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When Darkness Falls: Nightfighting (September 1940 - May 1945)

When Darkness Falls: Nightfighting (September 1940 - May 1945)



A night fighter (also all-weather fighter or all-weather interceptor) is a fighter aircraft adapted for use at night or in other times of bad visibility. Originally these were large twin-engine fighters such as the Messerschmitt Bf 110 or small bombers fitted with radar antennas which were meant to be used against large bombers. In the jet age, these were generally two-seat fighters with a radar operator, a large search radar, and eventually radar-guided missiles. Automation with ground radars permitted the design of single-seat interceptors such as the F-102 which was armed with rockets, Falcon and Genie missiles. In the US Navy of the late 1950s, all-weather missile-armed fighters such as the F3H Demon generally were slower and less maneuverable than day fighters such as the F-8 Crusader which were armed with guns and heat seeking missiles to engage other fighters rather than bombers.
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German Fieseler Fi 156C-2 Storch Reconnaissance Aircraft - III./Nachtjagdgeschwader 1, Belgium, May 1944
German Fieseler Fi 156C-2 Storch Reconnaissance Aircraft - III./Nachtjagdgeschwader 1, Belgium, May 1944 (1:72 Scale)
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The Fieseler Fi 156 Storch (stork) was a small German liaison aircraft built by Fieseler before and during World War II, and production continued in other countries into the 1950s for the private market. It remains famous to this day for its excellent STOL performance, and French-built later variants often appear at air shows.
Captured Fieseler Fi 156C-2 Storch Reconnaissance Aircraft - AVM Harry Broadhurst,83rd Group Air Officer Commanding, 2nd Tactical Air Force, France, Summer 1944
Captured Fieseler Fi 156C-2 Storch Reconnaissance Aircraft - AVM Harry Broadhurst, 83rd Group Air Officer Commanding, 2nd Tactical Air Force, France, Summer 1944 (1:72 Scale)
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The Fieseler Fi 156 Storch (stork) was a small German liaison aircraft built by Fieseler before and during World War II, and production continued in other countries into the 1950s for the private market. It remains famous to this day for its excellent STOL performance, and French-built later variants often appear at air shows.
RAF Boulton Paul Defiant Mk. II Night Fighter - No.151 Squadron, Wittering, England, February 1941
RAF Boulton Paul Defiant Mk. II Night Fighter - No.151 Squadron, Wittering, England, February 1941 (1:72 Scale)
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The Boulton Paul Defiant was a result of an Air Ministry specification (F.9/35) issued before the onset of WWII. It was a low-wing, cantilever monoplane, two-seat fighter of all-metal construction, with retractable landing gear, looking not unlike the Hurricane.
German Messerschmitt Bf 110G-4 Night Fighter - G9+WD, Oberleutnant Martin Drewes, Gruppenkommander III./Nachtjagdgeschwader 1, Laon-Athies, France, March 1944
German Messerschmitt Bf 110G-4 Night Fighter - "G9+WD", Oberleutnant Martin Drewes, Gruppenkommander III./Nachtjagdgeschwader 1, Laon-Athies, France, March 1944 (1:72 Scale)
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The Messerschmitt Bf 110 was an aircraft of very mixed fortunes. It has often been criticized for its failure during the Battle of Britain, while its successes in other fields have been largely ignored.
German Messerschmitt Bf 110G-4 Night Fighter - G9+EF, Major Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer, IV./Nachtjagdgeschwader 1, St. Trond, October 1944
German Messerschmitt Bf 110G-4 Night Fighter - "G9+EF", Major Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer, IV./Nachtjagdgeschwader 1, St. Trond, October 1944 (1:72 Scale)
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The Messerschmitt Bf 110 was an aircraft of very mixed fortunes. It has often been criticized for its failure during the Battle of Britain, while its successes in other fields have been largely ignored.
German Messerschmitt Bf 110G-4 Night Fighter - Willi Herget, 3C+LB, Stab I./Nachtjagdgeschwader 4
German Messerschmitt Bf 110G-4 Night Fighter - Willi Herget, "3C+LB," Stab I./Nachtjagdgeschwader 4 (1:72 Scale)
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The Messerschmitt Bf 110 was an aircraft of very mixed fortunes. It has often been criticized for its failure during the Battle of Britain, while its successes in other fields have been largely ignored.
German Fieseler Fi 156C Storch Air Ambulance - KN+NO
German Fieseler Fi 156C Storch Air Ambulance - "KN+NO" (1:72 Scale)
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The Fieseler Fi 156 Storch (stork) was a small German liaison aircraft built by Fieseler before and during World War II, and production continued in other countries into the 1950s for the private market. It remains famous to this day for its excellent STOL performance, and French-built later variants often appear at air shows.
RAF Bristol Beaufighter IF Night Fighter - R2101/NG-R, John Cunningham, No. 604 Squadron, RAF Middle Wallop, England, December 1940
RAF Bristol Beaufighter IF Night Fighter - R2101/NG-R, John Cunningham, No. 604 Squadron, RAF Middle Wallop, England, December 1940 (1:72 Scale)
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Developed as a private venture by the Bristol Aeroplane Company, the Beaufighter was a two-seat all-metal fighter using components from the Beaufort torpedo-bomber. First flown on July 17th, 1939, the Beaufighter eventually equipped 52 RAF squadrons, giving outstanding service during World War II, in particular as a night-fighter and torpedo-bomber (where the aircraft were affectionally known as 'Torbeaus').
USAAF Bristol Beaufighter VIF Night Fighter - KW147, 415th Night Fighter Squadron, 12th U.S. Army Air Force, Le Vallon, Southern France, Sept. 1944
USAAF Bristol Beaufighter VIF Night Fighter - "KW147", 415th Night Fighter Squadron, 12th U.S. Army Air Force, Le Vallon, Southern France, Sept. 1944 (1:72 Scale)
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Developed as a private venture by the Bristol Aeroplane Company, the Beaufighter was a two-seat all-metal fighter using components from the Beaufort torpedo-bomber. First flown on July 17th, 1939, the Beaufighter eventually equipped 52 RAF squadrons, giving outstanding service during World War II, in particular as a night-fighter and torpedo-bomber (where the aircraft were affectionally known as 'Torbeaus').
RAAF Boulton Paul Defiant Mk. II Night Fighter - Flight Sgt. J L Goulter, No. 151 Squadron, RAF Wittering, England, January 1941
RAAF Boulton Paul Defiant Mk. II Night Fighter - Flight Sgt. J L Goulter, No. 151 Squadron, RAF Wittering, England, January 1941 (1:72 Scale)
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The Boulton Paul Defiant was a result of an Air Ministry specification (F.9/35) issued before the onset of WWII. It was a low-wing, cantilever monoplane, two-seat fighter of all-metal construction, with retractable landing gear, looking not unlike the Hurricane.
   
 
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