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The evolution of air power in World War II opened many new roles for the combat pilot As the war progressed planes appeared fresh off the assembly line equipped with bigger faster and more powerful engines These new engine technologies allowed for bigger weapons pay loads and airplane maneuverability that would have been something of fantasy prior to WWII A reoccurring theme from both the Axis and Allies was that air superiority would win the war Creating new innovative air machines was on the agenda of all parties involved in WWII By the end of the War the Germans had created the first jet engine powered aircraft in the ME 262 and the American mainstay was the P-51 mustang and in Britain the Spitfire all three significant innovations to air combat If you were to ask a pilot of one of these aircraft what his biggest fears were they would go as follows getting shot down engine failure running out of fuel and landing in enemy territory However these worst case scenarios were common practice for the WWII glider pilots and glidermen who entered combat by way of glider While new air technologies stole the lime-light primitive wood framed engine-less gliders were stealthily providing the infantrymen on the ground with the supplies they needed to fight their opponent Even with all the technological advances in aircraft that occurred throughout the war all airplanes still had one thing in common-their engines were deafeningly loud One could often hear a plane coming from miles away thus effectively limiting the element of surprise The engineless glider enabled supplies or troops to fly undetected until seen from the ground If flown at night gliders could be undetectable The gliders element of surprise expendability and ability to place troops behind enemy lines with considerable accuracy enabled the glider to find a place in the arsenal of nearly every major air force involved in World War II Gliders partook in
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