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Top 10 British combat aircraft of all time

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posted on Nov, 22 2005 @ 05:47 PM
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You notice the subtle difference? With Britain being a much smaller country ruled by a much less ambitious Govt I decide to widen the appeal of this thread by going for combat aircraft. Now, this actually makes the choice VERY difficult indeed as Britain has a much more illustrious record of producing fine warplanes than you might think, so here goes;

1 Supermarine Spitfire - yes, blah blah blah. What can I say that I haven't already in other threads, the most beautiful killing machine ever built and a national treasure, so quickly moving on'

2 D H Mosquito - this high speed bomber carried the same payload as standard medium bombers like the Wellington and even early series B-17's and yet was the fastest military aeroplane in the world too. Introduced the modern concept of a strike aircraft for the first time.

3 Avro Lancaster - heaviest bomb load carrier of the entire war (just matched by the B-29 in 1945) this versatile bomber flew every type of raid from high altitude strategic bombing to such as the dambusters raid at just 60ft, remarkable

4 EE Canberra - the first British jet bomber, designed to replace the Mosquito it inherited that types fighter like handling and high performance, though that advantage was short lived in the jet age. So impressive was the Canberra that a trio of US bomber prototypes were scrapped and the Canberra adopted by the USAF who still flew it on combat missions in the Vietnam war, one of the all time greats.

5 BAC Lightning - Fastest aircraft ever flown by the RAF, this was both the worlds only pure interceptor fighter and the worlds fastest climbing interceptor until the F-15 entered service 15 years after it, proof of what the UK Industry might have acheived if it had been allowed to develop, which reminds me..........

6 BAC TSR 2 - Yes, only one of these was ever flown, but that was not the fault of the aircraft. A mach 2.5 (mach 3 depending on engine development) long range strike bomber this aircraft was the most advanced in the world by a mile when it flew in 1965, in many ways it was superior to the Tornado which was built in its place ten years later and would almost certainly STILL be the standard RAF strike aircraft today ( in a developed form) had it progressed to service instead of being cancelled.

7 HS Harrier - just as the F-15 has remained virtually untouched for thirty years, so it is with the Harrier, the only one of a plethora of VSTOL fighter projects of the 50's 60's and 70's to be successfully deployed into service. Later further developed by HSA and McDonnell Douglas (BAE and Boeing) even todays GR.9 is still basically the same aircraft that flew in 1966 as the P.1127RAF.

8. BAE Hawk - an unusual choice in that it was designed and developed as a trainer, the Hawk has been one of the outstanding success stories of the UK industry over the last 30 years. It is the mount of the Red Arrows of course, it is the standard trainer of the USN, beating several home grown US designs to win the order. But it is also an excellent light tactical fighter that is available in both single seat and two seat forms and can carry a greater weapons load than a Canberra bomber, despite being less than 1/3 the size and single engined.

9 Hawker Hurricane - underrated and even often fortgotten contemporary of the Spitfire, it was more manouverable and much easier to build and repair. The Hurricane shot down more enemy aircraft in the Battle of Britain than all other defences combined, it was also versatile serving as a ground attack aircraft with bombs and rockets and as a tankbuster with heavy calibre cannon, served throughout WW2 on several fronts.

10 Blackburn Buccaneer - very advanced low level strike aircraft designed for the Royal Navy, employed 'machined from solid' construction which avoided fatigue failures and allowed for extreme manouverability at low level, was the first aircraft to use blown flaps for STOL operations allowing it to be operated from Britains small carrier decks despite being almost as long as a Lancaster. Foisted upon an unwelcoming RAF after the cancellation of the F-111K, it proved itself to be the better aircraft and much faster at low level than the US type, leading one RAF Bucc pilot to be quoted, upon the receipt of the very first RAF Tornadoes in 1982, as saying "the only acceptable replacement for a Buccaneer is a new Buvccaneer".




posted on Nov, 22 2005 @ 06:14 PM
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Waynos,

Canberra was so much more than that.

It was not only Britain's first operational jet bomber, it was the world's first operational jet bomber. The Arado Blitz doesn't count because it didn't see service and the Me 262 doesn't count because it was a fighter with a (poor) ground attack capability foisted on it by the Fuhrer.

The Canberras flying in Vietnam were Australian. The Yanks had something called a Martin B57, whatever the hell that was.


Hell, the RAF still fly them in PR9 form. Is there another military aircraft with such a service record?



posted on Nov, 22 2005 @ 06:34 PM
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Cheers for that, but I was trying to keep it short


I dont think it was the first really though. Didn't the B-45 beat it into service? I also wonder when exactly the Tu-14 and Il-28 became operational?



posted on Nov, 22 2005 @ 08:18 PM
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I agree with your choices but the order leaves something to be desired. I would move the Lancaster up a few positions. I would also put the Hurricane at the top of the list and the Hawk at the bottom.



posted on Nov, 22 2005 @ 09:16 PM
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"9 Hawker Hurricane - underrated and even often fortgotten contemporary of the Spitfire, it was more manouverable and much easier to build and repair. The Hurricane shot down more enemy aircraft in the Battle of Britain than all other defences combined, it was also versatile serving as a ground attack aircraft with bombs and rockets and as a tankbuster with heavy calibre cannon, served throughout WW2 on several fronts."


