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Kawanishi E13K1 Experimental 12-Shi Three-seat Reconnaissance Seaplane

Kawanishi E13K1 Experimental 12-Shi Three-seat Reconnaissance Seaplane

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Kawanishi E13K1 Experimental 12-Shi Three-seat Reconnaissance Seaplane

The Kawanishi E13K1 Experimental 12-Shi Three-seat Reconnaissance Seaplane was an unsuccessful attempt to design an aircraft to replace the Navy Type 94 Reconnaissance Seaplane E7K.

In 1937 the Japanese Navy asked Aichi and Kawanishi to produce three-seat long-range reconnaissance aircraft capable of being launched from a catapult but also of operating from shore bases. Kawanishi responded with a low-wing twin-float monoplane of all metal construction apart from the fabric covered control surfaces. The crew of three sat in tandem in a covered cockpit with a greenhouse style canopy that sloped down towards the rear.

The first prototype made its maiden flight on 28 September 1938 and went to the Navy in October for tests against the Aichi E13A1. The Aichi aircraft was faster, easier to maintain and handle on deck, while the Kawanishi aircraft was more manoeuvrable and had a better rate of climb. The maintenance and deck handling problems counted against the Kawanishi design, and the Aichi E13A1 was accepted for production.

Both of the Kawanishi prototypes suffered from accidents. On the first prototype this was triggered by excessive vibration in flight. The second prototype disappeared during a test flight and was never recovered.

Engine: Mitsubishi Kinsei 3 kai fourteen cylinder double-row air-cooled radial engine
Power: 910-1,030hp
Crew: 3
Span: 47ft 6.5in
Length: 38ft 5.5in
Height: 14ft 7.25in
Empty weight: 4,784lb
Loaded weight: 7,826lb
Max speed: 218mph
Climb Rate: 9min 14sec to 13,123ft
Service ceiling: 21,948ft
Endurance: 16 hours
Armament: One flexibly mounted dorsal 7.7mm machine gun
Bomb load: One 551lb or four 132lb bombs

List of aircraft (K)

This is a list of aircraft in alphabetical order by manufacturer beginning with K.



(Douglas Kaddy, West Groton CT. )


(Everett E David, Detroit MI.)


(Kaess Aircraft Engr Co, NJ.)

Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd. (commonly referred to as KAI, Korean: 한국항공우주산업, Hanja: 韓國航空宇宙産業)



(Daniel (or Donald?) Kaiser, Chicago IL. )


(Daniel Kaiser, Milwaukee WI. ) (May be Kiser)



(Kaiser-Stearman Aircraft Co, Oakland CA. )

Kalec (aircraft constructor)


Kalinauskas, Rolandas

(Rolandas Kalinauskas, Prienai, Lithuania)

Kalinin OKB




((Charles H) Kaman Aircraft Corp, Bradley Field, Windsor Locks CT. 1953: Bloomfield CT. 1967: Kaman Corp. 1969: Kaman Aerospace division. )



(Rim (or Ray) Kaminskas, Chino CA. )


    [5][5][5] "Hat" "Hen" "Hog" "Harp" Vintokryl "Hoop" "Hormone" "Hoodlum-A" "Helix-A" "Helix" "Helix-B" "Helix-E" "Helix-C" and "Helix-D" "Hokum-A" "Hokum-B" "Hoodlum-B" "Hoodlum-C"

Kansas City

(Kansas City Aircraft Co (pres: George or Gordon L Bennett), Richards Field, Kansas City MO. )



Kappa 77

Kaproni Bulgarski

(Caproni Bulgara SA / Samoletna Fabrika Kaproni Bulgarski)

    (Papillon - Butterfly) - (Ca.100) [7] (Tchuchuliga - Lark) - (Ca.113) [7] (Ca.113) [7] (Tchuchuliga I - Lark I) - (Ca.113) [7] (Tchuchuliga II - Lark II) - (Ca.113) [7] (Tchuchuliga III - Lark III) - (Ca.113) [7] (Papagal -Parrot) - (Ca.309 Ghibli) [7] (Fazan -Pheasant) [7] (Ca.311) [7]


(Veljekset Karhumäki O/Y / Karhumäen veljekset)


(Kari-Keen Aircraft Inc (fdrs: Ernest A Arndt, Swen Swanson, W W Wilson, one other unnamed), 509-511 Plymouth St, Sioux City IA )


(Kievskogo Politiechnicheskogo Instituta - KPI)


(K K Kauffman, Pittsburgh PA. )


(Charles H Kaufmann, 49 Poinier St, Newark NJ. )



(Kawanishi Kokuki kk - Kawanishi Aircraft Company Ltd.)


(Kawasaki Kokuki Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha - Kawasaki Aircraft Engineering Company Limited)

Kayaba Industry



(Yevgeny, Ivan and Andrei Kazyanenko)


(Sovremyenne Aviatsyonne Tekhnologii - Modern Aircraft Technologies)

(Greek: Κρατικό Εργοστάσιο Αεροπλάνων - State Aircraft Factory)


((Horace) Keane Aeroplanes, North Beach, Long Island NY. c.1921: Acquired rights to ACE (Aircraft Engr Co, NY). c.1925: Keane Aircraft Corp, Keyport NJ. )

(Charles F Keen, Madison WI. )


(Keitek srl, Remanzacco, Italy)



(Henry S "Pop" Keller, Chicago IL. )



((W Wallace & Roderick G) Kellett Autogiro Corporation, Philadelphia PA. )



(Avions Kellner-Béchereau)


(Harold W Kellogg, Ontario CA.)


(John Henry Kelly, El Dorado AR )


(Dudley R Kelly, Versailles, Kentucky, United States)



(Scott Kember, Sacramento CA. )


(George C Distel & Ralph A Kendall, Le Sueur MN. )



(Kennedy Aeroplanes Limited)


(Kensgaila Aircraft Enterprize / Vladas Kensgaila)


(Ned Kensinger, Fort Worth TX. )


(Kentucky Aircraft Co, Owensboro, KY. )


(Harold & Kenneth Kenyon, Warren OH.)


(Charles A Kerestesi, Elgin IL. )


(Dr Davenport Kerrison, Jacksonville FL.)


(C C Kersey, James Hudgins, Virgil Kennedy, Ft Worth TX.)


(Kestrel Aircraft Co (fdr: Donald L Stroud), Norman OK.)

Kestrel Aircraft Company



(Kharkovskii Aviatsionny Institut - Kharkov Aviation Institute, aka Kharkivskii Aviatsionny Institut - Kharkiv Aviation Institute)

(KkAZ - Kharkov Aviatsionny Zavod - Kharkov State Aviation Plant)


(Vassili Nikolayevich Khioni)

(Kazan Helicopters Plant, Kazan, Tatarstan)


(Flugzeugbau Kiel G.m.b.H.)


(Richard Killingsworth, Ft Walton Beach FL. )



((Wilbur R) Kimball Aircraft Corp, Naugatuck CT. )






(King's Engineering Fellowship and Angel Aircraft Corp, Orange City IA. )




(Kinner Airplane & Motor Corporation)


(Cleveland, Ohio, United States)


(Harold M Kippers, Mukwonago WI. )


(Kirkham Aeroplane & Motor Co, Bath NY. )


((Charles B) Kirkham and (Alford) Williams, Long Island NY. )


(Prof Frederick K Kirsten, University of WA. )



(Kjeller Flyvemaskinsfabrik)


(Lt. Col. Paul Kjolseth RNoAF)





(Leichtflugzeugbau Klemm GmbH)




(Roy Knabenshue, Los Angeles CA. )


(Frank Knapp, Palmer, Alaska)


((Paul H) Knepper Aircraft, Lehighton PA. )

Knight Twister


((Felix W A) Knoll Aircraft Company, 471 W 1st St, Wichita KS. )


(Richard Knoll, Ogallala NB. )


((Felix W A) Knoll-(---) Brayton Aeronautical Corp, Norwich CT. )



Knowles (aircraft constructor)

Knowlton (aircraft constructor)


Kobe Steel



(Kara Ostas Darbnica - Latvia)



(Dr. Hermann Koehl and Ernst Von Loessl)



(Stefan Kohl, Kattenes, Germany)

Koivu and Toomey

(Fitchburg, MA)Koivu and Toomey


((Homer) Kolb Co Inc, Phoenixville PA. )

New Kolb Aircraft


(Ben Kolitilin and Misha Nikitin)


(Kommissii po Tyazheloi Aviatsii - Commission for Heavy Aviation)


(Kompol SC, Swiercze, Poland)


(Kondor Flugzeugwerke G.m.b.H.)

Konstruktionskontor Nord

(Konstruktionskontor Nord - Flugzeugbau Nord)


(Sytse Frederick Willem Koolhoven see also Armstrong-Whitworth and B.A.T.)

(manufactured at Maatschappij voor Luchtvaart 1911)

(Manufactured at Nationale Vliegtuig Industrie - NVI 1922-1926)


Korean Air

Korolyev OKB


(Korsa aeroplane factory - Hugo G. Schmid)

Kortenbach & Rauh



(Charles D Kozlowski, Raritan NJ. )


(Levern P Kowalke, Wall Lake IA. )

(Young Ho Koun, Roosevelt Field, NYC. )



    (Prozrachnyy Samlyot - transparent aircraft) (Eksperimentalnyi Istrebitel - experimental fighter) [5][41][5]


(KEA: Kratiko Ergostasio Aeroplanon - State Aircraft Factory)


(L A Kraemer, Rapid City SD. )


Kramme & Zeuthen


((Alexander Peter) Krapish Aircraft Co, Kearney NJ & Squantum MA. )

Krasniye Kryl'ya



((Ammon "Amos" H) Kreider-(Lewis E) Reisner Flying Service. 1927: Kreider-Reisner Aircraft Co, Hagerstown MD. 1929: Acquired by Fairchild Aircraft Corp. )

From Konan to Kanoya: The Wanderings and Wallowings of Emily c/n 426

Mar. 1943 Built as Type 2 Model 12 (H8K2) at Kawanishi’s Konan Plant, Hyogo Prefecture, handed over directly to 802nd Kōkūtai (Naval Air Group) as ‘N1-26’ (FAoW No. 184 includes profile)
1943 Serves with 802nd, then operating primarily from Jaluit Atoll (Marshall Islands), and Makin in Gilbert Islands (now part of Kiribati)
Sept. 1943 802nd tail code changed to Y4 (aircraft’s to Y4-26?)

