Me 109

Messerrschmitt Bf 109

The Messerschmitt Bf 109 (also known as Me 109) from the German aircraft manufacturer Bayerische Flugzeugwerke AG (later Messerschmitt AG) was also a fighter-bomber, night fighter and reconnaissance aircraft beyond its original purpose. With around 33,300 aircraft, the Bf 109 is one of the most built aircraft and the most built fighter aircraft in history. The first flight took place in May 1935.

Bell UH1 – Huey


The Bell UH1 was the first turbine-powered helicopter of the US armed forces. Originally designed as a helicopter to evacuate the wounded, it was modified for other tasks during its long service. The helicopter first flew in the Vietnam War. Over 16,000 pieces of the UH-1 family were built.

MiG 21

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21

The Soviet interceptor Mikojan-Gurewitsch MiG-21 is a Soviet interceptor. He was put into service in 1959. Outside the USSR, he was first stationed in the GDR. His NATO code name is “Fishbed”. The MiGs were led by the ground management and led to the enemy, true to the Soviet tactics.

The MiG-21 flew with the air force of more than 50 countries and was manufactured until the mid-1990s.

DeHavilland Vampire

DaHavilland Vampire

First jet of the Swiss Air Force

The British jet fighter DeHavilland Vampire, originally also called Spidercrab, was still operational in the final stages of World War II, but no longer took part in combat operations. The first flight of the prototype took place in September 1943. Due to the workload at DeHavilland, the first flight of the production series was not until April 1945. The jet age of the Swiss Air Force started with the Vampire. It tested the DeHavilland Vampire as early as 1946 and later had 178 aircraft and was in service until 1990.

Red Baron

Manfred von Richthofen

Freiherr Manfred von Richthofen was the greatest flying talent of the First World War. Von Richthofen was adored by the troops. His red Fokker DR 1 became the feared and revered symbol of the flight squadrons of the First World War. His hunting squadron Jasta 11 is known by the English as “Flying Circus” (German: Wanderzirkus): The “circus squadron” was the elite of the aviation group, one did without the usual camouflage color and instead painted the aircraft brightly.

He achieved the highest number of aerial victories achieved by a single pilot in the First World War. The well-known nickname “The Red Baron” was given by Richthofen because he flew most of his missions in red-painted aircraft. On the French side he was called “Diable Rouge” (Red Devil). He died at the age of 26 on April 21, 1918 in a dogfight behind enemy lines, hit by a ground gunner.

B17 Memphis Bell

Boing B17 Flying Fortress

The B-17 Flying Fortress is a heavy bomber from the Boeing Airplane Company and the best-known bomber of the US Air Force in World War II. He was known to be able to fly despite severe damage. The complete crew of a Flying Fortress consisted of ten men, four of whom were exclusively MG shooters. A total of 12,731 machines were manufactured. The letter “B” in the designation stands for bombers.

Memphis Belle is the nickname for the most famous B-17 used by the United States in Europe during World War II. The machine was one of the first United States Air Force bombers to complete its “Tour of Duty” (25 missions). Since the Memphis Belle was the first aircraft to return home to USA with 25 missions, it received honors and public attention with the crew. The celebrated crew members had all completed 25 missions, but not exclusively on the Memphis Belle.

Stuka – Junkers Ju 87

Jericho Trumpets

The Ju 87 was manufactured by the Junkers aircraft works in Dessau and the Weserflug in Bremen and Berlin-Tempelhof.

Typical of the Ju 87, which was best known as a dive fighter (Stuka), were the gull wing wings, the characteristic casing of the chassis and the demoralizing howling sound of the sirens (“Jericho trumpets”) during a dive attack as psychological warfare. Probably the most typical tone for the Second World War.

Usually the fall was flown at an angle of 70 to 90 °. In order to ensure safe interception even when the pilot was briefly unconscious due to the high G-forces, all Ju 87s had an automatic dive and interception system.

In August 1939 the Stuka accident occurred in Neuhammer (Silesia), the worst catastrophe of the German Air Force before the Second World War. 13 Ju 87s flew into the ground from too low a height during a dive demonstration, killing all 26 crew members.

The Ju 87 was initially used as a close air support aircraft for the army troops in the attack on Poland in 1939 and then in the French campaign in 1940. The Ju 87, a symbol of the Blitzkrieg tactics, dates from this time.

Today there are only two completely preserved Ju 87s: One in the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. The other in the Royal Air Force Museum in Hendon, UK.

Breguet Atlantic

Multinational seafarers

Louis Charles Breguet (1880-1955) was a French aircraft designer and co-founder of the airline Air France. He built his first aircraft, the “Breguet I” biplane, in 1907. In 1910 he sold the first two aircraft to the French army.

Together with his brother he founded the Société anonyme d’aviation Louis Breguet. In 1919 he founded the air freight agency “Compagnie des Messageries Aériennes”, which laid the foundation for the airline Air France.

In 1935 he devoted himself to the construction of rotary wing aircraft and, together with René Dorand, developed the Gyroplane Laboratoire, the first stable flying helicopter.

Messerschmitt Me 262


The Messerschmitt Me 262, nicknamed “Schwalbe” (interceptor) or “Sturmvogel” (fighter-bomber), was the first jet aircraft to be built in series. It was superior to the Allied Air Forces. 1433 copies of the twin-engine machine were produced between 1943 and 1945, of which around 800 were delivered to the Wehrmacht air force during the Second World War. Usually, however, not more than 100 machines were ready for use at the same time. The reasons for this were the massive bombing raids by the Allies, the lack of fuel and spare parts, and the lack of trained pilots.


For many aviation enthusiasts today, the Lockheed Starfighter 104 is still the quintessential fighter jet, a manned rocket capable of speeds in excess of Mach 2. The rumble of the afterburner got under the skin of almost everyone.

At that time there was nothing comparable. Incredible flight performance: The 104 is the first aircraft to simultaneously hold world records for speed, altitude and rate of climb. With a special rocket launch system (cell system), the 104 could start from a standing start, it was catapulted directly into the air, so to speak.

The newly founded Air Force wanted to replace three different types of combat aircraft in the 1950s. Although the Starfighter was designed as an interceptor to intercept bomber formations at high altitudes, the Luftwaffe used it as an inexpensive all-weather multipurpose fighter aircraft, as well as a low-flying fighter-bomber. The 104 had its limitations that had to be considered. Other planes forgive mistakes faster. Not reconciling the tasks assigned to the starfighters with the aircraft. It was difficult to see the aerodynamic limits. The small wings were completely overloaded with additional tanks and bombs. Neither was he aerobatic. In the early days, four Starfighters shot into the ground at an air show.

In addition, the Luftwaffe was not prepared for this weapon system either in terms of personnel or structure.

Of the 914 Starfighters purchased, 292 were total losses and 116 pilots died. Thus, the starfighter is still known by its nickname “widowmaker”.