The jet race

June 2003
Airman;Jun2003, Vol. 47 Issue 6, p27
This article reports that Germany was the first to field jet-powered aircraft, but the U.S. wasn't far behind. As early as 1941, Army Air Forces and civilian engineers were experimenting with rocket powered aircraft with the goal of creating a faster, more maneuverable aircraft for wartime use. In April 1945, 50 German aircraft shot down 10 U.S. bombers over Berlin in the largest loss of aircraft to jets in the war. But by war's end, the U.S. was ready to enter the jet age. In 1945, years of research and testing culminated with the debut of the Army Air Forces' P-80 Shooting Star jet-powered aircraft. The first P-80 fighter group, the 412th was established at March Field in California, later that year.


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