They say you can tell who's winning the war by the paint schemes. As World War II wore on, German and Japanese aircraft evolved more mottled and subdued colors, while their American counterparts became downright gaudy—with stripes and checkers over a brilliant silver canvas. By January of 1944, most aircraft were leaving U.S. factories without camouflage paint. Studies had shown that a bare metal P-51 Mustang could fly 6 mph faster and a big bomber weighed 71 pounds less. The lighter and faster is nearly always better when it came to aerial combat.