The F2A Buffalo was already on its way out by the time the United States entered World War 2, the planes considered overweight and too cumbersome to fly. But the RAF considered them good enough for their pilots, ordering 170 of the 339Es to bolster their efforts in the tropical Far East. READ MORE →
It was no secret that Japanese airpower ruled the skies over the Pacific at the beginning of World War II. But even with this knowledge, the appearance of a new, faster and lighter airplane caught the Allies utterly by surprise.
The new airplane was the Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa “Oscar”, a brand new single-engine tactical fighter that had been in development for the past 18 months.
The Oscar came about because Japanese generals wanted a more lightweight fighter to replace the obsolete Ki-27. They were basing their decision on their recent battles in China, wanting a lighter plane for land-based army support. The designer, Hideo Itokawa was ordered to design a plane that matched the Ki-27’s maneuverability and dogfighting qualities, but in a heavier 1,000 horsepower class fighter. READ MORE →