Last update: 6/7/2018
In addition to the amazing U.S. Navy Blue Angels, you will see some of the best civilian and military pilots in the world – flying for you. Plus, one of the largest displays of civilian & military aircraft in North America (75+ planes).
Important Note on the Warbird Display Ramp
Some aircraft below are on the WARBIRD DISPLAY RAMP. Display times will vary. If you’d like to see these aircraft … please arrive early!
Please note: Aircraft below might not be the exact paint scheme shown. All display aircraft are subject to change without notice. Please check back the week of the show for the most up-to-date list of 2018 aircraft.
Please note: All displays and participating aircraft are subject to change.
“The Douglas A-1 Skyraider (formerly AD) is an American single-seat attack aircraft that saw service between the late 1940s and early 1980s. The Skyraider had a remarkably long and successful career; it became a piston-powered, propeller-driven anachronism in the jet age, and was nicknamed “Spad”, after the French World War I fighter.
It was operated by the United States Navy (USN), the United States Marine Corps (USMC) and the United States Air Force (USAF), and also saw service with the British Royal Navy, the French Air Force, the Air Force of the Republic of Vietnam (VNAF), and others. In U.S. service, it was finally replaced by the LTV A-7 Corsair II swept wing subsonic jet in the early 1970s.”
“The Douglas A-26 Invader (designated B-26 between 1948 and 1965) is a twin-engined light bomber and ground attack aircraft that was built by Douglas Aircraft Company during World War II which also saw service during several major Cold War conflicts. A limited number of highly modified United States Air Force aircraft served in Southeast Asia until 1969. It was a fast aircraft capable of carrying twice its specified bomb load. A range of guns could be fitted to produce a formidable ground-attack aircraft.”
“The Bell AH-1 Cobra is a two-blade, single engine attack helicopter manufactured by Bell Helicopter. It was developed using the engine, transmission and rotor system of the Bell UH-1 Iroquois. A member of the prolific Huey family, the AH-1 is also referred to as the HueyCobra or Snake.
The AH-1 was the backbone of the United States Army’s attack helicopter fleet, but has been replaced by the AH-64 Apache in Army service. Upgraded versions continue to fly with the militaries of several other nations. The AH-1 twin engine versions remain in service with United States Marine Corps (USMC) as the service’s primary attack helicopter. Surplus AH-1 helicopters have been converted for fighting forest fires.”
The Boeing AH-64 Apache is an American four-blade, twin-turboshaft attack helicopter with a tailwheel-type landing gear arrangement and a tandem cockpit for a two-man crew. It features a nose-mounted sensor suite for target acquisition and night vision systems. It is armed with a 30 mm (1.18 in) M230 chain gun carried between the main landing gear, under the aircraft’s forward fuselage. It has four hardpoints mounted on stub-wing pylons, typically carrying a mixture of AGM-114 Hellfire missiles and Hydra 70 rocket pods. The AH-64 has a large amount of systems redundancy to improve combat survivability.
The U.S. Army is the primary operator of the AH-64; it has also become the primary attack helicopter of multiple nations, including Greece, Japan, Israel, the Netherlands, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates; as well as being produced under license in the United Kingdom as the AgustaWestland Apache. American AH-64s have served in conflicts in Panama, the Persian Gulf, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Israel used the Apache in its military conflicts in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip; British and Dutch Apaches have seen deployments in wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
B-17G Flying Fortress
“The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress is a four-engine heavy bomber developed in the 1930s for the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC). Competing against Douglas and Martin for a contract to build 200 bombers, the Boeing entry outperformed both competitors and exceeded the air corps’ performance specifications. Although Boeing lost the contract because the prototype crashed, the air corps ordered 13 more B-17s for further evaluation. From its introduction in 1938, the B-17 Flying Fortress evolved through numerous design advances.
The B-17 was primarily employed by the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) in the daylight strategic bombing campaign of World War II against German industrial and military targets. The United States Eighth Air Force, based at many airfields in central and southern England, and the Fifteenth Air Force, based in Italy, complemented the RAF Bomber Command’s nighttime area bombing in the Combined Bomber Offensive to help secure air superiority over the cities, factories and battlefields of Western Europe in preparation for the invasion of France in 1944. The B-17 also participated to a lesser extent in the War in the Pacific, early in World War II, where it conducted raids against Japanese shipping and airfields.
