If aircraft had DNA, this one’s Ancestry.com trace would point to Third Reich Germany. Once the guns of World War II quieted, engineers from North American Aviation, builder of the P-51 fighter and B-25 bomber, made their way to the Messerschmitt factory to have a close look at what those German engineers learned in developing the Me 262 Schwalbe, the world’s first operational jet fighter. Of particular interest was the aircraft’s slightly swept wings, a design ...

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