Aircraft Recognition No. 5, Vol. III January 1945

AIRCRAFT al« a RECOGNITION JANUARY, 1945 Vol. Ill— No. 5 N INETEEN-HUNDRED-AND-FORTY-FOUR has been a year of outstanding aeronautical development. Just as, ten years before, the year 1934 marked a step forward in aircraft design—with flaps, variable-pitch air­ screws and retractable undercarriages coming into general use—so 1944 has brought an equally big advance with the appearance of jet-propulsion, crewless weapons and instru­ment bombing. The revolution of a decade ago was almost entirely aerodynamic. The new revolution is more funda­ mental—it introduces anew conception of warfare and of transport. We are at the beginning of avast new field of progress in the Air. During the past year, both the R.A.F. and the Luftwaffe have brought jet-propelled aeroplanes into action. The new British jet-fighter—for which the Gloster E.28/39 was the flying test-bed—was first in service against the German jet- propelled FZG-76 flying bomb. Soon afterwards the Luft­waffe brought into operational use the Messerschmitt Me 163 and Me 262 jet-fighters—and for a time, hold the lead in jet development. In the United States the Bell P -59 a Airacomet fighter- trainer—too slow for action—is giving valuable experience to pilots for the high-speed American types which are yet to come. Meanwhile the development of the more conventional type of single-seat fighters has moved forward fast. The milestone of 400 m.p.h. has been left far behind. A speed of 450 m.p.h. has been exceeded. The North American Mustang, in its latest developments, remains the fastest conventional infighter the World, closely followed by the latest Supermarine Spitfire of which the Mark XIV is the newest on which information can be released. Nor is the de Havilland Mosquito far behind. In heavy bombers the Boeing B-29 Superfortress is the biggest and most powerful in service, with the Consolidated- Vultee B-32 Dominator, faster and only slightly smaller, soon to come. But the most significant bombing developments of the past year have been the “Tallboy ”12,000 lb. streamlined bomb—so far carried only by the Avro Lancaster with its 33-foot long bomb bay—and the British“ G-box ”used by British and American heavy bombers to locate targets through cloud and darkness. Long-range single-engine escort fighters by day and long-range two-motor fighters by night have reduced bomber losses materially. Rocket-assisted take-off, particularly from aircraftcarriers, rocket projectiles fired from fighters, notably the Hawker Typhoon, and the German flying bomb and long-range rocket weapons foreshadow developments in technique of which we are now only at the “Wright Brothers ”stage. In a happier and more peaceful sphere we can look for­ward in the year to come to a galaxy of new transport aircraft, bigger and faster than any before them. The British Avro Tudor I and Tudor II, Bristol 167 and Handley Page Hermes, and the American Douglas DC-4 , DC-6, DC-7, Lockheed Constellation and Constitution and Boeing Stratocruiser, will usher in an era in which we can hope that the air will speed the needs of peace rather than cause mounting destruction. BARRACUDA MET PEST 032SB 99
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