From its prewar inception, the USAAC (by June 1941, the USAAF) promoted the aircraft as a strategic weapon; it was a relatively fast, high-flying, long-range bomber with heavy defensive armament at the expense of bombload. It developed a reputation for toughness based upon stories and photos of badly-damaged B-17s safely returning to base. The B-17 developed a reputation as an effective bomber, dropping more bombs than any other U.S. aircraft in World War II. Of the 1.5 million tonnes of bombs dropped on Germany and its occupied territories by U.S. aircraft, 640,000 tonnes were dropped from B-17s. In addition to its role as a bomber, the B-17 was also employed as a transport, antisubmarine aircraft, drone controller, and search-and-rescue aircraft.
As of May 2015, ten aircraft remain airworthy. None of them are combat veterans. Dozens more are in storage or on static display. The oldest of these is a D-series veteran of combat in the Pacific and the Caribbean.”
“The B-25 medium bomber was one of America’s most famous airplanes of World War II. It was the type used by Gen. Jimmy Doolittle for the Tokyo Raid on April 18, 1942.Subsequently, B-25s saw duty in every combat area being flown by the Dutch, British, Chinese, Russians and Australians in addition to U.S. forces. Although the airplane was originally intended for level bombing from medium altitudes, it was used extensively in the Pacific Theater for bombing Japanese airfields and beach emplacements from treetop level, and for strafing and skip bombing enemy shipping.Built by North American Aviation, the B-25 first flew on Aug. 19, 1940, and the U.S. Army Air Corps accepted the first five B-25s in February 1941. By the end of the war, North American Aviation had built a total of 9,816 B-25s at its California and Kansas plants.”
The B-52 is a long-range, heavy bomber that can perform a variety of missions. The bomber is capable of flying at high subsonic speeds at altitudes up to 50,000 feet (15,166.6 meters). It can carry nuclear or precision guided conventional ordnance with worldwide precision navigation capability.
In a conventional conflict, the B-52 can perform strategic attack, close-air support, air interdiction, offensive counter-air and maritime operations.
During Desert Storm, B-52s delivered 40 percent of all the weapons dropped by coalition forces. It is highly effective when used for ocean surveillance, and can assist the U.S. Navy in anti-ship and mine-laying operations. Two B-52s, in two hours, can monitor 140,000 square miles (364,000 square kilometers) of ocean surface.
All B-52s can be equipped with two electro-optical viewing sensors, a forward-looking infrared and advanced targeting pods to augment targeting, battle assessment, and flight safety, thus further improving its combat ability.
The Vultee BT-13 Valiant was an American World War II-era basic trainer aircraft built by Vultee Aircraft for the United States Army Air Corps, and later US Army Air Forces. A subsequent variant of the BT-13 in USAAC/USAAF service was known as the BT-15 Valiant, while an identical version for the US Navy was known as the SNV and was used to train naval aviators for the US Navy and its sister services, the US Marine Corps and US Coast Guard.
“The Grumman C-2 Greyhound is a twin-engine, high-wing cargo aircraft, designed to carry supplies, mail, and passengers to and from aircraft carriers of the United States Navy. Its primary mission is carrier onboard delivery (COD). The aircraft provides critical logistics support to carrier strike groups. The aircraft is mainly used to transport high-priority cargo, mail and passengers between carriers and shore bases, and can also deliver cargo like jet engines and special stores.
Prototype C-2s first flew in 1964 and production followed the next year. The initial Greyhound aircraft were overhauled in 1973. In 1984, more C-2As were ordered under the name Reprocured C-2A or C-2A(R). The C-2As received updated propellers (from four to eight blades) and navigation.”
“The Beechcraft Model 18 (or “Twin Beech”, as it is also known) is a six to 11-seat, twin-engined, low-wing, tailwheel light aircraft manufactured by the Beech Aircraft Corporation of Wichita, Kansas. Continuously produced from 1937 to November 1969 (over 32 years, the world record at the time), over 9,000 were produced, making it one of the world’s most widely used light aircraft. Sold worldwide as a civilian executive, utility, cargo aircraft, and passenger airliner on tailwheels, nosewheels, skis or floats, it was also used as a military aircraft.
During and after World War II, over 4,500 Beech 18s saw military service—as light transport, light bomber (for China), aircrew trainer (for bombing, navigation and gunnery), photo-reconnaisance, and “mother ship” for target drones—including United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) C-45 Expeditor, AT-7 Navigator, AT-11 Kansan; and United States Navy (USN) UC-45J Navigator, SNB-1 Kansan, and others. In World War II, over 90% of USAAF bombardiers and navigators trained in these aircraft.
