Return of the Lightweight Fighter: Part One

Producer: Victor Vukosavljevic Duration: 24:00 minutes

Early in WWII, the Mitsubishi A6M Zero, one of the all time great dogfighters, proved the viability of the lightweight fighter. But heavier and more expensive aircraft like the Grumman F6F Hellcat would emerge to topple the Zero and diminish the stature of the lightweight fighter in the eyes of military planners. Innovators like Teddy Petter, designer of the English Electric Lightning, realized that light, nimble aircraft could dominate the air battles that lay ahead. The brilliance of his Folland Gnat would help inspire a NATO lightweight fighter competition and the birth of the Fiat G.91.