The marriage of aviation and warfare has provided a major impetus
of aviation technology This is particularly true during times of direct
The result has been that combatants have taken a great interest into
developments made by their adversaries. This page is devoted to the
of the technical air intelligence units of the world's powers from the
of aviation to today.
World War I
World War II
The most famous air technical intelligence coup in the First World
War was the recovery of French ace Roland Garros' Morane-Saulnier
Type L on April, 18, 1915. Garros was shot down and landed on
the German side of the trenches. He was captured before he could
destroy his machine. The Type L was equipped with deflector plates on
the propellors that would allow machine guns to fire through the
propellor arc, increasing accuracy. The system served as a stop-gap
until Anthony Fokker perfected his interrupter gear that made firing
through the propellor arc completely safe.
The combatants in the Second World War made a major effort to
capture, study, and, in some cases, employ aircraft of their
adversaries. The Allies had the Technical Air Intelligence Units (TAIU)
whose specific job was to recover and gather captured aircraft for
study of their technical and tactical capabilities. They were one of
the first units into Japan after the surrender. They attempted to find
four flyable examples of the more advanced aircraft types- one for the
army, navy, British, and a spare. Their labors may be seen today in the
world's museums, since many of these aircraft were preserved after
their secrets were gleaned. The Germans also expended a considerable
effort in technical intelligence as well.
- Ki-21 Sally
- Ki-43 Oscar
- Ki-44-II Tojo: SNs- 1677,1841
- Ki-45 Nick: SNs- 4268
- Ki-46-II Dinah: TAIU 10
- Ki-46-III Dinah: SNs- 5444,5453,8053,8058
- Ki-46-IV Dinah: SNs- 5004,5006,5007,5008
- Ki-48-II Lily: SNs- 1158,1216,1089,1082,2027
- Ki-49-II Helen
- Ki-61-II Tony: SNs- XJ003
- Ki-67 Peggy
- Ki-70 Clara
- Ki-74 Patsy
- Ki-84 Frank: 2366,3060,S-17
- Ki-100 Tony
- Ki-100-II Tony
- Ki-102-A Randy
- Ki-102-B Randy: SNs- 1116
- Ki-105 Buzzard
- Ki-106 Frank
- Ki-109 Peggy
- Ki-115: not flown
- A6M Zeke 52: SNs- 29
- A6M2 Zeke
- A6M3 Zeke: SNs- (Model 32) EB-201
- A6M6 Reisen 62 Zeke
- A6M7 Zeke 63: SNs- 23186
- A6M8 Zeke: SN- 14
- A7M2 Reppu 'Sam'
- B5N2: TAIU 6
- B6N2 Tensan 12 'Jill': SNs- 91112,91210
- B6N3 Tensan 13 'Jill': SNs- 5752
- B7A Grace 11: SNs- 278,387
- B7A1 Ryusei 'Grace': SNs- 317,812,921
- C6N1 Saiun 11 'Myrt': SNs- 735,4161,1308,3379
- C6N2 Saiun 12 'Myrt'
- D4Y2 Suisei 12 'Judy': 3199
- D4Y3 Judy 11: SNs- 328
- D4Y3 Suisei 33 'Judy': SNs- 1620,1959,22
- D4Y4 Suisei 43 'Judy': SNs- 26,43,1831,1833,3177,31537
- E16A1 Zuiun 'Paul': SNs- 70,4-16
- G4M2a Betty
- G4M3 Mod.34 'Betty': SNs- 3006
- G8N1 Renzan 'Rita'
- H8K3 Mod.12 'Emily'
- J1N1 Gekko 'Irving': SNs- 7334
- J2M Jack 11: SNs- S12
- J2M3 Raiden 31 'Jack'
- J2M5 Raiden 33 'Jack'
- J5N1 Tenrai: SNs- 11,16
- J8M1 Shusui: SNs- 81,403,504 - Japanese version of Me-163. Not
flown in U.S.