In the early postwar era, the Beech 18 was the pre-eminent “business aircraft” and “feeder airliner.” Besides carrying passengers, its civilian uses have included aerial spraying, sterile insect release, fish seeding, dry ice cloud seeding, aerial firefighting, air mail delivery, ambulance service, numerous movie productions, skydiving, freight, weapon- and drug-smuggling, engine testbed, skywriting, banner towing, and stunt aircraft. Many are now privately owned, around the world, with over 300 in the U.S. still on the FAA Aircraft Registry in December 2014″
“The Lodestar received its Type certificate on March 30, 1940, allowing it to enter service with the first customer, Mid-Continent Airlines that month. As hoped, the extra seats greatly improved the Model 18’s economics, reducing its seat-mile costs to a similar level to that of the DC-3, while retaining superior performance. Despite this, sales to US domestic customers were relatively slow as most US airlines were already committed to the DC-3, with only 31 Lodestars going to US airlines. Overseas sales were a little better, with 29 bought by the government of the Netherlands East Indies. South African Airways (21), New Zealand National Airways Corporation (13), Trans-Canada Air Lines (12) and BOAC (9) who were the biggest airline customers. Various Pratt & Whitney and Wright Cyclone powerplants were installed.”
PATUXENT RIVER NAVAL AIR STATION, Md. – The Navy’s newest airborne electronic attack asset, the EA-18G Growler, will be accepted by the commander of the Electronic Attack Wing at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington
The EA-18G GROWLER® is a variant of the combat-proven F/A-18F Super Hornet Block II, and will fly the airborne electronic attack mission. The EA-18G combines the capability of the combat-proven Super Hornet with the latest AEA avionics suite evolved from the Improved Capability III (ICAP III) system. The EA-18G’s vast array of sensors and weapons provides the warfighter with a lethal and survivable weapon system to counter current and emerging threats.
F-15 Strike Eagle
The F-15E Strike Eagle is a dual-role fighter designed to perform air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. An array of avionics and electronics systems gives the F-15E the capability to fight at low altitude, day or night, and in all weather.
The aircraft uses two crew members, a pilot and a weapon systems officer. Previous models of the F-15 are assigned air-to-air roles; the “E” model is a dual-role fighter. It has the capability to fight its way to a target over long ranges, destroy enemy ground positions and fight its way out.
The aircraft’s navigation system uses a laser gyro and a Global Positioning System to continuously monitor the aircraft’s position and provide information to the central computer and other systems, including a digital moving map in both cockpits.
The APG-70 radar system allows aircrews to detect ground targets from long ranges. One feature of this system is that after a sweep of a target area, the crew freezes the air-to-ground map then goes back into air-to-air mode to clear for air threats. During the air-to-surface weapon delivery, the pilot is capable of detecting, targeting and engaging air-to-air targets while the WSO designates the ground target.
F-16C Fighting Falcon
“The F-16 Fighting Falcon is a compact, multi-role fighter aircraft. It is highly maneuverable and has proven itself in air-to-air combat and air-to-surface attack. It provides a relatively low-cost, high-performance weapon system for the United States and allied nations. In an air combat role, the F-16’s maneuverability and combat radius (distance it can fly to enter air combat, stay, fight and return) exceed that of all potential threat fighter aircraft. It can locate targets in all weather conditions and detect low flying aircraft in radar ground clutter. In an air-to-surface role, the F-16 can fly more than 500 miles (860 kilometers), deliver its weapons with superior accuracy, defend itself against enemy aircraft, and return to its starting point. An all-weather capability allows it to accurately deliver ordnance during non-visual bombing conditions.”
“The Vought F4U Corsair is an American fighter aircraft that saw service primarily in World War II and the Korean War. Demand for the aircraft soon overwhelmed Vought’s manufacturing capability, resulting in production by Goodyear and Brewster: Goodyear-built Corsairs were designated FG and Brewster-built aircraft F3A. From the first prototype delivery to the U.S. Navy in 1940, to final delivery in 1953 to the French, 12,571 F4U Corsairs were manufactured, in 16 separate models, in the longest production run of any piston-engined fighter in U.S. history (1942–53).
The Corsair was designed as a carrier-based aircraft but its difficult carrier landing performance rendered it unsuitable for Navy use until the carrier landing issues were overcome by the British Fleet Air Arm. The Corsair thus came to and retained prominence in its area of greatest deployment: land based use by the U.S. Marines. The role of the dominant U.S. carrier based fighter in the second part of the war was thus filled by the Grumman F6F Hellcat, powered by the same Double Wasp engine first flown on the Corsair’s first prototype in 1940. The Corsair served to a lesser degree in the U.S. Navy. As well as the U.S. and British use the Corsair was also used by the Royal New Zealand Air Force, the French Navy Aéronavale and other, smaller, air forces until the 1960s. Some Japanese pilots regarded it as the most formidable American fighter of World War II, and the U.S. Navy counted an 11:1 kill ratio with the F4U Corsair.”
