Post World War II

After World War II, commercial aviation grew rapidly, using mostly ex-military aircraft to transport people and cargo. This growth was accelerated by the glut of heavy and super-heavy bomber airframes like the B-29 and Lancaster that could be converted into commercial aircraft. The DC-3 also made for easier and longer commercial flights. The first commercial jet airliner to fly was the British de Havilland Comet. By 1952, the British state airline BOAC had introduced the Comet into scheduled service, then other jetliner designs took to the skies.

Military aircraft became faster and more complex as the jet age arrived. In October 1947 Chuck Yeager took the rocket-powered Bell X-1 through the sound barrier. Further barriers of distance fell in 1948 and 1952 with the first jet crossing of the Atlantic and the first nonstop flight to Australia.


The Lockheed EC-121 Warning Star was a United States Navy and United States Air Force Airborne early warning and control radar surveillance aircraft. A military version of the Lockheed L-1049…

The North American F-82 Twin Mustang was the last American piston-engine fighter ordered into production by the United States Air Force. Based on the P-51 Mustang, the P-82/F-82 was originally…

The North American F-86D Sabre (sometimes called the "Sabre Dog") was a transonic jet all-weather interceptor of the United States Air Force and others. Based on North American's F-86 Sabre…

The Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star was the first jet fighter used operationally by the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF). Designed and built by Lockheed in 1943 and delivered just…

The O-2 Skymaster (also known as the "Oscar Deuce" or "The Duck") is a military version of the Cessna 337 Super Skymaster utilized as an observation and forward air control…

The Martin AM-1 Mauler was a single-seat shipboard attack aircraft built for the United States Navy. Designed during World War II, the Mauler encountered development delays and did not enter…

The Grumman F7F Tigercat was the first twin-engined fighter aircraft to enter service with the United States Navy. Designed for the new Midway-class aircraft carriers, the aircraft were too large…