Fighter planes

WW2 Fighter aircrafts

History, Specifications, Pictures and 3D models of US, British, Russian, German, Japanese, Italian and French fighters.

US fighters

 P-51 Mustang

American P-51 Mustang long-range escort planes.

At the time of the attack on Pearl Harbour the US Army Air Force had 3,305 aircraft, while the US Navy hat about 3,000 aircraft ready. The entry of WW2 led to an entirely new rhythm of production and numbers alone are enough to give an idea of the incredible progress that was made. In 1942 a total of 10,769 fighter planes were built. In 1943 a total of 23,988 fighters and in 1944 a total of 38,873 fighters were built. In 1945 a total of 21,696 fighters came off the assembly line. And quality was not sacrificed to quantity.

British fighters

During the inter-war years the British Government tried to maintain an Air Force with a merely defensive capacity of fighter planes. On 10 May 1940, 416 of Britain’s total number of 1,873 first-line aircraft were stationed in France, but on 20 May it was decided to bring them back to England. The first phase of the German plan for the invasion of England was to gain control of the air and so during the months of July and August 1940 the RAF prepared its fighter planes for the inevitable battle against the Luftwaffe. The main defence possessed by the British was RAF Fighter Command. By the end of July 1940 the RAF had 530 fighter planes ready for combat.
The margin of the following Battle of Britain RAF’s victory over the German Air Force was slim but it was sufficient to deter the Wehrmacht from seriously contemplating an invasion of Britain.

The RAF entered the last year of the war with the invasion in France in June 1944 with 487 squadrons, whereby 100 were manned by personnel from the Dominions. In Europe and the Middle East the RAF lost a total of 22,120 aircraft, of which were 3,558 fighters.

Russian fighters

When Germany launched its attack on Russia in June 1941 no one imagined that in a few days only 3,000 Luftwaffe aircraft would knock out what was considered to be the strongest air force in the world. It took almost a year for the Russians to regain air superiority. Aircraft production was slowed down while factories were moved to less vulnerable areas in the east, the Allies organised regular fighter plane deliveries under lend-lease terms, and Russian industry came up with new designs. A total of 8,000 aircraft of all types were built in 1942. Production rose to 18,000 in 1943, 30,000 in 1944, and 25,000 in 1945.

German fighters

Me 109 E

German Me 109 Es over the Western Desert.

At the start of the air war was one-sided. The German fighter planes dominated the skys. There was no need for advanced technology, and the campaign taught the Germans little. Yet later the scene was to change dramatically.
By 1942 the Luftwaffe hardly dared fly over Britain at all, and when the invasion forces were massing in 1944 the Luftwaffe could not even bring back pictures. By this time the Allies were conquering the Luftwaffe fighter planes over the heart of Germany, but the battle was being fought with new weapons.
In WW2 more aircraft of more types were built than at any other time in history. In Germany in the final months there were a few of the most experienced fighter pilots the world has ever seen, some of whom had flown more than a thousand combat missions with a few hundred shot-down Allied planes. There were new jet fighters, but too late.

Italian fighters

The Italian Air Force had begun WW2 with nearly 2,000 operational aircraft ready for combat and with almost the same number in reserve. But because of the poor industrial capacity, by September 1943 the Italian Air Force numbered only 1,200 aircraft of which about half were serviceable.

Japanese fighters

In the Pacific Japan’s air force were extremely succesful. But then, when Japanese fighter planes seemed all but invincible, America’s enormous industrial might began to make itself felt. First came the Battle of Midway, in which Japan suffered its first major losses of warships, men and aircraft, and the veterans of Pearl Harbour disappeared from the scene. In this crucial phase of WW2 in Pacific, Japanese industry continued to turn out large quantities of aircraft. It was a tremendous effort, but to no avail. The Japanese air crews fought ferociously until the last day, but air activity became more a question of desperate defence.

Fiat G.50 Freccia

3d model G 50 Freccia

Italian fighters Fiat G.50 Freccia to G.55 Centauro. Fiat G 50 Freccia, G 50bis, G 50ter, G55 Centauro. Type: Italian WW2 fighters from Fiat. History In 1935 this challenge of requirements to have an all-metal monoplane fighter for the Regia… learn more

Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero

3d model of Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero-Sen

Japanese carrier-based long-range fighter ‘Zeke’. Mitsubishi Zero A6M2 Reisen (Allied Codename: Zeke) Type: Japanese single-seat carrier-based long-range fighter. History: Zero – symbolic of Japanese power in the air, this was the name by which friends and enemies came to know… learn more

Macchi C.202 Folgore

3d model C.202 Folgore

Italian Macchi C.202 Folgore fighter plane. History, development, service, specifications, pictures and 3D model. Macchi MC202 Folgore (Lightning). Type: Single-seat fighter plane. History: Essentially a re-engined Saetta, the C.202 Folgore was much more powerful and after quick and painless development… learn more

P-80 Shooting Star

3d model Lockheed Shooting Star jet trainer T-33

First US jet fighter Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star. Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star. Type: US jet fighter. History: The Lockheed company was starting early with the development of a jet fighter. Although, the first draft was rejected, but nevertheless the Lockheed… learn more