“The Grumman F6F Hellcat is an American carrier-based fighter aircraft designed to replace the earlier F4F Wildcat in United States Navy (USN) service. The Hellcat competed with the faster Vought F4U Corsair for use as a carrier based fighter. The Corsair had significant issues with carrier landings which the Hellcat did not, allowing the Hellcat to become the Navy’s dominant fighter in the second part of World War II, a position the Hellcat did not relinquish. The Corsair instead was primarily deployed to great effect in land-based use by the U.S. Marine Corps.
Although the F6F resembled the Wildcat in some ways, it was an entirely new design, powered by a 2,000 hp Pratt & Whitney R-2800, the same powerplant used for both the Corsair and the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) Republic P-47 Thunderbolt fighters. Some military observers tagged the Hellcat as the “Wildcat’s big brother”.
The F6F was best known for its role as a rugged, well-designed carrier fighter which was able, after its combat debut in early 1943, to counter the Mitsubishi A6M Zero and help secure air superiority over the Pacific Theater. Such was the quality of the basic simple, straightforward design, that 12,200 were built in just over two years.
Hellcats were credited with destroying a total of 5,223 enemy aircraft while in service with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm. This was more than any other Allied naval aircraft. Postwar, the Hellcat was phased out of front line service but remained in service as late as 1954 as a night fighter.”
“The Grumman F7F Tigercat is a heavy fighter aircraft that served with the United States Navy (USN) and United States Marine Corps (USMC) from late in World War II until 1954. It was the first twin-engined fighter to be deployed by the USN. While the Tigercat was delivered too late to see combat in World War II, it saw action as a night fighter and attack aircraft during the Korean War.
Designed initially for service on Midway-class aircraft carriers, early production F7Fs were land-based variants. The type was too large to operate from older and smaller carriers, and only a late variant (F7F-4N) was certified for carrier service.”
“The Fairchild PT-19 (company designation Fairchild M62) is an American Fairchild Aircraft monoplane primary trainer aircraft that served with the United States Army Air Forces, RAF and RCAF during World War II. It was a contemporary of the Kaydet biplane trainer and was used by the USAAF during Primary Flying Training as the introductory pre-solo phase trainer for introducing new pilots to flying before passing them on to the more agile Kaydet. As with other USAAF trainers of the period, the PT-19 had multiple designations based on the powerplant installed.”
Fieseler Fi 156 Storch
In 1935, the RLM (Reichsluftfahrtministerium, Reich Aviation Ministry) invited several aviation companies to submit design proposals that would compete for the production contract for a new Luftwaffe aircraft design suitable for liaison, army co-operation (today called forward air control), and medical evacuation. This resulted in the Messerschmitt Bf 163 and Siebel Si 201 competing against the Fieseler firm’s entry.
Conceived by chief designer Reinhold Mewes and technical director Erich Bachem, Fieseler’s design had a far better short take-off and landing (“STOL”) performance. A fixed slat ran along the entire length of the leading edge of the long wings, while a hinged and slotted set of control surfaces ran along the entire length of trailing edge. This was inspired by earlier 1930s Junkers Doppelflügel, “double-wing” aircraft wing control surface design concepts. For the Fi 156, this setup along each wing panel’s trailing edge was split nearly 50/50 between the inboard-located flaps and outboard-located ailerons, which, in turn, included trim tab devices over half of each aileron’s trailing edge length.
“The Lockheed HC-130 is an extended-range, search and rescue (SAR)/combat search and rescue (CSAR) version of the C-130 Hercules transport, with two different versions operated by two separate services in the U.S. armed forces.The HC-130H Hercules and HC-130J Hercules versions are operated by the United States Coast Guard in a SAR and maritime reconnaissance role.
U.S. Coast Guard HC-130Hs were primarily acquired for long-range overwater search missions, support airlift, maritime patrol, North Atlantic Ice Patrol and command and control of search and rescue, replacing previously operated HU-16 Albatross amphibious and HC-123 Provider land-based aircraft. Like their USAF counterparts, USCG HC-130s also have the capability of air dropping rescue equipment to survivors at sea or over open terrain.
