Luftwaffe Mistel Composite Bomber Units (Combat Aircraft)

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The striking appearance of Luftwaffe's bizarre 'Mistel' Composite attack aircraft might seem ridiculous to modern eyes, but employed correctly, these original 'fire and forget' weapons were devastatingly effective, as Allied sources testify. This book draws on a wealth of first-hand reports and revealing contemporary photographs to tell the full, strange story of the Mistel units. They were the product of a remarkable mix of desperation and innovation, and were actually grounded in a pre-war, non-military practise. Indeed – the mounting of one aircraft atop another was initially conceived to extend the ranges of passenger and mail-carrying aircraft. But as early as 1942, German planners saw the potential for use as a guided missile, and by the end of the war, the sight of a Ju-88 lashed to a BF 109 or FW 190 fighter bearing down on an Allied target was not as rare as one might expect. This is the full story of the Mistel units, from their design and development, through the first deployments at D-Day, to the last, desperate missions against key bridges on the Oder and the Neisse in the final weeks of the war. It also reveals some of the activities of the mysterious and secretive Kampfgruppe (bomber group) 200.

Gladiator vs CR.42 Falco: 1940–41 (Duel)

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British and Italian biplanes clashed over the Mediterranean at Crete and Malta, and in East and North Africa early in World War II. Both the Gloster Gladiator and the Fiat CR.42 Falco represented the peak in the development of the biplane fighter, which could trace its lineage back to World War I. However, by the time both aircraft entered service in the late 1930s, they were already obsolete. Nevertheless, they gave sterling service on all fronts in the Mediterranean and Africa in 1940-41. Indeed, the CR.42 was the Regia Aeronautica's staple fighter in both North and East Africa, Greece and over Malta in 1940-41, during which time its pilots routinely fought British and Commonwealth squadrons equipped in the main with Gladiator biplanes. Some bitter dogfights were fought between these two types as the Allies attempted to gain control of the skies over North Africa, Greece and East Africa. Both types were flown in the main by highly experienced pre-war pilots, and this in turn made for some closely fought engagements. The first known combat between the CR.42 and the Gladiator took place on 14 June 1940 over North Africa and the last engagement between the two types occurred on 24 October 1941 over the East African front.

La-5/7 vs Fw 190: Eastern Front 1942–45 (Duel)

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Soviet fighter aviation suffered terribly at the hands of the Jagdwaffe in the first year of the war in the east, and with the arrival of JG 51 and its Fw 190s on the Stalingrad Front in September 1942 things only got worse for the hard-pressed Red Army Air Force pilots. However, help was on its way in the form of the re-engined LaGG-3 fighter, which was fitted with a powerful air-cooled M-82 radial engine. Designated the La-5, the new fighter was capable of withstanding more punishment than the fragile LaGG-3, and it was also appreciably faster and had a greater rate of climb. It was more of a handful to fly, however, but the new generation of better trained pilots who were led into combat by the survivors of 1941-42 quickly found the La-5 (and, later, the improved La-7) very much to their liking. Arriving in the frontline in August 1942, the new Lavochkin fighters soon found themselves pitted into action on the Central Sector against the equally new Fw 190As of JG 51. The first clashes took place in November of that year, and from then on the Focke-Wulf fighter would regularly clash with its counterpart from Lavochkin.

USAF and VNAF A-1 Skyraider Units of the Vietnam War (Combat Aircraft)

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USAF Skyraider units were originally tasked to serve as quasi-training units for the fledgling VNAF. Equipped only with the two-seat models of the Skyraider, American pilots were required to have VNAF 'observers' in the aircraft for every mission. Eventually, this arrangement was changed as enough Vietnamese pilots were trained to man their own squadrons, while USAF squadrons were tasked with close support for US ground forces. Eventually, no fewer than four USAF and seven VNAF Skyraider units saw service in Vietnam. Additionally, one A-1 training squadron flew from Hurlburt Field, Florida, throughout the Vietnam War era. In the ten years that this squadron was active, nearly 1000 USAF and 300 VNAF pilots were trained in the Skyraider. While the core mission of all Skyraider squadrons was Close Air Support (CAS), other missions were accomplished at various times. Among these were Search and Rescue (SAR), night interdiction on the Ho Chi Minh trail, helicopter escort and special forces support to name but a few. Each of these missions took full advantage of the Skyraider's ability to deliver a variety of munitions in close proximity to friendly forces while inflicting heavy casualties on enemy forces.

AD Skyraider Units of the Korean War (Combat Aircraft)

Reviews of AD Skyraider Units of the Korean War (Combat Aircraft). AD Skyraider Units of the Korean War (Combat Aircraft) – Kindle edition by Rick Burgess, Warren Thompson, Jim Laurier, Gareth Hector. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading AD Skyraider Units of the Korean War (Combat Aircraft).. Buy online at Aviation Bookstore.

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The Douglas AD Skyraider is considered the most effective naval aircraft of the Korean War despite the emergence of new jet fighters that captured public imagination. Built to replace the World War 2 workhorses like the Dauntless, Helldiver and Avenger diveand torpedo-bombers, the Skyraider operated numerous combat missions from carrier decks and from US Marine Corps land bases throughout the conflict. Drawing from personal interviews with AD pilots, the authors paint a harrowing picture of the deadly combat of this often forgotten air war as pilots took on Chinese and North Korean forces during daring night attacks and whilst outnumbered in daytime attacks.