“In Christian theology, Kenosis is the concept of the ‘self-emptying’ of one’s own will and becoming entirely receptive to God and his perfect will.”
21 images in the series
© Marcus Bunyan
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1/ Northrop A-17A Nomad (1936-1944)
The Northrop Gamma 2F was an attack bomber. On January 29, 1936, an initial order was placed for 100 retractable-undercarriage versions of the A-17, which were assigned the designation A-17A. The first production A-17A (36-162) flew for the first time on July 16, 1936. All A-17As were powered by a 825 hp R-1535-13 Twin Wasp Junior engine. They were armed with four wing-mounted 0.30-inch machine guns and had a flexible 0.30-inch machine gun operated by the gunner in the rear cockpit. Normal bombload was four externally-carried 100-lb bombs or 20 30lb anti-personnel bombs carried internally. The maximum bombload was 1200 pounds.
2/ Vought SB2U-2 Vindicator (1937-42)
The Vought SB2U Vindicator was a carrier-based dive-bomber developed for the United States Navy in the 1930s, the first monoplane in this role. Obsolescent at the outbreak of World War II, Vindicators still remained in service at the time of the Battle of Midway, but by 1943, all had been withdrawn to training units. Armament included one forward firing 0.50 in (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine gun in SB2U-3, one .30 in (7.62 mm) machine gun in flexible mount for tail gunner and the aircraft carried one 1,000 lb (454 kg) or 500 lb (227 kg) bomb.
3/ Brewster SBN-1 (1941-42)
The SBN was a United States three-place mid-wing monoplane scout bomber / torpedo aircraft designed by the Brewster Aeronautical Corporation and built under license by the Naval Aircraft Factory in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The SBN had rigid, i.e., not folding, wings with perforated flaps. Obsolete before their delivery in 1941, some of the early production aircraft were used for operation carrier trials with Torpedo Squadron Eight in 1941 and then passed on for use as trainers. With lack of spare parts the aircraft were withdrawn from service from August 1942. Armament included one rearward-firing, flexible 0.30 machine gun and up to 500 lb (230 kg) of bombs.
4/ Curtiss P-40E Warhawk (1939-44)
The Curtiss P-40 was an American single-engine, single-seat, all-metal fighter and ground attack aircraft that first flew in 1938. It was used by the air forces of 28 nations, including those of most Allied powers during World War II, and remained in front line service until the end of the war. By November 1944, when production of the P-40 ceased, 13,738 had been built. Armament included six .50-cal. machine guns and 700 lbs. of bombs externally. The P-40E was the variant that bore the brunt of air to air combat by the type in the key period of early to mid 1942.
5/ Vought F4U-1 Corsair (1942-1953)
The Chance Vought F4U Corsair was a carrier-capable fighter aircraft that saw service primarily in World War II and the Korean War. Some Japanese pilots regarded it as the most formidable American fighter of World War II and nicknamed it “Whistling Death”, for the noise made by airflow through the wing root-mounted oil cooler air intakes. The U.S. Navy counted an 11:1 kill ratio with the F4U Corsair. Armament was six wing-mounted .50 in (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns (three in each outer wing panel) and their ammunition (400 rpg for the inner pair, 375 rpg for the outer).
6 / 7 North American XP-51 Mustang (1940-53)
The Mustang was a fast, well-made, and highly durable aircraft. The definitive version, the P-51D, was powered by the Packard V-1650, a two-stage two-speed supercharged version of the legendary Rolls-Royce Merlin engine, and was armed with six .50 caliber (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns, two hardpoints for up to 2,000 lb (907 kg) of bombs and ten 5 in (127 mm) rockets. A total of 8,156 P-51D were built: 6,502 at Inglewood, 1,454 at Dallas and 200 by CAC at Fisherman’s Bend, Australia.
8/ Bell P-63A Kingcobra (1943-45)
The Bell P-63 Kingcobra (Model 24) was a United States fighter aircraft developed in World War II from the P-39 Airacobra in an attempt to correct that aircraft’s deficiencies. With a top speed of 410mph the Kingcobra featured one 37 mm M4 cannon firing through the propeller hub and four 0.50 in (12.7mm) M2 Browning machine guns (two in the nose, two in the wings). It could also carry 1,500 lb (680 kg) bomb load on wing and fuselage. 1725 P-63As produced in various sub-marks.