This was by far one of the best aircraft ever built imo
a true beauty

this should be number one on the list



"Hawker Aircraft Limited evolved from Sopwith and had spent its entire life in developing single engined warplanes. None was to achieve more fame than the Hurricane. "


A late series Hurricane IIC with two 44 gallon auxiliary drop tanks.

source for photos
*And Plenty of great info on this awesome machine*
www.aviation-history.com...

my first choice woulda been the Grumman F6F Hellcat tho


[edit on 22-11-2005 by muzzleflash]



[edit on 22-11-2005 by muzzleflash]



posted on Nov, 23 2005 @ 04:31 AM
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The Hellcat was great, but misses out on the 'Britishness' factor though


Also, I should have rejigged the order before I posted them, that is just the order I typed them in.



posted on Nov, 23 2005 @ 06:17 AM
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OI!!!!


You forgot the Sopwith Camel!!

Surely the top scoring warbird of WWI deserves a place there somewhere



posted on Nov, 23 2005 @ 08:29 AM
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Yes, the Spitfire and the Huurricane are great planes, after all they were the only models standing between "Holy Britain" and Hitler... Mosquito was an exellent bomber, because it was so simple... the Lancaster was also a fine plane... I'd also put the Harrier in the list... After all it was one of the first planes to use vertical take off...


But putting the BAE Hawk there is a pretty surprising thing... even tough it's a very nice plane... it only goes like 0.8-1.2 mach...
Well, that doesn't matter, Cos' my airforce ahs them, and then they are good...



posted on Nov, 23 2005 @ 09:02 AM
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I have been very remiss not include anything from before WW2 in any of my lists, there are LOADS of pre 1939 types I could have included.

FIN, the thing about the Hawk is it has developed so much from the simple trainer it was designed to be, its nothing to do with speed. I mentioned its warload and versatility, but there is also the fact that it has sold all over the world and is still in production after 30 years, that makes it one of the greats.



posted on Nov, 23 2005 @ 09:10 AM
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Seeing the TSR2 there makes me think..what about the best planes never to be put into production thread.
The TSR2 must rankle as one of the biggest mistakes of that era to be cancelled, a quite exceptional aircraft had it been put into production.



posted on Nov, 23 2005 @ 11:43 AM
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Originally posted by waynos
I have been very remiss not include anything from before WW2 in any of my lists, there are LOADS of pre 1939 types I could have included.

FIN, the thing about the Hawk is it has developed so much from the simple trainer it was designed to be, its nothing to do with speed. I mentioned its warload and versatility, but there is also the fact that it has sold all over the world and is still in production after 30 years, that makes it one of the greats.


Nice that you remembered "FIN"...


Yes, I know that it's a training jet... But can you really put a jet of that kind in this list... After all isn't this about "combat aircrafts"

Ok, I know that the plane can be fitted with weaponry, but there must be better British combat aircrafts out there...



posted on Nov, 23 2005 @ 11:46 AM
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Okies what about the WW2 Typhoon,outstanding ground attack aircraft during the latter stages of the war and part of the development of Close Air Support "Taxi Rank" operations.



posted on Nov, 23 2005 @ 12:34 PM
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What ever happened to the Gloster Javelin? that was a british beuty.



posted on Nov, 23 2005 @ 12:53 PM
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Originally posted by bmdefiant
part of the development of Close Air Support "Taxi Rank" operations.



Surely that would be attributed to the Stuka?



posted on Nov, 23 2005 @ 12:53 PM
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I love the Javelin, but it cannot under any circumstances be called a 'great'


It was the worlds first twin engined delta but it was slow and ponderous, a supersonic tailless version was being built in 1957 and was another of those British planes cancelled that year, besides, the RAF had already decided it preferred the Avro Arrow, which it didn't get either.



posted on Nov, 23 2005 @ 02:28 PM
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Originally posted by kilcoo316

Originally posted by bmdefiant
part of the development of Close Air Support "Taxi Rank" operations.



Surely that would be attributed to the Stuka?


Forgot about that... Must be the distinction between having on call CAS and scheduled missions for this.I stand ready to be corrected ;-)



posted on Nov, 24 2005 @ 01:50 AM
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The Hawk has one advatage over many other similar CAS aircraft.. It's classified as a trainer, so politicians can claim that an air force has only defencive fighter wing and some trainers (like in Finland), but when examined closely it takes 30 minutes to tranform your trainers to strike AC.

Finnish air force claims that it hasn't bought any weapons for its Hawks, but forgets to mention that stockpiled weapons for now retired Mig21s and Saabs can be slapped to Hawks in no time (Aden and GSH23 cannons, 5 inch rockets, 250kg bombs...
)


Ps. I've always been fond of Blackburn Skua, don't know why




posted on Nov, 24 2005 @ 07:19 AM
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Originally posted by northwolf
The Hawk has one advatage over many other similar CAS aircraft.. It's classified as a trainer, so politicians can claim that an air force has only defencive fighter wing and some trainers (like in Finland), but when examined closely it takes 30 minutes to tranform your trainers to strike AC.

Finnish air force claims that it hasn't bought any weapons for its Hawks, but forgets to mention that stockpiled weapons for now retired Mig21s and Saabs can be slapped to Hawks in no time (Aden and GSH23 cannons, 5 inch rockets, 250kg bombs...
)




No weapons... Check this out...
And this pics is from the Finnish air-forces homepage...



HAWK_1





[edit on 24-11-2005 by Figher Master FIN]



posted on Nov, 24 2005 @ 09:19 AM
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Yes we have them, but they were never bought for the Hawk... but for the earlier planes.. (with the exeption of some training weapons)



posted on Nov, 24 2005 @ 08:39 PM
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What about the Hawker Hunter. A great fighter if there ever was one.



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