The new HC-130J aircraft are derived from the Lockheed Martin KC-130J tanker operated by the U.S. Marine Corps. The USCG has six HC-130Js in service, but they are not capable of refueling helicopters in flight. The first delivery of this variant to the United States Coast Guard was in October 2003. They initially operated in a logistic support role until they received significant modifications, including installations of a large window on each side of the fuselage to allow crew members to visually scan the sea surface, the addition of an inverse synthetic aperture sea search radar, flare tubes, a forward-looking infrared/electro-optical sensor, a gaseous oxygen system for the crew and an enhanced communications suite. The first of these modified Coast Guard HC-130Js was delivered in March 2008.”
HC-130 Copy Credit/Source:
HC-144 Ocean Sentry
“The EADS HC-144 Ocean Sentry is a medium-range, twin-engined aircraft used by the United States Coast Guard in the search-and-rescue and maritime patrol missions. Based on the Airbus Military CN-235 it was procured as a “Medium Range Surveillance Aircraft.” The HC-144 is supplied by Airbus Group, Inc formerly EADS North America and is built in Spain by Airbus Military.
Intended to replace the Dassault HU-25 Guardian jet, the HC-144A Ocean Sentry is part of the Coast Guard’s Integrated Deepwater System Program of recapitalization and new-asset acquisition. Based on the CN-235-300 MP Persuader, the maritime patrol version of the CN-235 military transport, the HC-144 offers a longer endurance than the HU-25 it is replacing in U.S. Coast Guard service, as well as better performance in the low-level observation role.
The HC-144A has an eight-hour endurance, which makes it suited for the command and control and search and rescue roles. Its rear ramp provides for transport of standard cargo pallets. It also features short takeoff and landing capability.”
HU-144A Copy Credit/Source:
The Grumman HU-16 Albatross is a large twin–radial engine amphibious flying boat that was used by the United States Air Force (USAF), the U.S. Navy (USN) and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), primarily as a search and rescue aircraft. Originally designated as the SA-16 for the USAF and the JR2F-1 and UF-1 for the USN and USCG, it was redesignated as the HU-16 in 1962.
L-19/O-1 Bird Dog
“The Cessna L-19/O-1 Bird Dog was a liaison and observation aircraft. It was the first all-metal fixed-wing aircraft ordered for and by the United States Army since the U.S. Army Air Forces separated from the Army in 1947, becoming its own branch of service, the United States Air Force. The Bird Dog had a lengthy career in the U.S. military, as well as in other countries.”
“The Sikorsky MH-60T Jayhawk is a multi-mission, twin-engine, medium-range helicopter operated by the United States Coast Guard for search and rescue, law enforcement, military readiness and marine environmental protection missions.
Originally designated HH-60J before being upgraded and redesignated beginning in 2007, the MH-60T is designed to fly a crew of four up to 300 mi (483 km) offshore, hoist up to 6 additional people on board while remaining on-scene for up to 45 minutes and return to base while maintaining an adequate fuel reserve. Normal cruising speed of the MH-60T is 135 to 140 kn (155 to 161 mph) and the aircraft is capable of reaching 180 kn (207 mph) for short durations. The MH-60T can fly at 140 kn (161 mph) for six to seven hours.
Chosen to replace the HH-3F Pelican, the MH-60T is a member of the Sikorsky S-70 family of helicopters and is based on the United States Navy’s SH-60 Seahawk helicopter. Development began in September 1986, first flight was achieved on 8 August 1989, and the first HH-60J entered USCG service in June 1990. Production ended in 1996 after 42 helicopters were produced; three retired SH-60F Seahawks were also remanufactured to MH-60T specifications beginning in 2010. A total of 42 MH-60Ts are in service with the Coast Guard.
MH-60 Jayhawk Credit/Source:
“The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 (Russian: Микоян и Гуревич МиГ-17) (NATO reporting name: Fresco) (China:Shenyang J-5) (Poland: PZL-Mielec Lim-5) is a high-subsonic fighter aircraft produced in the USSR from 1952 and operated by numerous air forces in many variants. It is an advanced development of the very similar appearing MiG-15 of the Korean War.
The MiG-17 first saw combat in 1958 over the Straits of Taiwan and was used as an effective threat against supersonic fighters of the United States in the Vietnam War. It was also briefly known as the Type 38, by U.S. Air Force designation prior to the development of NATO codes.
“The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 (Russian: Микоян и Гуревич МиГ-21; NATO reporting name: Fishbed) is a supersonic jet fighter aircraft, designed by the Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau in the Soviet Union. It was popularly nicknamed “Balalaika”, from the aircraft’s planform-view resemblance to the Russian stringed musical instrument or ołówek (English: pencil) by Polish pilots due to the shape of its fuselage.