Hawker Typhoon

3D model Hawker Typhoon Mk 1B

British fighter-bomber Hawker Typhoon Mk 1B History, development, service, specifications, statistics, pictures, video and 3D model. Hawker Typhoon Mk 1B Type: British fighter-bomber. History: The Hawker Typhoon ‘s early life was almost total disaster. Though the concept of so big… learn more

Supermarine Spitfire Mk I – 2

3d model Supermarine Spitfire Mk I A

British fighter plane Supermarine Spitfire Mk I – 2 from the Battle of Britain. Supermarine Spitfire Mk I – 2. Type: British fighter plane. History: Possibly the most famous combat aircraft in history, the Supermarine Spitfire was designed by the… learn more

Hawker Hurricane

3d model Hawker Hurricane I

British fighter plane and fighter-bomber Hawker Hurricane Hawker Hurricane I to XII, Sea Hurricane IA to XIIA. Type: British fighter planes; later, fighter-bomber, tank buster and ship-based fighter. History: Until well into 1941 the Hawker Hurricane was by far the… learn more

P-35 Seversky

3D model Seversky P-35

US fighter P-35 Seversky in the Philippines in 1941 and in Swedish service. Seversky P-35 Type: US fighter plane. History: This aircraft was the inspiration for the 1938 Italian Reggiane Re2000, which was designed by Roberto Longhi. Like the Italian… learn more

Polikarpov I-15 and I-153

3D model Polikarpov I-15 Chato

Russian fighter and fighter-bomber Polikarpov I-15 and I-153 Chaika (Chato in Spain). Polikarpov I-15, I-15bis, I-153 Chaika (Chato in Spain) Type: Russian fighter and fighter-bomber biplane. History: One might jump to the conclusion that these Polikarpov I-15 biplanes were superseded… learn more

F4U Corsair

3D model F4U-1 Corsair

US Navy carrier-based fighter-bomber Vought F4U Corsair Type: US Navy carrier-based fighter-bomber. History: F4U Corsair production continued for more than ten years, and the type remained in service until 1965. Total production was 12,571 aircraft. The Vought F4U Corsair was… learn more

He 162 Salamander

3D model He 162

Jet fighter and interceptor Heinkel He 162 Salamander or ‘People’s fighter’. Heinkel He 162 Salamander (Volksjäger). Type: German Luftwaffe jet fighter and interceptor. History: One of the most rapidly conceived warplanes ever produced, the He 162 home defence fighter existed… learn more

Me 110

3D model Me 110 F

Messerschmitt Bf 110 Zerstörer of the German Luftwaffe. Messerschmitt Bf 110 Type: Heavy fighter plane, Zerstörer (destroyer), fighter-bomber, night fighter History: As in five other countries at about the same time, the Reichsluftfahrtministerium decided in 1934 to issue a requirement… learn more

Spitfire Mk IX

3d model Spitfire IX

British Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX fighter plane. Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX Type: British fighter plane. History: The year 1942 saw the tide of battle begin to turn in favour of the Allies, and a contributing factor was the increased adaptability… learn more

Me 109 B, C, D

3d model Messerschmitt Bf 109 B

Messerschmitt B-D fighter plane from Legion Condor in the Spanish Civil War. Messerschmitt Me 109 B, C and D Type: German fighter plane from Legion Condor in the Spanish Civil War. History For Twenty five years the Me 109 was… learn more

P-40 Curtiss Hawk

3d model Curtiss P-40 C Flying Tigers

US fighter, ground attack and fighter-bomber P-40 Curtiss Hawk. Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, Kittyhawk, Tomahawk Type: US fighter plane, ground attack and fighter-bomber plane. History: It was between December 1941 and July 1942 that the Flying Tigers, a unit of American… learn more

Mitsubishi A6M5 Reisen

3d model A6M5

Japanese navy fighter, fighter-bomber and Kamikaze plane. Mitsubishi A6M5 Reisen Type: Japanese carrier-based fighter and fighter-bomber. History: Though the A6M3 was an ideal fighter with the original high manoeuvrability of the A6M1 and higher speed performance than the Mitsubishi A6M2… learn more

P-51 Mustang

US long-range escort fighter plane North American P-51 Mustang Type: Long-range escort fighter. History Many claims have been made for the P-51 Mustang: that it was the best combat aircraft of the WW2, that it marked the transition from the… learn more

P-47D Thunderbolt

3d model P-47 Thunderbolt

Late models of the long-range escort fighter and fighter-bomber Thunderbolt (beginning with P-47D-25). Republic P-47 Thunderbolt (late models from D-25) Type: US fighter-bomber and long-range escort fighter. History Production of the P-47 Thunderbolt really hit its stride with the P-47D,… learn more

Me 262

3d model Me 262 A1a

German Messerschmitt jet fighter-bomber A2a and interceptor A1a. Messerschmitt Me 262 Type: German jet fighter, interceptor, fighter-bomber and night-fighter. History: In the Messerschmitt Me 262 the German aircraft industry created a potentially war-winning aircraft which could have restored to the… learn more

Hawker Tempest

3d model Hawker Tempest Mk V

British fighter-bomber Hawker Tempest. Hawker Tempest Mk V Type: British fighter-bomber. History: The Hawker Typhoon was noted for its thick wing – occasional erratic flight behaviour at high speeds was traced to compressibility (local airflow exceeding the speed of sound),… learn more