Looking back from some 70 years later, the motives behind the various Design Analysis articles is not clear. They could have been advanced advertising by the manufacturers either in the "see how clever we were in coming up with this successful design" or "we are the creators of this wondrous plane" or my method/process/design is better than yours" modes or propaganda by the military to counter, in the minds of the most knowledgeable population, some of the criticisms of our air fleet. Whatever the motivations, though, the articles are now an invaluable resource for the historian or warbird buff to see into the beliefs of the people who designed and built these marvelous machines and the processes used in manufacturing them. Because most of the magazines were available to the general public, the articles also served to instill some confidence in the people who were supporting the war effort.
Design Analysis articles
The Design Analysis articles have been reproduced in searchable PDF, so the pagination of the text differs somewhat from the originals. The Times New Roman font is not quite as attractive as the original Linotype-set fonts, but it should be familiar and it makes a readable text. Since this project was intended as a reference resource, I felt the convenience of searchable article files was worth the extra effort.
was also detailed in the November 1 and December 1, 1945, issues of
- The Douglas A-20 Havoc, the same airframe as the RAF Boston, was described in the January, 1944, issue of Aviation [ PDF, 11.5 MiB ] , [ HTML ].
- The Design Analysis of the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress in Aviation magazine [ PDF, 60.2 MiB ] , [ HTML ] was the original impetus for putting the first, B-17, collection together.
Later, after I was introduced to Industrial Aviation magazine, I obtained their Design Analysis article [ PDF, 24.8 MiB ] , [ HTML ]. Color cutaway and operation diagrams printed on a foldout are reproduced at the end of the PDF. The same cutaway was used to develop the B-17 wallpaper files.
- The Consolidated (later, Consolidated Vultee, still later, Convair) B-24 Liberator, was described in the July, 1945, issue of Aviation[ PDF, 21.2 MiB ] , [ HTML ].
- The Design Analysis article of the North American Aviation B-25 Mitchell in the March, 1945, issue of Aviation [ PDF, 8.7 MiB ] , [ HTML ], describes the B-25H and B-25J revisions.
The B-25H was the "gun-nose" model with a 75-mm cannon; the B-25J was a "glass-nose" version designed for use as a conventional medium bomber.
- Britain's Bristol Beaufighter served as a fighter, night fighter, fighter-bomber and torpedo bomber. The Beaufighter Design Analysis was featured in the March, 1944, issue of Aviation [ PDF, 20.4 MiB ] , [ HTML ].
- The Fleetwings BT-12 basic trainer was an all-stainless-steel design. It appears to have been commissioned to develop construction techniques using stainless steel in place of aluminum. The Design Analysis article [ PDF, 8 MiB ] , [ HTML ] appeared in the October, 1943, Industrial Aviation.
- The Curtiss (or Curtiss-Wright) C-46 Commando, the largest twin-engined transport of the war, was described in the August, 1943, issue of Aviation [ PDF, 17.2 MiB ] , [ HTML ].
The civilian version of the plane, the CW-20E, was analyzed in the March, 1945, Industrial Aviation [ HTML ].
- The Douglas C-54 Skymaster, which became the DC-4 in civilian service after the war, was analyzed in the September, 1944, Industrial Aviation [ PDF, 2.8 MiB ] , [ HTML ]
- The Fairchild C-82 Packet, ancestor to the Flying Boxcar, was described in the August and September, 1943, issues of Aviation [ PDF, 25.3 MiB ] , [ HTML ].
- The Vought (Vought-Sikorsky, Chance Vought) F4U Corsair, in its F4U-1D revision, was analyzed in the August, 1945, Industrial Aviation [ HTML ]
- The Grumman F6F Hellcat was the subject of a Design Analysis in the June, 1945, Industrial Aviation [ PDF, 16.2 MiB ] , [ HTML ]
- Germany's Focke-Wulf FW-190 Würger (Shrike), considered by many to have been the Axis' best overall fighter plane in one or another of its many forms, was described, based on captured planes, in the October, 1944, issue of Aviation [ PDF, 16.1 MiB ] , [ HTML ].
- Japan's Mitsubishi Hamp (originally Hap, then Zeke 32), the clipped-wing update of the infamous Zero naval fighter, was described in detail in the May, 1945, issue of Aviation [ PDF, 12.8 MiB ] , [ HTML ].
- Germany's famous jet fighter, the Messerschmitt Me-262 Schwälbe (Swallow), was described in a two-part article Part 1 dealing with the airframe and Part 2, the Jumo 004 engine in the October and November, 1945, issues of Aviation [ PDF, 19.1 MiB ] , [ HTML ].
- Britain's de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito, the "wooden wonder" and the RAF's go-to airplane for practically all functions, was described in the May and June, 1944, issues of Aviation [ PDF, 24.3 MiB ] , [ HTML ].
- Lockheed's P-38 Lightning, the "Forked-tail Devil" of European skies, was described in the August, 1944, issue of Aviation [ PDF, 33.5 MiB ] , [ HTML ].
In the same month, a Design Analysis also appeared in Industrial Aviation [ HTML ].
- The often-maligned Bell P-39 Airacobra, with its unusual (even for World War II) design features, was described in the May, 1943, issue of Aviation [ PDF, 28.1 MiB ] , [ HTML ].
- Republic's P-47 Thunderbolt (also, Jug) was featured in a Design Analysis in the January, 1945, Industrial Aviation [ PDF, 16.1 MiB ] , [ HTML ].
- The North American Aviation P-51 Mustang, widely considered to be the outstanding fighter of the war, was described in the July, 1944, issue of Aviation [ PDF, 16 MiB ] , [ HTML ].
The Mustang was also described in the July, 1944, issue of Industrial Aviation [ HTML ].
The bulk of the illustrations in both articles are of the P-51B.
- Northrop's purpose-built night fighter, the P-61 Black Widow was described in the November, 1945, issue of Industrial Aviation [ HTML ].
The Black Widow