In one of history’s great and fortunate blunders, Adolf Hitler fails tofully exploit or embrace the potential of jet power. Germany producesthe prototype Messerschmidt 262 – the first operational jet fighter -in the early 1940s, but Hitler second-guesses designers and slowsproduction. His lack of vision hastens victory for the allied forces.
Theadvent of jet power is a sweeping revolution whose sonic waves echoworldwide. Military and commercial aviation are forever changed. Entiresocieties and cultures are altered by the large-scale, faster, easieraccess afforded by jet propulsion.
Air travel becomes theprovince of the common man as innovators like William Allen, Bill Lear,and Donald Douglas bring aviation and jet power to an American publicstarved for comfort and convenience after years of economic depressionand war-time sacrifice.
On the military front, aviation plays adecisive role in containing the spread of Communism worldwide. Althoughvictory is elusive in both Korea and Vietnam, America’s involvement inboth conflicts effectively depletes the resources and resolve of Soviet-supported Communist incursions.