How Well Do You Remember World War II Planes?



By: Tasha Moore

7 Min Quiz

Do you recognize this World War II biplane?

The lesser-known Czech Avia B-534 engaged in two air force battles before winning the final aerial fight as a biplane in World War II. Prior to the victory, the fabric-covered plane was used primarily for training and aerobatic drills.


The U.S. Army Air Corps acquired its first at the end of 1929. Name the plane?

The Boeing P-12 pursuit plane functioned best at low altitudes. The 95th Pursuit Squadron stationed at San Diego's Rockwell Field in 1930 usually performed operations as high as 30,000 feet but lowered the standard altitude to 26,000 feet for the P-12.


How well do you know the plane that served both the Axis countries and the Allied powers during World War II?

A Curtis P-36A was responsible for demolishing the first destroyed Japanese aircraft during World War II. The United States Army replaced the small Boeing P-26 Peashooter with the Curtis P-36A.


Pilots dubbed this World War II air marvel "the cleanest trick flying." Can you pick its official title from among the options?

British soldier Douglas Bader flew Gloster Gamecocks with No. 23 Squadron. Bader was so severely injured in a 1931 crash that he needed both legs amputated. Nevertheless, the Royal Air Force accepted him back as a pilot at the start of the Second World War.


Both U.S. Marine Corps fighter units and all six Navy carriers had the ________ in their air assault arsenals in 1939.

U.S. carriers included Grumman F4F Wildcats and Grumman F6F Wildcats, both of which were popular monoplane fighters during World War II. Based in Long Island, New York, Grumman Aircraft Engineering Company launched in 1930 manufacturing seaplane parts.


Can you I.D. this aircraft from World War II?

The British Royal Air Force used the Hawker Demon, a two-seat version of the Hawker Hart. A propeller from a downed Hawker Demon bi-plane flown from Thornaby, England during World War II is displayed at the town's central library.


It's been called a go-kart on a glider. How easy is it for you to identify this battler?

Known as the Night Witches, Soviet female pilots flew the Polikarpov during World War II. The pilots were connected to a bomber crew that bombed German military sites at nighttime.


Italian engineers R. Verduzio and V. Savoia crafted the ________.

An SPA 6A 200-horsepower engine powered the Italian Ansaldo aircraft mass-produced in 1917. At least 100 more horsepower was added in subsequent model years. The Russian military used the Ansaldo regularly starting in the Russian Revolution.


Have you figured out the aircraft that was ready for battle when the United States entered the Second World War?

America's Bell P-39 Airacobra is the predecessor of the Huey Cobra aircraft. Nearly half of the 9,558 Airacobras that were manufactured were sent to the Soviet Union during an era of wartime cooperation between the United States and the Soviet bloc.


Can you determine the air assault weapon that French manufacturer Marcel Dassault produced?

Marcel Dassault founded his airplane manufacturing company in 1929. When World War II began, the French quickly learned that the Bloch was no match for German aircraft, like the Messerschmitt Bf 109.


Do you see the name for this military marvel which showcased some aviation firsts?

Produced for the U.S. Army Corps, the Boeing P-26 Peashooter was the first monoplane comprised of all metal. Introduced in 1931, the plane initially flew in March 1932. The aircraft reached a top speed of 234 miles per hour.


Can you guess the warplane that had a 105-inch span?

The Brewster F2A Buffalo was introduced to the U.S. Navy as its first monoplane fighter in June 1938. The original F2A's included a 950 horsepower Wright R-1820 engine, which the Navy upgraded to a 1,200 horsepower model.


An Austrian engineer crafted the _______ around an American engine.

Immediately after the Japanese bombed Darwin in the Second World War, the Royal Australian Air Force scrambled to assemble the CAC Boomerang with whatever parts that were available at the time. Friedrich David engineered the aircraft around the engine of a torpedo bomber.


War analysts believe that had there been more of these available to the Armee de L'Air in 1940, the German invasion of France might have ended differently. Pick the correct aircraft?

Called "Mademoiselle France" because of its stylish design, the Dewoitine D.520 was considered France's best battler in 1940. Sous-Lieutenant Pierre Le Gloan of GCIII/6 scored 18 confirmed wins and three probables with the fighter during the war.


This is an image of Germany's best mass-produced air battler of the Second World War. Can you spot its title?

The Spitfire Mark IX was rush-produced in direct response to the German Focke-Wulf 190. The Focke-Wulf 200 had a larger engine and achieved higher capacity and performance than earlier models.