(Above and below) Emily c/n 426 was lucky to avoid suffering a similar fate to this sister aircraft,
destroyed during the U.S. invasion of Makin in November 1943.
(Photos: [above] via YouTube [link] [below] National Archives and Records
Administration via Wikimedia Commons)

Jan. 1944 (29th) 802nd relocates to Saipan in the Marianas, aircraft possibly one of those temporarily deployed to Truk (now Chuuk, Micronesia)
Apr. 1944 (1st) Passed to 801st Kōkūtai on Saipan as ‘801-86’
July 1944 (10th) 801st Kōkūtai returns to Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture
Jan. 1945 (1st) 801st becomes part of Maritime Escort General Headquarters
Feb. 1945 (11th) Upon 801st’s disbandment, aircraft passed to Japan-based 5th Naval Air Wing, becomes Takuma Air Group ‘T-31’ at Takuma, Kagawa Prefecture (part of same unit’s Kikusui [Floating Chrysanthemum] Force from Apr. 25, 1945) until disbandment on Aug. 22, 1945
Oct. 1945 Having survived the war with only minor damage, aircraft also lucky to be selected for evaluation from three aircraft found at Takuma other two destroyed on site
Nov. 1945 (11th, possibly 13th) Having been repaired by former IJNAF maintenance team from Kure, Hiroshima Prefecture, flown for last time in Japan from Takuma back to Yokohama by war veteran crew for transshipment to United States
Dec. 1945 (10th) Now bearing U.S. national markings, loaded aboard U.S. Navy transport vessel for voyage across Pacific
Jan. 1946 Offloaded for initial evaluation at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington

The aircraft sports U.S. markings for her initial evaluation at NAS Whidbey Island in Washingtom
state in 1946. The span of the outer wing alone was roughly equivalent to that of a Zero fighter.
(Photo: via YouTube [link])

Feb. 1946 Having been transferred to another vessel for passage through Panama Canal, arrives in Norfolk, Virginia, for reassembly
May 1946 (23rd) Makes what is to prove to be sole flight in United States when ferried from NAS Norfolk to test centre at Patuxent River, Maryland
Aug. 1946 (22nd) Taxy tests on Patuxent River start
Jan. 1947 (30th) Test programme in United States ceases due to engine failure after 12.6 hours of operations

(Above and below) Two views of the aircraft during evaluation at the Patuxent River test centre. That
above is one of a series of photos taken during the evaluation of spray patterns. This image shows
that generated when the aircraft weighed 49,900 pounds (22,630kg) and was taxied at 20 knots.
(Photos: [above] U.S. Navy via Wikimedia Commons [below] from Apr.1952 issue of
The World’s Aircraft, used with permission of Hobun Shorin, Co., Ltd.)

Feb. 1947 Transported back to Norfolk by road and placed in open-air storage
1949 Decision made to remove wings and formally preserve aircraft in rubber protective coating

The aircraft surrounded by a scaffold to facilitate mothballing at NAS Norfolk in 1949.
(Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

Late 1959 (Reported in Feb. 1960 issue of Aireview) Aircraft’s lead designer and then Shin Meiwa company advisor Dr. Shizuo Kikuhara (1906–1991) travels to NAS Norfolk at U.S. Navy’s invitation, agreement in principle reached on aircraft’s return
Sept. 1960 Starboard outer engine sheared off when aircraft blown over in Hurricane Donna
June 1978 U.S. Department of Defense plans to scrap aircraft to save money come to attention of well-connected former politician and influential business figure as well as first Museum of Maritime Science curator Ryōichi Sasakawa, who is instrumental in arranging repatriation and preservation procedures

A photo of Ryōichi Sasakawa (1899–1995) on the cover of a biography published in 1978,
the title of which describes him as being unprecedented (or unconventional). That an
example of an
Emily still exists is in no small part due to the efforts of this one-time
controversial political and business figure, who went on to receive wide acclaim for
the charitable contributions of the Nippon Foundation he had launched in 1962

Oct. 1978 U.S. House of Representatives officially decides to make aircraft first spoils of war item to be returned to Japan
Apr. 1979 Type 2 Flying Boat Repatriation Executive Committee formed
Apr. 1979 (23rd) Attended by Sasakawa, ceremony held at NAS Norfolk to mark return to Japanese ownership. (Aircraft still lacks starboard outer engine)
May 1979 Disassembled and cocooned for transshipment at NAS Norfolk
June 1979 (19th) Loaded aboard container ship New Jersey Maru
July 1979 (13th) Arrives at Port of Tokyo, transferred by floating crane to Museum of Maritime Science, ‘lands’ back on Japanese soil for first time in 35 years
Feb. 1980 Restoration work begins
June 1980 (3rd) Lifted by crane into display position

June 3, 1980. Mounted on the back of a trailer minus its outer engines and wing sections, the Type 2
Flying Boat is slowly maneuvered into position at what will be its home for the next 24 years.
(Photo courtesy of Museum of Maritime Science, Tokyo [link])

July 1980 (14th) Restoration work completed (link)
July 1980 (15th) Aircraft’s interior shown to press
July 1980 (20th) Tape-cutting ceremony held on first day on public display at Museum of Maritime Science. Event attended by former Lt. Cdr. Tsuneo Hitsuji (1914–1995), who as last CO of Takuma Air Group had piloted aircraft on ferry flight to Yokohama in Nov. 1945

One of the scenes of celebration on July 20, 1980, to mark the first day the aircraft was officially open
to public view in its original, post-restoration state.
(Photo courtesy of Museum of Maritime Science, Tokyo)

Jan. 21–Mar. 26, 1982 Surrounded by scaffolding for long-term preservation work, including application of special paint (see photo below)
Mar. 27, 1982 Ceremony marking completion of long-term preservation work conducted by Shinto priest

The aircraft is pictured here during the process of applying two coats of a green polyurethane aircraft
coating, which was an exact match for the former IJNAF dark green, to her upper surfaces and the
sides of the boat hull, February 27, 1982.
(Photo courtesy of Museum of Maritime Science, Tokyo)

(Above and below) Fast forward to July 1998 and two more views of the Emily at the Museum of
Maritime Science, already 16 years after the first application of the special protective paint.
Mention should also be made of the long-term preservation efforts, which included controlling the
temperature of the interior, conducted during the 34 years the Emily was U.S. government property.

Events of 2004
Dec. 2003 Aircraft’s management transferred from Museum of Maritime Science to then Japan Defense Agency (now Ministry of Defense), decision made to move aircraft to Kanoya
Feb. 2 Dismantling works starts
Mar. 3 Loaded aboard cargo vessel at Tokyo
Mar. 7 Offloaded at Port of Kagoshima
Mar. 8 Early in morning, arrives by road at JMSDF Kanoya
Apr.26 On outdoor display at JMSDF Museum

Primary Reference Sources:
Ni-shiki Hikōtei (Type 2 Flying Boat), Famous Airplanes of the World No. 184 (Bunrindo [Japan], March 2018)
H8K Emily Type 2 Flying Boat, Aero Detail No. 31 (DaiNippon Kaiga [Japan], 2003)
Ni-shiki Ōgata Hikōtei (Type 2 Large Flying Boat), Museum of Maritime Science Guide 2, 2002
Ni-shiki Hikōtei (Type 2 Flying Boat), Famous Airplanes of the World No. 49 (Bunrindo [Japan], November 1994)

Kanoya, January 2014. Although tethered down, there must be some concern that the aircraft, which
suffered hurricane damage in 1960, will fall victim to one of Japan’s many typhoons.
(Photo: Miya.m via Wikimedia Commons)
The aircraft’s weight is also well supported on struts. Visible just behind the main front underside strut is
the bomb aimer’s window, which in the case of this aircraft reportedly saw very little use. The white boxes
above the undercarriage dollies are floats, used in conjunction with fishing net-type flotation devices to
retrieve each 1,850lb (840kg) twin-wheel dolly when jettisoned prior to takeoff.
(Photo: Miya.m via Wikimedia Commons [Jan. 2014])

(Above and below) The first prototype of what was then known as the 13-Shi Large Flying Boat first flew
on December 31, 1940, and is shown here during flight tests on Osaka Bay from Kawanishi’s Konan Plant
the following month. In the meantime, the top of the aircraft’s tail had undergone modification, as had the
boat hull beneath the nose by the addition of a so-called
katsuobushi (piece of dried bonito) strake to
to reduce the spray that had caused problems during the takeoff run for its maiden flight.
A total of
17 H8K1 aircraft had been built at Kawanishi’s Naruo Plant by 1943, when production switched to the
H8K2 version at the Konan Plant.
The World’s Aircraft for June 1953 claims an astounding 111 aircraft
were built there in 1943, followed by 67 in 1944 and just two in 1945, for a total of 180 aircraft
(Photos from June 1953 issue of The World’s Aircraft, used with permission of Hobun Shorin, Co., Ltd.)

Pictured at Kawanishi’s Naruo Plant on November 30, 1943, directly after completion, is the 68th Type 2
Model 12 Flying Boat converted as the first production example of what was then provisionally
designated as the
Seikū (Clear Sky) Model 32. The propeller blades were unpainted and the
aircraft sported red ‘identification friend or foe’ stripes on the leading edges of its wings.
A total of 15 aircraft of this version were completed.

(Photo from June 1953 issue of The World’s Aircraft, used with permission of Hobun Shorin, Co., Ltd.)

The view forward to the aircraft commander’s seat and flight deck from the radio operator’s position
on the first
Seikū transport aircraft.
(Photo from June 1953 issue of The World’s Aircraft, used with permission of Hobun Shorin, Co., Ltd.)

The Seikū transport aircraft could accommodate a maximum of 64 passengers in a troop-style seating
arrangement on two decks. Depicting the first aircraft specially prepared for a photo shoot,
its operational appearance was likely somewhat different.
(Photo from June 1953 issue of The World’s Aircraft, used with permission of Hobun Shorin, Co., Ltd.)

Nicknamed Asahi (旭) , this is another of the Yokohama Naval Station-based Seikū Model 32
transports mentioned in the review of the
Famous Planes of the World book on the Emily (link) .
The book (p. 49) contains the scene, soon after the war’s end, of six aircraft congregated on the
ramp at Negishi, where this photo was taken. Of note is the aforementioned
katsuobushi strake
under the nose, the design fix first added to the 13-
Shi prototype to reduce spray and alleviate
the aircraft’s tendency to porpoise on takeoff runs.

(Photo from Nov. 1956 issue of The World’s Aircraft, used with permission of Hobun Shorin, Co., Ltd.)

A lone Emily sits forlornly on the shore having seemingly run aground at the now wrecked Hiro Naval
Arsenal in Hiroshima Prefecture, where some of the type’
s smaller predecessors had been developed
during the interwar years. The remains of the facility’s slipway are in the right background.
(Below) A close-up of the above photo, which was likely taken soon after the end of the war, reveals the
aircraft to be a Seikū Model 32 transport bearing the tail code 11
Ko-21, 11Ko having been that assigned
to the 11th Naval Arsenal at Hiro. Hiroshi Ebi’s caption for this photo in FAoW No. 184 states that the
patch at the rear centre of the main wing covers a hole made to facilitate the replacement of a fuel tank.
Easy targets, more than half the total of 36 Seikū transports built fell victim to marauding U.S. fighters.
(Photo: San Diego Air and Space Museum via Wikimedia Commons)

Further reading

Information as of: 07.07.2020 09:48:41 CEST

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List of aircraft (W)

This is a list of aircraft in alphabetical order beginning with 'W'.


(West Australian Aircraft Company - WAACO)


(Wabash Aircraft Co, Terre Haute IN.)

(Wilmington Aero Club, Wilmington DE.)


(1920 Weaver Aircraft Co 1923: Advance Aircraft Co. 1928: Waco Aircraft Co.)

