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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Messerschmitt BF-109
The Messerschmitt Bf 109 was a German World War II fighter aircraft designed by Willy Messerschmitt in the early 1930s. It was one of the first true modern fighters of the era, including such features as an all-metal monocoque construction, a closed canopy, and retractable landing gear. The Bf 109 was produced in greater quantities than any other fighter aircraft in history, with over 31,000 units built.

The Bf 109 was the standard fighter of the Luftwaffe for the duration of World War II, although it began to be partially replaced by the Focke-Wulf Fw 190 starting in 1942. The Bf 109 scored more aircraft kills in World War II than any other aircraft. At various times it served as an air superiority fighter, an escort fighter, an interceptor, a ground-attack aircraft and a reconnaissance aircraft. Although the Bf 109 had weaknesses, including a short range, and especially a sometimes difficult to handle narrow, outward-retracting undercarriage, it stayed competitive with Allied fighter aircraft until the end of the war.

The Bf 109 was flown by the three top scoring fighter aces of World War II : Erich Hartmann, the top scoring fighter ace of all time with 352 victories, Gerhard Barkhorn with 301 victories, and Günther Rall with 275 victories. All of them flew with the Jagdgeschwader 52, chiefly on the Eastern front, a unit exclusively flying the Bf 109 models and being credited with over 10,000 victories itself. Hartmann refused to fly any other airplane in combat throughout the war. Hans-Joachim Marseille, "The Star of Africa" also flew the Bf 109, and achieved all of his 158 victories on the Western Front, chiefly against Allied pilots in North Africa, including 17 aircraft shot down in a single day.
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Vought F4U Corsair
The Corsair started life as the result of a U.S. Navy requirement for a carrier aircraft which could match the performance of the best land and carrier-based fighter planes. Designed in 1938 by Rex Biesel, the first prototype Corsair designated XF4U-1 first flew on 29 May 1940. When flown in 1940, the XF4U-1, powered by a R-2800 Double Wasp radial engine, became the first U.S. single-engine production aircraft capable of 400 mph (640 km/h) in level flight. It was a remarkable achievement for Vought, as compared to land-based counterparts, carrier aircraft are "overbuilt" and heavier to withstand the extreme stress of deck landings.

The Corsair first entered service in 1942. Although designed as a carrier fighter, initial operation from carrier decks proved to be troublesome. Its slow speed handling was tricky due to the port wing stalling before the starboard wing. This factor, together with poor visibility over the long nose (leading to one of its nicknames, "The Hose Nose"), made landing a Corsair on a carrier a difficult task. For these reasons, most Corsairs initially went to Marine Corps squadrons who operated off land-based runways, which in turn led Goodyear to build some early Corsairs with fixed, non-folding wings. The USMC aviators welcomed the Corsair with open arms as its performance was far superior to the F4F-3 and F-4 Wildcat, which were being used at that time, and superior in a number of ways to the F6F Hellcat, which replaced the Wildcat.

Moreover, the Corsair was able to outperform the primary Japanese fighter, the Mitsubishi A6M "Zero". While the Zero could out-turn the F4U at slower speeds, the Corsair was faster and could out-climb and out-dive the enemy fighters. Tactics developed early in the war, such as the Thach Weave, took advantage of the Corsair's strengths.

This performance advantage, combined with the ability to take severe punishment, meant that a pilot could place an enemy aircraft in the killing zone from the F4U's six .50-caliber Browning machine guns and keep him there long enough to inflict major damage. The 2,300 rounds carried by the Corsair gave over one full minute of fire from each gun, which, fired in three-to-six-second bursts, made the U-Bird a devastating weapon against aircraft, ground targets, and even ships

 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
North American P-51 Mustang
The North American P-51 Mustang was an American long-range single-seat fighter aircraft that entered service with Allied air forces in the middle years of World War II. The P-51 became one of the conflict's most successful and recognizable aircraft.

The P-51 flew most of its wartime missions as a bomber escort in raids over Germany, helping ensure Allied air superiority from early 1944. It also saw service against the Japanese in the Pacific War. The Mustang began the Korean War as the United Nations' main fighter but was supplanted as a fighter by jets early in the conflict, being relegated to a ground attack role. Nevertheless, it remained in service with some air forces until the early 1980s.

Despite being economical to produce, the Mustang was a well-made and rugged aircraft. The definitive version of the single-seat fighter was powered by the Packard V-1650-3, a two-stage two-speed supercharged 12-cylinder Packard-built version of the legendary Rolls-Royce Merlin engine, and armed with six aircraft versions of the .50 caliber (12.7 mm) Browning machine guns. Like most other fighters that used a liquid-cooled engine, its weakness was a coolant system that could be punctured by a single bullet.

After World War II and the Korean conflict, many Mustangs were converted for civilian use, especially air racing. The Mustang's reputation was such that, in the mid-1960s, Ford Motor Company's Designer John Najjar proposed the name for a new youth-oriented coupé after the fighter

 

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Very nice Gary! :cheers
My 1/18 version of the 109 is one of those "Yellow" tails. The paint of the Corsair depicts the earlier scheme of the planes attached to the USS Bunker Hill. I had the 1/18 Century21, but I traded it for the BBi.

I wish someone would make the P-51B in 1/18 and this would be a great scheme to do, Ace Don Gentile's "Shangri-La". I made a 1/72 kit version of this when I was a kid.
The paint on this model is not quite the olive green that P-51Bs had though.
 

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Cool looking birds! The Corsair is my fav. Congrats!!!

Sean
 
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