The Messerschmitt Bf 109, often called Me 109 (most often by Allied pilots and aircrew), was a German World War II fighter aircraft designed by Willy Messerschmitt and Robert Lusser during the early to mid-1930s. It was one of the first truly modern fighters of the era, including such features as all-metal monocoque construction, a closed canopy, a retractable landing gear, and was powered by a liquid-cooled, inverted-V12 aero engine.
The Bf 109 first saw operational service during the Spanish Civil War and was still in service at the dawn of the jet age at the end of World War II, during which time it was the backbone of the Luftwaffe’s fighter force. From the end of 1941 the Bf 109 was supplemented by the Focke-Wulf Fw 190.
Originally conceived as an interceptor, later models were developed to fulfill multiple tasks, serving as bomber escort, fighter-bomber, day-, night-, all-weather fighter, ground-attack aircraft, and as reconnaissance aircraft. It was supplied to and operated by several states during World War II, and served with several countries for many years after the war. The Bf 109 was the most produced fighter aircraft in history, with a total of 33,984 airframes produced from 1936 up to April 1945. (Read more on WikiPedia.org …)
The Lavochkin La-7 was a piston-engined Soviet fighter developed during World War II by the Lavochkin Design Bureau (OKB). It was a development and refinement of the Lavochkin La-5, and the last in a family of aircraft that had begun with the LaGG-1 in 1938. Its first flight was in early 1944 and it entered service with the Soviet Air Forces later in the year. A small batch of La-7s was given to the Czechoslovak Air Force the following year, but it was otherwise not exported. Armed with two or three 20 mm (0.79 in) cannon, it had a top speed of 661 kilometers per hour (411 mph). The La-7 was felt by its pilots to be at least the equal of any German piston-engined fighter and even shot down a Messerschmitt Me 262 jet fighter. It was phased out in 1947 by the Soviet Air Force, but lasted until 1950 with the Czechoslovak Air Force. (Read more on WikiPedia.org …)
The Fokker Dr.I Dreidecker (triplane) was a World War I fighter aircraft built by Fokker-Flugzeugwerke. The Dr.I saw widespread service in the spring of 1918. It became renowned as the aircraft in which Manfred von Richthofen gained his last 19 victories, and in which he was killed on 21 April 1918.
In February 1917, the Sopwith Triplane began to appear over the Western Front. Despite its single Vickers machine gun armament, the Sopwith swiftly proved itself superior to the more heavily armed Albatros fighters then in use by the Luftstreitkräfte. Fokker-Flugzeugwerke responded by converting an unfinished biplane prototype into the V.4, a small, rotary-powered triplane with a steel tube fuselage and thick cantilever wings, first developed during Fokker’s government-mandated collaboration with Hugo Junkers. Initial tests revealed that the V.4 had unacceptably high control forces resulting from the use of unbalanced ailerons and elevators.
Instead of submitting the V.4 for a type test, Fokker produced a revised prototype designated V.5. The most notable changes were the introduction of horn-balanced ailerons and elevators, as well as longer-span wings. The V.5 also featured interplane struts, which were not necessary from a structural standpoint, but which minimized wing flexing. On 14 July 1917, Idflieg issued an order for 20 pre-production aircraft. The V.5 prototype, serial 101/17, was tested to destruction at Adlershof on 11 August 1917. (Read more on WikiPedia.org …)
The Fokker E.III was the main variant of the Eindecker (monoplane) fighter aircraft of World War I. It entered service on the Western Front in December 1915 and was also supplied to Austria-Hungary and Turkey.
The E.III was basically an E.II fitted with larger, newly designed wings that had a slightly narrower chord of 1.80 meter (70-7/8 in), compared to 1.88 meter (74 in) on the earlier Eindeckers, going back to Fokker’s original M.5 monoplane aircraft. The E.III retained the same 75 kW (100 hp) Oberursel U.I engine, and therefore also used the larger diameter “horseshoe” pattern cowling that also mandated the inclusion of the E.II’s soffit-like extensions to the sides of the upper nose sheet metalwork, but had a larger 81 l (21.5 gal) drum-shaped main fuel tank just behind the cockpit, which increased the Eindecker’s endurance to about 2½ hours; an hour more than the E.II. Most E.IIIs were armed with a single 7.92 mm (.312 in) Spandau LMG 08 machine gun with 500 rounds of ammunition; however, after the failure of the twin-gun Fokker E.IV as a viable successor, some E.IIIs were fitted with twin guns.