  • Early Waco types
    (Variants of Waco 10 - open cockpit biplanes 1927-9)
  • SO series (Straightwing)
  • TO series (Taperwing)
    (2-seat side-by-side biplanes 1932–1933)
  • BA series
  • CA series
  • LA series
    biplanes (1932-1938)
  • DC series
  • EC series
  • IC series
  • JC series
  • KC series
  • KC-S series
  • JC-S series
  • KS series
    sesquiplanes (1935-1938)
  • GC series
  • QC series
  • UC series
  • OC series
    (Military biplanes 1934-37)
    Executive "Aristocrat" cabin biplanes (1939)
    tandem 2/3-seat open cockpit biplanes (1930–1937)
  • BF series
  • CF series
  • MF series
  • NF series
  • PF series
    tricycle/nosewheel gear cabin biplanes (1937-1938)
  • Military Aircraft
    (Cancelled Transport) (designation for all Wacos impressed into USAAC/USAAF) (troop glider) (troop glider) (powered glider) (US Navy designation for UBF used for trapeze experiments on flying aircraft carriers) (USCG designation for EGC-7) (USAAC designation for primary trainer based on UPF-7)
  • Misc Waco Types
    pusher cabin monoplane (1930 National Air Tour Special, two CRGs only) (ad hoc aircraft built by Waco employees) [3] (powered glider) [3] (Primary glider) [3][3] (low-wing monoplane military trainer) [3]

(Waco Aircraft Co Inc (fdrs: Rich & Linda Melhoff), Forks WA.)





(Harold A Wagner, 4539 NE 21 St, Portland OR.)


(Helikopter Technik Munchen - Wagner)


((Fred G) Wagner Aircraft Co Inc, San Diego CA.)



(Barnaby Wainfan, Long Beach CA.)


Waitamo Aircraft


(Weckler-Armstrong-Lillie Co, 2717 Irving Park Blvd, Chicago IL.)


( Dr Henry W Walden, Mineola NY. )


((Henry?) Walden-(Roscoe) Markey Inc, Strickland & Bassett Aves, Mill Basin NY.)


(Arthur L Waldroop, Palmyra NB.)


(Fred & Herman Greve, Detroit MI)



( (Stanley) Wallace Aircraft Co, 4710 Irving Park Blvd, Chicago IL)

Wallace Brothers

(Frank C and Fred M Wallace, Bettendorf IA.)



(Stanley B Wallis, Ypsilanti MI.)


(Fred W Wallman Jr, Minneapolis MN.)


(L.W. Walraven, Bandoeng, Java)


(San Diego Aeroplane Mfg Co (fdr: Charles Francis Walsh), San Diego CA.)

Walsh Brothers

(Walsh Brothers, New Zealand)


(Dale "Red" Walter & Roy Campbell, Severy KS.)

(War Aircraft Replicas, Brandon, Florida)




(Arthur P Warner, Beloit WI.)

Warner Aerocraft

(Warner Aerocraft Company, Seminole, Florida, United States)



(W H "Glen" Warren, San Luis Obispo CA.)

Warren & Young


(Warrior Aeronautical Corp, Alliance OH)


(William Warwick, Torrance CA)


(Washington Aeroplane Co, College Park MD.)

Washington Aeroprogress

Washington Navy Yard

(Wasp Airplane Co, 3440 Boston Ave and 1044 51 Ave, Oakland CA.)


Wasp Systems

(Later Wasp Flight Systems, Crook, Cumbria, United Kingdom)


    : [13][14] First flight August 1956. Later referred to as the Javelot I. : [15] First flight 25 March 1958. : First flight 26 June 1961. Modified forward fuselage and swept fin. [16] : [16] 1964 model, with increased outer wing dihedral. [17]


(KK Watanabe Tekkosho - Watanabe Iron Works Ltd.) (from 1943 - Kyushu Aeroplane Company Ltd. q.v.)

Water-based Aircraft Design & Research Institute


( (William J) Waterhouse & (Lloyd) Royer Aircraft, Glendale CA.)


(Waterman Aircraft Mfg Co, 3rd & Sunset, Venice CA.)


(Watkins Aircraft Co (pres: Everett Watkins), Wichita KS.)


(Taylor Watkinson Aircraft Company, UK)


(Watson Windwagon Company / Gary Watson, Newcastle TX.)

(WD Flugzeug Leichtbau / Wolfgang Dallach)


((John C) Weatherly Aviation Co Inc, Hollister CA.)


(Ray Weatherly & Bill Campbell, Dallas TX.)


(Goodwin K Weaver & Oliver Wellet, aka Weaver Air Service, 353 S Audubon Rd, Indianapolis IN.)


(Marshal D Webber, Jefferson OH.)




( (James R) Wedell-(Harry P) Williams Air Service Corp, Patterson LA.)



(Elling O Weeks and E A "Gus" Riggs, Terre Haute IN.)


(Fred E Weick, 130 Cherokee Rd, Hampton VA.)


((George) Weidmann Body & Trailer Co, North Tonawanda NY.)

(Lehman Weil, 225 West 71 St, New York NY.)




((Orin) Welch Aircraft Co, Anderson IN. / Welch Aviation Co.)

Weller Flugzeugbau


(R C Lusk & R M Weller, Burbank CA.)


(Harry Wellington, Ontario CA.)




(George T Welsh, Long Beach CA.)


(Burdette Star Welsher, 519 High St, San Luis Obispo CA.)


((Robert) Wendt Aircraft Corp, 825 Main St, N Tonawanda NY.)


((Harold O) Wendt Aircraft Engr, La Mesa CA.)

Werkheiser & Matson

(C M Matson & Harlan Werkheiser, Bloomsburg PA.)



(Joseph K Wesley, Somerset KY.)


(Russell West, Atlanta (GA?) Packard Co.)

West Coast

(West Coast Air Service Inc, Portland OR.)


(Westbrook Aeronautical Corp (fdrs: John Knox McAfee, Neil Westbrook Perdew), Teterboro, NJ)



(Western Aircraft Supplies, Calgary Alberta Canada.)


(Western Airplane & Supply Co, Burbank CA.)


(Western Airplane Co, 53 W Jackson Blvd, Chicago IL.)


(Western Aircraft Corp (pres: Georges Hamilton), San Antonio TX.)

Western Aircraft

(Western Aircraft Corp, 521 Cooper Bldg, Denver CO.)

Western Aircraft Supplies

(Western Aircraft Supplies)



(Miles Westfall, Oklahoma City OK and New Richmond IN.)


(Westfield Aircraft Co (Summit Aeronautical Corp), Westfield MA.)



(Charles Terres Weymann / Société des Avions C.T.Weymann)




(Martin Wezel Flugzeugtechnik)



(Puget-Pacific Airplane Co Tacoma WA.)


(Ken Wheeler / Wheeler Technology)


(Ron Wheeler Aircraft (Slaes) Pty. Ltd.)


(Wheeling Aircraft Co, Pontiac MI.)



(Whitcraft Corp, Eastford CT.)


(George D White, 117 E 49 St, Los Angeles CA.)


(George White, St Augustine FL.)


((Donald G) White Aircraft Co, Woodward Airport, Leroy NY)


(William T White, Dallas TX.)


(E Marshall White, Huntington Beach CA.)


White & Thompson


( (Burdette S & Harold L) White's Aircraft, Ames IA)


((Benjamin) White-(Hans) Kremsreiter, Milwaukee WI.)


(Whitehead Aircraft Company)


(Gustave Whitehead (Gustav Weisskopf), Bridgeport CT.)


(Lawrence Henry Whiteman, Wichita KS.)


(Earl E Whitman, Point Richmond CA.)


(Dean-Wilson Aviation Ltd / C.W. "Bill" Whitney)


(Michael Whittaker, Clayton, Yorkshire, United Kingdom)


(Whittelsey Mfg Co, 220 Howard St, Bridgeport CT.)


((Harris) Whittemore-(?) Hamm Co, Saugus MA.)


(Clem Whittenbeck, Greenwood MO, Lincoln NB and Miami OK.)



(Société des Avions Michel Wibault)

Wibault significant projects

Wib.4 heavy bomber project? Wib.5 single-seat parasol-wing fighter project, submitted to C.1 1923 Wib.6 two-seat parasol-wing fighter derivative of Wib.5 Wib.11 single-seat fighter project powered by one 500 hp engine, for C.1 1923 Wib.14 two-seat parasol-wing tourist aircraft project Wib.14H a floatplane version of Wib.14 Wib.15 single-seat fighter project to C.1 1926 contest Wib.160 Trombe II a more powerful version of Wib.130 Trombe I, also for C.1 1926 Wib.170 single-seat lightweight fighter for C.1 1926 Wib.230 three-engined transport aircraft project? Wib.270 single-seat lightweight fighter project for C.1 1928 Wib.330 transport aircraft (no more details) Wib.340 two-seat low-wing tourist aircraft project


(Wichita Airplane Mfg Co (C A Noll, Anson O Rorabaugh), 716 (?>912) W 1st St, Wichita KS.)




(Widerøes Flyveselskap)


(John C Wieber, Milwaukee WI.)


(William Weinberg, Kansas City, Missouri, United States)

(Ronald Wier, San Diego, California, United States)



(Confusion may reign here:- Owner:J. Samuel White, Designer Howard T. Wright, Company Name Wight Aircraft Co.)




(H F Wilcox Aeronautics Inc, Verdigris OK.)


(Charles A Wilder, Bronson MI.)


Wildfire Air Racing

Wiley Post

(Wiley Post Aircraft Corp, Oklahoma City OK)



(Charles F Willard, Hempstead NY and Los Angeles CA.)


(J Newton Williams, Ansonia CT.)

C W Williams

O E Williams

(O E Williams Aeroplane Co (fdrs: Osbert Edwin & Inez Williams), Scranton PA.)


(Beryl J Williams Co, Venice & Pasadena CA.)


(Szekely Aircraft & Engine Co, Holland MI.)


(Art Williams and Guy Gully, Alliance OH.)




(Robert F Williams, Houston TX.)


(Floyd Williams, Eagle Grove IA.)


Williams International

((Sam B) Williams Intl, Walled Lake MI.)

Williams Texas-Temple

(Texas Aero Mfg Co (fdr: George W Williams), Temple TX. )


(Roger Williamson, San Antonio TX.)


(Capt Hugh L. Willoughby, Newport RI.)


Wills Wing

(Santa Ana, California, United States and later Orange, California)



(John H Wilson, Middlesex PA.)


(Al & Herbert Wilson, Ocean Park CA.)


(Wilson & Co, 529 W Douglas, Wichita KS.)


((Dr Frank M) Wilson Aircraft Company, Los Angeles CA.)


(James Wilson, Los Angeles CA.)


Winds Italia



Windward Performance

((George S) Wing Aircraft Co/Hi-Shear Corp, 2660 Skypark Dr, Torrance CA.)