Early versions are considered second-generation jet fighters, while later versions are considered to be third-generation jet fighters. Approximately 60 countries over four continents have flown the MiG-21, and it still serves many nations six decades after its maiden flight. The fighter made aviation records. At least by name, it is the most-produced supersonic jet aircraft in aviation history and the most-produced combat aircraft since the Korean War, and it was previously the longest production run of a combat aircraft (now exceeded by both the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle and General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon).”
F/A-18 Mission Support Aircraft Overview
When the aviation, space, and science communities want to pursue innovative solutions for high-priority needs, they look to the Neil A. Armstrong Flight Research Center’s support aircraft fleet to deliver effective results in an ever-changing, sometimes unpredictable environment. Our mission support aircraft are flexible, adaptable, and agile platforms that are real-time in-situ research facilities to collect, process, exploit, and disseminate the best research data possible, as quickly as possible to demonstrate technologies and concepts, in the toughest environments. These assets are key to improving the confidence level of space-based programs for the ascent, in-flight, and descent phases through the atmosphere.
Support of Space-Based Technologies
A recent example of how Armstrong’s aircraft supported space-based activities is seen through the partnership with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission, part of the Mars Exploration Program. An Armstrong F/A-18 carried a Quick Test Experimental Pod that housed the MSL test radar attached underneath the aircraft’s left wing. The F/A-18 climbed to 40,000 feet, then made a series of subsonic, stair-step dives at angles of 40 to 90 degrees to simulate what the MSL’s radar would see during entry into the Martian atmosphere. These tests helped prove the viability of suborbital flight-testing of critical space hardware and allowed a unique opportunity to test equipment in a representative environment prior to the space flight hardware blasting off to Mars.
NASA T-38 Talon
“The T-38 Talon is a twin-engine, high-altitude, supersonic jet trainer used in a variety of roles because of its design, economy of operations, ease of maintenance, high performance and exceptional safety record. Air Education and Training Command is the primary user of the T-38 for joint specialized undergraduate pilot training. Air Combat Command, Air Force Materiel Command and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration also use the T-38A in various roles.”
“The Martin B-57 Canberra is an American-built, twinjet tactical bomber and reconnaissance aircraft that entered service with the United States Air Force (USAF) in 1953. The B-57 is a license-built version of the British English Electric Canberra manufactured by the Glenn L. Martin Company. Initial Martin-build models were highly similar to their British-built counterparts; Martin later modified the design to incorporate larger quantities of US-sourced components and produced the aircraft in several different variants.”
Naval Aircraft Factory N3N
The Naval Aircraft Factory N3N was an American tandem-seat, open cockpit, primary training biplane aircraft built by the Naval Aircraft Factory (NAF) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, during the 1930s.
“The Cessna O-2 Skymaster (nicknamed “Oscar Deuce”) is a military version of the Cessna 337 Super Skymaster, used for forward air control (FAC) and psychological operations (PSYOPS) by the US military between 1967 and 2010.
In 1966 the United States Air Force (USAF) commissioned Cessna to build a military variant to replace the O-1 Bird Dog and the O-2 resulted.”
“The Bell P-39 Airacobra was one of the principal American fighter aircraft in service when the United States entered World War II. The P-39 was used with great success by the Soviet Air Force, which scored the highest number of individual kills attributed to any U.S. fighter type. Other major users of the type included the Free French, the Royal Air Force, the United States Army Air Forces, and the Italian Co-Belligerent Air Force.”
“The P-40 was the United States’ best fighter available in large numbers when World War II began. P-40s engaged Japanese aircraft at Pearl Harbor and in the Philippines in December 1941. They also served with the famed Flying Tigers in China in 1942, and in North Africa in 1943 with the 99th Fighter Squadron, the first African American U.S. fighter unit.
The solid, reliable Warhawk was used in many combat areas — the Aleutian Islands, Italy, the Middle East, the Far East, the Southwest Pacific and some were sent to Russia. Though often slower and less maneuverable than its adversaries, the P-40 earned a reputation in battle for extreme ruggedness. It served throughout the war but was eclipsed by more capable aircraft. More than 14,000 P-40s were built, and they served in the air forces of 28 nations.”
“The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt was a World War II era fighter aircraft produced by the United States between 1941–1945. Its primary armament was eight .50-caliber machine guns and in the fighter-bomber ground-attack role it could carry five-inch rockets or a bomb load of 2,500 pounds (1,103 kg), more than half the payload of the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bomber. When fully loaded the P-47 weighed up to eight tons (tonnes) making it one of the heaviest fighters of the war. The P-47 was designed around the powerful Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp engine which was also used by two U.S. Navy fighters, the Grumman F6F Hellcat and the Vought F4U Corsair. The Thunderbolt was effective as a short-to-medium range escort fighter in high-altitude air-to-air combat and ground attack in both the World War II European and Pacific theaters.