Fokker production figures state that 249 E.IIIs were manufactured; however, a number of the 49 E.IIs were upgraded to E.III standard when they were returned to Fokker’s Schwerin factory for repairs. (Read more on WikiPedia.org …)
The Bell X-1, designated originally as XS-1, was a joint National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics-U.S. Army Air Forces-U.S. Air Force supersonic research project built by the Bell Aircraft Company. Conceived during 1944 and designed and built during 1945, it achieved a speed of nearly 1,000 miles per hour (1,600 km/h; 870 kn) during 1948. A derivative of this same design, the Bell X-1A, having greater fuel capacity and hence longer rocket burning time, exceeded 1,600 miles per hour (2,600 km/h; 1,400 kn) during 1954. The X-1 was the first airplane to exceed the speed of sound in level flight and was the first of the so-called X-planes, a series of American experimental rocket planes designated for testing of new technologies and often kept secret. (Read more on WikiPedia.org …)
The WZ-X was the Polish reconnaissance aircraft designed in the mid-1920s and manufactured in the Centralne Warsztaty Lotnicze (CWL) – Central Aviation Workshops in Warsaw. It was the first combat aircraft of own design built in Poland, in a small series.
The aircraft was designed by Władysław Zalewski, as his tenth design (Zalewski had already constructed aircraft for the Russian Air Force during the World War I). Work started in 1923, and the first prototype was flown in August 1926. Another airframe was built for static trials. Flight trials were successful: its performance was at least as good as the Breguet 19, and better than the Potez 25. However, maintenance was more difficult.
In 1927, three pre-series aircraft were built (designated WZ-X/II, WZ-X/III, WZ-X/IV). The first two of these were fitted with the same Lorraine-Dietrich 12Eb 478 hp W engine used by the prototype, while the other had a Gnome et Rhône Jupiter 9a 530 hp radial engine with four-blade propeller.
The WZ-X did not enter serial production, because Poland had already bought many Breguet 19 aircraft from France, and started production under licence of the Potez 25 of the same class. Three WZ-Xs were given to aviation schools, where one or two survived in Dęblin until 1939. (Read more on WikiPedia.org …)
The Convair B-58 Hustler was the first operational supersonic jet bomber capable of Mach 2 flight. The aircraft was designed by Convair engineer Robert H. Widmer and developed for the United States Air Force for service in the Strategic Air Command (SAC) during the 1960s. It used a delta wing, which was also employed by Convair fighters such as the F-102, with four General Electric J79 engines in pods under the wing. It carried a nuclear weapon and fuel in a large pod under the fuselage rather than in an internal bomb bay. Replacing the Boeing B-47 Stratojet medium bomber, it was originally intended to fly at high altitudes and supersonic speeds to avoid Soviet fighters. The B-58 received a great deal of notoriety due to its sonic boom, which was often heard by the public as it passed overhead in supersonic flight.
The introduction of highly accurate Soviet surface-to-air missiles forced the B-58 into a low-level penetration role that severely limited its range and strategic value, and it was never employed to deliver conventional bombs. This led to a brief operational career between 1960 and 1970, when the B-58 was succeeded by the smaller, swing-wing FB-111A. (Read more on WikiPedia.org …)
The Boeing 737 is a short- to medium-range twinjet narrow-body airliner. Originally developed as a shorter, lower-cost twin-engined airliner derived from Boeing’s 707 and 727, the 737 has developed into a family of nine passenger models with a capacity of 85 to 215 passengers. The 737 is Boeing’s only narrow-body airliner in production, with the -600, -700, -800, and -900ER variants currently being built. A re-engined and redesigned version, the 737 MAX, is set to debut in 2017.
Originally envisioned in 1964, the initial 737-100 flew in 1967 and entered airline service in February 1968. Next, the lengthened 737-200 entered service in April 1968. In the 1980s Boeing launched the -300, -400, and -500 models, subsequently referred to as the Boeing 737 Classic series. The 737 Classics added capacity and incorporated CFM56 turbofan engines along with wing improvements. In the 1990s Boeing introduced the 737 Next Generation with multiple changes including a redesigned wing, upgraded cockpit, and new interior. The 737 Next Generation comprises the four -600, -700, -800, and -900ER models, ranging from 102 ft (31.09 m) to 138 ft (42.06 m) in length. Boeing Business Jet versions of the 737 Next Generation are also produced. (Read more on WikiPedia.org …)
The Zenith STOL CH 801 is a four-seat sport STOL aircraft developed by Chris Heintz and available in kit form from the Zenith Aircraft Company.
The CH 801 is based on the general design and features of the smaller two-place STOL CH 701 model. It offers a useful load of 1,000 lb (450 kg), which is double the 701’s 500 lb (230 kg). While both aircraft look alike they do not share any common parts. The STOL CH 801 is made from sheet aluminium and employs a deep wing chord, full-length leading edge slots and trailing edge flaperons to develop high lift at low speed, while maintaining a short wing-span for maximum strength and ground maneuverability. By the end of 2011 160 CH 801s had been completed and were flying. (Read more on WikiPedia.org …)