  • In the Area 88 manga, Greg realizes that ordinary aircraft won't be effective against Farina's land carrier and immediately orders an A-10 Thunderbolt from McCoy. At the time the manga was written (early 1980s), the A-10 Thunderbolt was a state of the art aircraft.
  • In Hellsing, an SR-71 Blackbird is used to stop the naval invasion of England by Millennium. In the popular fan webcomic And Shine Heaven Now, this is lampshaded with people referring to it as the Incredibly Awesome Plane, except for Alucard, who refers to it as a Deus ex Machina.
  • It's safe to say that any Macross series will have Cool Planes.
    • The VF-1 Valkryie from Super Dimension Fortress Macross, and its successors such as the YF-19 from Macross Plus and Jetfire from Transformers (No, really): Cool Planes that transform into robots. note Also, the YF-19 is the basis of Animated Starscream.
    • There's also the VB-6 König Monster from Macross Frontier. A boxy and ungainly bomber in flight mode, it earns its cool points when it transforms into an updated version of the Destroid Monster (which was more of a walking artillery platform than a mecha), with the firepower to take down escort cruisers and a recoil that can buckle a warship's armour plating.
    • Combined with Rule of Cool and More Dakka with the VF-25 and its full armor pack (also from Frontier). A few previous variable fighters had armor packs that when equipped prevented them from transforming back to fighter mode, but the VF-25's not only allows it to transform with the armor pack on, but gives it the largest missile load of any main fighter in the series.
    • The God Phoenix. Imagine a large bright red and blue plane that can go into space, submerge in water, take off and land vertically, goes supersonic, carries about 30 missiles (before being kaboomed), then several large super missiles (after being rebuilt), and carries 4 secondary vehicles inside it. Most spectacularly of all when the plane's really in a jam, it can transform in to a giant flaming phoenix to escape, although this takes a lot out of the team. note And the fuel. The Battle of the Planets Phoenix had both types of missiles, 30 small and 2 large.
    • Ken himself has the G1. A Cessna plane in civilian form that transforms into a supersonic jet. Later in the series, it gets mounted with a heat laser cannon.
    • Porco Rosso's trademark red Savoia Marchetti S.21 seaplane and Curtis' Curtiss R 3 C racer are both actual historical aircraft (although the real Savoia S.21 was a biplane, not a monoplane) and would have been considered "cool" planes in their time.
    • Future Boy Conan has Monsley's Falco.
    • Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind features the Valley of the Wind Gunship.
    • The Castle of Cagliostro, one of the Lupin anime that Miyazaki directed, features the Count's autogyro.
    • Castle in the Sky has a number of smaller wacky/cool ships. The titular Castle, however, is a Cool Airship!
    • The Wind Rises, being a fictionalised biography about a gifted aircraft designer most famous for designing the Zero fighter, naturally features a lot of them. In a case of Shown Their Work, all aircraft (except for the first Dream Sequence) featured in it actually exist in Real Life, and most of them are cool planes in both cases. Its poster also features a prototype of Mitsubishi A5M "Cluade" in all its inverted gull wing glory.
    • Academy City's HsF-00 and HsB-07 fighters and bombers. Over 80m in length, capable of Mach 7, can fly sideways or spin in place. The pilot's body has to be placed in cryogenic stasis in order to survive maneuvers, and controls the plane through a direct neural interface.
    • The "Six Wings" supersonic helicopter. These don't even have pilots, and are drones, but are considered the equivalent to an entire conventional armored platoon in terms of firepower.
    • In Shadow Star, Shiina's father travels to Russia to train on the Sukhoi Su-27, which is a Real Life example of this trope. In his off-time, he is a private pilot, flying a Canadair 215.
    • Bokurano has several, the most prominent of which is the advanced, stealthy Type 88 Light Fighter. During several of the robot battles, we get to see it in action.
    • Kith's currently-running manga, Futago no Teikoku, involves the Mitsubishi A 5 M, which was the most advanced naval fighter in the world in the 1930s.
    • Wonder Woman's infamous Invisible Jet.
      • Wonder Woman (1942): Not only is it an early version of stealth technology, it can travel at least 2,000 m.p.h. or 40 miles/second, be summoned/controlled telepathically, travel into space and even to other dimensions. This was also before Wondy had been given the ability to fly herself, removing the usual question for why she needs a plane.
      • Wonder Woman (1987): As the Post-Crisis Amazons were stripped of their technological advances and scientific based society in favor of tying them to the Greek Pantheon when the invisible plane was reintroduced it was a sentient transforming craft gifted to Diana by a Sufficiently Advanced Alien.
      • The Legend of Wonder Woman (2016): The Invisible Plane gets an Adaptational Backstory Change, and is in this continuity is a B-17 that's been painted with Wonder Woman Nose Art and undergone stealth experimentation that allows it to turn invisible at the push of a button.
      • Evangelion 303: In this doujin the main characters pilot war planes called F-14E -or "Evangelion"-, a variant of the F-14 model and the most advanced war plane built. Among other things they are fitted with an anti-targetting field capable to render them invisible to radar systems and deflect projectiles.
      • Child of the Storm has the Avengers and SHIELD Quinjets, lovingly describes the Eurofighter Typhoon (one of which brings down a zombified dragon. albeit after having crashed, and the empty jet being used as a giant lance by War Machine), and of course, the famous X-Men Blackbird. The latter meets an unfortunate end in the first major arc of the sequel, Ghosts of the Past, when Magneto hits the Red Son in the face with it.
      • HERZ: The aircraft piloted by Kensuke in chapter 1 definitely counts:
      • The real Saber was called the XP-86 when it first flew, but then "P for Pursuit" was changed to "F for Fighter"
      • The XF/A-1 'Harrier' is a direct Expy of the VTOL fighter of the same name, down to having been manufactured at least in part by the Hawker Aerocraft company.
      • The Bow-Wing Bo-26 "Seaddler" is based largely on the Dornier Do-26 flying boat, albeit kitted out with side gunner positions and two autocannons in the nose.
      • The Trought F/A-5U "Flying Pancake" is another direct Expy of the Vought XF5U "Flying Flapjack", including the legendary durability. The first one to appear survives getting caught in the blast wave of a half-kiloton Megaspell, after all.
      • The Incredibles gives us a few, like.
        • The "Manta Ray" jet. It flies in the air and swims under water and even serves Mr. Incredible shrimp cocktail and mimosa all by itself. with no flight attendants! Its creator is an annoyinginventivefanboyturnedbad, who also happens to be the creator of.
        • The Velocipods &mdash a mook-flown, and also crazy baddie invention. Being small, fast and agile, it's basically your car-sized one-man helicopter that can fly tight circles around people. Its arsenal of twin machine guns gives it some raw firepower at a healthy distance, but you know what? It's the blades that make it really incredible: we mean, it cuts entire palm trees without hurting itself, guys!
        • And the Big Bad has more! There's even an unpowered glider housed inside a rocket that carries a Humongous Mecha called the "Omnidroid". But other than its incredible mass for an aircraft, there isn't much to speak of it since it demonstrates nothing else.
        • The good guys, however, get a note (quoth Helen Parker) "really fast" private jet. Although it's not up to the incredible standards set by the rest of the other aircraft, it can do some very extreme maneuvers and, if really necessary, jettison flares to confuse SAMs (note that this is something real military planes can do as well).
        • The Spin-Off film Planes features an entire cast of these.
        • X-Men Film Series
          • The Blackbird in X-Men: First Class, of course. Stealthy and supersonic on the technical side, sleek and beautifully shaped on aesthetic side.
          • The titular hypersonic stealth fighter jet from Clint Eastwood's Film of the BookFirefox is considered by many to be the Trope Maker.
            • Aviation experts will dispute its worthiness of the title, citing that the radio-controlled flying models of the titular fighter-jet could barely stay airborne, but the first time the plane is shown in the film? It looks like an angry dragon.
            • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: The Batwing again, of course. It can hover, and it is fitted with heavy machine guns.
            • Justice League: Batman designed and built a three-story plane called the Flying Fox for the League to serve as its transport and mobile HQ. He uses its missiles to punch a hole in the shield of Steppenwolf's base in the climax.
            • Wonder Woman: The giant German bomber seen at the climax is clearly derived from a real-life example — the Zeppelin-Staaken R.VI, a biplane with a wingspan greater than that of a Boeing 737. And yes, it was built by the same Zeppelin company that made, well, Zeppelins.
            • See also the Real Life section for the star aircraft of the film, the Grumman F-14 Tomcat.
            • Ironically, that would've probably make it a tactical bomber in Real Life: note Obviously, no such plane existed. While MiG did some ground-attack birds, they were primarily fighters in the vein of F-4. in the Soviet Union only odd indexes were assigned to fighters — even numbers were for pure bombers and transports.
            • Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004)
              • The Royal Navy's amphibious squadron can transform in mid-dive into submersibles armed with cluster-torpedoes. They also have an Ejection Seat with built-in Jet Pack, leading to a Crowning Moment Of Awesome for Angelina Jolie.
              • Sky Captain's modified Curtiss P-40, as it carries the usual six machine-gun loadout as well as grapnel cables and magnetic bombs. Also, it can fly under water and perform aerobatic feats that the real P-40 would be hard pressed to do.
              • One of the earliest, and almost certainly still to this day the greatest, has to be the MiG-31 "Firefox" from the novel and film of the same name, which was capable of Mach 5, stealth (called "anti-radar" in the book, which predates the term "stealth technology") and carried thought-controllable weapons. For which the pilot had to think in Russian nevertheless.
                • The original cover had the aircraft look like the MiG-25. The distinctive design was a creation of the film and features on all later re-prints. There's irony for you: the real MiG-31, codenamed "Foxhound", is a development of the -25 Foxbat, so the original cover got it right! Of course, the Foxhound can't do Mach 5, is not particularly stealthy and doesn't have thought-controlled weapons on the other hand, it does tote AA-9 Amos missiles, which are the longest-range air-to-air missiles that the USSR/Russia has they're said to be the Soviet equivalent of the AIM-54 Phoenix.
                • Here's a rarity. The writer of the book liked the movie better than his own novel. Mr. Eastwood, Badass Planes. You're doin' it right!
                • In fact, Craig Thomas changed its description in the sequel novel Firefox Down to match the cinematic design.
                • At least one aeronautically-knowledgeable fan drew up its technical specifications in a journal-worthy white paper, thus making the Firefox one of the most realistic cool machines ever seen in a Hollywood film.
                • Matthew Reilly's previous books feature the Silhouette (a fighter prototype with a cloaking device), and the Black Raven (a modified Sukhoi S-37 with more weapons than a Bond car). Both include radar-absorbent paint and VTOL. The S-37 was an earlier name for the Sukhoi Su-47, which counts as a cool planebefore the modifications.
                • It has the main character's F-16, with which he leads the forces of America's restoration. It's the last remaining F-16 in the world after the Soviets won World War III and destroyed most of America's modern equipment during the forced disarmament. It's modified to carry more and more missiles until, in the end, it can lug over twenty, and its performance is somehow not hampered in the least. It later ends up traveling back in time to World War II, then later into the far future &mdash IN SPACE &mdash where it's modified to become a starfighter. The series is even more silly than all of that sounds.
                • From the same series is the gunship known as Nozo, a modified C-5 that takes the gunship Up to Eleven, as it is armed with a full 21 GAU-8 Avengers. Its companion plane, the rather spectacularly colored Bozo, is fitted with a bewildering array of machine guns, Gatling guns, rocket launchers, and artillery pieces said plane becomes the setpiece for an entire novel when it crashes in Vietnam and has to defend itself from constant human wave attacks.
                • In Red Storm Rising he featured the F-19 Ghostrider note The designation number is interesting, as Clancy assumed that the skipped F-19 was a result of its use for the new stealth fighter, it was actually because Northrup wanted their new aircraft intended for the export market to be the F-20 to avoid confusion with the odd numbers of Russian fighters. In truth, the F-117 designation was used as it previously had been for a few other secret classifications, mostly captured Russian designs. which is what he assumed the USAF stealth fighter to be. It was a superior aircraft to the actual F-117 Nighthawk, with the ability to carry air to air missiles and to go supersonic.
                • Debt of Honor likewise featured the Comanche stealth attack helicopter, which was a prototype that was canceld before it could enter regular service. Again it had performance vastly exceeding the actual helicopter. The same book also had the first prominent fictional outing of the F-22 just a few years after its existence was publicized, though when the novel was written (1994) there were only a few YF-22 prototypes, which had some differences from the later production models, and the novel uses the old name for the aircraft, Rapier.
                • The Bus in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is a VTOL-capable cargo plane that Coulson uses as a mobile base of operations. Inside the plane is a two-car garage, a first-rate science lab, a command center, a brig, and a well stocked mini-bar. But no fish tank. After its destruction near the end of Season 2, Season 3 features an all new VTOL-capable aircraft called the Zephyr One, which looks like part Bus, part Quinnjet and part Helicarrier.
                • The supersonic Airwolf helicopter, star of the show of the same name created by Donald P. Bellisario. Capable of exceeding Mach 1, stealthy and an unrefuelled range that most fighters can't get near.
                • The Luxury Liners in the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica don't do much to warrant coolness but they still look pretty awesome. Technically they are starships but they are modeled after present-day airplanes and fill the same function so it kinda counts.
                  • Well, being able to fly constantly for 4 years with little maintenance and taking off from a warzone while dodging fighters is pretty cool too I guess.
                  • what about the Vipers themselves? Designed for maximum maneuverability and capable of taking down eight Cylon raiders in one go or even a Resurrection Ship in the hands of the right pilot, they're the best examples of this trope in the Fleet.
                    • The Vipers are also a partial subversion of this trope : the most advanced Mk. VII models turn out to be susceptible to Cylon hacking at first, so the pilots have to use older Mk II models to get any fighting done.
                    • The SHARC (Special Hydro-Aero Recon Craft) from Power Rangers Operation Overdrive. Can fly or skate across water, and don't the Rangers look awesome jumping down from it in their circle formation? Eventually, they get a Humongous Mecha version called the Sonic Streaker, but the SHARC still popped up now and again.
                    • The F-302 fighter-interceptor from the Stargate-verse, reverse-engineered from an alien craft. What makes it even more awesome is the naquadriah-powered miniature hyperdrive that makes it capable of short-range tactical hyperspace jumps - and that one's an entirely human creation as no other race would even consider strapping a miniature nuclear reactor powered by an insanely unstable isotope onto a fighter. That's actually justified as the prototype almost blew itself to hell when its first hyperspace window was unstable but later proved wrong when O'Neillhyperspaced through an enemy ship's shield and missile'd its main gun directly.
                    • Super Sentai:
                      • The Thunderwing jet fighters from Chouriki Sentai Ohranger. They have drop-deployment hatches for the Jetter Machines, and laser cannons in the nosecones to blow up Baranoia Takonpa fighters with in addition to a fighter jet's usual weapon loadout.
                      • Outside Ohranger, There are Super Sentai teams that have jet machines as part of their Combining Mecha, like Dynaman (Dyna Mach), Maskman (Masky Fighter) and Turboranger (Rugger Fighter).
                      • Thunderbirds:
                        • Thunderbird 1 is the ultimate aerial hot-rod if you don't count space-planes. Reputed to do 15,000 mph, which is 86 per cent of orbital velocity and will get you anywhere on Earth in just over an hour, even allowing for acceleration and slowing down at either end of the trip.
                        • The Fireflash nuclear-powered airliner - based on designs of the time, until people realised any crash would result in an unhealthy dose of isotopes over a wide area from the crash site.
                        • Thunderbird 2 is not only hypersonic, but capable of carrying very large loads.
                        • The Quinjet in Zen Studios' The AvengersDigital Pinball Table, which strafes the playfield and drops extra balls to start multiball.
                        • The Batwing in Sega's Batman Forever, which fires pinballs at playfield targets.
                        • The hero of Airborne Avenger gets around in a one-man flying jet-sled.
