The Great Aviation Race of 1930 - 1 Running head THE GREAT...

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1 Running head: THE GREAT AVIATION RACE OF 1930-1945 The Great Aviation Race of 1930-1945 Jacob Lieuallen Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
2 THE GREAT AVIATION RACE OF 1930-1945 Abstract The Great Aviation Race is about how during World War II there was a great need to design an aircraft which was better than the other guys. Each nation would lead in different types of aircraft, finding different ways to be better than the other nations. Whether it be by making an aircraft so nimble it could out turn any other, or making an aircraft so well armored that it could fly at low-altitudes and take out numerous ground targets before returning home to refuel and rearm. In the end we would learn from all of these designs and many greater more useful aircraft would come because of what happened.
3 THE GREAT AVIATION RACE OF 1930-1945 The Great Aviation Race of 1930-1945 The purpose of this paper is to provide information about the most active time in Military aviation history, spanning from 1930 to 1945. Compared to World War I, World War II set a high standard for aircraft combat when they started producing highly powerful bombers, faster fighters and jet- and rocket-propelled airframes. Because of this the tonnage of ordnance dropped increased, there were higher ace counts and a new era of powered, heavier-than-air flight. During this time a lot of big developments were made towards creating a better aircraft; the major aviation powers contributing at the time were the United States, Nazi Germany, the Empire of Japan, and Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). Each of these countries had their own particular design focus in their aircraft. In this paper I am going to talk about each of these major air powers and what the biggest types of technology they brought to the table during this time frame. World War II was a big reason why so many major developments were made during this time period. Each nation was trying to create an aircraft that could win against all others. That is why I describe it as being just another type of arms race, just this one happens to be working towards better aircraft. The United States of America The United States main focus when creating fighter aircraft tended to be a lot more about altitude and engine power. They would create airplanes with powerful engines that were able to go to greater altitudes than most others. Because of this they had to use a combat maneuver known as the Thach Weave, or the Beam Defense Position, because the American aircraft was generally less maneuverable than that of other countries, particularly the Japanese.
4 THE GREAT AVIATION RACE OF 1930-1945 One aircraft that had a high altitude ceiling and a lot of engine power was the Lockheed P-38 Lightning. It had two engines mounted on either side of the fuselage, these engines were arranged in a “counter-rotating” fashion which meant that each engine would counter the others inherent torque – negating the “pull” action apparent with single engine designs since the beginning of the piston engine.

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