The P-47 was one of the main United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) fighters of World War II, and served with Allied air forces including France, Britain, and Russia. Mexican and Brazilian squadrons fighting alongside the U.S. were equipped with the P-47.
The armored cockpit was relatively roomy and comfortable, offering good visibility. A modern-day U.S. ground-attack aircraft, the Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II, takes its name from the P-47.”
“The North American Aviation P-51 Mustang is an American long-range, single-seat fighter and fighter-bomber used during World War II, the Korean War and other conflicts. The Mustang was designed in 1940 by North American Aviation (NAA) in response to a requirement of the British Purchasing Commission for license-built Curtiss P-40 fighters. The prototype NA-73X airframe was rolled out on 9 September 1940, 102 days after the contract was signed and first flew on 26 October.
The Mustang was originally designed to use the Allison V-1710 engine, which, in its earlier variants, had limited high-altitude performance. It was first flown operationally by the Royal Air Force (RAF) as a tactical-reconnaissance aircraft and fighter-bomber (Mustang Mk I). The addition of the Rolls-Royce Merlin to the P-51B/C model transformed the Mustang’s performance at altitudes above 15,000 ft, matching or bettering that of the Luftwaffe’s fighters. The definitive version, the P-51D, was powered by the Packard V-1650-7, a license-built version of the Rolls-Royce Merlin 66 two-stage two-speed supercharged engine, and was armed with six .50 caliber (12.7 mm) M2/AN Browning machine guns.
From late 1943, P-51Bs (supplemented by P-51Ds from mid-1944) were used by the USAAF’s Eighth Air Force to escort bombers in raids over Germany, while the RAF’s 2 TAF and the USAAF’s Ninth Air Force used the Merlin-powered Mustangs as fighter-bombers, roles in which the Mustang helped ensure Allied air superiority in 1944. The P-51 was also used by Allied air forces in the North African, Mediterranean and Italian theaters, and also served against the Japanese in the Pacific War. During World War II, Mustang pilots claimed 4,950 enemy aircraft shot down.
At the start of the Korean War, the Mustang was the main fighter of the United Nations until jet fighters such as the F-86 took over this role; the Mustang then became a specialized fighter-bomber. Despite the advent of jet fighters, the Mustang remained in service with some air forces until the early 1980s. After World War II and the Korean War, many Mustangs were converted for civilian use, especially air racing, and increasingly, preserved and flown as historic warbird aircraft at airshows.”
“The Bell P-63 Kingcobra is an American fighter aircraft developed by Bell Aircraft in World War II from the Bell P-39 Airacobra in an attempt to correct that aircraft’s deficiencies. Although the P-63 was not accepted for combat use by the United States Army Air Forces, it was successfully adopted by the Soviet Air Force.”
“The Stearman (Boeing) Model 75 is a biplane used as a military trainer aircraft, of which at least 10,626 were built in the United States during the 1930s and 1940s. Stearman Aircraft became a subsidiary of Boeing in 1934. Widely known as the Stearman, Boeing Stearman or Kaydet, it served as a primary trainer for the United States Army Air Forces, the United States Navy (as the NS & N2S), and with the Royal Canadian Air Force as the Kaydet throughout World War II. After the conflict was over, thousands of surplus aircraft were sold on the civilian market. In the immediate postwar years they became popular as crop dusters, sports planes, and for aerobatic and wing walking use in air shows.”
“The PT-22 was developed in 1941 from the civilian Ryan ST series. The earlier PT-20 and PT-21 were the military production versions of the Ryan ST-3 with a total of 100 built. The PT-22 was the United States Army Air Corps’ first purpose built monoplane trainer. The rapid expansion of wartime aircrew training required new trainers, and the Ryan PT-22 was ordered in large numbers. Named the “Recruit”, it entered operational service with the U.S. Orders also were placed by the Netherlands, but were never realized as the nation capitulated to Axis forces. The small order of 25 ST-3s was redirected to the United States and redesignated as the PT-22A. Another order also came from the U.S. Navy for 100 examples. The PT series was in heavy use throughout the war years with both military and civil schools, but with the end of the war, was retired from the U.S.A.A.F.”
“The Curtiss SB2C Helldiver was a carrier-based dive bomber aircraft produced for the United States Navy during World War II. It replaced the Douglas SBD Dauntless in US Navy service. The SB2C was much faster than the SBD it replaced.