What do you call the most recognizable fighter bomber of World War II, which was initially developed as an interceptor?

The Tempest and the Hawker Typhoon were the only two production aircraft equipped with the Napier Sabre engine. The rocket-ready Typhoon didn't turn out to be a good fighter, but it proved to be a substantial low-to-ground bomber with four 20 millimeter cannons.


From 1934 to 1945, air combatants submitted to the fact that which aircraft was superior to all direct competition in the long-range boat class?

The superior Kawanishi N1K was the only World War II-active floatplane that was capable of surpassing 300 miles per hour. Kawanishi planes were more prominent in World War War I and were used mostly as land fighters in the Second World War.


The Royal Dutch Army Air Force often compared the Fokker to which war machine?

German Engineer Erich Schatzki designed both the single-seat Fokker and the Koolhoven F.K.58. Although the Koolhaven offered innovative retractable landing gear, the aircraft was difficult to handle and cost twice as much as the Fokker.


Dubious pilots dubbed Semyon Lavochkin's first assembly a "varnished guaranteed coffin." Guess the exact title?

During the Second World War, Semyon A. Lavochkin designed the LaGG-3, the La-7 and the La-5. Lavochkin upgraded the LaGG-1, which he manufactured in 1940, with heavier artillery which weighed down the newer creation, the LaGG-3 produced in 1941.


World War II Italian fighter pilot Teresio Martinoli secured the vast majority of his 23 wins while flying the 202 model. Can you identify the classic?

The Italian Macchi C.200 aircraft was outfitted with 12.7 millimeter machine guns set above the engine and roughly 20 inches apart. The guns fired at a rate of 575 rounds per minute each.


Assemblers manufactured this "bird" beginning at the end of 1941. Try to quickly title the contraption?

The MAVA Heja, or "Hawk," was the Hungarian version of the Italian Reggiane Re. 2000s. Of these, Hungary ordered 70 with a license to build them. The Royal Hungarian Air Force rushed to develop the modern fighter-bomber, which became the country's principal plane during World War II.


Italian chief designer Roberto Longhi spearheaded the ________ concept.

The Reggiane Re.2002 was based on the Russian Seversky P-35. In spring 1939, the Reggaine firm of Italy produced the prototype, the Re.2000 Falco, or "Falcon," which looked exactly like the Seversky P-35.


Certain contemporaries believed that the designer for this war creation erred by crafting a fixed undercarriage for the two-seat fighter version. How well do you know this World War II plane?

Alexander Prokofieff de Seversky was a member of the Russian aristocracy who became an American warplane engineer. He launched the Seversky Aero Corporation in 1931 in Farmingdale, New York. The P-35 inspired a number of replicas and derivatives in America and abroad.


Arguably, the ________ was the most dominant jet of the Second World War.

German test pilot Fritz Wendel flew the third Messerschmitt Me-262 prototype on July 18, 1943. The jet aircraft was the first to include tricycle landing gear. After his test run, Wendel commented, "Seldom have I been so enthusiastic during my first flight with a new aircraft."


Take a guess at identifying the first jet battler to see combat during the War?

Two 1,102-pound-thrust HeS-8 engines powered the Heinkel He 280, which flew for the first time on April 2, 1941. The He 280 achieved a top speed of 500 miles per hour, and it inspired the creation of the Heinkel He 162 developed toward the end of the Second World War.


The Soviet aircraft design bureau gave which plane the codename "N-I"?

The frame of the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG 1 250 was comprised of stressed aluminum metal. The Soviets approved its prototype in October 1944 before launching the aircraft for first flight on February 26, 1945.


Japan adopted the ________ fighter aircraft for its navy in the late 1930s.

Fred David was an Austrian Jew who fled to Japan to escape the Nazis. In Japan, he helped to develop the Mitsubishi A5M, which the Allies dubbed "Claude." Japan's secret military police grew suspicious of David, and he later escaped to Australia when World War II began.


What name do you assign to this monoplane battler which many perceived as highly maneuverable?

In the late 1930s, Japan introduced the Nakajima Ki-27 for its army air force. Dubbed "Nates," the monoplane fighters carried two 7.7 millimeter guns. The glazed-canopy plane was Japan's principal air assault machine.


It has been praised as the best single-engine propeller warplane of all time. How well do you know the exact name?

The P-51 Mustang was engineered for the British and carried an Allison engine. The sturdy engine lacked a sustainable supercharger, so at high altitudes the aircraft performed poorly. World War II pilot Gertrude Tompkins vanished in a P-51 Mustang while en route to New Jersey.