                        • Operation: Thunder has the player command a squadron of F-15 Strike Eagles and Stealth Fighters against the enemy.
                        • Flash flies into battle on his rocketsled in Flash Gordon.
                        • Spy Hunter has two &mdash a white private jet appears on the backglass, while the playfield shows off a one-man mini-plane.
                        • Warhammer 40,000 and its spinoff game Aeronautica Imperialis have their fair share of these. Special mention goes to the Eldar Nightwing, which in the words of one reviewer "looks like something Batman would fly". Its page in Imperial Armor contains a background note on an Eldar squadron that shot down more than sixty Chaos fighters in the course of one campaign. Particularly awesome given that that squadron was four Nightwings strong.
                          • Deff Skwadron brings us da megabomma&loz, which is not only friggin' enormous, but also glorious enough to an Ork mindset (read: as many guns as could be welded on and a huge payload of angry squigs) that its eventual pilot has to pick his jaw off the floor when he first sees it.
                          • Another game by FASA, BattleTech, has the Aerospace Fighters, bonafide spacefighter planes alongside more conventional aircraft.
                          • The XCOM games are full of these. Specific aircraft include the Interceptor, the Firestorm, and the Avenger from UFO Defense, and the Barracuda, Manta, and Leviathan from Terror from the Deep.
                            • Also XCOM gives us the soldiers' main transport ship, the SR-77H Skyranger. In the 2012 remake XCOM: Enemy Unknown, it's able to get from one end of the earth to the other, and back again, in a single day on a single tank of fuel. Nice.
                            • Ace Combat 2 was the first to have fantasy-made aircraft. A recurring example is the fan-favorite XFA-27, whose design looked like it came straight out of Macross, as it heavily resembles a VF-11 but minus the ability to turn into a mecha, is way more maneuverable than any other aircraft, and being able to fire four missiles at once (a mini-Macross Missile Massacre?), something that no other plane could do until the fourth game onwards. The ADF-01 FALKEN (pictured above) made its debut in this game as a Bonus Boss, which is a Giant Space Flea from Nowhere because the first time you fight it, you have absolutely no idea what the heck kind of aircraft it is and no you can't fly it.
                            • Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere runneth over with Cool Planes, including the XFA-36A Game, the UI-4054 Aurora, the R-352 Sepia (a space fighter), the R-201v Asterozoa (a double artillery airplane), the XR-900 Geopelia, and the X-49 Night Raven ( a Super Prototype, piloted by a skilled Ill Girl in the original version or a murderous AI in the export version . Just to hammer down the point, the Eurofighter Typhoon, which is one of the Coolest Planes in Real Life nowadays, is one of the lamest planes in the game!
                            • Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies gave us the X-02 Wyvern, who came back upgraded as the X-02S Strike Wyvern in Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown with it's folding wings and later railgun as his main gimmick.
                            • The Arkbird from Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War. Though you don't get to fly it, you do get to use it as a Kill Sat.
                            • Being the first Ace Combat game following the game's timeline, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War gave us the granddaddies of the fictional planes of the series : the ADFX-01 Morgan and his upgraded version, the ADFX-02. Sadly, you can only fly the former, which is still an absolute blast. Both planes are so utterly degenerate, the 01 can actually complete several entire missions with a single subweapon shot. And if the 01, for balance reasons, only carries one of said subweapons (either a massive bomb, a laser cannon or a missile spoofing system), the 02 has all three.
                            • Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation has the CFA-44 Nosferatu. The plane nearly ruined the economy of it's native country due to it's development costs and for good reason: top-tier stats, able to fire up to twelve missiles at the same time, to adapt it's stealth camouflage to spoof almost any radar and goes into battle accompanied by twin railguns and a small squadron of attack drones­.
                            • Skies of Deception has the YR-302 Fregata, XR-45 Cariburn, XFA-33 Fenrir, XFA-24A Apalis, and the YR-99 Forneus. All six are super-maneuverable and a blast to fly, and were formerly the page image for this trope.
                            • Despite taking place in the real world, Ace Combat: Joint Assault and Ace Combat: Assault Horizon gave us the GAF-1 Varcolac and the ASF-X Shinden II respectively. The former, despite it's enormous size and goofy looks (it looks like a guitar viewed from above) flies like an angel. The latter was designed by Shoji Kawamori himself and would fit right at home, performance and looks wise, Macross episode. Sadly, it can't transform into a mech.
                            • Considering the role played by drones in real warfare, Ace Combat also has several Cool UAVs. Starting with Zone of Endless in Ace Combat 2, which used existing planes remote controlled by an Artificial Intelligence, the series gave us the Malgebolg (the support drones of the above-mentionned Nosferatu), the Quox and it's bigger brother the Quox Bis (the support drones of the Ace Combat Infinity version of the Nosferatu, itself AI-controlled) and the so far culmination of the drone warfare in the series, in Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown: the ADF-11(and it's prototype, the ADFX-10), able to go toe-to-toe with the best pilots of the world and, if needs arise, update their strategies in real time to counter a dangerous foe and detach from their main body to gain speed and agility in order to escape .
                            • The F-22 Raptor isn't the signature plane of the series for nothing, folks. You can ace four of the toughest enemies in the series with one shot. Yeah, the Real Life Cool Plane outshines even its fictional counterparts, with his main rival being usually the Su-37 Terminator or the Su-57 / T-50 PAK FA.
                            • The Chimera, made by Kickstarter backers, looks like a fusion between a F-22 and a Su-57 and flies like one, being the best plane to use a "conventional" loadout.
                            • The SP-34R looks like a squat variant of Ace Combat's FALKEN and doesn't have any missiles, but flies like an angel, carries every kind of gunpod in the game, and has a railgun.
                            • The PW.MK1 is the SP-34R on steroids same railgun, a rapid-fire mini-missile launcher, and even better stats, the only complaint about being that it's not a two-seater.
                            • Being a Spiritual Successor to the Ace Combat series, it also offers all the real-life standards like the F-22, Su-47, F-14, and others. Worth noting is that the game boasts several variants of each aircraft that are even cooler- The F-22X "Alvaraptor" and F-35X "Silver Lightning" come to mind, being modified versions of their traditional airframes with forward-swept wings.
                            • More recently in a show of support for the Pride of Wardoge tournament they came out with the AXF-14G Digital Tomcat, which is a stealth-capable F-14 Tomcat with synthetic vision modules and completely modernised control surfaces.
                            • The FB-22&loz (F-22 bomber variant), SR-71 combat-capable prototype YF-12&loz, and the fictional XA-20 Razorback.&loz
                            • The Razorback is a really cool one. It is officially designated as a ground support plane but it has the loadout to give even Raptors a really hard time. Especially since the Razorback is stealthed which means slower missile lock against it. And with the exception of one mission, no one in the singleplayer campaign flies this girl after finishing the game though, you do.
                            • The Anima Mortar (A-Gear) is a VTOL-capable hovertank, with a high-velocity Mass Driver cannon and shields thick enough to withstand fierce pounding, as well as an emergency barrier that blocks missiles, a Snare to slow their targets, and a Shield Paralyze skill that negates regeneration. A rarely-seen but awesome ability that A-gears may possess is the mighty Hyper Shot.
                            • The Brandy Burg (B-Gear) is a Gradius-inspired fighter-bomber with Charged Shots, the ability to fire its missiles as proximity-fused Bombs against both Air and Ground targets, and can cast the deadly self-destruct attack known as the Big Bang. They also get Option-like Chaff for defending against missiles.
                            • The Idle Sniper (I-Gear) is a high-speed dogfighter which can be tuned towards evasiveness or raw destructive power their signature skills Berserk and Frenzy lets them rip loose with missiles, lots of them, while Chain Rolling lets them do continuous Barrel Rolls.
                            • The Meadow Bugle (M-Gear) is the toughest Air-frame known to man, with the ability to sustain punishment that would crumple an A-10 Warthog like a paper plane. They can use the Call of Hero to mobilize whole formations rapidly, and can cast ranged repair and resupply skills, as well as Purify buffs from enemy Air-frames.
                            • Command & Conquer: Red Alert has the Soviet Yak fighters (for infantry, ala the first mission) and Su bombers for armor and structures.
                            • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 has Harrier Jump Jets and the Korean elite Black Eagles where entire missions can, and have, been won on these guys alone. The Soviets get their Cool Airship Kirov and Yuri has a cool spaceship.
                            • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 gives us the Allied Vindicator. It's stubby, not terribly fast, carries just two little bombs, and can't even kill other aircraft. What it can and will do is consistently and constantly knock out enemy resource collectors, vehicles, buildings and just about anything else. It's like a little sniper rifle you point at whatever you want dead and let fly. Entire strategies were built around the reliable little guy, and it pretty much entirely defined Allied strategy throughout the patch cycle.
                              • A tier one Allied faction power makes the Vindicator even scarier, giving it a stat boost and a 50% boost in bomb capacity.
                              • One general is even exclusive air power, but other players can make do with the superior air to air Raptor, fire breathing fururistic MiG 1.44, Stealth F-117 bombers, carpet bombers, Aurora fuel air bomb droppers and B-2 MOAB bombing.
                              • The original Deus Ex saw JC Denton flying in a Black Helicopter piloted by his friend Jock.
                              • Deus Ex: Invisible War gave the player a choice of flying in a (by then) vintage Harrier jump jet flown by Sid Black or another Black Helicopter flown by AI construct Ava Johnson.
                              • In Deus Ex: Human Revolution Adam Jensen gets around in a VTOL piloted by his friend Malik.
                              • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided saw Jensen flying around in souped up and militarized versions of the previous game's VTOL operated by Task Force 29, usually flown by Elias Chikane.
                              • Saints Row: The Third has the F-69 VTOL, STAG's primary fighter jet. In addition to looking sleek and futuristic and, well, being a VTOL, it has a microwave laser cannon for it's primary armament, as well as laser-guided swarm missiles, which you can charge up for a greater blast radius if you really want to bring the pain. Additionally, Big Bad Cyrus Temple uses a special jet black one for his boss fight which you unlock in the post-game, and a DLC pack added one in Saints-purple as well. And just in case you didn't already feel like a badass while flying one, it sounds like a Transformer while switching between Hover and Flight modes. Meanwhile nothing is stopping you from calling in air strikes and controlled missiles yourself.
                              • Saints Row IV unleashes the Screaming Eagle (a flying eagle armed like the F-69) and even when destroyed can be immediately re-summoned except for instances that immediately destroy any vehicle and it has to be done on foot.
                              • DSBT InsaniT: Seth's power is summoning toy airplanes to attack with. They are far more effective than they sound.
                                • Beeps is a talking plane that can move his wheels and wings like limbs.
                                • In the Diesel PunkWeb SerialsThe Chronicles of Taras, the bad guys and later what remains of the protagonists pilot a wingless, wide and cylindrical Diesel Punk airship with four neon-blue searchlights, a pair of mounted guns and a detailed interior called the "Collins RB-434 Hunter-Scavenger".
                                • C.O.P.S. features Bullseye's Air Raid helicopter, which has a sleek, futuristic design and twin cockpits with red and blue glass.
                                • The Venture Bros.
                                  • The "X-1" used to be a cool plane, in the 1960's. Now it's just the supersonic daily driver for the family.
                                  • Jonas' EX-X-1 however, is a cool plane. It can pilot itself, has Space Invaders in the lounge. and at that it has a lounge!
                                  • Skystriker XP-14F (later XP-21F) - based on the F-14, with a modified forward intake
                                  • Dragonfly XH-1 - based on the AH-1 SuperCobra, with a jet turbine stabilizer in place of a conventional tail rotor
                                  • Conquest X-30 - a twin-engine fighter with forward-swept wings based on the Grumman X-29
                                  • Rattler - based on the A-10 Thunderbolt II, with the engines moved to the wings, a third engine on the tail, and VTOL capability
                                  • Night Raven S3P - loosely based on the Lockheed A-12/M-21/SR-71 series with a detachable "recon jet" even more loosely based on the D-21 drone.
                                  • By default, virtually every Transformer with a plane alt-mode is one of these: Starscream (F-15, F-22, something that looks suspiciously like the Su-47 Berkut and a YF-19 "Alpha One") and Blitzwing (A MiG-25 Foxbat that also turns into a tank) only being two examples. (An obvious drawback to listing them all is the fact that many of the flying Transformers are justrepainted Starscreams.)
                                  • The G1 Aerialbot Air Raid was not only the only Autobot F-15, his toy is one of only two using the F-15 alt mode that was not based on Starscream's design! The other, Talon, was released at the very end of the G1 line (as part of the Predators subline) and was never released in the United States. Oddly enough, Combiner Wars Air Raid is now an F-14.
                                  • In fact, some continuities (such as Animated and Prime) make planes and other air vehicle altmodes a distinctive trait of the Decepticons, to contrast with the Autobots' ground vehicles.
                                  • Optimal Optimus' flight mode in Beast Wars, while looking a bit cumbersome, was definitely badass, and what it lacked in speed it made up for in armor and firepower.
                                  • Transformers Cybertron gives us a fair few. Earth planes (and one helicopter): Jetfire turns into an Antonov An-225, Thundercracker (Not a Starscream mold-mate, for once) turns into a Sukhoi Su-37, Evac turns into a Eurocopter Dauphin rescue chopper, and Wing Saber turns into a modified A-10. Cybertronian and other non-Earth: Megatron has a very menacing, evil-looking jet mode, Starscream's altmode is an homage to the pre-earth Tetrajet modes of the G1 Seekers, Sideways' looks distinctly alien, as does Soundwave's bomber mode (though his is similar in shape to some Earth stealth bombers). Mashup: Optimus Prime's Flying Fire Truck mode. Thanks for killing our wallets, Hasbro.
                                  • The 2010 offerings brought some new blood into the mix: Lugnut as a post-modern B-52 with a Wave-Motion Gun in the tail and Terradive as a Sukhoi Su-47 with a trident ((the melee weapon, not the missile) are probably the highlights.
                                  • Baloo's Sea Duck is an old but tricked-out cargo seaplane that can pull off some amazing stunts in Baloo's hands.
                                  • The Snow Duck is literally a Cool Plane: Wildcat crafts it out of ice and a ventilator while at a Thembrian prisoner camp. Actually, the main reason why it flies is because it's Baloo who pilots it.
                                  • The Spruce Moose was designed as a humongous six-engine cargo seaplane that got its name from being shaped like a moose head, the wings with their top-mounted engines being the antlers. It is so large that it could never leave Cape Suzette. And it is so large that it was eventually converted into a rather spacious ballroom. Even then, it remained fully airworthy.
                                  • The Titanium Turkey. Maybe the coolest of the bunch. It's the Norman Bel Geddes Airliner Number 4 transferred into TaleSpin, and In-Universe, it was in fact cobbled together from parts of various stolen aircraft.
                                  • The Iron Vulture isn't strictly an airplane, getting its lift from a combination of vertical propellers and hollow spaces filled with gas lighter than air. Nonetheless, it is still a fierce-looking flying hangar armed with — among smaller weapons — two artillery guns. And it is large enough for a plane the size of the Sea Duck to maneuver inside it.
                                  • On the other side of the scale is Don Karnage's very personal Tri-Wing Terror. It's little more than an engine and six stubby wings, each of which with a machine gun inside. Piloted by Don Karnage, it can give Baloo and other cargo pilots quite a hard time since the short wings and its overall tiny size make it extremely nimble.
                                  • The Batwing is capable of flying through a tunnel and spearing a car, and ripping off its door with a claw. It's Batman, so Rule of Cool is in full effect.
                                  • In the episode "Zatanna", the Villain of the Week is also flying a Norman Geddes Airliner No. 4.