Crew nicknames for the aircraft included the Big-Tailed Beast (or just the derogatory Beast), Two-Cee and Son-of-a-Bitch 2nd Class (after its designation and partly because of its reputation for having difficult handling characteristics). Neither pilots nor aircraft carrier captains seemed to like it.
Delays marred its production—by the time the A-25 Shrike variant for the USAAF was deployed in late 1943, the Army Air Forces no longer had a need for a thoroughbred dive bomber. Poor handling of the aircraft was another factor that hampered its service introductions; both the British Royal Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force cancelled substantial orders.
The Truman Committee investigated Helldiver production and turned in a scathing report, which eventually led to the beginning of the end for Curtiss. Problems with the Helldiver were eventually ironed out, and in spite of its early problems, the aircraft was flown through the last two years of the Pacific War with a fine combat record.”
“The Douglas SBD Dauntless was a World War II American naval scout plane and dive bomber that was manufactured by Douglas Aircraft from 1940 through 1944. The SBD (“Scout Bomber Douglas”) was the United States Navy’s main carrier-borne scout plane and dive bomber from mid-1940 through mid-1944. The SBD was also flown by the United States Marine Corps, both from land air bases and aircraft carriers. The SBD is best remembered as the bomber that delivered the fatal blows to the Japanese carriers at the Battle of Midway in June 1942.
During its combat service, the SBD was an excellent naval scout plane and dive bomber. It possessed long range, good handling characteristics, maneuverability, potent bomb load, great diving characteristics, good defensive armament and ruggedness. One land-based variant of the SBD — in omitting the arrestor hook — was purpose-built for the U.S. Army Air Forces, as the A-24 Banshee.”
“The Supermarine Spitfire is a British single-seat fighter aircraft that was used by the Royal Air Force and many other Allied countries before, during and after World War II. The Spitfire was built in many variants, using several wing configurations, and was produced in greater numbers than any other British aircraft. It was also the only British fighter to be in continuous production throughout the war. The Spitfire continues to be popular among enthusiasts, with approximately 54 Spitfires being airworthy, while many more are static exhibits in aviation museums throughout the world.
The Spitfire was designed as a short-range, high-performance interceptor aircraft by R. J. Mitchell, chief designer at Supermarine Aviation Works, which operated as a subsidiary of Vickers-Armstrong from 1928. In accordance with its role as an interceptor, Mitchell supported the development of the Spitfire’s distinctive elliptical wing (designed by B. Shenstone) to have the thinnest possible cross-section; this enabled the Spitfire to have a higher top speed than several contemporary fighters, including the Hawker Hurricane. Mitchell continued to refine the design until his death in 1937, whereupon his colleague Joseph Smith took over as chief designer, overseeing the development of the Spitfire through its multitude of variants.”
The North American Aviation T-28 Trojan is a piston-engined military trainer aircraft used by the United States Air Force and United States Navy beginning in the 1950s. Besides its use as a trainer, the T-28 was successfully employed as a counter-insurgency aircraft, primarily during the Vietnam War. It has continued in civilian use as an aerobatics and Warbird performer.
“The Cessna T-41 Mescalero is a military version of the popular Cessna 172, operated by the United States Air Force and Army as well as the armed forces of various other countries as a pilot training aircraft.”
“The North American Aviation T-6 Texan is a single-engined advanced trainer aircraft used to train pilots of the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF), United States Navy, Royal Air Force, and other air forces of the British Commonwealth during World War II and into the 1970s. Designed by North American Aviation, the T-6 is known by a variety of designations depending on the model and operating air force. The United States Army Air Corps (USAAC) and USAAF designated it as the AT-6, the United States Navy the SNJ, and British Commonwealth air forces, the Harvard, the name by which it is best known outside of the US. After 1962, US forces designated it the T-6. It remains a popular warbird aircraft used for airshow demonstrations and static displays. It has also been used many times to simulate various Japanese aircraft, including the Mitsubishi A6M Zero in movies depicting World War II in the Pacific.”
The Bell UH-1 Iroquois (nicknamed “Huey”) is a military helicopter powered by a single turboshaft engine, with two-blade main and tail rotors. The first member of the prolific Huey family, it was developed by Bell Helicopter to meet a United States Army’s 1952 requirement for a medical evacuation and utility helicopter, and first flew in 1956. The UH-1 was the first turbine-powered helicopter to enter production for the United States military, in 1960, and more than 16,000 have since been built.
The Iroquois was originally designated HU-1, hence the Huey nickname, which has remained in common use, despite the official redesignation to UH-1 in 1962. The UH-1 first saw service in combat operations during the Vietnam War, with around 7,000 helicopters deployed. The Bell 204 and 205 are Iroquois versions developed for the civil market.