Which of these air wonders had already seen substantial battle during the Spanish Civil War?

Russian engineer Nikolai Nikolaevich Polikarpov graduated St. Petersburg Polytechnic Institute in 1916. Polikarpov went on to produce roughly 40 aircraft, including the Polikarpov I-16, over a period of 22 years.


Yugoslavs were responsible for what home-built war creation?

Test pilot Milan Bjelanovic flew the Rogozarski IK-3 for the first time in May 1938. Bjelanovic reported that the aircraft, equipped with a 980-horsepower Hispano-Suiza 12Y-29 engine, achieved a top speed of 327 miles per hour.


How well can you guess the assault machine that was fitted with Hispano guns?

The Supermarine Seafire was first introduced into battle during Operation Torch, which was the invasion of North Africa that began on November 8, 1942. There were five units of Seafires that participated in the endeavor.


The ________ saw war action early in the Solomon Islands.

Warplane manufacturer Chance Vought was best known for producing the F4U Corsair for the Second World War. The propeller-driven fighter was regarded as a superb ground attacker and bomber plane.


An earlier model was plagued with a power-to-weight ration problem. Identify the exact name of this plane?

The Yakovlev design team unveiled the all-metal Yak-3U in early 1944. The aircraft was equipped with a M-107A engine that achieved a high speed of 447 miles per hour at a height 18,045 feet.


Do you remember this classic which was considered one of the ugliest warplanes ever to fly?

The Blackburn Roc monoplane did not perform sea operations well during the Second World War. Aircraft manufacturer Blackburn was infamous for producing other "ugly" air war machines, such as the Skua and Beverly models.


It was conceived during the Munich Crisis in September 1938. What was it?

Britain was on the brink of going to war with Germany when the Allied nation developed the aerial concept that became the Bristol Beaufighter. The multi-use fighter carried the most artillery of any Allied combat aircraft during World War II.


Which air weapon was made to defend itself with a 400-mile-per-hour speed rather than with artillery?

At the time of its construction, the de Havilland Mosquito was made of wood due to Britain's scarce supply of aluminum. The British government beckoned assistance from piano builders, furniture craftsmen and carpenters to help produce the lightweight aircraft.


This World War II classic did not function well above 31,000 feet. Do you remember its name?

The 32-foot-long Westland Whirlwind had a wingspan of 45 feet. The fighter carried 20 millimeter cannons and an 885-horsepower Rolls Royce Peregrine engine. The Whirlwind debuted in 1941, but only 116 were used for combat.


Name the plane whose predecessor was a failure?

The predecessor of the Soviet's Petlyakov Pe-2 twin-engine dive bomber was called the VI-100. In May 1940, Vladimir Mikhailovich Petlyakov and his design team tweaked the failure to produce the PB-100, which was put into service as the Pe-2.


The wartime favorite that you see replaced the huge multiengine Tupolev bombers. How well do you remember the aircraft?

The lightweight, two-seat Sukhoi Su-2 was easy to maneuver. The monoplane featured 7.62-millimeter guns and had the capacity to carry 2,000 pounds of bomb artillery. Only 500 of the bombers were produced before the model was replaced by the Ilyushun Il-2.


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Image: Wiki Commons by Tim Felce (Airwolfhound)

About This Quiz

The air classics in this quiz are some of the best and the most infamous that World War II had to offer. Won't you please demonstrate your Second World War mastery by correctly identifying the battlers that redefined how wars are fought? Use this test to see if you know them all!

From prototype-phase to service, the warplanes of World War II were the most important weapons at the time. World War I aerial fighters were quickly outpaced with the technological demands of future battles. Countries utilized lesser conflicts leading up to World War II as testing grounds for new fighter concepts. At the same time, plane prototypes were used for training new pilot squadrons before the models were upgraded to service status. 

World War II was a time of considerable technology tinkering. Test pilots secured celebrity status among their military peers for daring to try out unrefined aerial concepts. Understandably, many aircraft engineers had been pilots at some point. The United States wisely recruited foreign veterans who had flexed their wartime smarts in other battles before migrating to America to build the country's first sophisticated air battlers. Many countries borrowed the brain power of both friend and foe in order to lay a strong foundation for their respective air machine programs, and everyone boldly copied the more successful contraptions that they somehow managed to secure.

Armed with this intel, go secure plenty of wins on this military plane challenge!

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