such as the Bf 109. It was also able to utilize primitive short and rough airfields. A P-11C was reportedly the first aircraft shot down in the beginning of WWII. The P-11C had a maximum speed of 240 mph, a range of 430 miles, and a service ceiling of 26,000 ft.
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MIG-21 Mikoyan-Gurevich Russian supersonic jet fighter
The MIG-21 is a supersonic fighter and interceptor aircraft designed by Mikoyan Gurevich Design Bureau in the Soviet Union. Its NATO designation is "Fishbed". The MIG-21 was first introduced into service in 1959 and is still in service. Over 60 nations have employed the MIG-21 and is known to be the most produced jet aircraft in history. The MIG-21 is a design evolution of the earlier MIG-15 and MIG-17. The Delta wing design made the MIG-21 a very fast interceptor aircraft but it had limited range and suffered from problems with its gravity fed fuel delivery system. The MIG-21 was powered by a Tumansky R-25 jet engine with a special emergency boost power mode that provided the aircraft with a better than 1:1 thrust to weight ratio. Use of the high power booster system was limited to less than two minutes because of the additional thermal stress produced. The latest variants of the MIG-21 could subject pilots to G forces of +7. While technically inferior to some aircraft of advanced nations, it was favored for simplicity of avionics and weapons systems and low production cost. The canopy is pressurized and air-conditioned. The MIG-21 has a tricycle landing gear configuration. India is the largest operator of the MIG-21 with over 12,000 aircraft in its air force. The MIG-21 has served in combat in many conflicts around the world including the Arab Israeli Conflict, the Indo-Pakistan War, The Syrian Civil War and the Iran Iraq War. The MIG-21 proved very effective against USAF aircraft in the Vietnam War and was s serious threat to F-4 Phantoms and F-105 Thunderchiefs. The MIG-21 is still operated by many nations of the world including Cuba, Egypt, India, North Korea, Romania and Syria. Over 11,000 have been produced.
F-100 North American (Super Saber) - Korean War USAF supersonic jet fighter aircraft
The North American F100 Super Sabre is a super sonic jet fighter aircraft designed by North American Aviation. The F100 was employed by the United States Air Force from 1954 through 1971. It was the first USAF aircraft to reach super sonic speed in level flight. The F100 served extensively in Vietnam and was also employed by NATO air forces and US allies. The F100 officially entered service in 1954. It is a single seat aircraft powered by a Pratt and Whitney J-57 P-21 after burning turbojet engine. The F-100 had a maximum speed of 920 mph, a range of 2,000 miles and a service ceiling of 50,000 ft. It was armed with 4 20mm revolver cannons, and carried missiles and conventional bombs. It could also carry nuclear bombs and was an important nuclear weapons delivery system during the Cold War. During the Berlin Crisis, F-100s were deployed to Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany to support the West Germans. In 1955, F-100s were used to conduct high altitude reconnaissance missions over Eastern Bloc countries where they were able to successfully avoid intercepts. The F-100 saw extensive use in Vietnam until 1971 by which time over 360,000 combat sorties had been flown. The F-100 was also known as the first aircraft to employ the Wild Weasel air defense suppression system where, equipped with special radar, pilots would detect enemy SAM radars and destroy them.
KFIR KFIR Aircraft Industries Israel all-weather multirole Jet combat aircraft
The Kfir is an Israeli manufactured multi-role aircraft based on the French Dassault Mirage. The Kfir was introduced in 1976 and is still in use. The Kfir was developed by Israel after an arms embargo was imposed in 1967 by the French which ended transfer of military systems. This put Israel in danger of loosing its air superiority to enemies equipped with advanced Soviet aircraft thus providing the impetus to develop an indigenous aircraft design. The Kfir was heavily inspired by the Mirage. Much of its design was reverse engineered by the Israelis and some design information was procured through espionage. The Kfir is powered by the General Electric J79 Turbojet, chosen at it is the same engine used by the F-4 Phantom which Israel was licensed to produce. The Kfir entered service with the IAF in 1975. The arrival of US provided F-15s and F-16s rendered the Kfir somewhat obsolete and it was withdrawn from service. The Kfir has a top speed of 1,500 mph, a combat range of 470 miles, and a maximum ceiling of 58,000 ft.
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Apache Helicopter US Army attack helicopter
The AH-64 Apache is the primary attack helicopter for the US Army. The Apache was developed by Hughes in the mid-1970s and first introduced into service in 1986. The Apache is the successor to the AH-1 Cobra Helicopter. The Apache has sophisticated weapons and target acquisitions systems that give it advanced capabilities. Among these, the helmet mounted display allows either crew member to slave the 30mm M230 Chain Gun to their helmet so the gun tracks the operators head movement so the gun points where they look. The Target Acquisition and Designation System, and the Pilot Night Vision System make the Apache capable of performing in day, night and adverse weather conditions. With the Longbow radar system an Apache can track up to 256 targets simultaneously. Apaches equipped with the Ground Fire Acquisition System can detect sources of ground fire in all light conditions. The FLIR system allows the Apache to engage targets beyond the front line of our troops. The Apache can be fitted with various weapons systems to suit a particular desired role. These include the 30 mm Chain Gun, Hydra 70 General Purpose unguided rockets, and AGM-114 Hellfire anti tank rockets. The Apache can also data link to unmanned aerial drones to perform reconnaissance and target designation. The advanced capabilities of the Apache make it especially effective in supporting Close Support Aircraft such as the AH-10 and the Harrier. Apaches are operated by many countries in the world including Israel, India, the UK, and Saudi Arabia. Over 2,400 have been produced.
UH-1 Bell Iroquois (Huey) US Army Utility military helicopter
The famous Bell UH-1 "Huey" helicopter is a military utility helicopter first introduced in 1956. It is powered by a single turboshaft engine and a twin bladed rotor. The Huey was the first turbine powered helicopter produced for the US military. The Huey first entered service with the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Over 7,000 Huey Helicopters were employed during the Vietnam War and it is instantly recognizable. It was used for general support, air assault, transport, medevac, and ground attack. Versions of the Huey used for ground attack were fitted with rocket and grenade launchers, and machineguns. Those serving as transport aircraft were refered to as "slicks" and were armed with machine guns operated by door gunners. The interior of the helicopter is typically configured for two pilots and seating for up to 13 passengers, but can be quickly modified to carry stretchers. The cockpit provides excellent all around visibility. During the later stages of the Vietnam War, the Huey was replaced by the Cobra and Blackhawk Helicopters. 3,000 of the 7,000 Huey helicopters deployed to Vietnam were lost with 1,074 pilots and 1,000 crew members. The Uh-1 has a cruising speed of 120 mph and a range of 300 miles.
MI-24 Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant (Hind) Russian, gunship, attack helicopter
The MI-24 Hind is a large helicopter gunship produced by Mil Moscow helicopter Plant. The Hind is commonly referred to as the "Flying Tank". The design was derived from the Mi8 Hip Helicopter and inspired from observations of US operations of US helicopter gunships in the Vietnam War. The Mi24 has twin top mounted turboshaft engines, a five blade main rotor, and a three blade tail rotor. Also distinctive is the double bubble canopy. Two mid mounted stub wings provide hard points for various weapons configurations. The fuselage is armored and the titanium rotors are resistant to 12.7 mm rounds. The crew sits inside a titanium armored tub. The Mi24 was designed to serve as both transport aircraft and gunship and has no direct NATO equivalent. The Mi24 was heavily employed during the Soviet Afghan War where it was referred to by rebels as "Satan's Chariot". Over 2600 have been produced and it is still currently in service in numerous countries around the world.