9/ Republic P-47C Thunderbolt (1941-45)
The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, also known as the “Jug,” was the biggest, heaviest, and most expensive fighter aircraft in history to be powered by a single reciprocating engine. It was one of the main United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) fighters of World War II, and also served with other Allied air forces. The P-47 was effective in air combat but proved especially adept at ground attack. It had eight .50-caliber machine guns, four per wing.
On 17 August 1943, P-47s performed their first large-scale escort missions, providing B-17 bombers with both penetration and withdrawal support of the Schweinfurt-Regensburg mission, and claiming 19 kills against three losses. By the summer of 1943, the Jug was also in service with the 12th Air Force in Italy, and it was fighting against the Japanese in the Pacific with the 348th Fighter Group flying escort missions out of Brisbane, Australia.
10/ Republic P-47D Thunderbolt (1941-45)
Refinements of the Thunderbolt continued, leading to the P-47D, of which 12,602 were built. The “D” model actually consisted of a series of evolving production blocks, the last of which were visibly different from the first. The P-47D-1 through P-47D-6, the P-47D-10, and the P-47D-11 successively incorporated changes such as the addition of more engine cooling flaps around the back of the cowl to reduce the engine overheating problems that had been seen in the field. Engines and engine subsystems saw refinement, as did the fuel, oil and hydraulic systems. Additional armour protection was also added for the pilot.
11/ Curtiss SB2C-1 Helldiver (1943-45)
The Curtiss SB2C Helldiver was a carrier-based dive bomber aircraft produced for the United States Navy during World War II. The aircraft’s ability to keep up with escort fighters, to easily carry a heavier bomb load, and to sortie over a longer distance was a definite advantage. The Helldivers would participate in battles over Marianas, Leyte (partly responsible for sinking the Musashi), Taiwan, and Okinawa (in the sinking of the Yamato). The SB2C-1 had two 20 mm (0.79 in) wing cannons and hydraulically operated flaps, 778 built.
12/ Vultee SNV-1 Valiant (1940-45)
Regarded as the most attractive of the low-wing trainers of World War 2, this series produced by Vultee from 1940 to 1944 far out-numbered all other basic trainers, and was used in this capacity by all services to transition fledgling aviators into higher horsepower ships. US Navy evaluation in 1940 brought a contract for 1,350 slightly lighter Model 74s to be designated SNV-1, then 650 more similar to BT-13B, designated SNV-2.
13/ Grumman F4F Wildcat (1940-45)
The Grumman F4F Wildcat is an American carrier-based fighter aircraft that began service in 1940 with the United States Navy, and the British Royal Navy where it was initially known as the Martlet. First used by the British in the North Atlantic, the Wildcat was the only effective fighter available to the United States Navy and Marine Corps in the Pacific Theatre during the early part of the Second World War. With a top speed of 318 mph (512 km/h), the Wildcat was outperformed by the faster (331 mph (533 km/h)), more manoeuvrable, and longer-ranged Mitsubishi A6M Zero. However, the F4F’s ruggedness, coupled with tactics such as the Thach Weave and High-side guns pass manoeuvres using altitude advantage, resulted in a claimed air combat kill-to-loss ratio of 5.9:1 in 1942 and 6.9:1 for the entire war.
14 / 15 Grumman F6F-3 (1942-45) and Grumman XF6F-4 Hellcat (1942-45)
The Grumman F6F Hellcat was a carrier-based single-seater fighter-bomber aircraft. The Hellcat proved to be the most successful aircraft in naval history, destroying 5,271 aircraft while in service with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps (5,163 in the Pacific and eight more during the invasion of Southern France, plus 52 with the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm during World War II). The aircraft was armed with six 0.50 in (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns, with 400 rpg, (All F6F-3, and most F6F-5) and bombs or torpedoes, fuselage mounted on centreline rack, that consisted of one 2,000 lb (907 kg) bomb or one Mk.13-3 torpedo; underwing bombs – two 1,000 lb (450 kg) or four 500 lb (227 kg) or eight 250 lb (110 kg).
