Air superiority was crucial to the outcome of most of the decisive campaigns of World War II, and here the performance of single-seat fighters was generally the critical factor. First-class fighters required extremely powerful aero engines suitable for compact, low-drag installation, and in this respect Britain, Germany, and the United States were in a class by themselves. The only significant exception was the Japanese Mitsubishi A6M carrier fighter, known as the Zero, which was designed by Horikoshi Jiro. The Zero was so remarkably strong and light that it achieved first-class performance with a second-class engine—though at the cost of being vulnerable to battle damage.
Prior to the American involvement in World War 2, British and Commonwealth air power stood alone against the Axis war machine.
World War Two
AVRO Anson / AVRO Lancaster / AVRO Manchester / Auster / Bristol Bollinbroke / Fairey Firefly / Fairey Swordfish / Gloster Meteor / Gloster Gladiator / Gloster E.28 /
Gloster Gauntlet Mk.II / Hawker Sea fury / Hawker Hart / Hawker Hind / Hawker Hurricane / deHavilland DH.98 Mosquito / Supermarine Spitfire / Supermarine Seafire /
Short Sunderland / Westland Lysander / Armstrong Whitley Mk.II / Fairey Battle / Bristol Beuafighter
British Commercial / British deHaviland/ British Hawker / British Millitary / British WW1 / British WW2 /
British Training / British Transport / British Bombers
Tower: "Delta 351, you have traffic at 10 o'clock, 6 miles."
Delta 351: "Give us another hint! We have digital watches."