- Kikka: Japanese jet bomber
- L2D3a: SNs- S15 - Japanese version of DC-3 (C-47)
- M6A1 Seiran : SNs- 47,46
- MXY-7 Ohka: Rocket-powered flying bomb. Obviously not flown in
- N1K1 Kyofu 'Rex': SNs- 40,47,07
- N1K1-J Shiden 11 'George': SNs- 41,7287,7317
- N1K2-J Shiden 21 'George': SNs- 71,533,5218,5341
- P1Y1 Ginga 'Frances': SNs- 4867
- Q1W1 Tokai 'Lorna': 37,170
- R2Y1 Keiun
- A6M5 Zeke: SNs- BI-05
- A6M2 Zeke: SNs- BI-12
- J2M3 Raiden 'Jack': (Model 21) BI-01,BI-02
- Ki-86a: (Bucker Jungmann)
- Boston III (A-20) - Captured from Dutch Air Force
- Lavochkin LaGG-3: Flown into Manchuria by a defector
- P-40 - Captured from Dutch Air Force, used in training
- Ar234: US 140312
- Ba349: US (not flown)
- Bf110C-4: BR 2177
- Bv144: FR
- DFS228: USSR (rocket reconnaissance)
- Do335: US,BR
- Fi156: BR
- Fw189: BR
- Fw190A-4: BR
- Fw190D: US,BR,USSR
- He-177: US
- He162: BR 120227
- He177A-5: BR
- He219: BR 310189 or 99
- He274: FR
- Ju287: USSR
- Ju352A-1: USSR
- Ju88: US 430650 (TAIU# FE1598)
- Ju88A-4: BR
- Ju88G: BR
- Ju88R Night Fighter: BR
- Ju88S-1: BR MT
- Me262: US,BR
- Me410-A-3: BR
- Me410: BR 10259
- Armstrong Whitworth Whitley (BR)
- Bloch 155 (FR)
- Bloch 157 (FR)
- Boeing B-17 (US) - (ex-Wulf Hound)
- Consolidated B-24 (US)
- North American P-51 (US)
- Republic P-47D (US)
- Short Sterling (BR)
NATO was really interested in Soviet aircraft. This may have
risen from the concern of the aircraft losses of the Vietnam War.
Aggressor training and figher combat schools, such as Red Flag and Top
Gun, was one response. The other was to learn about the equipment and
capabilites of Warsaw Pact forces. This is still important today, as
much of this equipment has been sold to Third World countries.
- MiG-15: Flown by defector to South Korea 1953: SN- 7616
- MiG-25: Flown by defector to Japan 1976, thoroughly examined and
- F-112 to F-116: Conjectural designations for
MiG-17,MiG-19,MiG-21,MiG-23,Su-7/20 purchased and evaluated.
- A B-29 Superfortress bomber interred by the Soviets during
World War II was copied and put into production as the Tupolev Tu-4
"Bull" bomber. It was also sold to the Chinese.
- Some Technical
Air Intelligence numbers given to Japanese aircraft.
- Chant, C., et.al (1974). The Encyclopedia of Air Warfare.
Crowell: New York.
- Dorr, R. F. (1988). U.S. Jet Fighters Since 1945.
- Mikesh, R. C. (1993). Broken Wings of the Samurai: The
Destruction of the Japanese Airforce. Naval Institute
- Price, A. (1969). Pictorial History of the Luftwaffe:
1933-1945. Arco: New York.
- Freeman, R. A. (1976). The Mighty Eighth. Doubleday:
- Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II. (1992).
Crescent: New York.
- Green, W. (1972). Warplanes of the Third Reich.
Doubleday: New York.
- Wood, T., & Gunston, B. (1978). Hitler's Luftwaffe.
Crescent: New York.
- Green, W., & Swanborough, G. (1994). The Complete Book
of Fighters. Smithmark: New York.
- Francillon, R. J. (1990). Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific
War. Naval Institute Press: Annapolis.
- Dorr, R. F., & Donald, D. (1990). Fighters of the United
States Air Force. Military Press: New York.
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