Boeing B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay on display at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

World War II Aviation

Aircraft demonstrating some of the major technological advancements during World War II.

Facing a two-front war in Europe and the Pacific, the United States mobilized its vast human and industrial resources to achieve victory—a strategy that required the systematic use of air power. World War II became the global arena for a titanic struggle for control of the air. U.S. factories produced overwhelming numbers of fighter and bombers, and in both Europe and the Pacific, aviation proved crucial in tactical and strategic roles.

War-induced technological leaps in aircraft design and performance recast the nature of air warfare. Streamlined, all-metal fighters replaced wood and fabric biplanes. With remote-controlled guns, pressurized cabins, and powerful engines, the Boeing B-29 Superfortress became the most advanced bomber of its day. Late in the war, the relentless process of technical refinement culminated with the debut of jet aircraft.

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Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
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