As the US entered the Korean War, its captivation with the idea of gaining air superiority propelled it into producing some of the top aircraft of the era. All branches of the US military were utilizing these new aerial advancements, greatly depending upon the best of the WWII planes still available, coupled with the newly advanced transonic jets, such as the F-86 Sabre jet. Below is a list of some of the top US aircraft that participated in the Korean.
The North American F-86 Sabre jet could very well be placed on the top of the list for Korean War aircraft. This transonic jet fighter was the United States first aircraft that could equally challenge the MiG-15 when engaged in high speed dog fights. Armed with six .50 cal machine guns, eight 5 inch rockets and reaching a top speed of 685 mph, the F86 more than earned its place in aviation history. The versatility of this fighter continued in service long past the Korean War.
Introduction of Helicopters
The Korean War saw the first extensive use of helicopters. Throughout the war, the helicopters were used on surveillance missions to map out unknown terrain and also to drop much needed supplies to troops and to evacuate injured soldiers. As a result of their involvement throughout the Korean War, success of these helicopter operations would later become one of the contributing factors to their widespread use by the US Army in Vietnam.
WWII Aircraft in the Korean War
Many of the aircraft used during the Korean War were carryovers from World War II. These dependable fighters and bombers were used extensively throughout the war despite their antiquated status in comparison to newer developed jets. The North American P-51 Mustang, along with the Boeing Superfortress, Flying Fortress and the Chance Vought F4U Corsair were some of the WWII aircraft which earned further accommodations for their participation in the Korean War. Variations of other WWII aircraft also participated over the Korean skies.
Though many refer to the Korean War as the “Forgotten War”, it is not forgotten by those whose lives it touched, including the many pilots of the numerous top aircraft flown during this epic battle.