Spotter's Quiz No 4
Snub-Nosed Fighters

25 Grumman F4F-4

Latest version as the Grumman Wildcat, this rugged snub-nosed fighter is proving itself on every US Navy front and is performing with equal brilliance as the RAF Martlet. Powered by 1200-hp Wright radial engine, it has top speed of 355 mph, range of more than 500 miles. It has a wing span of 38', is 23' 10" long. measures about 9' in height. Firepower is indicated by Lt O'Hare's Wildcat conquest of 6 Japs.

Wing is mid cantilever type with marked dihedral, equal sweep-back and taper, squared wing tips.

Engine has radial cowling, extends only slightly forward of wing, has small circular frontal area.

Fuselage is thick, deep-bellied, tapers equally on top and bottom aft of canopy above trailing edge.

Tail is monoplane type with squared fin and rudder, swept-back stabilizer, rectangular elevators.

Square Tail and Wing Tips

26 Brewster F2A-3

Flown by the British in the Near East, the Dutch in the Far East, and by the US on several fronts, this Brewster is highly maneuverable but fell prey to Jap Zeros because of ceiling limits. Powered by Wright radial engine developing 1,200 at 1,500 feet, it has top speed of 337 mph, range of over 1,200 miles. It has span of 35', is 25' 8" long, measures 12' 1" in height. It carries four machine guns, two bombs.

Wing is mid cantilever type with no dihedral, slight sweep-back, marked taper, round tips.

Engine has radial cowling, extremely thick profile, large propeller spinner, perfectly round contour.

Fuselage is short, barrel-shaped, with long cockpit canopy extending far back of trailing edge.

Tail is monoplane type with fin extending forward almost to canopy. Tailplanes form perfect ellipse.

Big Fin, Elliptical Tailplane

27 Focke-Wulf 190

Newest fighter to join the Luftwaffe, the Fw-190 represents radical changes in German fighter design philosophy. Actually, Nazi switch to radials has been expected because so many Messerschmitts have been lost through radiator failure. Powered by 14-cylinder BMW air-cooled engine, it has top speed of 375 mph at 18,000 feet. It has wing span of 34' 5", is 29' 4" long, carries two 20-mm cannon, 4 machine guns.

Wing is low cantilever type with slight dihedral, slight sweep-back, marked taper, rounded tips.

Engine has radial cowling, extremely small frontal area, extends well forward of leading edge.

Fuselage is long, has almost straight bottom line, sharp top-line taper aft of small cockpit.

Tail is monoplane type with narrow triangular fin, broad rudder. Straight tailplane, round tips.

Straight Tailplane

28 Soviet I-16B

A development from Boeing P-26 and Gee-Bee racer designs, modified by Russian ideas, this is the Mosca which served effectively with the Spanish Loyalists. Powered by M-63 Cyclone radial engine. rated at 1,000 hp, the Mosca has a top speed of 330 mph, range in excess of 600 miles. It has a wing span of 29' 2", is only 20' 4" long, making it the smallest of all combat planes in wide service.

Wing is low cantilever type with no dihedral, slight sweep-back, unique curved trailing edge.

Engine has radial cowling barely extending forward of wing. Large exhaust vents, spinner.

Fuselage is short, broad, tapers to sharp cone aft of tail. Wing fillets sweep behind canopy to tail.

Tail monoplane type with high, triangular fin sweeping well forward on fuselage.

Short Fuselage, Wing Fillets

29 Republic P-47

Probably the biggest one-place, single-engine fighter in service, the Thunderbolt has span of 40', is 35' long, measures 12' 3" in overall height. It weighs more than 13,000 pounds. Powered by 2,000-hp Pratt & Whitney radial engine it has top speed exceeding the Focke-Wulf 190's 375 mph at 20,000 feet. It is a big plane because it must be. Every cubic foot from spinner to tail is packed with equipment for flight or homicide.

Wing is low cantilever type with slight dihedral, slight sweep-back, marked elliptical trailing edge.

Engine has radial cowling of egg-shape contour, a relatively long nose, small frontal area.

Fuselage has almost straight sides almost to tail, deep belly, cockpit above trailing edge of wing.

Tail is monoplane type; rudder and fin form equilateral triangle. Swept-back, elliptical tailplane,

Elliptical Wing

30 Mitsubishi Zero

Despite many reports to the contrary, only one Japanese plane can be properly called Zero — the Mitsubishi 00, built during the Nipponese year of 2600 (1940). Accurate silhouettes and specifications on the Zero first appeared in the June Air News. Powered by 900-hp Nakajima NKI or 1,200-hp Mitsubishi Kinsei, it has top speeds ranging from 315 to 355 mph. It has wing span of 40', is 25' long, carries two 20-mm cannon.

Wing is low cantilever type with no dihedral, equal sweep-back and taper, round tips.

Engine has radial cowling, long nose, straight top and bottom line, is perfectly round.

Fuselage is long, thin, tapers from cowling to rail. Low canopy in longitudinal center of fuselage.

Tail is monoplane type, triangular with broad base. Swept-back, tapered tailplane set forward.

Tailplane Far Forward

31 Macchi 200

Now giving way to the inline, Daimler-Benz-powered 202, the Macchi 200 is still a standby with the Italians in Libya. Powered by one Fiat 840-hp radial, it has speed of only 305 mph but has 1,000-mile range, 33,000-foot ceiling, it has a wing span of 34' 3", is 26' 10" long, measures 11' 6" in height. Like the Zero, it is extremely light, weighing only 4,340 pounds loaded. It carries four machine guns.

Wing is low cantilever type with very slight dihedral, slight sweep-back and taper.

Engine has radial cowling with larger diameter than fuselage front section. 14 ridges on cowling.

Fuselage is wide at front, taper from nose to cone aft of tail. Rounded canopy aft of trailing edge.

Tail is monoplane type, triangular fin and rudder, elliptical tailplane set forward from rudder.

Thick Cowling. Narrow Tail

32 Vought Corsair

Fastest shipboard fighter in the world, the Vought F4U-1 is powered by 2,000-hp Pratt & Whitney radial engine and has top speed of more than 400 mph. A large plane, with inverted gull wing used on few single-engine fighters, the Corsair has wing span of 40' and is 30' long. Wing design was dictated by the wide arc of a Hamilton-Standard propeller capable of absorbing 2,000-hp output.

Wing is low cantilever type, inverted gull design, straight center section, sweep-back, taper.

Engine has radial cowling, straight top and bottom lines, extends well forward from leading edge.

Fuselage is higher than cowling aft of canopy, tapering equally on top and bottom to tail cone.

Tail is monoplane type, triangular fin, rudder swept-back, tapered tailplane far back.

Inverted Gull Wing

This "Spotter's Quiz" column was originally published in the December, 1942, "Complete Spotter's Guide" issue of Air News magazine, vol 3, no 8, pp 31, 36-37.
The original Quiz includes 16 photos and 8 three-view silhouettes, 2 photos and 1 three-view for each type listed.
Photos credited to Rudy Arnold, British Combine, Sovfoto, European, Republic, Press Association, US Army Air Corps.