Air Power Essay Research Paper Air PowerSince

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Air Power Essay, Research Paper Air Power Since the first planes flew over France in World War I the importance of air power has grown since World War I. From the first reconnaissance planes to the fighters made to protect them, the world of air warfare is enormous. We spend vast amounts of money in designing such aircraft through companies like Lockheed and their ?skunk works.? With every advancement has come another advancement in order to counter the others? advantages. Through all this competition, a trend has emerged. The United States has supported and should continue to support the development of the B-2 Spirit and other technologically advanced aircraft. In World War I, the primary use of aircraft was in a reconnaissance role. They would fly over enemy lines and

report the location of enemy troop locations. The need for protection of such aircraft brought about the invention of the fighter plane. The Germans had developed the first long-range bomber with their invention of the Zeppelin. Upon the arrival of the United States into the war, many of the U.S. pilots were not only in need of training from the French, but required newer and faster planes. The battle for superior speed and firepower however often brought about death for the novice fighter pilot. At high speeds, the biplanes were hard to maneuver and sometimes the loss of a wing could cause a downward spiral. After World War I, many militaries would ask for only monoplane designs. (Red Baron) During World War II, the advancement of many new fighters took place. The United States

led the way with its introduction of the North American Xp-51a Mustang and the Curtis p-40 Warhawk. Between the wars, the research facilities of the Untied States developed some of the most advanced fighters of their time. Yet the Germans were credited with the first ever jet-powered fighter in the Mecherschmidt Me232. Although the engines were primitive as compared to the jets of today, they made for fantastic speed in the air. (Grolier, aviation) Fighters were just a small part of the war, but a significant one. The United States had also developed the B-29 Superfortress. This aircraft was capable of extreme distance flights and incredible load weights. It played a major roll in the bombing of many military targets. The B-29 was also the first aircraft to deploy an atomic bomb

in war over Hiroshima and Nagasaki (Grolier, B-29). Another advancement was an aircraft before its time. ?A Northrop YB-49 Flying Wing, without body or tail, came home from a test flight over the Pacific one day in 1948 and pointed its thin front edge directly toward a radar station the coast. Mystified operators never saw the plane coming on their screens until it popped suddenly onto their screens almost directly overhead? (U.S News, Brave). The plane never saw any use in combat, mostly because the Second World War was over, but because the plane was extremely difficult to control, it was never put into production. (Brave) With the arrival of the atomic bomb came the development of the nuclear missile, and with the nuclear missile came the Cold War. During the Cold War

development of aircraft took leaps and bound. The United States entered a technological race with Russia for power with both sides spying on one another. The need for a high altitude spy-plane had arrived. Lockheed?s ?skunk works? was called in for the job. Through grants from the United States armed forces, they developed the U-2. ?The plane carried an array of cameras as well as sensitive electronics equipment designed to record radio and radar transmissions?(Grolier, U-2). The plane soon proved its worth. In 1962, it produced photographs of Soviet missiles in Cuba. Little more was heard of the spy plane when satellites began to take over many of its duties, but in 1992, a U-2 was reported lost over South Korea. This further proves the worth of aircraft development. Another