Historical planes: The Korean War

Korean War: comforting a comrade

A military conflict between the Republic of Korea (presently known as South Korea) and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) teamed with China on June 25 in 1950. South Korea was supported by the United Nations while North Korea and China was supported by the Soviet Union. Although there is no present occurring armed conflict between North Korea and South Korea, these two nations are still divided politically and territorially in two.

Korean War: Battle in the streets of Seoul

The US Air Force aided South Korea during its bloody war with the North in the 50s. This battle was the first war in which jet aircraft played a central role. Air support with the use of F-86 Sabre jets, P-51D Mustangs, B-29 Superfortresses, helicopters (first large-scale use) and other aircraft was given by the US to the South.

Image of three-ship formation of Sabrejets in 1953

Pitted that time against the Soviet’s Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15, the F-86 Sabre jet fighter, also known as Sabrejet, developed by North American Aviation in the late 1940s. Its maiden flight was on October 1, 1947. The $219,457 jet fighter was developed from the FJ-1 Fury. There were 9,860 Sabres built.

The F-86 Sabre is 11.4m in length and 4.5m in height. It has a wingspan of 11.3m and can fly up to a maximum speed of 687mph. It is loaded with six M2 Browning machine guns, two AIM-9 Sidewinders missiles, and variety of rockets and bombs.

P-51D Mustang

Also produced by North American Aviation, the P-51D Mustang was the United Nations’ main fighter during the Korean War. Introduced in 1942, its first maiden flight was on October 26, 1940. 16,766 P-51D Mustangs were built costing $50,985 each.

9.83m in length and 4.17m in height, it has a wingspan of 11.28m. It can fly up to 437mph. The Mustang is loaded with six M2 Browning machine guns.

B-29 Superfortress

Another prominently used in World War II, the B-29 Superfortress, derived from the B-17 Flying Fortress, is a four-engine heavy bomber produced by Boeing in 1944. Its maiden flight was on September 21, 1942 and 3,970 were built.

The $639,188 B-29 Superfortress is 26.6m in length and 8.5m in height. It has a wingspan of 43.1m and has a maximum speed of 357mph. It is loaded with ten Browning M2/ANs, two M2 cannons, and bombs which can weigh up to 9000kg.



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