The Lightning, in its later versions as the P-38F and P-38G, has proved the most versatile combat plane in action over Tunisia the first war theater in which the plane was used in very great numbers as a high-altitude interceptor, dive and low-level bomber, and for photographic reconnaissance and army-cooperation work. Wing span is 52', the length 38'. Gross weight is 14,500 pounds, speed over 400 mph. Arms include cannon, machine guns.
Wing is located in the mid position, tapered on both leading and trailing edges, slight dihedral.
Engines liquid-cooled with pointed nacelles. Twin tail booms are continuation.-3 of these nacelles.
Tail twin vertical surfaces of elliptical shape, single horizontal surface supported by twin booms.
One of the newest of the RAF bomber-fighters is the de Havilland Mosquito, already in its modification as the Mosquito I. It has been used with signal success for both high- and low-level bombing, for reconnaissance, and may already be in service as a night fighter. It has a span of 54' 2", length 40' 91/2", and is 15' 3" high. Armament includes four 20-mm cannon and four .30-caliber machine guns. Speed is not releasable.
Wing is situated in mid /position and has distinct taper. Extends forward between nacelles.
Engines liquid-cooled with rather pointed nacelles, almost flush with top of wing.
Fuselage is circular in cross section, pointed at nose and tail, cabin protrudes slightly.
Tail vertical surfaces sharply triangular with straight trailing edge. Rudder is set forward.
One of the newest Luftwaffe twin-engined craft, this development of the famed Me-110 has been used as a fighter and as a dive bomber in Russia and Africa in limited numbers. It is faster and more maneuverable than the Me-110. The ship has a wing span of 53' 6" and is 36' 4" in length. It is powered by two 1,450-hp Daimler-Benz engines that afford a top speed of 385 mph. Arms consist of two cannon in the nose and four machine guns.
Wing is flush with fuselage underside, has slight dihedral and is evenly tapered along both edges.
Engines are liquid-cooled with pointed nacelles which protrude far forward of wing leading edge.
Fuselage is slender with the pilot's cabin raised above top of fuselage just aft of the nose.
Tail is rather high with balanced rudder. Horizontal surfaces form a diamond pattern.
Highly touted at the time it went into service, the Fw-187 Zerstörer has not lived up to the Nazis' expectations or the Allies' fears. It is a two-seater having a top speed of about 360 mph, and is armed with six machine guns or two cannon and two machine guns, all in the nose. It is powered by either V-12 inverted type Daimler-Benz or Junkers Jumo engines of 1,150 hp. Most used on the Russian front, few remain in service.
Wing is flush with wing undersurface, straight on leading edge, tapered on trailing edge.
Engines the nacelles protrude far forward of wing and slightly ahead of the fuselage.
Fuselage is slender, evenly tapered. Back of cabin fits flush into fuselage.
Tail fin-rudder assembly is roughly triangular with well rounded top.
This fighter-bomber, which saw first service during the Polish campaign, is still in use in Russia and Africa. Until the Lockheed P-38 came into service, the Me-110 was the longest-ranged of all the fighters when carrying its auxiliary tanks. The ship carries a crew of two or three and is armed with two 20-mm cannon and four .30-caliber machine guns. The bomber model carries two 550-pounders under the wing center section.
Wing is evenly tapered along both edges, located along bottom of fuselage; tips slightly rounded.
Engines are liquid-cooled with rather short nacelles. Do not have underslung appearance.
Fuselage protrudes well ahead of engine nacelles and is very slender.
Tail consists of twin vertical surfaces and single horizontal surface flush with top of fuselage.
Note: The photo and three-view are of the Whirlwind but the description is probably of the Yak-2. JLM
This Soviet fighter-bomber is one of the newer planes about which only a few pertinent facts are known. It is a two-seater fighter-dive bomber which is classed as a "storm plane" and is used for attacking armored forces. Once free of its bombs, it has proved a splendid fighter. It is powered by two 1,100-hp M-105 engines and has a top speed of between 315 and 320 mph. An unusual note is the plane's four-wheeled landing gear.
Wing is tapered along both edges and has noticeable dihedral. Low-wing location.
Engines are liquid-cooled with very long nacelles that have underslung appearance.
Fuselage is oval in cross section and not very pointed at the rear.
Tail twin vertical surfaces with triangular-ellipse form. Dihedral in horizontal surface.
Bearing a marked resemblance to the Yak-4, this Red Air Force fighter-bomber is often confused with, and called the Yak instead of the PE. From the spotter's standpoint, there are several characteristics that distinguish the two planes from each other and both from the Me-110. Latest versions are the PE-2B and PE-3. Power is supplied by two 1,300-hp M-38 engines that afford a speed in excess of 300 mph. Carries two or three men.
Wing tapers along leading edge from nacelles outward, center section straight, rear edge tapers.
Engines liquid-cooled, nacelles more rounded than those of YAK-4, and considerably shorter.
Fuselage is slender, has bombardier's window in nose, sharp rear end protrudes beyond tail.
Tail vertical surfaces have true elliptical form, horizontal surface has slight dihedral.
Britain's deadliest night fighter for more than a year, the Beau in its second modification boasts even greater performance. The Beaufighter II is characterized by the Rolls-Royce engines which replaced the radial motors formerly used. The span is 58', length 41' 6"; gross weight 20,077 pounds. One of the heaviest-armed fighters, it carries four 20-mm cannon in nose, four machine guns in left wing, two in right wing. Speed is 352 mph.
Wing has a double taper with well-rounded tips, dihedral in outer panels.
Engines are liquid-cooled with pointed nacelles which are underslung.
Fuselage is squarish in cross section, rather fat and stubby.
Tail vertical surfaces have convex curved leading edge, rounded rear.
This "Spotter's Quiz" column was originally published in the March, 1943, issue of Air News magazine, vol 4, no 3, pp 25-27.
The original Quiz includes 16 photos and 8 three-view silhouettes, 2 photos and 1 three-view for each type listed.
Photos credited to Lockheed, British Combine, Air News Photo, European, Sovfoto, deHavilland, Ltd.