                                  See the Real Life page for non-fictional examples.

                                  Video Example(s):

                                  Japanese-Language Part-Works

                                  Nippon Rikukaigunki Daihyakka (IJAAF/IJNAF Aircraft Encyclopaedia)
                                  Published by Hachette Collections Japan Inc.
                                  Latest Japanese subject edition (Oct. 2015): No. 159 1/200 Tachikawa Ki-74 (see JWings Feb. 2015, above)
                                  2,047 yen (incl. tax, also available via amazon.co.jp)
                                  View the expanded lineup by clicking on Feature03/Update here [link]

                                  Launched in September 2009 (at 790 yen), this collection offers a die-cast precision model of an IJAAF or IJNAF aircraft (in 1/87, 1/100 or 1/120 scale) with an accompanying magazine every two weeks.

                                  Sporting faithfully reproduced contemporary colours and markings—even down to the “no step” warnings on wings—the sturdy models include not only the famous types but also the lesser known aircraft that are popular among aviation enthusiasts. During the course of 2015, the publisher has been straying away from the series title somewhat by including Allied and even German aircraft subjects.

                                  The magazine content is divided into eight categories fighters, attack aircraft, bombers and other types equipment and weapons human interest angles aviation knowledge (manufacturers, archive material, etc.) and a glossary of service terminology.

                                  Jieitai Moderu Korekushon (SDF Model Collection)
                                  Published by K.K. DeAgostini Japan
                                  Final edition (Nov. 2015): Part 70/Mitsubishi T-2 in Blue Impulse markings
                                  2,371 yen (excl. tax, also available via amazon.co.jp)
                                  Issue listing viewable here [link]
                                  (Clicking on the issue number reveals an enlargeable photo of each model)

                                  Launched in March 2013, this collection featured a model of a specific major item of SDF military hardware released every two weeks. Content related to the subject—be it an aircraft, tank or ship—was covered in the accompanying magazine.

                                  Other regular sections included an ongoing account of the 60 years of SDF history, which had actually reached 2015 in the final issue (Part 70), an interview with a serving SDF officer and a visit to an SDF facility (in this case Ainouchi Army Camp in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture).

                                  Dai-niji Sekaitaisen Kessakuki Korekushon
                                  (Classic World War II Aircraft Collection)
                                  Published by K.K. DeAgostini Japan
                                  First edition (Feb. 2016): Kawanishi Shiden-kai
                                  1,999 yen (incl. tax, also available via amazon.co.jp)
                                  Series outline viewable here [link]

                                  Its SDF series having run its course, deAgostini started this latest fortnightly collection in February 2016. As a lure, the first issue, on the Kawanishi Shiden-kai fighter, was offered at half the normal price.

