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P-40 Warhawk  

The Curtiss P-40 Warhawk was said to be the most important aircraft in America’s first two years of the war. It entered the service in 1940. Its top speed was 378 mph, but compared to the Axis Messerschmitt Bf 109, it lacked speed and altitude capabilities.

   

The Lockhead P-38 Lightning entered the service in 1942. It was classified as a long ranged interceptor. Its main flaw was that it was not very maneuverable, but it was versatile. It was the largest single-seat aircraft of the war, and shot down more Japanese aircraft then any other American Plane. The Lockhead P- 38 lightning remained in service until 1949, serving for reconnaissance missions after the war.

Lockhead P-38 Lignting  
P-47 Thunderbolt

The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt outdove any German aircraft. It had better got better altitude than most aircraft of the war. It was used for ground-support, and as a fighter-bomber. The P-47 Thunderbolt held the single largest production run of 15,683 for single engine planes in WW II.

   

The P-51 Mustang was the primary U.S fighter aircraft. Its first flight was in 1940. It was developed for Britain, but the original engine was underpowered.  British enginers replaced the Allison engine with a Rolls-Royce engine.  As a result the P-51 Mustang out-did all other piston-engine fighters. The P-51 Mustang is noted as the best fighter aircraft of the war.

The P-51 Mustang and the P-47 Thunderbolt were among the most popular of all WWII planes. They escorted bombers, and this made the Allied Combined Bomber Offensive even more lethal then what it already was, because they assured the survival of the the bombers and drastically reduced bomber losses.

 

   
P-51 Mustang