"If willingness to expend money, men and materials can do it, U.S.S.R. will become the world's No. 1 air power," we warned. A few ominous figures: The Soviet Union planned to produce 20,000 warplanes by the end of the year. In the United States, only 3,000 were planned. The Soviet air fleet had only 30,000 planes, which was 10,000 less than the US owned, but half of the ones in the US fleet were in storage. Although American airplanes were of higher quality, the so-called Red Air Fleet had the advantages of cheap labor and land space for airfields. They could also boast hefty supplies of aluminum, magnesium, manganese and chrome. Although Soviet mechanics weren't all as skillful as their American counterparts, the Russian government sought to improve training by recruiting 15 year-olds into their Industrial Training Schools system.
As far as aircraft design goes, Soviet equipment was ambitious, if not distinctly Russian. Not to mention that many of their rocket engineers were former Nazi engineers, whom we credited with upgrading Russian aircraft design. Since most of the military aircraft were fighter and light attack-bombers, we figured that the Russians were more equipped for a defensive air war, while America was better prepared for an offensive one.
Read the full story in "Russia's Growing Air Power"