                                  Accompanying each 1/72nd die-cast scale model is a magazine (sample pages below) with sections covering the aircraft’s development and inner workings. These are complemented by pilot bios, details of the type’s combat record and colour schemes as well as by a performance comparison with its Allied rivals.

                                  Upcoming Japanese subjects in the series naturally include the Zero (No. 2), Hayabusa (No. 4) and Raiden (No. 5).

                                  Aircraft Recognition Test Answers
                                  The answers to the aircraft recognition test included in the review (in the Aviation Books: Japanese Language/Historical section) of J-BIRD: Japanese Aircraft Register 19241945 are as follows: J-BAOW and J-BAOX are both Airspeed Envoys (more accurately licence-built Mitsubishi Hinazuru) and J-BAOY a Nakajima AT-2. The latter design was militarized for production as the Army Type 97 Transport (Ki-34, Allied codename Thora).

                                  Production and testing [ edit ]

                                  In trials, it was discovered that the maximum dive angle was only 50°. In June 1936, Ernst Udet took the He 118 on a test flight but after commencing his first dive from about 13,000 feet the propeller suddenly feathered, shearing the reduction gears, and the He 118 disintegrated, leaving Udet to parachute to safety. The Ju 87 repeatedly demonstrated dives at 90 degrees with no trouble, and so won the contract.

                                  Heinkel complained in his biography that Udet ignored instructions and flew the aircraft outside of its limits. He suggests that the failure doomed his design, in spite of being unable to dive vertically like the Stuka.

                                  Of the 15 He 118s built, two went to Japan where they were designated DXHe, however the aircraft disintegrated during Japanese flight tests. The 13-Shi (1939) design specification that led to the Yokosuka D4Y naval dive bomber may have been inspired by the He 118, Ώ] but otherwise the two aircraft had little in common. ΐ]

                                  Heinkel used another example as a flying testbed for the Heinkel HeS 3 turbojet, with the jet engine slung under its fuselage. Although its pilot took off and landed using the He 118's piston engine, he started the turbojet engine in flight and flew under its power in July 1939, the first time an aircraft flew under jet power. The following month the similarly powered, fixed conventional landing gear-fitted Heinkel He 178 V1 would make the first flight powered entirely by a turbojet engine. Α]

                                  THE PLAIN OF CATANIA – 1943 Part I

                                  Seaforth Highlanders Pipes and Drums at Catania Stadium, Sicily in August 1943.

                                  British troops in Catania.

                                  The decisions taken by Alexander on 13 and 16 July dictated the form that the campaign would take. By giving Montgomery the use of Highway 124 he had made the Eighth Army the principal agent by which Messina should be captured, and relegated the Seventh to a secondary role. With XIII and XXX Corps advancing on two fronts towards Catania and Enna respectively, the expectation was that Catania would quickly be occupied but a stalemate developed as the German defences stiffened south of the city. Montgomery’s attempt to broaden his front there by moving 51st (Highland) Division up on the left of XIII Corps, which might have outflanked the enemy, was too late. On 16 July Alexander took the decision to move both of the British corps eastwards – only for them to run directly into the Axis defence line known as the Hauptkampflinie which Kesselring had agreed with Generals Hube and Guzzoni. The Axis forces in Sicily were now, de facto, under the command of the Germans, and General Hube was an effective instrument to carry out their policy – which was not wholly communicated to the Italians – of fighting a defensive battle which would lead to eventual evacuation of the island.

                                  As outlined earlier, on 16 July Hitler ordered further reinforcements into Sicily. The one-armed General der Panzertruppen Hans Valentin Hube’s XIV Panzer Corps Headquarters arrived and took firm control of the German forces, which now included the remainder of 1st Parachute Division (less one regiment), which arrived from Avignon, and much of 29th Panzer Grenadier Division which crossed the Messina Straits from Calabria. The Luftwaffe flak batteries were brought into action as field artillery. Whatever Kesselring may have told Hube about the potential for driving the Allies back into the sea, Hube was clear in his own mind that a progressive withdrawal was the only feasible strategy. He had also received secret orders to keep the Italians out of planning, and was to gain control of all Italian units still in Sicily. His task was to save as many German forces as possible for future operations. By 2 August, Hube would be in control of all Sicilian operations.

                                  Every move that the British made on the Catania Plain could be observed from the slopes of Mount Etna. Hube had sufficient forces to counter any advance XIII Corps could make, but no proper reserves. While 5th and 50th Divisions attempted to progress northwards, the Hermann Göring Division and the Fallschirmjäger dug in firmly.

                                  The first of the defence lines which the Axis command established to protect the withdrawal to the Straits of Messina, the Hauptkampflinie, ran along the route of the road just west of Santo Stefano, south to Nicosia and Agira, then east to Regalbuto before heading south again to Catenanuova, eastwards along the Dittaino River, and ran across the northern edge of the Catania Plain, reaching the coast about six miles south of that city. The line therefore ran all of the way from the northern to the eastern seaboards, taking advantage of the mountainous terrain, a river bank, and the Catania Plain with its broken countryside.

                                  Fifteen miles behind this line the Germans planned the Etna Line, from San Fratello south to Troina and then east to Adrano (which was also known as Aderno in some accounts) and along the road which ran eastwards along the southern edge of Etna to the sea at Acireale. Behind this, the innermost defence line which protected the north-eastern evacuation sites ran from Mount Pelato through Cesaro and Bronte to the sea near Riposto.

                                  The three lines were based on natural features which lent themselves to defence, and which could be strengthened by demolishing roads and bridges and by the laying of minefields and booby-traps. The defences were beginning to be established, albeit not yet firmly, by 17 July. The anchor of the Hauptkampflinie was Catania – and it was here that Montgomery pressed XIII Corps to attack.

                                  Between 16 and 22 July the Axis operations were focused on three, largely independent, areas. In the east, forces largely made up from the Hermann Göring Division held the line of the Dittaino River from Dittaino Station to the sea, forty-two miles to the east and four miles south of Catania. Alongside the Hermann Göring Division were elements of 1st Parachute Division, part of the Livorno Division, and 76 Infantry Regiment from the Napoli Division. Facing them were XIII Corps and 51st Division from XXX Corps.

                                  In the centre of the Axis front, 15th Panzer Grenadier Division was withdrawing from a line which ran through the towns of Caltanissetta, Pietraperzia, Barrafrance, Piazza Armerina, and then north-westwards to the Leonforte-Nicosia area. Here, 1st Canadian Division was in contact with the enemy at the eastern end of the twenty-mile line. At the western end of this sector, 1st (US) and 45th (US) Divisions were in pursuit.

                                  The westernmost section of the Hauptkampflinie was the most fluid. Here the Italian XII Corps, comprising the Assietta and Aosta Divisions, most of the Corps artillery and three Mobile Groups, had been ordered back to defend a forty-five mile length of line on Highway 120 running from Cerda through Petralia to Nicosia. Harassed in their retirement by American troops and aircraft, some of the Italian columns were destroyed as they moved along the narrow roads.

                                  The defence line was very long, and was not continuous. Formations were not firmly linked together, and the forces were thinly stretched in theory, it should have been possible for attackers to feel out weak spots through which to thrust deep into enemy territory. In practice, however, the terrain dictated otherwise, and the climate did not help. The road-bound Allies were tied to the narrow, winding routes which were frequently even more constrained by the stone walls which bordered them.

                                  The most practical directions along which to advance were generally the most obvious – and the most obvious places to concentrate the defences. The Allies were further hindered by their lack of animal transport. During the planning stages for HUSKY seven companies of pack-mules were included in the Eighth Army’s Order of Battle, but these were not included when priorities were established for shipping men and materiel to Sicily. On 17 July, Eighth Army signalled to Middle East that ‘No Pack Transport Units are required by 8th Army in Sicily’. Although local mule trains were organised, they were too small and too untrained to achieve anything more than small tasks.

                                  From Alexander’s perspective, the Eighth Army appeared to be the formation best situated to achieve the objective of seizing Messina and sealing off the enemy’s escape route. Not only were the British well-positioned – on the map – to push up the eastern coast of Sicily, but there was also the legacy of the performance of the Americans and British in North Africa, which left a lingering mistrust of Seventh Army’s reliability. Alexander had confidence, built upon evidence of past performance, in Montgomery. But Monty’s assertion, on 12 July, that Catania would be in his hands two days later failed to materialise – as did his revised target of reaching the city on the 16th. Alexander’s faith in Montgomery had led him to accept the redefinition of the Anglo-American armies’ boundary the failure to push 45th (US) Division rapidly northwards on Highway 112 had cost him the opportunity to split Sicily in two quickly and to forestall the Germans’ window of opportunity to inject fresh forces into the island and to stabilise their defence lines.

                                  Montgomery’s strategy, accepted by Alexander, effectively sent the Eighth Army in diverging directions to objectives forty-five miles apart – XIII Corps towards Catania, and XXX Corps towards Enna – while the American Seventh Army was left without a real role in achieving the objective of securing Messina, other than protecting the British left flank. As the Catania front became stalemated, so Monty tried to extend it by bringing 51st (Highland) Division from XXX Corps up on the left of XIII Corps, but he was too late to affect a decisive blow against the enemy defences. Alexander’s decision to push both corps eastwards, taken on 16 July, was also too late to bring about the desired result. By this time the Axis defences had become sufficiently well knitted together to prevent the success of the strategy.

                                  On 18 July Montgomery decided that 50th Division would hold fast in the Primosole area, while 5th Division would strike about three and a half miles west of the bridge, towards Misterbianco. The line of attack was to cross the Gornalunga and Simeto Rivers any further west and it would have had to cross the Dittaino River as well. On the night of 18-19 July 13 Brigade succeeded in making a shallow bridgehead across the Simeto, through which 15 Brigade mounted an attack at 0130 hours on the 20th. The attack faded out, partly because the infantry battalions’ positions were unclear to the supporting artillery – all eight field and one medium regiments of it – and they were unable to bring effective fire down to assist the advance. In fact the infantry had advanced about three thousand yards before being brought to a halt by machine guns and mortar fire from the enemy who were situated in the gullies and ditches which criss-crossed the ground north of the river. A later attempt to restart the assault came to nothing when enemy defensive fire caused confusion and delay, and the division was ordered to consolidate where it was, pending changes in plans.

                                  Further west again, by another eleven miles, Montgomery had hoped that 51st (Highland) Division would be in Paterno by the night of 20 July. General Wimberley intended to reach that town at speed, using his ‘Arrow Force’ on the right and 154 Infantry Brigade on the left. Arrow Force was an all-arms battle group based on Headquarters 23 Armoured Brigade, with 50th RTR (less two troops), 11th (Honourable Artillery Company) Regiment RHA, 243rd Antitank Battery RA, a company from 1/7th Middlesex Regiment – the Division’s medium machinegun battalion – and 2nd Battalion The Seaforth Highlanders. As such, it was a self-sufficient formation capable of acting relatively independently.

