Modern Marvels

Season 12 Episode 57

Secret Allied Aircraft of WWII

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Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Oct 14, 2005 on The History Channel
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Secret Allied Aircraft of WWII
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At WWII's outset, US and UK military aircraft designs were woefully behind Germany's and Japan's technologically superior planes. But the genius and ingenuity of innovators on both sides of the Atlantic closed the gap. For America, it was a handful of visionaries and their teams; for Great Britain, a creative and thoughtful spirit emanated from the top leadership on down. In this hour, we recount the untold stories of their cutting-edge designs and solutions, some of which proved decades ahead of their time.moreless
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    • TRIVIA (4)

      • One of the first men to fly the Ryan Fireball was Marine test pilot John Glenn, who later became the first American to orbit the Earth.

      • Jack Northrop also designed the P-61 Black Widow, the first U.S. aircraft built specifically for night fighting. The Black Widow served in combat for the final year of World War II.

      • After initially declining Charles Zimmerman's invitations to fly the aircraft, Charles Lindbergh took the V-173 for three trial flights on November 15, 1943.

      • Only eight Hurricats were launched from catapult ships during the two years that the ships were in service. A total of six enemy aircraft were shot down with the loss of one RAF pilot.

    • QUOTES (1)

      • Narrator: The names sound familiar in the 21st century: rocket jets, vertical take off planes and stealthy flying wings. But these high tech weapons of war were actually designed in the 1940s by a secret group of scientists recruited by the Allies to outthink the Nazis. This is the untold stories of these remarkable planes and the men and women who imagined them. The Secret Allied Aircraft of World War II, next on Modern Marvels.

    • NOTES (2)

      • George Kerevan
        Military Historian

        Simon Pearson
        RAF Squadron Leader (Ret.)

        Dr. Richard P. Hallion
        USAF Historian Emeritus

        Sherman Mullin
        Former President, Lockheed Skunkworks

        Willis Hawkins
        Former Senior Vice-President, Lockheed

        Eric Brown
        Chief Test Pilot (Ret.), RAE Farnborough

        Narrator: Greg Stebner
        Writer: George Kerevan
        Editor: Andy Aitken
        Producer: Andy Aitken
        Lighting Cameraman: Iain Forsyth
        Graphics: Mario Merino
        Original Music: Foss Paterson
        Dubbing Mixer: Paul Wison
        Dubbins Mixer: Alex Keane
        Technical Support: Iain Forsyth
        Production Assistant: Fiona Farquharson
        Production Assistant: Angela Wrapson
        Production Assistant: Sonja Mulvey
        North American Consultant: Jim Lyle

        Reconstructions at Gilmerton House & Breighton Airfield

        Featuring: Brian Brown
        Alan Dawson
        Kenneth Gray
        Duncan Schmoll
        John Gordon Telfer

        Special Thanks:
        Dick Atkins
        Nilda Jensen

        Executive Producer: George Kerevan
        Executive Producer: Ken Maliphant
        Executive Producer: Dolores Gavin

        Produced by: What If Productions in association with Alba Communications Ltd. for the History Channel
        2004

      • This wasn't a normal episode of Modern Marvels. This originally aired as a separate documentary on The History Channel.

    • ALLUSIONS (0)

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