Vintage Toys: World War 2 Model Airplanes

Learn about the different types of World War II fighter planes that have become a popular collectible by model airplane enthusiasts

One of the worlds commonly known global conflicts from 1939-1945 was World War II, and may have been the greatest most destructive war in history. More than 17 million members of the armed forces perished during that time. Memorabilia from World War II are still a favorite amongst post war enthusiasts. One of the most fascinating collectibles from that era, are the American Fighter aircraft. Below is a list of the most popular vintage fighters collectibles to date.

B-17 bomber -FLYING FORTRESS

Specs: top speed of 295 MPH, 17,600-bomb load, and twelve .50 caliber machine guns

Boeing's B-17 entered service in 1939 and despite horrific losses, continued to attack targets in Europe for three grueling years. The "Flying Fortress" was fitted with four turbo super charged engines and without these engines; it would have had to fly at lower altitudes where it would have been more vulnerable to anti-aircraft. Even though this aircraft was unusually large, it remains a favorite among the American public because of its sheer beauty.



B-24 bomber -LIBERATOR

Specs: top speed of 303 MPH, 11 machine guns, maximum bomb load of 8,000 lbs

The B-24 entered service in 1940 and although not one of the most attractive to the public's eye, it was well liked by its crews. More modern than the B-17, the "Liberator" was equipped with a four gun forward turret to meet incoming fighters and was a most deadly fighter. B-24 formations made countless attacks on targets that could be reached by no other allied bomber until the B-29.

B-29 bomber -SUPERFORTRESS

Specs: top speed of 365 MPH, 12 machine guns, maximum bomb load of 20,000 lbs

With a price tag of $3 billion, the Boeing B-29 "Superfortress" entered service in 1944 and was by far the most technologically advanced bomber of the war. It was the first pressurized bomber to enter production and unlike the B-24; its gun turrets were remote controlled. Its combat operations began with its raid on Bangkok on June 5th 1944. After the atomic destruction on Japan, it became clear that the B-29 was a winner.

P-38 -LIGHTNING

Specs: top speed of 420 MPH, four 50-caliber machine guns, and one 20 mm cannon

Lockheed's P-38 looked like no other plane and till this day, still remains a favorite amongst collectors. There was no limit to the adaptability of the P-38. It was used as a day fighter, bomber, night fighter, torpedo bomber and air ambulance. The "Lightning" was produced with 2 twin turbo-charged engines and was beloved by its pilots and respected by the enemy.

P-51 -MUSTANG

Specs: top speed of 440 MPH, six 50-caliber machine guns

The P-51 was considered one of the greatest American fighter planes of World War II. The P-51 was built as a low-wing single-seater and no other aircraft had its combination of speed, range, maneuverability and firepower. At 30,000 feet, the "Mustang" could reach speeds of 440 MPH and with a 75-gallon tank under each wing; it could fly 6-hour missions.

P-40 -WARHAWK

Specs: top speed of 362 MPH, six 50-caliber machine guns

From 1940-1942 more P-40's were built than any other major fighters combined. The low winged monoplane had a pair of machine guns in the wings and wartime production of this aircraft totaled over 16,000 airplanes. The "Warhawk" was considered one of the great workhorses of World War II. It became the plane of choice for the British and American squadrons and although less agile than some enemy fighters, its sturdiness more than made up for its faults.

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