                                  Paterno, however, was difficult to approach tactically, being on the far side of three rivers, the Simeto, the Dittaino and the Gornalunga. To get there, either the enemy defences at Sferro or Gerbini had to be penetrated the two towns protected alternative routes. Arrow Force succeeded in making a shallow bridgehead over the Dittaino at Stimpano, on the Gerbini route, by 18 July, while 154 Brigade advanced through Ramacca with 152 Brigade behind it as the reserve which would exploit whichever route proved most promising. 153 Brigade was to the right moving on Sferro. Now Wimberley changed the direction of his advance, sending 154 Brigade through the Stimpano bridgehead towards Motta Station and 153 to Sferro with the intention of forcing a bridgehead across the Dittaino.

                                  Both brigades ran into more opposition than expected. 154 Brigade was unable to cross the Simeto by dawn on 19 July. At Sferro, 153 Brigade’s 5th Battalion of The Black Watch made a bridgehead and dug in with mortars and antitank guns. The battalion was supported by machineguns from the Middlesex, and the guns of 127th Field Regiment RA. The defenders of Sferro brought down heavy fire on them from artillery, tanks and mortars, causing some sixty casualties, including the regimental sergeant major, who was killed when the battalion headquarters was hit. With enemy panzers in evidence ahead, and with only a single field artillery regiment in support, a rethink was necessary. Wimberley elected to try to enlarge the Sferro bridgehead that night, and 1st Gordon Highlanders and two companies of 5/7th Gordons moved forward through the fiercest bombardment they had ever endured to do just that. They crossed the railway line and then the main road, and 1st Gordons established their headquarters in the station yard, packed with goods wagons. The 5/7th Gordons’ companies forced their way into the village, but lost wireless contact when their radio sets were knocked out in the street fighting. They stayed, isolated, and were shot up by German 88mm guns and armoured cars when dawn broke. The Gordons were to remain in the bridgehead, unable to expand it in the face of stubborn enemy opposition, until 24 July.

                                  Wimberley began to feel that his division was over-extended. On his right, the enemy defences appeared to be the strongest, and not the place to attack. However, he did not wish to redeploy his troops away from there, for to surrender the ground which they had already seized would mean that XIII Corps would have to retake it, should they find it necessary to move through the area. A renewed attack at Sferro was an option, but it was becoming clear that the enemy defences were firmly anchored on the area of Gerbini airfield, two thousand yards north of the positions now occupied by 154 Brigade. Wimberley decided that Gerbini should be taken during the night of 20/21 July by the brigade, supported by a squadron of tanks from 46 RTR and three artillery regiments.

                                  1st Battalion Black Watch, followed by the 7th Battalion and the 7th Battalion Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders led the attack. 1st Black Watch became pinned down in front of the heavily defended barracks. 7th Black Watch, supported by the tanks, attacked the airfield, again against stiff opposition. The Argylls attacked Gerbini along the railway line, with artillery assistance, and after three hours of hard fighting gained their objective. The Argyll carriers and mortars, covered by a squadron of Shermans, moved up to join them, but the enemy – probably the Reconnaissance Unit and most of the 2nd Battalion Panzer Regiment, and two battalions from 2nd Panzer Grenadier Regiment, all of the Hermann Göring Division quickly responded with heavy fire and infiltration. The Argylls’ A Company was surrounded by enemy with tanks and was forced to surrender.

                                  Before dawn most of the 1st Battalion of The Black Watch were also committed, and finally reached the barracks, which had by now been abandoned by the Germans. By 1030 hours a German counter-attack regained the ground they had lost. The action cost the Argylls eighteen officers, including the CO, and 160 men. 46 RTR lost eight Shermans, and the squadron commander dead.

                                  Eight miles to the northwest of Sferro, XXX Corps planned the capture of a bridge over the Dittaino at Catenanuova that same night. The unit which was to carry out this task was 7th Battalion Royal Marines, a force which had provided the now redundant Beach Bricks, the troops that had administered (with medical, signals, ordnance, service corps, anti-aircraft units and the Royal Naval Commandos) each of the British landing beaches on D Day, but which was now reunited. With inadequate transport resources, much of the battalion had to hitch-hike its way sixty miles inland to join XXX Corps. The battalion was extremely tired – its work on the beaches had been very strenuous, and many men had been working in salt water for long periods during that stage of the landings. Their feet had become softened, and the long march to their present location had added to the difficulties. Furthermore, because of the limitations on transport, much equipment had yet to be brought forward. This included digging tools.

                                  As the two wings of XXX Corps were on divergent courses, a dangerous gap was emerging at Catenanuova through which enemy armour might infiltrate. Two companies from 7 RM provided cover for the Corps Headquarters from this threat, and on 19 July fresh orders were given to the Marines which placed them under command of 51st Division, with the primary task of establishing a roadblock at Lennaretto, which would cover the division’s left flank. A further task, to establish a bridgehead over the Dittaino and the railway line beyond it, was also ordered. Once this had been achieved, the battalion was to advance of Catenanuova. The codename LEOPARD was given to this crossing, with 153 Brigade’s bridgehead at Sferro being named JAGUAR. A third bridgehead to the east, through which 152 Brigade was advancing, was christened LION.

                                  The Royal Marines were supported in the attack to gain their bridgehead by a troop of Shermans, two batteries of 6-pounder antitank guns, a medium machine gun platoon of the Middlesex, and a battery of 3.7 inch howitzers. At 1400 hours, 19 July, two of the marine companies reached the battalion rendezvous south of two mountains which lay about 3,000 yards south of the intended river crossing site. They prepared a hot meal for the remainder of the battalion, which arrived two hours later. With reassurance from the Carrier Platoon of 4/5th Gordon Highlanders that the track ahead was suitable for mechanical transport, the plan was firmed up for one Marine company with an antitank gun to establish the roadblock at Lennaretto, while the remainder of the battalion made a night march and assault to secure the bridgehead over the Dittaino. The Gordons’ brief reconnaissance had indicated that no enemy were present south of the river, but that some movement had been seen on the north bank.

                                  At dusk, 2000 hours, two companies moved forward and occupied the pass between the two mountains immediately north of the rendezvous point a third passed through them and crossed the river without incident until Italian troops in a building near the railway raised the alarm. The position was taken at the point of the bayonet and several prisoners were taken. To the right, the first of the companies that had secured the pass moved up and crossed, again taking prisoners, and the third company advanced into the centre. By 0500 hours the far bank was secure, and some 100 Italian and fifty German prisoners were in the bag.

                                  The infantry may have been on the north bank, but behind them the supporting antitank guns were having difficulties in coming forward to the position. The track between the two mountains was poor. It had never been used for motorised transport and the edge was crumbling, and a Bren carrier and two portees carrying 6-pounder guns went over the edge into a deep ravine there was no possibility of tanks or artillery using the track. The Marines were without support apart from those few antitank guns which had made it to a ridge south of the Dittaino.

                                  To compound their problems, the ground which the Royal Marines occupied was hard and rocky, and impervious to digging. Moreover, it was overlooked by two features to the north, Razor Ridge and the Fico d’India. Enemy on the second of these could enfilade British troops huddled in the only cover available, the railway embankment and the banks of the river. Soon the Marines came under very heavy fire from an assortment of weapons, directed from observation posts beyond the range of anything the British had. Self-propelled guns, Nebelwerfers (multi-barrelled mortars) heavy machine guns and 88mm guns firing airbursts, together with snipers, all pitched in. One 88mm gun was destroyed by the antitank guns south of the river before they in turn were put out of action by the Nebelwerfers. Four carriers attempted to bring the battalion’s 3-inch mortars across the river, but one bellied down on the approach, and although the other three came into action they were soon knocked out.

                                  As they shop in the city’s bustling Prope shopping street, there will be those who are aware of
                                  Tokorozawa’s place in the annals of Japanese aviation history. That there are many
                                  who are not in itself justifies the existence of the Tokorozawa Aviation Museum.
                                  (Photo: November 2013)

                                  (Photo: February 2020)

                                  Map in park across from Kōkūkōen Station, marked on left in orange (Photo: February 2020)

                                  Tokorozawa Aviation Museum
                                  Namiki 1-13, Tokorozawa City

                                  Saitama Prefecture 359-0042, Japan

                                  Tel: (+81) 42 996 2225 / Fax: +81 42 996 2531

                                  If the museum restaurant and terrace are too overrun, J-HangarSpace can recommend two possible alternatives:
                                  The Re:4 coffee shop, which at off-peak times provides an oasis of calm on the ground floor corner of the Warawara Fitness Club, diagonally across from the YS-11 and thus close to Kōkūkōen Station. ( Namiki 2-1, Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture 359-0042)
                                  The Henri Farman Café Bar, which is straight ahead of you at the top of the first flight of stairs/escalator on the way into Kōkūkōen Station from the same east (YS-11) side. Some outside seating is available for non-smokers. Look out for the 1911 in the sign above the shop window.
                                  In need of qualification, the statement on the sign itself reads: Tokorozawa is a memorable city where the Japanese flew into the sky for the first time. On April 5, 1911, an altitude of 10m, a distance of 800m, a time of 1 minute and 20 seconds were recorded.


                                  Airshows in 2021
                                  Nov. 3 Iruma
                                  Dec. 5 Nyutabaru

                                  Airshows in 2020
                                  All cancelled

                                  Airshows in 2019

                                  Mar. 2 Komaki
                                  Apr. 14 Kumagaya
                                  May 19 Shizuhama
                                  June 2 Hofu-Kita
                                  June 2 Miho
                                  Aug. 4 Chitose
                                  Aug. 25 Matsushima
                                  Sept. 8 Misawa
                                  Sept. 16 Komatsu
                                  Oct. 13 Ashiya
                                  Oct. 20 Hamamatsu
                                  Nov. 3 Iruma
                                  Nov. 9 Komaki
                                  Nov. 10 Gifu
                                  Nov. 23 Kasuga
                                  Dec. 1 Hyakuri
                                  Dec. 7-8 Naha
                                  Dec. 8 Tsuiki
                                  Dec. 15 Nyutabaru

                                  Airshows in 2021

                                  Airshows in 2020
                                  With exception of
                                  Akeno (only limited
                                  access), all cancelled

                                  Airshows in 2019
                                  Jan. 13 Narashino
                                  (paratroop display)
                                  Apr. 13 Kasuminome
                                  Apr. 13 Somagahara
                                  May 12 Takayubaru
                                  June 1 Kasumigaura
                                  June 16 Kita-Utsunomiya
                                  June 23 Okadama
                                  Oct. 6 Metabaru
                                  Nov. 3 Akeno
                                  Nov. 9 Tachikawa
                                  Nov. 17 Naha
                                  Nov. 24 Yao
                                  Dec. 8 Kisarazu


                                  Airshows in 2021

                                  Airshows in 2019
                                  Apr. 27 Atsugi
                                  Apr. 28 Kanoya
                                  May 5 Iwakuni
                                  (joint Friendship Day)
                                  May 18 Maizuru
                                  May 19 Ohmura
                                  July 13-14
                                  July 27 Tateyama
                                  Sept. 21 Hachinohe

                                  Oct. 20 Ozuki
                                  Oct. 26 Shimofusa
                                  Nov. 17 Tokushima


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