As noted on the Index page, this site was originally intended to be an introduction to a series of CD-ROM/DVD-ROM collections of articles, etc, on individual aircraft (eg, B-17, B-24, P-51) or small groups of specific types (eg, medium bombers — B-25, B-26, Baltimore, Maryland) where none of the individual planes had enough data to warrant its own disc,

It has become obvious that I am not going to live long enough to produce all those collections, with accompanying editorial comment, and be able to offer them for sale. As a result, I have rethought the site and now intend to offer directed research data on specific types on request (for a small fee.) Much of the general-interest material which is not type-specific will be posted up on the site. Most of the type-specific material will also be posted, though much of it will only be as HTML pages of the text of the articles.

The files originally intended to be attention grabbers remain. They are the Design Analysis files I reproduced from microfilm several years back. I retain them because they are interesting, even if the graphics could be better. As I scan and recover the Design Analysis articles from magazine copies, the early ones will be replaced. There will also be supplementation with other materials that could appear later in a collection compiled around a particular plane.

Planes for which Design Analysis articles are available on the site are:

US Planes

Some other planes have less complete coverage and will be included as they are processed:

Two nearly comprehensive lists, one of US assigned type designations and one of all types used in the war, both Allied and Axis, plus some contemporary charts give a good idea of what planes were in use during the war.

During the war, plane spotting was a major concern. Thousands of civilians were recruited to keep an eye on the skies and report any enemy aircraft. Techniques were somewhat based on British experience. The various magazines contributed, each in its own fashion.

The "Design Analysis" articles are indexed; most of the "Flying Equipment" articles have been linked to the pages of their various types; "Yearbook" entries will be linked to their type pages but not indexed — there are just too many of them. "Spotter's Quiz" columns have been indexed, as have the "For Identification" columns.

A set of pages provide cross-links to US planes, organized by manufacturer, of whom the major players were:

In addition to the plane-oriented pages, there are (or will be) pages focusing on

There is another page that breaks down those categories with a bit more detail.

In each page or subhead, articles will generally be listed either in date-of-publication order or alphabetically, whichever seems appropriate.

Other items, contemporary but not from period magazines, are included.

The general format of the articles will be HTML, with the illustrations of the original being referenced unless they are integral to the article. Some of the articles will be available as PDFs, complete with illustrations. Illustrations posted on the site will mostly be 150 dpi. Scans or recomposites of the originals can be had at 300 dpi on request.

The files referenced on the HTML pages will mostly be stored by year of publication, with descriptive filenames. The filenames indicate the magazine, the month and year of the issue the file is taken from, usually a token indicating the subject matter, and the page(s) of the original printing. Files derived from multiple original pages will usually not have a page reference in the filename.

The texts have generally been edited mildly to create a bit of consistency. Among other things, periods for abbreviations (ft, lb, in, mi, Gen, Lt, etc) are omitted. Obvious misspellings and typographic errors have been corrected. For the most part (I think I have missed a few) key foreign-language terms have been italicized, as have names or nicknames of vehicles (planes and ships, mostly.) Place names have, for the most part, been made consistent. Spellings have been (again for the most part) changed to match my spellcheck dictionaries; eg, doubled "l"s have been made single in a wide range of words. I have also exerted my personal quirks in hyphenating multiword phrases used as adjectives. Some extended quotations have been formatted as blockquotes in the HTML. In "Captions" entries on some pages, I have spelled out terms that were abbreviated in the original figure caption; I have in a few places done the same thing in data tables.