A6M3 Mitsuibishi Zero
Boeing P-26A Peashooter
Curtiss F9C-2 Sparrowhawk
Northrop Grumman Hellcat
Vicker's Supermarine Spitfire
Fast, maneuverable and flown by highly-skilled pilots, the Mitsubishi Zero-Sen was the most famous Japanese plane of World War Two and a big surprise to American forces.
Ignored by British and American intelligence services (who had access to design plans for the aircraft years before the war) the "Zero" (it was the Navy’ Type O carrier-based fighter) was armed with two 20-mm cannon, two 7.7mm machine guns, and possessed the incredible range of 1930 miles using a centerline drop tank.
Though outclassed by more powerful US fighters after late 1943, the Zero remained a tough opponent throughout the war.
Boeing’s P-26 was a milestone in three respects. It was the first U.S. Army Air Corps fighter to incorporate several important design features that would become standard on aircraft subsequently used in World War II.
To placate conservative elements in the Air Corps, however, the P-26’s designers were constrained to include several anachronistic features in the airplane that hampered its development potential.
The Peashooter was also to be the last fighter aircraft mass-produced by Boeing before the company went on to bigger things, in both the figurative and the literal sense.
The Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk was a small biplane fighter that gained great fame after being used as a parasite fighter on the US airships Akronand Macon.
The F9C was designed in response to Navy Specification 96 of 10 May 1930, which called for a very lightweight ship-board or carrier fighter.
Three aircraft were produced in response to this specification.