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But if you try sometimes... Fighter aircraft became much better during the Second World War. But, apart from the development of engines, it was not a straightforward matter of monotonous improvement. Aircraft are a series of compromises. Improving one aspect of performance almost always compromises others. So, for aircraft designers in World War Two, the question was not so much "what will we do to make this aircraft better?" but "what are we willing to sacrifice?" To explain why, let's look at the forces acting on an aircraft: Lift Lift is the force that keeps th
Compared to the most well known Japanese fighter of World War 2, the A6M “Zero”, the J2M Raiden (“Jack”) was both less famous and less numerous. More than 10,000 A6Ms were built, but barely more than 600 J2Ms were built. Still, the J2M is a noteworthy aircraft. Despite being operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN), it was a strictly land-based aircraft. The Zero was designed with a lightweight structure, to give extreme range and maneuverability. While it had a comparatively large fuel tank, it was lightly armed, and had virtually no armor. While the J2M was also very lightly built, it wa
I'm going through one of my cyclical interests in aircraft, so I thought this would be a good place to start collecting resources related to aircraft design. Please feel free to add more, including on more esoteric topics. My practical experience is limited almost entirely to models and the like, so I tend to hove to a few simple rules which suit low-speed designs using props. 1. Basic principles http://adg.stanford.edu/aa241/AircraftDesign.html http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/aeronautics-and-astronautics/16-01-unified-engineering-i-ii-iii-iv-fall-2005-spring-2006/systems-labs-06/sp