German Bombers in WW2

German Bombers in WW2

German World War II bombers were first and foremost aggressive weapons, and they reflected the fundamental role of the Luftwaffe: tactical ground support. Therefore these airplanes were designed primarily to fit this task. As such they were successful, but their failure became only too evident when they were required to perform other roles, for example strategic bombing. Read the rest of this entry »

Dive Bombers of Luftwaffe

Dive Bombers of Luftwaffe

Dive bombers, the principal German weapon of aggression, played a vital role in the victorious German campaigns of 1939–1941, as the Blitzkrieg doctrine involved close integration of tactical air power and mechanized army units on the ground. The combination of Panzer mobility and Stuka firepower seemed to be unstoppable, and enabled the German ground force to hold the initiative Read the rest of this entry »

Ground Attack Aircraft in Luftwaffe

Ground Attack Aircraft in Luftwaffe

Ground attack is the use of aircraft to provide close support to troops in the battlefield. The effectiveness of air attack on ground targets, in term of destructiveness and lethality, was considerably less than might be expected from the quantity of firepower that can be mounted on a relatively small aircraft. Read the rest of this entry »

Tupolev Tu-160 Blackjack

Tupolev “Heaviest bomber” – Blackjack

The Tupolev Tu-160 Blackjack is heaviest and most powerful combat bomber aircraft of all time. This strategic bomber was built to a programme which began in 1967 when DA (long- range aviation) Gen-Col Reshetnikov studied the Sukhoi T-4MS (so-called ‘200’) and Myasishchev M- 20. VVS chief Kutakhov assigned Sukhoi smaller aircraft, but the excel­lence of the M-20 led to its adoption, after modification as the M-18, with a horizontal tail instead of a canard. With so big a project CAHI’s top men, Byushgens and Svishchyev, led the aerodynamic backing. It was finally decided only Tupolev was big enough to tackle the job. Read the rest of this entry »

Air Force F-14

Perhaps the largest potential order for the Tomcat (other than the Navy) was from the US Air Force. The Air Force instituted a series of studies (Advanced Manned Interceptor, CONUS Interceptor, etc.) during 1971-72 for a new interceptor and had considered a wide variety of possibilities, including a modified Lockheed YF-12A, an improved General Dynamics F-106, the McDonnell Douglas F-15 and the Grumman F-14. The YF-12 and F-106 were dropped from consideration in late-1971, and the F-14 was generally rated at par or slightly superior than the F-15 in the intercep­tor role. The studies later included a stretched, F100 powered F-111, designated F-111X-7, and a modified North American RA-5C pow­ered by three J79s and designated NR-349. Read the rest of this entry »

Advanced Tomcat

In early 1989, Grumman proposed an upgrad­ed F-14D to the Navy as an alternative to buy­ing the Navy Advanced Tactical Fighter. This program is generally thought of as the Tomcat  21 project, especially after Aviation Week ran a series of articles on that aircraft. However, in reality Tomcat- 21 referred to just one of three proposals for an Advanced Tomcat. In order from the least expensive and quickest upgrade to the most sophisticated, the pro­posals were called QuickStrike, Tomcat 21, and ASF-14. Read the rest of this entry »

F-14D Supertomcat

In August 1984, the Navy awarded Grumman a $984 million fixed-price contract for improved versions of the F-14 and A-6. The new Tomcat would be known as the F-14D or Supertomcat.

The F-14D designation had originally been unofficially assigned to a cost-reduced, stripped version of the Tomcat, proposed at a time when the rapidly-increasing cost of the F-14A was causing great concern. This project never achieved fruition, and since the desig­nation was never officially used, it was avail­able for the next production version. Read the rest of this entry »

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