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.

Location in Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA
World War II Aviation
Map of the World War II Aviation exhibition station at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
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Related Topics: Aviation Military aviation War and Conflict Weapons World War II

In this Exhibit

Explore the Collection Boeing B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay Object Lockheed P-38J-10-LO Lightning Object Vought F4U-1D Corsair Object Hawker Hurricane Mk. IIC Object Aichi M6A1 Seiran (Clear Sky Storm) Object Grumman F6F-3K Hellcat Object Northrop P-61C Black Widow Object Vought-Sikorsky XR-4C Object
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