The Grumman XF6F-4 Hellcat was a F6F-3 fitted with a two-speed turbocharged 2,100 hp (1,566 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-2800-27 Double Wasp radial piston engine. The XF6F-4 was fitted with four 20 mm cannons .
16/ Grumman F8F-1 Bearcat (1944-49)
Single-seat fighter aircraft, equipped with folding wings, a retractable tailwheel, self-sealing fuel tanks, a very small dorsal fin, powered by a 2,100 hp (1,566 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-2800-34W Double Wasp radial piston engine, armed with four 0.50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns with a top speed of 450mph. Production was a total of 1,266 Bearcats of all types from 1944 to 1955.
17/ Convair F-102A Delta Dagger (1956-60s)
The Convair F-102A Delta Dagger single-seat all-weather interceptor was the first delta-winged combat aircraft in the world to enter operational service. It was also the world’s first all-weather interceptor capable of supersonic performance in level flight. It was the first fighter to have an all-missile armament provided as standard from the very start of the initial design stage. It was also the first manned interceptor designed from the outset as the principal component of a weapons system. Initial armament was three pairs of GAR-1/2/3/4 (Later re-designated as AIM-4) Falcon missiles, which included both infrared and semi-active radar homing variants. The doors of the two forward bays each had tubes for 12 FFAR rockets (for a total of 24) with initially 2 in (5.1 cm) being fitted and later 2.75 in (70 mm) replacing them. The F-102 was later upgraded to allow the carriage of up to two GAR-11/AIM-26 Nuclear Falcon missiles in the centre bay.
18/ North American F-107A Ultra Sabre (1956-57)
The North American F-107 was North American Aviation’s (NAA) entry in a United States Air Force tactical fighter-bomber design competition of the 1950s. The second F-107A made its first flight was on 28 November 1956. It was used for weapons testing with both conventional and atomic bombs. At the conclusion of the F-107A’s successful test program, the Tactical Air Command decided to hold a fly-off competition between the F-107A and the Republic F-105 which was designed to same mission requirements and used the same engine. Although the competition was close, the F-105 was selected as the new standard TAC tactical fighter.
19/ Republic F-105 Thunderchief (1955-64)
The Republic F-105 Thunderchief, was a supersonic fighter-bomber used by the United States Air Force. The Mach 2 capable F-105 bore the brunt of strike bombing over North Vietnam during the early years of the Vietnam War. Over 20,000 Thunderchief sorties were flown, with 382 aircraft lost (nearly half of the 833 produced) including 62 operational losses. Although it lacked the agility of the smaller MiG fighters, USAF F-105s demonstrated the effectiveness of guns, and were credited with downing 27.5 enemy aircraft. The F-105 was armed with missiles and a cannon; however, its design was tailored to high-speed low-altitude penetration carrying a single nuclear bomb internally. It could carry up to 14,000 lb (6,350 kg) of bombs and missiles.
20/ Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star (1948-59)
The Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star is an American-built jet trainer aircraft. It was produced by Lockheed and made its first flight in 1948, piloted by Tony LeVier. The T-33 was developed from the Lockheed P-80/F-80 starting as TP-80C/TF-80C in development, then designated T-33A. It was used by the U.S. Navy initially as TO-2 then TV-2, and after 1962, T-33B. Despite its vintage, the venerable T-33 still remains in service worldwide. Some T-33s retained two machine guns for gunnery training, and in some countries, the T-33 was even employed as a combat aircraft: the Cuban Air Force used them during the Bay of Pigs Invasion, scoring several kills.
21/ Republic F-84F Thunderstreak (1954-58)
The Republic F-84F Thunderstreak was an American swept-wing turbojet fighter-bomber. While an evolutionary development of the straight-wing F-84 Thunderjet, the F-84F was a new design. The RF-84F Thunderflash was a photo reconnaissance version.